Bea month by month

Four Years

I can’t believe my sweet little angel baby is four years old!

Four seems like a big threshold.  This year Bea will be entering preschool (a milestone she CAN’T wait for, thanks to Big Sis), and suddenly there will be another adult added to the influences in her life.

Four is the age where my girls seem to come into their own with knowing what they want for presents.  MG asked for (and received) a palace pets castle at four (something Bea plays with all the time now).  Bea is asking for very specific presents this year with a Minnie mouse airplane at the top of her list.  She has also chosen her cake, chocolate with a Minnie mouse plastic garnish.  Yes, this is the year of the mouse for my little girl, but seeing as how fast those tastes change once school comes along, I am happy to indulge for now.

Three has been fun.  Her expression has exploded this year.  On her third birthday, she was stringing just a few words together at a time and spent a long time thinking before she would speak.  Now, her words can’t quite catch up to her brain as she often repeats a filler word “so, so, so, so…” while she attempts to get her thoughts out.

She has relished her time spent in “Bea school” this year and has been an excellent student.  She has learned to cut expertly, glue well, trace and recognize letters, and her coloring skills have improved.  Every single day she asks if we can do Beaschool as soon as I put Sib down for a morning nap.  I’ve also enjoyed my solo time with her as baby girl has been quite the distraction as of late, getting into and making messes when she’s awake.  It’s been nice to have the one on one time with my middle.

Some of her quirks include: she does not like to get her hands sticky/messy.  She will beg to wash them as soon as they touch any kind of food matter that leaves a residue (salt, grease, sugar, you name it). She will go the distance to eat a Rice Krispie treat, or a slice of banana bread with a spoon.  At the YMCA last week, they were having the kids paint their hands to make handprints on a sign and she outright refused, preferring instead to color and even then was peeved about the marker leaking onto her fingers.

Speaking of the YMCA, the ladies had mentioned that she seemed like an old soul.  Like she has an unshakeable confidence about her.  She is very sure of what she wants/doesn’t want, and never wavers. I think this is a very accurate description of our Bea.  I think come high school, she will be a force to be reckoned with because she will possess two compatible, but lethal traits: beauty and confidence.

She still loves her animal babies, the creepy ones with the big eyes and pacifiers.  She spends untold amounts of time every day changing their outfits and seeing to their comfort.  (she has two because she lost her prized one: Baby Bear, earlier this year.  While he was missing we replaced him with Baby Squirrel, and much to our surprise, Baby Bear resurfaced) One thing I find interesting about her is that she latches onto a toy for a day, usually something small like a shopkins or a piece of jewelry, like a ring.  She will carry this around all day in her hand.  Although I was hesitant at first, she begged to take these possessions with her into child watch and Sunday School.  She will take care of and remain close fisted around this possession the entire time.  She definitely seems to have some peculiarities about organization and her things.

Other than Baby Bear, her favorite toys are playsets (Minnie mouse camper, shopkins, dog park), and her purple watch.  She also seems to enjoy carrying around paper.  A folded notecard and especially the paper that comes inside the new toys (usually the one with instructions or the plastic ones that shows pictures of the toy in play).  Once again, she will carry the chosen thing around in her tight fist all day and grows concerned if it becomes improperly unfolded.

Bea is my first child that enjoys going out and seeing the world.  She never minds being dropped off for Sunday school or MOPS, and every day asks “so where are we going today?” She is the foil to her older sister, the homebody.  Every time we run an errand, even if it is to Costco or the bank, she says, “that was fun”.  She’s an easy one to entertain and always has been.

As sad as it is for me to watch my girls grow up, each birthday brings the potential for lots of new milestones and most importantly memories.  And that is something I will always look forward to.

Happy four years, Bitty Bea!  We love you so much!


Happy Birthday, Bea

Today marks the second year of life complete for our Bea.  What a great two years it has been!



Bea was born early in the morning of May 18, 2013.    I held her with a second-time mother’s confidence and also a second-time mother’s love.  Loving her and all of the wonderful things that came with her, came easily.

Bea was an easy babe from the start.  Still to this day, it is rare for her to have an “off day”, be fussy, or to not have a toothy smile pushing up her chubby cheeks no matter what the day brings..

