A Letter to My Daughter

Dear Skylar,

Happy birthday, baby girl! I can’t believe you are a year old today! Time please slow down!

I’ve thought about this letter and what I would say to you for a while now. The truth is, it’s hard to put into words everything I’m feeling. Before you were born, the idea of having a girl scared me. Honestly, the thought of raising a girl revealed some of my deepest insecurities. I didn’t think I was capable of raising you to be strong and confident when I myself often feel as if I don’t measure up. One thing the Lord is teaching me is that He will blesses you with the exact opportunity you need to change your heart and shape your character. I believe the Lord gave me you to help shift my perspective. As I raise you, I know that I will have to trust the Lord.

The last 12 months have been nothing short of amazing. You are my sunshine! You bring so much joy and light to our family. There are so many things I love about being your mom. I love taking care of you. I love seeing your smile when you wake up in the morning. I love holding you as you fall asleep at night. I love how much you love your brother. I love your laugh. You are playful and curious. You are sweet and loving. You are also very independent. Your father and I could see that very early on. I can’t wait to see how your character grows and develops over time and how God uses all the wonderful things he’s placed in you.

This moment is bittersweet. I so excited to be celebrating your first birthday. At the same time, I’m a little sad because this day is a reminder that you are growing up. And growing up means you will gradually become less dependent on me. While I feel some way about that, it’s obviously a good thing. I want you to grow into your own. I want you to discover your purpose. I want you to experience life to the fullest.

This verse hangs in your bedroom:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬

I can’t wait to see how the Lord’s plans unfold for you. I am looking forward to walking alongside you as you discover God’s plan for your life. I will always be your biggest cheerleader. I will listen to you and do my best to understand your perspective. I’m sure there there will be times when we don’t see eye to eye, but I hope you know that I love you no matter what. You are so beautiful, inside and out. I will do everything I can to help you believe that for yourself.

Today we celebrate you baby girl! I can’t wait to see what the years ahead hold for you. I love you so much!

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Skylar’s 9 Month Update

My baby girl is 9 months old! A lot has happened since her last update. Not only has Skylar grown physically, but she has also hit some significant developmental milestones.

Skylar is a happy baby, but she can be a little feisty. It’s her way or the highway and she’s quick to swing her arms and/or legs in objection. Our girl is full of affection; giving kisses is one of her favorite things. She’s curious and loves to play and explore. Like her brother, she is such a goof ball. They laugh together all the time.

Skylar’s Stats at 9 Months (she grew almost 2 inches and gained 3 pounds)

  • Height – 29 inches
  • Weight – 19 lbs 3 oz

Eating

In the last update, I mentioned that we started introducing solids. At that point we were giving puréed baby food, but that phase quickly passed. By month 7, Skylar wanted to eat what everyone else was eating so we moved more towards baby lead weaning. Now, Skylar basically eats what we eat, with slight modification as needed. So far, we haven’t found anything that she won’t eat. We are still going strong with breastfeeding and I continue to pump 3 times/day at work to keep up with her. Skylar continues to take bottles at daycare, but she is also eating breakfast, lunch, and snacks at school.

Sleeping

Over the last three months, Skylar’s sleep has been a little challenging, but we are still consistent with bedtime between 6:30 and 7:00 pm. During months 7 and 8, there were nights where baby girl would wake up once and other nights where she was up every 2-3 hours! Those nights, it literally felt like stepping back into the newborn phase.

At her 9 month appointment, the pediatrician mentioned sleep training (letting her cry it out). I’ve always been indifferent when it comes to cry it out. It’s hard to justify the extended crying (or screaming) and lack of rest for everyone over a 5-10 minute peaceful nursing session and going back to sleep. But, I understand where the doctor was coming from. It’s better to get her sleeping now versus waiting and having more trouble in the future.

At that appointment, we learned Skylar had an ear infection so we decided that we would try sleep training after her ear was cleared up. Lucky for us, Skylar miraculously starting sleeping through the night on her own. We had a 5 day stretch, with limited intervention on our part. The only thing we changed was putting her a security blanket and a teddy bear in the crib with her. It’s so cute to see her snuggling the little blanket at night. I’m hopeful that more restful nights are ahead of us.

Best Moments

The best moment for me was on a random Monday. I walked into Skylar’s classroom at daycare and got her car seat out of the closet. As I was getting the seat ready, Skylar crawled right to me! Like for real crawled, no army crawl or scooting along. It was so surreal to see because just that weekend she was still working on her coordination. This time she had it down. When we got home I put her on the floor and off she went. I shared a video of that moment on my Instagram page. Check it out here.

We also took the kids to their first basketball game! I thought Skylar would be bothered by the noise in the stadium, but she had a great time. We even snagged a picture with the team mascot!

