Saturday, August 30, 2008

And she knows how to Chomp. Just ask her. (Are there any kids of Gator fans that aren't required to learn this?)

The first gator game. Major milestone for two parents who both graduated from the University of Florida. Sniff sniff.

I think Donald was more excited than I was. It was his idea after all. He was able to get Touchdown Terrace tickets from his office which meant that if it was raining, it wouldn't bother us. And if it got too hot, we could just go inside. And there was food. And more room. And how did it go?


Well, as perfect as anything can be with a toddler. We started out at 7:30am and gave Keeley breakfast in the car. I had packed a zillion small purses with various silly toys and books to pass back to her to keep her entertained. As you can see, each purse was filled with expensive, educational toys.

She was okay on the ride up. I got a little tired of turning around and seeing what she wanted. Yes, I know I didn't have to turn around, but that whining really, REALLY gets to me. It. Just. Has. To. Stop. I think I actually said, "If you say 'this' one more time, Keeley..." (She kept repeating "this" over and over because she wanted me to either a) get something for her or 2) take something from her. I think I just cringed again just thinking about it.)

Moving on... We made it to our Tailgating Spot and had a little less than 2 hours to tailgate. Keeley had a blast playing with everyone and showing them her toys and "Bal-ber" (Albert). We tried to teach her to get beers but she couldn't quite figure out the bottle caps. There's always next year.

At the game she made friends with everyone around her. Luckily, most people were won over by her charms and not too annoyed with a toddler hanging out with them.

All in all, a perfectly wonderful day. Keeley hugged a gator truck with a football helmet. (What was that?)

Danced with the hare krishnas.

Hung out with The Guys.

Cheered for The Gators.

Poked Carlos in the back of the head.

Ate grapes.

Stayed until the end of the game. (That's the final score in the background. And Keeley.)

Everybody join in:

Through all kinds of weather we'll all stick together... For F-L-O-R-I-D-A!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I will make no mention of why I haven't published any posts in...well, forever

Just some quick updates on Keeley for those interested.

Her new favorite fruit is grapes ("grates"). I quarter them for her so they're not A Choking Hazard. However, I feel that said quartering is negated by the fact that she shoves whole handfuls of the little grape quarters into her mouth at one time. Sigh. She does love her some grapes though.

Also, on the current Favorite Foods List: beans and peas. Beans are referred to as "mean-uhs". The other night she ate chicken AND rice (both are NOT on the Favorite Food List) because I put peas in with it. I guess it was too hard to pick out the peas. Either way she ate it for dinner and lunch the next day. Baked potatoes with sour cream and cheese are also eaten with gusto.

Keeley still enjoys "talking" on the phone. She will now inform us who she is talking to - Mimi, Grammy, Nana, etc. It's amazing how far she's come in the whole vocabulary thing in such a short time. Now she will sometimes string two words together which I guess makes that a sentence? (Side note: I totally suck at this whole milestone thing. Seriously, does two words make a sentence? Do I need to record this in The Book?) She will say things like "Mama wawa" for mommy's water and "Dada work" for Daddy is at work and "Bebe poo poo" for Baby (doll) went poo-poo. That last one is usually after she goes poo and wants to blame it on the doll so she won't have to get her diaper changed. (She HATES diaper changes. They really take a lot of energy and creativity to preform these days.)

She really seems to have "grown up" a lot lately. I don't know if it's that she's gotten taller or she's talking more, or even that she has more hair - but she definitely seems older. But, of course, she is older. Duh.

She does so many new things everyday. We had a neighborhood garage sale last weekend and we were able to get Keeley a playhouse. She loves it. I've put some dishes and "groceries" in there for her. Donald and I also installed wall-to-wall carpeting the other day (an area rug). She goes in there and washes the dishes, cooks meals, and talks on the phone. There's at least one point everyday where she points out to the porch and says, "hoos" meaning she wants to play in the playhouse.

