Elliott Shields: 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 months!

elliotts five month picture

elliott six month picture

official seven month pic elliott

elliott nine month pic sitting up

Weight: 20 pounds // Length: 27 inches // Hair: Lighter brown, long in a mohawk shape and around your ears // Eyes: Hazel green // Teeth: 2 on the bottom

Poor second baby!  It’s been MONTHS since I sat down to write you your letters.   There is no excuse except the fact that you have made us a family, and our lives are so full that there is barely time to breathe, let alone sit down, edit pictures, and try to decide what’s important to write down.  Still, I’m so glad that I do take that time.  Flipping through the hundreds of pictures your dad and I take, I watch you start to eat food, play with your brother, scoot around, legitimately crawl.

bathing suit

bookworm

brothers shopping cart

brothers

eshy laughing

eshys first food

toes

treeeees

This is a little bit about our routine these days.  You go to school five days a week with Milo.  You have friends and crawl around and get into mischief.  After school, either Daddy or I will pick you up.  We watch movies, go for walks, and go to the park.  After dinner, you and Milo take a bath, read books, and go to bed.  Your crib is in the same room as Milo’s, and sometimes it’s hard to get you to sleep because you want to talk to each other all night.

Milo is truly, amazingly, your closest friend.  Whenever he walks into a room, you light up and start laughing.  Whenever Milo wakes up, he calls out “Esh?” which is his name for you.  You to tumble over each other like lion cubs; you hold hands when you’re watching TV.  You find each other in the room and watch to see where the other will move.  Everyone tells us how lucky we are that you both are such good friends.  It’s such a wonderful thing to watch.

apple eater

back it up

basket of baby

baths with milo

bellah

bem

bros on the bed

eshy eating pouches

eshy first day of school

gallery

petting

reading books

swing

You aren’t a big TV watcher like your brother is.  You like to swing in the park, look around on walks outside, be strapped to Mama’s chest, and EAT.  Eating and Milo are definitely your two favorite things in the entire world.  If you see food, you start kicking, making little moaning sounds, and waving your hands like crazy.  Since I’ve last wrote to you you’ve gone through different stages of eating.  First, you had baby cereal and then we added different pureed baby food pouches.  You had combos like spinach mango, green pea and pear, and sweet potato.  After a while, you were so hungry that you were eating several pricey pouches a day, so I started adding other foods, like Cheerios and bananas.  When Milo was little, I’d cut his “big people” food into tiny little pieces and he’d put them in his mouth, but you are very different.  You’ll only eat things if they are in large pieces, too big to choke on but definitely not baby-sized.  Recently, I’ve started feeding you whatever the rest of us are eating, and you eat more than Milo on MANY nights of the week.  You like waffles, Annie’s Mac and Cheese, avocado, quesadillas, SWEET POTATO WEDGES, scrambled eggs, apple slices, and swiss cheese.  I let you try whatever you ask for, even spicy chilli, and I’ve had a hard time finding anything you don’t enjoy.  I love watching you eat.


eshy and daddy

eshy and mama

love

Basically, you are loved loved loved.  Your mama and daddy spend a good part of every day oohing and ahing over your smiles and your teeth poking through and the new milestones you hit every week or so.  Your brother thinks you are the most important thing in the house; your name is the first thing he says every day when he wakes up, and he never gets tired of kissing you, hugging (and trying to hold) you, and tickling your feet to make you laugh.

Sometimes I try to remember what it was like before you were here, and I have a really difficult time picturing it.  I feel like you have always been here, making us a family of four.  I used to think there were words I could put at the end of letters to explain how I feel about you, but there aren’t.  It’s not just love.  You and your brother ARE my heart.

Grow strong, sweet boy.  Love, your Mama.

Elliott: Three Months! and Four Months!

official three month pic

Weight: At least 10 pounds! (no doctor’s appointment this month) // Height: Probably 21 inches //Hair: Dark brown // Eyes: Getting greener! // Teeth: Still none

four month official pic

Weight: 12 pounds, 6 ounces // Height: 23.5 inches //Hair: Lighter brown, starting to fall out // Eyes: Hazel green // Teeth: Still none

My boy!  You are growing like a weed, time is flying so fast, any cliche you want can fit in this sentence.  It’s insane that you’re four months old, that we’re feeding you cereal, that your brother is starting to make you laugh.  We’re a busy little family.  We spend so much time out and about that I completely missed my chance to write and post your 3 month letter, so this note is is covering the past 8 weeks of our sweet little lives.  Everything is different now!

baby legs

leggings

Here are some basics: right now (at 4 months) you wear size 2 diapers, drink a 6 oz bottle every 3 hours, and wear 3-6 months clothing.  At night you start out sleeping in the middle of Mama and Daddy’s bed, and when both you and your brother are soundly sleeping, we move you into the same room as Milo- you have a pack and play in the room that you are almost grown out of, but it’s still working for right now.

