Tag: letters

Mollie’s Nine & Feelin’ Fine

My Sweet Mollie –

I realize you have been nice for over a month and I am just now getting to your birthday letter! Perhaps you should have been born at a time when Aunt Jackie isn’t so busy. Just kidding of course. I’ve been writing this letter in my head for weeks, so that has to count for something.

As you are getting older, we are spending less time together, especially since COVID and Hannah became a ‘thing’. But that doesn’t mean I don’t see you being you. Who are you? Well, my long-legged beauty – you are wonderful.

First of all, you and Mikey are thick as thieves. Any time we get together it is the two of you scheming and you being in charge. You are a traditional older kid, like me and you OWN it. And in the world we are living in, I have high hopes for you my girl.

You are also sweet as can be to Hannah. I know she likes running with the big kids and you are more than happy to make her your living doll baby.

Mollie, you are so smart, sweet, and resilient. I love you, and welcome to the exciting age of nine!


Aunt Jackie xoxo

Dear Mike: Summer 2015

My dear, sweet two year old –

I hope that when you read this letter you will understand how important the 12-4-1 Diaper Drive is in our lives and understand why you didn’t get a June (or July, or August for that matter) letter. It’s so hard to keep up sometimes because you are literally changing overnight. It seems daily you do something, your Dad and I give each other a ‘look’ and instantly deem you amazing.

{You Turned 2!} We had a great time celebrating your second birthday at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, which we turned in Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse. We had all your favorite foods – cupcakes, hot dogs and Goldfish. You had a grand time running through the sprinkler with your friends, especially Mollie. Your favorite part was singing Happy Birthday to yourself. In fact, we’ve pretty much sung happy birthday to a pretend cake and blowing out the candles. birthday

{Beach Days} Daddy spent a lot of time at the beach growing up and we were eager to get you there as well! We started small by going to Sandy Point State Park on the Chesapeake Bay. You were a little hesitant about the sand and getting in the water, but before long you were sitting in the ‘surf’ and throwing sand. We went back a few more times and each time you were more and more excited. I have to admit, your favorite part of the beach is the snacks!


{Books} You got your first library card for Anne Arundel County and not a moment too soon – you are reading up a storm! Each night you get at least two books and it’s a struggle to convince you that it’s time for bed. Your favorites are Go Digger Go (because Daddy does the sounds and beat boxes), Llama Llama, Chesapeake 1, 2, 3 and Chesapeake A, B, C. I love that you love books.


{Vacation} Daycare was closed for two weeks so Miss Rachel could have a much deserved break so we decided to take a mini-vacation to the beach! We stayed with Aunt Phyllis and Bubbe which meant you got to sleep in bed with Mommy and Daddy and chase Mellie the cat around yelling ‘me-oh, me-oh’. We went to swim in the bay and the cove we settled on was shallow enough for you to walk in the water which you thought was cool. You also explored the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach and the highlight was playing enough skee-ball to win a toy car.


{Baseball Game} For Father’s Day you got Dad tickets to a Bowie Baysox game. We weren’t sure how you would like it so we prepared for a quick exit. I must say – you LOVED it!  You happily sat in Mom’s seat and patiently waited for the next time you could cheer. And while you were waiting you chowed down on hot dogs. It was a really fun experience and next year we are planning on taking you more often AND getting you your own seat.


You had a great summer Bug. It was so much fun for me to see you grow and show Daddy and me how independent you are becoming – like climbing a ladder at the playground, wanting to water the flowers and have a little more unsupervised time. It’s hard to let you do those things, but each and every time you prove you CAN do it and if you stumble, you shake it off and keep on keeping on.


I’ll eat you up I love you so,

Momma, xoxo

Mike: February 2015

My Mike-a-roni:

As I am typing this my head is singing Do You Want to Build a Snowman from your current obsession, Frozen. You randomly said to Daddy a few weeks ago ‘let it go’ (or so it seemed) so I started playing the song from Frozen. Apparently you have seen the movie before and now it is all you want to do. You call it ‘Go’. It’s pretty cute, but has caused some meltdowns. I am sure in March I will be so sick of the songs I will want to scream, but for now I love how your face lights up and you gasp when the movie comes on. It’s worth it kid.


