Thursday, August 29, 2013

Letter to my Pumpkin Pie

Dear Eloise,

Just as every Mom says when their child's 1st birthday comes around - "I can't believe you are 1 year old already!"  This past year has been everything that I hoped it would be and more.  I never knew that I could love anyone as much as I love you.  The weeks before you were born, I kept thinking about what it would be like that first time that I saw you and got to hold you.  I remember the nurses, the doctor, and your Daddy all telling me to open my eyes during  that last push or two because I was about to meet my baby girl.   The nurses plopped you on my chest and you stared back at me with those big blue eyes.  It truly was love at first sight - just like I had hoped.  When I look back at those first few photos of you, I still see that same sweet baby face and those big blue eyes 1 year later.  The first few weeks you were born, I was worried that I would forget those first few moments so I kept playing them over in my mind just in case.  I didn't take me long to realize that no matter how many amazing moments we share as mother and daughter that nothing will replace that first moment.

"No one will ever know 
the strength of my love for you.  
After all, you're the only one who knows
 what my heart sounds like from the inside."

From the moment you entered this world, you were trying to be an overachiever.  Just as I was prompting your Dad to support your head as he was holding you over his shoulder for the first time, you turned your head and looked at me as if you were saying, "Please Mom - I've got this." Everyone was impressed with how alert you were from the get-go and that has continued as you have gotten older.  You are always surveying your surroundings, looking for familiar faces, and planning your next move.  You often furrow that brow of yours so that everyone knows that you are doing some serious thinking.  It didn't take long for us to realize that you didn't want to be cradled like a baby unless you were nursing.  You wanted to be upright, facing the world, and part of the action!  A girl after her mother's heart.
Many people ask what my favorite age or stage was and it's truly hard to say.  Every stage has been fun for different reasons.  During those first few weeks, I loved how you would sleep on my chest at various times throughout the day.  During those first two months, I loved how you could spend long stretches of time on your changing table kicking your legs, failing your arms, and looking around the room.  Once I went back to work, I loved how you would smile the moment that our eyes met when I came to pick you up.  Once you started moving around,  I loved the way you used to clap for yourself when you sat up on your own.  Once you started eating food, I loved how you growled for peas and still in fact love them to this day. Once you started crawling, I loved to see your determination to get where you wanted and what you wanted.  Once you started pulling up and cruising around, I loved how you would get up on your tippy toes to try to see what was even higher.  Even now, I love how you reach your chubby little starfish-like fingers to touch someone face to show them that you recognize them. After you're done nursing at night, I love the way you put your hand under chin as I rock you to sleep.  At one year old, you are big time and have lots of tricks!  You give high fives (a fan favorite), dance to music, feed yourself, hold your own bottle, drink from a sippy cup, play with other kids, wave, and say "Bye Bye."  Looking at you now, it's hard to imagine that you started off a 7 pound little baby with skinny legs and no hair.  That sweet baby face now has 7 little teeth that enhance your sweet smile, a full head of blonde hair that wants to curl in the back, and some strong legs.
It's important for you to know that even when it was hard that I still love you.  When nursing hurt so bad every time I had to feed you, I loved you.  When nursing would take so long because we were both trying to figure it out, I loved you.  When you reach for your daycare teacher with a smile on your face when I drop you off, I loved you.  When you cut all 6 teeth during your ninth month and stopped sleeping thru the night, I loved you.  In the wee hours of the morning when you are crying simply because you missed me, I loved you.  When you pull my hair to the point that I think I'll have a bald spot, I loved you.  When you throw a temper tantrum because I won't let you eat Piper's dog food, I loved you.  
The expectations I had of what you would be like before you were born have been exceeded.  You are the most amazing miracle that I've ever known.  God Bless my sweet, funny, sneaky, dramatic, beautiful, loving, and smart Eloise.  I can't wait to see what this next year will bring.  The day you were born will forever be the happiest day of my life. 



Happy Birthday 1st Birthday....
Eloise Joy Kalins
Eloisa Joy
Eloisa Misa Bisa Chisa Risa
Elli Belly
Big Punks
Punky Chunky
Big Booties
Goofy Roofy
Pumpkin Pie

Monday, August 26, 2013

Walk it out!

Just in time for her 1st Birthday...

