Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pictures from the Park

Yesterday was a lovely day, so we went to the park. The good thing about walking is you can go to places like the park without eating mulch. Walking also tires you out faster. The negative about walking is you are into EVERYTHING. I can't take my eye off you for a second. The crib isn't even safe anymore, you try to climb out and get your legs stuck between the bars.

Walking the planks...

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Playing chase..

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Getting mad at the stairs and showing your teeth...

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Peek A Boo, Mommy sees you!

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Tired out and ready to go home..

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Every Day is Mother's Day

As I get older, holidays don't mean as much as they did. Since I've had you, I know you will rekindle the excitement about Christmas, Easter and Halloween. You will help bring the kid buried inside back to the surface. Mother's Day and my own Birthday don't really mean very much. Honestly, I feel like it's just another day. Most holidays I have to work and I don't really cry and whine about it. Actually, I made really good money yesterday because people felt sorry for me. Suckers! I try to celebrate each day I have with you regardless if the calendar has a star or fancy print telling me that today should be different because it says so.

Sundays are always extremely long days for me. Waking at 3:30am to open the restaurant, getting off the floor hopefully by 3pm and then driving to MawMaw's to get you. Usually, we get back home by 5pm and I feel a bit like a zombie. On Saturday night's Daddy always makes the drive with you to Southern Pines, so I can have an hour or so to myself. This Saturday night, I actually took the time to shave because I'd like to wear shorts sometime this summer and not scare the children at the park into thinking Sasquatch has returned. All I could think about on our drive home was that I needed to clean out the bathtub before I gave you a bath or you'd choke on a hairball. It wasn't something I wanted to do after working all weekend.

Every time when walk through the door, Daddy will pop out and say, "HI Baby!!". You just beam at him. If he happens to be in the shower or outside, you will search for him waiting for your greeting. Then, he'll take you to our bed and let you jump around while I wash my face. As I headed to the bathroom yesterday, to clean the tub, I smelled Comet. Daddy had already disinfected the entire bathroom and even got the soap scum off the shower door. It was the best present I could have received for Mother's Day. A way to a man's heart may be through his stomach but for a woman's heart it's keeping her house clean and loving her children.

When I got out of the bathroom, he had you on the bed with a card. I opened the card and it was a skunk saying "I'm a little Stinker" and he'd signed it, "You are the best Mommy EVER, Love Chloe." You thought the card was for you, you kept trying to rip off the skunk. If you could talk, I hope you'd say the same thing. He told me he was going to treat us to dinner and I gave you a bath in the clean tub while he picked it up.

He returned with my favorite pizza, wings and Nerds. Daddy has turned us into Nerd addicts. I don't think I'd eaten a Nerd since I was nine, at the movies. The last few months, he'll come home with a box of Nerds and we'll share them in bed at night. He'll just pour them into his mouth put I like to pour mine into a little pile on my blanket and savor them one at a time. He even has shared them with you and you'll walk over and open your mouth when you see the box.

But last night, he found rainbow Nerds, in a theather sized box. He was real excited about it and already opened the box on the way home. I picked up the box which I thought was sealed and Rainbow Nerds scattered all over the kitchen floor. You were on them like Donkey Kong. I never have seen you move so fast. You dropped to the kitchen floor like Vanilla Ice and scurried around the floor like a mouse shoving Nerds into your mouth. We couldn't stop laughing. I joked it would be a good activity to keep you busy, the "Raining Nerds" game.

We all ate pizza together and you devoured your slice, even the mushrooms.

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When you got to the crust, you held it like your blankie. Cradling it close to your face so you could give it some love.

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By the time we finished dinner, it was late and you were ready for bed. Daddy and I headed to bed too, with the box of Nerds. I was taste testing all the flavors of the rainbow(I like the tangy ones best) and he pulled another card out of the nightstand.

"You are a wonderful mother to Chloe and I see that everyday by how much you love her. It makes me love you even more. She will one day look back and see that and thank you so much for being there every step of the way. She couldn't ask for a better mother and teacher. Thank you for allowing me to be there and see it. I love you and Chloe so very much."

I am not an overly emotional person. Tears sprung from my eyes after I read those words. I guess Mother's Day is special because we are told that we are appreciated. That our love and work to be a good mother doesn't always go unnoticed. I hope one day, you will tell and feel the same things that were written in that card.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

In Motion

A great video captured yesterday, he even managed to get your "ugly, huffy" face.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How You've Grown

I finally got a new charger and battery. I wake up early now, even on my days off so I can get some things done while you sleep. As I was editing these photos, I recalled how you were a little bean always attached to my boob last April. Now, you are a long, lean green bean that likes to grab a hold of my leg and cling to it like a monkey when I walk by.

