The Thankful Project: Day 19 – A Book

I go in spurts where I will read a lot, and then not at all.  I normally don’t have a lot of down time to read, but when I do I normally fall asleep reading.  It’s really a lose/lose situation.  I’d venture to guess I will love reading a lot more when I have more time for it.

That’s why my favorite book isn’t one published by a well-known author.  It’s not on the New York Time’s Best Seller list.  It’s one that you’ve never heard of.  It’s called Letters of Life and Love.  It’s a book written by us, Brian and I.   I’m so thankful for this book now and I know that it will become treasured even more as the years past and the vivid memories of McKenzie’s first year fades.

front

Before McKenzie was born, we each wrote her a letter.  We talked about how the pregnancy had been, how excited we were, our thoughts and our fears.  I knew from the day I was pregnant that I was going to write her letters throughout her first year.  I also knew I wanted to write one before she was born.  One day when she is pregnant and feeling unsure of the future and what it holds (because every single Mom-to-be goes through it), I wanted her to be able to have a letter from me.  To know that all of the worries, concerns, fears and excitement is normal.  When I told Brian that I was going to write her a letter, he said that he would write her one too.

inside 3

What started out as one letter, turned into letters for each month of her life from both of us.

We typed the letters each month.  Brian wouldn’t let me read his letters, until I came up with the idea for the book.  He told me that these letters for McKenzie and that if she chose to share them with me one day, that maybe I could see them then!  I’m glad he had a change of heart!  His letters are amazing and I know something that McKenzie will look on with love throughout her life.

inside

I decided to compile the book through Blurb.  The program was user-friendly and easy to use.  The book is made up of two chapters –Letters from Mom and Letters from Dad.  We included pictures with each month of our letters.

We had it printed shortly after her first birthday and it turned out incredible.  It has a hard cover and the pages are beautifully glossy and thick.

inside 2

We’re not sure when we’re going to give the book to her, but it something that we can’t wait to look back on over the years.  It’s already fun looking back to see how far we have come as parents and how much she has grown.

I’m so thankful for this book and that we decided to take the time to document our lives and McKenzie’s for her first year.

What’s a book that you are thankful for?

 

thankful project title

I’m linking up with Kenzie over at Chasing Happy for the month of November.
Be sure to stop by and check it out!

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The Thankful Project: Day 10 – A Memory

thankful project title

I’m linking up with Kenzie over at Chasing Happy for the month of November.
Be sure to stop by and check it out!

There are so many memories that I am thankful for.  I ultimately struggled to narrow it to one.  The one memory that is probably the most recent and ingrained in my mind for obvious reasons is the birth of McKenzie.  For those of you who know me, know that I am a planner.  Just when I thought that everything was going as planned – with a scheduled induction – McKenzie had plans of her own.

I wrote McKenzie a letter shortly after she was born.  I wanted to remember the details of her delivery.  I didn’t want to have to recall it years from now, when they memory became foggy.  I wanted her to know about it.  Not necessarily now or in the coming years, but when she is having children of her own and wants to know what my experience was like.  I wanted her to know.  Here is a part of the letter.  Here is a memory that I am thankful for.

“You decided to make your appearance on Monday, May 14, 2012 at 8:17 p.m.  Just 2 weeks prior, we thought you would be in our life.  We had a false alarm on Cinco de Mayo and were sent home, after being admitted to and spending 12 hours in the hospital.  You just wanted to tease use!

After meeting with the doctor after our hospital visit, she decided that she would induce us on Wednesday, May 16, 2012.  We were set to go to the hospital at 6 a.m. that morning to be induced and finally meet you. I had planned on working Monday, having a date night with Dad Monday night, and then having a “me” day on Tuesday – with pedicures and shopping included.  Well, after working all day Monday, I came home.   As we were about to leave to head to our favorite restaurant in Delaware for our dinner date, I started having contractions.  They were strong and uncomfortable and kept getting stronger. As we were driving, I asked Dad if we could skip dinner and head home, because I was feeling that bad.  He asked what I wanted for dinner and I said that I would just eat crackers at home and that he should get something to eat.  After ordering a sub and waiting for 10 minutes to get the sub, my contractions were even stronger.  Dad asked if I wanted to go to the hospital and I responded – yes!!!!  You were set to be delivered at Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) in Baltimore, MD, which is located about 45 minutes away from where we live.  At this point, it was the peak of rush hour and it was raining, so Dad advised that it was going to take us a little longer to get there.  I told him that we should go to the local hospital, because I was feeling that bad!

