Friday, November 11, 2011


My little baby Bowen,

I cannot believe this day has come. One year ago a little piece of my heart left my body and changed our lives in every way imaginable. In this past year you've made me see how days can be so, so long, yet time itself is short. Just a year ago I gave birth to you; your dad and I leaned into each other and cried with joy as you entered this world. Today, you're here. A whole, beautiful, amazing little toddling being - climbing up stairs, saying "app-le!" and smiling at me every time I make eye contact with you. Sometimes after a hard day I just open my arms to you and you squeal and jump into them. You've made my life, little baby. You're the joy in every day, and for that I'm thankful.

I've been writing you monthly notes, little baby, and this month it was all just too much to capture. You've been called a "prodigy" at your music class; you went to a pumpkin patch for the first time; you love looking at books and climbing stairs; you capture the eyes and heart of everyone you see. Your hair is growing curly and blonde, and you continue to be "tall and thin" - unlike either of your parents. When I last measured you, you were at 21.5 pounds, and while I haven't taken your height measurement, you seem to tower above other girls your age but are right at the same hight as the boys. You scream with delight when you see living creatures - sometimes dogs, sometimes birds, sometimes salmon - and they hold your captive attention. This month you hate (HATE!) having me change your diaper; every single time screaming and rolling ensues.

For some reason writing this makes me cry uncontrollably. Our mommy friends joke that for Halloween you should have been dressed as a baby (rather than as a monkey), just because I'm having such a hard time letting go. Such a short time ago you were struggling to hold your head up, and now here you are, with your own little personality, saying things, doing things, and being a real-live person. For some reason it brings me to tears - all at once I'm so proud and so humbled by what you're becoming. I'm so proud of you, my little baby.

Lets just take a little inventory here, baby monkey: you make your grand entrance into this world... tried to breast-feed, slept, opened your eyes, looked around, held up your head, smiled, focused your eyes, met Santa, cuddled, lay on your tummy, grew, clenched your little fists in a ball, began wearing clothes, did some tummy time, kicked your little legs, bounced on your jolly lumper, sat up, rolled over, ate food, moved into your forever home, grew teeth, grew hair, sang songs, read books, kept growing, learned to crawl, learned to say "Mama, Dada, Apple, Dog..." grew a personality, grew a preference to cucumbers and fruit, learned to laugh, started standing up and balancing on your legs, learned rhythm and tone, started scooting along on furniture, pulling out plugs, opening drawers...

Baby, you've really grown up. I look at the pictures of you recently emerged from the comfy little cradle of my womb and I look at you now, nearly three feet tall, and my head spins with just how amazing you are. I can't believe we've done all this in a year, Bowen.

Today, as we celebrate your very first birthday with our friends and family, your dad and I look at you with joy and pride. You're the most amazing things in our lives, baby Bowen, and there's not a day that passes in which we forget that.

Happy one year birthday, Bowen!

I love you forever, and ever and ever,

-Your mom

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Eleven Months!

My little Baby Bowen,

Eleven months today! Happy birthday! It's really hard to believe that so much time has gone by already. These days I'm really stopping to cherish every fleeting moment of your remaining baby-dom because all too soon it'll be gone.

We're having a great fall so far, with all of our activities resuming. We're back to the library, stroller fit, and still meeting with our friends on fridays. We also started our second semester of "Music Together," and you seem to be getting so much more out of it! The first class you were singing along a bit and afterwards Katie, your new teacher, told us that you're "tuning in" perfectly and are right on key with the music! WOW, my little baby! Your tone and rhythm-deaf mother's heart just about exploded with pride! It's fantastic to see you enjoying our experiences and being more and more into music.