If you can't tell - we're having fun.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Months 13 and 14

Dear Keeley,

Okay, yes, I didn't publish a post about month 13, but I am just going to combine last month and this month and strive to be better about it in the future. Sorry, Keeley.

So much has happened the past two months. It's like watching someone grow up in fast forward sometimes. You are a little sponge. In the past two weeks you've started talking up a storm. You like to repeat what we say when it's something you like. (Example: yogurt/"go-gur") It's true that many of the words sound the same and sometimes I have no clue what you're saying. But you're communicating. Verbally. It's amazing.

You still get so excited whenever you see the dog or the cat. We'll be playing outside and you'll see Buddy's Frisbee and yell, "Buh-ee! Buee!" I love it. You meow when we see Kitty. Of course, Kitty doesn't appreciate it as much as you or I do, but whatever. Kitty has issues. You'll learn this.

As far as eating goes, you're a bit more challenging. I never know what you're going to eat. Sometimes you LOVE macaroni and cheese, sometimes not so much. Sometimes you won't go near a blueberry, sometimes you'll eat most of the carton. I can't figure it out. Sometimes you hardly eat anything at all. I guess that's normal. I just keep putting food in front of you and secretly cross my fingers. All I know is you love yogurt. There is no doubt. Some days you will ask for it at every meal.

Whenever you don't know something, you put your hands in the air in that universal symbol for "I don't know." It's so cute. You want to do more and more things on your own. Of course, you don't want me out of sight while you do it though. Ever. Especially in the evenings. Especially while I'm trying to cook dinner. I must admit it will be kinda nice when this stage is over. Silver lining though? It's nice that you want to be near me. I love you too, Keeley.

These past two months haven't been the easiest months. There have been some really hard times. But having you here has helped me more than anything else. Your face, your smile, your laugh, and just your all-around Keeleyness have been just what I needed most. Thank you.

Love you,

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

See? Others appreciate my sarcastic remarks.

I am so excited! One of my comments was featured in the Young and the Restless blog I read. It's such a great blog because not only do they appreciate my witty comments, but the writers also make fun of the show in a loving/supportive way. Just like my best friend and I do.

And, yes, I am aware that watching a soap opera is not the coolest thing I've ever done. And, yes, this is definitely on the list of things that make me "not very adult-like". And, yes, I am excited about being mentioned on a blog that talks about a soap opera.

Whatever. I am so cool. You know you wish you were me!

Oh yeah - I'll get back to some Keeley posts soon. I promise.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Reason #2,538 why I am not an adult

I just used Sun-In on my hair. Sun-In. A bottle of Sun-In I bought at Big Lots for $3.50. Seriously.

This really sums up my maintenance-style. Quick. Easy. Cheap. (No comments on that one, please.)

But it looks just fine. One of the benefits of having naturally blonde hair - you really can't mess it up too badly with Sun-In. Once, in college, my friend Crystal used Sun-In on her lovely dark brown hair and it turned red-ish. (I use the "ish" there because it really wasn't red but it really wasn't any other recognizable color either. The closest color to it was red. Hence the "ish".) It didn't look that bad, but it wasn't exactly like the picture on the box which was what she was going for. Although it never is, is it?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Sparseness of blog posts

I won't be able to post too much this week because Keeley and I are at my parents' house for Spring Break. And since I did not bring our laptop and I am right now, at this very moment, silently cursing my mom's laptop, I don't think I will be able to post much because of the sheer slowness of it all. And I have no patience for slowness. I need instant gratification. Instantly. Like right now.

Obviously, this sucks because I have been linked to from other, more cooler sites and now anyone who looks at this blog will be all, "This blog stinks." And I would have to be all, "Yes, I agree." Not that I have ever held any lofty goals for this blog. But, hey, a girl can dream. Right? I mean, I used the word "lofty". That means something.

So, if you're new and like anything you see, try to be a little patient (hey, I'm asking you to be patient, not me) with me and keep checking if you can. Maybe I'll do something entertaining and funny. Who knows.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

On a lighter note...

