Eighteen months

December 13, 2015

Dear Eva,

These last six months, we’ve been discovering and learning and enjoying so many new things, and I don’t want to forget them. So here are my top ten from each of those delightful months.

13 months

  1. taking your first steps two days after your birthday
  2. your exclamations that either are or sound exactly like oh wow! hello! and a dog!
  3. all the waving at all the people
  4. all the handing of all the things
  5. brushing your hair with my brush
  6. laying your head on everything
  7. putting things back in the box after taking them all out
  8. pointing at everything that delights you
  9. your garden party first birthday party
  10. signing food and more

14 months

  1. climbing the stairs, the ottoman, the couch
  2. putting things into drawers
  3. your obsession with closing anything that’s left open (cupboards, drawers, etc.)
  4. bringing me the books you want to read
  5. singing little thirds and scales
  6. saying sounds that are more like words
  7. laughing hysterically at Siri
  8. feeding yourself with utensils
  9. how you love being chased
  10. blowing kisses (and are starting to give more hugs and cheek kisses)

15 months

  1. your obsession with shoes — yours, mine, and everyone’s
  2. bringing toys by name
  3. blowing bubbles with a straw
  4. reaching up to hold my hand (and then dragging me where you want to go)
  5. playing peek-a-boo
  6. waving goodbye at the end of books
  7. showing me where your nose, eyes, ears, hair, toes, and belly button are
  8. moving up to the next class at school and starting to eat school lunches
  9. discovering that balls are the best
  10. your love for the outdoors — especially when it involves pointing at flowers and taking rocks from the neighbors’ yards
  11. (bonus) watching you go underwater at your new swim lessons
  12. (bonus #2) making the most of this long, Indian summer, drinking smoothies and sitting in your little pool in the late afternoon
  13. (bonus #3) your first visit to the state fair, complete with hugs for any petting zoo animal that would stand still long enough

16 months

  1. putting puzzle pieces in place and becoming a stacking pro
  2. the way all the animals say moo
  3. enjoying more complex, longer books, like Madeline
  4. climbing up and going down slides alone, and starting to walk down stairs by yourself
  5. saying uh-oh constantly
  6. sleeping with bunny and giving him kisses (and Roo and Uno get kisses too… and nibbles)
  7. watching you do all the motions in Head to Toe
  8. discovering the wonder of stickers
  9. not only putting things into drawers and boxes but actually putting them away
  10. all the words you’re saying more consistently all the time: bye, dog, bird, yes, no, shoes (and sometimes even mama, please, cat)

17 months

  1. your enthusiastic yeah! to anything you want
  2. your love for owls and how they say who
  3. the little songs you sing
  4. tucking in and patting your animal babies
  5. tucking in and patting your people
  6. your obsession with pushing the stroller, shopping carts, and anything else with wheels
  7. how much you love seeing Snuggle Puppy stand on his head and jump in the leaves (and how you dance along to the song)
  8. the delights of crawl chasing
  9. how much you enjoy sit-diving and walking on the foam mat at swim lessons
  10. all of your very forceful kisses for mama

18 months

  1. walking up stairs by yourself, sometimes without using the handrail
  2. all of your animal noises — roar, quack, cluck, snorting and snuffing for pigs and rhinos, beating your chest for gorillas, waving your arms and making monkey noises, and of course the seasonally appropriate gobble gobble gobble
  3. the way you call butterflies shuh-shoo
  4. your vocabulary explosion — go, up, mama, daddy, apple, turtle, fish, car, ball, bubble, plane, moon, star, and so many others
  5. the way you think bubbles and balloons are the same thing
  6. watching you start to recognize letters and numbers
  7. turning the oven light on and off about a thousand times a day
  8. pointing to and naming other people’s eyes, nose, hair, ears, etc.
  9. the way you point to old photos of yourself and say baby
  10. how much you enjoy climbing in and out of your toddler bed

Halfway to being two, and I’m more proud of you every day. I love both who you are and who you’re becoming, day by day. Happy half birthday, sweet muffin.

