Tuesday, March 17, 2015

He's Here!

I really wanted to make sure I wrote about Gavin's birth story before I forgot. Which is bound to happen sooner than later these days. My brain just isn't what it used to be.

I guess maybe I'll start from a couple weeks prior to the big day. We'd all gone as a family to my 34 week ultrasound. I was hoping to get a good look at baby's face as we hadn't really gotten one yet. While we didn't get to see his face very well, the ultrasound did show my cervix was shortened... enough so that they had us come back a couple hours later to see my doctor. I was shocked when he immediately put me on bed rest. Here I was with 6 weeks left and I was supposed to stay in bed more or less for the remaining duration of my pregnancy. I wasn't ready for it.

My next steps involved calling my boss to give him a heads up. This was Friday afternoon and I promised I'd be in for a couple hours on Monday to meet with him to transfer all my projects. After the longest weekend in history, that's what I did. I'd planned this official send off and a last lunch with all my work friends and what it turned out to be was a couple minutes of "I'm leaving and this is my last day. See ya later." Not quite what I would have liked, but it was better than the alternative of a baby that was 6 weeks early.

So there I was each night with my mom and sister Annie coming over to help with Sylvie and make dinners while I sheepishly lounged on the couch. There's nothing more humbling that being forced to accept help, especially when you feel just fine. They were truly lifesavers during that time. I will be forever grateful for the extra hours they put in for the benefit of me and my family.

Seth's parents were in town on Valentine's Day weekend and stayed over at our house. Seth and his dad planned to go out fishing on Valentine's Day and left with all their gear in the late morning to hit up the local river. I'd been having steady contractions all night and into the morning, but nothing regular or increasing in intensity. Just after they left I noticed I was bleeding a bit. I called the on-call midwife who told me to go get checked out at the doctor. So, I called Seth and had him come home. Poor guys didn't even get a chance to get their lines wet.

We went in to Labor and Delivery where they checked me out. I hadn't dilated at all and of course my contractions had all but stopped. They gave me some antibiotics in case the bleeding was a UTI and sent me home.

Fast forward to early morning on February 16th. I'd had steady contractions since about midnight... getting closer and closer together and strong enough that I couldn't sleep. About 4 o'clock in the morning I called my dad and told him it was time. My mom was out of town in Arizona visiting my sister so he got passed the torch of coming up to take care of Sylvie. Of course this was still 4 weeks away from my due date so none of us thought baby would come while Mom was gone. Little did we know. Dad got to the house an hour or so later to take care of Sylvie and Seth and I headed to the hospital.

We got to the hospital just before 6am and got all checked in. I was happy to hear that I was dilated to 4 cm. Things steadily progressed from there. I wasn't sure yet if I was in for another c-section or if I'd be able to do a VBAC. Both options freaked me out so I just decided to go with whatever happened. I got an epidural and was happy to find that I wasn't completely numb as I'd been with Sylvie.

A couple hours went by and I was progressing steadily. I got to about an 8 or 9cm when I tapered off so they decided to push me over the edge with a little Pitocin. Everything was going smoothly so I'd guess around 12:30 pm or so they let me start pushing. I think by this time the epidural was wearing off again so there wasn't much in the way of relief.

Let me tell you, a vaginal delivery is not for the shy or weak of heart. It takes hard work, 2 people holding your legs, a room full of people staring at your junk, and a lot of pushing to get that baby out. They told me to push during each contraction which wouldn't have been so bad if they'd been farther apart. After each bout of pushing everyone would tell me how good I was doing and how the baby was almost there and I just kept thinking what a bunch of liars they all were. And then after about 10 seconds break I'd have to do it all over again. You get to a point half way through where you're so exhausted and just want to quit but you know you can't and you have to keep going even though there's no resting and to you it feels like nothing is changing.

