Saturday, June 16, 2012

Seven Months

Dear Baby Catherine,



Your seventh month started out with a bang! You had been nervous when we’d put you in the sink for a bath, but getting in the pool at Lowie and Paul’s house changed everything. We’ve been there a few times now and you love to swim! It helps that the water is as warm as the bath, you can hang on to us as we walk around, and you have two crazy-fun cousins. This is one of your new favorite activities.


You rolled over well, but at the beginning of the month, you were not yet confident enough to get up and move.  Here you are crying because you want to be held, but you can’t get to any of us so we can pick you up.  By the end of the month you had mastered army crawling and had moved on to regular crawling.  You still use one knee and one foot sometimes, but you are crawling, and you are getting faster!


This is how you look when I come upstairs to get you in the morning.  What a joy it is to see how happy you are to wake to another day.  What makes this even more special, is that now I get to see your bright face every morning.  We have been enjoying my summer break, which lets me be home with you every single day!


You love hanging out with us and since Daddy and I are both home for the summer, we do a lot of hanging out.  You are getting better at holding your own bottle but you get frustrated when you can’t get anything out of it.  Soon enough you will learn that you need to tip it even higher as you empty it.  Along with your daily bottles, you continue to work on solid foods.  This month you tried beets, hummus, red peppers, oatmeal, broccoli, and BBQ sauce.  You loved every thing you tried!  We are so happy to see that you are a good eater.


No teeth yet as of May 24, but that changed by the end of the month!  We spend some afternoons relaxing on the deck and being silly.


You love the kitties and are excited when we go to the Neumann house because those cats are much more interested in you than our cats are.


While you are almost always happy, we do have occasional sad times.  You get frustrated when you can’t move like you want to or when we don’t pick you up when you want us to.  Here we were encouraging you to try crawling but you were not into it.


Your stability is getting better every day.  You can’t sit yourself up yet, but if we sit you up, you can stay upright for a while and play with us. 


Lots of time is spent getting to know people and objects by touching them.  You enjoy putting your hands in other peoples’ mouths as much as in your own.  Luckily, Grandma Hawley doesn’t mind.

DSC01553You and Daddy hung out together at the Memorial Day picnic at the Paris Farm.DSC01555DSC01544DSC01556You also hung out with the cousins.  While you enjoyed sitting in Uncle Mark’s lap with Leah, you also looked like you felt like one of the big girls as you played on the blanket with them.

DSC01560Quiet time with Grandpa Hawley.


Phoebe playing in the sandbox just beyond your blanket was motivation to get you moving!

100_4033Elisa came to visit one afternoon and you actually fell asleep!  You had decided that you didn’t need to take naps for a few days before her visit, but sitting outside on her lap convinced you to sleep—and you ended up sleeping for 3.5 hours!

100_4020DSC01604On the first weekend in June, we went to Turkey Run State Park with Nate, Heather, and Corinne.  We went on two hikes on Sunday afternoon.  You rode in the Ergo for the second time.  You still aren’t quite big enough for being on someone’s back, but you enjoyed looking up at all the trees and rock formations around us.

DSC01612DSC01629DSC01630100_4028After hiking, we went camping.  This was your first time camping and you enjoyed it.  There was lots of time to play with Corinne and to relax.  You had started teething that weekend, so you woke up a lot in the night, but since you got to sleep in-between Daddy and me, you were still pretty happy. 


In other news, you started wearing cloth diapers this month!  We switch between cloth and disposable and when we are at home, you get cloth ones!100_4045

As you are growing bigger, you need more space to play. You also are more comfortable with baths now that you like swimming.  You’ve started taking your baths in the kitchen sink.  Playing with the washcloths, ducky, and the faucet are all lots of fun.


Your seventh month ended like it began – with a trip to the pool.  This time, Corinne was in town and joined us.  You found a ball and liked playing with that and you shared your floaty, too.


