Peaceful cooking, happy baby


IMG_2869I’ve seen this trick on a couple of websites with pipe cleaners and a colander, so when Lila got a little bored with it, (and I needed to cook), I gave her the basket from the potato ricer and some toothpicks. Voila’! Instant engagement. She stayed busy for at least 40 minutes. For real!


Mind you, this should be closely monitored for obvious, pointy reasons, but she was so fascinated by trying to get the toothpicks in the little holes that she forgot to try to do something dangerous with them.

Happy cooking!


Letter for Little Sugar: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BABY GIRL!

12 months! That's one year. A whole year!

12 months! That’s one year. A whole year!

Oh my goodness! As of 7/22/14, you are one whole year old! You are officially NOT an infant anymore. *Sigh* You are actually 14 months old by now, but we are going to pretend that you’re still just 12 months…you little pookies keep mommy busy!)

Happy happy birthday to my sweet little smunchie wunchie woo woo. I love you so big. I can’t believe just how perfectly you have fit into our family, Lila Jane. Everybody loves you, even your sister. Mostly. But you are easy to love. You’re smiley and social and what a sassafrass you are. It’s really cute.

I am melting. And where did you get those green eyes?!

I am melting. And where did you get those green eyes?!

We had a fun birthday party for you at home and your family came from all over Texas, just for you. Mommy made a yummy strawberry cake and you had a mini one all to yourself. You weren’t so into it at first, but you warmed up and eventually, it even got in your hair!

First sugar and that was your very own cake!

First sugar and that was your very own cake!

In this last month you have become an excellent communicator. You know how to tell what you want, and also what you don’t. For example, We were lying in bed nursing before I put you to sleep. I was patting your little tushie-woo like I always do, but I must have stopped absent-mindedly. You reached down, grabbed my thumb with your tiny hand, and pulled my hand up and down in a patting motion. “Mommy, come on!”

And if you don’t want something, you make that known by swiping at it or shaking your head no vigorously. But you always, always make a scrinchie face when the answer is no.

I had to include this one, even if it's a little blurry...just look at those piggy tails!

I had to include this one, even if it’s a little blurry…just look at those piggy tails! I mean, if that ain’t cute…

Since last month, you have learned how to sit yourself up! You have been able to sit independently for a while now, but you just hadn’t figured out how to go from lying to sitting all by yourself until now. You were so proud! (And so were we πŸ™‚

You have also become a master of peek-a-boo. The changing table is the preferred place for a round of peek-a-boo. You really know how to cover your sweet little face with your open palms, sometimes you even cover your face so hard that it sounds like you’re hitting yourself! Do it like you mean it, Lila Jane!

She's leading you in some hand clapping. Good times!

She’s leading you in some hand clapping. Good times!

You love The Itsy Bitsy Spider. You’ll put your little fingers together (kind of like the sign for more) and I know you want to hear your jam. You also say the same word every time, sounds like “pa-dah.” I think you’re trying to say spider.

You have pushed two more teeth through! But your bottom teeth are still only a pair…it kills me when you do your incredible hulk face with those two tiny teeth sticking up! LOVE. (Look at this video, the Hulk appears at 13 seconds. Ha!)

We had a birthday party for you and lots of family came from all over the place just to celebrate little ol’ you! Aw!

You just started scooting. If we needed any further proof of your being a monkey, this was it. Who cares about crawling, you get around monkey-style and BOY do you like to explore now. You are happy to scoot around from one place to the next discovering what’s hiding in this box or under that toy. It’s so cute!

Look! It's the Lila pucker.

Look! It’s the Lila pucker.

And you also like to pucker your little red lips when you concentrate. I usually take this as a cue to steal a kiss! When you’re mad, like when your sister takes something away from you (which is all the time), you hit the ground with both hands and blow a raspberry into the air–so funny! I know you’re trying to express frustration but it is really one incredible display of cute.

Like herding cats...that's you, Georgie, and your cousin Tobey at cousin Katherine's wedding. He's your sister's fave person in the world.

Like herding cats…that’s you, Georgie, and your cousin Tobey at cousin Katherine’s wedding. He’s your sister’s fave person in the world.

Speaking of big sis, she has really started to see the value of your company. You two engage each other more and more and seem to really enjoy playing together. She is such a good girl, you will learn from the best. Y’all love to play peek-a-boo with the door in the living room, that elicits tons little fairy giggles–best sound ever! You also love of playing peek-a-boo in daddy’s kick drum. *more fairy giggles*

Little Sugar, you have made our little family so much brighter. Sugarpie is even starting to get used to you! You are funny, feisty, and affectionate. You are precious, delicious, and beautiful. I just can’t believe my eyes when I look down at you while nursing and see shiny dark hair, long eyelashes and red cheeks. What a gorgeous and perfect little creature you are, inside and out. I am so glad that it was you. I am so glad that it was your sister. I am so glad that it was your Daddy. I am so glad that I get to be a part of your lives.

