Monday, July 29, 2013

Redemption--part 2

So I wrote about last Saturday. But last Sunday was just as good!

We've been going to the same church for years. And I love it. It was a great church to grow up in and I feel like everyone there knows us and knows about us and has seen me go through almost every stage of life.


In THIS stage of life, I have two small children. And they trump any need that I have. I feel comfortable  in my church, but there's not really a good nursery program. I have tried leaving Tommy in there a few times and feel like he wasn't really comforted or distracted from the fact that I left. I would stand outside the door, waiting for him to stop crying and it wouldn't happen. So I would go in and get him out. We eventually ended up sitting in the balcony (apart from the rest of the congregation) with Tommy and Tessa. And while I loved having my kids in the service part of church, they are too young and too busy to sit still, so we weren't getting to hear any of the service. So I didn't feel like I was getting spiritually fed.

Don't get me wrong--the services I did get to hear were great! I love the pastor that's there now, but I needed to be able to hear it and pay attention to it EVERY Sunday. Not just the Sunday's my kids happened to not be there.

So we decided to try a new church. We went back and forth from The Benton Church to Hope (in Andover) but finally decided that since Tommy would probably end up going to preschool at The Benton Church, we would give it a shot.

And I LOVE it. The music is awesome. They have a full band and it's a lot of popular songs, so I know the words. The message was really good. The people were super friendly. And they have a nursery and the nursery workers were so awesome with the kids.

I'd been trying to prepare Tommy all week for "church school" so he wouldn't be shocked when we left him with strangers. And he was all for it until it came time for us to leave him. Nick had stopped to talk to someone with Tessa, so I took Tommy to the nursery door. He started backing up and saying, "No, mommy! No, mommy!" I tried to convince him everything was fine and it would be fun. I got him through the door and the meltdown began. He was jumping up and down, screaming, "I don't like this! I don't like this! I don't loooooove this!!!" Nick got there with Tessa and we set her down and headed out the door. I felt like the worst mom ever, but knew we would have to go through that at some point. I wasn't prepared for how sad my heart would feel to leave them there crying, but Nick kept me calm. And then I realized I hadn't even told the nursery workers my children's names. Then I felt like a REALLY bad mom!! But I knew if we went back to tell them, the kids would see us and the crying would start all over again. We snuck out of the service a few times to see if we could still hear them crying and after about 15 minutes, we couldn't hear them. I was able to focus a little more after I knew they'd stopped crying.

When the service was over, I ran slowly walked out to the nursery to scoop my babies up. And they were fine! Tommy was playing with a truck and told us he got animal crackers and Tessa was sucking away on her paci like a champ!

I'm glad we got the first time over with. It was hard to leave them, but so worth it because my soul felt filled up with Jesus again! It was a great Sunday!

Sunday, July 28, 2013


So with as BAD as our vacation was (which you can read about here if you haven't already), I was not expecting last weekend to be any better. I was juuuuuust getting to the point where I could hear Tessa whine without wanting to cry and hide myself in a closet when I started putting our weekend schedule together and realizing it was set to be a VERY busy weekend.

Saturday was an anniversary party for Nick's aunt and uncle. It was in west Wichita from 1pm to 3pm. Then we had his company picnic at The Alley (on Greenwich and 13th) from 4:30pm to 6:30pm. Not a huge deal except that interrupted their usual afternoon nap time. But then Brooke and Michael asked if they could keep them Friday night. And while I was VERY grateful for the offer and readily accepted it, I was thinking to myself that they're usually a little grumpy after staying at someone else's house--just because the schedule is always a little different and it's "no fun" when they have to come back with stinky ole Mom and Dad.

Then on Sunday, we were going to try a new church and were going to put them in the nursery and had decided to LEAVE them in the nursery NO MATTER WHAT. After church, I had a baby shower to go to  from 3-6pm.

And on top of all of this, poor Nick has been working 3rd shift and was having to adjust his sleep schedule over the weekend so he could be awake for everything!