I feel so blessed to be your mom and to see how you grow and change each day.  You have an amazing personality and your communication skills are growing.  Each day you smile more, babble more, and make more one-syllable sounds that soon enough will become words.  You’ve begun to push things away when you don’t want them and let us know how you feel about things.  You are showing your independence! 

Your next month will bring more traveling, more relaxing, and more milestones.  I can’t wait to continue growing with you, Baby Catherine. 

I love you,

Friday, May 18, 2012

Six Months

Dear Baby Catherine,

Six months ago this week, we finally met you.  After dreaming about you and feeling you grow and kick for nine months, you had arrived.  That day was one of the happiest days of my life.  I can hardly believe it’s already been six months since I sat in that hospital bed and stared at you, wondering what our lives would be like with you.


You continue to grow and learn so much every day.  Today you went to visit Dr. Lane for your six-month check-up.  You now weigh 12 pounds, 2 ounces and you are 24 inches long.

In the last month, you’ve had one big routine change.  Daddy is now home every day since his spring semester of school is finished.  Instead of going to Kristen’s house, you get to stay home with him!  You guys have lots of fun hanging out at home.  You help him work on his projects, and I think he takes naps with you.  That’s another big change—since there aren’t other kids around like there was at Kristen’s house, it’s a lot quieter.  You now take at least one, if not two, big naps every day.  You are still a good sleeper at night, too.  In fact, you spend every night upstairs in your crib now.


At this point, you get up on your hands and knees quite a bit when we are playing on the floor, but you don’t yet crawl.  You have begun to army crawl and you use your arms and scoot on your belly, but when you try ‘real’ crawling, one hand is always stuck in place.  You can’t seem to figure out how to pick it up and move it when you move the rest of your body.

Catherine, you have started to giggle.  Your giggle is one of the sweetest sounds I’ve ever heard.  You are so happy all the time, and a kiss on your neck or quick tickle when you get your diaper changed can lead to an eruption of giggles!


You recognize other people, now.  When we meet up with Grandma or Grandpa Hawley, Aunt Mary, or any other family members, you light up and smile like you are seeing an old friend – and you are!  It makes us all so happy to see you recognizing others.  You love talking to everyone, also.  You mostly say ‘da da da’ or some form of babble, but it’s conversation to you and everyone loves to add their part to what you have to say. 


This month you have taken even more of an interest in Joey and Casey.  They tolerate you, but don’t try to come close.  The way you wave your arms and move startles them, but you don’t care.  You are sure you all should be friends and you try to touch them whenever you can.  Don’t worry—one day they will change and you WILL be good friends.  You will start to throw Joey’s toys for him to catch and you will start to pet Casey the way she wants to be petted and all of you will be happy.

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Catherine, I’ve said it before and I will say it again: you are growing so much!  You have started to sit this month.  You can’t sit yourself up yet, but if someone sets you on the floor in a sitting position, you can stay there and play or talk with us.  After a bit, though, you usually tip over.  We laugh when you do, but to you it’s a chance to move and you start trying to crawl again.  You are determined to move and get to the toys you want or to get to the next room if we move to do something.

This month your favorite foods are sweet potatoes, peas, and carrots.  You tried green beans but you did not like them!  You also like to eat applesauce but we can’t convince you to eat any more rice cereal.  You still think you should eat whatever we are eating and I know you will enjoy everything we cook just as soon as you get some teeth!


I love every minute of being your mom.  I love getting up with you in the night, when it’s just you and me rocking in the chair.  I love seeing your bright smile when I come home from the gym early in the morning.  I love how you light up when I come home from work in the afternoon.  I am so thankful that we were blessed with you.  I don’t know what our lives would be like without you.

Enjoy your next month.  I can’t wait to see what you do next!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Five Months

Dear Baby Catherine,

You are now five months old. It’s been a big month!

The month started with (your favorite?) Auntie Ellen’s visit.  She was here during her spring break and we all had a great time playing.  She bought you a shirt that says, “My aunt is my BFF.”  You certainly thought so this week.



