Lindsay Sledge

a blog about life with Micah, Denver, Everett, and Savannah

Author: lindsaysledge (Page 2 of 7)

4 Month Letter to Savannah

Dear Savannah,

You are a third of the way through your first year, and I can’t even believe it! The first year with a baby is seriously the fastest and slowest year ever. I wish I could freeze time when you are sweet and snuggling, and I also wish we could speed up to when you sleep through the night! I’m tired.

Tiredness aside, your sleep is back on track, for which I am grateful. The four month sleep regression was brutal, and you started waking up three times a night! Right around 16 weeks, though, the regression ended as suddenly as it started. You’ve moved to three naps, lengthened your nights, and sometimes only wake up once to nurse! What a relief! This was a very tiring month for me, and I’m grateful for longer stretches of sleep for us both. Taking care of three kids under the age of five is exhausting.

This month Nanny came to visit, and you absolutely loved having her company. Since we’ve been in quarantine, you haven’t met many people and have serious separation anxiety. You easily warmed up to Nanny, though, and she fell in love with you! She danced you around the kitchen, sat you up on her legs for staring competitions, and enjoyed your big smiles. I love introducing you to others because you brighten up every room that you enter with your sunshiny personality.

As I mentioned last month, we had a huge ice and snow storm that began on Valentine’s Day. For several days, ice poured from the sky. There was a two day break, and then we had several more days of snow! It was so cold, I kept you inside to keep you warm, but the storm is worth mentioning because it’s very unusual to get a week’s worth of snow and ice in Nashville.

After the snow cleared, it warmed up immediately, and we’ve been enjoying outdoor time. Dad set up your baby swing in the backyard, and you’ve tried it out a few times. You’re still a bit small for the swing, but we wrap blankets around you, and you mostly try to fall asleep whenever we push you.

You went through another big growth spurt this month, and you had a major developmental leap. Now you can roll from your back to your side, and you occasionally make it all the way to your tummy. You also love to talk. Savannah, you make all kinds of sounds and legitimately have conversations with people. You are really loud and animated, especially with Dad before bedtime. You laugh a ton, particularly when the boys play peekaboo, and you think the word “pickles” is hilarious.

Last but not least, we took you to the zoo for the first time, to celebrate Aunt Los and her birthday! We tried to push you in the stroller, but you preferred to be worn in the wrap, and you slept soundly as we walked for an hour and a half. It was sweet and adorable, and I loved every minute of it.

Savannah my love, happy four months! Keep smiling, laughing, and growing. It is such a joy to spend our days together. I’m thankful that God answered my prayers for a sweet baby girl.



3 Month Letter to Savannah

Dear Savannah,

Happy three months Savannah girl! You are sweet and special, and I am so very grateful for you. It is such fun to have another girl around the house, and I enjoy getting to know you more each day. You have a sweet and gentle personality, and you bring a calm to our chaotic house.

This month, you decided to tackle tummy time! For the last three months, you would pretty much lay on your tummy and try to fall asleep. One day, you picked your head up, propped yourself up on your arms, and rolled over! It was amazing. Tummy time is now a regular activity, and I love seeing you get stronger each day!

Now that you have more muscle, you love sitting up. A neighbor let us borrow a baby seat, and you enjoying reclining and playing with toys. Your favorite toys are the Paw Patrol and Mickey Mouse figurines, which you swat off your seat, one by one. The boys like lining them up for you.

You also love playing with Mr. Potato head! It’s interesting how much you gravitate towards toys with faces. The boys preferred toys that move, and you are much more interested in looking at toys with eyes. I think it’s part of the reason you are a very content baby, because there are so many people in our house for you to stare at and give the Savannah love eye.

This month you started putting on the pounds, and I love every little baby roll. I think you’re getting ready for a big growth spurt next month, because you now nurse on both sides, and your cheeks are getting even cheekier! I love snuggling you close and kissing your sweet face dozens of times a day.

Speaking of kisses, you love kisses. When I say “kiss,” you open your mouth and give big, wet, smoochies. It’s pretty adorable.