So on Saturday morning, I got up and went garage sale-ing (thinking that would be my only hour of pleasure for the rest of the weekend) before I went to get the kids from their aunt and uncle. I headed over there after finding nothing but 2 pairs of leggings for Tessa at the last sale I went to. They were surprisingly chipper and weren't overly disappointed to see me! We got everything gathered and headed home so we could get ready for the anniversary party. There was no fussing, no whining. They sat down and ate lunch (willingly) and Nick and I both had time to shower and get ready. We loaded up and headed to west Wichita. The whole time I was holding my breath, just waiting for one of them to have a melt down. Didn't happen. Tommy actually fell asleep on the way there. We showed up a little earlier than the rest of his family, so we drove around a bit and I got to go to a few more garage sales. Score! I found quite a few things for Tommy. We went back to the party and went in. I was dreading getting Tommy out of the car because he is usually SUPER grumpy when he wakes up too early from naps. But not that day. He was shy and quiet, but not grumpy. And after a cookie or two, he perked up and ran laps around the basement with his cousins and had all kinds of fun! Tessa was great and smiley and happy and let someone besides me hold her!

I was just waiting for the bottom to fall out. As we left the anniversary party about 30 minutes later than planned, I was ready with a pacifier and sippy cup to shove into the appropriate mouth  while we were getting in the car. Didn't need them. Not a tear in sight. Tommy had gotten $1 from grandma for going potty on the big boy potty, so we let him spend that at the gas station. We got Tessa a cheese stick and Tommy chose Rolos and we were off to our next destination.

Nick's company picnic was inside this year (thank you Jesus!). We went to the Alley where they have bowling, laser tag, go-karts and the arcade. We went to the go-karts and were told Tommy wasn't big enough. He was super bummed when I told him we couldn't ride them and he kept saying, "But dhy (why), Mommy? DHY?!?" I tried to explain he wasn't big enough but he kept saying, "Me IS dig (big). Sissy is little. Me is DIG!" I aaallllmost thought that was going to be the fit I was waiting for, but he finally stopped asking and moved onto bowling!
He loved every second of it. He kept trying to pick up all the balls and he would carry it over to the ramp we got for him and he would push it as hard as he could. He did really good, too!
Him and Daddy were quite the bowling team........although his score ended up being higher than BOTH of ours. Using his ramp, he got a spare AND a strike in the last frame!

Mildly embarrassing to be beaten by your 2 year old in bowling.

After bowling and pizza, we went to the arcade. They were in heaven. All the lights, the music....everything was SO exciting to them! We played the game where you scoop up candy and drop it somewhere, which hopefully pushes candy off the ledge of a shelf and into your hands. Nick succeeded. I did not. The kids were in love.
 Nick taught Tommy how to cheat at Ski ball....
Quality parenting right there, honey!

We decided to head out around 6:45pm and just as we were walking out, it started raining. The kids did great for the whole ride and when we got home, the cool rain felt so good that they played in it and Nick and I sat in the garage and enjoyed the cool breeze.

We were all pooped by the end of the day, but Nick and I decided to go ahead and start letting Tessa cry it out at bed time. I'd been laying down with her at night, which wasn't a problem and I actually enjoyed our time together until she started getting to where she would drink her milk and then want to get up and play instead of going to sleep. I was beginning to be a lot of work and a very long process. So we gave her some milk and let her watch a little Mickey Mouse and then we put her in the crib and let her cry. Heartbreaking. It doesn't really get much easier the second time around. But it only took about 10 minutes of off-and-on crying and she was sound asleep!

I fell into bed exhausted but SO happy that our crazy kids had redeemed themselves from our Table Rock "vacation."

I'll wrap this up and post more about Sunday tomorrow.........

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tessa Grace is one!!

To my dear, sweet one year old--

I cannot believe a year has passed already. I'm sure I'll say that time and again when we reach 2 years, or 10 years, or 16 years (God help me when that time comes!). It seems like I was just at the hospital, holding my breath waiting to hear you take your first one. And you didn't.