So this is our last monthly letter, but I write volumes and volumes of love songs in my heart every time that I see your sweet, tiny little face. You are my sunshine, Lila Jane. You and your sister…my sweet sweet sunshines. Happy birthday, baby girl. Looking so forward to seeing what year two will bring πŸ™‚

Love you forever and ever,

xoxo Mommy

P.S. Since you turned a year old, you’ve started burying your face in my neck and squeezing your little arms around me so hard! It’s theΒ  most passionate little baby hug I have ever seen and you cannot even imagine how special it is. One day, I hope you’re lucky enough to have a little sugar just like you πŸ™‚

Letter for Little Sugar, 11 months

What a big girl! And those feet still hold so much allure...

What a big girl! And those feet still hold so much allure…

Dear Little Sugar,

Well, we have just one more month where you will officially still be a baby…can you believe that?! I can’t! I love you so much, little Lila Jane, and you are almost one year old.

You have been a busy little bee with all kinds of cuteness. In the last month you have started to use some signs that mommy taught you. You use the sign for “more” and “all done” and you even made the sign for “eat,” but only once. You used to just imitate me, but you’ve really started to use the signs in the right context. Mommy’s not going to go crazy with it though, I just want you to be able to communicate a little.

You're adorable when you're annoyed.

You’re adorable when you’re annoyed.

Speaking of communicating, you are showing us all just how sassy you are. Your temper personality is REALLY coming out now. You are one cool cucumber, a mellow yellow most of the time, but when you want something or you just don’t agree with the situation, you let us know! Your scary face (the one you started making a couple of months back at the piano) is SO funny. It’s very Incredible Hulk. This happens mostly when you’re eating and you really like something and Mommy is taking too long to get more for you. Anyway, it’s just one of the ways that you communicate.

Your sister was playing peek-a-boo with you! One day she will appreciate that someone looks at her that way!

Your sister was playing peek-a-boo with you! One day she will appreciate that someone looks at her that way!

For a little while, you would pucker your lips like you were concentrating…I just couldn’t stand how adorable it was! But you’ve moved on, ah well.

Sugarpie, your big sister, doesn’t get to push you around as much anymore either because you sure know how to make an impression when she takes your toy or tickles you when you’re not in the mood. Girl’s gotta stand up for herself!

Our family :)

Our family πŸ™‚

You aren’t crawling yet, but you’ll get there…what’s the rush? You seem like you’re trying to pull up in your crib, but we haven’t gotten past wanting to action. In time!

You got your first hair cut this month too! You have a lot of hair, girfriend, and we cut bangs. I cannot tell you how much of love it!! And I bet you’re happy too, not to have all of that hair in your face.

Daddy has his first Father’s Day with TWO GIRLS. How lucky is he? When he hugs you and your sister, he has an arm load of love for sure.

Y'all were watching the rain. My girls love to play in the crib together!

Y’all were watching the rain. My girls love to play in the crib together!

The other day, I realized what color your eyes are. Mommy used to live on an island in Southern Italy called Ischia. The water was crystal clear, beautiful, and turquoise. But there was one little corner of the island that Mommy just loved called Cartaromana. There, the water was a little different. It was a deeper, darker green with a little blue, depending on the sun. On a hot summer day, all you could do was jump in and feel the cool green relief of that water. Magical! And your eyes are just that color. How special!!

Teeth!! You are working on two more.

Teeth!! You are working on two more.

Little Sugar, I love you and all of your chubby, soft, sweet, and delicious babyness. Please don’t grow up too fast. Here’s to our last month of being an infant!!

Love you forever and ever,

xoxo Mommy

Letter for Little Sugar, 8 months (and 7!)



Delicious! And you're outgrowing Teddy!

Delicious! And you’re outgrowing Teddy!

Dear Little Sugar,

You are 8 months old! Well actually, you are 8 and a half months old. Mommy is very late AND missed your 7 month letter because you two girls keep me BUSY. Not to mention that we moved the day before your 7 month birthday, that was no easy task with two little stinkers! I am sorry.

So what’s new since your 6 month letter? Well…we live in Houston now, for starters. Sugarpie transitioned immediately, but you had a harder time. But now, there are so many fun things to do in our house and in our new city! You seem to be enjoying it.

In your seventh month, you started eating real food! It was a slow start, but man you are HUNGRY now. Your first taste was an avocado and a banana, self-fed, just like your sister. You didn’t care for the avocado at first, but now you love it. We also started sleep training. It was slow-going, but we’re getting there. What else, oh…you said “Daddy!” on February 18 and you say Mamma and Nanna all the time.

