Just this morning I looked at Elyse and saw a glimpse of her outside of babyhood. That glimpse of her as a toddler, as her baby fat melts off and she loses her chubby little cheeks and fluffy, blow about hair. While there are things about toddlerhood that I look forward to (like hopefully she will stop eating dirt and mud by the handful), I know that there are many baby things that I will miss. 

Ever since she was born, she has fit perfectly into my arms. From 6 pounds to almost 20, it is like my arms just adjust so that I can always cuddle her close. And I love holding her in the evenings and she feeds and then curls into me before going to bed. Her warm little tummy and perfectly smooth skin, the feeling of her chest rising and falling in a gentle rhythm as she gives herself over to her dreams, and the small little smile that always crosses her face in that moment of surrender - each of these things is a tangible momento of the seconds, minutes and hours spent with her like this. I love holding her close and breathing in the scent of her hair and her head while resting my lips on her forehead. I love hearing the soft grunts and coos that she makes and watching her crane her neck back into a position that looks uncomfortable but apparently is the most comfortable position in the world to her. 

And I live for that moment when I shift her in my arms, her arms and legs relaxed and hanging completely trusting as I bring her to her bed and kiss her just under her jaw, in a place that is pillowy soft and warm from our cuddles. 

Every night I whisper to her that I love her and, even though she might not even know what that means right now, that is the thing that makes being a mother so amazing. we give our love without needing our love to be returned. It is returned, in a most amazing way, but it is also given with crying and whining and demands on our time, energy and patience. 

Sometimes when I tell Lauren that I love her, she tells me, "I love you too, Mommy." Yet other times she tells me, "I know." The first few times, that made me ache to hear back confirmation of her love, but know I think that the times that she acknowledges my love are actually more important. There may be times in Lauren and Elyse's lives where they don't particularly love me and those times may be long or short, frequent or intermittent, but I don't ever want there to be a time when they aren't absolutely certain of my love for them. They might not fully understand how I can always love them until they themselves are mothers, but I don't need them to understand how I do it, I just want them to know that I do. 



Our life has fallen into a rhythm that keeps us busy every day and has days flying past. Matt is studying full time for his CFA exam (on top of working full time) and I am on mom duty. We are both in survival mode and that is why the blog has been pushed to the back burner. By the time that the evening comes, the photo editing and writing seems like a daunting task. That and our lives are kind of boring now. Our girls are healthy (Praise the Lord), our days are filled with naps (and trying to get kids to nap) and our nights are filled with exhausted moments together. I do have some things to write about over the next few weeks including a new ALCAPA baby (not mine!) and some special events that we have shared together.

PS - When I saw Lauren in the garden like this and asked her why she had taken her shoes off, I was informed that it was so that they wouldn't get dirty. Toddler logic at work.
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