We were scared to death that we wouldn't get the chance to watch you turn one. Those few minutes that they were working on you felt like forever. What lasted only seconds felt like an eternity. When they finally said you were okay and breathing on your own, it was like a huge weight was lifted off of us. I should have known at that point that you were going to keep life interesting!

They took you right away to the NICU, so the first time I saw you was through a picture on your daddy's cell phone. You were pink and had squishy cheeks and big red splotches all over your face. I remember being very worried about those spots and hoping they would go away eventually :) You were wrapped up like a little burrito and your tiny little face was just barely poking out of the top!
I knew you were finally out of my tummy, but it didn't feel real until I got to hold you five hours later.

And from that moment on, my heart was yours!

I was so scared to go worried about how I would be able to take care of two children. But you made it so easy! You've been very laid back from the beginning. Your brother being in your face didn't bother you. Sleeping in a tiny bassinet in our room didn't bother you. Being left to entertain yourself for a few minutes at a time didn't bother you. You were content to just sit back and take it all in.

Granted, that's changed a little in the last few months. You have definitely started developing your own spunk and personality. You do very well until you get pushed to a certain point and then you want to let us know how you feel RIGHT that instant! You are constantly on the go and will not stay away from stairs or anything that looks remotely dangerous. You have no fear. None. Which is odd, because you're kind of shy and timid when it comes to being around new people or in new situations. But you're willing to be the guinea pig in all of Tommy's adventures. You dive into things head first. I'm a little jealous because I remember being afraid of everything when I was young. I don't think you're going to let anything limit you in life--the sky's your limit, baby girl!
 I'm loving who you're becoming. You're a girly-girl who loves to play with shoes and hair brushes and make up. But you have no problem going out side and getting dirty with your brother. You climb the swing set like a monkey and fight with your brother to get to the trike first. You're so funny, too. You're always laughing and giggling, even if nobody else has any idea why! It's pretty cute!

There are times I see your sweet little dimple and get choked up because I'm picturing it on a grown up, teenage girl face and I can't imagine you as anything but my little baby. And then there are times I see your grumpy face and I get a little MORE scared for the future because I have a feeling there's a looooot of attitude behind that face! But either way, you definitely wear your heart on your sleeve. I'm really hoping you keep that quality because you're so transparent with your emotions. We NEVER have to guess what you're thinking or feeling!

I have LOVED this last year. It's been crazy, it's been hectic, it's been busy, it's been HARD. But it's been awesome. Getting to be your mom has been one of the biggest blessings of my life. It's a privilege and a pleasure. I love watching you grow and learn and can't wait to see the little girl you're going to become in the future. Tessa, you are everything our little family didn't know we needed. You're our sunshine, our laughter, our cuddler, our princess. I thank God every day for giving you to us.

Happy birthday Tessa Grace! I love you more than words could ever say!!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Brady and the terrible, horrible, very bad, no good vacation

So we'd had a vacation planned to Table Rock for 9+ months. It was for the week after the 4th of July. I was stoked!! Ecstatic!!! SO ready to get away from home and work. Let me just give you a quick outline of how our vacation went...........

Monday--worked all day. We were planning to leave Tuesday after work so the kids could stay awake for a few hours on the ride down, we would stop and eat, then they would fall asleep and sleep until we got there. Perfect plan.....Waiting anxiously for Tuesday to come.

Tuesday (7/9)--wake up at 6:15am to hear Tommy saying, "Mommy!! Mooooooooommmmmyyy!" Go in their room to see Tessa crying and rolling around. Pick her up and she starts vomiting. Quickly set her back down so all her vomit is contained on her crib sheet. She stops. Pick her back up to comfort her and she hurls again. Repeat above steps about 6 times. She finally stops gagging when I pick up her. Get bed cleaned and Tessa cleaned. Call Brooke to see if she can come to our house so she can meet us at the doctor later that day and so Tommy and Tessa can keep sleeping. Praise God when she says yes! Go to work. Wait for my doctor's office to open so I can schedule appt. Try to work while worrying about my kid and how we're getting her to the appt. Leave work early to help with transportation, medication administration, vomit patrol, etc. The doctor said it was a virus (shocker) and it would most likely be gone in 24 hours. We decide to head to Table Rock because she's acting better.
I should've known to turn around as soon as I saw her giving me this look from the back seat.