Our days have a rhythm, if not a routine.  About half the time, Milo is at daycare and you and I hang out, run errands, play on the floor.  The other half of the time, Milo is with us and we go on adventures to meet up with other young families, go for walks, and hang out at the park.  We have a double stroller now and it makes it even more fun for us to go places outside- flea markets, neighborhood walks, ice cream places, parks all over our area.  We have a great time.

strollin

double stroller

aiyiyi

You wake up around 5:30/6:00 pretty much every morning, and we have a solid routine of bath/pajamas/books every night before bed, but these are our only two guarantees of the day.  You are our gypsy baby- you nap wherever you happen to be lying, and we don’t really schedule our day around when you’re up or down.  Because you’re a good little brother, you tag a long to a ton of playgrounds and libraries and outings, and when we’re running errands, you either sleep or gently gaze at the people who stop to admire you.  You have a great personality; you seem calm most of the time, smile readily at your family and friends, and only make noise when you’re hungry or right before you fall asleep.  Daddy can make you laugh so loud and hard, and it’s his favorite thing to do as soon as he gets home from work.

bumbo

reading with mama

elliott and miminaps again

park naps

naps

Milo loves you so much.  He tickles your feet, he touches his forehead to yours, he worries when he hears you cry, and he tries to shove your pacifier in your mouth, even if you’re peacefully sleeping when he notices you lost it.  I’m really excited for a few months from now when you’ll be even better at playing together.

brother

brother 2

cereal

In the past two months, you’ve had your first plane ride (to Florida!), met the rest of your family (in Florida!), had your first stomach bug (poor baby), visited Boston,  tasted rice cereal for the first time, gotten super handsome, and are really coming into your own.  In some ways, its so hard not to compare you to Milo, but in other ways, it’s not, because you are truly your own little person.  You have your own voice, your own smile, and your own laid back way of taking everything in.  I love spending time with you; it’s a real treasure to have you with me all the time.  My favorite part of every day is when I lay down next to you on our bed at night; we read some books and sing some songs and you look right into my eyes as you drift off to sleep.  It’s the most peaceful thing I’ve ever experienced.

mama and elliott again

daddy and elliott

It’s almost the summer, and I can’t wait to see what these next months together bring.   Your family loves you so, so much.  Grow strong, little baby.  Love, your mama. xo

Elliott: Two Months!

two month official pictureWeight: 9 pounds, 9 ounces // Height: 20.75 inches //Hair: Dark brown // Eyes: Indigo // Teeth: Still none, sorry buddy

Hi sweet baby!  You’re two months old, really almost two and a half months, by the time I’m writing this. Our days are becoming more and more filled, more and more exciting, and the time to sit and write doesn’t always present itself, but be sure that every day we are collecting moments and milestones and saving them up to record here for you.

eshy

Noteworthy things you are doing right now:

GROWING!  You’ve gained almost 3 pounds in four weeks!  We love it because your sweet face is filling out and you’re putting on that chub that makes babies so squeezable.  You are very demanding and take almost 6 ounces plus some breast milk every time you eat.  After so many weeks of you not gaining weight, it’s a huge relief to see the numbers on the scale and feel you heavy in our arms.

Rolling over?!  This is crazy but true.  When we do tummy time, if your arms are underneath you at all, you will angrily yell and flip yourself over onto your back.  We thought maybe it was a fluke, but you’ve done it probably five or six different times now.  If you’re on your back and angry enough, you will flip over onto your side and try to get back onto your belly.  You have a lot of strength, little guy.  You make me proud in that you don’t give up.