Finally that baby did come out. It was the most relieved I've ever felt. I'd only had to push a few times but it felt like forever. I was super exhausted and cold and shivering and just wanted to be done. But then comes the delivery of the placenta and lucky me... stitching up a 3rd degree tear. Which all still hurt like hell. After all was said and done I was too weak and tired to hold my new baby... and that was okay with me. They weighed him and cleaned him up and ran all the tests and brought him back to me. It was finally over and I had a new healthy baby. Gavin James Hanson, 7 lbs. 3 oz., 20 inches long born at 1:01pm on President's Day 2015. Hardest, most rewarding day of my life. It was amazing how different his birth was compared to Sylvie's. But two completely different experiences led to two beautiful, healthy babies and that is all I've ever wanted.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Letters to Sylvie: December 2014

Dear Sylvie,

These last couple of months have been quite the wild ride. You've grown up so much it's almost hard to believe. I thought this time I'd just tell you about a few of the things you say and do that make me laugh and on the flip side, make me want to tear my hair out.

You are getting to be quite a chatterbox. You are progressively speaking more in sentences than in one or two word phrases. You have to know where everybody is at all times and what they're doing, especially when you first wake up. Usually the first words out of your mouth are:

"Where Mama/Daddy go?"  or "Mama/Daddy go work in black car?"

Wearing Daddy's head and wrist bands for his Halloween costume. It looked like you were ready to kick some butt at dodge ball!
You also constantly ask what we're doing and want to participate. I'm sure this is why you're so interested in tying flies as Daddy is always sitting at his fly tying bench. He set you up with your own little vice and giant hook to tie on and you're actually getting really good. You love to sit there and tie your own fly and dictate what you're doing – "wrap it, wrap it..." It's the cutest thing ever.

You have several things that you really love. One of them is your "Big Bear". He goes with you EVERYWHERE. He's constantly tucked under your arm, occasionally wearing one of your shirts, and is frequently squeezed with such vehemence as to emit a grunt out of you. You love him so much.
We finally turned your car seat to face forward and you LOVE it!
A rare day on which you let me do your hair.

I cannot believe how much you pick up on. We have to be careful not to give you too much leeway with things or you will exploit the hell out of whatever we do. For instance, if you happen upon something that has bought you more time before taking a nap, you'll invoke it each time before we put you to bed. You will always say you're hungry or want a "pouch" (fruit pouch you get for snacks). There are some times where I think you might be legitimately hungry and the mother in me just can't bear to put you to bed without a snack, just in case. Other times I know you're so full you're about ready to pop and I call your bluff. One time Daddy put you to bed and you played around for a quite a while so he figured you weren't quite tired enough yet. So, he took you downstairs to watch football (you call it "fatball") for a while. So, now you frequently ask if you can "Watch fatball with Daddy?" when he puts you down for a nap. Very clever. You already know so many of our weak spots.

You LOVE to paint!
While you are generally very well behaved, you have begun the tantrum stage. Usually the tantrums come and go. You'll be an angel for a week or two and then have a few days in a row where I could swear your soul has been replaced with one of the Devil's imps. You'll be just fine one minute and then BAM something (sometimes we have no idea what) will set you off into a blind fury of screaming and crying and general irrationality. No amount of calm reasoning or threats will dissuade you in the slightest and I think "WHERE HAS MY SWEET LITTLE GIRL GONE?"

For instance, one day you wanted some grapes I was cutting up. So I thought I'd be nice and cut up a few and put them in a bowl for you. BUT NO. This would not do. You had to have TWO grapes in your hand right that moment and would not calm down until I removed them from the bowl and handed them to you. Of course 2 minutes later you came back looking for more grapes and I handed you the bowl full of grapes you'd previously shunned without incident. There is no knowing what is happening in that little mind of yours.

You wanted me to take your picture with Big Bear in your hood and asked me when you saw it why I was in the picture. Turns out you're 15, not 2 1/2 like I thought.
You are all about playing outside. It's the first thing you want to do every morning when you get up. This is getting a little harder to do as it gets cold and dark outside, but you still enjoy it just as much as you did during the warmer months. We got you a pair of rain boots and a full-body slicker for our trip to Oregon in a month and you especially love your boots. You want to wear them ALL THE TIME.

One of your common phrases is, "Oh yeah, I do!" This doesn't always make complete sense as you will use it for questions such as "Did you eat all your breakfast today?" or "Did Daddy take you to the park?" Daddy and I have taken to using this phrase as well. It'll be a wonder if you are ever able to determine correct speech patterns.

