Sam | 12 Months

sam_12_months_onesieThe Great Sambino. You are now a year old. I can hardly believe a whole year has gone by and at the same time, it was one of the longest years ever! Adjusting to a life with two rambunctious boys who feed off of each other (good and bad) has been an adventure, to say the least.

You are now 21 lbs, you’re in the 80th percentile for most everything and you continually amaze your pediatrician with how much you’re doing. You babble ALL. THE. TIME. You can point to what you want, throw temper tantrums, “hum” to yourself, walk, say “Mama”, “Nana”, Baa-baa (bubba)”, “ah-duh” (all done), and “ahhhhhhhh!” which is the universal word for “pay attention to me and what I’m saying!”

You’ve surprised me at your ability to play independently for so long. You love having someone play next to you, but you already show your preference for doing things yourself, your way. It cracks me up to see you get upset when I undo what you just did. You express you disappointment with grunts and “ehh”, while you toss whatever it is that I disrupted.

Your love for your Dad is blatant. I’m not jealous at all, as you can tell. You clearly favor him and it’s so sweet. You and your brother both LOVE him tremendously. You clamor for time with him any chance you can get. He’s funny, fun, creative, attentive. Who wouldn’t want to be with him all the time?

Your favorite foods are:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Grilled asparagus
  • Blueberries
  • Apples and Apple sauce
  • Chicken nuggets
  • Any kind of cracker or bread (aka, pizza)
  • Popcorn

You recently switched to whole milk and love it, so long as it warmed to the correct temperature — otherwise you protest by arching your back and sobbing. You also tend to do this when your milk is finished.

You love to:

  • Dance
  • Sing
  • Play with cars
  • Chase your brother
  • Be outside
  • Eat
  • Take this a part/test their limitations

You take two naps a day and you’re one of the easiest babies to put to sleep. You are fine with rocking or not. Cuddling or not. Singing or not. At any point if I decide you’re too wiggly and you just need to rest in your crib until you fall asleep I kiss your head, lay you down and you protest for a maximum of 2 minutes. Then, you sing yourself to sleep. I’m sure it’s just a phase but it’s oh so sweet.

You are currently getting your one year molars which has you drooling like a bulldog and nawing like a puppy.

We didn’t have any crazy adventures this month, but rather we really enjoyed the “going through the motions” of every day life. Church on Sundays, naps in the afternoon, playing in the backyard, trips to the park, working in the backyard, meeting up with friends, making meals, doing chores, and learning to be together as a family. It was nice. The biggest adventure this month was your First Birthday! We had some family and close friends come for a few hours and celebrate your day with us. We had your favorite food (pizza) and a pop corn bar with fun mix-ins, a pinata, and of course cake. Your mom tried not to go too crazy with the decor and games and such. She can get a little nuts. Between preparing for Good Friday service and Easter service, it helped keep me in check.

Seeing all these wonderful people here to celebrate you and your one year of life had me all warm and fuzzy inside. You enjoyed your cake and we enjoyed watching the sugar kick in while you ate it.

I look back at a year ago and I try to remember how it felt to hold you, 6 hours after you were born (due to complications for us both from delivery), and I just remember feeling peace. Feeling whole. You were what I needed. You were so little, needed so much attention and care, yet you were so easy and sweet — right from the beginning. God made you perfectly for us, for our family. We are forever grateful to Him for you.

I can’t wait to see how much you grow and change in this coming year. We love you, Sam Sam.



Sam | 11 Months


You are now 11 months old. You’re going to be 1 next month. You are a babbling, independent, opinionated, spunky, adventurous bundle of love. You are affectionate and sweet, have NO personal space, you give kisses and hugs and you love cars. You can play by yourself for an hour — I’m not exaggerating. You make “vrooooom” sounds while you play with anything that remotely looks like a car. You love your brother’s quad and you crawl as fast as humanly possible to it when you’re released to the outdoors.

You’re starting to point to the things you want while grunting and you love to eat. Constantly. I’m going to have to buy a second fridge at the rate you and your brother are consuming the food I buy. Thank the Lord for Costco.