I've been feeling better lately. The days get easier. I know it won't ever be fully out of my mind and I really don't want it to be. I want to remember. And I want to thank everyone who has called, emailed, and visited with words of support. Your efforts did not go unnoticed and I appreciate you. Your concern made me realize that opening up is not such a bad thing.

Oh? Did I title this post "On a lighter note..."?

So I did. And that's because last night I met BOSSY! You know, of iambossy fame. Click on over there if you've never heard of her. She's hilarious.

P.S. What happened to my hair?
Bossy's looks fabulous - even though she complains about it.

We had a large time and I'm feeling fine this morning. Pre-party last night I made sure I was hydrated, caffeinated, and pre-medicated (Excedrin, people, nothing serious). Just in case. Not quite the girl I once was. We met at Fridays and moved it on over to Avitable's (Side note: Do not click on Avitable if you are easily offended. Of course, most you will now click on Avitable just because I said that.) house where Amy served us some fine wine. It was wonderful to meet other bloggers even if I don't necessarily consider myself a "blogger" yet.

Everyone was friendly and talkative and I even learned how to dye our pool red for possible future Halloween parties. Who knew? We drank and ate and drank some more. Hopefully, we might all get together again. Thanks, BOSSY, for such a snazzy, bloggy-love-fest idea.

It was also nice to be out of the house by myself. On the way home, I drove around for a bit with all the windows down just being Emily for a while. Not mommy or wife or any of the other roles I sometimes play. Roles I sometimes lose myself in, which is fine, but it was nice to find "me" in there somewhere.

Monday, March 24, 2008


I was pregnant. Now I'm not. I had a miscarriage. And it is one of the worst things I've ever experienced.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was shocked. Not happy, not sad - shocked. It took us almost a year when we were trying with Keeley. And, bang!, right within a month, I was pregnant again. After the shock wore off, I was happy. Donald was ecstatic right from the start. We started telling some people. Even before we went to the doctor. This was VERY unlike me and I figured that if anything happened, I would want these people to know.

We went to the first doctor's visit and everything seemed fine. We set up an ultrasound appointment for 10 days later and I was disappointed that I would have to wait 10 days. Well, I didn't have to wait 10 days because I started spotting two days later. I had an ultrasound the next day and there was no heartbeat but the doctor said that was normal since the baby was only measuring a little over 6 weeks. We kept my initial ultrasound appointment for the next Friday - a week later. What a rough week. Looking back, I know I knew something was wrong. I could feel it. But I would have these hopeful moments where I would scrape up every little bit of weird feelings I was having and attribute them to being pregnant. As the week went on I had fewer and fewer of those hopeful moments. At that next appointment, they confirmed that the pregnancy was over. The baby died at a little over 6 weeks.

I won't go into too much detail about taking the misoprostol. I will let you know it wasn't fun. It was a little painful and very emotional. If by some chance you do want to know more about it, there are stories here that I found helpful.

So far, Monday seems to have been the worst day yet. I felt like it was all over and was nothing else to do. I didn't have anything planned to distract me except for the doctor's appointment where they will tell me that my uterus is clear. Empty.

Usually there's so much going on to distract me. This is one of the worst things I've ever gone through. It's awful. And, like most awful situations, there's no instruction book around, no Miscarriage Handbook, to guide me through the process or even make me feel more normal.

I do know that we're healing and I assume, again like most awful situations, each day will be a little easier. I know I'll still have moments that are difficult (and probably always will), but as sad as those moments are, it's still hard to not see the joy in life when I have this to remind me:

I didn't know if I would ever publish this post when I wrote it. Even now, I'm not sure if I'm actually going to press the "publish post" button. I'm not a very open person about my feelings but, somehow, writing this made me feel a little better. And reading what other people wrote about miscarriage has helped me, too.

Thank you to everyone who has helped out this past week. I might not have said it, but know that I love you.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Oh, the pain! Oh, the pain!