A rare occasion on which you let me try something new with your hair. 
Just a short incident that happened one weekend – Daddy and I were sitting in your room with you and you were scuttling about playing with toys or whatnot. At one point you decided to leave the room for some purpose and as you opened the door to leave you said, "Don't worry, I'll be right back." Daddy and I just looked at each other and laughed in wonder at your grown-up sounding sentence. You really do listen to everything we say.
You LOVE to go get donuts and watch them being made.
 This year you are really loving the Christmas season. You LOVE Christmas lights and point them out wherever we go. We put our Christmas tree up just before Thanksgiving and it is your favorite thing. You call it your "Trismas Tree" and ask every morning if Christmas is still here. We also got a little nativity set for you to play with which you took to immediately. Not too long after it was out of the package, you sent "Baby Zeesus" on a bus ride to the park with the Angel. I have a feeling you are going to be very upset when we have to put Christmas away in another month.

Helping Daddy put the star on the Christmas tree.

Baby Jesus on a bus to the park.
As far as physical milestones go, you are very good at opening and closing doors. You also frequently lock doors, but have figured out with a small amount of coaching how to open them. You love to jump off of things and practice running as fast as you can. You are getting really good at going up and down stairs standing up, though we still try to hold your hand as you aren't super reliable yet. You're very good at drinking out of a regular cup and eating with a fork or spoon. Half of the time I forget to put a bib on you because you're such a clean eater. We have not tried potty training again yet, but I think we're going to try again after Christmas to see if you're ready. You love to flush the potty and you're getting much better at pulling down your pants/removing your clothing.

Here are just a few of your random likes/dislikes:


Movies (esp. Annie, Despicable Me ("Me"), Finding Nemo, and Toy Story)
Sugary Cereal (esp. Trix ("Balls" and Fruit Loops)
Candy (esp. suckers)
Rain Boots
Your pink phone (Mommy's old smartphone that you play songs on)
Wearing multiple shirts
Scrambled Eggs (usually)
Licking the beaters
Helping mama cook/bake
Tying flies
Coloring & Painting
Pizza crust (you eat that end first when we get pizza)
Opening & Closing Doors
Jumping/playing on beds
Green yogurt (lime flavor)
Soda & Juice
Taking your vitamin ("man")
Eating your pizza crust-first.

Meat (you'll rarely eat it)
Potatoes (unless they're fries)
Getting your teeth or hair brushed
Putting on pants
Getting your diaper changed
Trying new foods

Turns out it was hard for me to think of things you don't like. You're generally so easy going and love to play and explore new things. It's a rare occasion you're sad or grumpy for any length of time. You're so fun and full of life and your Daddy and I just love watching you grow and experience things. We enjoy you more and more each day and are so happy to have you in our lives. You're our little ray of sunshine.

I love you Huggie Buggie!

Love, Mama

Friday, November 21, 2014

It's a Boy!

Ok so I'm a little late posting this but thought I should do another pregnancy update. A couple weeks ago we went in for the "big" ultrasound to find out what baby #2 would be. I swear the wait up to that point felt like it'd been like 5 years. I was so excited to find out.

Seth & I took Sylvie with us to the ultrasound appointment that morning and eagerly watched and waited as the tech pointed out and measured all the important parts. We were both waiting for the big lead up to the reveal and were caught off guard as she casually mentioned "looks like you've got a boy." Wait, WHAT? Did we just hear what we thought we heard? It took us a second to realize what was going on. This giant piece of information was just thrown out as if it was another statistic like a leg measurement. THIS WAS HUGE!

Needless to say, Seth and I were both ecstatic. I teared up and tried to hold myself together as I processed this life-changing piece of information. Seth and I would have two kids: a girl and a boy. Our little family was complete and this is what it looked like.