When she walks, she bounces, curls dancing behind her.  There are two things that strangers always comment on: her smile or her curls.  bDSC_0172 2 bDSC_0178_2

The only trial she’s given us is keeping her safe.  She is curious, a risk taker, and a mouther.  Each day that has brought us closer to the two year mark has helped me breathe little sighs of relief as she learns boundaries and we are able to communicate more effectively with each other.  Still, we have a much better ER track record with this one (0 times vs. 4 times for MG), and despite being a mouthy baby, she does stay relatively healthy.

Watching the sister relationship grow and form has always held intense interest for me.  MG has played a mothering role in Bea’s life upon meeting her and it has yet to cease.  Bea only half-heartedly accepts having another “mother” in her life.  I think it is only as of late that she enjoys MG’s company and companionship.  This is one of our most earnest prayers that their relationship will strengthen and flourish.

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One thing I have noticed lately is that whenever MG is not around, Bea is a bit lost.  She looks for her, asks about it, and doesn’t seem to know how to entertain herself when she realizes she is on her own.  Sharing a room, I think, has brought them physically, as well as emotionally closer.  They both find one another’s presence reassuring.  I do not regret that decision one bit.

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Bea is a great source of joy in our family.  She keeps me lighthearted when I am feeling off.  She shows her love with kisses and full-body hugs.  She is loud and boisterous and social, in a way I find totally intriguing.  I often catch her waving at strangers and they find her perma-smile nearly irresistible.

As I look ahead to year three, I anticipate many big changes coming down the lane….losing paci, potty-training, moving to a “big girl bed”, and joining us for the church service (rather than the nursery).  Year three is a hard year….but I do think our joyful little girl will do just fine.

Dearest Bea,

I’ll never forget the morning you joined our family.  I was waiting for you with big hopes.  I had spent many days hoping for you and many more hoping for your arrival.  I hoped you would be many things: a daughter, a sister, and a friend.  

In your two years of life, you have been a delight to our hearts.  You took all of my hopes, embodied them, and then completely surpassed them.   I can’t imagine there was ever an easier baby born.  Your sister has taken great joy in you and that has brought great joy to me.  You have brought something to our family that only a last-born child can bring…a sense of wholeness. 

Your personality is one that will be envied by many.  You are nearly unaffected by your surroundings, but are happy and content no matter the circumstances.  You are engaging and kind to strangers, welcoming to your friends and family.  I never worry about leaving you with others because I know you will just be yourself the entire time I’m away.  

Your personality, and the many people that love you, will help carry you through this big year full of changes. You are eager for some of the change, I can already tell.  Having a big Sis to look up to definitely gives you some hopes to aspire to.  But you get to do them your own “Bea way”.  That is the fun part about being the youngest.

I cannot imagine our family without you, though only two years ago, that’s where we were.  In my heart, I always knew there was something missing and you came along and filled that hole right up.  

I love you so very much,

sweet mama k

also, a video


Our Queen Bea is flying right through this toddler stage.

It is crazy to me all of the changes we’ve seen this month.  She is starting to come into her own and become a “real live person”.  I feel like my relationship with her has gone to a new level.  She will follow simple commands “bring me a book”, “throw that away”, she loves to sit in our laps and be read to,


she’s gotten over her separation anxiety, and she has developed some emotional maturity as well.


Last week, Sister was upset about something.  Bea walked over to her and timidly waved, “hi”.  Seeing that MG was still upset, she went and retrieved her beloved Stella doll and princess crown and handed them carefully to her. My eyes welled up with tears as we are starting to see this relationship form that we’ve been praying for almost 2 years.


I never knew how rich and full my life with feel with two little girls in it; pink, glittery, and princess poor….but this is the best kind of way I could ever think to spend my life.



Bea turned seventeen months over the weekend.


We hardly noticed this milestone but it did give me a brief moment’s pause on Sunday.  Seventeen months. More toddler than baby.  More sister than doll.