It’s been a pretty quiet month, we’ve just focused on getting settled in Maryland and the weather was no so pleasant. We are eagerly awaiting spring for when we can venture outside and check out the playgrounds.

You’ve been quite the happy helper these days! You love your ‘boom’ (broom) and walk around with it sweeping invisible (or not so invisible) dirt. You help us throw away trash, empty the dishwasher and the dryer. I love seeing you follow directions! I know it won’t last, but for now, we are using it to our advantage.

You’ve taken a liking the Buddha. I happened to have a few small statues from my trips to China because Grandpa likes the Laughing Buddha and you point and say ‘boo-doe’. You even take the big one and rub his belly! It’s so cute to see you walking around carrying your Boo-Doe statues.

You are becoming such a little boy my love. Daddy and I are so enjoying seeing things through your eyes. Everyday is literally like Christmas morning – what excitement will happen?

I’ll eat you up I love you so,

Momma xoxo


Mike: January 2015

My sweet, sweet Mike-a-roni –

I can’t believe it is already February! January was a whirlwind of packing, moving, adjusting and unpacking. You – my sweet boy – were SUCH a trooper. Your Daddy and I still marvel at how you only had a few moments when you had some frustration the past month. You would quickly hit us then go in for a hug. It was a crazy month.


{Moving} You had a rough night before our official moving day so you got to snuggle in bed with Momma. Then the next morning you hung out with Grandma, Miss Joyce, Aunt Ray Ray and Mollie while the movers did their thing. You even went to Chick-Fil-A! You had a grand time running around in the basement before all the furniture came in.

{Food} I keep joking that we need to start socking money away for groceries so we can afford to feed you in high school. If it isn’t nailed down, you are eating it. This includes french fries, chicken tenders, apple slices, applesauce (in the pouch, which you daintily hold in the corners), Mickey Mouse cheese snacks, Annie’s fruit snacks, crackers (ga-gas) and pasta. So much pasta.

{Daycare} You started your French Immersion daycare mid-month and it was harder for Momma and Daddy than for you. You did cry, but Miss Rachel said you stopped pretty quickly. Now that you are a few weeks in you attempt to jump out of your carseat, ring the doorbell and wave ‘au revoir’ to me. Miss Rachel was very impressed with how quickly you adapted and how much you eat (see above).

{TV} It’s not my proudest moment, but you’ve watched a lot of TV while everyone is packing and unpacking. You are obsessed with Chuggington (“Choo Choo”), Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Curious George (“Jew”). You enthusiastically ‘sing’ along when you know the right words. Or the wrong words. Whatever – you are my child.

{This and That}

You are best friends with the ceiling fans (“Fay”), you point them out, get very upset when they are not on and wave bye bye to them when we leave the room.

You have discovered wheels. You have a bunch of Matchbox cars and you love zooming them around over Mount Momma or Daddy. Everything is ‘Tuck’. And oddly enough, they all say ‘choo-choo’. Perhaps we will work on the difference between a truck and a train. One thing at a time though.

Well sweet pea, the theme of February will be fun, unpacking and finding our groove. It will certainly not be a problem for you Mr. Go With the Flow.

I’ll eat you up I love you so,

Momma xoxo


Mike: December 2014

To my little monster Mike,

I can’t believe last year we were waiting not so patiently for you to crawl. We would put you in front of the tree and you could balance on your belly while fussing. You were frustrated. We were frustrated. But not long after the holidays you figured it out. Flash forward to THIS year and we couldn’t get you to sit still! It’s funny what changes in a year.

{Holidays} Oh what fun it was during the holidays! You are a lucky kid who gets to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas. You got some awesome gifts and though you were still confused on what was going on, you figured out that you got to keep what you opened. Honestly, if we got you one thing you would have been thrilled.