Well, Keeley has an ear infection in BOTH ears. Of course, it all started with a cold. (A cold that I now have as well, which is not surprising since when Keeley has a cold I spend most of the day as a human tissue.)
On Friday Keeley developed the sniffles. On Saturday she kinda didn't feel good. By Sunday afternoon she wouldn't do anything but lay in our arms and try to sleep. Her temperature went up to 104. Of course, of course it was a Sunday. If her temp went up to even 104.2, I would have called the doctor's office. I have read that if it gets to 105 they have to go to the ER. Luckily, the Tylenol brought it back down a bit.

It is just so sad to see your normally spunky, energetic, full-of-life baby reduced to crying and writhing in your arms because she just can't get comfortable.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Keeley B: Month 12

Dear Keeley,

Well, yesterday you turned 13 months old. Now I know why your age is still calculated in months: so much happens in a month that a 12 month old is drastically different from an 18 month old even though they are both technically 1 year old. You amaze me every day with something new you can do. Last week you learned how to open the door to your room. (Did I mention how many of these new things you can do also cause me more trouble?) And you practically run everywhere you go. Walking is simply not fast enough for you. You are just so excited about everything. Well, maybe not riding in your car seat. You could do without that.

You keep learning new words, too. You know "hi" and "bye-bye." You can say "mama" and "mommy." You say "dada" and "daddy", sometimes. You can say "mimi", "mammy" (for grammy), and "papa." You say "buh" and "buh-ee" for Buddy. You say "mo" for more and "mo" for milk. (That one gets confusing.) You say "bah" for ball. You know that a kitty says "meow", a doggie says "ruff", a duckie says "quack quack", and a snake says "hiss hiss." (Although the way you say it, the snake has a slight lisp. But it is hands down everyone's favorite sound you do.)

So far, we haven't had any major meltdowns in the aisles of any stores yet. But I can see those times looming in the not-so-distant future. The other day you were standing up in your princess throne even though you know you're not allowed to stand in chairs. I told you to sit down and you looked at me with these impish eyes and said, "Nah." Now I'm not sure if you were actually meaning no, but it sure seemed like it. And, right now? That's really funny to me. It was all I could do to keep from smiling and laughing while I continued to tell you to sit down. You just had the best little twinkle in your eye and you were looking right at me saying, "Nah." I know this will most definitely NOT be cute in the future, so I am enjoying it while I can. I eventually had to just take the throne away for a while, but you weren't too upset. You just went on to playing with something else.

And it's not just me who enjoys you so much. You bring so much joy to so many people's lives. Everyone who knows you is always so excited to see you. I find it hard to balance your time with all the people who want to be with you. And that is a wonderful thing. Your sense of adventure and excitement for life seems to just take over whenever you're around. It's like we forget all those boring, annoying adult problems when we have you around. With you, it's so much easier to focus on how exciting things are and just how lucky we are to be here today.

I love you so much and I want to tell you I'm sorry for all the things I can't be. I'm sorry for the times I don't read you that book you bring to me with that excited look in your eyes. I'm sorry for the times I don't give you the extra few minutes you want to check out an interesting stick or that cool leaf on the ground. I'm sorry for the times I forget to give you a banana cookie after dinner because I'm so concerned with cleaning you up. I'm just sorry that I can be that perfect mother I so long to be. My love for you makes me want to be everything and do everything you need. I know that's not possible, but it doesn't make me want it any less. Just know that I try.

I am so happy you are in my life. Thank you for everything you bring into it. I feel like I feel everything more since I've had you. More happiness, more excitement, more love. More guilt, of course, but you've gotta take the good with the bad. And the good always, always outweighs the bad. Always.
Love you,

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Yes, I really did use the word "mediate" in reference to babies playing together

First of all, I want to say that I LOVE playgroup. I love getting Keeley together with other babies close(r) to her age and being able to be there with her. I know she gets some socialization when she stays in childcare at the YMCA, but during playgroup I get to be there and watch her play. I really like the other moms in the group, too. (Which is probably the most important part of a playgroup at this age since the kids don't seem to care.) We all seem to have similar views on things and no one is competitive or judgemental. I love it. I look forward to it.