We were both divided on what we were hoping for. I thought it'd be fun for Sylvie to have a little sister. And it'd be nice to be able to have another baby that got to wear all of the adorable clothes she'd outgrown. Plus I'm a pro at girls. Most of my real experience with kids has been with Sylvie and my own two sisters growing up. I don't know much about little boys except that they can squirt you in the eye if you're not careful. But, I thought having a boy would be a cool new adventure and the possibility of having a mini-Seth look-a-like pattering around the house was also very appealing. I knew I'd be happy with whatever came our way.

But here it was. We were having a boy. The option that carries more uncertainty and less knowledge and familiarity. And I couldn't be happier. Turns out my hunch was right. I thought there was a possibility the initial lack of morning sickness in those first couple of weeks and the lack of any kind of food aversions indicated something very different this time around.

These days I'm feeling great. My bump seems to be growing at an incredible rate. I've been asked several times if I'm having twins. Carrying Sylvie around is getting harder and harder to do as we both get bigger, which is hard for both of us. We're learning to be content with snuggling on a chair. I figure it'll help transition us to our new scenario which will involve me holding a baby instead of my little toddler.

At this point we're just trying to make it through the winter months. Baby Boy doesn't have a name yet and it's proving to be the most difficult part of this whole process. It's a good thing we have some time to argue about it think it over. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Letters to Sylvie: September 2014

Dear Sylvie,

Things have been a little crazy around here lately and I haven't been quite as diligent in writing about you and your milestones. That's not to say there is a lack of things to talk about, however.

Hanging out with Daddy
I honestly can't believe how much you have progressed in the last couple of months, especially with your language skills. You're like a little sponge – constantly listening to everything around you and repeating what you hear. I can actually understand a lot of what you say, as basic as your language is. You're beginning to put together multi-word sentences and can tell me little events that happened during the day, or details about something you see. You know all your colors and love to point to things at random and tell me what color they are. Grandma & Grandpa Hanson came to visit recently and even a couple of weeks after they'd been here, you kept talking about "Grandma & Grandpa's red car." You love to look out the window and name the colors of all the cars on the street.

Helping Mommy make cookies. You love to help in the kitchen!

You are very good at your letters. You don't repeat the alphabet, but you can identify about 80% of the letters. You love to point out the letters on signs and tell me what they are. You're also starting to get a handle on counting and numbers. Usually when I ask you how old you are you'll say "2!" and hold up your fingers to show me (even though you have a hard time with that part and it usually looks like a 3). You know what "one" and "two" are and can count to two. The other day while we were sitting at the dinner table you tooted twice and correctly said, "TWO TOOTS!" My favorite thing lately is instead of saying "one, two, three" before you do something you say "two, nine, ten!" I have to make a concerted effort not to encourage the adorable, but incorrect counting.

Out getting donuts on a Saturday morning.

Your new "hat"

You have recently started saying "OK" instead of "yes." These terms are not always interchangeable. For instance, you will say something like "Play outside?" and I'll repeat "You want to play outside?" just to make sure I've heard you correctly. Then you'll enthusiastically say "Oh OK!" as if I just presented you with this great idea that you are now agreeing to.

Having a blast playing in the Ogden River

While you have always being outdoors, over the last few months you have become quite the little adventurer. Your daddy will frequently take you out in the morning to various places like Antelope Island, walking along different places on the Weber River, or to the park to feed ducks. Recently we went for a hike up by Snowbasin. You hiked the whole way up, picking up small rocks and "jumping" off the bigger ones, and refused to be carried at all. You were also very interested in seeing deer. You chattered the whole time asking "Where did the deer go?" and looking all around. At one point you claimed you saw one.

Hiking up to Green Pond at Snowbasin

You have a handful of favorite things right now. Daniel Tiger is out and Disney movies are in. More specifically "Nemo" and "Miyama"(Llama) aka "The Emperors New Groove." While you watch your movies you like to have "Tohwn" (popcorn) or chips. Even better is when I let you watch movies with me in my bed (on the Kindle). Sometimes I'll get you a little bowl of grapes instead of popcorn or chips. Maybe I should even switch to broccoli. You will tune out and watch your show and mindlessly eat everything in your bowl.

You and your cute cousin Liam at the fair.