We celebrated Valentine’s Day early this year, because we are expecting a big ice and storm tomorrow! Aunt Los came over for the holiday, and we had special treats and dressed you up in a cute little heart onesie. You, my love, are the sweetest little valentine.

Savannah girl, thanks for being such a calm and easy-going baby. You are truly a delight to be around, and everyone in our family loves you so. Happy three months!



2 Month Letter to Savannah

Dear Savannah,

Happy two months sweet girl! You are still a calm baby, and I am so thankful! This month has been full of change, so let’s get started.

You had a major growth spurt at six weeks. You woke up one day, and Dad and I were shocked to see that you didn’t fit into any newborn or zero to three month clothes anymore. We put those clothes up and you now wear three to six month clothes. Good grief! Keep growing, sweet girl!

Speaking of growing, your hair is getting so long! It is so funny because it sticks straight up. Nothing I do will make your hair lie flat, and I honestly love it. You have the most precious brown hair, and you still wear bows in your hair, and it’s adorable.

You smile now, most often right after naps, when you’re sitting on my legs, and for Dad. He has even gotten some laughs out of you while making animal noises! I have yet to get a picture of you smiling, because you refuse to smile for the camera, but I do have a video of it.

You’ve found your hands, which is such gift to us both, because you’ll lay on your play mat and swat at toys. This has provided great relief to my back, which was struggling with holding you all day, everyday. I still hold you often, but the newfound independence is appreciated.

Naps were a major source of struggle this month. You only wanted to sleep in someone’s arms during the day, and that is simply not possible with two older brothers who need attention. Around six weeks, Dad and I started gentle sleep training with you, using the pick up, put down method, and let me say, it has been a life saver. You fall asleep for naps so much easier, and you nap for good stretches now! Nights, on the other hand, are an entirely different matter. During nap training, we discovered that you sleep better without the swaddle, so we dropped it during the day. At nights, you slept fine until around four o’clock in the morning, and then you repeatedly fought and broke free if the swaddle. So, at eight weeks, we moved you, unswaddled, into your crib at night. You’ve honestly handled the transition beautifully.

This month we celebrated your first Christmas, with Pappy and Aunt Los! It was so nice to have company, especially since we’re still in the middle of a pandemic. You love Pappy, and he held you for hours each day since you would nap in his arms. I know you won’t remember, but you received many new books for Christmas, with strong female characters, and I am excited to read them with you as you grow up! We currently read My Very First Tea Party before nap time, and I am excited to have real tea parties with you in a few years.

Not only did it snow on Christmas, but it also snowed at the end of the month, and I took you outside to see the snow for the first time. It was so cold on your little face, so we didn’t stay out long, but it was long enough to feel magical. Everything is extra special with a baby.

Happy two months, darling Savannah! You are so loved by so many, and I am thankful for you every day.



1 Month Letter to Savannah

Dear Savannah,

Sweet girl, you are here! Savannah Hope Sledge, we are all so thankful to be holding you in our arms. After praying for you long before I knew I was pregnant, and every day of a really hard pregnancy, I am so grateful that you are indeed here, a sweet and snuggly baby girl.

Savannah, you arrived on Friday, November 13, at 9:03pm, 20 inches long and 7lbs, 12 oz. I will tell your birth story one day, but I will skip to the finale here: I had no idea that you were crowning and about to come out until a nurse told me to stop pushing! I was laughing and saying how happy I was to meet you, and out you came, after pushing through only one contraction! I tell people that I laughed you out, because that’s pretty much what happened.

You are absolutely beautiful, with a head full of brown hair and bright blue eyes. Your dad and I are wondering if the hair and eyes will stay those colors or change. What a surprise! You were a bit fussy at the hospital, with some tummy troubles, but you’ve been exceptionally calm at home, for which I am relieved.

Your Dad and I love you so much, as do your big brothers! They fight over who gets to hold you and give you kisses, and they laugh when you poop. You mainly turn your head to one side, so it’s always a battle between which brother sits in your line of sight. It is nice to have helpers loving on you alongside me, even if I have to watch everyone carefully to make sure that you are safe.