This month your charming personality has continued to emerge and blossom. There's been lots of giggling and laughing; you and the dog seem to share hillarious jokes that the rest of us just don't get! It's a lot easier to get laughs and smiles out of you these days and you seem just as keen to make others laugh as well. A new skill this month is your rapid head shaking to indicate "no." This little trick came on suddenly, and while you vigourously shake your head for "no," often, you seem to mean just "NO!" right at that very moment. A mere seconds later you're happily eating what you were so against before. You've been zooming around the house at a frantic pace, crawling around to see everything around you. You're excellent at pulling yourself up, inching along while holding onto furniture, and easing yourself down carefully and slowly. You love pulling things off surfaces and emptying the kitchen cupboards. Now that your little room is all set up, you've been spending some time alone in there, talking to your toys and pulling all your books off the shelves. Your newest trick is stair-climbing, which you now do very quickly and proficiently! When I miss you, I know I can just hold out my arms and you crawl-run right into them for a cuddle.

Another fun part of our month is that you spent more and more time with your family! You were lucky to have two grandmas and one grandpa and an aunt in town all at once! With everyone all spread out it's not often that you get to have so many people around, but when we do get it, I love seeing you play and interact with our loved ones. You stayed home and also went out a few times alone with your grandma Patty, and seeing you go off into the world and just be your own person independently of me is amazing. It makes me really proud to hear about you meeting new people and being the wonderful and pleasant person you are.

Well, my little baby monkey, I know these letters are all about you, but here's something about your mom this month: watching you grow and change so quickly is very bittersweet. I've been preparing for your one year birthday by making your photo album, scheduling us for a picture session, planning your first birthday party and it all makes me a little teary. One month from today you'll be one; no longer a baby but a toddler. I know this is a very exciting time but I'm still astounded at just how quickly the time has gone by. I've truly been relishing every single moment with you as you are now, because in the blink of an eye you're different. I love you so much as you are now and I want to hold onto that forever. But on the other hand, I'm thrilled and excited about the person you're becoming. Let's have a great last "baby" month together, my little Bowen!

Happy eleven months, sweetie baby!

I love you forever,

-Your mom

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten months!

My baby Bowen,

Happy ten months, little monkey! We're moving fast, and onto the double digits. You're growing and changing so fast. Every so often the realization that you soon won't be a baby crosses my mind, but I quickly push it away - I'm not ready for you not to be a baby any longer.

Your ninth month was full of changes, mobility, along with a few bumps and bruises. Your goal this month seemed to be to stand as much as you possibly could. You began with the easy stuff: pulling yourself to standing against the low bed, then against the coffee table, then against the wall. Eventually you moved onto pulling yourself up against the couch, various walls, kitchen counters, and even the bathtub! All you want to do is pull yourself up to standing and then balance yourself as much as possible. While last month you did your pre-bed gymnastics by crawling over mommy and daddy and to the very edge of the bed, this month you prefer using us as stabilizers in your quest to stand. And fall. And then stand again.

While you were first mastering your latest obsession, it wasn't very fun for me. You had quite a few giant bumps, and while you quickly recovered, I was really concerned about the massive blue protrusions from your forehead. Even with reassurance that you'd be perfectly fine from your doctor, I worried. Eventually, just as you learned to pull yourself up you learned to ease yourself down, and that was a happy day for us all! These days the bruises are coming way less often and your mobility seems much more stable.

At your ninth month checkup, you showed us how you continue to grow and thrive. You continue to be incredibly tall - in the 95th percentile! Your weight still hovers in the middle percentiles; you weighed in at 20lbs even at 9.5 months! Every day you look like you're growing and changing!

While you slept these last few weeks I've been busying myself with painting your new room and getting it ready for you to move into. For now, though, you continue to happily sleep between us.

You've had a wonderful summer, little baby, and enjoying it with you has been fantastic. Your favourite activities this month were: playing with your brother and having full-fledged conversations with him, banging toys together for maximum noisiness, screaming as loud as you can to hear what it sounds like, having bubble baths, splashing around in the pool, and enjoying the yard. You seem to be quite the jokester, too, putting your soother in your mouth the wrong way and then bringing it over to show me and laugh hysterically! You've spent quite a bit of time hanging out with your peers, and seem incredibly keen on sharing all your food with them. You've also seen a bit of your grandparents after missing them for several months. You didn't seem too sure at first, but you're certainly warming up as we spend more time with them. You'll have lots of family time next month, in fact, with your aunt and other grandma coming to visit. As summer winds down, we're getting ready to start our fall activities. Everything will be so different than when we left it before summer; with your mobility there's so much more to do and see!