Milking the cow with Soren & Liam
Speaking of favorite foods, you have a handful of items that you would eat at any time. Your most recent find is Trix cereal which you call "balls." You will now eat cereal with milk (woohoo!) and it's the cutest to hear you ask for your "balls with moot." You also love corn and tomatoes. You will easily eat a whole ear of corn by yourself. And you love to eat the little yellow grape tomatoes from the garden. You also like the larger red tomatoes in the garden as well, especially when you get to pick them. The other day you picked a nice red one and immediately started eating it like an apple. It was the cutest thing ever to see you tottering around the yard munching on your tomato. Did I mention you call tomatoes "toes"? Adorable. Oh and how could I forget about fries and juice? It's kind of a tradition to go out once a week and get McDonald's. Once when I took you there after we went to the park we got an ice cream cone too. So now whenever we're driving around running errands you think it's fries, juice, and ice cream time. Sometimes you're right!

Chomping on corn at the Idaho Fair

Eating your favorite... tomatoes!
Your biggest accomplishment as of late is your mastery of the swing set. You will finally go down the slide all by yourself. You go down the slide and climb up the slide. You always look so proud of yourself. Heck you'll even go down some of the slides at the park by yourself! And all of a sudden you love to swing. You used to hate it and wouldn't last more than 30 seconds, if you'd even get on it at all. Now you'll swing for an hour if we let you, especially if you're playing "swing ball" with Daddy. This is where you hold a ball and then throw it in a way that Daddy can't catch it. I am not good at swing ball. Daddy claims he can catch just about everything you throw. You think it's so funny and will giggle and laugh like it's the funniest thing you've ever seen.

Showing off your slide skills.

Daddy or I will occasionally tell you about the baby in my belly, just to prep you a little and keep you in the loop. One time Daddy asked you if it was going to be a brother or sister and you told him it was a brother. So I asked you on a separate occasion if there was a boy or a girl in there and you said it was a boy. We'll see in a few weeks whether you're right! I think you're going to be a great big sister.

Sylvie your Daddy and I love you so much. You are just the sweetest little girl. You're always so fun to be around and your laughs and crazy antics make me want to constantly smother you in hugs and kisses. I couldn't have asked for a better daughter.

I love you Sylvie Sue!

Love, Mama

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Week 10: Kumquat

Thought I'd give a more recent update of the baby happenings around here since there's been a bit more to tell.

First of all, I broke the big news of my pregnancy to family and work this week. Though, I'm not sure it was really necessary as everyone already kind of knew from my appearance. I had an older dude at work ask me last week if I had the "Egyptian flu" (going to be a mummy... har har har). Looks like I'm showing a bit earlier this time around! No big deal, it just means I get to wear my comfy maternity pants sooner! Ha!

I also had my first doctor's appointment and ultrasound. Unfortunately they were not on the same day and I wasn't sure what would take place with the doctor, so I had Seth & Sylvie come along. I didn't want Seth to miss out on hearing a heart beat. But, turns out Sylvie is all too experienced in the ways of the doctor and was scared and crying most of the time. We tried to give her snacks and assure her that it was Mommy's turn this time, but she wasn't having any of it. Luckily nothing much happened and Seth was able to take her outside mid-way through without missing anything but a blood draw.

The good news is, when we came back a couple of days later for the first ultrasound, Sylvie had been prepped a little. I told her we were going to watch the baby in Mommy's tummy on a tv and showed her what the technician lady would do to me. It also helped that as soon as we got in the room I climbed up on the evil paper covered table. This was a sure sign that this in fact was Mommy's turn. We got to see a great image and 3D video of the baby with arms and legs kicking and moving. Pretty dang cool. It was quite a bit different than when we saw Sylvie at 8 weeks. She was mostly a little bean-shaped lump. We didn't get to hear the heart beat this time because they've upgraded the equipment and they don't like to do the heart beat this early on anymore because it's too strong. But hopefully when I go back in a few more weeks we'll get to hear it.