We leave around 4:30pm. Kids fall asleep quickly and sleep 2 hours. We stop for dinner at Babe's......
.....(which was not as good as it looks) and eat hamburgers while Tessa cries and clings to me like I'm going to abandon  her any moment. Finish our drive and get checked in to the resort. Get the kids to sleep. Tessa starts fussing and pukes all over one of the beds. Office is closed, so can't get clean sheets. I fall asleep in one full size bed with both kids on top of the comforter since our sheets are covered in Tessa's lunch. Finally get to sleep.
Don't let them fool you. They're not as innocent as they look!

Wednesday (7/10)--wake up around 8am. I revel in the fact that nobody is puking. Eat breakfast and head over to Grandma and Papa's camper so we can leave the cling-on with Grandma and me, Daddy, Papa and Tommy can head out on the boat. Tommy loves it!
Don't be scared of his grimace....that's actually his, "Say cheese!" face.....we're working on it!
We get 3 hours of time on the water with no whining or clinging. Grandma reassures us Tessa is sleeping and fever is under control. She actually slept like this.........

....for about 30 minutes. THAT'S how exhausted she was. Get both kids back to our room at the resort for lunch and naps. Realize Tommy has a HORRIBLE diaper rash and he screams and thrashes every time we try to wipe or change him. Spend 30 minutes trying to rationalize with a toddler that if we can wipe the yuckies off, it won't hurt so bad. He screams, "Don't wipe me!! Don't wipe me!!" Finally get everyone to sleep for a nap.  Head over to Grandma and Papa's camper again to have dinner. I'm optimistic it will be a good, calm evening. Tessa is still acting like we're Siamese twins. My usually happy-go-lucky girl is the grumpiest grouch on the planet. I end up holding her during my whole dinner, but it's tacos (my fave) so I'm able to enjoy it anyways. Head back to the resort and get both kids to bed. Tommy wakes up no less than 4 times because he has diarrhea and needs changed, but he's screaming in pain because his diaper rash hurts so bad. We (of course) have no diaper cream because neither of our kids has ever had a diaper rash. Spend 5-10 minutes with each diaper change trying not to get poop on anything and trying not to hurt Tommy while we clean him up. Sleep MAYBE 4 hours.......maybe

Thursday (7/11)--Daddy leaves early to go buy diaper cream for Tommy. Then they go to Papa's to hang out with him on the boat. I am left in the little, tiny resort room with Grumpy Gracie. Discover she's actually cutting FOUR teeth while recovering from her viral infection. Perfect. Start to feel a little bad for being so annoyed about her clinginess and grumpiness. She continues to whine and cling all morning while we wait for Whitney to come visit us. Whitney shows up and I feel a little like kissing her because it means I'm not alone with my daughter anymore (mom of the year, I know. Don't judge. You weren't there). We take Tessa out to swim in the pool while we wait for Nick and Tommy to bring the car back so we can go shopping. Tessa actually smiles for the full 45 minutes we're in the pool.

 The boys FINALLY bring the car back around 1:30pm. They lay down for a nap and we head out to go shop! I find the perfect shirt for family pictures and Grumpy Gus has layed off the grumpiness. I start to get optimistic about the vacation. We head back to the resort and over to Grandma and Papa's again for dinner. Tessa resumes her clinginess, so I once again eat dinner with her on my lap. After about 3 bites of my hamburger, I notice a bodily fluid running down my leg. It is not MY bodily fluid. I'm confused for about 30 seconds and then realize Tessa has blown diarrhea out of her diaper and all over me. Awesome. Icing on the cake, folks. Runny, brown icing. I try not to throw up or make everyone else at the dinner table throw up. Get Tessa changed and the carpet cleaned (sorry Grandma and Papa!!). Leave her at the camper while I drive back to our resort room to change clothes. Change and get back to the camper only to find out Tommy has also pooped through his shorts. Get Tommy and Tessa BOTH changed. Wonder how my life came to revolve around so much vomit and diarrhea. Praise God that Tommy's cousins have to shown up to entertain him!

