first letter, second time. sweet second baby!

Hello there!  You are the newest member of our little family, and we already can’t wait to meet you.  This is your first picture.  When it was taken, we were all squished in a little room at the doctor’s.  I was laying on table and your daddy and brother were sitting on the floor.  We were all squinting at the screen, trying to catch a glimpse.  All of the sudden, you showed up, squirming and wiggling so much that the ultrasound technician could barely measure you!  We couldn’t stop laughing because we didn’t know such a tiny baby could move so much.  She said you were in “the gummy bear stage,” meaning your head was large and your arms and legs were little buds, like a gummy bear.  You can see the big head right in the middle of the screen, with the little bud limbs on the top and right of the head.  That’s you, sweet thing!

By now, you have been cooking in my belly for 18 weeks.  You are the size of a sweet potato or a bell pepper, and I feel you squiggling around in my belly while I’m working on sitting on the couch.  You already have a big brother, Milo, a kitty, Penguin, and a mama and daddy who love you very much.  You also have a Mimi and Grandpa, Nona and Grampy, Aunt Lulu, Aunt Juju, Aunt Emmy, Uncle Andrew, and other aunts and cousins and who can’t wait to meet you!  Right now, we are making plans for a cozy room for you and Milo to share, figuring out how to make our time together when you’re first born last as long as possible, and coming up with names that we love whether you are a little boy or a little girl.

In a few weeks, we’ll go and take another picture at the doctor’s office and hopefully find out your gender!  I can’t wait to see you again and keep track of how you’re growing.  I love you and will talk to you again soon.  Love, your Mama

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Milo: Nine months! and Ten months!

 

 

(I have had the hardest time getting these pictures.  You won’t even lay on your back for a diaper change without crying.  Two more months and then I can just celebrate you in your normal state, which is flying around like a crazy little thing.)

Weight: 21 pounds, 15 ounces // Length: 28 inches //Teeth: 4 complete teeth, a fifth one is working through right now // Eyes: Blueish-green // Hair: Blondish-brown, getting longer everyday

I did it again.  The summer is almost over, two wonderful months of your life have passed, and I didn’t stop to write down the letter that’s always in my head.  We have been glued at the hip for the entire summer, through two big vacations, countless day trips, the crafting of a cozy daily routine, doctor’s appointments, swim dates, long walks, and lots of fun.  You are a completely different baby than when I was first home for the summer; you’re morphing into a toddler in front of my very eyes.

At the beginning of the summer, you were always content to sit in the “the pillow pit”: we would lay down a blanket and fence you in with every pillow in the house.  Throw some toys and books inside, put on the Laurie Berkner Pandora station, and you would happily play for up to 30 minutes, never really venturing outside of the ring.  I think of that now and laugh.  During our first summer vacation to Florida, you practiced lots of crawling, and came home to shoot from room to room on your hands and knees.  The days of the pillow pit were over.  Once crawling was down, you started pulling up, on your toy basket, the coffee table, any wobbly furniture you can get your hands on.  We’ve rearranged the furniture and started putting dangerous things in the basement.  You’re not walking quite yet, but it’s so close you can taste it.

A lot of your “babyness” is falling away.  Early this summer, we had to stop using your little blue bathtub.  You are too strong and spend the entire time trying to launch yourself out to see whats on the other side.  One time I stood up to get your towel and you tried to stand to reach to the faucet- I grabbed you as you were tumbling headfirst into the big tub with the baby tub landing on top of you.  We bought a blue whale faucet cover, a little non-slip mat, and you started big boy baths the next day.  You still love to splash.  We still have to remind you to sit down.

You have also started holding your own bottle.  This is very new and very cool.  As far as adult foods, you can eat small bites of almost anything Daddy and I are eating, and we have three meals together daily.  Now I can mix up a bottle and you can feed yourself while I fix our main meal.  Watching you try and eat healthy foods makes me so proud.  Having you begging for our scraps also makes Daddy and I more careful about the food we’re eating.  You are hungry and eat a lot.  You’ve tried ground bison, goat cheese, olives, kale, and other “grown up” foods.   I know you’ll go through phases of eating less exotic foods, so I’m trying to take advantage right now, while you still enjoy almost anything.  This week, you spit out cauliflower and zucchini.  You love cheese and blueberries and broccoli.