As far as my pregnancy symptoms go, things haven't been too bad. The nausea did rear its ugly head at about the 6 week mark. Nothing too serious and I think it's a little better than it was with Sylvie. So long as I keep food in my stomach I feel ok. I always feel the most sick at night, especially while brushing my teeth or after I take a prenatal vitamin. Somehow those two things have made me lose my lunch a couple times. I do feel more tired this time around and haven't had much motivation to do anything. But luckily the nausea and tiredness seem to be subsiding. I'm hoping they'll completely disappear at 12 weeks like they did last time.

At this point we're just super excited and crossing our fingers everything continues to progress normally. I'm doing my best to keep baby supplied with cheeseburgers so I feel like I'm doing everything I can! :D

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Here Comes Another One!

Written July 15, 2014

At the end of 2013 Seth came to me and said he thought we should start trying for a second kid. Now I don't know why this always takes me by surprise. It's something I'm constantly analyzing... are we ready? can I handle a second kid yet? what about money? what about sleep? In my mind we hadn't quite made it yet and I wasn't really sure how things would work out, so I was in "waiting" mode. So I was a little freaked out by Seth's proposition. But over the next couple days we talked things through and came up with a pretty solid plan. Then I decided that come Christmas, we'd give it a go.

I was hoping the second time around would come easier, but it seemed to be a long, drawn out process like it was the first time. It took us 9 months to get a pregnancy to "stick" the first time around. I was pretty diligent with the ovulation times and such on the 2nd go, but that little stick would just not give me the sign I wanted. So, I went searching for ways to improve my odds. I was pretty consistent at taking my pre-natals and omega-3 & omega-6s, but they didn't seem to be helping much. It wasn't until 6 months later when I cut out caffeine completely that we got the big fat positive. 

It took me by surprise really. In the past when I tested positive I'd felt lots of symptoms before I got the confirmation on the test. This time, we'd been on vacation with Seth's family and I'd expected Aunt Flow to come and ruin the trip (like she so often does). She still hadn't come by the time we got home that Sunday evening so I decided to just pee on a stick for fun. I set it down in the bathroom and forgot about it for a few minutes. When I finally remembered I went in and picked it up and lo and behold, there were 2 lines instead of the one I was used to seeing. Wha? I dug the instructions out of the garbage just to make sure I was reading it right. Yep sure enough. This was positive. I ran into the bedroom and showed it to Seth. He just looked sort of stunned and caught off guard. We exchanged our hopes that this would stick and went on with our evening. The next day I took one of my fancy electronic tests. PREGNANT. Wow. I tried not to get my hopes up. It took a few positives the first time around before one stuck. I hoped I wouldn't have to go through that again. 

But, it has been over a week now and little sesame seed is still in there. I haven't had a lick of symptoms. No nausea. No food aversions. The last day or two my bewbs have been very faintly sore, but nothing I'd notice normally. Ok fine, I'm a little more gassy and bloated but that's it. I wouldn't complain if this pregnancy decided to go easy on me. Now for the planning to begin...

Friday, July 11, 2014

Letters to Sylvie: 2 Years!

Dear Sylvie,

Well, you made it! You are officially 2 years old! I think you've known there was a big milestone coming up because you have been learning and doing so many new things.

Climbing on the rocks at the park. You love to go there to feed the ducks.
You are becoming quite the little chatterbox. I can't believe how many words you can say now compared to a couple of months ago. You'll generally try to say just about any word, though you still look at me like I'm crazy when I try to get you to say large words like "hippopotamus." You finally refer to me as "Mama." When you get excited you point to all the things and say "Mama Dada Mama Dada Mama Mama Mama!!" Your newest words are grandpa & grandma, though they both sound like "Papa." Every old man we see is now Papa. You can also say duck, peas, pool, home, meow (for cat), again, sauce, ball, all done, shoes, tall, popcorn, Nemo, down, blue, car, ah oh, mess, poop, yes, yeah, & no. I'm sure there are more. There are a lot of things you can identify but can't say the word for. You know all your animals, colors, and body parts. You also make up signs for different things, the most common being "thirsty" and "hungry". You'll point to your tongue for thirsty and pat your chest when you're hungry. You now use these signals when it's time for bed to try and stall the inevitable. Sometimes it actually works!

Wearing two of your favorite things – your shades and your robe.