We also went to the Bull Run Festival of Lights, a tradition for Daddy and I, and the whole time you ate Goldfish and said ‘ohhhhh’.

You were fascinated with the tree, and even said ‘Tee’. We decorated with the nonbreakable ornaments on the bottom, so you loved taking them off and trying to put them back on (which was really stuffing them in the tree).

You were not too keen on Santa Claus. We went to see him at our community center and you were okay running up to give him a high five, but that was about it. Maybe next year. Or maybe not.


{Operation Relocation} You probably don’t realize it yet, but we signed a new lease in December! So mid-January we are moving from our apartment in Fairfax County Virginia to a townhouse in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. We are very very excited and very nervous for this transition. The good news is we will be so much closer to our family! I hope you see this as a new adventure. It’s the cutest little townhouse at the end of a street near parks and a school. I could immediately see you riding your trike down the street.

{Daycare} You also met your new daycare provider, Miss Rachel. You took to her and her daughter’s really quickly and even played with some of their toys. We are nervous about this transition as well, but know you are in good hands. Plus, you will be learning French! Wee-wee!

{TV} Your favorite shows right now include Doc McStuffins (you say Doc when you see her on books or toys), Curious George (or Jew as you call him), Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and lately your REAL favorite has been Chuggington. When it comes up on Netflix, you point and say ‘choo-choo’ and even dance to the theme song. It’s not a bad cartoon, and significantly less creepy than Thomas the Tank Engine.

{Words} Your vocabulary is growing so quickly! Sometimes you say something clear as day and Dad and I just look at each other in surprise and pride. You’ve been saying:

  • Ba-bub (Bubbles for a bath)
  • Ah-poo (apple, which is usually any fruit)
  • Buh-bye (this is the funniest. You say it so clearly as you are walking away waving. Sometimes sarcastically).
  • Up (both for up and down)

{Snuggles} You are still such a sweet snuggler. You love pulling the blankets over us on the couch, or walking up to Daddy who sits on the floor and plant yourself in his lap. You are giving hugs and kisses on your terms and that makes them 10 times as sweet. I know the time will come when you won’t want to snuggle as much, but I hope we have awhile longer.

{Food} Your love of food comes and goes. Right now you will eat anything smothered in tomato sauce. Also french fries, sliced apples or pickles.

{Helping} You are becoming quite the helper! You are great with directions, like when we ask you to put your shoes in the basket, and cleaning up. The other day you knocked over Charlie’s water dish and then we handed you a towel and you ‘wiped’ the floor. Granted it was the kitchen floor and not the dining room, but once we redirected you, you figured it out. You also love opening the microwave. The minute it beeps you run over the open it. I hope asking for help keeping the house in order is always this easy!


January is going to be a big adventure for you sweet boy. One of many many exciting adventures you will have in your lifetime.

I’ll eat you up I love you so,

Momma, xoxo


Good Golly Miss Mollie

Well hello there Miss Mollie –

I haven’t written you a letter since your first birthday and now you are a big 20 month old!  You’ve been rattling in my head a lot more lately and I wanted to give you a snapshot of your life right now, as viewed by your Aunt.


A buzzword right now is ‘spirited’ when it comes to describing kids, but I think it is a nice way to say ‘hard headed’. You are a bit of both – but that is a good thing, I promise. You know what you want and you are determined to figure out how to get it. Even it requires you to turn on your Barry Charm. Keep that up kid – it will come in handy when you are in the corner office.

You are so, so kind.  I love when your mommy posts pictures of you holding your doll or when you pat Mike on the head.  You are already such a good friend to him and I know in the future you will continue to be friends and eventually partners in crime.  And ugh, the hugs! I love that you are full on wrapping arms around and meaning it.

You have the fashion sense of a socialite. Girl, you got it going on and you know it. Boots with leggings, skirts with understated frills and hair bows out the wazoo. When I am old and grey, will you visit me in the nursing home and make sure I am dressed nicely?