 Try to enjoy the cherry cobbler that was made for dessert but end up holding Tessa (betcha didn't see that comin, did ya?) and throw a miniature fit about not being able to do anything without toting around a 20 pound tooth-growing, viral infection,-having, diarrhea exploding baby on my lap. But I try to get over it because I chose to be a mom and she is ultimately one of the 3 best things I've ever done in my life. Forgo the cherry cobbler (my hips thanked me) and head back to our room to try to sleep. Repeat the process of the previous night--waking up every hour to change Tommy while trying to keep him from screaming, "No, Mommy! NOOOOO!" making the neighbors think we're abusing our child. Get another 4 (unconsecutive) hours of sleep.

Friday (7/11)--Wake up around 8am. There is no vomit, no fever and no dirty diapers on either of my children. I thank God and pray that the day goes better then the rest. We decide it's FINALLY okay for Tessa to ride on the boat. She appears to be semi-happy again!

We rented a pontoon boat so we'd have that and Grandma and papa's boat. Spend the first three hours on the speed boat holding Tessa while others tube and swim. Get on the pontoon boat for lunch and try to let Tessa walk around a little bit. She wasn't having it. Can you believe she only wanted to eat lunch on my lap?! Get the kids and ourselves fed............and then it happened. Tessa's aunt Christi became the most amazing person on earth. She insisted that she hold Tessa while I tube with my nieces. She said the most beautiful words......"You go have fun. I'll hold her and if she cries, she cries." I didn't stick around to ask twice :) I tubed for the next hour with both of my nieces and got to enjoy conversation with them. It was the best part of my vacation!! A full hour of no crying, no whining, no clinging!! I don't know if I've ever been that grateful in my life! And guess what. She cried for a minute and then fell asleep. She was fine! I think we both needed that hour away from each other! After tubing, we spent the next few hours pulling other people on the tube and stopping to swim. It was nice. Tessa seemed to relax a little after her nap with Aunt Christi. She was good while we ate dinner at the marina. She was REAAAAALY digging the ranch.
Neither her or Tommy pooped on anybody the whole evening! At that point, I considered that a huge accomplishment. After dinner, we headed back to our room and got the kids to sleep early--SCORE! I think they both slept through the whole night that night.

Saturday (7/12)--Our "vacation" is over. Daddy and Tommy got up early but the boat wasn't working, so they came back to the room when me and Tessa got up. Tessa was a little whiny, but not as bad as she had been. Tommy's diaper rash was mostly gone. I am grateful but can't help thinking that of COURSE everything gets better the day we're leaving. But that's okay. We check out of the resort and meet everyone for lunch. Tessa charms everyone with her dimple and giggle that nobody has gotten to see all week. Tommy and his cousin "Mackie" (as he calls her) stay entertained with my phone. Lunch is like a dream. I start getting sad that we're leaving. We head home around 1pm. Tommy and Tessa both fall asleep for almost 3 hours. They wake up happy as can be. We only have to pull over to change ONE poopy diaper--a miracle! They are angels for the entire drive. We pull up to the house and they get out laughing and running around like we didn't just spend 4 days cooped up in a tiny room with a teething baby and exploding bottom end of a toddler. I start to wonder if they were plotting against me and Nick.