This first month has passed quickly, with three kids in the house, three sleep schedules, and nights that blend into days. We’re also in the middle of a global pandemic, so we haven’t had many visitors apart from Aunt Los, Pa and Ru. Thankfully, you’re really good about sleeping from 7pm-4am,, waking to nurse once or twice. Dad and I go to bed at 8:30pm each night to make sure we get sleep since 4-6am is a work in progress.

You are by far my easiest baby. You don’t cry often, are comforted quickly, and love your pacifier, which we’ve named “Wubbie.” When you do get fussy, you will suck on Wubbie and mellow quickly. In the evenings, all it takes is a bath, some jammies, Wubbie, and a ceiling fan, and you become the calmest baby, ready for bed. I nurse you, and sometimes you go to sleep on your own, but often Dad walks you around to settle you. He’s so happy to have a little girl to love, and he’s gone into protector mode from day one.

Savannah, you are such a joy and delight, and we’re so glad you’ve made us a family of five. I enjoyed celebrating your first Thanksgiving, even if you slept through most of it, and I am excited to celebrate your first Christmas in a few weeks. You have the cutest turkey and reindeer outfits, and I love dressing you up in bows.

Stay sweet, snuggly, and calm, baby girl. You are so loved.

With love,


4 Year Letter to Denver

Happy Birthday big guy! Denver, it’s time to celebrate your fourth birthday, and I’m shocked, because I feel like it was yesterday when you were sleeping in my arms. Now you’re 3.5 feet tall and 39 pounds of rowdy, energetic enthusiasm for life. You bring such joy to our family, and it is a delight to celebrate you!

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Let’s begin with your new experiences this year. You started preschool and love it! You are quick to make friends and have a penchant for learning, so preschool was an easy transition. Your teachers sent home a portfolio of work from the year, and I love to look at it because it shows off your personality and love of art. You inherited the art gene from your Dad, and you are quite good at drawing animals, shapes, and monsters, and writing all your numbers and letters. I love watching this skill grow!

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You also went to the dentist for the first time. You were very brave, and after the appointment asked me to take you out for donuts. Even though the nut free donut shop is 25 minutes across town, we went and it was a sweet little Den and mom date. It’s important to note that you have a crazy sweet tooth and love all things sugar. Clearly you are related to Dad and me.

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For Halloween this year, you went back and forth on costumes for a few months, finally settling on Marshall from Paw Patrol! What a handsome little firedog you made! You loved walking around the neighborhood to trick or treat, and you especially loved eating the candy when we got home.

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Your love of holidays is contagious, and you were especially excited to road trip to Virginia Beach for Christmas this year. You did amazing during the 12 hour car ride and were so excited to stay at Aunt Hannah and Uncle Paul’s house. I’m so glad that we made the trip, because it was our last visit with your Great Grandpa Jack. It meant so much to him that we were able to visit, because he has such a great love for family and especially his great grandkids.

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Den, you are quite a goofball. You love poop jokes, knock knock jokes that make no sense, and rough housing. You still love to be the center of attention and are thrilled when we have company over to show off all your new tricks. It’s been a difficult year for company, because we’re in the middle of a global pandemic, and have been in quarantine for 6 months to avoid the dreaded Coronavirus. We’re so thankful for the family that has come to visit though. You were especially thrilled when Aunt Hannah and Uncle Paul came to stay.

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Denver, you are a terrific big brother. You and Everett are best friends, always getting into mischief, playing together, and wrestling. Because we’ve been at home so much, your bond has grown immeasurably, and Dad and I are thankful that you have each other as besties.

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Speaking of besties, Aunt Los is still your favorite, and we’re all thankful that she lives in Nashville and hangs out with us every week! She brings lots of treats and surprises over, and she is always up for a walk to the big field.