These are the pictures taken at Papa Walt's house. I made him chocolate dipped strawberries and cream filled strawberries for his birthday. You like the cream filled ones.

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Like I said, you are into everything. Trying to hold you to keep you out of trouble is like trying to hug a wet eel.
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Your first steps. You can tell by the look on your face you aren't too steady. I think you are shocked you can walk sometimes. You usually will walk into my arms and bear hug my neck. Like, "Whew! What a journey, I'm safe!"

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We went shopping at Walmart on Monday and I found this water mat. Water sprays from the mat and fills the bottom. I thought you'd love it since you are my mermaid. I set it up when we got home, put on your water pants and Crocs and walked you over to it. You were curious about the water sprays. When I put you on the mat, you had a panic attack. You were shocked by the COLD hose water. You didn't know which way to go to escape the cold water spraying you. I had to put down the camera and rescue you. I hope you adjust to the swimming pool. Maybe if I am holding you, you won't be as fearful. Mommy is getting frozen too.



I took you inside and ran a hot bath for you. Once again, you were like a fish. You laid back and enjoyed your bath for awhile. Usually, you'll flip over as soon as I wash your hair but this time, you relaxed.


But you got mad that I was ruining your bath time with pictures. Flashes that hurt your eyes and bounced off the tub. So you squealed in protest and I captured a good shot of your teeth. They way they are growing now, you'll be lucky to have a full set by age four. The front two look so big, I don't know if 14 more will fit.

This is my favorite picture I took this week. I think it captures your personality and attitude the best. You give strangers this look. It's your "I'm taking it in and analyzing it" look.


I love my little Toot Toot,

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Dear Baby Girl,

I haven't posted in awhile because I haven't been able to take pictures. My camera battery died and I can't find the charger. I searched all the local stores for lithium batteries and no dice. I finally broke down yesterday and ordered a new charger and back up battery online from Samsung. I have had withdraw from lack of pictures. I feel bad I lost a month because everyday you change.

I have changed my lifestyle the last couple of weeks. I was feeling so tired, when you took a nap, so did I. I would feel guilty for letting the house cleaning slide. I decided to start taking care of myself again. Taking vitamins, eating better and yesterday I even did a workout video during your naptime. I can barely lift my arms over my head today, my triceps are in shock. Because I have quit some bad habits and started the good ones again, I have more energy. Last night, I finished a novel called "My Sister's Keeper". It was the saddest ending and I was crying in the bed at 10:45pm when I closed the book. It was a book about a mother's love and loss. It scared me because it made me think about how my life would turn upside down if you ever got terminally ill. My favorite line from the book was, "We do not have children, we receive children."

You are the greatest gift I have ever been given. You have grown in such a character. The other day, I was in the kitchen and I heard something in the bathroom. I found you playing in the toilet. "Splish, splash!" I was grossed out but couldn't help but laugh. Thank God I had bleached it out two days before. I closed the door to the bathroom but somehow you opened it again. I caught you before you started splishing around again. You love water, always have. So, this summer, I will sign you up for the water babies swim class.

I cannot take my eyes off you for a minute now. Yes, it was funny you were obsessed with the toilet but it could be very dangerous too. You will open the cabinets and pull out your oranges and applesauce and yell, "EEEEeeeeeeee". That's eat, you just don't have the T part down. You broke the DVD player the other day, because you love to push buttons now. You ejected your DVD and then forced it closed again. You'll push "OFF" on the TV and get pissed because Elmo is gone but you still can hear him. Did I mention you snapped my cell phone in half two weeks ago? We had to sit at Alltel for over an hour last Wednesday so I could get a new one. That's why I need my vitamins, to keep up with you and hopefully grow two eyes in the back of my head.

You have started to walk, all by your lonesome. You look like baby Frankenstein. Real stiff legged with your arms out for balance. This morning, we went to Papa Walt's to celebrate his birthday. You got tired of crawling on the tile floors, it hurt your knees. So, you stood up and Frankenstein walked over to me. I counted eight steps. We clapped our hands and you glowed. They even got a picture of you walking, hopefully they'll email it to me soon. Once you are on carpet, you crawl again because it's faster.

