Tag Archives: family

Dear Coco, for your 5th birthday

31 May

Dear Coco,

Your 5th birthday came and went in a whirlwind of activity. Grandmothers coming to visit, parties, new jobs and new schools have had us so busy that, although I wrote this letter and chose these pictures about 9 months ago, they are only just now getting published. I apologize, but as your 6th birthday is imminent, I felt it necessary to put this one up sooner, rather than never.

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Playing in the kitchen while singing a song.

The start of your 4th year was full of exploring and learning new things, particularly reading. We began working on simple words and sounding things out, and you have progressed so much! By now you are able to read some of your easy reader books all by yourself and can sound out more complicated words all on your own. As much as you enjoy reading, you still enjoy being read to more.

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You and every other girl were Elsa for Halloween!

While your knowledge has increased, some things remain the same. Playing dolls and make believe, concocting “science experiments” or “cooking” in the kitchen are still high on the list of play, but you’ve also added in more complicated puzzles and board games, and some role playing, such as playing school or veterinarian. We also enrolled you in gymnastics over the summer, and although I don’t see a career as an Olympic gymnast in your future, you really enjoyed the classes!

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Great sense of fashion

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And adorable no matter what you wear!

During the past year you were at preschool at least several days a week where you made some great friends that we have enjoyed having playdates with occasionally. It is really fun to see you develop real friendships and I look forward to hearing about all your new friends in kindergarten. It has also become apparent that with your friends, like with us, you enjoy directing the game play and coming up with whole worlds in which to play (everyone is a princess and has a castle, and you go visit each other’s castles, for instance).

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See? More “soup” making.

Daddy and I are very lucky that you remain a generally sweet girl who still loves to hug and cuddle and shows a desire to take care of people. When one of us feels sick or is sad you like to bring us a toy or give us a hug to make us better. Oh sure, we have our rough moments, but even those are outweighed by your sweetness.

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Sweet in your Easter dress

At some point this year you and your brother went from coexisting to becoming real friends and occasional compatriots in play. Although, like with most brother-sister pairs, the game play involves princesses and superheros, monsters and fairies, evil queens and dragons. It can be quite a riot in the house, especially when one of you is casting (very loud) spells and the other is being a fire-breathing dragon! But we love seeing you play together and develop a great friendship.

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But Easter Egg hunting is way more fun in a costume, naturally.

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Never a quiet moment at our house!

Some things have remained the same, and some have changed. Without further ado, your current favorites:

Toys: Douglas, as always, remains a favorite, although you are becoming slightly less attached. And by slightly I mean a very minuscule bit.  My Little Ponies, dolls, any puppies, and legos have been big this year, and books (especially Pinkalicious and fairy tale stories). A lot of toys become ingredients in a cake that you’re pretending to bake.

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No, Coco, we can’t keep it.

Movies/TV: My Little Pony (all the time, in any way possible), Strange Magic, Harry Potter, and the Tinkerbell movies. Usually a movie watching experience is followed by a round of pretend play, where we are all different characters from the movie and occasionally have to act out scenes. But every movie is followed by a dance party while the credits play!

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You cried when we had to wash your face!

Food: Quesadillas, and pretty much anything that has cheese on it. Pasta carbonara, jambalaya, bananas and apples. You aren’t too picky of an eater, thankfully, but we still have to coax you to try new things.

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Douglas is still your best friend.

Activities: Reading, drawing, and playing make believe. This summer you loved swimming and began swimming without a floaty, plus jumping in all on your own (a major accomplishment for a girl who didn’t want to get her face wet at the start of the summer)!

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My little water baby!

You have grown so much from 4 to 5 and surprised us in many ways. I can only imagine how much different you will be next year, after a full year of kindergarten and all the new skills you will learn! I can’t wait!




Dear Biscuit, on your 3rd birthday

15 Aug

Yes, it has been a year since I last posted, but I wanted to at least keep these birthday letters going. 

Dear Biscuit,



Somehow the past year has flown by and you are 3 years old! You are a little boy with solid opinions, a Sheldon-like favorite seat on the couch, and a generally sweet disposition laced with a naughty streak. This year you have gone from talking in sentences to carrying out conversations; from diapers to going to the bathroom by yourself; from needing help with most things to doing them by yourself; from napping to quiet time.

Look at these muscles!

Look at these muscles!

The time we didn't have to put the crib back together at 4 am.

The time we didn’t have to put the crib back together at 4 am.