My little chow hound you make me belly laugh any time food is involved. You could be playing quietly and notice I have a piece of food and you start circling like a shark. Then you flash that smile and ‘wander’ over as if you just happened to be in the area and curious. Once I share a few bites I can kiss the rest of my meal goodbye into your open hand. Never, ever be afraid to eat sweet girl.

Another thing I love about you is your walk. It says, ‘I am going somewhere and you can either hang out until I get back, or follow me and try to keep up’.  I have no doubt you will be leading the pack and with your personality – they will want to follow.

I love you Mols! xo

Aunt Jay Jay

November 2014

Dearest Baby Boy Who is No Longer a Baby –
You are seriously no longer a baby. I mean, you will always be MY baby, but you are clearly a toddler. A running, climbing, vocal, sponge of a toddler and I am loving every minute of it!

Kid, you blow my mind almost every day by popping out with a new word, dance or skill. The other night we were cleaning up from dinner and Daddy-O said ‘say all done’. You looked up and said ‘all done’. While Daddy-O and I stared at each other in disbelief, you acted like it it was no big deal and you’ve been saying it since the delivery room.

Daddy and I were also talking the other night that you are so purposeful now. When you walk somewhere, it is for a reason. We might not know it, but you sure do. You are ‘helping’ around the house by putting your shoes in the basket and carrying the broom around.

You are also very purposeful when you are unhappy. We are working on gentle hands because when you get worked up you tend to slap, but when we say no and hold your hand you immediately burst into hysterical tears. I am thinking it is because you are frustrated and also because you did something that made us upset. You are learning though, just like we are.



Here are some highlights from your November:

{Snuggle Bug} You are our snuggle bug! You stride right on up and settle into our laps and lean back. You also have managed to climb on the couch to sit with us and usually cover us up with blankets. What I love most about this is it’s on your terms. I always joke about stealing kisses from you, but it is the best feeling in the world when YOU chose to snuggle. And damn if you aren’t the best snuggler.

{Words} Your vocabulary is quickly growing and I can’t even keep up with my list! Applesauce (app-o-saw), airplane (air-pain), up, baby (bay-BE), Wubba (bubba), bellybutton (bell-butt), Curious George (or-g), bye bye (buh-bye), Oh Toodles (oh toooooo)

{Thanksgiving} This year’s Thanksgiving was vastly different. You aren’t a baby, remember? You and your cousin Mollie were such troopers with all the activity. Grandma’s carrots were your favorite. You got lots of time with Mollie and even hugged each other!

{Christmas Tree} We were so excited to put up the tree this year because you were going to love it – and we were right! We put it up while you were napping and the minute you saw it you started pointing like ‘look! A tree’! We ‘decorated’ it together and you were very interested in the ornaments. We are letting you take them off the tree and play with them (since they aren’t breakable at your level) and thankfully the newness has worn off. Grandma came over to babysit one day and it was the first thing you led her to.

{Interests} Your interests are changing every day, but you are still a lover of books. Not so much being read to, but reading yourself. We’ve gotten in the habit of putting a book in the crib with you and that buys us a little more time between when you wake up and when you want to get up. Also Curious George, anything stick like (brooms, windshield scrappers, etc), chewy fruit snacks, and doing choreography to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, BINGO and Itsy Bitsy Spider.
The next few months are going to be really busy with the holidays and moving – but just having you around makes it more fun.

I’ll eat you up I love you so!