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Your other favorites include reading, dancing, Jets Pizza, the color red, cars, and seeing animals at the Chattanooga Aquarium and Nashville Zoo. Pappy bought you a race car to drive around our neighborhood, and you ask to drive it nearly every day.

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Because of the Coronavirus, we spend a lot of time fishing at nearby pond, splashing around a creek, and playing on our backyard swing set. You are quite skilled at casting your own fishing line and have caught several fish by yourself! It always brings me to joy to see your excitement, and you are always excited when playing outside.

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You were also very excited to celebrate your birthday this year! I think we planned your party for three months. You requested a dinosaur theme, and even wrote out a wish list for gifts. Because you’re so loved, you got everything on your list.

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Your Dad and I have one extra present that is arriving soon, a baby sister! For months we played a guessing game about if baby would be a girl or boy, and you were adamant that baby would be a girl! Your Dad and I are so excited to see you grow into a big brother to a little sister, and you love telling me all the ways that you plan to help with baby. I love your heart, sweet boy.

Denver bear, you are smart and loved and kind and hilarious. I thank God for you each day. Keeping growing and singing and laughing, but be prepared for a trip to the squashing machine in the near future.



2 Year Letter to Everett

Dear Everett,

Happy Birthday big boy! I am so excited to celebrate your second birthday and the sweetness that you bring to our family.

You are a talker, and it amazes me how many sentences you put together. You absolutely love to sing, and can often be found in the kitchen singing “Go, Tell It On the Mountain” and “Paw Patrol Theme.” You always say “thank you,” ask to “play outside,” and remind everyone continually that you like to do things “myself.”

Seriously, you’re very independent, and insist on picking out and putting on your own clothes. You change clothes about every half hour, so it’s a good thing you want to do it by yourself. You are great at independent play. Dad and I often find you in your room reading books, rocking on the couch with a Hotwheels car, or playing with your Elmo and Cookie Monster numbers and letters. You do enjoying playing with us outside, especially being pushed on the new swing set Dad built you.

Still a Daddy’s boy, whenever you see Dad, you ask him to “snuggle blanket,” and he’s always happy to oblige. You have a very considerate side, asking people if they are “ok” and making sure that if you have a toy to play with, so does everyone else in the room. You also like to feed Presley breakfast and give him treats. I love watching you care for others.

Ev, you are a picky eater lately, and it is a struggle. We make you eggs for breakfast, because it’s one of the few things you will definitely eat. You prefer snacks, such a fig bars, goldfish, and chips. Dinnertime in particular is a struggle because you refuse to sit in a high chair anymore, and kept climbing out. Dad has to sit between you and Denver for meals, to minimize the antics and help you stay seated.

Speaking of antics, you and Denver get into all sorts of trouble together now. You make holes in the walls, tell poop jokes, and find out how to make activities as dangerous as possible. I am constantly riding a fine line between encouraging bonding and being seriously concerned for your safety, but I am grateful that you two are best friends.

For Halloween this year, you were the cutest little ghost! You love running around the house yelling “boo,” so I figured you’d love your costume as well. It took a little bit of getting used to, but you finally got the hang of trick-or-treating, and I think you were the cutest little ghost in the entire neighborhood on Halloween night.

We traveled to Virginia Beach for Christmas this year, and we drove the entire way – 12 hours there and back. Everett, you did so great sleeping in new places, riding in the car, and being flexible. I was super impressed and hope to take many more trips in the future. We had a fun time playing with family, and I was especially delighted to watch your relationship grow with Great Grandpa. You would yell “Pa” anytime he left the room and snuggle in his lap. This was his last Christmas with family on this side of heaven, and I’m so thankful for the time we were all able to spend together.

The world is pretty much shut down right now, thanks to a pandemic known as the Coronavirus. It stinks, because we’re hunkered down without contact from friends and family. That being said, we decided to go ahead and potty train you while in quarantine. You did a great job with it, watched a lot of “Baby Shark” during the learning process, and I’m so proud of you!