Speaking of that last point, you now sleep in toddler bed and have quiet time in your room instead of in the crib.The first time we tried a real bed, several months ago, went well for about 3 days. Then one night I woke up at about 4 am to find you playing in your floor with all the lights on in your room. Needless to say, we put your crib back together that night and didn’t try again for a few months. Now, however, you’re getting the hang of staying in bed all night. Quiet time, however, has been another adventure all together. It doesn’t always go over so well (meaning you come out of your room about 50 times in 7.5 minutes to talk to us or ask for help). But it is getting better! Except for those days that you really need a nap and don’t take one, then wind up falling asleep on the couch at 5 pm.

Failed attempt to skip nap #47

Failed attempt to skip nap #47

Coco loves playing with you and snuggling with you (most of the time) and you sure love to play with her! The two of you come up with some crazy games and schemes, and usually you just go along with whatever Coco suggests. Her love of pretend play has rubbed off on you, and we often have to run around the house pursued by whatever superhero or bad guy you are being at the moment. Generally you pretend to be Spiderman or Harry Potter, while we either be a bad guy or a Dementor.

Every boy needs a tractor. Even if only for a day.

Every boy needs a tractor. Even if only for a day.

Still, you often like to play on your own, bouncing balls around the playroom or reading books, or building towers out of legos. While most of your play is active movement, you still have a creative streak when it comes to stacking and building.

Who needs toys when you have packing materials?

Who needs toys when you have packing materials?

You know all your letters by sight and can count really well, with an extra number or two thrown in there to keep it fun (eleventeen and twelveteen should definitely be real numbers), and you enjoy singing us your favorite songs. Singing comes in 2 varieties: pretty and sweet, or loud and more loud.

For some reason you really love to pull the chain on the lamp

For some reason you really love to pull the chain on the lamp

My favorite part though? You are still just as cuddly as you’ve ever been.

Still love to snuggle

Still love to snuggle

In keeping with tradition, let’s cover your favorites from the past year!

Foods – Bread (you subscribe to a very high carb diet), cereal (you would eat it for every meal if I let you), pasta carbonara, and cheese. Cheese by itself, cheese on other things, and a side serving of cheese.

Oh, you asked me to smile? Here.

Oh, you asked me to smile? Here.

Movies/TV – Like last year, your sister has some influence over what you want to watch, including things like Tinkerbell, My Little Pony, and Strange Magic. But you also still really like The Incredibles and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Surprisingly (or not – you are my son after all) your favorite parts of the Harry Potter movies you’ve seen are the scary parts. Like the giant spiders and the basilisk. You never once got scared, and you will specifically ask to watch those scenes.

Mouth full of Easter candy

Mouth full of Easter candy

Riding like a champ

Riding like a champ

Toys –you’ve grown pretty attached to Twinkie lately (he was your Daddy’s toy as a boy) and sleep with him or play with him most days; Nana gave you a sword for your birthday and it has hardly left your side since then; you also love to play with any type of ball from soccer balls to bouncy balls. We can play catch with you for hours!

The serious tough guy face

The serious tough guy face

Activities – swimming, building with legos, reading, pretending to get rid of all the Dementors with your magic wand (which is really just a pencil), and riding your bike round out your favorite activities at home. You also love going to playgrounds and the Children’s museum, where you enjoy climbing everything in sight.

Happy birthday, buddy! Sorry you spent most of it in the car!

Happy birthday, buddy! Sorry you spent most of it in the car!

We love you, Buddy (don’t call you sweetie!) and look forward to seeing how much you grow and change this coming year!

Love always,


Dear Coco, on your 3rd birthday

11 Aug

Dear Coco,

Ok. I know. Your birthday was over 2 weeks ago, and I am just getting around to writing you. I can’t help it. I procrastinate. You probably inherited this quality. Sorry about that.

Say cheese? No, say Cupcake!

As a now 3 year old you are, well, lets see….Imaginative, smart, fun, creative, sweet, charming, funny, and a bunch of other adjectives. You love to play and in this past year you have figured out how to play by yourself. Recently you and Biscuit have been playing together some, and I am hopeful that one day such playing won’t end in tears or time out.

Tea party for two

Lately you have gained an imaginary friend – a blue dragon named Brave. He accompanies us a lot of places, and once you got mad at Biscuit for playing with him. You also have 3 other imaginary friends, Tilly, Dilly, and Nilly, who live on our porch. They don’t come out to play too much.