You have 8 teeth now and are working on a new pair of lower teeth. You also had an awful cold this month which left you and your brother energy-less for almost a week. You still managed to smile through the tired and smear your snot all over everything. Even while sick you took your first step! Your great-cousin (I think? second cousin once removed? I don’t know) was playing with you on Grammy’s floor when you suddenly decided that you’d let go of the couch and take a step. I was floored. Badoom, #momjoke.

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This month was full of adventure. Mostly the Disney kind. Since we decided to get passes we’ve gone at least once a month. This past month we went twice! It’s been a blast taking the kids and I’m really hoping they don’t get too spoiled in the Disney way, because sometimes I think I enjoy it more than they do.

We also made a trip up to Santa Barbara (gosh the drive up is gorgeous) to meet up with my cousin and her son at the Zoo. The Santa Barbara Zoo is beautiful and we could not have asked for a more perfect day. I’ve decided too that I need to have a 12 year old with me at all times. Gabriel was so helpful with the littles.

Sam is starting to show more of his personality  and preferences lately. When he doesn’t get what he wants or you tell him “no” he throws himself on the floor and flops around crying. I’m talking huge crocodile tears. It’s all I can do not to laugh. He’s also settled into his little brother role fairly well. The other day I set him up with his bottle, Teddy with an apple and I went to my bedroom to get dressed. While I was in my room I heard Sam cry/yell for a second and then stop. When I came out, Teddy was sitting on the couch sans his apple, which Sam was chomping on happily. Essentially, he’s learned that if he cries Teddy will give him what he wants so Teddy doesn’t get into trouble. Hah! I had to explain to Teddy the difference between sharing and enabling. And of course, once I took the apple away and gave it back to Teddy the “tantrum” ensued. Good grief. Whomever said, “boys aren’t dramatic” NEVER had boys.

The bond between Sam and Teddy is growing day by day. Teddy is usually up first and while I’m doing my devos or making breakfast or let’s be real, waking up with coffee Teddy sits on the couch with some cheerios watching Daniel Tiger or playing in the play room. As soon as he hears the slightest whine in the monitor he jumps up and says, “Sammy’s awake!” We run into Sam’s room to see a happy baby grinning ear to ear as his brother runs to his crib and says, “Hiiiii Sammy. You have good nap, yeah?” Gah, my heart. They play together… like brothers. It’s not always nice, it’s not always gentle, it’s not always calm, but, Sam is learning to hold his own and Teddy is learning to be more empathetic. The days are a constant adrenaline rush. I can only imagine how many grey hairs I’ll have by the time they are 10 and 8. Lord, help me.

I can’t believe we’re entering into the last month of infant-hood. I’m not entirely sure when they are technically done being infants, but I like to imagine it’s until they’re ONE or walking. So, I’ll hold on to your last month of being my baby, before I officially have two toddlers. Ahhh!


Sam | 10 Months


You have 8 teeth now! You sure do love to use those chompers and using them to eat everything in sight. It’s time to break out the vacuum each day to avoid, what your Auntie Amy calls, “The floor of death”. You’re a constant ray of sunshine except when you DO NOT want to do something, like go to sleep. You prefer things to be on your terms and you like to exercise your independence. I don’t know if it’s the fact that you have an older sibling but you seem to think you are capable of more than you actually are. You’re already riding around on whatever you can, pushing around whatever you can, jumping on things, eating everything we’re eating — no more baby food for you mister.

You play independently very well. It’s a treat for you and I when big brother is sleeping because we can play together for a while and then you’re totally fine with exploring on your own. I think you prefer it actually. I think you can actually can sense me hovering and you do not like it.

You got sick this month and decided that you were done breastfeeding — a bittersweet day for this mama. It was in the plan to hopefully have you primarily bottle fed by January but then you went ahead and decided that you were just going to just be done with that and go straight to formula. I think it had mostly to do with your bout with the flu right after Christmas. You threw up so much that I think you were just over the whole breastmilk thing. I didn’t realize how much it would make me sad that you were done. Again, you’re showing me who’s boss, that’s for sure.

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To be perfectly honest, Sam. This past month was pretty slow for you, anyway. Everyone and their mother caught this horrid flu that’s going around (everyone except me that is), so we didn’t really explore or adventure much. You did have your 9 month check up — yes I’m that behind. Were you did great. You are 19lbs now, have an 18 inch head circumference and you are 28 inches long! I’m pretty sure we’re reaching the point where we need to get you a bigger carseat.