Screaming til you stop breathing.  I hate when you do this.  It happens in the evening about once a week, when I’m making dinner or have Milo in the tub and I have to let you cry for a little while.  You will scream, get a little louder, get a little shriller, turn purple, then stop.  I tell you sternly, “Elliott!” and you take a quiet little defeated breath and then look at me through swollen eyes.  It’s insane, Elliott.  Your Aunt Emily used to do the same thing when she was little, so you come by it honestly, but you scare the heck out of me every time, and I’m not an easy Mama to scare.

brothers snow

brothers

brothersinbulkstore

tickle tickleThe real story of your second month is your relationship with your brother, Milo.  When we first brought you home, it was hard for Milo, because he wasn’t used to babies or sharing our attention.  I was a little worried that he wouldn’t warm up to you, but I was very wrong.  Even though Milo is going through a lot of testing with Mama and Daddy right now, he saves his biggest love for you.  When we pick him up from daycare, he runs to your car seat, sticks his head right next to yours, and babbles high-pitched nonsense.  He kisses you whenever he can, and loves to tickle your hands and feet.  When you cry, he gets very concerned and runs over to an adult, like he’s saying “Do something, help him!”  We have to keep a sharp eye because he wants to pick you up very badly, and he’s too small to do that.   His favorite thing to do when he sees you in rest his forehead against your head or shoulder and sigh.  It makes my heart so happy to see the two of you starting your life as brothers on such a foundation of love.  I know there are lots of wrestling matches and fistfights to come, but right now, you guys are all hugs and kisses.

daddy and eshy

with mamaWe are falling into more of a rhythm as a family, now that you are eating and sleeping in slightly more predictable patterns.  Your pack and play is in Milo’s room, and now it’s your room, too.  Daddy gets Milo his breakfast in the morning while I feed you, and then Daddy gets some special time with you in the evening after Milo is bed.  Then you both sleep in the nursery for most of the night.  When Milo and I are doing a project in the kitchen, you sit and watch us in a bouncy chair on the kitchen table.  You and I go for solo walks or visit people when Milo is in school.  You nap in your carseat, or in the boppy on the couch.  We don’t have a normal “every day,” but every day is filled the same sort of things: feedings, baths, books, naps, pictures, errands, little projects, dinner, and a snuggle before bed.

score

napper

whaaatYou are basically out of your newborn clothes, wearing 0-3 months and a few 3 month jackets that completely engulf you.  You wear size one diapers and drink 6 ounces in a sitting.  Your hands are frequently in fists, but when I feed you, you hold onto my necklace or lay your open hand flat against my chest.  You sleep with your arms wide open and your mouth closed.  You love to do long, luxurious stretches, with your legs tight and your arms reaching high.  You make dolphin noises when someone disturbs you while you’re sleeping.  You’ve just started kicking when you stare at the ceiling fan or light fixtures.  When someone gives you a pacifier you don’t want, you make a truly disgusted face and spit it out.  Your smell is completely different than any other baby I’ve ever held of met.  You look amazingly like your daddy.  These are things I want to remember about you at two months.

Here is something for you to remember: I love you so deeply it scares me.  You’re my smallest baby, and you’re wiggled under my skin and into my heart.  Keep growing strong, sweet cheese. Love, your mama.

Elliott: One Month!

elliott one month official

Weight: 6 pounds, 14 ounces // Height: 19.5 inches //Hair: Dark brown // Eyes: Indigo // Teeth: None, you’re just a baby, silly!

Hi sweet boy!  On Valentine’s Day you turned one month old!

Here are some firsts from your first month:

January 18th: First outing (the doctor’s office doesn’t count!) to Target with Milo, Mimi, and I!

January 27th: First play date with Manny, my friend Gina’s son.

January 29th: First trip to Southeast Elementary ( Mama’s work).

January 29th: First trip to the Leominster Library.

February 9th: First Blizzard, we were snowed in for a weekend with Milo, Daddy, and Aunt Lulu!

February 14th: First holiday- Valentine’s Day!

smalls

Here are some nicknames we’re calling you right now:

Eshy (which we always mix up with your brother’s nickname, Mishy)

Emoji

Sweet Cheese

Smalls (Aunt Lulu really perpetuates this one)

 arm chair

feet

 You’ve been with our family just over 4 weeks, and we’re definitely hitting a groove.  I understand more about your personality and am beginning to be able to anticipate what you need. You are small but loud, and I have a feeling that you’re always going to make yourself heard quickly.  When you were first born, you lost a lot of your birth weight, which is normal for babies, but it took you a little while to start gaining again.  When we started adding bottles of formula to the breast milk you were drinking, you started gaining weight at a good rate.  By the time we had your one month appointment, you had gained 22 ounces in only 18 days!  I was so happy to see that you were getting the food you needed and can tell that your features are filling out and looking less fragile.