With each passing month, I am enjoying the little glimpses of human we are gaining from our Bea.  While still a few months from talking, she communicates very well….nodding “yes” or “no” to our questions (the answer to “do you want more?” is always yes), grunting her way through her desires and needs, and taking it upon herself to get where she wants to be when she wants to be (like on top of the kitchen table).

One thing I’ve come to learn about Bea is how much of an exuberant lover she is.  She doesn’t just hug us, she drapes her body weight against ours, pressing her cheek as deeply into our neck as possible, rocking her body to cover more surface area.  She doesn’t just give kisses, she gives cold, wet, open-mouth saliva kisses, so sticky you have to wipe them off. She is a lover, that Bea.


(all pics from Kimmy Howard Photography)

This month we’ve seen a small but important change in her play.  She can now sit and focus for little periods at a time.  It may cost us all of the books pulled off the shelf to sit and look at one, or all of our kitchen spoons placed in a bag to be taken out and put back in over and over, but those small periods of engagement are heavenly.

With each passing day, the girls play together a little more, communicate a little bit better, and find new ways to love each other (mostly through food).  There is a tight bond forming that we have prayed about for a long time.  I can only imagine what the future holds for these dear sisters.


Seventeen months in and we’re starting to hit a beautiful rhythm.  I no longer ache for Bea’s baby days but look forward to all that is to come with my wild, adventurous one.


Sixteen Months

If anyone has any ideas on how to get a sixteen month old to sit still and look happy?  bemused? pleasant? for a picture, I’m all ears.



At sixteen months, Bea is down to one solid nap…and as much as I held on to her morning nap, this change has been wonderful.  She’s adjusted her mornings to sleep in till about 8 and then will take a 3-4 hour afternoon snooze.  I remember there was a golden window of napping with MG similar to this so I am soaking it in while it lasts.

Drooling, rashing, and chewing are at an all time high.  I think I’ve been able to spot molars and eyeteeth, but she doesn’t let me get too close.  Biting (sister) has also become a small problem.


Bea is adding a few words and actions to her communication skills.  She definitely knows how to get her ideas across to us and can be quite LOUD when she wants something.  But of course we all melt when she gives us our requested kisses.


Climbing is my new worst enemy.  The dining room table, the top of the playground, the window ledge; there is nary a place she is afraid to go.  Thankfully MG keeps vigil over her if I have to leave the room for a minute and lets me know if she is someplace she shouldn’t be.  I don’t think the girl is afraid of anything save for swings and being “tossed” in the air.


Separation anxiety started up this month and just getting close to the nursery doors sets her off.  Thankfully I’ve been able to leave her with sitters and grandmas as long as she doesn’t physically see me leave.  This is one area that has been a lot easier with the second.  Having MG around even when we’re gone helps normalize things for her.

A few nights ago I watched some old videos of MG around this age and just a little bit older.  I can’t believe the shift that happens between ages 1 and 2.  We are starting to see glimpses of that now and even so it is hard to imagine her talking clearly to us! We are mere months away from that.

Finally, here is a short video of some of her cute antics and the girls’ new favorite game:




Fifteen Months

This little Baby Love is fifteen months, as of yesterday.


N and I remark all the time how “human” she is becoming.  She and MG actually play and laugh together.  She has verbal cues for “food” and “more” (often combined) and when she sees something she’s not supposed to do (like touch the hot stove), she shakes her head “no” as if to preempt us (that doesn’t always stop her from doing it though!)


No major milestones this month.  Just working more on communicating and moving.  She taught herself how to go down the stairs and I think, I THINK we may be at the end of our time with the dreaded baby gate.


For the first time ever, EVER, I am warming to the idea of two children. As in two children, period.  Holding a baby makes me want to make and hold babies forever.  Chasing a walking, non-talking toddler is a 24-7 job and makes me want to see her through to independence.  For the longest time I didn’t understand it, but now I can totally see why people stop at 2.  A year from now I will have two little ones who will play together, who I can turn them loose in the backyard and let them run while I sit idly by, who will think and nap and eat independently. In just one year.  I mean, the light is at the end of the tunnel.  Why revert now?


But then I think about how much I love babies and how making and holding babies has been one of the most magical and ethereal (yes both) parts of my life.  And it is done.  Poof.  Vanished.  To think it has felt as fast as the snap of the fingers and that is it.

