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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A letter to my sons on their 11th Month Birthday!

Dear Chase and Ryder,

You are getting this letter late because we were at the shore for the weekend. Aunt Amy, Uncle Jay, Delaney and Madden came down with us. We all had a lot of fun, and it was wonderful watching you interact with your cousins. As you get older you will continue to learn to appreciate the value of such a relationship.

11 Months! I can't believe you are nearly one year old. I just sent your birthday party invitations out today. I revel in your development and yet, I miss your infancy. It has all gone so quickly I fear I missed a moment to appreciate. I don't really think I have, however.
You both seem to be everything 11 month old boys are; active, energetic, little monkeys. You both love to climb, and you have found ways to climb things I did not know were climbable. Chase I saw you climbing the three drawer chest we keep in the playroom. You made it to the third and final drawer before it fell on you, but even that does not deter you. The staircase is your Everest. You both climb it several times a day and are always so proud of yourselves. You are good at it now, but it still causes concern for me so I have tried to work out a deal with can climb them when it is time to go upstairs for any reason. However, this is not a deal you have yet to agree with:) We have just begun to explain the concept of going backwards down the steps. Though I have shown you myself and using your little legs it is still a concept you have yet to understand.

Your "tricks" include waving, clapping, so big, and razzing your lips. You are much better at waving at hello and goodbye. Although you both can do these things, Ryder you seem uninterested in performing these "tricks," but Chase you love it. You make yourself (and us) so proud each and every time you do any of them. We are currently working on saying "How old are you?" and you responding with a pointed finger indicating you are one. You can raise the finger, just not yet on cue. Chase you are becoming much more expressive pointing at anything in your line of sight. You coo and babble in sentences that no one yet understands. Ryder, your babbling continues and you seem to have a lot to say. At times it sounds as if you are actually repeating the words we are saying. You pay real close attention to our words then attempt at the same sounds. You both love the light switches and this is an activity that you could do all day. Unfortunately, Mommy has to hold you while playing this game, and often times I am holding both of you as take turns with the Up-Down, Off-On.

Chase, you dislike all noises. The vacuum cleaner sends you into hysterics and you jump into the arms of the closest safekeeper. You always hold on tight until it stops. The same goes for the coffee grinder, which you hear almost every morning, and any other less than pleasant sound. It is amazing how far and quick you can jump!!

Your eating continues to be strong and we have pretty much retired the baby foods. Chase, you are hard to keep up with, it seems you eat it faster than we can cut it. Ryder, you still have a bit of a tendency to choke which always scares the daylights out of us. Please, please be careful my love. You love to feed yourselves with the spoon. Although this is wonderful and we do encourage it, it is a bit messy and the kitchen ultimately ends up a splattered mess of a yogurt. In spite of the mess, however, you are both pretty good at directing the spoon to your mouth. I have to fight you for the spoon after each mouthful so that I can refill it, but it is just the game we play.
In an attempt to ween you from your bottles, we have been giving you your morning formula half in the bottle, half in the sippy cup. Neither of you seem to understand that it is the same drink in the cup and some crying incurs, but eventually you give in and sip it. You have yet to finish a cup of milk, or even juice for that matter, but we do see improvement so that is good. Ryder, you have learned to hold your bottle yourself. You can hold the bottle at the right angle and have even learned to tilt your head back as the bottle empties. You now feed yourself for most feedings, which is great for mommy and daddy. Chase, occasionally you will put your hands on your bottle and hold it, but in the end you prefer us to hold it for you.

Ryder you got four top teeth all at once. It is funny to see a mouthful of teeth (6 in total) and you did pretty well during the breaking through. You were throwing up for what seemed to be no reason, and we accounted it to the teething, but you went on with your business as usual and did not seem otherwise affected. I think you may be getting your one year molars, as well. You have been drooling a lot and putting your fingers to the back of your mouth. You were also a bit crankier the last few days. We understand, and we are doing what we can to comfort you.
Chase you still have two teeth but are also teething. Your shirt is wet from drool and everything and anything goes in your mouth. Soon enough you too will have a mouth full.

We took you on the beach for the first time. Neither of you loved it. You both felt the sand with one pointed finger and withdrew quickly, as if it was hot (it wasn't.) When we put your feet in the sand, Chase your cried and jumped back into my arms. Ryder you were a little squirmy and whined a bit as you held on tight to daddy. We did not give up, however. Three times is all it took and now you seem to love the beach. Your favorite part is to eat the sand, by fistfuls. You no longer prefer to sit on the blanket, instead you want to be covered from head to toe in sand. We took you down to the ocean. You were both a bit unsure of this large body of water. I am sure it did not help that it was very cold. We put your feet in the water and let the approaching tide hit you a bit, but you were both a bit scared. We will try again, I am sure it won't be long until you love it.

We have yet to cut your hair, as we are waiting until after your first birthday! As a result you both have a lot of hair!! It is getting longer and thicker and it is cute. Chase you have crazy curls. They are really adorable and it gets curlier as it gets longer. I am not sure if it is daddy's hair you have, or perhaps even Pop-Pop's but it is curly!! Ryder, your hair is wavy, though the ends curl up, especially since it is so long. We will see what happens after your first cut.

You welcomed two new friends this month. Samson Roy Berlin was born on 5/28, and last night we welcomed Olivia Rose Betesh. We are excited for you to meet them both. It won't be long before Olivia is playing right along side of you and her sister Ellie and Rachel and I are excited to watch our children grow up together. We are now awaiting the birth of Max's little brother. You also spent time with Josh Cooper this month. It was so nice to see you three boys together and I know Daddy and Uncle Adam were thrilled to see it too. Hopefully you will spend more time with him this summer.

It has been another exciting month. It all goes by so quickly and we try to cherish every moment. You remain to be wonderfully active, wonderfully happy, wonderfully funny boys. You bring joy to so many of us and you continue to make us all so proud. I am amazed by how well you behave when we are out for an entire day, or in a restaurant, or running awful errands. Your laughter is contagious and your smiles light up rooms. I know we tell you all the time, but we can not ever tell you enough how much we love you, how very proud of you we are, and how everyday we are reminded that we have been blessed with you boys. It is important that you always remember that daddy and I love both of you and we love each other and it is just that that makes family so very special.

All of my love,

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