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Almost Four
January 27, 2012
I told to stop growing up so fast, but you keep on doing it. Oh how the years fly by, especially now that you have Kovas and Vilija as your brother and sister. Life for our family has gotten very busy and moves very fast. I can't believe how fast you have grown and what an amazing girl you have become. Oh how I will miss these years.

You still suck your thumb now and then, and you still hold my ear when you do it. Now however, we sometimes catch you holding your brother or sister's ear, too. You are a very loving, caring person and help take care of Kovas and Vilija bringing them pacifiers and toys and dancing for them and soothing them. When Mommy and Daddy are busy, you want to help, and if we are not feeling well, you want to rub our backs and soothe us to bed. You are so sweet, my dear, a very kind soul.

You make us laugh. Oh how you make us laugh. You still love to streak before getting in the shower, and when we brush your teeth you like to sneak away afterwards and hide in your bed so I have to find you to get "all your hugs." Your favorite thing at bedtime is an Evija sandwich where Mommy and Daddy snuggle into either side of you making you the "somali" (salami). Oh, and you are the best dancer. We have great video of some of your performances including the recent "booty butt dance."

You have an amazing vocabulary. I still laugh that one of your first words was "amortization" and then, Mommy's counter to that, "fashionista." You talk like an adult sometimes, and it is easy to forget you are not even four, yet. You are one smart cookie. I know I am your dad, but you are wicked smart and intuitive. I love talking with you. It never ceases to amaze me how much you hear, understand, and remember. I hope we always talk like we do now.

I will so miss these times. I know there will be amazing times to come, but I have so enjoyed every minute with you. We have had a lot of fun. God how I love you and your brother and sister. My life has never been harder or busier than it is right now, but it has never been more amazing. Please please please don't rush to grow up.

Head to Toe
May 16, 2010
Our morning ritual includes your rub down. I coat you head to toe (well, all the parts that will see the sun) with suntan lotion. You don’t seem to mind it too much, but your mother says I spoil you with your morning facial and massage. I do try to keep it fun for you so you don’t squirm off the table, and lately, you have wanted to help. You get some on your fingers and make polka dots on your arms with lotion mostly.

Sometimes you even want to put some on me, either my arms or my forehead. Well, last night you pulled one over on me. I was trying to get you ready for bed. We turned off the light and sat in your rocker. You had a sippie cup of water, but I couldn’t see a thing. You decided to put lotion on my head and face. Your little wet paws started rubbing my forehead and nose. Then you got some more, but I could tell you weren’t pouring out of your cup so I asked you where you were getting your lotion. Completely deadpan you told, “From my mouth, Daddy.” Ugh! You cracked me up once again, but ugh, sweetheart.

Privacy Please
May 12, 2010
You did it! I won’t say “finally” because you didn’t take that long, but I was beginning to wonder when you be ready.

Early on, when you were about a year old, you picked out your own potty. We were shopping, and you found a little pink potty, sat on it, and proceded to poop on it in your diaper in the middle of the store. We bought that potty for you, and you showed immediate interest, at least to pee on it, especially at bedtime.

As part of your bedtime ritual, you added the potty. I think it is in part to put off going to bed. Most nights you wait until the lights are turned off for you to go to sleep and then announce that you need to go potty. You usually want Daddy to take you, so off we go. You take your own diaper off and then do something funny. For some reason you insist on taking mommy your diaper before coming back to the potty to pee.

Lately you come in to the potty to pee and just sit down. Early on, though, you needed one of mommy’s magazines. That was so funny to see you sitting there leafing through People or US magazine. When you are done, we wipe, and flush. You wave and say, “Bye bye, pee!,” and then we do a little “Go Evija” dance.

Pooping on the potty has been another story. You have resisted that for some time even despite your wanting so badly to wear panties. Recently I thought a change of venue might help so we moved your potty to the corner in the living room to which you often retreat when you poop in your diaper. You tried that once and then no more. Then last week you said you wanted to go potty in “your house.”

Your “house” is the space formed when we open the door the front bedroom and the closet door at the same time. The two doors swing together and make a little triangular space in the corner of the room. You like to hid in that space calling it your “house.”

So last Friday morning before school, we put your potty in that space at your request. It barely fits. You took off your pants and diaper, sat down, and pulled the doors closed around you announcing, “Privacy Please!” I could hear you working so hard in there, and after some time you jumped up, opened the doors, and yelled, “I did it! Now I can wear panties!” Let me tell you, we did the biggest “Go Evija” dance to date, and you got to wear your first pair of Elmo panties.

This week you have been so proud and excited about pooping on the potty. You seem to take every chance you can to show us that you can do it. Then you are so excited to put your panties on by yourself. You even came up with a new dance that we call the panty dance which you do in front of the mirror in your bedroom admiring your panties and bouncing up and down until you fall backward on the floor.

We are so proud of you. You are growing up soooo fast!

I Am All Ears
You gave up you pacifier very early on. You never used it much, but as soon as you found your thumb, you were pretty much done. You found comfort in your thumb, and you found comfort when we held you. When you were still very young, about the time you started holding your head up on your own, you started exploring our faces. One day when you were checking out my mouth and nose you found your way around to my ear. I kind of helped you grab on to it, and I think you were hooked from then on. Ever since, holding an ear, yours or someone else’s, has soothed you.