Another month has passed, baby Bowen, and you're still the best thing ever. I can't get over how much joy you bring to our lives and I couldn't ever imagine life without you and everything you bring to it.

I love you forever,

-Your mom

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Nine Months!

My little baby Bowen,

Happy nine months! This is an important one because now you've been on the outside just as long as you were on the inside. Longer, actually! You are so rapidly becoming such a little person and I sit in awe of your constant and daily changes.

We've had a very fun and exciting summer so far. You went to your first concert: The Tragically Hip, and loved every second of it! You stayed awake for most of the show and attentively watched the band onstage and the crowd around you. We finished our Music Together program, and while it took you a bit to aclimatize to the loud music, dancing, and instruments, by the end you were truly enjoying yourself - clapping, and bopping along to the music. You even began shaking your maracas, rather than just eating them! These days you love having music on and happily bounce along to your favourite songs.

Since most of our activities have wound down for the summer, we've been keeping busy by exploring this wonderful city we live in. One of our frequent activities is the aquarium. It's amazing to watch you seeing things for the very first time, baby. You get very serious, and just look, look, look. Sometimes you just look so incredibly serious and pensive, and I look forward to knowing what's going on in there. At the aquarium it seems like the sea lions are your favourite, followed closely by the sharks and jellyfish. We've also been taking long walks along the seawall, and it's remarkable how you refuse to sleep on these walks, even though you're comfortably in your stroller. Instead, you stare at the scenery, smile at passing strangers, and delight in the birds flying overhead. We've also been playing a lot in the yard, splashing in your pool, and learning to roll the ball back and forth.

The absolute hugest change in you this month has been: learning to crawl!!!! One day you were only slithering along, and now suddenly you're crawling from one side of the house to the other! It's absolutely incredible to watch. For some reason you have an intense fascination with Sandwiches' food; the moment you're put on the floor you race towards his bowl to sample his kibble and dump out his water dish. You are also very intent on pulling yourself up to standing, and love hanging on to the edge of the bed or couch, just looking around and beaming with pride. This newfound independence is making you want to do everything for yourself: hold your own bottle, feed yourself dinner, and take off your own diapers!

This month you seem to constantly be growing and changing. I feel like every time you wake up you've gotten taller, and you continue to be really long and lean - like a salmon! You love eating, but are defenitly leaning towards fruits and veggies over any type of carb or meat. Your favourites this month continue to be blueberries, and cucumbers along with mangoes, watermelon, and sometimes eggs.

You're full of love and energy when you wake up in the mornings, and lately have taken to playing "climb over mommy" as the ultimate feat. You start in the middle of the bed and endlessly attempt to jump over me onto the floor. Gymnastics on the bed in general are something that's become the fun-filled daily norm. I have so much to write this month because you're just doing, learning, and growing so much. It's beautiful and incredible to be a part of it with you.

Happy birthday, Bowen Naomi!

I love you forever,

-Your mom

Monday, July 11, 2011

Eight Months!

My little Baby Bowen,

Happy birthday! What an amazing eight months it's been.

You continue to thrive and grow into a delightful little girl. You're constantly smiling and giggling, and seem to find joy in everything around you. The funniest thing this month seems to be your brother Sandwiches - you burst into giggles every time you see him! In fact, it's really difficult for me to put you to bed when he's in the room, since all you want to do is play with him instead.

This month has been a wild ride, since we finally moved into our new home. You've adjusted really well, and seem to absolutely love hanging out in your new backyard. You happily sit under the apple tree and look around with a giant smile on your face. That is, when you're not shoving fistfuls of grass into your mouth! We've played a lot in the back yard, and even made your first piece of artwork with finger paints.

The biggest change this month was the arrival of your first two teeth! After a couple of restless nights, there were suddenly two little chompers on your bottom jaw. They came up together quite quickly and now you're sporting the cutest little smile. You also had your very first cold this month, and while it was a crummy and uncomfortable few days, you powered through like a champ and got over it in merely three days.