I can't say I'll ever consider this one of our best vacations. I was really excited to travel with Tess because it was her first time going anywhere and she's normally so good-natured. That dream was dashed :) I think I'll at least be able to laugh about it sometime soon. I think the whole trip can be summed up in two words: puke. diarrhea.  Yup. That's it! Overall, I'm grateful that we got to spend time with family and relax a LITTLE bit. But I don't think we'll be going again any time soon!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Hard Stuff

Wednesday was a normal day. It was turning out to be a long day because it was the day before the 4th of July and I was antsy to get off work and get home.  The doctor I work for was off for the rest of the week, so I was doing odds and ends and finishing up some stuff before the holiday weekend.

One of our last patients of the day came in and it was a 5 month old. The scales are right by my desk, so I was sitting there as one of the nurses weighed the baby. The parents went on and on about how big the baby was getting and they were so excited and proud because starting life as a 23 weeker and being as big as that baby was is a big deal!

About 20 minutes later, we started hearing a beeping noise. We have a lot of patients that have all different types of monitors, so it's pretty standard, but our office was pretty empty that day, so we weren't sure where it was coming from.  A few seconds later, a nurse came out and called for Dr. Shah. The little baby wasn't breathing.

There are about 5 million thoughts that go through one's mind when you hear that a child isn't breathing......What happened? What can I do? What are the parents thinking? I can't imagine being that mom. What if that was my kid? .........Working where I do, I've seen a lot of things. I've seen babies having seizures, I've seen adults having seizures, I've been slapped in the face by a 300 pound autistic boy and had a shoe thrown at my head.  But I've never seen a baby stop breathing.

It's scary. Sad. Horrible and unthinkable.

We called EMS and even though it was a mere few minutes, it felt like forever for them to get there. I was actually surprised in the end at how prompt and attentive they were. There were no fewer than 20 people there--they just kept coming and coming.

All I could think to do was pray. I prayed over and over that God would breathe life into that baby's lungs and give everyone who was working the knowledge and skill they needed in that exact moment to save it's life. I didn't know what else to do.

A few of the EMS techs came out shaking their heads. I had no idea what the status was, but that was not a good sign. A few minutes later, they came out with stretcher and I prayed again that God would send His angels with that baby. After everyone had cleared out, I went to the back to see if I could help clean up or do anything and the dad came back in to get the rest of their stuff. He was crying and I could feel his pain, if only for a moment. As he took the carseat and blanket and rushed out to his car, I remember wondering if his life would ever be the same again.

I found out a few hours later that the baby died in the emergency room. I cried the whole way home because I just kept imaging how I would feel if that were my situation. I can't even fathom the kind of pain they were their whole worlds had been rocked.  I kept wondering if the baby was in pain. That thought breaks my heart. And I'm sure as parents, they are wondering the same thing and I can't imagine thinking your child was hurting and not being able to fix it. I kept seeing the joy on their faces as they talked at the scale about the weight gained and the progress made. They were so optimistic and excited.

That's the thing. It was a perfectly normal Wednesday. Nothing out of the ordinary. They were doing great and they were there for a routine check up. And in an instant, their whole lives changed. Without any notice, without any warning, without anything to soften the blow. They had no idea they would leave their house as a family and return home without their baby.

And the scarier thing is it could happen to anyone, anytime. There's no discrimination against who's on the receiving end of pain. There's no rhyme or reason as to why or who or when or where or how.

I hope so badly that they know Jesus. I have no idea how anyone could get through something like that without Him. I hope and pray they find a peace and comfort that's beyond our understanding. If you think of it, please pray for those parents. Perspective is the best eye-opener and putting yourself in their shoes makes for an earth shattering reality that we've got it good if our families are alive and healthy and well.

It's hard not to get upset and wonder why an innocent baby died and WHY those parents are having to go through what they're going through. It's not fair. It's not right.  But it IS. It happened. It can't be changed.

So all I can do is be thankful for the short amount of time they got to spend with their baby and make sure it changes my attitude about my kids. When they're screaming, they're alive. When they're throwing food all over, they're alive. When they're fighting, they're alive. When they're messy, they're alive. When they're whining.......they're alive.

And I'm so grateful every day for life. It is precious and sweet and sacred and not to be taken for granted.