Because of the quarantine, your birthday party was small this year, just the four of us! We made sure you had a blast, though, and filled the day with all your favorite things: Paw Patrol decorations, a purple Mater and Paw Patrol cake, and lots of fun new toys to play with. I’m pretty sure that your favorite part of the days was cake time, and you ate two pieces! One of your favorite games to play is to ask me to make silly faces, and I was more than happy to play and watch you laugh on your special day.

Everett, my hippo-loving, dancing machine, you are so loved. Dad and I praise God every day for you. You have the sweetest and sassiest personality, and it’s so fun to watch you learn and grow each day. Happy two years, little buddy.



18 Month Letter to Everett

Dear Everett,

Happy 18 months, Evie bear! The last six months have flown by, and I cannot believe that you are a toddler now. I am loving this season, because you are smart, sassy and showing off new abilities each day. You are such a sweet and gentle soul, and I look forward to seeing your smile each morning.

You have a big personality, Everett. When you are happy, you let everyone know it. You give sweet hugs and open mouth kisses, and you sing and dance all over the house.

When you are not happy, you also let everyone know it. Good grief, Ev, you are a screamer and world class tantrum thrower. One of your biggest fits was at your first hair cut. Right before 18 months, we took you to the salon, and you cried and wrestled the hair stylist so much that your hair looked worse after the cut than it did before. The haircut was so bad that Dad took clippers to it when we got home. Here’s to more smiles and fewer fits in the next six months. Please and thanks.

Speaking of thanks, you say many words now, including “thank you,” “blue,” “bye,” “bath night” and “cheese.” When I ask you to say “cheese,” you stop whatever you’re doing and give the biggest, cheesiest smile. It’s ridiculously cute. You also love saying animal sounds, and reading time is especially fun when you act out the animals.

Many of your favorite activities at 18 months involve water. You love baths, swimming in the pool, bubbles, playing in the water table, and splashing in puddles. The amount of dirty water you drink is truly disgusting, but I enjoy encouraging your love of water because it’s one of the few activities you’ll enjoy for more than a few minutes.

I hinted at it before, but I’ll elaborate now. You flit from one activity to the next every minute or so. It’s tricky, because I cannot take my eyes off of you. Why, you may ask? Because when you’re not playing with water, you’re typically climbing. You, my love, are a climbing machine. There is nothing you will not climb. Kitchen tables, chairs, stairs, into the bathroom sink to turn on water, you get the picture. As a result, your poor baby body has taken a beating over the last six months. You’ve had a number of goose eggs as well as a broken collar bone. That’s right, on July 27th, you rolled off an ottoman at just the right angle, and broke your collar bone. I will say, because you fall so frequently and get back on your feet again, it was easy for Dad and me to know that something was wrong because you wouldn’t calm down. After a trip to the ER, we had the x-ray proof. The injuries have calmed over the last few weeks, and I’m hoping your newfound stability is here to last. Now if only you’d stop climbing everything in sight.

Your brother started preschool a month ago, and you and I have been enjoying one on one time together! We go to the library for story time and Pinkerton Park to play. Sometimes we even take walks around the neighborhood so that you can wander wherever you want. This time is so special to me, and I look forward to it every week.

When Denver is not at school, you two are inseparable. You chase each other around the house, pretend to be bears, dance to the “Paw Patrol Theme Song,” and get into all the mischief manageable. Watching your friendship grow is one of the best parts of my days, and I hope that your bond will continue to grow as you get more words and can interact even more closely.

You love your Dad and miss him when he’s at work. You often stare at pictures of him on the walls, point, and say “Dad.” When he comes home, you run to greet him, and I know he loves it.

We took another trip to the Chattanooga Aquarium in September, and you loved running all around and yelling “fish.” I think Dad and I spent more time chasing you and Denver than actually looking at the animals! It was definitely a fun family day, though. Pappy also came to visit, over the summer, and took you out to catch fish. While you are still a bit too young to do the actual fishing, you were brave and touched a fish! You were so happy at the pond, and I look forward to taking you back again soon.

