Friday, December 28, 2012

Wishin' and Hopin'

Dear Mia,

Your birthday is right around the corner!  Here are some things your Dad and I think you would love!

We can't wait for your birthday, Mia!  It's going to be quite the event!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

On the move!

Dear Mia,

Well, you're mobile!  You army crawled for the first time at your Aunt Courtney's on Thursday, but you didn't show us your skills until yesterday.  You set your sights on a toy across the floor and there you went!

We laid a sheet out on the floor and covered it in toys.  You had a blast scooting around, going from toy to toy and (of course) putting them in your mouth!  Your favorite toys right now include the TV remote, blue monkey suction toy, light-up pianos, and multi-colored links.  You also love your little teethers, taggie blanket and your pacifier (which you can now pick up and put in your mouth all by yourself).  I've also noticed that you're growing tired of your old toys and you much prefer playing with new things.  I've started to rotate your toy selection, and just today I went fishing through your toy box and pulled out two little cars, some blocks and a shape sorter.  You really liked pushing the little car all around your high chair tray.

Your Grandma Young sent you two little books in the mail this week to celebrate your first Halloween and the first thing you did when you got them was put them in your mouth.  You opened one up and CHOMP! you left nice little teeth marks in the soft cover.  You also love to bite down on your spoon when we feed you now.  It's your new trick.

You are such a happy baby and you do so well on the floor with your toys.  I'm sure you're going to crawl more and more each day, and it's only a matter of time until you can speed across the floor faster than we can!  We're going to have to keep a closer eye on you now, baby!


Friday, October 19, 2012


Dear Mia,

You have two new teeth!  Your Dad and I were out at the mall tonight with your Aunt Courtney, Uncle Josh and Corbin, when you started munching on your Dad's fingers.  All of the sudden he yelped out, "OUCH!"  He pulled down your bottom lip and there they were, just two little white teeth sticking up from your gums!

You won't show them to us for long, and we can really only get a good look when we hold you upside down.  I'm sure they'll be nice and visible in no time, however.  We can't wait until you have a little toothy grin!

We love you, baby!

Monday, October 8, 2012


Dear Mia,

2012 marked the fourth year that your Daddy and I have visited Rader Family Farms in Normal, Illinois.  In 2009 we took Aaliyah and we underestimated how cold it could be out in the cornfield!  We ended up running out to the store to buy her a hat and gloves to wear!

We had SO much fun with Aaliyah that we talked everyone into going with us in 2010:

Then we went back again in 2011, this time you you still in my belly!

Which brings us to 2012 and the addition of you!  This was by far our busiest year, now that all of your cousins were old enough to do all of the farm activities.

I can't wait to see what this photo looks like next year!  You'll be a big girl and Josie will be there!  I'm already looking forward to it!


Rader Family Farm

Dear Mia,

This past weekend we took a trip to Rader Family Farms with the Snipes family and continued our annual tradition of fall fun during the Ropp Road Roundup!  You had a BLAST!

We started the day with lunch in LeRoy and then headed over to the farm.  It was a bit chilly so we had you bundled up for most of the day- pants, socks, slippers, sweater, wool hat, mittens and a fleece blanket!  We tried our best to keep you warm and then I made sure your bottles were nice and warm so those heated you up, too.

You're still a little small to fully enjoy all of the activities at the farm, but your cousins (and Daddy) had a great time on the jumping pillow, swings, bike race, corn bins and play houses.

You did get to go down the big slide, have your first hay rack ride and get your picture taken many, many times!

We were at the farm for almost six hours, and you were bright-eyed and in a great mood for most of it!  You love being outside, even if you're cold, and you had a great time watching all of your cousins run around and play.  At one point we were waiting for your cousins to go down the big slide and every time a kid popped out of the tube you'd squeal with excitement.  We can't wait to take you back to the farm again next year!


Saturday, October 6, 2012

7 Months

Dear Mia,

Phew, what a month!  You're still relatively immobile but not for long!  I think this time next month I'll be writing about how unprepared we were for a crawling baby!

There are a few things I've been forgetting to document, so here's a round-up of your current behaviors:  You can move easily from sitting to laying, and rolling all over the place!  You can maneuver yourself around on the floor (mostly sideways and in circles) but you're still working on forward movements.  You can pull your knees up, put your butt in the air, forehead on the carpet and rock back and forth.  Then when you get frustrated that the rocking isn't working, you flatten yourself on your belly, stick your arms and legs out to the side, wiggle them like crazy and squeal!  You can still stand like a pro but you're not moving your feet to walk or grabbing onto tables or the couch to keep yourself vertical.  You just like one of us to keep you standing!