As you get older, we have more fun together.  I need to write you a completely separate letter to explain our adventures this summer, but there are some basic things that you’ve really come to love.  You are a water baby, and we have spent a lot of time in swimming pools, baby pools, and spray parks this summer.  Now that you can crawl, you move around the living room and choose the toys or books you want to pull down.  You love to dump things out; in the living room you have a large basket of toys and puppets, a small metal bucket of G I Joes, and a cloth box full of board books.  You ping from place to place and make messes, lighting on something for a second, throwing it into a pile, crawling to the next area and grinning the whole time.  It’s really wonderful to watch you explore, make choices about what you want to hold, and discover what you can do.  You also love to get into the grown up things around- you’re still into iPhones and remotes, and when I’m typing on my laptop, you love to pull up on the coffee table and try to bang on the keyboard.  Daddy let you play with his keyboard, but as soon as you figured out that it wasn’t connected, you just tried to eat the cord.

We run lots of errands and you love to flirt with strangers.  You still are more drawn to men than women, but anyone can win a smile from you.  You love to people watch; if you are facing outward in any public situation, you are more than happy to stare and shout out baby babble commentary.  The grocery store is one of your favorite places.  At the end of the summer, you’ve just gotten into train tables.  Thomas the Tank Engine is one of your favorite shows, and when you hear the theme song, you grin and clap (another new trick).  We have played at a few public train tables, and you love to watch the big kids move their trains around the track.  I have to remind you not to eat the trains, but mostly you just feel proud to stand up next to the other kids and watch them.

You have been developing your own attitude.  You’ve always let us know how you feel, but we’re starting to notice more than Happy Milo and Sad Milo.  We started using the word “No,” while we move you away from something unsafe, and you get very frustrated when we say it.  You’ll wave your arms and have an angry face.  You get angry if someone takes away the toy you’re holding, or someone doesn’t turn the pages of the book fast enough, or you don’t get more food on your high chair tray as quickly as you would like.  It’s interesting to watch your personality develop.  We’ve learned the things that make you feel better: being able to look around, getting down and having freedom to crawl, walking around in the stroller, and being in the water.  Making sure you get your naps and some snacks are also surefire ways to combat grumpiness. Makes sense, because I’m exactly the same way.

You have a “lovey” doll, these little sock monkey babies.  You can’t sleep without gently stroking the yarn hair.  We had the original gray one for awhile, and then Aunt Tanya found more while we were on vacation and bought you a blue and orange!  Your grin in this picture is because she had just handed them to you.  You shoved them in your mouth and snuggled them, the best way you show your love.

You are your daddy’s best friend and you get so excited when he comes home from work.  You guys play with G I Joes together, wrestle around and have crawling competitions, hide behind toys and pop out, and play outside.  You’re his special guy, and sometimes even when you’re sleeping, Daddy will be looking at pictures of you and showing me the ones he loves the most.  We spent half an hour this morning watching the videos we’ve been taking since you were a little tiny thing.  Daddy, especially, is loving every second he gets to spend with his first son.

One of the reasons we’re spending so much time enjoying our little family of three is because we just found out that you’re going to be a big brother!  In February, another baby will be living at our house!  At the beginning of the summer, you came with us to the doctor’s office and we saw an ultrasound of the little gummy bear baby, wiggling around like crazy.  I know you can’t understand the changes right now, but I know you’re going to do a great job showing the new little one what it’s like to live in the Swicker household.

In two months, you’ll be one.  I can’t believe it.  Thank you for everything you bring to us.  We love you so much.

Milo: Seven Months! AND Eight Months!

Weight: Probably around 19 pounds, no doctor’s appointment this month! // Length: 27 inches //Teeth: Two proud bottom teeth! // Eyes: Blueish-green // Hair: Blondish-brown, getting longer everyday

Weight: Still guessing, but probably around 20-21 pounds // Length: 29 inches? //Teeth: Four chompers; two on top, two on bottom // Eyes: Blueish-green // Hair: Blondish-brown, starting to curl around your ears, and you have hat hair and bed head now

(Can I say how hard it’s getting to take these pictures?  You hate being on your back, silly boy.)