This month you’ve really taken to your brother. You’re noticing him a lot more and wanting to play with him. You copy some of the sounds he makes like a car, a lightsaber, and a ninja (“Hiya”).

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This month, I turned 30! We celebrated with a day at Disneyland, then dinner with the grandparents in downtown. Grandma and Grandpa took you for a few days with Mom & Dad got to spend two nights in a hotel! We stayed up late, slept in, saw three movies, and ate whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted. And, it was hot! Your Dad also threw me a wonderful birthday dinner with friends after an afternoon of pampering with some girlfriends.


Mom and Dad also got to sneak away for the day to Disneyland (again) for Dad’s company’s “RICO DEElight”. This year we did a scavenger hunt around Disneyland and ended the night at Napa Rose. Nana and Papa watched you boys for us and we were told you both we’re great.

On the day you turned 10 months old, we went to… you guessed it. Disneyland! It was my first attempt at doing the whole thing. Driving there, getting you all out, in the stroller, folding the stroller, getting on the tram with two kids, a diaper bag, and a huge stroller with no help. It was stressful. But once we got into the park, it was pretty much a breeze. Friends of ours met up with us there and showed us all the “single mom” ropes. We stayed all day and for the parade too! Both you and Teddy were enamored. I loved it. We went on Winnie the Pooh 3 times, because we could. And you took your first ride on the teacups. You take after me in that you did not like the teacups. I could tell you got a bit queasy, just like your mama.

You LOVE giving kisses and it’s clear to me that you are understanding more of what we are saying. You know the word, “No” and you shake your head every time I say it. You’ll give a kiss if I say, “Can I have a kiss?” But not if I say, “kisses?” You’re a snuggle bug who’s smiley to the max when you’ve slept well. You HATE to be woken up (why oh why would I ever do this?). It’s happened once or twice and you’ve let me know your dissatisfaction.

We’ve also made some great friends on our street and all our kiddos get along! It’s been wonderful having a fellow mother-in-arms who will drop off Starbucks or watch the kids on a whim while I run an errand. Play dates abound with these kids!

Dude, you’re pretty much the funniest baby I know. You get humor. You laugh when someone produces a bodily function and I find that down right awesome. You’re a constant ray of sunshine and everyone knows it. We love you, Sambito.


Sam | 9 Months


We’re about to finish out the year 2015 and enter 2016, where you will be turning 1 year old. How did this happen? You’re already 9 months old. You’ve learned how to crawl, walk assisted, babble, speak some sign language, you’ve cut 7 teeth in total and you LOVE music.

All of these things about your personality and your specific preferences are developing — it’s fascinating. I know that “every baby is different” is something I’ve heard forever, but I nievely thought that for the most part, the first year of a baby’s life is pretty much the same across the board. It’s not so with you! You are definitely your own, individual person with likes and dislikes, wants and needs. I LOVE it. I knew being a mom was something special, but wow. Getting to raise two boys with such different personalities is absolutely fascinating to me.

You don’t like:

  • Eggs
  • Plain avocado
  • Anything you can’t feed to yourself
  • Being left alone
  • Not being near your mama
  • When it takes too long between bites of food

You like:

  • Music
  • Exploring
  • Crawling
  • Shaking your head
  • Screeching
  • Screaming
  • Signing “more”

You love:

  • Food – all kinds, any kind. Except eggs
  • Dancing
  • Laughing
  • Peek-a-boo
  • “If you’re happy and you know it”
  • Me (woot!)

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This past month we celebrated some of my favorite holidays with our littlest guy. Thanksgiving and Christmas. We always try and spend as much time as possible with as many family members as possible over the holidays. This means a lot of driving for us, but luckily both boys are champs in the car. We pretty much have a “Father of the Bride: Part II” map on which way to take depending on when we leave (does anyone else remember that part of the movie? Or is my type A, OCD organization showing?).

Thanksgiving was spent splitting the holiday between the two sides of our family. Meaning we get to eat two thanksgiving meals! YUM. We started with lunch at my parents house, gathered around a large table with delicious food and great conversation. We ended the evening with another delicious meal, The Peanuts Movie, and a private recital given by Nana and her guitar.