You mastered Pat-a-Cake, the clapping part but now you'll roll it up and roll it up. I was working with you on blowing kisses last night in the tub. You couldn't figure out how I was making a kiss noise with my mouth. I kissed your hand to try to show you. You were trying you best in impress me. You decided to try to flick your tooth for sound effects then throw out your hand. I think you scratched your gum because you had a funny look on your face. I busted out laughing, I hadn't laughed so hard for a long time. You looked at me and grinned ear to ear, you impressed me after all. Mission accomplished. You still are confused about blowing a kiss.

Thank you Chloe, for bringing me such joy and laughter. I hope to get some pictures soon. You now have four teeth. The top ones are almost down all the way. My, what big teeth you have. They look like mine. I can't wait until you can "cheese" for the camera.

All My Love,

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Poor Pig-Pig

When I walked into Mrs. Y's to pick you up after work yesterday, the stench hit me like a ton of bricks. I smelled vomit. When you saw me, you didn't come zipping over as usual, clap your hands or even jump up and down. All you could do was smile. You didn't have the energy or any zip left.

Mrs. Y said you refused to eat anything all day. When you finally drank some milk you vomited it all up almost instantly. I gathered you and the soiled clothes up and headed home. On the short ride home, you will usually blabber about your day. If I turn around and play peek-a-boo you normally will cackle but yesterday, it took a lot out of you just to grin and show your jack-o-lantern teeth in the car.

When we got home, I took your temperature and you had a fever. I was drawing you a bath because you smelled like vomit still and I heard you cry. Daddy brought you in the bathroom because you vomited again. When I took off your clothes and diaper, you had the worst smelling watery diarrhea too. He cleaned up the carpet while I bathed you. We still don't know what bodily fluid was all over the carpet because it was coming out of both ends.

You wouldn't even eat a cracker which was shocking because you normally eat anything handed to you. You even try to eat books and plastic toys. We knew you were sick so I went ahead and called off work. It turned out to be a good decision because you work up crying around 12am and you'd thrown up again in the crib.

As I stumbled out of your room in the middle of the night, I felt wetness seeping out of your diaper onto my arm. I changed your stinky diaper in the dark and when I was trying to wipe you, you screamed like never before. You flailed your little arms and your hands shook like leaves. I turned on the light and your little jay-jay was as red as a fire engine from the bad diarrhea. I felt awful, the wipes must have really burned. Daddy woke up from your cries and helped strip your crib while I tried to comfort you. You kept gagging and drooling. I offered you some G2 Gatorade and you gulped it down like you'd been in the desert for a week. I stayed up with you for over a couple of hours. You actually felt so bad you snuggled with me on the couch. You never want to snuggle anymore, you are too busy exploring the world. Places to go and people to see!

You haven't drank any milk since yesterday but that's okay. You do want Pedilyte and Gatorade. You held down some dry toast and banana this morning so I think you are on the mend. You had us worried though because when you refuse to eat, we know something is VERY wrong. Hope you are back to you little Pig-Pig self tomorrow.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Have I Told You Lately

Dear Chloe,

A lot of times I write about what you have accomplished. I haven't written about how I feel a lot. It was a big adjustment becoming a mother especially since the first 30years of my life was spent childless. I was selfish. I could do anything I wanted, at any time. If I was tired I took a nap, if I was hungry I ate. People would tell me life would never be the same after giving birth but they didn't tell me why or how.

I'm not the same person, I've become a mother. Your needs are more important than my own. I haven't slept in past 7am since your birth, there have been weeks when I haven't had the time to shave my legs and I have 2 inch growth, there are days I come home from work and I'm starving and tired but you must have a bath and get fed first. I can no longer go shopping whenever I please, I learned this a month or so ago. We got a late start and shopping/paying bills overlapped into your nap time. When we got home, an hour later than normal nap time, you refused to take one. That night, you were so overly tired, you fought sleep. It took me almost an hour to get you down. I vowed to never again miss your nap time. That means that I must get errands done between 8-11am or 2-5pm. If you told me three years ago that I had to have special shopping hours, I'd say you were cuckoo.

I have more appreciation for my mother now. I can understand other women when they tell stories or talk about their children. Before, I was just listening. I couldn't understand because I hadn't given birth. I never have loved a being so completely and deeply as you. From the moment I wake up to the deep sigh as I fall asleep, I think of you. In the middle of the night, I sometimes will listen to you coo and snore through the baby monitor and smile. You are the most precious thing in my life no matter how many sacrifices I make to be a good mom.