For awhile you refused to be called by your actual name. Instead you would only answer to a name from a movie or book or someone we just met at the park and would get really mad when we called you something else. You still have moments like that, and will introduce yourself to complete strangers as Rapunzel or Violet or Cinderella. We just roll with it.

In about 5 minutes you will both be soaked through.

I love how much you love your family and your favorite toys. Nothing makes us happier than random “I love yous” and kisses. Snuggling still makes up a large part of our days, and one of my (and your) favorite times of the day is Mama/Coco time. This is when Biscuit takes his morning nap. You and I snuggle and read books until he wakes up. Sometimes, if he is playing really well on his own in the afternoon, we get a bonus Mama/Coco time. You love it.

Now, you have always been a talker and had an exceptional vocabulary, but this year it has really developed. Not only do you correctly use words like “therefore” and “obstinate”, but you also have a complex vocabulary of words that are completely made up. I think there may be 2 made up words for every 1 actual word. These words get used even more when you are “reading” to yourself.

Look, Mama! Big splashes!

Sadly, you gave up your nap sometime around the holidays. Now you just have quiet time in your room, which generally involves you and Douglas excitedly reading books and playing with other toys. About once or twice a week you will actually fall asleep and take a nap, but mostly you just play happily.

M and M cake!

So, here are some of your latest favorites:

Movies: Cinderella (I am soooo tired of Cinderella), The Incredibles, you also enjoy a few TV shows now (which you call watching a channel)


Foods: Pasta, rice dishes, cheese sticks, mac and cheese, vegetables, and chicken nuggets. You will finally eat some fruits, and you are getting more and more open to suggestions. And you love M&M’s and cake.


Activities: reading, playing with the water table, swimming, riding your bike, baking with me


Toys: Douglas, books, cooking gear so you can pretend you are baking, any sort of puppy anything, and of course your invisible friends and invisible toys. 


Friends: N and S are still your favorites, even though we don’t see them as much since we moved.

It’s a 15 Puppy! (aka, dalmation)

You are our little sweetheart, and we all love you very much! Happy birthday, and here’s to many more to come!





Dear Biscuit, on your first birthday

13 Jul

Dear Biscuit,

Friday was your first birthday! I can’t believe you’ve been with us for an entire year. What a year it has been. You are full of joy and energy and never give us a dull moment.

At 10 months you took your first shaky steps. By 11 months you were walking on your own but still crawling some. Now you don’t bother crawling. Ever. However, you’re a big ol’ mama’s boy and want me to carry you around a good amount of the time. Not that I mind.

Who needs a swimsuit? Clothes are just fine.

You love the water – big pool, baby pool, bathtub, water hose, water table. If it contains or sprays water, you are all about it.

Some favorites:

Toys –

  • The truck – push it, sit on it, throw it on the ground.
  • Bowls and spoons – Now, you don’t play them like drums, you like to bang on the inside of the bowl. Hey, kid, whatever makes you happy!
  • The vacuum cleaner. Every time we pull this out you push it around the house. You chase us while we vacuum, and we sort of have to nudge you out of the way so that we can vacuum under you.

Hoover! I haven’t seen you in at least a day!

Friends –

  • You adore Coco. If she leaves the room, you follow her. If she plays with a toy (or laundry basket), you want in on it.
  • The boy next door. He’s just about your age, and y’all play together often. Both of you get so excited to see each other.

It’s made for 2, right?

  •  Clark – This dog puts up with so much from you! He gets chased, hugged, squashed, and frequently has to give up his bed because you are stealing it for your own devices.

Just hanging with my bud.

Foods –

  • Ummm… all of them? The only food you have ever rejected is grits. I haven’t tried them since, but I have the feeling you would eat cheese grits if I offered them.

First words – 

  • Dada
  • Mama
  • Turtle
  • Bye bye is starting to emerge
  • I think you have learned how to say Bite. This is sad.

Here, let me help you procrastinate.

Random tidbits –

  • You have had 3 haircuts. This is 3 more than Cora has had. I like to keep your hair long in what I consider a Beatles-esque look. Your dad refers to it as Beiber-esque. One day you’ll have to look up one of those references. It better be the latter or I have failed you.
  • Underneath your sweet demeanor is a bit of a temper. If you can’t get a toy to cooperate, or if you are tired, you throw it as hard as you can! Daddy is proud of your throwing arm, but not your temper.
  • I love you, but you are a biter. Seriously. Fortunately, you reserve your bites for me, and they’re a misplaced expression of love and excitement more than anything else. Still, your 6 (!) teeth really hurt!