 I’m majorly cheating.  I started working on this month’s letter when you were only three days away from being 8 months old, and it seemed silly to push out two letters so close to each other.  I’m blending these together and  giving you memories and tidbits from the past TWO months.  You have been changing so quickly, and our lives are so flat-out busy, that I can barely describe what’s happening.  You are not a baby baby anymore.  Here are some things that you eat, and say, and do:

You wear 6-12 month or 9 month clothes and size four diapers.  In the sun, we have a constant battle to keep your baseball cap on your head, but you’re pretty patient with my sunscreen application.

You eat blueberries, banana, cherries, mango, apples, watermelon, avocado (reluctantly), Baby Mum Mums, Ella’s Kitchen ginger teething cookies, pureed baby food with grains and greek yogurt blended in, and baby puff snacks.  You love it when I let you have some of the grains of my rice from my dinner.  You drink water from a sippy cup, and still take bottles through out the day.  You stole a sip of Daddy’s iced tea and grinned.  You are definitely opinionated- some days you don’t want a kind of food, and you spit it right out.  You like to hold the spoon while we direct it towards your mouth, and you’ve just started picking up small puffs and pieces of fruit by yourself.  I can’t wait to introduce you to different foods and watch you become even more independent with your feeding.  Such a healthy boy!

You can be pretty vocal through out the day, especially when you’re falling asleep or waking up.  You make this kind of half-bored groaning noise on repeat when you are getting tired- it’s a dead giveaway that you’re about to conk out.  Lately, you’ve been waking up and making that noise for awhile before letting us know you want us to come get you.  It’s cute and weird, like you.  You have even more defined cries than before; you have a new high-pitched whine that you use for attention, or when you want something we’ve moved out of your grasp.  You’ve also started pumping your arms and “hitting” when you are very angry or very excited.  You say “bwah” and “buh buh buh,” and there have even been some “mamamama” and “dadadada” strings of sound, even though we’re pretty sure you’re not making any connection between us and our names yet.  You blow spit bubbles and make whisper/scream sounds when you’re playing by yourself.   I can’t wait to hear what you say next.

You’re ALMOST on the move.  Right now, you always sleep on your belly with your head buried in the mattress and your knees pulled up.  It looks like a yoga move, and the first time someone new sees it, they always worry about your breathing, but you flip yourself into that position every night.  This means that when you wake up, you push right up on all fours and rock back and forth.  When you’re groaning yourself to sleep, you roll/crawl/flip/sprawl all OVER the place in your crib, and even on the floor in the living room, you can scoot around where you want to go.  It’s not quite crawling yet, but it’s so exciting and nerve wracking to know that you’re so close.  In the tub, high chair, and car seat, you always use your upper body strength to hang over the side and try to see whats under you.  You’ve discovered the fine baby art of dropping, but don’t usually freak out when you lost your treasure, and in the tub, you’re smart enough to get whatever you dropped back.  You grin when we cheer for you, and despite several good whacks to the head, you rarely cry when you get hurt.  You’re a bruiser.

You like books that have a texture element, sucking on pieces of string (ribbons on toys, velcro straps on stroller chimes, any of the buckles that reign you in through out the day), watching Thomas the Tank Engine and Super Why, being in the stroller, dancing to music, being upside down, squeezing the nipple of your bottle (you laugh hysterically when it pushes little puffs of air and/or milk on your face), turning on and off your sound machine by slapping at it, your gloworm toy, glasses, iPhones, and remotes. You hate when iPhones, glasses, or remotes are taken away from you, being buckled in the car seat, when the sun is in your eyes, when you have to be on your back at all, when you lose your passy and are too exhausted to find it again, or when Mama cleans your nose.

We’re still enthralled by you, the new things you do, the funny faces you make, the way you sleep (or not), the foods you try (or spit out), the way you make everyone so happy just by existing.  The best part of my day is pulling in the driveway when I get home from work; Daddy always has you waiting in the window, and seeing your little head bob while you watch the big car roll towards the house reminds me what our little family is all about.  We’re all about each other.  Sorry I missed a month.  Summer is here, I’m going to be getting a lot more time with you, and I’ll make sure to keep track of our adventures.

Love you more every second, Mama

Milo: Six Months!

Weight: 17 pounds, 9 ounces // Length: 27 inches //Teeth: One is hovering right at your bottom gum! // Eyes: Blueish-green // Hair: Blondish-brown, covers the tips of your ears on the sides of your head!