That being said, playgroup is exhausting. I am just so tired every time I come home. Keeley is usually all over the place. And, since Keeley is the only one walking (all the other babies are younger), most of the moms don't have gates and such up yet. (And I don't blame them. I wouldn't either.) So I just follow Keeley around and close all the doors in the house and try to stop her from tipping over the glass flowers or pressing the buttons on all of the electronics, or eating all of the remote controls, or slamming the baby swing into the wall, or throwing ceramic coasters, or... Well, you know.

Oh, and throwing things? That's a whole other issue. She's started to throw things which, of course, was very cute and exciting until you're around 5 other babies who now seem to be targets. She's obviously not trying to hit anyone, but it happens nonetheless. Keeley's lesson for next week: Do Not Throw Things In The House. I'll keep you posted on how that goes.

Then there's baby group dynamics. As I said earlier, Keeley is the oldest baby there. So, of course, she takes everyone's toys. I usually step in and either give it back myself and give Keeley something else to play with or tell Keeley to give it back to the baby she stole it from. The latter method involves at least 5 minutes of, "Keeley, give the toy back to Taylor. Give the toy to Taylor" [Keeley puts toy next to Taylor and takes toy back.] "Keeley, give to toy to Taylor. Give the toy to Taylor." You get the picture. And I'm still not exactly sure what I'm supposed to do in that situation. Do I just let the kids play and not worry with it? Do I step in and try to mediate? (Did I really just say "mediate" in reference to babies playing? Surely, I'm losing my mind.) Anyway, what am I supposed to do? I feel like my kid is the oldest one there and usually the one taking things, so I am required to deal with the situation. Plus, I'm still not sure what the other moms expect either. Obviously, I want Keeley to grow up with good social skills, but where is the line between letting them play and stepping in too often?


Just today Keeley hit a baby in the back of the head with a maraca, threw a sorting cup that hit someone, smashed a teething toy in a baby's face, and came very close to hitting the youngest one there with something else she threw. I know these are kids and these things are just going to happen, but what's my role in the whole thing? I need some help here - I don't want to get kicked out of playgroup! Like I said, I LOVE playgroup.

(And if any of the playgroup moms happen to be reading this, please know this is NOT a complaint about anything you've done or said. I'm just wondering what I'M supposed to do. I think you're all great!)

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Found this link on Dooce and thought it pretty funny:

And I just think of all those wasted hours we spent trying to get Donald to nurse Keeley...

Life as we know it

Yes, it's been awhile since the last post. Sorry. I just haven't felt like sitting in front of the computer that much lately. But I know you are all terribly interested in what's been going on with Keeley, so I will sacrifice just for you.

For the Valentine' Day playgroup we decided to take some photos of the kids and maybe get some cute ones with a heart backdrop. Then we decided to take a photo of all the babes together. As you can see, my child would not sit still. Not for a minute. Oh, what a mess. I tried and tried to get her to sit - just for a second - so I could get a cute picture of all of them and I had no luck. No luck at all. Too busy.

This past weekend, we went to visit Mimi and Peeps and we were ever so busy. We rode on the golf cart, played on the golf course (a big favorite), swam in the indoor pool, ate watermelon, went shopping, and just had a wonderful time. We went down there for Peeps' birthday. I made a baked pasta dish for his birthday dinner and we all liked it very much, including Keeley. I love the fact that I can giver her so many different "real" food now. Sweet potatoes are still a big hit, but now I can just serve them like the rest of the family's.