Mikey: July 2014

Mike –
For once kiddo, we had a pretty tame month. July was all about readjusting and settling into a new routine. Momma started a new job with predictable hours and no weekends and it is really working for our family.
{Schedule} In the mornings you wake up around 6:15 – it takes you a little while, but you sit up, look around, grab your WubbaNub and eventually stand up and walk the perimeter of your crib. If I go in and get you before you are ready, it is does not make for a pleasant morning, so I usually take my time. We walk back to Momma and Daddy’s bed and you snuggle with me while having a bottle and watching Disney Junior. We spend the next hour getting dressed, picking up, having our morning brushies and heading out the door.
In the evenings, Daddy gets to pick you up from Miss Gita’s house and play with you until I get home about an hour or so later. We have dinner, FaceTime with Bubbe, Grandma and Grandpa, have a bath and play. Our nighttime routine is my favorite. We go into your room around 7:15, you have some milk and snuggle while we read a book. Then each of us says what we are thankful for, who we want to pray for and what we hope for tomorrow. Then it’s night time brushies and bed time. You are usually asleep within 15 minutes.
{Eating} You are becoming quite an eater! You really like broccoli and ham and you never turn down yogurt. It seems though you are interested in whatever Momma and Daddy are eating and sometimes we share with you.
{Walking} You finally decided walking was going to be your main mode of transportation. It is so much fun watching you wobble around with, what seems like, so much purpose. You seem to know exactly where you are going and why. Aunt Rachel described it perfectly – you look like a baby giraffe who is taking his first steps. Very stiff legged.
{Wubba} The attachment to your WubbaNub is interesting. You used a Wubba when you first brought you home, but you weren’t that excited after about a month. Suddenly you found one in a basket and you have one near you at all times. I wouldn’t say you are addicted, we take it away and you are no worse for wear, but you certainly love carrying them around. Sometimes you have one in your mouth and one in each fist. You like to try to shove the extra Wubbas in your ears, eyes or even your mouth. You think it’s hilarious when we pop it out of your mouth and pop it in our mouth.
Bubbe came and visited and you enjoyed hosting her. Grandma stopped by too after her conference and you convinced her to join you in the pool. We also went to the Udvar Hazy Air and Space Museum again and you loved toddling around the airplanes. And let’s not forget Atlantis Waterpark!
Well love bug, it’s been a quiet month and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Hopefully August will bring more opportunities to play in the pool!
I’ll eat you up I love you so,
Momma xoxo

Mike: June

Mikey –
I say this every month, but this month I mean it – you’ve grown up almost overnight! Someone asked me if it was harder now that you are more mobile or if it was more fun. I think it’s a little bit of both. It’s harder because you LOVE exploring and discovering new things, which means more opportunities to get into trouble. It’s fun for Daddy and me because we love when you discover new things. You look up at us with this stunned look on your face like, ‘did you know if you press this button down the toilet FLUSHES?!‘. It’s such a moment of pride when you try over and over to do something then finally get it, like getting in and out of your car that Pop-Pop got for you. Now you are a pro. Here’s your month:
{High Five, Waves and the Like} One reason I love you in daycare is you come home and randomly show us things you’ve learned. Daddy and I just look at each other to figure out who taught you what and we quickly realized your friends did! Recently you’ve been giving high fives and clapping your hands. You are starting to get really good at clapping at the right times – not like waving. We say bye bye and you wave about ten minutes later. We’ll work on that.
{Walking} OH BOY! You are now a walker! Over the course of the month you’ve become more steady on your feet. We started the month out with you taking a few cautious steps between stationary things, but the more you practiced, the more confident you have become. We giggle sometimes because you look like an extra on a zombie movie – stiff legs and wobbly hips. It’s funny how quickly walking is the norm for you.
{Food and Drink} You are totally off formula and have developed a love of milk like your Daddy! You are still using a bottle a few times a day, but you also like your sippy cups for water and juice. We aren’t in a hurry to get rid of those bottles, you will give it up in no time I am sure. You are also feeding yourself mostly and picking off Momma and Daddy’s plates trying new things. You still love avocados, but now add spiral pasta, peas, strawberries, blueberries and Goldfish. You also really like the pouches of applesauce.
{Birthday Celebrations} How can we forget your first birthday parties! There are so many people who love you we had to have THREE parties! One was at daycare, one was at Grandma and Grandpa’s and one was at our local playground. You were curious about the each one, but loved the attention. You were certainly a trooper around all those people.
Mikey's 1st Bday Party (104)
{Pool} Now that the weather is consistently warm, we’ve been hanging out at the pool a little more often. You have no problem getting right into your float and sloshing around the water – no matter how cold it is!
{Hand, Foot and Mouth} Oh goodness. The dreaded HF&M made its way around our house. You had a pretty mild case of it, but your Dad and me – we are still picking at scabs. I hope this is the one and only time you have to deal with that nonsense.
{Routines} Now that Momma is working again, you are adapting to a sort of new routine like a pro – not much has changed for you. Once you get up in the morning you get in bed with Momma to have a bottle, watch the news and snuggle. Then Daddy gets you from daycare, you guys hang out, have dinner and get a bath. When Momma gets home it is some more hanging out and our bedtime routine. If I said I didn’t come into your room and get you up to rock and snuggle some more, I would be lying.
I can’t wait to see what the next month brings for you my sweet boy. There is nothing I love more than seeing you discover new things.
I’ll eat you up I love you so,
Momma xoxo