As we geared up for Christmas, everyone and their mother caught the flu! We did everything we could to avoid it and made it through Christmas without catching it… Until the day after Sammy’s 9th month birthday. But, more on that later.

Sam went to Disneyland for the first time, this month! We liked it so much, we decided to get passes. I’m so excited to do, as my parents did, surprise us and say, “We’re going to Disneyland!” on a random day. Even though Sam is about 2 months older than Teddy was when he went, Sam wasn’t overly enthusiastic about Disneyland. He’s so go with the flow that it’s pretty much what he did for the two days we were there. He enjoyed the rides well enough, but I think he’s going to be out little observer — taking things in an not being overly expressive. Don’t get me wrong, this kid radiates joy, but he’s definitely one to think about how he feels before expressing it.


Christmas, each year is SO fun! This year though was extra special. We spent as much of December as we could celebrating Christ’s birth by reading stories from the bible each morning, making Christmas cookies to pass out to the neighbors, sipping hot chocolate, driving to see Christmas lights, and listening to endless Christmas music.

A new tradition we started this year is seeing the LA ZOO lights. It was only $12 for us to go, after hours at the zoo. Over 1/3 of the place is decorated for Christmas with lights, songs, a water show, reindeer, Santa, and more! The boys stayed up pretty late but it was a blast.

Christmas Eve, we have a church tradition — the candlelight service. I led a small group of our kids from Children’s Ministry in a song on stage. Our pastor read a story to the kiddos and we all lit candles and sang Christmas Carols. It’s about a homey as you can get between the carols, kids running around and the homemade cookies everyone brings.


This year, our Children’s Ministry decided to raise funds and take present donations for a family that is living in a near by hotel. At the Thanksgiving lunch the church provides, we found a great family and began to pray about how we could give them a little Christmas cheer. The response was overwhelming. Between kiddos who donated their allowance to parents who purchase gifts, above and beyond what was asked, we were able to give a family gifts for Christmas on Christmas Eve! It was a blessing to be used in such a beautiful way and I know the kids were blessed to be a part of it.


After Christmas Eve service, we always order Toppers Pizza and open presents with Auntie Jonna. She outdid herself this year with a mini drum set for Sam and wearable, color-able T-Rex for Teddy, plus so much more.

Christmas morning was interesting. Sam woke up at 5:00, but Teddy slept in until 6:45. We only had one large gift for each of our boys so, we were anxiously awaiting the time Teddy would wake up and we could open gifts together. I always make my special hot cocoa recipe in the morning and I ALWAYS burn it. This year was NO different. The boys were finally all awake and walked/crawled down the hall to their gifts. Sam had a ride-in car with some stacking cups and Teddy received a balance bike with a helmet and pads. Both boys loved their gifts.


We then, split the day with family! The Lopezes first and then the Thomazins. Opening presents with kids is a riot. These kids are so sweet, hilarious, and radiate joy. We started the day off with brunch and then went straight into presents. Spending time together, watching the kids open gifts and then play with them outside happily has got to be my most favorite part. We all sat around the fire drinking coffee and watching the kids play with their new toys. We rounded out the day with a gift exchange, more delicious food and more hot cocoa. So much laughter, family stories, and recipes were shared.

There’s something about going home for Christmas, isn’t there? You walk in, smell the familiar smells, tasty food, warm voices and every single Christmas of the past comes flooding back. I wish I could bottle up that feeling, or capture it somehow. That way in the dreary, not so warm Christmasy times I could pull it out and inhale.

Here’s to another month and a new year!


Sam | 8 Months

sam_month_8_onesieWhoa Sam,

You’ve grown up so much this past month. We are a crawler now, a screamer when you’re hungry, and a champ at saying, “Mama!” You can also pull yourself up on things and then promptly fall over.

You love music. You rock back and forth to a family favorite, “Uptown Funk”. Or, the “Doh, Doh Song” as it is more affectionately known by your brother. We play “Stop. Go.” And you dance and stop with the music. Your laugh is so joyous and blasty. I LOVE it. You can play “peek-a-boo” all by yourself and you love when your brother plays it with you.