How can that be it?  Clearly I am still waffling :).

But to end on a more grounded note: Ladies and gentlemen, she can now feed herself!  As long as we keep the servings full and preside with a careful eye, we can now set a plate of food in front of Bea and watch her enjoy.  It is SO FREEING. I am actually tasting my dinner again.

Like I said, LIGHT.



Fourteen Months

Well this post is terribly late, but in all honesty, I just wanted to write down some of the things Bea has been doing lately.

Her personality is really starting to become apparent and she is starting to become “one of us” now, able to communicate her wishes and desires to us.

She only has a handful of words “dog”, “horse (which sounds like dog)”, “mama”, and “dada”.  She also has words for “more”, and “water”.  But the way she expresses her thoughts often get us rolling with laughter.

If we offer her food she doesn’t want, she will squint her eyes, bare her teeth, and turn her head from side-to-side, snorting.  If we catch her doing something she shouldn’t, she will run away, giggling (trying to discipline this girl is HARD, she thinks everything is a game).  If she is hungry she will squeal, loudly, and for a long time.  It is so loud it is impossible to talk over her.

Her newest trick is to gesture towards me and grunt until she gets my attention.  She will then walk in the direction of her pointer finger, looking over her shoulder to make sure I’m following her.  More often than not, this leads to the pantry where she will point both index fingers fiercely towards it and wildly jabber until we offer her some food.

At night, the girls have been sharing a room.  I don’t have to monitor what’s going on in there because Bea will often inform me, with a short burst of squawks, if MG is doing something she shouldn’t, like leaving the room.

MG still mother hens her and I find it adorable so I do little to stop it, other than the occasional reminder to “give her some space”.  It never fails if we are all going upstairs together, MG will run to the top and say, “I’m going to be so proud of Bea when she makes it up here” (a throwback to earlier crawling days).  She will wait with outstretched arms at the top to pull Bea in while Bea does everything to avoid the body mass blocking her way at the top.

I truly wish I could change it so MG’s outpouring of affection wasn’t rejected so much by her younger sis, but I pray that will come with time, and so far it hasn’t seemed to deter her.

Here are both girls at fourteen months


Bea’s abundance of hair and facial expressions, I think, give her an older appearance.  Although the girls are very similar in weight, Bea has always been a few ounces ahead of MG in the comparisons.  She gets far fewer comments about how little she is and how young she looks.


P.S. thank you all for your prayers and concern for our sickness last week.  I had a minor relapse on Monday and MG has a tummy ache vomiting again today (after 5 clear days of health!!!).  We are still awaiting test results to see if we can nail down anything.

13 months

I didn’t intend to carry on the month-to-month updates, but Bea just started doing the cutest thing.  She is now saying, “hi” complete with a twisted-arm wave whenever she see us (or is excited about something…horses! “hi!”, food “Hi!”, fan “HI!”)

(sorry for the poor video quality, it has been compressed a few times and is from instagram)



Her balance is excellent and her walking seems to be looking more and more “human” every day.


She has almost weaned herself and has really made up for it by wanting to eat all of the time.  One child we have to bribe to eat, this one we can’t keep her full!

Bea is still taking two naps a day but mostly because she wakes up around 7am (hungry!).  She is also doing better by responding to our requests and demands but still can be sneaky if she wants :).


I forgot how exhausting this stage is…all they want to do is walk/run everywhere, get into everything, sit for only 10-15 minutes to eat and then they want down.  It’s going to be interesting to see how she handles being a lap baby on the plane in a few weeks…Thankfully she still takes to the stroller as she doesn’t like to be carried, be in the Beco anymore, or walk while holding hands (working on that one).

Bea, it comes as no surprise that your second real word is “hi”.  You seem to be our blossoming extrovert, always making the old ladies at the grocery store’s day with your mouthy smile. Being bold and confident isn’t something I pretend to understand but something I will fiercely protect and nurture in you.

You are also all-consuming.  You want to see/do/touch/TASTE everything.  Starting with the safety of our house, and then gradually our yard, and finally everything beyond; there are many things I can’t wait to explore with you and watch you learn.  You will take me on many adventures, this I am sure.