Challenges

Other than sleep, some other challenges include dealing with separation anxiety and balancing the attention I give both kids. I can’t walk away for Skylar for a few seconds without her crying for me. Now that she’s crawling, she follows me wherever I go. There’s no place I can “hide” from her lol.

As an infant, Skylar still demands a lot of attention, but her brother does as well. Sometimes it’s hard to given equal attention to both, but as children they don’t understand that. They just know they need mom. The one good thing about Skylar going to bed early is having more time alone with Jaden, but if I’m honest, it’s easy to let other things distract me from sharing quality time with him. That’s something I need to work on.


It’s crazy to think that the next update I will post will be for Skylar’s First Birthday! I’m excited for all that I will experience with my baby girl in the next 3 months, but I’m also reminded how fast time flies.

Until next time…

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Skylar’s 6 Month Update

Skylar is 6 months old! It’s crazy to think we are half way through her first year of life.

Skylar’s Stats at 6 Months

Height – 27 1/4 inches

Weight – 16 lbs 3 oz

The last few weeks have been full of developmental milestones, reminding me how fast our babies grow up! 😢

Since her last update…

Skylar has mastered rolling over in both directions. When she’s laying on the floor, she is quick to roll to her belly. She has even started to push up and move around/army crawl.

She has made progress in sitting up on her own. She’s not yet able to sit completely unsupported, but she can sit by herself for more than a few seconds at a time, unless she gets distracted, mostly by her feet, which she loves! We can often catch her with her toes in her mouth if she’s laying down on the floor or in the middle of a diaper change.

Sitting up and playing with big brother
Toes, toes, toes lol

Skylar also loves bath time! Now that she can sit up in the tub, she loves to kick and splash in the water.

Bath time fun!

Skylar is also teething! Her two bottom teeth are starting to come in. Just this week, we noticed the corner of one tooth poking through the gum line. The other is not far behind it.

Eating

I am still breastfeeding and it continues to go well. I nurse on demand, but the number of times I am nursing during the day has started to decline.

Skylar is more efficient these days, but easily distracted. I often have to be in a quiet space, free of other people and noise for her to stay focused on nursing. Since she is in daycare full time, she still gets bottles 3 times a day and I am still pumping 3 times a day at work.

Within the last month, we started introducing solids. It’s been a fun experience for all of us. To date we have tried: oatmeal, bananas, carrots, apples, pears, mashed potatoes, and yogurt. Skylar has loved it all! She enjoys sitting in her high chair or at the table with us when we’re eating and we’re looking forward to her being able to try more foods in the coming months.

Sleep

Skylar is an early to bed, early to rise girl. Most days she goes to bed between 6:00 and 6:30 pm and wakes up around 6:00 am.

While she’s not waking up as often, Skylar is still not sleeping through the night. More recently, she’s been waking up in the early morning hours. That varies from day to day, but typically between 1:00 and 3:00 am. The early morning wake ups are hard. I usually find it difficult to get back to sleep or get restful sleep after a 3:00 am wake up. I am starting to think about sleep training, but I’m not sure when we will start because our family will be making a big transition in the next few weeks. Who knows, she may start sleeping through the night on her own. *fingers crossed*

Best Moments

My favorite part of the day is picking Skylar up from daycare. As soon as she sees me walk into her classroom, her face lights up and she gives me the biggest smile. I also love how her personality is starting to shine through even more. She loves to laugh; it’s so contagious. She’s very easy going, but also very silly, much like her brother was at this age.

Speaking of big brother…I’ve said it before, but I can already tell Skylar has a lot of love for him. He can make her smile like no one else. It’s been cool to see him taking more interest in playing with or being around her, even though he often doesn’t want to share his toys very long.

Best big brother ever!

Challenges

At her 6 month check up, Skylar was diagnosed with a double ear infection. She didn’t seem to bothered by the infection, but the biggest challenge has been dealing with the diarrhea/loose stool caused by the antibiotic she was prescribed. The result, lots and lots of laundry!

Luckily, the ear infection cleared up and her bowel movements are slowly getting back to normal.

Another challenge we are dealing with is separation anxiety. It’s not terrible, but we have noticed it creeping in. There have been moments where Skylar won’t go to anyone else except me, including her dad and grandparents. Anytime I’m not near her, she watches my every move. If she sees me and then I step away, she will start crying for me. I’ll admit, I love that she wants me, but I also want her to be comfortable with others. Hopefully this phase passes quickly!

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Skylar’s 4 Month Update

As you’re reading this, Skylar is actually almost 5 months old. Our summer has already been crazy busy. Between work and family commitments, I have had little time to focus on writing. I didn’t want to miss sharing this post though because a lot has changed since Skylar’s 2 month update. Not only has she grown a lot, but we are starting to see her personality develop.