You have certainly given us some trials this year (like, the whole not sleeping through the night until you were 11 months old thing), but it’s so easy to forgive you when you smile.

Mmmm! Birthday cake!

We love you so much, and are excited to see how much you will learn and change in the next year.



A Bow Problem

17 Apr

So, my Mom was in town this weekend! We had a great time playing, going up to the Duke Gardens, and doing whatever else we did while she was here. Honestly, I’m a bit sleep deprived right now, as Biscuit is teething and decided sleep was optional last night, so I can’t really remember what all we did.

One thing we have photographic evidence of, and that is the crazy bow making that happened.

Now, I am not an overly girly type of gal, but my daughter loves pink, purple, sparkles, shiny things, and princesses. I can remember a (brief) stage in my life when I loved hairbows with a fierceness now reserved mostly for chocolate and red wine. Okay, mostly chocolate. So, I had this thought that Coco, who will sit still for some pretty elaborate hair styles for a 2 year old, would like some bows.

We hit up Michael’s.


A few of those were already in my collection, so we didn’t buy quite as much ribbon as you think. Then we got to work.


I have developed a problem.

To be fair, some of them are being sent off to Coco’s cousins. Share the love, you know. Let me tell you, I enjoyed this activity far more than I ever imagined. Bows are super quick and easy to make, did you know that? Coco liked to help design them, hence the green and yellow bow with an elephant button on top. Hey, whatever makes you happy, kid.

8 months

10 Mar

Dear Biscuit,

It is incredibly hard to believe that you are 8 months old. You are a happy and smiling baby; people are always commenting on your wonderful smile, how happy you are and how your spirit is contagious.

Happy Baby

Happy baby

At 3 months you started rolling from back to front. By 4 months you had mastered both ways, and by 5 months you had started the army crawl. Crawling has commenced, but after a few “steps” you tend to fall on your face and resort back to the scooting. You can sit on your own, but you far prefer to be mobile! The newest development in your repertoire of hobbies is standing. Oh, how you love to use our hands for leverage and stand, jump, bounce, or dance to your heart’s content!

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Mobility is great for you, scary for me!

You also love toys so much that you turn into a sad blubbering mess when you drop yours. Fortunately, your sister is quite helpful in retrieving them. She makes you laugh and giggle more than anyone else and you both seem to adore each other! The two of you enjoy playing peek-a-boo, riding together in the stroller, and fighting for the right to sit in our laps.

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Sometimes you try your best not to fall asleep while playing

My running buddies

My running buddies

Much like your parents, you love to eat! The only food that you have downright refused is grits, which confuses both me and your sister, as we thoroughly enjoy them. Slowly you are starting to eat finger foods, which will hopefully lead to less of this:

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Food face!

Whatever you have in store next, I am sure you will surprise us. We both look forward to watching you develop and learn, helping you along the way as we can.

Swinging and smiling

Swinging and smiling

Love always,


Travel, health, and an Etsy store

21 Jan

1. We had a whirlwind and wonderful vacation in Texas with my family last week. It had been almost a year since we went back, and no one but my Mom had even met Biscuit! So this trip was long overdue. Coco had a great time playing with her cousins, except for those couple of days when she was sick.



Now that the kids are old enough to play mostly without parental help, we adults were actually able to have some real conversations. Naturally, most of those revolved around the kids, but also about family and hometown drama. You know, the usual.

2. When we got back, I somehow managed to come down with a raging case of strep throat. No one else in the family had it, and thankfully no one in our house contracted it, so it’s one of those “where did it come from” mysteries. Oh well, a good dose of antibiotics later and I’m well again. I spent 2 days cuddling and feeding my kids wearing a mask so as to try to prevent spread. And I washed my hands so often that my knuckles are drying out. Worth it, though, to keep my kids disease free!

3. I’ve decided to start a little Etsy store. I’m not banking on making any big bucks, but a few dollars here and there to support my habit and buy us the occasional dinner would be nice. Some of the things I’ll be selling you may have seen here on the blog. As a knitter I enjoy the process but don’t always have use of the product. So I have several scarves and shawls laying around that I don’t use. Hopefully I can send some of those off to a new and happy home. Additionally I’ll be doing a couple of Valentine’s pieces and hope to start coming up with new designs for the spring/summer season!

Heart headband, modeled by Coco

Heart headband, modeled by Coco

The Launch Date is: Saturday, January 26! That’s this Saturday if, like me, you are doing good just to know what day of the week it is.

I love button! On shirts! For no use except decorations!

I love button! On shirts! For no use except decorations!

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