The last year has gone by the fastest in my life. Too fast, I wish I could go back in time and rock baby Chloe. You won't be still for more than 10 seconds now. You have two modes, full speed and sleep. You remind me of a puppy in that way. There are moments that will be frozen in my mind forever. The sweet moments of being a Mom, like last week when I picked you up from Mrs Y's. When I walked in the door and you saw me, you clapped your hands and grinned like I was a rock and roll star entering the arena. So, Chloe Jade, I just want you to know I will always be your number one fan too.

All My Love,

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Birthday Girl

Phew! It's been a busy month, full of parties for the birthday girl. Your Auntie Val flew down to spend your first Valentine's Day with you. We went over to Grammie Penny's on Valentine's and all ate dinner together. You are going through a clingy/fearful stage now. When we walked in Grammie's house, Auntie was very happy to see you. Grammie and Val were staring and fawning over you and got nervous. You started to cry, maybe you knew I was going to leave you overnight. You saw the car packed full. It's like moving when I pack up your things to spend the night. Your highchair, your playpen, your toys, your food, your diaper bag. You calmed down and we ate dinner and then you were ready for bed. You love to sleep. Because you have to wake up early to go to Mrs. Y's you are ready for bed at 6:30pm sharp.

I was worried about how you'd react when you woke up the next morning at Grammie Penny's. You haven't had a sleepover at her house before. My sister said she her you babbling at 6:30am, your normal wake up time. She made you a bottle and walked in to get you out of the playpen. It was still dark and she spoke to you, "Good Morning, Baby Chloe! What a good baby sleeping through the night." She said you were a happy camper, kicking your little legs with glee when she scooped you up. Val and I sound alike and we are smaller in frame so we probably feel similar in the dark too. When she took you into the living room and laid you in her lap to give you your morning baba, you looked up at saw her face. You flipped out. I guess you thought it was some twlight zone movie. You felt like my Mommy and sounded like my Mommy but you don't look like my Mommy. NOT MY MOMMY! AAAAAHHHH! She said you cried for about 15 minutes and then realized it was going to be okay. The rest of the day went great. They took you on a stroller ride to the park and you loved the swings. You ate well and even took a long nap. You never cried again during that visit. Auntie Val even taught you how to click your tongue. For about three days after she left, you walk around the funiture clucking your tongue.

Your cousin Emma had a birthday the next weekend. When I got off work on Saturday, we went and celebrated Emma's day. I think you and Emma will be close. Emma had received lots of presents but she just wanted to play with you.


As I snapped pictures of you and Emma, she then decided to be the photographer. She had new Polly Pockets, Barbies and stuffed animals to play with but would rather take pictures.


Last Thursday, Poppa Walt and Grandma Inge had a breakast birthday for you. Once again, when we walked in the door, you started to cry. I assured you I wasn't leaving you. We ate breakfast, Grandma Inge bought your favorite mandarin oranges but I wanted you to eat some quiche and french toast first. You ate that well and when I opened your oranges and put them on your highchair tray, you clapped your hands with delight. I have worked with you a lot with clapping your hands. It's hard, you'd clap your tummy for weeks. But now, you are coordinated enough to get your hands together. You'll clap your hands now when you are excited about something and I've also taught you to "give me five".



For your birthday, I bought us Baltic amber necklaces. Baltic amber is a natural teething remedy. Finally, you have a third tooth popping through. A giant top front tooth. You have broken several of my silver necklaces because you try to use them as teething relief. You love my Amber necklace and are constantly gnawing on it while strangling me. People are shocked you don't rip of your necklace. You don't bother it, sometimes you put it in your mouth but you don't pull on it.


After opening presents and eating a big breakfast, you were ready for a nap. Poppa was holding you and rocking you in his recliner and to my shock you fell asleep in his arms. You have only fallen asleep on MawMaw or I, maybe you knew Poppa was family. Regardless, you took a two hour nap in his arms.

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Your Baby Einstein cupcakes turned out great and I made Baby Einstein chocolate chip cookies for MawMaw's birthday for you. I'll have to write about that later. As I was typing you got my coffee cup and tried to sneak a sip. You act like a big girl, want nothing to do with sippy cups. You want the real deal. You can't control the amount of fluid that comes out of a mug yet and you just poured half a mug of coffee all over the table and floor. You little rascal!

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Dancing Queen

Don't have a lot of time to write a long blog right now. I wanted to capture your newest skill, dancing. Here you are watching Baby Einstein dancing to the wheels on the bus. I recorded it at the wrong angle and I can't flip it. I'll get some more videos of you later.