We headed to our local hospital.  Dad dropped Mom off at the front door of the Emergency Room while he parked the car.  I checked in and they took me right to the Labor and Delivery Triage area.  As I was changing into a hospital gown in the rest room, I heard the nurse ask your Dad if this was our first.  He said yes and she informed him that we would have had plenty of time to make it to Baltimore, because first time deliveries typically take a long time!  Boy was she wrong!

After I changed into a gown, the nurse checked my progress and I was 8 cm already!  I was almost ready to start pushing and to meet you!  I was in so much pain and wanted an epidural badly, but because I was so far along already, I was unable to have any medication of any kind!  It wasn’t what I planned (and as you know by now – I’m a planner!) and it made me very anxious.  The pain was getting so bad!

Since I was so far along, they rushed Dad and I from triage to a Labor and Delivery Room.  By the time we got to the room, it was about 7:00 p.m.  The nurses got Mom settled and put an IV in me.  Then the doctor (who Mom had never even met before!) came in to introduce himself to me.  He did an exam and I was almost 10 cm!  My water still had not broken, so he broke it for me.  It was painless, but let me tell you – as soon as that happened, I felt the need to push.  This was about 7:30 p.m. and the nurses advised that they wanted me to wait a little longer before pushing.  They said they would check in on me at 7:45 to see if it was time.  This was the longest 15 minutes of my life!  I had no medication to take the edge off!  I was loud and Dad said I screamed – but I’m okay with that!

The nurses arrived back in the room at 7:45 to check me and told me that I was ready to push.  I pushed from 7:45 to 8:17 p.m. when you made your appearance in the world.  It was not as bad as I had expected – especially since the end product was you! 

As soon as you were born, they placed you on my chest and Dad and I took you in!  You were so perfect and everything that Dad and I had hoped for!  You weighed in at 6 lbs. 9 oz. and 19.5 inches long!  Both Dad and I were 8 lbs. 9 oz., so we assumed we would have a bigger baby!  Instead, we had this perfect little peanut, whom amazed us from the second she was born!

This is the memory I am thankful for.  This was my first lesson in motherhood – that no matter how prepared you are you never know what to expect; that as a Mom, you have to roll with the punches and adapt quickly.  I am thankful for this lesson and the little person that we brought in to this world!

family

McKenzie | 17 Months |

Although a little late…I’m still posting!  Enjoy!

17 months old!  Where has the time gone?  It’s hard for this Mama to even imagine. You change each day!  There’s always something new you’re doing to keep us on our toes. Here’s a little re-cap for us to look back on and remember!

What’s Happening:

Cousin
You officially have a cousin!  Aunt Erin and Uncle Brian delivered a healthy baby boy and we are over the moon excited for them!  You got to meet Nathan last Saturday and loved him. You gave lots of kisses and kept saying. “Baby!”.  You will be a great big sister one day!

So Sweet. P.S. You were playing dress up, so you had a tutu on! Nice outfit choice!

Vocabulary Explosion!
Your vocabulary has taken off!  I can’t even keep up with all of the words that you say because you mimic everything we say.  Words that you use on your own on a regular basis and that are clear now include: baby, apple, juice, apple juice, Ouch, more, ball, book, Ellie (for your favorite stuffed elephant), shoes, truck, cat, Stop!, Yeah, and No…along with all of the originals – like Mama, Dada, and dog.  It’s so much fun to see what word you come up with next!

Mimicking
Speaking of mimicking, you copy everything we do.  In the past month, Dad and I have become even more aware of not only what we say, but what we do around you!  You are watching us and learning, even when we don’t realize it!   The video below is just one of the moments that Dad and I caught of you copying us.  You were being grumpy in the back seat on a drive home, so we gave you the I-Pod with you favorite Fisher Price learning games on it.  Dad and I continued with our conversation, but could hear you talking in the back seat.  When we stopped talking and turned around to look at you, this is what we saw… My favorite part is where you hold the I-pod out in front of you as if you are wondering why no one is talking back!


Favorite Thing
This month marked your first time on a moon bounce.  It was at a birthday party we were attending.  You weren’t sure of what to make of it at first, but soon learned how fun they can be!  We went inside for cake and gifts and you were not happy about it!  You were determined to lead us by our hands back out to the moon bounce.  so cute!