Skylar’s Stats at 4 Months

Height – 26 inches

Weight – 13 lbs 11 oz

Eating

I am still exclusively breastfeeding and that has continued to go well. When I’m with Skylar I nurse on demand, but she gets bottles during the week at daycare. She has increased her intake will now drink 4 ounces per bottles. At her 4 month appointment the pediatrician told us that we introduce solids, if she seems interested. Over the last few weeks, I have noticed Skylar watching us more when we eating so we may begin to explore new foods soon.

Sleep

We transitioned Skylar to her own room at 16 weeks. Prior to the transition, she was sleeping in her pack and play in our room. We noticed that she was moving around a lot and waking frequently. This resulted in lack of rest for all of us. We figured she would be more comfortable in her crib since it has a better mattress. We were right. As soon as we moved her to the crib, she started sleeping longer stretches and seemed to get more restful sleep. For the past two weeks or so, she has slept through the night almost everyday. Right now, she typically wakes up around 4:00am for a diaper change and feeding and then goes back to sleep for about 2 more hours.

We are now working on putting her down for bed earlier. At this age, it’s recommended that she get about 10-12 hours of sleep at night. That means an earlier bedtime. At the beginning of this month, Skylar was going to bed between 8:00 and 9:00pm. We started noticing her getting tired earlier in the evening and have slowly moved bedtime up to around 7:00 or 7:30pm.

Best Moments

The best moments have really been watching Skylar interact with her brother. No one can bring a smile to her face or make her laugh quite like he can. I can tell she loves him as much as he loves her.

She’s become more playful and interactive. Since her last update, she has really started “talking” a lot more. And when she has something to say, she makes sure you hear her.

While she still enjoys being held, she loves to lay on her playmat and kick her legs or pull at the toy attachments. She has also discovered her toes and loves to grab at them. Tummy time has improved. While she seems motivated to roll over, she hasn’t mastered it yet. She’s only rolled over twice on her own so far.

Skylar also started sucking her thumb. On one hand, it’s helpful because she can self-soothe and doesn’t require a pacifier. On the other hand, we will have to break the habit as she gets older (which we know can be difficult since Jaden still sucks his thumb occasionally at the age of 3). 😬

Challenges

Some of the biggest challenges I have encountered recently has more to do with me than Skylar. Mom guilt continues be something I battle, especially trying to balance work and family life. At times, I have also found myself second guessing or doubting my ability to parent well. I think a lot of my self-doubt comes from comparing myself to others or giving too much weight to comments from other people regarding what I should/shouldn’t be doing with my children. I have to constantly remind myself that parenting is a journey, it’s not an exact science, and ultimately, I know what’s best for my baby and for our family.

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Skylar’s 2 Month Update

Wow, I can’t believe my baby is already two months old. Where has the time gone? My maternity leave ended two weeks ago so I’m back to work and she is adjusting to daycare.

Skylar’s Stats at 2 Months

Height – 24 inches

Weight – 11 lbs

Eating

Skylar is still nursing on demand. On weekdays, she will have 3 to 4 bottles at daycare. Once we’re home we resume nursing and she typically cluster feeds in the evening. At work, I pump 3 times a day to maintain my supply and provide bottles for daycare. My experience with nursing and pumping has been a little different than with my first born. This time around my supply is much higher and I have been able to produce more than enough milk for Skylar (at least for now) and build a nice freezer stash.

Sleep

Around 6 weeks old, Skylar started sleeping longer stretches at night. After her last feeding of the day, she would sleep 4 to 5 hours before waking up to nurse again. After that, she would sleep for another 2 to 3 hours. This was great for me considering I was going back to work. Within the last week, Skylar has started waking up every 2 to 3 hours again. I think the change in her sleep pattern was due to a growth spurt.

At daycare, Skylar’s teachers have been trying to help her establish a nap schedule and she is getting better at sleeping swaddled in her school crib. We have started using a bassinet at home for sleep. Prior to this we were using the Rock n Play because that is the only place she would sleep unless we were holding her. While the Rock n Play is not ideal in terms of safe sleep practices, that’s what worked for us and helped us all get some rest.

Best Moments

In the last few weeks Skylar has become more alert and interactive. Her smile, laugh, and coos melt my heart every time. One of her favorite things is to lie on her back and kick her feet. She also loves the ceiling fan. Big brother is one of her favorite people. He can solicit the biggest smile from her! It’s so adorable. I can’t wait to see how their relationship will develop.

Challenges

One of the biggest challenges has been returning to work. It definitely hasn’t been easy leaving my baby girl. I miss her a lot during the day. By the last week of maternity leave, I felt like I was just getting used to being at home with her.

Now we are working to establish a new routine that will work well for our family. So far I don’t think any day has been the same. We sort of just roll with the punches each morning and do what we can each night to be mostly prepared for the next day.

Another challenge has been dealing with Skylar’s first cold. After the first week in daycare, she developed nasal congestion, which has now developed into a cough. Luckily the cold has not progressed to anything more serious. Hopefully she gets better soon.