Because I’m still nursing you, we spend a lot of time together.  Daddy and Milo are home in the morning, but when they are at work and school, we’re a team, running errands and doing things around the house.  Overnight, Daddy is a huge help with changing your diapers and making you bottles, but you and I log some long hours in “our chair,” eating and watching episodes of SNL and Parks and Recreation.   Sometimes I’m very tired, but I love the relationship we have.

mamaelliott

With everyone in our family, you’re making more eye contact and really studying our faces.  You have a very sweet and small mouth and you usually shape it like a perfect O while you’re checking everything out.  Milo is really warming up to having a baby in the house- he loves to press his forehead against your head and play with your hands and feet.  When you cry, he yells at your Daddy and I to help you or tries to put his pacifier in your mouth.  When he sees you after a long day at school, he sticks his head into your car seat and makes high pitched lovey noises.  Watching the two of you start a bond is so special to me.  I can’t wait to see what else will happen.

brothers

three guysWe are a loud and happy family, and you are fitting right in like a puzzle piece we didn’t know was missing.  I’m so proud of you, my second and smallest son, a sweet little pumpkin who makes our family complete.  People love to tell your Daddy and I, “Enjoy your boys, time flies so quickly.”  We hear it ALL the time, from family and friends and strangers in the dentists office.  It sounds like a cliche, something you say to new parents when you’re not sure what else to say, but I’m starting to realize that it’s a warning.  They’re very serious.  If the rest of the months fly as quickly as this one, you’re going to be rolling, walking, running away before we know what’s happening.  No matter what the speed of this life is, I’m so glad I get to go through it as your Mama.  I can not what to see what the rest of this year has in store for you, my little sweet cheese.

apple fields

p. s. Here are some pictures comparing you and your brother on the day you were born and in your one month picture, and a link to the one month letter I wrote for Milo.

newborn comparisons

one month comparisonMilo’s one month letter

You Are Here

mama and elliott

elliott profile

mini ben

first sunrise

daddy and elliott

daddy smile

going home

baby hand

peering

delight

first doctors

first bath

new lifeHello, Elliott. My sweet youngest son, you are here! You came bursting onto the scene on Monday night, January 14th, at 7:22 pm.  You weighed 5 pounds, 10 ounces, and were 18 inches long.  You had tons of black hair, long fingers, and skinny legs.  You instantly started making tiny kitten noises.  We are completely in love with you.

You have been here for two weeks and had lots of love from friends and family.  Your big brother Milo is very protective of you- he worries a lot when you cry or make sad noises, and will run to try and find an adult to help you.  He offers you his pacifier, which is a big thing for him to give up; it shows me that you mean a lot to him.  Daddy and I also love you to pieces and take turns snuggling you and staring into your very dark eyes.

You are completely yourself, with your own looks and personality.  You don’t really look anything like your brother did when he was a baby- you are smaller, with lots and lots of hair, dark eyes, and a tiny little chin.  We’ve been working hard to get you to gain weight and grow strong; you came so early that we have to wake you up to remind you to eat.  You look around with the sweetest quiet expression, taking in all the craziness of our little household.

Daddy and I had been counting down the days until we could hold you and officially make our family a group of 4.  Now that you’re here, we’re treasuring every moment, from the bustling times when all four of us are trying to fit on the couch or in our bed, to the special moments when it’s just you and me, during 4am feedings or when the rest of the family is out to work and school.  I’m so glad to finally meet you, and I can’t wait to see all the adventures time will bring.

My heart is bursting with love for you, your Mama.

sweet second baby: elliott shields!

elliott shields

Hi sweet baby.  Time is flying like crazy, you are growing like a weed, and I can’t believe how soon you will actually be here.  The last time I wrote to you, you were a tiny seed, an idea, and person who would exist in the far off future.  Now you are a BOY, a strong, wiggly, squirmy boy.  You have name, Mr. Elliott, and a fan club, and even your older brother has started noticing that Mama’s tummy is swelling and something is moving under there.

Having you growing in my belly is different than when I was having your brother.  Because of the way you are positioned, I feel your kicks and wiggles all the time, and it’s very strong.  One time I was giving Daddy a hug, and you kicked so hard that he felt it in his belly! Your big brother, Milo, likes to pull up my shirt and pat my belly.  I know you’ve given him a little kick at least once, but I don’t think he’ll understand that you’re coming to our family until you’re finally here.  When he goes to daycare, he plays with baby dolls and real babies and when I pick him up, I picture him being the same sweet boy to you.  I can’t wait for him to meet you!

Daddy and I are busy getting things organized for when you come.  Our house is cozy but small, so we are making plans to find places to tuck all the babies, and tuck all the toys, and tuck all the books.  We have our plans all set for your infant days; I will stay home with you and we’ll get in some good bonding time while Daddy is at work and Milo is at school.  Over the summer, you and Milo and I will have adventures and hang with Daddy on the weekends.  By the time September is here, you will already be such a big boy.