I can't believe your first birthday is right around the corner, I've ordered you some very special cupcake and cake toppers. Your beloved Baby Einstein characters! It will be my first time trying an icing transfer. It will be fun! I've never been so excited about a birthday before, including my own!

I love you,

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Gummin' It

Dear Chloe,

You are almost 11 months old and still only have to teeth. It doesn't stop you from eating three solid meals per day though. People tell me to enjoy this time of introducing new food and you trying everything eagerly. They say when you turn two, you will start sticking your nose up to food and demand to eat a limited diet. I hope you do not become a picky eater, I try my best to offer you a new food daily. You have tried everything I have put on your highchair tray thus far. That's all I'll ever ask, that you try a few bites of whatever I have prepared for you. I will never force you to finish all your food or "clean your plate." If you refuse to try new foods, I will refuse to give you dessert.

Your front top teeth are giving you heck. I know they must hurt because when I feel them, they feel huge under your gums. On Sunday, MawMaw and the rest of the family came to the restaurant after church. I was busy but I ran over and gave you a kiss and did the Itsy Bitsy Spider for you. I guess when I walked away to take care of my customers, it upset you. You put your head down to your chest and started crying. You don't understand that I'm working and I can't carry you around while I take plates out.

When I went to pick you up an hour later at Grandma's, they told me your teeth were hurting. I put my finger in your mouth and you bit me! Hard! Your little bottom teeth are like razors and you almost drew blood. I had indentations that looked liked a little mouse bit my pointer finger. I let out a shriek and you laughed. I picked you up and you then decided to try and bite my cheek and chin. I was laughing then, as you slobbered up my face. MawMaw said it was payback, you were trying to eat me so you could carry me inside you. I think you were mad at me for walking away from you in the restaurant. You haven't done it since.

That night, Dad made some homemade chicken wings. Since your mouth is bothering you so much, I decided to let you try a drumette. I though you would enjoy gnawing on the bone. You sure did. You kept rubbing it back and forth in your mouth like a hungry puppy.
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After you cleaned the chicken off the bone, you got dessert. I cut up a kiwi for you to try for the first time. You loved the banana kiwi combination and would pick up one kiwi and then one banana. You cleared your tray.
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You saw snow for the first time yesterday. You knew something was very different when you peeked out the glass door to the deck. Everything was covered in white. I opened the door and you felt the cold air and snow flakes hit your cheeks. I bundled you up in your new winter coat from MawMaw, some boots with fur I bought you. The only thing I didn't have were gloves so we didn't stay outside long, just enough for a few pictures. You scooted your pink van like a snow plow.
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Then you got down and felt the snow. You weren't too impressed at the coldness so we headed back in to fix dinner.

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We were running low on groceries so we decided to make breakfast for dinner. Daddy is a pro at making omelette's. Since you are only supposed to eat egg yolks until you are over one year old, we made you an two egg yolk, chicken, spinach and cheese omelette. Daddy's omelette for you was too cute. He also made your very favorite, blueberry pancakes.
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You did well eating your first omelette, you ate over half. It was packed full of protein, the egg yolks, chicken and cheese. You loved your dessert and finished both of your baby blueberry pancakes.

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With all this good eating, you are growing too fast girl. You are wearing size 18 month. You aren't even 11 months old yet. Daddy likes to say you will be a WNBA pro. My Dad is 6'4" so you may end up being over 5'11". I need to buy you more clothing, all your 12 month old pants look like high waters now.

I love my little giant,

Thursday, January 8, 2009

An Epic Update

Dear Lil Lovey,

I haven't written for awhile, the holidays are always a busy time of year. I baked my heart out. All the gifts I gave were homemade. Daddy helped bag, box and ship things out. I will be happy if I never see another beater bar, stick of butter or cookie sheet again.

We decided not to buy gifts for each other this year. It's been a tough year financially, in the winter time, the electric bill kills us. A $300.00 power bill, on top of rent, water and cable made December a tight month. We have everything we need, a home, food and an abundance of love. Every day is like Christmas, Daddy comes home almost weekly with a new gift for you. A new baby Einstein DVD, Elmo Live a new Elmo DVD. We did splurge and bought you a play deluxe dream kitchen. It's a little too advanced for you now but you'll grow into it. It took Daddy about an hour and a half to put it together for you.