Eating
You are still a picky eater.  We normally get one great meal out of you each day.  Other than that, you just snack and nibble throughout.  You seem to always be eating something though, just not always at the specified meal times.  I’m hoping this will get better with age!

Climbing
You are a climbing machine!  You will use anything and anyone to climb up on the sofa! You’ve pulled toys over, your Pottery Barn Chair, used Dad’s legs quite a few times and even the dogs (although we stop you from that!)  A few times, you’ve even gotten up there by yourself…I think you are hooking your foot in the cushion.  Hilarious!

Bed Time Routine
You’re bedtime routine has changed a bit.  You no longer let me hold you while we say our good night prayers.  You happily climb into bed on your own, point to the blanket and request to be covered up.  Then we hold hands and say prayers while I kneel next to your bed.  It’s our favorite time of the day!  I’m sure Dad’s excited too!  You would only ever let me be in the room when we put you to bed, but you’ve started allowing him to join in as well.  It’s one of my favorite times of the day now.  Thanking God for everything we have, for our families and friends, and asking him to watch over all of us. Love it!

Movies
Last Friday night was a cold and rainy night.  Dad was working, so it was just you and me. I decided that we would watch Cinderella!  I put the DVD in and you instantly squealed when you saw the Disney castle on the opening credits.  You sat in your Pottery Barn chair, covered up with your blanket and stuffed animal, Ellie!  You watched the movie for a little, but then moved on to playing, while watching.  The whole time, you loved it though!  You would point out Lucifer, the cat, and laughed from your toes when I called you Gus Gus!  I look forward to more cuddly evenings with you!

McKenzie, life just keeps getting better.  There are still days that are far from fun, but even on those days – I am thankful for a healthy little girl who is able to throw such fits!  From working in a hospital, I know that not everyone is as lucky!

Continue to grow, but not so fast!

I love you through and through.  Yesterday, today and tomorrow too.

Love,
Mom

McKenzie | 16 Months |

Dear McKenzie,

Happy 16 Months!!  This month has been so much fun!  You are growing up and becoming more of a toddler each day.  You are inquisitive about the world you live in and work hard to figure everything out!  You laugh from your toes, which makes me laugh even harder! You are sweet and caring! If someone is upset, you know it and come hug them! You give kisses freely and are the sweetest!

Each month gets better and better!  We are so blessed to have you as our daughter.

Here are your stats for the month:

Weight: 23 lbs – 75th percentile
Height: 32 inches – 90th percentile!  Where did that come from!?

Both Dad and I were shocked at your stats!  Everyone always tells us how small you are, but according to the charts, you actually aren’t!  Keep growing strong!

Clothing Size:
You are officially in 18 month clothing.  I have a feeling that you will be in this size for some time!

In clothing news, you have so many cute Fall clothes!  I loved your summer clothes, but feel like I’ve seen you in all of them…multiple times!  I am ready to throw new outfits in the mix!  And Fall clothing is just so cute!

What’s Happening:

Toddler Bed
We’ve transitioned you to a toddler bed!   You can read all about it here! You are doing incredible with it!  You still haven’t realized that you can get out of it on your own and we are okay with that!  You have however, figured out how to get in a out of it.  The other night, Dad and I were talking, when we looked back into your room, you had climbed into your bed with a book and were reading.  It made us both stop and realize just how big you are getting!

You love when other people try to fit in your bed with you!  You don’t require anyone to sleep with you…thank goodness…but love when people will lay there with you during the day!   A- Ra (your Aunt Jessica), jumped in to bed with you and pretended like she was sleeping.  You giggled and then snuggled right up with her!

First Circus
You went to the Circus and loved every minute of it!  There were circus dogs as part of the show.  Those were, by far, your favorite part!  You saw them backstage when the curtain opened and kept pointing and yelling “dog-dog!”.  There were 3 acts before their segment and you kept calling for them!  It was so cute and you were so excited!

Favorite Thing
Your favorite thing this month is being outside!  You’d spend all day outside if we’d let you!  At daycare, you get to ride in a wagon with Ms. Jen each day.  You walk with her to drop off and pick up the boys from school.  You love the wagon and want to spend all of your time in it! Most days, there is a slight melt down when we have to leave, because you would rather stay and climb in and out of the wagon.