Everett Isaac, you are such a happy and handsome boy. Dad, Denver, and I all love you and are so grateful that you are part of our family. You fill the days with laughter, and you certainly keep us on our toes. Happy 18 months, Everett.



3 Year Letter to Denver

Dear Denver,

I am so excited to be writing this letter to you, because it’s time to celebrate your third birthday! You have been so pumped, telling everyone you see that you’ll be three on August 6th, and holding up three fingers, so proud of yourself. Being your mom is an absolute joy and delight, and this year has rocked.

You are so big now! You potty trained easily right after your second birthday, moved to a big boy bed a third of the way through the year, and seem like such a legit kid now, less of a toddler. I don’t even know where to begin recapping this year because it’s been so full and so fun.

Let’s start with your love for people. You are delighted when we go places and when people come to visit. Each day you ask me, “What are we gonna do today?” Whether we’re visiting Los, going to the library, meeting friends at the park, or waiting for your grandparents to come over, you spend the entire day seeking out play mates. Once you see others, you run over, start talking, and hold their attention until it’s time for us or them to leave. You recently charmed a hair stylist so much that you got a lollipop and hot wheels car at the end of the hair cut. By the way, you love getting hair cuts and pretending to give hair cuts at home. You make sure your client wears a blanket cape, grab your drill which doubles as a hair dryer, and say, “Don’t be afraid, this will just tickle.” It’s cute and adorable.

Other favorite games include couch cars, where you drive every single one of your hot wheels from one side of the couch to the other, parking them in a straight line, and cheering when you’ve moved them all. Tickle bear is also a hit, where either you or I pretend to be a bear, and we chase each other around growling. You love painting, coloring, and practicing drawing the letter “D.” You also love being active. You can hit a baseball that someone pitches to you so far it goes over the fence. You love riding your scooter, taking walks around the neighborhood, kicking a soccer ball, climbing on playgrounds, and swimming. The swimming is something I am especially proud of because you were so timid a year ago, and now you’re quick to put on your swim vest and get in the pool. Overall, you do things big and fast. You are so fast that a friend told me, at the library, that I should embrace the running because maybe you’ll get a track scholarship. Perhaps all of my chasing you will pay off one day.

Speaking of the library, you have a great love for books. We read before nap time and bedtime, for about 30 minutes straight, and I think you’d read through every book in your dresser if I didn’t cut you off. You love picking out new books at the library, and you have favorites including Curious George, any book about Halloween, and the Bible.

Denver, I love watching your love for God grow in your heart. Every Sunday, you are genuinely excited to go to church. You recently memorized your first memory verse, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:1). You can sing “Jesus Loves Me,” “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho,” and “My God Is So Big.” One night, you even told your Bible stories to an unbelieving friend who was over, and it was as if you were evangelizing. I pray that you will continue to grow in knowledge of the Lord and that one day you will choose to follow Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

One of the most special things about you is your love for music. When you hear songs on Alexa aka “Lex,” you can pick out which instruments are playing and mimic playing them yourself. You dance, rather jubilantly, in the kitchen, and you tell us that you are break dancing. You also entertain us with songs on your guitar, most notably Brad Paisley’s “Mr. Policeman,” “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Theme,” and “Paw Patrol Theme.” A good portion of each day is spent in the kitchen dancing side by side with your brother, Everett, and this brings me so much joy.

You love “lil Evie” and really are a terrific big brother. You greet him in his crib in the mornings and say, “Hi, cute lil Evs. You are so cute and lil.” Whenever you grab your milk out of the fridge, you also grab some for Everett. You’ve gotten really good at sharing, even when it’s hard, and you often make sure Ev is ok, checking on him when he’s crying or out of sight. You give him gentle hugs, make silly sounds that are specific to the two of you, and laugh hysterically at each other’s antics. I’ll be honest, you do tend to plow Everett to the ground more than I’d like, but I think it’s out of a desire to wrestle.

