April 2010

Dear Girls,

I realized as I started writing this that I’d taken fewer pictures of the two of you than in any month since you were both born. Note to self: start taking more pictures.


Emily, you got tubes in your ears this past month, and what a difference it has made! The surgery literally took 10 minutes. They wheeled you in, I went to get food and as I was walking into the waiting room, the doctor was coming out to tell us that you were all done. They sucked a bunch of gunk out of your Eustachian tubes – it was so bad that they called it “glue ear.” You’ve had a little bit of congestion here and there since the operation, but you haven’t been on any antibiotics, which is wonderful.


You still haven’t gotten any teeth, not that we’re really worried. We know they’re in there…they’re just taking their time to come out. You also haven’t started crawling…yet. But you’re getting there. You will scoot yourself across your room backward on your tummy, but you haven’t gotten the control thing down yet. You can’t really direct yourself where you want to go. You’re so close, and I suspect you’ll get it sometime next month.


Rachel, you are on a HUGE princess kick, and I don’t know how long that’s going to last. You know every single one of the Disney princesses, even though you haven’t seen all of the movies. Your grandparents gave you “The Princess and the Frog” before they left, and you love to watch that. The Easter Bunny brought you “Snow White,” and I downloaded Sleeping Beauty for you, so you’ve got three movies that you want to watch all. the. time. We’ve had to have some talks with you about going outside to play, and how watching movies is something special, and that if you watch movies all the time, it won’t be special anymore. But at least once a day, you ask if you can watch one of your princess movies.


You are becoming quite the girly girl. Not that you ever weren’t, but now it’s becoming almost too girly for me to handle. You love wearing dresses, and you want to put clips upon clips upon clips in your hair every day. You love to twirl so that your dress spins around. You want to BE a princess when you get older, and I’m a little worried that you just might be. We’ve been talking about putting you in soccer this summer, so maybe that will help toughen you up a bit.


I was going to write how both of you had been healthy this past month, but I just remembered that Rachel got really sick at school one day. You had been coughing all weekend, and when you went to school on Monday, all of the yuck that you’d been coughing up and swallowing all weekend finally came up. Ten times. Before lunch. Then you got prescribed an antibiotic that you had a bad reaction to, which made you more sick. We stopped that right away, and after a few days you were right as rain. But it was not a fun week. Especially since it fell during Fiesta.


Emily, despite not having any teeth, you’re eating everything in sight. It seems like you’re hungry all the time. From the time you get home, until we put you to bed, you’re eating. You will try to eat almost anything we put in front of you, but your favorites, by far, are flavored puffs (which are made just for babies) and saltine crackers. You’re getting really good at putting things into your mouth, and you’ve started using just your index finger and thumb to pick things up. You are also starting to drink from a sippy cup. So far, we’ve just given you water and apple juice, and the apple juice makes you make funny faces. I guess it’s still a little tangy for you.


We’re heading into summer after next month, so your mother is going to be spending a lot of time with both of you. We have some adventures planned for our family this summer, too, which we’re looking forward to. We can’t wait to see what the next month brings for the two of you. We love you very much.


February/March (and a tiny bit of April) 2010

Dear Girls,

So, another 6 weeks goes by, and here I am doing another 2-month letter for you. I promise, it’s going to get better. I’ll start doing monthly ones again this month. I promise. Really, I do.

My girls in the bluebonnets

So…a lot has been going on in our lives lately. The end of March marked the end of your grandparent’s visit for this year. Emily, I don’t know how you feel about this, or if you’re even aware that they’re not around every day anymore, but I know that your sister is very aware. Rachel, you’ve asked us a few times over the past week why Nana and Dodd had to go back to Illinois, and I know that some day you will understand what’s going on, but for now, at this point in your life, your world is our neighborhood and the people immediately around you. You don’t have any concept of Illinois, where it is, how far away it is, or how special it is that your grandparents come down here to see you for months at a time. It’s a pretty big deal, and I hope that when you’re both older, you remember how much your grandparents loved you, that they would come and live in another city just to be able to see you.


Emily, the past 6 weeks for you have been probably the worst of your life, thus far. It started with a little cold at the beginning of February that turned into an ear infection, then a sinus infection, then bronchitis, and will result in your getting tubes in your ears in the middle of April. It seems like you’ve been sick for the past 6 weeks. Every time you get off one round of antibiotics, you pick up something new. Hopefully the tubes will help, and we’ll have our happy little girl around all the time instead of just every couple of weeks.


You also got your loaner hearing aide in March, after what seemed like months of waiting. Right now, we’re trying out a hearing aide that goes into your ear that amplifies and frequency-shifts sound so that you can pick up on the frequencies that you don’t hear so well. It’s an amazing little computer, that hearing aide. Of course, we’ve had a hard time getting you to keep it on, with all the ear infections and stuff, so hopefully it will start doing its job a little better once the tubes get put in too. In a few months, they’re going to try a different type of hearing aide on you that conducts sound through your skull.