Mike: Month 5

Dear Michael A –

I know I say this every month, but wow! You had quite a busy month! You are growing at the speed of light, your last appointment clocked you at 17lbs, 6oz.  You have rolled over a handful of times, but aren’t very interested in doing it regularly. I think it’s because you are more interested in getting some place quickly and rolling isn’t cutting it. You are doing well with trying to sit up – you ‘tripod’ and love it.


I call you my ‘Whatever Baby’, which describes you perfectly right now. Oh, we are going for a walk? Whatever. Oh, we are going to sit here and work? Whatever. Time for a bath? Whatever. I love your go-with-the-flow attitude and how adaptive you are. I hope it stays that way!

You started daycare this month 2 days a week with Miss Gita, who lives down the street. Momma and Daddy were a little nervous leaving you, but you seem to LOVE it! And it is obvious you love her and the 5 other kids there. She has confirmed what we already know – you are smiley, happy and deeply interested in the world around you. Something else I hope that stays with you!

Food, glorious food! You have started semi-solid foods and are just now, 3 weeks in, getting the hang out of it. Before you were pushing it out and not very happy with the delayed gratification. Now you are devouring everything from peas to peaches to butternut squash. You seem very happy to be sitting in your highchair at the table when Momma and Daddy are eating and discussing our days. We want to make that the norm for you – a sit down dinner.


You were pretty sick this month kiddo. You were coughing, sneezing and generally pissed off at the world. After a trip to the doctor, we found out you had Respiratory Syncytial Virus, which was not the end of the world, but still made us feel terrible for you. You spent a lot of time reading books with Momma in a steamy shower and finding snuggles. You still have a bit of a cough, but nothing as mean as what you had before. It was no surprise you smiled through the sniffles.


Remember how you hated the bath? Well we turned a corner! Now you and Daddy get in the bubble bath together and have the best time. Momma sometimes sits on the edge and plays with squirt toys that you find to be the funniest thing EVER.


You had your first playdate with 2 little girls from church. Vin who is about 3 months and Sarah who is 10 weeks. You were the oldest for the first time! You were very interested in watching them. I am sure you will be seeing more of them since they go to our church.

You are still very interested in music, much to our excitement! You have also discovered the iPad and enjoy the books Daddy reads to you at night. Momma’s favorites are the Llama Llama books and you laugh when I laugh.


For your first Halloween, you were a cow, and Charlie was a rodeo bull (or something). You didn’t have much interest in the holiday, but it was fun dressing you up and knocking on our neighbor’s door. We saved your Snickers for when you get older. Ha!


Well my love, you are in your crib stirring since it’s almost time to get up. This has been an amazing month and you make each day a true adventure. I am stealing snuggles and kisses when I can. Next month is going to be a little more crazy, but I know my Whatever Baby can handle it.

If I loved you anymore, my heart would explode in a glittery mess,

Momma xo