Playing like a Toddler
I know that you are becoming more independent each day, but you are truly playing like a toddler these days.   I stopped and just stared at you one day when I came to pick you up from daycare.  Instead of wandering around the yard, playing on a blanket, or climbing in and out of the wagon, you were in the playhouse with the other kids.  My heart actually sank for a minute!  My little baby is now actually  playing and interacting the way the older kids at daycare do!  It was such a happy and sad moment!    So fun though to see you getting so big!

Words
You have a few new words this month!  Dad calls our German Shepherd (Kemo), Bubba.  I’m not sure why.  He just started referring to him that way one day.  Well, you now call him Bubba too!  It’s kind of embarrassing that one of your first words is Bubba, but so cute that you call for him!   When we make you do something that you don’t want to do (like change your diaper), you call for him!  It’s adorable.   He always comes running to your rescue!

You also say Bye as you wave goodbye to people!  You say Up as well, when you want us to pick you up! You say other words here are there, but these are new ones that you use consistently!

When you aren’t using your words, you have finally started using sign language!    You will show me the sign for More, when you want more food!  It’s so nice that you can communicate with us, even without words!

Songs
We have always sang songs to you, but this month you have become more interactive! You love The Wheels on the Bus and If You’re Happy and You Know It!  You will swish the wiper blades, clap your hands and stomp your feet.   On our card rides home, if you want me to sing the songs to you, you clap your hands for me.  I start singing, you follow along with your charades and we laugh and laugh!  Love it!

Eating
You have become a picky eater recently, but still eat fairly well.  You are eating more than most toddlers your age, but your appetite on previous months would always include second helpings and shoveling the food in your mouth as quickly as possible.  Some days now you don’t eat as much and other’s you do.  We may have to try a few different items, but you definitely still eat!  Your favorite food is avocado and guacamole!  See the picture below!

This month, you have started using your booster seat at the table, instead of your high chair!  It’s nice to officially have you at the table with us!  You think you are so big now!

WM Guac

Temper Tantrums
The temper tantrums have been getting better this month, but that doesn’t mean that they are completely gone!  Most of your tantrums revolve around not being able to go outside or having to come in from outside.    Life just isn’t fair, is it!?

Please take note of what is in her hand in the picture below!  Still loving her little sandals!  We have since hidden them from her because she would truly wear them every day if she could!

McKenzie, you are so much fun!  You make us laugh so hard!  Our family is now complete with you and we love how exciting you make our days!

I can’t wait to head into the Fall and the holidays with you!  They will be even more special this year!

We love you more than there are stars in the sky!

Love,
Mom and Dad

10 Survival Tips to the Expecting Mom | 52 Weeks of Blogging With A Purpose

I’m a little late in joining this, but since I just started blogging, I figured I would pick up with Week 10 and make up the additional posts on the back-end.  Becky, from From Mrs. to Mama, started this amazing project.  Each Monday, Becky posts a different writing prompt with various themes, from motherhood and parenting to marriage and childhood !  I have enjoyed following Becky for quite some time now and am excited to join in on the fun!

This week’s topic is fitting since we just celebrated my sister-in-laws this past weekend.  Erin is due in October and I can’t wait to be an Aunt for the first time!   Many of these topics came up this weekend, but here they are in a concise list…10 Survival Tip to the Expecting Mom

1.  Write down everything about your pregnancy – I was really great about this in the beginning.  I wrote down everything I felt, experienced, worried about, and ate.  Then the fatigue kicked in and I stopped.  I swore I would remember it, because at that time, it was so important to me.  I still have some of the major dates – the first time I felt McKenzie kick, the first time Brian felt her kick, all the dates of our doctor appointments, etc., but I am missing out on the day-to-day details.  Write them down.  You will want to remember them when you are pregnant again or at the very least when your daughter asks you what it was like when you were pregnant.

2. Take pictures – I was awful with this.  I felt beautiful pregnant, but refused to get my picture taken.   I never wanted maternity pictures thanks to my very swollen ankles.  I regret all of that now.  I honestly probably have about 4 pictures of me throughout my entire pregnancy.  Many of them are from my Baby Shower.  I just did not want to be photographed.  At the very least, I wish I would have taken weekly belly pictures.  Even if no one ever saw them, I could have them and look back on them to see the changes in me, as my baby grew and changed.

