Sunday, March 31, 2013

12 Months of Cute

Dear Elliot,
I almost forgot to share this (I meant to include it with your first birthday post)! I finally have your first year collage complete:

It is so crazy and so fun to look back and see how much you've grown and changed over the last 12 months. At one month you totally had the old man look down. At three months you started to look more like a little boy and less like a tiny baby. At five months you were at your peak of chubbiness. By six months you were sitting up so well on your own. At eight and nine months you were incredibly squirmy and it was really hard to get a good picture. At 11 months you were so over the whole sitting thing altogether, and by 12 months you literally walked around the futon while we tried to take your picture. 

Each and every month I thought there was no possible way you could ever be any cuter. But each and every month you proved me wrong. 

It's hard to imagine ever being able to love you more than I do right now, but it seems like my love just grows bigger and bigger with everyday we spend together. Corny? Yep. But true? Absolutely.


Ps. I have some more baby shoe articles up over at if anyone out there is interested:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Zoo Day

Dear Elliot,
Yesterday we took you to the Minnesota Zoo for the first time. I have been anxiously waiting for you to be old enough to really enjoy it (it's not cheap!) and it looks like we picked the perfect age to go, because you loved it! We actually ended up buying a membership so we'll be able to visit as much as we want this spring/summer. I can't wait!

Before we even got into the actual zoo you were having a ball. I decided to try positioning you face-forward in our Baby Hawk carrier so you could see everything. I know, I know. Forward-facing is "bad" and I've probably permanently deformed your spine or something, but really, it wasn't for very long and you seemed incredibly comfortable and content.

Your little pointer finger was in action pretty much constantly once we got to the animals. It was a lot of fun pointing everything out with you and explaining what we were seeing. 

I swear you recognized this guy from your beloved Brown Bear, Brown Bear book :)

The zoo has an indoor area called Discovery Bay with lots of sea animals and things you can touch and feel. You had the time of your life getting out and running around!

We also went on a Monorail ride and got to see all the outdoor exhibits from way up high. You thought it was pretty awesome being able to look out the window and see all the cool animals outside.

This look right here? I don't know how else to describe it besides pure joy :)

After checking out a few more exhibits we went to the gift shop so you could pick out a special souvenir. I remember being a kid and thinking there was literally nothing in the world as awesome as getting to buy one of the overpriced stuffed animals they sold in those shops. You didn't seem to have much of a preference, so we got you a sweet bat stuffed animal. You've become obsessed with it! Like I have never seen you get as excited as you get about this thing. It's super cute.

I had so much fun with you, El. There is seriously nothing better than getting see and experience the world through your eyes. With you, everything is new and exciting. When you're happy, I'm happy. That's really all there is to it.

I love you so much!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Elzilla Turns 1!

Dear Elliot,
Happy (belated) first birthday! So you've been a year old for about three days now and it still hasn't completely sunk in yet. When you were first born I couldn't even fathom what it would be like to have a toddler, and here we are! In some ways it seems like just yesterday we brought you home from the hospital; in other ways I can barely remember life before you were in it.

So for your first birthday party we decided to do a Godzilla theme. Actually, make that an Elzilla theme. I originally had these big dreams of doing a Very Hungry Caterpillar themed party, with handmade caterpillar pompom decorations, a spread of all the different foods featured in the story, and other Pinterest-y details. But life happened. And at the last minute, we decided to instead base your party around your favorite activity in the whole wide world: destroying things! Dad designed these awesome invites and we just printed them out at home:

He also made a pretty sweet table background:

(I take full credit for the Elzilla doll!)

And these super cool cardboard buildings for you and your baby-zilla friends to knock over:

(I found the hats at the Dollar Store. Pretty sure they're actually dinosaurs, but close enough!)

For your outfit you wore a dino shirt I found at the Baby Gap Outlet. Again, as close to Godzilla as I could find (they're both pretty destructive creatures, right?)

Our place was a bit cramped once everybody arrived, but it was so much fun seeing so many of the friends and family that love you all in one room! 

You were much more into opening your presents than at Christmas. Everyone gave you such awesome gifts. You are one loved and lucky little boy!

(Auntie Rachel made you this amazing felt "quiet book")

(Starting to get a bit overwhelmed from all the excitement, ha!)

For your cake, we wanted to give you something fun to destroy. So Dad made the cutest castle cake for you to dig into. You actually didn't go as nuts as I thought you would--I think it was a mix of everyone staring at you and the fact that the cake didn't have much frosting on it. You still had a lot of fun playing/eating it though:

It was a wonderful day celebrating the wonderful little person you're turning out to be. There were multiple times that day where I'd look down at you and tear up a bit just thinking about how much I love you. About how insanely happy I am to be your mom and watch you grow up. This has been the best year of my life and I am just so excited for all the years--and birthday parties--still to come.

(We tried to get a family pic the night of your birthday--this was the best we got. I kind of love it!)

Happy birthday, my crazy little Elzilla! I love you more than words can say!


Thursday, March 7, 2013


Dear Elliot,
I think I can officially say I have a walker! You started taking a couple steps on your own about a week ago, then 5-6 steps on Tuesday. Tonight you took 9 steps on your own! And you did it a bunch of times throughout the night. It's so hard to get it on camera, but here's the best evidence I could get:

I love the little look you get on your face when you're walking--a mix of pride, concentration and determination. I'm thinking it's only going to be a matter of weeks (or days??) until you're walking across the room with no problem. 

I am so proud of you, baby!


PS. I wrote an article about the best baby/toddler rain boots for spring. I definitely need to get a pair for El now that he'll be walking around, splashing in puddles this spring! :) Check it out here.

Monday, March 4, 2013

First Day of "School"

Dear Elliot,
Today was your very first first day of school! You started one morning a week daycare. Like the many sleepless night-before-the-first-day-of-schools of my childhood, I was pretty nervous. Yes, I realize leaving you for three hours is really not a big deal. But today was the first time I've left you for that long with someone I don't really know. So it was kind of stressful for me.

Dropping you off this morning -- squinty smiles in the snow!

Well today you showed me I had absolutely nothing to be stressed out about. You loved it! When it was time to hand you over to your new teacher, you gave her a huge grin and didn't even turn around to say goodbye. I'm not sure if I should be happy or sad that you were so not fazed by the whole experience! Mostly happy, I think :)

After dropping you off, I went to at a coffee shop down the street. It was really nice to have a couple uninterrupted hours to work. 

When it was time to pick you up, I figured you'd be super tired and ready to go home. But nope. I walked in the room and there you were, sitting on the floor, reading stories with your teacher, smiling ear to ear. 

I said "hi Elliot" and your head whipped around and you gave me the sweetest wrinkled nose smiles and crawled over as fast as you could. It wasn't like a "OMG thank goodness you're here, I've been waiting for you!" but more like a "oh hey, Mom, I'm having so much fun but I'm really happy to see you!"

Your teachers said you did "awesome." Not a single cry or fuss. You didn't even need your paci! They were also kind of shocked at how much you ate. We'll have to pack more next week since two cheddar cheese packets, two clementines and a smoothie pouch weren't enough of a "snack" for you, ha!

Baby ate: Everything. Yep, sounds about right :)

Although there's certainly a part of me that is sad that you're growing up so fast, my heart is just so full of pride at the amazing, independent little boy you are becoming. So often I look at you and think to myself "how on earth did I get so lucky?" 

I never thought I'd know this kind of joy.

I love you so much, little Bub!

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