Milo, you have been with us for half of a year.  I cannot believe how fast time is going, or all the amazing things you do now.  I’m writing this letter pretty late (You’ll be 7 months in 1 week.  AH!) but I never want to waste any time when you’re awake.  Every day you’re doing new things.  Watching you, whether it’s with a smile or lunging forward to stop you from falling, takes up all my time.

You like to dance and hear music, you like to go for long walks in your stroller, you like to eat!  You desperately love iced coffee cups and you’ve figured out how to get the straw into your mouth.  We read lots of books and you spend the entire time gently slapping the pictures and trying to get the bottom edge of the book into your mouth.  You like the way it feels or sounds when you scratch textures, and you constantly open and close your hand over couch upholstery and your lamp shade next to the chair in your nursery.  When you want something to get closer to you, your wiggle your hand in front of it, like you’re trying to wave it nearer.  You have new and different cries: you whine now, cry from frustration, make a different sound when you’re hungry, and a different sound when you’re hurt.

You eat a lot of different foods.  Right now we serve you pureed fruits and veggies in bright, colorful pouches.  You also love to gum on these baby wafers called Baby Mum Mums…they dissolve in your mouth, and you love to hold them between your lips and let the end stick out.  This is incredibly adorable.  You like to taste whatever Daddy and I are eating, and you’ve snacked on everything from apple and clementine slices to my spicy Thai Butternut Squash soup.

We go to swim class once a week.  I think that you were a little young for it at the start, but you don’t cry in the water, and you like when we’re singing our songs and dancing around the pool.  More than anything, you want to eat the pool dividers.  I won’t sign you up again until you’re probably about a year old, but I’ve loved our little Saturday morning date.  I like showing you off.  I just like being with you.

 

People call you busy, alert, and  active.  Your head is always swiveling.  Your legs are always kicking.  Everything is in your mouth.  You are never still.  You save your smiles and dole them out sparingly.  You are head over heels in love with your Daddy, and laugh hysterically whenever he is near you.  Just when I’m getting a little worried that you and I haven’t bonded the same way, you’ll snuggle up to me, wrap my hair around your fingers, and stare into my eyes.  You’re our little boy, and we both love you so much.

Milo: Five Months!

Weight: I would guess about 16.5 pounds, but no doctor visit this month! // Length: About 25 inches //Teeth: Zero // Eyes: Still blue! // Hair: Blondish-Brown, growing longer every day

 Hello sweet thing.  You are five months old.  That is five months of kisses, five months of white noise, five months of passies and your puppy and board books and soft blankets and silly cooing noises and changing pads and visiting with people who love love love you.  Almost nothing about you is the same as when you were born.  Your legs are longer, your belly is rounder, your cheeks are more bitable and your expressions have grown so much.  You wear 3-6 month clothes and 6 month pajamas.

You use your voice all the time, for laughing and singing and slurping on your lips.  When you sit in the car seat, you gaze up at your caterpillar and lion and you absolutely call to them at the top of your lungs, reaching up your hands and trying to hold on.  You hold your bottle  and anything that is remotely bottle-shaped gets lunged at with an open mouth.  You have new toys (play car keys, a great big exersaucer) and you just began eating solid food in the form of rice cereal!  Daddy and I keep saying “This is the best age.  This is the most fun we’ll ever have.”  Just when we’re sure, it gets better.

Here are some firsts from this month:

March 1st: Your first time out in the snow.

March 12th: Your first taste of rice cereal!

We sit in the kitchen where your swing has been turned into a high chair.  You are already an eating pro, grabbing the spoon and propelling it into your mouth just like you do with your bottle!  We are so proud and can’t wait to start adding in veggies and fruits!  We also let you have tastes of things that you reach for like our apple or orange slices.  I love that you try lots of things.

This is a picture of our family.  It’s a little bit blurry, but it shows how happy we are.  We look like this often.

Milo: Four Months!

Weight: 15 pounds, 5.5 ounces // Length: 24.75 inches //Teeth: Zero // Eyes: Still blue! // Hair: Blondish-Brown, sporting a bald spot in the back where you lay when you sleep.

My wonderful boy.  When you were first born, it seemed like there were almost years between these letters.  I would save little stories and ideas, waiting impatiently for the day I could pile them up and make my monthly post.  That beginning of us was only four short months ago, but time is completely different now.  You’re growing so fast, and our family is changing so much, that even though I am writing this ten days late, it seems like I was just getting the three month post together a minute ago.  Even though this is overdue, these “official” monthly pictures are from February 13th, the day you turned four months old!

