Ella Clementine

mothers

mothers

This morning, while you nursed, I taught you about butterfly kisses—you're currently obsessed with "pitter patters" (caterpillars) and our garden is full of butterflies. I'm so grateful that you made me a mom. Watching you grow is magic. ✨

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eighteen

eighteen

A week ago we celebrated your half birthday and you night weaned yourself. You are stringing words together (coconut water, watering can, Ella’s turn) and loved to be quizzed. You devour books, know all the neighborhood animals by name, dance to every song and jingle you hear (yesterday you got jiggy to the kars4kids song on the radio and clapped along to Johnny Cash in the car), and ask me to “share” when I have something you want.

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fifteen

fifteen

I love this age. I love the person you are and I never get tired of spending time with you. You laugh randomly and often and it's contagious. You started waving and saying "hi" to everyone you see, spreading joy wherever you go. You happily flip through books or play dress up most of your waking hours. You love kitties and Christmas trees. You look for airplanes when you hear them, even when we're inside. You are our water baby—we cannot take you near a body of water without you wanting to get in. You blow bubbles in the ocean and the bath. You love the beach and can play in the sand for hours. 

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eleven

eleven

One small tragedy of this first year is that I'm too exhausted to be the mom I want to be most of the time. I think back to my nanny years when I showed up to work rested and refreshed, cared for my charges with patience and grace, and then went home to the kitties and my limitless free time and hours of uninterrupted sleep. And I wish I could be that girl, or at least have her energy. But that girl had a hole in her heart and my heart is filled to the brim.

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marina's visit

marina's visit

I want to remember this time, when you were almost walking. When your absolute favorite thing to do was help daddy water the apple trees. When your great grandma and I took you to lunch at the Lao restaurant and you made us laugh the entire time. When you ate everything we offered you like a little bird. When you started dancing every time music played. When you explored the contents of my purse for over an hour. When you brought our family unmeasurable joy.

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ten

ten

All of a sudden you seam so grown up. You are saying "mamamama" and "dadadada" and waving goodbye. Sometimes we can get you to clap your hands, but it takes some prompting. 

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nine

nine

Taking these photos has become a challenge—you move so damn fast!

This last month was a whirlwind. Your grandparents were here for almost two weeks, which you loved. You had two more teeth pop through and you had a fever of 103.4 during a heat wave, which you didn't love. We swam a bunch, played on the playground a few times, visited friends in Willits, we watched some World Cup games, ate our first tomatoes of the season—not from our garden, yet! You continue to impress me and your dad with what an awesome kid you are. You are curious about the world, but move carefully through it. You are generally a happy baby and are good at communicating. You can recognize the signs for "milk", and "all done" (and get excited when we do them) and we are working on "more," "eat/hungry" and "drink/thirsty." You are still taking 2-3 naps a day and usually wake up once at night, but most nights we get a 7-9 hour stretch before the first wakeup. You are incredibly social, love watching other kids and babies do their thing, love attention, and crawl up to every animal you see. You continue to love food and will typically eat everything we put in front of you.

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