Your favourite activities this month have been: swinging on the swings at the playground near our house, standing in your exercaucer with all your toys before you and throwing them all to the ground, scratching your nails on different surfaces to hear the interesting noises you can make, splashing around in the bath, and biting mommy with your razor sharp teeth. You're getting incredible mobile; rolling forward and backwards, and inch-worming around everywhere you need to go!

We've also started our "Music Together" course, and while you really seem keen on interacting and socializing with the other babies, you seem to really hate the instruments! You want nothing to do with banging on the drum or shaking the maracas, preferring instead to just look on. You also went to the beach for the very first time, and absolutely loved the feeling of sand on your little toes. Showing you the world is such a fun and exciting thing and I'm so lucky to be the one to do it.

You're growing so fast, my little monkey! It's so exciting to see all the changes in you, but it's also sad how fast it's all going by. It wasn't so long ago that you couldn't focus your eyes or hold your head up, and now here you are moving all over the place and becoming your own amazing person.

Happy eight months, Bowencita!

I love you forever,

-Your mom

Friday, June 10, 2011

Seven months!

My darling little baby,

Happy seven months! This year seems to be going by faster than any other. 

This month you've continued to grow and your personality is absolutely flourishing. It's incredible how happy you are, and how much you like to express that fact. You tend to begin your days with your excitable loud chirping, and the little yelps and screeches don't stop so long as you're awake. You've truly found your voice and you're not afraid to use it! Along with the joyful screams of happiness, you've added all sorts of sounds into your repertoire, such as, "Baba, mama, dada, haha," and the hilarious "pfffttttt," with your little tongue fully sticking out. 

Summer is fast approaching, so a lot of our activities are winding down. Having the warmer weather around has been lovely too, and you've been enjoying not being as bundled up as usual. You're as sweaty as your dad, so you're probably enjoying the lighter clothing. We've been walking a lot with your brother, and you seem quite keen on being in your stoller. This month you've really taken notice of your toys, and you love being surprised with ones that you haven't seen for a few days. You seem perfectly content to sit in your stroller, look around, and show your Sophie the sights. You've recently figured out that you can look up through the crack in your stroller roof and see me behind you! Looking up and cooing has become one of your cutest habits. 

This month you went to your first wedding, where you looked beautiful in your poofy dress and behaved like a champ. You also had your first plane ride, which you really seemed to like. We went off to visit your grandpa, whom you hadn't seen since you were two days old, and truly, he was charmed by your amazing cuteness. You so charm anyone and everyone you come into contact with, my tiny little baby. 

In your six month you've continued to try new foods, and so far your favourite are red peppers, cauliflower, orange slices, and blackberries. You're not into squash or carrots, and you're not afraid to throw those all over the floor. You fill your time by looking at yourself in the mirror and laughing, as well as with trying very hard to crawl. You've now managed to get up on your hands and knees, and sort of rock back and forth. You're rolling both ways, and also sort of scooting backwards. Mobility is here, baby! 

I could go on and on because you surprise me with new things every day! I really can't believe we're here already. Today, on your seven month birthday, we move into our forever home and I know this is the perfect place for you to grow up. More adventures to come! 

Happy seven months, my baby Bowen! 

I love you forever,

-Your mom

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Six months!

My little Bowen,

Happy six months, my little baby! As a five month old, you've been a very busy baby. You learn new things constantly and every day you amaze me.

When you were in your fifth month, we found our forever home. We took you to see it, sat in your new backyard and looked up at your new apple tree. I know you'll do so much growing and learning and living there, and I can't wait until our little family is happily settled. When you turn seven months old, we'll be moving in and for the first time ever, you'll have your very own room!

One day this past month you were placidly lying on your back, as you often did, and suddenly... you rolled over! You looked quite pleased with your new skill, and you've never looked back! Every time I turn my back you've rolled over and are looking at me with a very pleased look on your face. You've now started lifting your little bum up too, making me think that crawling is not too far off. Your rolling has given you a new sense of mobility and I can tell that you're trilled about it!