Speaking of meal time, is it just me or did anyone else get incredibly, insanely, amazingly bored while feeding their children? Holy cannoli, it seems like it takes her FOREVER to finish a meal or snack. I know I should be thankful that she is eating well and enjoys her food - and I am. I just get so bored sitting there while she eats. And I feel guilty if I am texting someone or doing something else. I feel like I should be having conversations with her and other educational stuff like that. Sometimes I'll have her eat a snack with the highchair either in the kitchen so I can prepare another meal or in front of Sesame Street so I can get some other chore done, but I still feel bad and there's still 4 or 5 other meals to deal with. (She eats 5 or 6 times a day, people.) And then, when she's done eating? I have to clean everything up - including my food-covered child! Just thought I'd ask.
Anyhoo, so we had fun in Winter Haven. This week was pretty busy as well. We went to the gym several times and it's not her favorite place anymore. I think she's having trouble adjusting to the amount of kids that are there at the new time we have to go. They changed the child care hours so we can't go at 1:00 anymore because it closes at 1:30. And while a half hour workout sounds lovely, it isn't so lovely for the weight loss. So we have to go earlier in the day and that's when everyone under the sun brings their kids. I think she just doesn't know what to do with herself. There are these big kids running around and she's used to either being the center of attention or the biggest kid there. Hopefully, she get used to it soon. She's really bonded with one of the workers there so I'm hoping that will help.

This week we also had our very first Girls Night dinner. We went out with my friend Dana to a nice(r) restaurant. I had to take Keeley with because Donald was working late that night. I'm never sure how things are going to go with her, but she was really good. And we were there almost 2 hours. (Oops - didn't realize that as we were eating and talking...) I was very proud. I figure she should learn how to conduct herself during Girls Night.

I guess that's about it for now. I'm tired of being in front of the computer and I still have to wait two hours while Blogger takes its time downloading the photos to the blog. Because I know I will hear it if there's a blog post with no photos...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Keeley Brown's First Birthday Extravaganza

Well, first I would like to say (write) that I consider Keeley's first birthday a success. Keeley was happy pretty much the whole time and I think she enjoyed entertaining her people. Her many, many people. We had about 25 people - with cameras. (And food for 125 - but I will talk more about that later.) Everyone seemed to be happy to watch Keeley flit about and laugh and play. She liked walking around the porch and she loved the balloons.

As I said earlier, there was plenty of food. And everyone ate - a lot. And there was STILL tons of leftovers. You could tell I was worried about not having anough food. Hey, I don't know anything about having parties except make sure you have enough food and make sure you have enough booze. Pretty much if you have enough booze, everything else works itself out eventually. Anyhoo, there was enough food. I had to assume it was good. Why? Because. I. Did. Not. Eat. A. Bite. None. Nothing.

Why, oh why, do you ask? Well, because I was sick, sick, sick. Lots of sick that I will not go into. I couldn't even clean and decorate like I wanted to. Thank goodness my mom and Jill were there to get most of it done. Keeley even helped decorate. And Donald's mom showed up early and she was able to help, too. I had no clue what was wrong with me. For a few terrifying moments, I thought I might be pregnant - but the sickness lasted WAY too long for that. I remember being curled up on the couch saying, "Mommy, what's wrong with me?" I think she was too busy getting stuff done to say more than, "Will you please take a pepto?"

Turns out I had some sort of stomach virus. I learned this as Donald was sick the next day. Conveniently, conveniently sick the day AFTER his daughter's first birthday. So he got to lay in bed all day -- and complain about how HE feld bad. I wasn't very sympathetic. I do remember bringing him a cup of ginger ale at one point. Thoughtful, yes, I know. Amazingly, Keeley never got sick. Thank goodness. I am soooooooooo happy about that. I shudder at the thought.

So back to Keeley. You know, the real reason for the party and all? She had a blast. Well, until I tried to put her down for her second nap. She was all like, "No way, mom. These people NEED me. I am the life of this party. Without me, this party is LAME." So, after about 10 minutes of convincing me, she got to return to the party. (It was lame.) She just wandered around and smiled at everyone and let them know she was back so the fun could begin again.

All in all, a great day for Keeley. Wish I had felt better and could've enjoyed it more. Oh well, it just reminded me how lucky I am to have such wonderful, wonderful family who help out and bring food, and clean kitchens, and watch babies, and are just all-around great.