You have a great sense of humor. I don't know how you can identify jokes at this young age but you do. One day I was naming off a list of things trying to figure out what you wanted to eat. You were answering 'no' to all my suggestions so I asked you if you wanted a "kick in the bum." You immediately smiled with delight at such a prospect. I now routinely ask you if you want a kick in the bum just to get a smile out of you. You also show embarrassment at your father's crazy antics. He'll sing a song using a weird voice and you'll look at him and shake your head and say "Daadaa". I'm going to give you a hint here and tell you that giving Daddy a reaction to his antics will only encourage him.

Farmer Sylvie out harvesting your peas. It's the first thing you ask for when you get up.

Although we haven't started the potty training process yet, you are slowly becoming more interested in the idea. You'll sit on your potty while Mom or Daddy is in the bathroom and once I caught you just in time and got you to poop in the potty! More of a fluke than anything but it's a start! You really hate getting your diaper changed so I think you'll be much happier when you can wear your big girl panties.

You've taken to removing your pants while you're sitting on the potty and putting them on your head as a nice hat.
You're getting much better with your physical coordination. You can climb up the ladder on your little slide, screw lids on & off, drink out of a regular cup, climb up into your high chair, and you can walk pretty long distances. You are also getting much better at doing puzzles. You got a new farm animal puzzle for your birthday and I left you to put it together one day on your own. It took you about 10 minutes to finish but you ran into the kitchen to tell me you were done so I could come see your work. You were very proud of yourself. Since then you have gotten much faster and have a couple other puzzles you can do as well.

This year we had your birthday a little early so we could have more family members there. You had a Daniel Tiger theme because you LOVE Daniel Tiger. You watch it every day. Grandpa Fred & Grandma Denise and the Westons came for the party. We had pizza and Daniel Tiger cupcakes. You didn't quite get the blowing out the candle thing, but you did eat some of your cake this year! You really seemed to like your party this year and had a lot of fun. Actually you kind of had 2 parties. Your cousin Luke is just a week older than you so we had a double party during our Hanson family reunion down in Cedar City. You got to hit a pinata and play with all your cousins. Luke was very nice to share his party with you.

Eating your Daniel Tiger birthday cupcake. You wouldn't touch it with your hands.

Looking at the cute play food your Auntie Annie made you for your birthday.

Testing out your new pink bike.

Your Daniel Tiger party decorations.

Whacking the pinata at your cousin Luke's birthday party.
In general, you continue to be very obedient and helpful. You can put away all the clean silverware from the dishwasher into their correct places in the drawer and you will always help put away your books and toys where they go. Your little basket full of board books is usually pretty immaculate with all the spines facing out. You are also really good at putting your laundry away. You know right where your shirts and socks go and love to help Mommy by putting them in their place. I definitely think you got your Dad's cleanliness genes. The other day I was making something in the kitchen and you got very quiet playing in the living room. I called to you and didn't get an answer for a couple seconds so I went to investigate. Suddenly I heard your little feet pattering towards me and as you burst into the kitchen, you furiously started "cleaning" things with a ragged looking napkin you'd found. You cleaned EVERYTHING – the chairs, the window, the stools, the fridge, even the pedal on the trashcan. It was so dang adorable. Then, when you were all done I figured I'd take advantage of your cleaning spree and gave you the Swiffer broom to push around. You thought it was fun so that makes it OK (you threw a fit the other day when I wouldn't let you have a turn because you were being grabby and not asking nicely). Along those lines, we've started small punishments when you don't behave. Usually all it takes is a threat for you to go stand in the corner and you'll do what you're asked, though we have had to enforce the dreaded corner a couple of times.

You during your cleaning spree.

Cleaning up the "mess" on the floor.

Sylvie you bring so much joy into our lives. The hugs and the giggles and the sweetness make my heart feel like bursting. Every day I love you more and more and I love to see you grow and learn and become your own little person. It's crazy for me to think that one day you'll be all grown up. Hopefully by then you'll wear more clothing when you go outside. But for now, I'll soak up all your babyness for as long as I can. I sure love you Huggie Buggie.

Love, Mama