100_3599We went to Cave Hill Cemetery to take photos with the spring flowers.  You finally love the camera (sometimes) and had a great time playing in the grass and dirt.

100_3603  100_3628100_3638100_3653


100_3669BFFs stopping for lunch at 5 Guys Burgers.


This month, sleep started to get the better of you.  You continued to try to stay awake through every activity, but once in a while, you’d have to have a quick nap.  Here, you feel asleep in Daddy’s lap while we were out to dinner with Ellen and Lowie and Paul.

We’ve settled into a routine of work and day care, and although I would rather spend every day at home with you, it’s going pretty well.  We both love Kristen and you enjoy your time with her and the kids.  I leave school quickly after the students do so I can gather you in my arms and spend the evening with you.  Lately, you’ve just fallen asleep when I get to Kristen’s house as that is a quiet time there and there’s not a lot of action for you to watch.  You wake up when we put you in the car seat and then talk with me the whole ride home.  Just as we get to our house, you usually fall asleep again.  Your nap then allows me to unload anything I’ve brought home and get dinner started.  By the time Daddy gets home and dinner is ready, you are awake and ready to tell us about your day – and share any food you can get your hands on.  One of the biggest steps for you this month was solid food. You’d eaten rice cereal a few times already, but you continued to be more interested in what we were eating. 100_3927Sweet potatoes are probably your favorite food right now. You eat them up and have begun to snatch the spoon away from us – you are determined to feed yourself just like you see us doing.


You’ve grown a lot this month.  At your 4 month doctor visit, you weighed in at 11 pounds, 8 ounces, and were 24 inches long.  You like to sit in the Bumbo when we are cleaning up our dinner dishes.  You aren’t quite big enough for it so you slip and fall over sometimes, but you enjoy being upright and being a part of our evening activities.


You started holding your bottles on your own. You can’t quite keep them upright enough to finish them by yourself, but you are trying.

100_3713You’ve also started reading.  You love this book because the pages are crinkly and you can chew on the corners.  It’s great to have with us in the car.  At night, as part of our bedtime routine, you and I read three or four other books.  Your favorite one right now is a touch-and-feel book and you think the doggy page is the best.  You like to pet his curly fur.


This month was also special because you and I flew up to Wisconsin for a few days.  We got to spend an afternoon with Grandma Elaine and then three days at Grandma and Grandpa Colby’s house.

100_3808Maggie loaned us an exersaucer to use while we are at Grandma and Grandpa Colby’s house, and you loved it!  Each time we put you in, you spun around and played with all the toys.  Your favorite one was the one pictured on the right – it bends so you can chew it’s ears, and the animal blocks slide up and down.  You had hours of fun with the exersaucer.

100_3828We tried the Auntie dress on you one more time and got one last picture of you in it.  You are growing so fast!

100_3837You are gaining more control of your hands and they are finally doing what you want them to do.  When you are tired, you play with your pacifier and see how many times you can put it in your mouth and then take it out.


Loving time with the Aunties.





100_3901This is how you wake up from your naps – excited about life and ready to go.  It’s such a joy to find you smiling when we go to pick you up.  You make everyone around you smile as well.



Along with eating solid foods, your other big achievement this month was rolling over.  Once you figured out that rolling over is a good thing, you kept doing it.  Yesterday, you rolled from one side of the living room to the other in a matter of moments.  This morning, you tried to roll off the bed, and luckily you didn’t get stuck between the mattress and the headboard.  We know we have to watch you more closely from now on and we can’t rely on pillows to keep you in your place – you are ready to move!


Finally, the weather has been consistently warm and sunny here.  Yesterday, you and I enjoyed a quiet afternoon on the back porch where we could watch the robins and rabbits who were playing in the grass, and the caterpillar who was climbing up the screen.  Napping in the fresh air was good for us both, too.

These have been five wonderful months and I am looking forward to the next five and all the ones after that.  I love watching you grown and become more independent each day.  You are so special and we love you!