Daddy went out on Christmas Eve to pick up dinner because I was sick of cooking and baking. He was gone a long time and I got worried. When he arrived home, he said he stopped at Walmart. I thought he was crazy, to stop at Walmart on Christmas Eve. What did he possibly need to fight the crowds? He said he picked up something for you. I said you have tons of toys, enough formula and diapers. He said he bought something you needed. I guessed socks. There are mornings I am packing your diaper bag for the sitter and go into a frenzy because I can't find matching socks, I swear the dryer eats them. He acted shocked. How did I know he got you socks? I told him I hoped he bought 12-18 month old socks because you have Sasquatch feet. He looked disappointed. He said he thought he bought 9-12 month, I better go to the car and check. When I peeked into the bag in the car, what did I find? A portable DVD player. He knows you well, now you'll be able to watch "Down, Down, Baby Elmo does Karate" on the go. Next year, you'll probably own your own laptop.

Christmas Day was a busy day too. We went to two places, MawMaw's and Daddy's parents. On the way to MawMaw's you fell asleep and I had to wake you up when we arrived. You had on your crabby panties at first and gave MawMaw the scrunched up sassy face.
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You quickly got over your interrupted nap when you saw the spread MawMaw made for you. Ham, a fried turkey, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, green beans, deviled eggs. You didn't understand Christmas or presents this year but the feasting was the highlight of your day. You are a chow hound, girl. You will sit in your highchair and pick at food for over 30 minutes per meal. After you stuffed yourself with MawMaw's Christmas goodness, you got some lovin' and were ready for a turkey induced coma.
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When you awoke, we had the kitchen cleaned up and your cousins had opened all their presents. Your pile awaited you.
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Like I said, you didn't understand the gift part. Your cousin Emma did and she was dying to "help" open your presents.
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Daddy brought in his present and set you up with Elmo's Holiday DVD. You and Emma were in a trance.
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He probably should have waited to turn on Elmo's Christmas because you had a melt down when I took you away to get pictures of you with your cousins in front of the tree. In the first picture, you could still see Elmo, in the second he was out of view. Elmo withdraw.

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After our food digested, we headed to Daddy's parents. Once again, there was more food. You tried black eyed peas for the first time. We were still stuffed from the first round. Not you, my growing girl. You cleared another plate of peas, ham and creamed potatoes. Daddy's family got you more gifts. You got jealous when he was playing a rock band game with his sister. He was playing the guitar and wasn't playing attention to you so you crawled over, climbed up his leg and tried to pull his pants down. Once again, you loved the food at Karen's the most. A close second was the family dog, Duke. You have seen dogs on baby Einstein but you were fascinated by a real, live one.
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The car was stuffed full of gifts and we headed home after a long day. You probably weighed about two more pounds by the time we got home.

You still love you bath. I think you will be a little swimmer. This summer, I think we'll do a water babies class at the local pool, I have a feeling you'll love it. You aren't scared of getting splashed or water in your face. You actually will put your entire mouth over the spigot and spray water all over the mirror. You still only have two teeth, Mom says the longer it takes to get them, the better teeth you will have. I don't know about that but you are a drool machine. Since you have been teething forever, you still put everything in your mouth. The spigot, the remotes, pretty much anything that isn't nailed down.
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On warm days, we will take you outside on the porch. You hate your hat. You pull it off every time I make you wear it. You are still pretty bald so you must wear a hat in the winter. The other afternoon you kept pulling off your hat outside. Daddy took your hand away from the hat and said, "No, Chloe, leave your hat on." You looked at him and gave him the scrunched up ugly face and breathed real hard, flaring your nostrils. Your secret is out, we know that you know the word "No". The hard part is enforcing it. We laughed when you got your attitude.

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You are turning into a night owl. I used to put you to bed at 6:30pm with no problems. The past several nights, you have wanted to stay up with us until 8pm. We took you in bed with us two nights ago. When we turned off the lights, you sat up like a little prairie dog and took in your surroundings. You knew this wasn't your room and kept looking out the window at the headlights passing by. I think you are going through a separation anxiety phase, you don't want to be left alone or left out.

Or maybe you think you missing out on some good food. If you are almost asleep and hear pots and pans clinking in the kitchen you'll stir as if to say, "What are you eating without me?" Last night, you got your first slice of pizza. You devoured it. Your eyes got wide as the slices of pepperoni from excitement. Good-bye Gerber, the days of jarred baby food are now over.

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Finally, I hope you know how much you are loved. If I have a hard, tiring day, I feel energized driving to the sitter's to pick you up. It's my favorite part of the day, going to bring you home. When you see me and kick your little legs with glee, it melts my heart. I never will stop feeling excited to see your beautiful eyes shine or hug your little body and smell your fuzzy baby hair.

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All my heart,