Month seven wasn’t spectacularly eventful but month eight has been full of good stuff. For example, you started sitting up, and really sitting up confidently on March 17. Also, you got your first tooth followed immediately by your second, they are SO cute!! I am not in a hurry for you to lose that gummy grin, so don’t rush those top teeth out, ok?

Clapping is your favorite new thing. The sound of your tiny hands patting together is the cutest thing ever invented. Ever.

Trying to get a hold of that there banana

Trying to get a hold of that there banana

So back to eating, you love it. You eat so much sometimes that I cut you off because I don’t want you to get a tummy ache! Your favorites are meatballs, yogurt, apples, beans and you ate so much chicken curry that I thought you would burst! You also like broccoli and cheese and pretty much anything that I put in front of you. Really. We’re trying work on not getting too constipated, but it still happens sometimes.

You have had 2 ear infections in the last two months. I hope you don’t take after Mommy! I had them a lot too, they hurt. Georgia still hasn’t had one.

We have a little red piano and I put you in front of it to play. You thought it was so cool that you got all excited! When you get excited about something, you stare straight ahead, open your eyes really wide, and you shake your head like you just can’t stand it! It’s about midway through this video:

You also have your very own crib now! You really seem to like all the space and you have discovered that you like to sleep on your tummy. When you sleep like that, you wake up with the craziest sleep hair! It’s the cutest.

I get to see this little face every single morning.

I get to see this little face every single morning.

You love to lay back on my lap and let your head hang over my knees, upside down. It’s funny.

So I guess I’ll be writing your 9 month letter pretty soon! And I just can’t believe that your first birthday is right around the corner. I love you so much, sweet little Lila bear. You have stolen my heart! I can’t believe how lucky I am that I get to have a glass of fresh-squeezed Lila Jane every morning, and a big warm mug of hugs from your sister. Who could ask for more?


xoxo Mommy

Letter for Little Sugar, 6 months

Smiley boo-ba-roo!!

Smiley boo-ba-roo!!

Dear Little Sugar,

I’m late again, but that’s only because I would rather kiss your face than type on my computer.

You, my dear, have sparkles inside. You are a living, breathing, snuggling, laughing, talking, fun-loving, life-enjoying little person. You are alive and ready to take on the world.

One way you show your inner sassafrass is by talking. You have added babababa, dadadada, wawawawa, deh deh, wra-er wra-er, and ga ga ga to your expanding vocabulary. Oh, and yayayayaya. You just cannot wait to tell us all about it! Your voice is SO cute that I can hardly take it.

We still hate tummy torture, which is why you aren’t using your rolling-around skills to move about, but I think you’re gonna be fine. We’re getting closer to sitting up, but for now we have to work on your balance and your core strength. Again, I don’t know anyone who needed a Bumbo to sit up at their high school graduation.



Your hair is getting longer (and wilder) and cuter every day. It has its own personality and soon will have its own zip code.

You also had your first ear infection and, unfortunately, your first course of antibiotics. Mommy had lots of ear infections when she was little. I know the pain so it amazed me how chipper you were through the whole thing.

Nanna and Paw Paw came to visit and babysat so Mommy and Daddy could go on a date. Nanna said that you got a little sad while I was gone and you kept saying Mama and looking around like you were looking for me. I know you’re not supposed to know what you’re saying yet, but I have seen you say Dada looking at Daddy and I’ve heard you say something really close to “hi” when someone says hi to you. Like I said, you have sparkles.

Two little monkeys...

Two little monkeys…

Grandma also came to visit and you just loved falling to sleep with her. She’s fun and knows all kinds of cool songs and silliness that makes you smile.

Sugarpie loves to hug you and you LOVE it too. It is such a joy to see you girls interact. I hope you both grow up knowing what a gift it is to have a sister.

I haven’t started feeding you solids yet, but I will soon. You’ve had a little tummy trouble so we’ll get you back on track and then introduce you to a whole new world! I let you lick an apple slice and you LOVED it!

Pointy tongue, Exhibit A

Pointy tongue, Exhibit A

But you know what my favorite thing is about you? You are happy, almost always. You smile easily and laugh and squeal and it is adorable. You’ve even added a cute little pointy tongue to your smiles. Lila Jane, you seem to be tapped into a well of sweetness and light and I want to hog every bit of it every day. I have resigned to sharing, but you have enough to go around and then some.

From your wild brunette mop top and sweet little eyelashes to your chubby thighs and tiny feet, I love every single piece of you. You are the cherry on top of our family and I cannot imagine how I ended up with two such incredible girls. I am forever grateful for you and your sister.


xoxo Mommy