You want/need me a lot these days. Only me. You’ve started to cry if I had you off to someone and you really just want me to hold you. If I’m not holding you, you crawl around crying or climbing up my leg crying. You also have developed a good fake cry. It’s lovely.

You were sleeping through the night, but now you’ve managed to decide you want me multiple times throughout the night too. Your Dad has been a champ and gets up with you during the night too so I can have a break.

We’ve had so many fun adventures this month!

This month you had your first Halloween! We started the festivities with a trip to Conerstone Church’s trunk-or-treat where you and your brother dressed as an old race car driver and you were his mechanic. You’re a blast, kid. Always up for anything and always smiling.

On Halloween night, Nana and Papa came up and we dressed you as Charlie Brown. If you weren’t the cutest Charlie ever, then I don’t know what else!

You traveled out of state for the first time, to Arizona. There you met your GG Mary and GG Primo and Great Uncle Tony. Your brother ended up with a high fever while we were there and soon you followed. Thus, the next two weeks we would face fighting a family cold, you teething, and double ear infections for both of you boys. Phew, that was rough.

We also made a trip down to Riverside for a few days to help Auntie Amy and Uncle Trav — and to hang out with them, because we love ’em. You sure do love playing with Chan and Tess and they love you!
You had a visit from your Great Auntie Ro too! She came and spent the night with Nana and Papa. We went to the Reagan Library (a beautiful place)!

I know the next month is going to full of even more fun adventures, and I can’t wait to see you grow more and more into the amazing, fun kid I know you already are.


Sam | 7 Months

Sammy Baby,

Yes, that’s what we call you. Yes, we sing it in the vocal stylings of Fankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Yes, you love it.

You’re over half a year old now AND we’re about enter into my FAVORITE time of year! The Holidays. First up, your first halloween. I can’t wait to get you all dressed up and take you and your brother around the neighborhood. We LOVE our neighbors. They are literally the kind of people from whom you can ask for sugar!

The month was so fun in most ways and challenging in others. Your first adventure was seeing the Blue Angels in the airshow at Pt. Magu. Your cousins, Nana and Papa went too and you all loved it. We loved it so much, we went both Saturday and Sunday to see them. You continue to be the easiest, sweetest baby. You wore your ear muffs to protect your ears so well. You even fell asleep while wearing them.

You started scooting around/army crawling and you’re are mighty fast at it. You can basically follow your brother around now, which you both are loving. You sit up on your own very well and have started to munch on a few different things. Since you have your bottom two teeth now, it’s unbelievably cute to hear the “crunch, crunch, crunch” of you chewing your teething biscuits.

Great Grandma, Grandpa and cousin Elyse came to visit this month. We took them to our favorite spot! Underwood Family Farms. I can’t wait until you’re walking and I can take you boys there to run around. You guys always seem to have a blast there.

Your Dad and I got to get away for the night with friends to the Bluegrass Festival in LA. You Auntie JuJu and Uncle Thomas came to watch you both and you were an angel for them. No surprise there.

Some of your favorite things are:
– Blowing raspberries on my arm
– Playing with my arm fat
– Apples and spinach
– Pancakes. Duh!
– Your brother and your Daddy
– “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars
– Peek-a-boo

Some of your least favorite things are:
– Carrots and Eggs (Not together. That’s gross).
– Being left alone
– Afternoon naps
– Getting your diaper changed

Honestly, for the most part you are pretty amicable. You don’t have strong dislikes, except for the above listed.

I mentioned that this month was also hard. You were extremely sick this month and teething, I think. You had to miss your cousin JuJu’s birthday party and we were so sad! The sweet part of it though, was that I was able to get a whole 24 hours with just you while Daddy and Teddy went on the pirate ship in Big Bear. We watched Gilmore Girls and wrestled on the floor, while practicing your crawling.

Our biggest adventure of month was camping! We go, every year, with our church to a campsite in Carpenteria. The first time we did it, your brother Teddy was just 4 months old. You, of course, were a champ. The day before the trip I sliced my thumb on a mason jar and needed 5 stitches. Do you know how hard it is to change diapers with a bum thumb? Especially since “getting your diaper changed” is on the dislikes list.

Sickness and all, you continue to be my snuggly, sunshine bear. You LOVE me. No, I mean it. I’m totally your favorite. I’m soaking up every single second.