Rachel, I think I’m regretting saying that we had made it past the “why” phase when you were two years old. Now we’re getting it all the time. You’re such an inquisitive little girl, you want to know how everything works and why it works the way it does, so you always have questions. ALWAYS. The fun thing is that you’re not doing the annoying 2-year-old thing of just asking “why.” You actually rephrase whatever it was that why just said and ask us why. “Daddy, why is it not raining today?” “Because the clouds are not heavy enough for it to rain.” “Why are the clouds not heavy? Do they not have enough rain in them? Why is there blue sky poking through?” Most of the time we love it, because we know you’re very smart and are just trying to figure things out. Sometimes, though, we just need a little quiet time.


Emily, you’ve started holding onto your bottle almost all the time now, and you’re sitting in a high chair at the dinner table now when the rest of us eat. Even though you haven’t gotten any teeth yet, we’ve started feeding you these nasty, styrofoam looking things called Mum-mums. They’re actually rice cakes made for babies that dissolve in your mouth. We’ve also started giving you crackers and other small bits and pieces of our food when we think you can handle it.


You are sitting up all the time now, so much so that your little bald spot where your hair had rubbed off from laying on the floor all the time is almost completely gone. You still haven’t started crawling or showing much interest in moving beyond where you’re sitting yet, but you will move yourself around your bed during the night. You’ll lay there on your back and push your stomach up in the air by planting your feet on your mattress and scoot around your bed so that in the morning, you’re completely sideways in your bed. You won’t be able to do that much longer, because you’re starting to grow taller and taller. You’ve started to thin out a bit and you grow because you’re not packing on the weight like you were the first few months of your life.

My girls in the bluebonnets

Rachel, you’ve grown up quite a bit, too. We measured you a few weeks ago and you’ve grown over an inch since Emily was born. You’ve pretty much outgrown everything we bought you for the winter, even though it seems like we just moved from 3T to 4T clothes. Thankfully the warmer weather is coming and we can put your skinny butt back into 24 month shorts. Sure, they’re really short, but they fit your waist perfectly!

My girls in the bluebonnets

Emily, you’ve started to dance when you hear music, which is really cool to watch. You have this toy that, when your sister had it, annoyed us to no end. With you, though, we don’t seem to mind as much. I guess it’s just because we’re better able to tune it out now, than we were when we were new parents. Anyway, this toy, it plays songs, and every time a song starts, you’ll start bouncing to the music. You’ll look around as if to see if anyone else is joining you in your dancing…and sometimes, I do. When your mother isn’t looking.

My girls in the bluebonnets, pt 2

It is so much fun to watch you play with your baby sister, Rachel. I honestly think that when you both are older, you’re going to have this secret language that your mother and I won’t understand, and boy, will we be in trouble then. You do such a great job looking after her, talking to her, and playing with her. She already knows how to play “bonk” with you. We were watching the two of you play it the other day and I was amazed at how you’d lean in to bonk foreheads with her and when you’d get close, she’d lean in a take it the rest of the way.


You’re doing really well in school, and I’m just amazed at how much you’re learning. You can write really well, and last month, we came home to drawing all over the driveway. There was a spot where you’d written your name and I was very impressed to see how far you’ve come with your letters. You are also learning your numbers and one day, while I was feeding Emily, you lay on the floor of her room and counted all the way to 100 with very little help!


You are very concerned about the future, and talk all the time about things you’re going to do when you get older. I know you’re very excited about turning 4 this summer, and when it comes to school, you’re ready to skip right over Kindergarten and go into 1st grade. You have asked me a few times about when you will be in 1st grade, and it’s funny to watch you try to figure out how long from now that’s going to be. It’s interesting for me to try to think about it too. When you’re in 1st grade, your sister will be the age that you are now. We’re really looking forward to that time in your lives because we can’t wait to see what kind of sisters you’re going to be.

My girls in the bluebonnets, pt 2

Finally, Emily, we had you baptized this past month. We really wanted to do it sooner, but the stars just didn’t align for us until now. Luckily, we were able to do it when your grandparents were still here, so they got to see it happen. Your Godparents, Jose and Lucy, love you very much and we’re so happy that they agreed to babysit for you whenever we want them to. Rachel, it’s so funny to see how things come back around to you days and sometimes weeks after you learn about them. You were sitting in the bathtub one evening playing with some animal toys, and you were pouring water over the head of a penguin. Mommy asked if you were washing the penguin, and you said, “No, I’m baptizing him.”

Emily's baptism

The two of you are so much fun to be around. Even though your mother and I struggle at times to get everything done, you need to know that we love you very much, and there’s nothing we’d rather do than spend time with you.

My girls in the bluebonnets