Monday, July 1, 2013

11 months

Whooeee. It was really hard to type that post title. How can my little 8lb 2oz bundle of baby be a 20lb almost one year old?!?!

Tessa, at 11 months, you:

*weigh about 20 or 21 lbs.

*are around 27 inches. I think.

*in a size 3 diaper still. I think we're almost ready to go to size 4!

*are wearing size 4 and 5 shoes. You have VERY thick feet. I see shoes being a problem in the future!

*almost completely off of formula!! Daddy's wallet says thank you! We've been slowly mixing your formula with milk and you're doing great! I think we're going to have a MUCH harder time replacing your bottle with a sippy. You like sippys, but you looooove a bottle at night.

*wear size 12 to 24 month clothes--depends on the brand

*have the craziest bed head! It's hilarious! Usually one side is really matted and the other side is really curly and frizzy!

*starting to get a little pickier about what you eat. For awhile, you were eating everything we set in front of you, but lately, you've been spitting out a lot more and turning your nose up at things. I'm hoping you don't get toooo picky! You love having a spoon in your hand and will use it for awhile and then throw it on the ground and use your hands.
*trying your hand at the stairs. You can go up them pretty well but you get so excited about the fact that you climb them that you start to slip. You do okay going down them as long as we're holding your hand.
*make the funniest faces! Your expressions are so cute and.......expressive!

*sleeping like a champ! I'm SURE now that I've written this, it will change, but for the most part, you have been sleeping from about 8:30 or 9pm to 7:30 or 8am. That is the BIGGEST blessing to mommy! I'm terribly grumpy when I'm tired and you have been a pretty great sleeper since you were born! You went through a spell where you were waking up around 5am and staying awake, but that seems to have stopped. Thank you!
*are an expert walker now. I honestly think you're steadier on your feet than your brother! You don't fall hardly at all and have gotten better about looking where you're going instead of just walking into things!

*get very proud of yourself when you get in the fridge, climb up on something you shouldn't be on and get to play with your brother's toys! You LOVE having free reign over his stuff if he's outside or not there!

*are ornery as sin! This............
is the face that says you're getting ready to do something naughty. I wish it wasn't so cute cause it's REALLY  hard to get onto you when you smile like that!

*Are turning out to be a girly girl! You sit very still when I do your hair. You always want to play in my make-up every morning. I constantly find you playing in your shoe basket and you always hold shoes up and try to put them on your feet. I bought you a dress the other day and showed it to you and you just started laughing and hugging it! I think we have a lot of shopping in our future!

*have a lip tie--I think. My friend was talking about how her son has a gap between his teeth because he has a lip tie and I started thinking about how you had a gap. So I looked....and sure enough. It looks like one to me. Hopefully it won't cause any problems....and hopefully your teeth push together, cause that is a BIIIIIIG gap :)

 *are teething again. You have 8 right now--4 on top and 4 on bottom. Your 9th one is poking through on your right top towards the back. We can always tell when a tooth is coming in. You get SUPER grumpy!

*are fearless. It truly surprises me how ready you are to dive headfirst into things! You have no concept of danger, which scares me a little! You're quite the little spit fire! I'm not looking forward to your teenage years.

*are an open book. We never have to guess what you're thinking because it's written all over your face! I don't know where you get that from.......

*have gotten a lot more sensitive. Now that you realize when you're getting in trouble, your feelings get very hurt and your whole face puckers up and the crocodile tears start falling. It makes it really hard to discipline you because I always feel so bad when you start crying.

*are saying mama consistently and have said dada and baba a few times. I'm okay if you hold of on talking for awhile......your brother talks enough for both of you!

I can't believe you'll be one next month! That is so crazy to me. I feel like you were just born yesterday! Where does the time go? I love watching you grow and develop into a little girl. Your personality is so sweet and funny. You love an occasional cuddle and always snuggle up with me when you're falling asleep at night. I feel so thankful that you're my daughter, Tess! I love you!