“You keep me wild, I’ll keep you safe.”

-Mama K

Bea birthday recap

Though more low key than some of our past birthday celebrations, it turned out to be a very sweet day.  N and I set an alarm for 3:28am (her official birth time) and woke up to pray and bless our baby.  It’s a tradition we started with MG and thankfully (?) both girls were born in the middle of the night which pretty much guarantees we’ll always be together on that time.

In the morning, MG quickly spied the wrapped presents and began asking when she could help Bea open them.  We obliged and let them open MG’s gift to Bea, a clone of her beloved Stella doll who now goes by Vella.  Bea has just recently started showing an interest in dolls, but I doubt she will ever match the passion of her sister (who was lovingly cradling her babies at 10 months). Nevertheless, I am glad they each have their own now and MG loves to welcome any new babies to the family.  It has also become somewhat of a tradition for these two to give Stella & co. for events.  Bea gave MG a “big sister” one for her third birthday and also Stella’s diaper bag and pacis one year ago at the hospital.

After,we went to church and she received lots of compliments from the nursery workers who were impressed by her many Frankenstein-ish steps.  Big Sis made sure to let them all know it was her birthday.

We really lucked out that night when we saw a sign advertising a Family Fun Night at a local church in town.  They had outdoor games, a play ground, bubbles, and best of all, free food.  It was the birthday party I didn’t have to plan, pay for, or clean up afterwards!  MG thoroughly enjoyed herself and we all took advantage of the food offerings, coming back to the house only for cake and presents.

I was happy that amongst her many exciting presents  she received a pink cellphone so she can stop drool-ruining mine!

Here is a little vid recap:

LB first birthday wrap from Kate on Vimeo.

We hope to have a big birthday gathering/house warming party in June but I loved having such a sweet, special day with my big one year old!



Bea is 1!

Yesterday Bea turned 1!  It was such a special day that I hope to share more about later this week.  I truly can’t believe how fast this year has flown and where we found ourselves exactly one year after her birth.


She has come so very far in a year.  She went from the happiest, easiest baby to a very busy, little Bea in such a short time.  She is walking about 75% of the time, babbling and saying a few words, growing in lots of hair and teeth and eating pretty much everything we do.  Her favorite “toy” is still my phone which she is slowly but surely, destroying….She loves to chew on the case and charge flap…so much so Lifeproof is sending me a brand new, free case and the sound no longer works on my phone unless you go through a few annoying steps to fix that….Oh well, no hard feelings!


Here is a look back at her first year of life!

Bea is 1 from Kate on Vimeo.

Dearest Bea,

“From the moment I saw you, I knew an adventure was going to happen,”

How fitting this quote is for your first year of life. You entered our world in a flurry of excitement and we’ve been riding that high ever since. So much of our lives has been through an upheaval this year, starting with your arrival. It has been one, fantastic adventure that all began with you. (now we are ready for things to settle down a bit :))

You are so precious to me, dear daughter. I’ve thanked God, not enough, but many times for giving me such an easy, happy baby. From day one you ate and slept well and were so pleasant when awake. You breezed through milestones, always just a bit ahead of the crowd and stayed so very healthy! (only one minor puking incident, which just so happens to be my least favorite sickness ever :().

You have been such a delight to our family. Your sister has been thrilled about your presence and has practically smothered you in hugs and kisses (literally, as in we constantly have to remind her to give you space). Your grandparents are over the moon for you and give you the attention you seek. Even strangers are constantly commenting on your easy smile and bubbly demeanor.

Your dad and I prayed for you for a long time. You didn’t come in our time table but from your due date arrival to your quick entrance, your timing was perfect. We feel so very blessed that God kept us waiting for you and had you in mind while He kept us waiting.

There is something special in a mother reserved for each of her children. I’d like to think that you, as the second, have received a much better version of me. A more confident, easy-going, prepared version, if you will. We have a special little bond, you and I, and I pray that it will only grow more intense with the years that may come.

I love you fiercely, little one. I am so proud to call you one of my mine,


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