Love you Bubs,

Sam | 5 Months

Sammy, you’re 5 months old now. And I’m getting better at making your posts timely — only a week late this time. Sheesh.

You are almost half way through your first year of life! This past month was so much fun and you know what they say about time when you’re having fun. It’s flies! And boy, has it. You continue to be the easiest baby. I thought your brother was an easy baby but you take the cake. You continue to have an extremely flexible schedule but don’t mind rigidity. You love trying to figure things out and are very into touching things lately. It’s absolutely amazing to see you feeling things out and working them over with your chubby, dimpled hands. I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for those precious hands.

I’m going to call it: You are not a fan of the beach. You just don’t really like water in general. Sitting in the sand, sure. Sitting on a boat in the water, sure. But actually swimming in, playing in, touching the water… No. You don’t make a fuss usually but it’s obvious it’s not your favorite. I like seeing things like this pop up. It reminds me that you’re a different person than your brother and that you’re developing your own tastes and interests. Again, it amazes me to see you grow more and more into your unique self. I’m so excited to see the man you will become over the years.

This month was one giant adventure. We traveled to Oceanside, took family photos (you were a champ), went to Havasu with our best friends The Cotsenmoyers, and you went to your first birthday party. You also took your first bath with your brother — cuteness abounds.

You continue to be great car companion. You only cry when you crave attention or are hungry. I know, I know… So many people are incredibly jealous of me right now and they should be! You are the baby everyone prays for. And hey, even when you’re crabby, you’re the baby I prayed for. I love you all the time and you make me proud all the time.

This next month we try our hand at camping. It’s going to be another crazy adventure because you can roll over at a moments notice and you’ve just started “Ricky-rocking” on all fours. I’m feeling like this month might be the crawling month. And then, boy are we in for it! A mobile baby changes everything.

I’m in awe, constantly, at how much you grow and change and inspire me. I’m a better mom because of you and your brother. You both test my patience and I fail constantly. I might say something too harshly, don’t explain a punishment well enough, or just feel blue and you both constantly forgive me and love me still. I hope you know I love you too… all the time.

Here’s to the next month!

I love you,

Sam | 2 Months Old


I feel like I just finished writing your 1 month post and I’m already writing your 2 month post! This past month flew by, mostly because we were all so sick. You caught your first cold and it was so sad. You had a hard time nursing and sleeping which made you cranky. Your brother Teddy was sick and I was sick too! It was a rough couple of weeks to say the least.

You had your first round of shots this month too. You are really strong and the nurse had to hold you down in order to get the shots into your legs — but you sucked it up and barely even cried.

You had a special visitor this past month, Alex (we call her Andie). Andie moved up to Portland a year ago and you hadn’t been able to meet her yet! She loves you very much and enjoyed cuddling you while she was here.

You celebrated your brother’s, your cousin’s, and your auntie’s birthdays this month! We drove down to Riverside to first, surprise your grandma who received The Teacher of the Year Award for her school! She was VERY surprised to see us and it was an honor to watch her receive a much deserved award. We also visited the Cotsenmoyers and then went to Grandma’s classroom so all her students could meet you! They all loved it.

This month you had your first trip to the zoo! You were, as always, a champ. You’re very “go with the flow” and are always up for everything. It makes it very easy to take you places and even though you didn’t quite know what was going on, you seemed to enjoy yourself. We did a photobooth photo and you barfed — it was hilarious and I’m so glad we caught it on film.

On mother’s day your Dad made me cards from each of you boys. He traced your precious hand prints and made coupons from you in handmade cards. I LOVE THEM. That weekend we also went to the train museum at Griffith Park. You packed a picnic lunch and hung out in the park all day. You took a nap and hung out with mama while Teddy and Dad rode the train.

You are SO smiley! You love the sound of your Dada, Mama, and brother’s voices. When we laugh you giggle and when we smile at you, you smile back. You follow our voices by turning your head, too! You are strong and push your legs up like crazy. You can hold your head up too — which is great because you love to nap on your tummy and it make mama feel better about it knowing you can lift your head.

Sam, you’re growing up fast but I’m loving every minute of it. I can’t wait to see all the things you’re going to do this next month.

We love you,
Mama and Dada

And one of you and your brother being silly.