3. Stop reading – Although it’s great to be informed, stop reading!  Seriously…stop Googling things.  It only makes thing worse.  You can Google something as simple as heartburn during pregnancy.  Even researching a pregnancy concern that is completely normal and most women experience, you will inevitably stumble upon the site that shares some woman’s tragic story about how her heartburn was a serious medical condition in which the baby and the mother’s life was in jeopardy.  Honestly, it will create more anxiety and stress.  Listen to your gut instinct as to whether something is wrong, ask your family and friends, or better yet your doctor!    The reading part goes for once the baby is here as well.  Children all reach milestones at different points.  Reading about this milestones and timelines will have you convinced that there is an issue with your child.  Know the milestones but don’t worry if your child isn’t at the milestone exactly on time.

4. Stop worrying about how your relationship with your significant other will change – I don’t know if it was hormones or me being insecure, but I worried a lot about what our marriage would be like after the baby arrived.  I worried that we wouldn’t have time for each other or that somehow things would be different.  It was one of those worries that I never voiced to anyone, because I was worried that I was the only one feeling this way.  At that time, I had started following Melissa at Honey Do’s and I Love Yous.  She was expecting her first child and was due right around the time I was.   She posted this and I cried.  Someone else was feeling that same way I was!  I could have written this post myself.

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to worry about it a little less.  Yes, you and your significant others relationship will change, but in the best way possible.  There will be difficult days, but your marriage will become stronger.  Brian and I have always been close, but having McKenzie made us even closer.  We were now an official family.  We love each other more and have a new-found respect for one another for the parents that we are to McKenzie.  Although our parenting styles may be different, we each have our own strengths that we bring to the parenting table.   So worry a little less.  Your relationship will change, but it will be a change that you won’t mind.

5. Minimal Hospital Bags – Don’t over pack!  I was completely guilty of this!  I packed way more than I would have ever used in our few short days at the hospital.  Leave your pre-maternity clothes at home.  You still won’t fit in them when you leave the hospital.  Don’t even bring a ton of maternity clothes.  You will stay in your maternity pajamas until you are ready to be discharged.  The bare necessities will be more than enough.  Promise.

And if you’re like me, you may have a friend who had a perfect labor and delivery.  She posted pictures of her and her husband playing UNO throughout her labor.  I had hopes that I would have a delivery like her.  I ran out and bought a pack of UNO cards.  The only thing I thought about using those cards for was to throw them across the room at Brian as I was in labor and told that I had progressed too quickly and couldn’t have an epidural.    Thank goodness I only labored for three hours from the time of the first contraction until McKenzie was born.   There was never a moment that I wanted to play cards though!

6. Limited Birth Plan – Don’t take this so seriously.  Everything that you have planned and everything that you envisioned your labor to be, won’t be like that at all.  There is no way to control what’s happening and how your delivery will go.  The less firm you are on your birth plan, the better.  Roll with the punches and know that no birth plan is perfect.  Nothing will go exactly as planned.  Go in with the ideas that you are firm on – pain medication or not (and even this is open to change at any point), breastfeeding or formula, pacifier or no pacifier, skin to skin immediately, if you want the baby to stay in your room at night or go to the nursery, etc.   Be firm on the basics, but know that there may never be a moment to play your birthing playlist, to get into a birthing tub, to use a yoga ball, to walk the halls, or to even breathe the way you had envisioned.

7. #2 – Stop worrying about whether or not you will during delivery.  I know this may seem a little blunt, but honestly, it was one of my biggest fears leading up to delivery.  When you are in that moment, you won’t even care about it or know if it happens.  You will want your baby to born so badly that you don’t care what happens in order to make this goal possible.  Pooping and all.  And if it does happen…know you won’t be the first and you won’t be the last.  Not that big of a deal.  Promise.

8. Breastfeeding – If you are planning on breastfeeding, know that it’s hard.  I wish someone would have told me how hard it was and how much it would hurt.  Although it doesn’t always work out for everyone, know that it can be done.  There were many nights I cried and wanted to give up.  Keep trying.  Find a support system.  Use your hospital’s lactation consultant.  Just know that it’s harder than anyone will ever tell you.  Early on, it’s not the picture perfect moment of a mother cradling her young baby.  With work, you can get there, but it takes work while you and the baby get used to one another.  Even if it doesn’t work out, know that you gave it your all and did the best for your baby, even if you only breastfed for a day.