 Part of the reason this is so late is because your 4 month doctors appointment was just a day ago.  Right now you drink a 6 ounce bottle every three hours and have an 8 ounce bottle before you go to sleep, so I was very anxious to see what your weight was!  You are growing so well, weighing over double what you did when you were born!  The doctor was happy with all your stats, the way you followed light and try to sit up, and the fact that you sleep so well- 12 hours a night (6:30-6:30) with only one wake up for a bottle in the night! You were also very brave when they gave you your 4 month shots.  Thankfully, it is my school vacation and Daddy planned to go into work late so we could both be with you- shots can be sad sometimes.

Here are some firsts from your 4th month:

January 22nd:  Your first time rolling over (on the couch at Aunt Lulu’s house…you haven’t done it again, so I think it had to do with our coaching you and the couch being squishy and helping you.  We got it on video.)

February 3rd:  Your first time sitting forward in the stroller

February 4th: Your first time sitting in the front of a shopping cart

February 11th: Your first time sleeping over without Mama and Daddy (you stayed with Nona while we went to Daddy’s work party in Boston, and you did a great job)

Our family has a pretty solid routine right now.  You usually wake up around 6:30 while I’m getting ready for work.  I scoop you up and bring you in to cuddle in bed with Daddy, watching cartoons and having a bottle for breakfast.  While I’m at work, you and Daddy do chores together, play games and tickle, and go for lots of walks in the stroller.  You take cat naps and Daddy takes care of bills and house repairs.  When I get home, we’ve started a routine of bundling you up and pacing up and down our street with the stroller until it’s too dark to see anymore.  We’re lucky that it’s such a mild winter because this is the perfect chance for you to have a nap in the fresh air.  Then it books, bath, and bottle before bed.

Aunt Lulu and Mimi are both missing you very often, so we do Facetime with them almost every day- it’s a program where we can use our phones to see each other and talk face to face.  We see Nona and Grampy and Uncle Andrew as much as we can, and they love to bounce you and play games, now that you are a little more able to interact.  Everyone asks about you and we send pictures on our phones all the time, so all your spread-out family can see how much you grow.

Right now, some of your favorite toys are your Sophie chewer, your gloworm doll, and a plastic set of keys that plays music and, for some reason, also makes animal sounds.  We read a lot of board books, and the two favorites right now are Snuggle Puppy and The House in the Night, which has black and white ink illustrations that you stare and stare at.  You have found your voice, and you love to sing and growl in the mornings.  Your fascination with the fan is back, and when we visit places with a fan, you quickly notice.  You always need to face outward and you take in everything!

Daddy can make you laugh like no one else.  Whenever he walks in a room, your face lights up and you laugh and laugh.  The bond between you is so special to me.  You and I have a special time, too.  When we read together, you snuggle into me, take your pasey, and listen gently.  Daddy riles you up, I calm you down, and you make us both so happy.  We are a circus and a puzzle and a work of art; all of us make up a part of this house that is full of giggling and cameras clicking and books stacked in the corner and silly songs all day long.  Thank you for making us a family.

Love, your Mama.

PS little man: Your gloworm is from Sarah, and your monkeys are from Reecie and Hopie.  You have so many people who shower you with gifts, but these are special things you keep in your crib and play with all day, so thank thank thank you to them!

Milo: Three Months!

Weight: I’m guessing around 12 pounds- this is your first month with no check up // Length: Maybe about 24 inches? //Teeth: Zero // Eyes: Blue, but darkening // Hair: Blondish-Brown, headed toward mullet territory

Hi there, tiny one. Your third month on this Earth was INSANE.  You have done so many things, met so many people, and been so many places.  Let me get you up to speed:

Things were moving along pretty normally until it was time to celebrate Christmas.  You have so many people who love you that you had TWO Christmases.  We spent one weekend in Ipswich with Nonna and Grampy and Uncle Andrew, and you got to meet cousins and spend some time with Irene and visit with so many people.  You got a beautiful mobile and some amazing stroller charms that look like Eric Carle characters, as well as some sweet, cozy clothes and fun toys.