There were several things I definitely would have done a little better had I not been sick, but none of it was improtant. Keeley's cake turned out a little weird looking and I would have iced it better. But, silly me, I was trying to make this cake and, well, let's face it, Keeley didn't enjoy it that much. Just looking at that cake makes me want to photoshop it. I guess, I can try to make myself feel better by saying I made it myself with love (Gag.) and it was healthy (Double gag.). Either way, I felt bad, so a couple days later I gave her some of Aunt Jeanie's super-fun cake with extra sugar-y icing and she liked it a LOT better. I mean, a kid should get the whole fun first-birthday-cake-icing-and-yummy-sugar-and-other-bad-stuff-for-you experience. Of course, she was fed copious amounts of vanilla ice cream on her birthday by at least one grandparent (Mimi) and perhaps others I don't know about. I do know she enjoyed it so much she couldn't keep her feet still.

So, thank you to everyone for making Keeley's day so special. I promise to work on the thank you notes this week, now that I'm getting back with the program. I know she won't remember it, but I will. The party wasn't just to celebrate Keeley's first year of life (although that was a VERY important part of it), it was also to celebrate our first year as parents. I just love that little girl so much, I couldn't help but go overboard just a little.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Keeley Dawn Brown: The First Year Edition

Dear Keeley,

This is you the minute you turned one year old. Your daddy and I snuck into your room to be the very first to wish you a happy birthday. (Corny? Yes, it is, but somehow your father and I end up very corny when it comes to you. Sorry.) This has been just the best year. I have so enjoyed watching you grow into this crazy/wonderful little toddler. You have evolved into this independent, sassy little girl who exudes PERSONALITY. Your facial expressions alone are worth their weight in gold.

You are seriously our world. Our house is but a shrine to you. There are literally pictures of you EVERYWHERE. So much so, I'm surprised there's not a picture of you using the bathroom in the bathroom. Give us time. We are just so proud of you. And ourselvs a little, I guess. I mean, who could not be proud of themselves a little when they've got such an amazing little creature such as you? You amaze us everyday with something you do.

One of my favorite times of the day is the process of putting you to bed. I do have to admit that, at first, I dread it just a bit. This is only because lately your father has been giving you a bath and, while it's hard to miss that fun time with you, I must say I look forward to that little bit of time to myself after all-day Keeley-ness. Time to myself for fun things such as showering or cleaning the kitchen - you know real "me" time. Anyway, then it's time to put you to bed and I think, "Oh Lord, I've got to put her to bed." But then I remind myself how much I enjoy it. I get to snuggle with you while you drink your bottle (which, by the way, you will keep this last bottle until you graduate high school, I love it so much. Quite frankly, I might even follow you to college with it just so I can snuggle with you for more than 3 minutes.) And then after your bottle we play a bit on the couch and we both end up laughing and putting our foreheads together. It's like we share this special, private joke. You and me.

Lately, you've taken to carrying items around the house. You love to caryy purses and baskets. You could care less if anything is in them. You just like to carry them. It's so cute to see you wandering around the house with a little purse. It's like you're a little old woman carrying her purse to the store. So much of what you do during the day tells me that you're growing up. BUt watching you sleep reminds me that you're a baby. My baby. I still peek in on you everynight before I go to sleep. Usually you're in there laying on top of your sleepytime toys, passed out to the world. It's so peaceful and it makes me happy to see you.

It's amazing how much I love being home with you. I had a rough start, but now it's so incredibly wonderful. I couldn't imagine going back to work. And miss all of your antics? No way. If only I'd known back then what I know now. Maybe it wouldn't have been so hard. And who could have told me? No one. I'm glad I learned it myself. You're the best lesson I've ever had. I think I might learn more from you than you do from me. I try to be that person I see in your eyes. She's pretty great.

I love you, Keeley Dawn. You make my life better just by being here.

Love you,