9.  Your After Baby Body –  It took 9 months to build that baby and it will take that long to get your body back.  Even then, it will never be the same.  There is always something that will remind you of the baby you once carried.   Wear it as a badge of honor.  That stretch mark on your stomach is beautiful.  Don’t expect to feel 100% right after the baby is born.  For me, it took months before I felt like myself again – body image, energy level, hormones and all.  Give it time.  It’s all normal!

10. Enjoy Every Second – Savor every moment of being pregnant.  Even the tough parts.  You will reach a moment in your pregnancy when you just want the baby here.  You are tired, swollen, and uncomfortable.  You will do everything in your power to jump-start labor.   It’s an uneasy time because you feel like a walking time bomb – not knowing when you will go into labor. Take that time to spend a few extra minutes with your husband.  Take that time to enjoy a quiet moment reading or getting a pedicure.  Enjoy the little kicks from the inside.  There are a few fleeting moments left with  just and your little person.   And before you know it, they go from this…

to this…

A walking, babbling beautiful toddler!

Because, once this baby is here…time goes so quickly!

McKenzie | 15 Months |

Dear McKenzie,

Happy 15 months!  This month has been an incredible month of change for you!  You are growing by leaps and bounds and your personality is emerging more and more each day!  You now have your own opinions and although you may not have many words to communicate, you sure know how to tell us what you want!

Most days, you are happy and giggly and a joy to be around.  Even the worst days aren’t so bad because Dad and I are figuring out how to distract and re-direct.  Dad is really good at it!  He says it’s because he thinks like you do!  🙂

Here are your stats for the month:

Clothing Size:
You are wearing mostly 12 month clothing, although much of it is starting to get short.  I think you have really grown over the past couple of weeks.  You have started wearing 18 months in some outfits.  Definitely at an in between stage!

What’s Happening:

Walking!  That’s what’s happening.  It’s not even walking any more…you now run!   You run around the house and into each room.  It’s hard to even keep up with you!

Favorite Thing – Your “tappy” sandals.  See picture above.  See those shoes?  Those are your favorite.  These are the only shoes you allow us to put on without a fight.  As soon as we put them on you, you run out to the hardwood floor as fast as you can.  You run around, tapping your feet and laughing.    You would wear these sandals all day.  Just a few nights ago,  you were not happy with us until we put the sandals on you.  You were in your pajamas at the time.  Quite a sight!  You would not let us remove them.  It’s completely normal to sleep in your sandals, right!?  I had to sneak and take them off of you once you fell asleep!

Words  – The favorite is still “dog-dog”.  It’s the first word that you say as you wake up.  You point to the dogs as they come into your room and you smile and laugh at them.  You walk all around the house pointing to the dogs and shouting “dog-dog”!  You get super excited whenever you see a dog on the TV and will stop what you are doing to shout “dog-dog”!  You are mimicking the cadence and sounds of what we say more and more, so I’m thinking a few more words may be coming soon!

Stairs – You can now walk up the stairs.  There are 15 of them to be exact.  We always stand behind you and it still makes me nervous, but you are steady and fast.

Kicking a Ball – We went to the Harford County Farm Fair in July and you won a pink bouncy ball!  It has become one of your favorite toys.  You bounce it and kick it all through-out the house.  Many nights, you are entertained by it for 30+ minutes, which says a lot about someone who normally bounces from one toy to the next!   You giggle and smile and are getting great at throwing it.

Bike Riding – You received a bike for your first birthday and you love it!  We keep it in the garage and any time that you see it, you demand to ride it.  You love being pushed in it and will hang out in it while Dad and I get things done outside.   Your feet are almost long enough to touch the pedals, so the next lesson will begin soon!  Dad was riding a bike by 2  years old, so you have a lot to live up to!

Reading – You love books and reading!  On our long car rides home each day, you will read your book and point to the pictures .  Your favorite is the animal picture book.   Of course, the page with the dog is your favorite!  We read to you each night and your demands for the numbers of books we read grows as well!  Thank goodness your books are still short, because I believe we recently read 6 of them before you went to bed!

McKenzie, words can’t even describe how much we love you!  You are so much fun to be around and our favorite times are the times we get to spend with you!    Continue to grow into the little person that you are becoming!  It’s so much fun to be your parents!

Love,
Mom and Dad