Also this month, you ate your very first food! Gone are the days of boring milk, as we embark on this exciting feeding journey. Your first food was baked sweet potatoes, and as soon as I set them before you, you knew exactly what to do! Your meal went not only straight to your mouth, but all over your face, hair, ears, and eventually the floor. You seemed to love your first meal, and nowadays you get quite excited when you're set into the high chair. The second food you got to try out was avocado, which doesn't seem to have as much excitement to it. You kind of scrunched your face at it, but nonetheless got a lot of it down!

As if that wasn't enough, you've also become quite a little chatterbox. You tend to learn a new noise and practice it over and over until it's perfected to your standards. Then, you come up with a new one and work on that one. You love looking straight at someone and just chatting and screeching away. You've been around a lot of people this month, and are becoming quite a little social butterfly. I can tell that you love being around other people and are never afraid to be held by others.

My little baby, I can't believe you've been on the outside for six months now. Half a year, you've been with us and I've never been happier! Watching you grow is amazing and no one can bring a smile to my face like you can. You are such a fantastically cute little morsel and are truly the light of my life.

Happy six months, my baby Bowen!

I love you forever,

-Your mom

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


My little baby Bowen,

What an exciting month it's been! Five months ago exactly I gave birth to you and you continue to be the greatest joy of my life.

This month your infectious smile become pretty common for all who make eye contact with you. You absolutely love looking at people and babbling away at them. I know you're going to be such a talker not too long from now. You've also started becoming more interested in toys lately. For the first time you picked up a rattle that's been lying in your crib for a long time and inspected it closely for ages. You're becoming much more aware of the world around you, and finding interest in your surroundings.

Your little smiles are turning to giggles, and once in a while I get the beginnings of a laugh that sound like, "HAA!" You've got such a personality, my little starfish! You decidedly do not like playing peekabo - your eyes get wider and wider and eventually your little bottom lip quivers and you burst into tears. Won't be trying that one again for a while! You do like sitting on my lap and looking at books and singing "The Grand Old Duke of York." Your head control is fantastic, and these days tummy time is a fun activity rather than a challenge. Just yesterday you rolled from tummy to back once, but seemingly not on purpose. Once you landed on your back you looked at me with the biggest, most surprised look of shock that I've ever seen!

You love snuggling up to your daddy and by the way you two interact, I can tell there's no shortage of love there. The ways in which you make me think of him are incredible, and I find it hillarious that you're almost as sweaty as he is! You love lying between us in our bed and just looking back and forth between me and him. What a family you have, my Bowencita!

Sometimes I have to stop everything I'm doing and step back and realize: I have never been happier. You make my life, little baby, and I'm so lucky to be your mom.

Happy five months!

I love you forever,

-Your mom

Friday, March 11, 2011

Four Months!

My little Bowen,

Happy birthday! One hand hand I feel like it can't possibly be only four months since you came into our life, and on the other, it seems like it just happened yesterday! You've come such a long way since that teeny little froggie and seem like an entirely different baby.

The biggest change that you've had this month, baby Bowen, is the talking. You absolutely love to talk. At first, you'd only babble to me - you'd go on for ages as long as I answered back. Eventually, you started babbling to your daddy, since he's so good at gurgling back responses. Now, you'll talk to anyone who'll listen. You wake up with a big smile on your face and right away your favourite thing to do is talk. I'm looking forward to seeing if this pattern continues when you learn your words.

We spent a lot of the month alone, since your dad had only about a week and a half between work stints. I'm getting so much better at juggling everything and our days together just keep getting more fun. Your favourite activities last month were sitting in your bumbo and helping me in the kitchen, reading books together, and swimming around in the bath tub. Last night I jumped into the bathtub with you, but you seemed so confused by the fact that you didn't get the whole tub to yourself! I'm looking forward to taking you swimming at the pool, because it totally seems like it'd be right up your alley.

You're getting so amazingly cute, my baby Bowen! I can carry you around in arms everywhere, and the way you hold onto my shoulder makes my heart melt. You look around at everything and everyone, making your dad say that you're "just as nosy as your mom." We went to the art gallery together and you quietly looked around all wide-eyed and inquisitively, just being happy to be at such an entertaining place. Even your tiredness is cute these days - when you mush your little face into my chest I know it's time for you to have a nap.