At this rate, I'm pretty sure that she will have a choreographed dance routine for her party on Saturday.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Baby Face Friday: 51 Weeks

This past weekend was jam-packed with fun.  Friday night, Aunt Laura slept over and stayed to hang out on Saturday.  Eloise was treated to Aunt Laura's signature mini quiches and fresh strawberries for breakfast.  She loved them both.  Thanks to the fun morning Aunt Laura provided Eloise with, she took a 3 hour nap that afternoon.  That's one for the record books people. 
Later that Saturday, we had an impromptu dinner invitation from the Thakurs which we were quick to accept.  Aunt Sarah & I can't help but smile when we see our 2 girls playing together like we always dreamed about.
On Sunday, Grandma Karen & Grandpa Kevin came over so that Mommy could run some errands.  Eloise went swimming in her pool, played on the swingset, and had multiple dance parties thanks to Grandpa.  According to him, Eloise loves 90s Hip Hop and Jazz.  When Mommy came home, they were dancing to Salt 'n' Pepa.  We finished off the afternoon with a quick trip Cosley Zoo since Grandma & Grandpa had never been.
This week, Eloise is all about Piper or as she says "Pippa" (with a long i).  One of the first things she says in the morning is, "Pippa?"  I promptly respond with, "Piper is still sleeping."  When we walk in the door at home - "Pippa?"  Eloise started chasing Piper this week as well.  The whole scene is hilarious.  Eloise is laughing and screaming with glee while Piper tries to dodge her and run away. 
Oh yeah,  Brad was gone all last weekend and this week as he was on his bi-annual fishing trip to an outpost in Canada with 2 of his brothers and some friends.
We missed him dearly and glad that he is back because we have a big birthday to get ready for!

**In keeping with our family tradition of celebrating birthdays for a whole week, Sunday starts the beginning of Eloise's birthday week.  Stay tuned for some bonus blog posts!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Baby Face Friday: 50 Weeks

"5 - 0...50 Weeks old, People."
Just 2 weeks away from the big day!!

Last weekend we went to Lake Delavan to meet Aunt AJ's family - The Snows.  Uncle Brian & Aunt AJ are getting married next August so it was great to have our two big families meet. 
One of the highlights of the weekend was that Eloise had her first boat ride and nap on a boat for that matter.  
Upon returning home, Eloise decided to take her first steps on her own right before our eyes!  Throughout the rest of the week, we baited her with various things to try and get her to do it again.  We were 50% successful.  Eloise also cut her 7th tooth...with little fuss.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Baby Face Friday: 49 Weeks

Eloise got her first birthday gift in the mail. Great Grandma Fitz kicked off the birthday celebration with a Little Tikes Car & VTech Laptop for Eloise.  She loves them both!

Eloise had her first double date...technically. We got together with our friend Tanya and her twin boys, Rowan & Kendrick. We went to Cosley Zoo and then came back to our house to play. The boys are 9 months old and tons of fun. Tanya is an amazing mom and some how makes twins look easy. The boys had a blast playing with Eloise's toys and she did a fairly good job of not crawling on top of them. Kendrick and Eloise are definitely kindred spirits. They are both constantly on the move and have the same fun personality. Tanya & I decided that he would most likely be Eloise's pick!
The "it" toy right now for Eloise is the Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Learning Home.  We had it down in her playroom and switched it out with something else last week.  She was thrilled!  She loves the music to dance to, door to open, buttons to push, and, of course, the sturdiness to hold her weight. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Baby Face Friday: 11 months

How did this happen? How did my little pumpkin pie get to be 11 months old already?  I feel like we only have a few weeks left of being able to call you a baby! Not gonna lie, this month has been rough somewhat like the last month.  With more teeth on the horizon, your sleep has definitely been affected.  When Daddy kisses you Good Night, he often laughs and says, "See you at 2am."  Unfortunately, he is not joking.  I keep telling myself - this too shall pass. 

Eloise almost made it through the first year with nothing more than a few runny noses and coughs until last Friday. She woke up Friday morning with a 102 fever and a grouchy disposition.  It was a rough virus that brought on fevers topping off at 103.5.  Yikes!  After 4 days of cuddles, tylenol & motrin, tears, and exhaustion, her fever broke on Monday and she woke up smiling as usual on Tuesday.
Eloise has a new trick - she says Piper!  Every time Piper walks past her, she says her name.  We always guessed that Piper would be one of her first words since we say it (or scream it - sorry) all the time.  She has definitely become more interested in her lately as well - reaching out to pet her and handing her toys.  Thankfully, Eloise & Piper seem to get along fairly well.  At times, Eloise seems overwhelmed by Piper's barking or taken back by how fast she will run past her.  They both want what the other one has.  Piper takes most of Eloise's toys and begs for food at every chance she gets. Eloise feeds into all of this because she hands her toys to Piper and throws her food on the ground for Piper or simply leans her food-covered hand over the highchair for Piper to lick.  I know, I know - germs!  Someone once said to me that you have to make peace early on with your dog and baby sharing spit.  Honestly - best dog-baby advice ever.
Remember when I said we were detoxing Eloise from Macklemore's "Thrift Shopping?"  I think we have successfully done that but now she is all about the "Cups" song and watching that video.  Brad has always been the King of online videos so I blame him, haha.  Thankfully, Eloise has great taste in music as she loves jamming out to NKOTB!  Sorry Brad - now we are even.