After our sleepover in Ipswich, we got ready and got Aunt Laurel for our big journey to Florida!  We flew there and you were SO good, all the way through security and take off and landing.  In fact, the majority of the time, you were sleeping.  Once we were in Florida, you finally got to meet Grandpa Ray, Aunt Emily, and Aunt Julianna.  After a few days, the Swensons got there and you met Hopie and Reecie, two cousins who love you very much.  We drove to Ft Myers and met Grandma Whitney and Papa Whitney.  You really made every single person we saw very, very happy.  It was a week-long trip, but my favorite part was taking you to Ft Myers Beach.  I’ve been going there every year since I was very little, so it was special to put your toes in the sand and water, and let you have a tiny drop of melted DQ Blizzard off the end of my finger.  Ft Myers Beach is the place where I have the most memories of Grandpa Kevin, so it was really special to spend time with our whole family there.

The biggest change that happened in this third month is that I have gone back to work.  As soon as the New Year started, we all began our new family routine.  During the day I teach first grade at a school about ten minutes up the road, and Daddy stays home to play with you.  On the weekends, Daddy goes to work and I stay home with you.  On the weekdays I miss you a lot, but as soon as I get home, you and I have some special time together before I give you your bath, bottle, and bedtime.  Sometimes we stay home and read books or watch TV while you play on your activity mat, and sometimes we go to the library or Target or some other really fun place.  It’s hard to be away from you during the day, but I have my big kids to teach and Daddy sends me pictures of you on my phone to keep me from getting too sad.  I’m proud to be a working mama and show you that ladies can have wonderful families, even if they are making money by doing something else part of the time.  I also know how lucky we are that Daddy can be the one to take care of you when it can’t be me.

Here are some firsts from this month:

December 20th: Your first plane ride to Florida

December 20th: The first time I had you hanging out with no socks or pants on 🙂 It was hot in Florida!

December 24th: Your first time overnight in a hotel

December 25th: Your first time in the Atlantic Ocean

December 25th: Your first time digging your toes in the sand

December 25th: Your first taste of ice cream (I let a tiny bit melt on my finger and put it in your mouth.  You loved it!)

January 1st: Your first night sleeping in the crib in your nursery

January 3rd: Your first day home with Daddy

January 8th: Your first flea market

Here are some pictures from this month:

You are a very different boy the you were in the middle of December.  Your face has filled out and your legs are much chunkier.  I love it.  You shove everything in your mouth, including your rubber Sophie doll and your own poor fist.  When I wipe your mouth when you’re drinking, you try to suck the cloth in and gum on it furiously.  You drool and drool and drool.  You wear 0-3 and 3 month outfits, and it’s really fun to go through the clothes I’ve stored away and see all the cute clothes people gifted you.  You hold your head up very well and love to face out in the Baby Bjorn carrier.  You have a need to see the world.

 You growl and gurgle and make very conversational noises when you’re in a good mood.  When you’re angry, you have different cries and shouts for different feelings.  We can tell that you’re about to get upset because you make little fussy noises in the back of your throat.  Aunt Laurel called it “poppin’ and crackin’,” and now we do, too.  You sleep like a big boy in your crib in the nursery for the whole night, and you only wake up one time.  In your crib you have a really cool white noise machine that Aunt Tanya bought you, a fuzzy blanket to keep warm, and your puppy.  I am still forcing the puppy on you.

Your best time of day is the morning.  Often, you’ll wake up grinning and in a great mood.  When Daddy or I or anyone you love walks into the nursery, you look up through the crib bars and beam with a big smile.  It’s the best part of my morning to share smiles with you, then get you changed and snuggled and back in bed with Daddy before I take off for work.  With Daddy, you like to laugh when we sings you silly songs and you love to watch The Cat in the Hat on TV.  You and I read a lot of books together; your favorite right now is one called Swing that has moving pictures inside.  When the three of us are together, we go on adventures or out to eat.  That’s our special family time.

We say all the time that we can’t remember our life before you were here, and as each month goes by, it gets more and more true.  We keep adjusting and growing into each other, getting used to new routines and making new memories.  We still look at pictures of you and swap stories about you when you’re asleep.  I’m already forgetting when you looked like when you were three days old, I can’t wait to know what you’ll be like when you’re five, but most of all, I’m glad that I have these pictures and this letter to trap you exactly like you are today.  I love being your mama.