Some of my favorite moments this year have been listening to you speak. One day you ran to tell me, “I love you, best friend mom.” Another day I said I couldn’t believe I had two sweet boys, and you said, “And we have you, sweet mom.” You are so encouraging, thanking Dad and me for making dinner, cleaning the house, and taking you places. You also lift everyone up when we’re struggling, telling us that it’s ok to make mistakes and cheering Everett on when he’s learning something new. One of the more hilarious moments was when you were having a bad attitude one night and Dad threatened to throw away your beloved gummy bears. You, my strong-willed, determined child, looked back at him and said, “Guess you just throw them away…also my goldfish too.” When Dad threw them away, you didn’t even bat an eye. It was impressive and hilarious.

I want to remember your favorite things, so here is a list, in no particular order. Your favorite shows are Superwings and Paw Patrol. Your favorite color changes daily but is often yellow. Your favorite thing to do is go to the zoo to see the animals, followed closely by playing baseball. Jets Pizza is still your favorite food, and sweet tea is still your favorite drink. You want to be a race car driver for Halloween, your favorite holiday, and a fireman when you grow up.

Denver, my sweet baby boy, I am so grateful that God gifted your Dad and me the privilege of being your parents. You are an incredibly kind-hearted and creative boy, and each day I am overjoyed that you are part of our family. Please stay as joyful, willful, and beautiful as you are now. Truly, we love you exactly as God made you.

Happy 3rd Birthday, sweet Denver Josiah. You are so loved.



That Kid

I am mom to that kid: the boy who is a bit bigger, a bit louder, and a bit more unruly than other kids his age. He is my joy and delight (he, and his little brother, of course). He made me work ridiculously hard during the first four months of his life, with sleepless nights and colic, but we powered through. He learned to walk and talk and run and shout, always a bit earlier than his peers, and he became much happier with his newfound freedom and ability to communicate.

He’s almost three now, and I’ve settled into motherhood for the most part. I know my sweet boy, and he knows me. Our relationship is built on love and trust. It’s a relationship that I am proud of, because it has taken time and attention to cultivate. We both yell at times, because we have big feelings. We both apologize often, and the hugs strengthen our bond. I know that the seasons come and go, some full of calm and cooperation, and others full of crying and hysterics. I also know how important it is for me to remain steady while adapting new parenting strategies to care for such a bright and opinionated little boy.

The new season we’ve entered is one of defiance, and I have not yet figured out how to adjust my parenting to his needs. He uses the word “sneaking” and blatantly chooses to run off when I ask him to stay. Public outings are especially hard with a one-year-old brother in tow, who has his own needs and desires, and also a bit of the strong will that my oldest champions.

Today at the library, we had a rough day. My oldest ran through the building as soon as we entered, laughing hysterically because he thought it was a game. The librarian gave me a reproachful look, and I told her I’d handle it. I needed to use the restroom, and that created a power struggle, because he wanted to play trains. While playing trains, baby brother pooped, and we had to go back to the bathroom for a diaper change. I literally had to drag him across the floor with his brother in my arms while other parents watched. Then, when story time for the one-year-olds began, he wanted to stand on the bench and look out the window, which the librarian asked him not to do. I wish she’d just let him look out the window, because he was happy and not disrupting anyone. Once he got down from the bench, though, he decided to run as fast as he could around the room, circling all the families, and being incredibly disruptive. Nothing I said deterred him. Finally, after another reproachful look from the librarian, I picked up our bags, his brother, and marched through the middle of story time in order to intercept him and drag him, kicking and screaming, out of the library. As we walked to the car, and he was wailing, people watched us and even commented that someone was having a bad day. At this point, I started to cry. We were all having a bad day.

I texted my friend after the outing, for a bit of encouragement, and also to share the embarrassment I was feeling. She sent me kind words, and it was helpful to share the feelings with someone else instead of ruminating on them alone. I talked to my oldest, told him I loved him, and asked him to think about ways he can listen and obey better next time, so that instead of leaving, we can stay. I held my youngest in my arms and read him many books when we got home to make up for the books we missed at story time.