Sometimes it seems silly to think so far in the future, and other times, I realize that it’s barely in the future at all.  We will blink and you’ll be here.  We’ll blink twice and you’ll be pulling up on the furniture and giggling.  Three blinks and you’ll be chasing your brother around.  In the time it took me to write this sentence, you’re going to go to school, make best friends, meet your loves, find your passion, and I’ll be old and reading these letters and crying at how insanely fast it went.

Knowing even a corner of the truth of how fast time goes makes it hard for me, because I WANT to scream, “Get here, Elliott, I absolutely can not wait to hold you and kiss your eyes and I need to snuggle you.”  But I can’t rush time.  Plus, right now, I get to keep every kick and wiggle as a secret language between you and I, and that’s my favorite part of being your mama; our stolen months before the rest of the world gets to see you as the shining star you are.

So stay cozy, little baby.  Kick me hello and wiggle me goodnight, and I will patiently make our lives ready for your big entrance.  When you do finally arrive, you are going to be showered with so much love and attention and curious pokes and sweet snuggles.  Rest up, you’re going to need it!

I love you with my whole heart.  Love, your Mama.

milo and elliott

Milo: 11 Months! and 12 Months!

Weight: 23.5 pounds // Length: 29 inches //Teeth: 8  teeth, four on the top and two on the bottom, with two more working their way through // Eyes: Blueish-green // Hair: Blondish-brown, long curls at the back of your neck

Milo, we’ve made it an entire year!  In these last two months you’ve really shot from the last bits of baby to the beginnings of a true toddler.  We’ve gone from spending long days together to a routine of work and daycare and weekend outings.  You’ve gone from scoot-crawling and pulling up on furniture to full-speed walking and even running around the room.  You “talk” in long strings of babble and say “bye-bye” as clear as day, pointing and waving to  try to communicate what you want.  It’s amazing to watch you change and grow.

You are so much more mobile now that we had to move all our furniture around and put up some gates.  You love to crawl over to the baskets that hold your toys and books and pick out what you want to play with.  Without anyone really showing you, you learned how to roll cars and trucks on the ground and things with wheels are your favorite toys.  Your love for Thomas has gotten even stronger, and you have so many trains of different sizes.  You still love the G. I. Joes, and you love to carry them around and put them inside things.  You like to bounce when music comes on, especially the theme music from your favorite shows (Thomas and Super Why) and you clap when you’re very happy or excited.

At the very end of August you started going to daycare, and you absolutely love it.  You have lots of friends and get so excited to see them when we go over to Miss. Denise’s house.  Miss. Denise is a wonderful teacher and it’s easy to see how much she loves you.  It makes me really happy that you love her and feel so comfortable when you’re with her.  You do things like go for walks, listen to your alphabet, play cars and toys with you friends, eat snacks, sing songs, and have lots of fun.  I’m so glad that we live on the same street as such an amazing place for you to spend your days.  You adjusted so well to going to daycare and playing with the other kids has already taught you so much.

You have a ton of new tricks.  You love to pick up sticks, rocks, books, puzzles pieces- anything you can get your hands on- and run around, holding them up and presenting them to the people around you.  You figured out how to help me push the stroller when we were in the library one day, and you were so proud. You prefer to eat with a fork and hold grown up cups by yourself whenever we let you.  You’ve also developed a real sense of humor and love to be silly.  You put things on your head and giggle when people put things in their mouths that don’t belong there.

In your 12th month, you finally got sick for the very first time.  For over a week we were constantly taking you to doctors, sleeping next to you listening to you breathe, using humidifiers and all kinds of medicine, all trying to beat a bad case of croup.  It was so hard to know that you weren’t feeling well, to have you out of your routine, and to listen to the doctors tell us so many different things while they tried to get to the bottom of whatever it was that was keeping you sick.  I’m so thankful that you’re healthy now, and we’ll have a better idea of what to do next time that you’re sick.  It was a learning experience, and we’re all tougher for it!

Then the celebration of your birthday finally came around! Lots of people have been showing you love from the time before you were born, and they kept it up for your special day.  You had a presents, friends, love, a balloon, pumpkins, a crown (from Miss. Denise), and a special cake, all for yourself.

You were a spoiled little king for the whole day, and it helped us realize how spoiled we have been for the whole year; spoiled with love from so many people around us, spoiled by having each other as a parenting team, and spoiled with a golden haired little boy who has been our baby for 365 days.  I can’t believe how big you are.  I can’t wait to keep watching you grow.  Thank you for turning me into who I was meant to be.  Love, your Mama.