You take 6 ounce bottles six times each day, and you eat a container or two of veggies for lunch and dinner.  It took a few tries to get you to eat your veggies but now you seem to love them- especially sweet potatoes!  You've also eaten carrots, green beans, peas and bananas.  I need to go to the store and re-stock; I think you need a little more variety.  We've also started you on cereal puffs and a sippy cup of water.

You sit up on your own- on the floor, in your stroller, in high-chairs and everywhere else!  You love to be able to watch everyone around you and be right in the middle of the action.  You're also very loud!  You laugh, squeal, giggle, jabber and yell!  I'm trying to get you to say "Mama" and you will, but I don't think you have any idea what it means yet.

You're ticklish!  We can tickle your armpits and you will scrunch up and give us a big grin.  It's like you know it tickles but you're not sure how to respond.  You love to be hung upside down and roughhouse with Daddy.

You love going for walks in your stroller, swinging on the playground, and petting the dogs.  You are still such a happy baby, and people comment all the time on how easy going you are.  Your great temperament makes it so easy to go places.  You nap when you're tired and eat when you're hungry; you don't get fussy if you're sleeping in a new place or eating outside of your highchair.  You go with the flow, and it's awesome!

You still LOVE your baths!  You can sit up in your tub now so you spend your time playing with your bath toys while we wash your hair and little body.  I'm sure you don't like getting out of the tub, but you never cry.

It's so hard to remember all of the little changes in you even from month to month because you change so much every day!  It's just so unbelievable to think how much you've grown in just seven months!  You are such a big girl!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

6 Months

Dear Mia,

It's so hard for me to believe you're already six months old!  Where does the time go?  These past two months have been the most exciting months in your development because you're little personality is really starting to show, and you are such a goofball!

You make all kinds of noises now, little grunts, screams of delight and belly laughs.  You've started sticking your tongue out, and pursing your lips to blow spit bubbles.  You put EVERYTHING in your mouth including your toes, and we've caught you sucking your thumb a few times.

You love your pacifier, but you only really need it when you go down for a nap, at bedtime and if you're getting bored in the car.  You still like the toys that light up and play sounds, and like to hold your taggie blanket.

You started sitting up on your own when we were on vacation in Wisconsin.  Your Dad and I were bringing in the luggage from the car and I just sat you down in the middle of the living room... and you just stayed there!  You really developed a lot that week, I think because we were able to devote so much time to you.  We took you back to your Aunt Courtney's when we got back and said "watch out!  She's a totally different kid!"  Now that you can sit up, you enjoy larger toys like the giraffe ball popper and pretend car steering wheel.  The other day you were playing with the steering wheel toy, picked it up onto your lap and then fell right over.  I think the weight of the toy threw off your balance!

You are also getting much better at being on your tummy.  You've started to scoot around (mostly backwards or to the side) and you're starting to try and crawl.  You'll put your head down onto the carpet, your butt in the air and try to push with your legs.  You're almost there!

You still love to stand up (although you're not showing any interest in walking yet) and JUMP!  You've gone through a growth spurt these past two months and when you're in your jumperoo you can reach the floor with no problem.  You LOVE to jump, scream and jump some more!  You are hilarious to watch and we've taken some pretty funny videos of you going to town in that jumperoo.

You're way too big to sit on the counter while I get ready in the morning, so I've moved you to a stationary activity station.  I stock pile it with toys and we have little chats while I put on my makeup and do my hair.  Although the activity stand is not for jumping, you still get excited sometimes and try anyway.  You're hilarious in the mornings sometimes.

Your interest in the dogs is increasing, and their kisses make you giggle and laugh.  You LOVE swimming, walks in the stroller and just being outside.  These past two months we took trips to Michigan and Wisconsin to meet your extended family, Turkey Run State Park, Peoria, and other places.  You sleep great in the car, but we have to make sure to plan the drives for your nap times.

You sit with us in your high chair during dinner time, although you're still on a formula-only diet.  (You can hold your own bottle now!)  At your six month appointment your pediatrician said you're a very lean baby, but nothing to worry about.  She recommended we start adding cereal and then veggies to your diet, but that you still might not chunk up.  You're just meant to be long and lean!  You weigh 15 pounds, 1 ounce (26%) and are 26.22 inches long (61%).

Everyone loves you, Mia.  Every single person that has the pleasure of interacting with you thinks you are a doll, and no one loves you more than me and your Daddy.  You are the most perfect little girl and we are so in love with you, Mia.  Thanks for being you.