Garden party first birthday

October 21, 2015

Dear Eva,

On your real birthday, we were in Lake Tahoe — but when we got home, we gathered in Laurelhurst Park with friends and family to celebrate the first year of your life. The day was so hot that all the frosting on your cake melted and you tried to climb into the ice bucket with the cold drinks and your Auntie Erin had to schlep buckets of water back and forth from the bathroom to fill your splash pool. But it will forever be one of my favorite days.

1-invite

2-one

3-snacks

4-snacks

5-table

6-flatlay

7-gifts

8-photos

9-photos

10-teepee

11-eva

12-eva

13-eva

14-balloon

15-bubbles

16-park

17-pool

18-pool

19-chair

20-cake

21-cake

22-cake

Credits

Photography: Mae Wright Photography
Invitations: Idlewild Co.
Confetti balloons: The Paper Kit
Teepee: Sugar Shacks (with handmade flower garland and vintage quilt)
Cake topper: Pluma Paper
Outfit: Baby Gap (dress), Freshly Picked (moccasins), Fancy Free Finery (flower crown)
Napkins, wooden silverware, cups, straws: Sweet Lulu
Flowers: local farmers market
Flower number 1, photo garland, ribbon pennant banner: handmade
Vintage serverware: from my collection

Twelve months

June 13, 2015

Dear Eva,

One year ago, I met you for the first time. You were so tiny, laying on my chest — this strong, beautiful, perfect little person. Over the last 12 months, we watched as all the parts of you unfolded like a flower: your features, your body, your personality, your voice. I know this is only the beginning, but I also know that I will look back at this day in years to come amazed at how much you were already yourself.

You are the epitome of a one year old: pointing at everything, starting to wave hello and goodbye, smiling with eight little teeth, babbling for minutes at a time, right on the verge of walking, able to answer questions like where’s the lion? and which one is the dog?. You also happen to be exactly the same size I was at 12 months: 27 pounds, 32 inches, in some percentile that doesn’t even have a number.

You had many adventures this month, including your first trip to the zoo. Granny and I held you up so you could see all the animals, and you pointed and squealed — especially when you saw the elephants, even though they were so far away.

We also took you on your third camping trip, this time with two of your favorite people (and ours too). Our beloved camp baby from last summer returned, and your highlights included crawling around to gather sticks and rocks, napping outside, and playing on the playground.

And did I mention how much you love your Auntie Krystal? You think she’s pretty much the best.

The grand finale of your first year was your best adventure yet: our week-long trip to Tahoe with the Rices. Seven days of exploring new places, swinging at parks, splashing in the water, and figuring out ways to be your cousin’s partner in crime.

On your birthday, we got onto the guest list for a residents-only park and had the most perfect day there, sunbathing and standing in the lake and playing in the wading pool.

We came home and had your first cake, a funfetti cake that Aunt Lindsay decorated with sprinkles and your name and the white bear candle holder that granny bought for you nearly a year ago. You cried when we sang Happy Birthday, too overwhelmed by the commotion, by being the center of attention. But I think the cake made up for it.

Everyone brought you such sweet presents — books and toys and new clothes — but you were particularly smitten with one toy in particular: a little stuffed dog that I’ve been waiting to give you for months. As soon as you saw him peeking out of a bag on the table, you had to have him. We named him Uno, and he’s the first toy you’ve really seemed attached to. I’m sure it’s my own childhood affection for my own stuffed dog (his name is Brandon and you can meet him someday), but it brought such joy to my heart to watch you carrying him around all night.

When you’re older, I hope you look back at your birthday and think, wow, I was so loved. Because you are, profoundly, by everyone around you. You are constantly charming them all, strangers and friends alike — and then when you’re done being our little people person, you crawl over and curl your body into mine and press your cheek against my chest and you’re my baby girl for a few more minutes. The independent moments and the astonishing moments and the mundane moments and the tender moments alike, I tuck them all away in my heart, thankful for the way each one is a part of who you are, of who you will be.

I love you with my whole heart. Happy first birthday, Eva Joy.