It's such an exciting privilege to watch you grow, my little Starfish. I feel so lucky to be in this moment with you.

Happy four months, baby!

I love you forever,

Your mom

Friday, February 11, 2011

Three months!

My little Bowen Naomi,

Last night, on the eve of your three-month birthday, you slept right through the night. You got a deep, eight hour sleep for the first time ever, and I was so happy and excited for you. I, however, awoke at our regular feeding times to make sure you were still okay. I'm so thrilled about this new little skill of yours, and I hope this new habit is here to stay.

I can't believe that three months ago I gave birth to you. It's so weird, this baby time. It feels like forever ago, like so much has happened since you've been here and at the same time it feels like you've just always been here. You've only been around for a teeny fraction of my life but I can hardly remember what life was like without you. I love that we get to spend every day together; you're the first thing I see in the morning and the last at night.

Your month has been very exciting, my little baby. You got to meet your other grandma this month, making your family all that much bigger. Along with that, I left you for an evening for the first time and just barely made it through. The first hour was fine, but after that my heart hurt with missing you. I knew that it'd be good for us both to have a small break, but I missed you more than everything and my instincts were right when I came home and found out that you'd been crying. I don't think that we're ready for that huge step of leaving each other yet.

We've been very busy with activities this month. You seem more and more into story time at the library, and at our mother's group you look around at all the other babies and once in a while hold hands with a boy baby. You used to sleep through stroller fit, but now you watch your mommy do sit ups and check out all the bright lights in the gymnasium. You used to sleep through all our errands, but now the grocery store is interesting to you, since you're looking around and chatting away the entire time we shop. You're becoming so interesting and fun, my little chicken wing.

Half of your third month will be spent without your daddy, since he's gone back to working full time. While I'm nervous and a wee bit scared about us being so alone for so long, I know we'll be just fine in the end. It's challenging to take care of you, but it's the best job I've ever taken on.

Happy three months, baby!

I love you forever,

Your Mom

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happy Two Months!

My loveliest Bowencita,

What a month we've had! We've had lots of firsts this month and you've continued to get bigger and cuter and happier.

We took you to see Santa, and spent our first Christmas as a family. Both Santas you saw were amazed by you, looking at you with wonder and thrilled to be a part of this very momentous "first." While you didn't seem as into your stocking as your brother was, I opened each item for you and held it up for you to see. I bet at this time next year, you'll be fascinated with the wrapping paper. We had our quiet little New Year's together - our first as a family of four - and you stayed up until midnight to ring in the new year properly! We watched the ball drop and drank champagne (except for you and Sandwiches!) and kissed each other and were happy and thankful for the year we had and excited for the year to come. Starting the new year with you was fantastic. Last year at that time we spoke jokingly of a hypothetical you, and now you're here with us.

This month saw your dad going back to work and us getting our little daytime routine settled. Running errands with you takes twice as long, but you're my little buddy and I love talking to you about everything we're doing. We've been going to the library together, and while you don't seem too interested in the story time yet, know that your mom is absolutely thrilled to be at such a fun place together. I've always been a huge fan of libraries, so getting to share this passion of mine with you is thrilling.

You've gotten taller and squirmier, and have been called "tall and thin" by the midwives. Speaking of the midwives: after giving us a clean bill of health a few weeks ago, we've been discharged from their care until "next time!" You're healthy and energetic, and every day your blue eyes get brighter and your hair gets redder.

Your favourite activities these days are lying in your crib and staring at everything that comes within your sight. When I set you down on the couch, you track me with your eyes, which leads me to believe you actually recognize me now! And the biggest best-est thing you've done this month? Well, my baby! You've learned to smile! You're definitely not generous with them, but when I get a smile out of you, it's the goofiest, gummiest grin that's ever existed. Certainly, the best way to start my day! You've been warming up to baths lately, and also to your brother who is as curious of you as ever. This month you've found your lungs, and god forbid I take too long to feed you, because you can scream with the best of them!

Happy two months my little baby!

I love you forever,

-Your mom