What else can I say? I wish the librarian had been more understanding and used her words and authoritative position to help engage my son rather than wishing him away. I wish another parent had offered me some help or even a knowing smile as I carried 50 pounds of upset children, books, and a diaper bag to the car.

However, as embarrassing and frustrating as the situation was, I don’t wish these moments away. It’s these hard moments that God will use to grow my children and me. These moments teach my children that they are loved, regardless of their actions. They also learn that there is a time and place for certain behaviors. They learn that grownups get upset, just like they do, and that we all have to work on patience and putting others first. I feel as if I am being sharpened by iron each day, specifically in the practice of gentleness and faithfulness, such needed characteristics in caring for children.

I would not trade my strong-willed child for anything. I marvel at his determination and creativity, traits that make the days highly entertaining, even if draining. He is smart, hilarious, and beautifully intentional. He loves with his whole heart, and I can literally feel his feelings, whether he is incredibly happy or sad. I’m still learning how to parent him well in each new stage that arrives, because once I think I’ve figured him out, he changes again. Each change brings new abilities and a deeper relationship, though, so it’s always so worth it once we make it through the tough part.

In the meantime, when I see another mom with “that kid,” I will tell her she’s doing a great job. I will encourage her to keep her head up. I might even give her a hug. These tough little ones are incredible gifts, and it takes incredible strength and endurance to parent them well.

12 Month Letter to Everett

Dear Everett,

Happy first birthday my darling baby boy! I cannot believe that it’s been a year since I first held you in my arms. I remember the first moments snuggling with you on my chest as if it were yesterday, and I am so very thankful for this past year.

The last month has been full of surprises because you have learned so many new skills. For instance, you now dance standing up. When you do, it looks like you are completing mini squats over and over again. You also wave and blow kisses, but you will only blow kisses to me! I secretly don’t mind, but I think Dad would be delighted if you’d send him some kisses soon. You also think it’s hilarious to laugh, and you tilt your head back laughing louder and louder as I laugh with you. It’s hilarious to watch!

This month, you also cut two more teeth, for a total of six in your first year! You definitely have some big teeth like your mama, and your smile lights up any room you’re in. Keep smiling, little buddy, and keep getting those teeth!

You’d think with only six teeth, you would have trouble chewing table food, but no, you’re officially weaned from baby food and loving life! We’ve discovered that you have an incredible appetite. For breakfast, you are the only one at the table who gets cereal, fruit, cheese, and eggs, and it’s because you will eat it all! I was unsurprised to see that you grew so much at your one year checkup, because the calories had to be going somewhere!

Speaking of checkups, you have got to be more careful. Little Evs, you are constantly getting head injuries. Now that you’re comfortable walking, you are going faster and faster, running into everything and toppling over at higher speeds. You’ve also developed a penchant for stairs and are unaware that you can fall down them. Good grief!

While I haven’t enjoyed the injuries, I have enjoyed watching you learn to coordinate your movements well enough to kick a soccer ball. You’re always observing Denver at play, and you pick up on things that are well before your time! You seriously found a ball and kicked the ball across the yard, all on your own, and it was impressive. Good work, little buddy!

You finished the year with five words: mama, dad, book, ball and neigh! Not only can you say the words, but if I ask you to find a ball or a book, you know where to go and get them! You can also point to the fan when I ask you where it is! Such a smarty.

We traveled to Virginia this month for Aunt Hannah and Uncle Paul’s wedding! I’m not going to lie: it was challenging. You are a tricky age for travel right now. You were not happy sleeping in a pack in play, you missed all of your toys at home, and to top it off, you were sick. I am glad we got to see the family, but I am also glad we’re back home now. Here’s to hoping traveling is a bit easier next time around.

We finished up your 12th month with a goldfish themed birthday bash! It was so much fun. You enjoyed playing with all your new gifts, trying cake for the first time, and flirting with all your aunts. I’ve always loved birthdays, even more so now that I get to celebrate the births of my sweet boys.

I love you so much little Evs! Your Dad, Denver, and I are so very thankful that you are in our family. You have added so much sweetness and laughter to our home. Happy 12 months!



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