When you get tired, we can tell. You start sucking your thumb and holding your ear. A lot of times, you just want an ear. I might be changing your diaper, and you reach for my ear. I will put you in your car seat, and you need to hold my ear. Whenever I carry you, you grab my ear for balance. When I put you to bed, you snuggle up to one or both of my ears. That is the funniest, when you nuzzle up so close to my face that you can hold one ear with the free fingers of the hand whose thumb you are sucking and then reach around to the other ear with your other hand. .

I love that you still hold my ear for comfort. I know one day you will no longer need my ear, and I will miss being able to be there so easily for you. It is a sweet bond that we have. I have this funny image in my head, though, of one day off in the future when I dance the first dance with you at your wedding and you grab my ear one last time. Sweetheart, my ear will always be here for you whenever you need it. .

Three Days Overdue Photo    
Three Days Overdue
July 18, 2008
Who wants to look back and read about their baby poo? Probably noone, but this weekend is worth a story, sweetheart.

When your Mommy and I were getting ready to become new parents, many people told us that we would eventually start to talk about your poo. I didn't believe it, but here I am, writing my first journal entry about just that.

When you were in Mommy's tummy, your Poppy would talk to you and sing to you and tell you jokes. One of the things I used to tell you was to please remember when you came out, "no pooping on Poppy's watch." Your Mommy laughed and laughed when we brought you home and said it was karma that you seemed to poop whenever I picked you up.

Recently, though, you gave us a little scare when you started eating solid food. You went a whole day without a dirty diaper! Then two!! And then three!!! You were still happy and active, so we just had to wait. We got to where we were checking every diaper hoping for poo. (I can't tell you how strange that still seams, but we were worried.) We were about to call your doctor to ask when to really worry we got a whiff of something we hadn't smelled in three days.

Dear Lord, Evija, when we got you to the changing table and opened your diaper, it was phenomenal. I will spare you the details, but suffice it to say, it was more poo than I would have thought possible and it was everywhere. I don't know why, but your Mommy and I started laughing. Mostly your Mommy was laughing at me and my reaction. I am still trying to figure out the physics of that much poo coming from such a small child. Then your Grandma Koklys started laughing at us, too, and it took us a lot longer to get you cleaned up than it should have.

We were so happy and so relieved that you finally were back to normal, but the story didn't end there. A few hours later we got you fed again and decided to give you a bath. You had barely settled in to your tub before your Mommy noticed poo in the water. I lifted you out and Mommy sort of hosed you down. I held you while Mommy cleaned out the tub, but apparently you weren't done. While I was holding you, you started to poo all over the kitchen counter. Your Mommy and I were doing our best to clean you up, but again we couldn't stop laughing. You didn't seem to mind one way or the other.

So we started over. I put a diaper on you while we cleaned up the mess and got your tub ready for round two. With everything clean, I brought you back in to try our luck at a bath again. Unfortunately the water wasn't quite ready, and while Mommy adjusted the temperature on the bath, you peed all over me and Mommy and the kitchen floor.

They say the third times a charm and after we cleaned you and the kitchen up yet again we took our third try at a bath. This time we were able to make it through and you enjoyed your bath time like you usually do.

Oh, but what a day! We were so worried about you, but in the end, I can't remember when I last laughed so hard. Thank goodness our happy (regular) little girl is back.

My Little Girl, My Little Everything Photo    
My Little Girl, My Little Everything
June 19, 2008
Okay, sweetheart, you have me completely in love with you. From the moment I first saw you, I was hooked. Admittedly, a year ago I couldn't imagine what it would be like to be a father. Now I miss you when I go to work and am so excited to see you when I get home. The big grin you give me when I walk in the door is priceless.

Tonight when I came home, your mother went out to run errands, so you and I got to play on our own. We played games of peekaboo, and I tried my best to make you laugh. You don't quite have that down, yet, but you are so close. There is nothing I love more than seeing you happy, and you are one very happy little girl.

It has been really hot here lately, but when the sun fell behind the trees and it was cool enough, we headed outside. You do so love to be outside. We spent a good hour in the back yard looking at plants and birds and planes and one particular tree that kept your attention for a long time.

After staring intently at your favorite tree for awhile, you started to wind down. This is another one of my favorite times with you. (Actually, I think they are all my favorite.) You settled into my arms, found your thumb, and rested your head on my chest. I could tell you were about to drift off to sleep in my arms. I think I could hold you like that forever, but you sleep much better in your crib so in we went. You fell asleep almost as soon as I put you down on the mattress.

Looking at you now, I am amazed at how perfectly wonderful you are. One day when you hold your daughter or son, you will know how I feel right now. You really are perfect.

    Diaper Genie Photo
Diaper Genie
March 08, 2008

I have heard that you shouldn't buy expensive toys for babies. The boxes are usually more exciting than the things that came in them. That is kind of the case with you and the Diaper Genie.

We researched all manner of baby gear before you were born. One of the top recommendations was the Diaper Genie. It is basically a spring loaded trashcan that swallows up diapers into a long tube of plastic. When it is full, you tie off the tube, cut off the used part, and start a new length of plastic.

Changing out the plastic the other night, there was a bit of extra. You were fussy waiting for me to finish up with your diaper change, but as soon as I started to wad up the extra plastic, you quieted down and stared at me intently. Now, sweetie, this is a regular gig for us. You have your fussy times when almost nothing seems to soothe you, but lately, if we go in to the changing table, turn on the music box grandma and grandpa Koklys gave us, and let me start to do some merenge style music rustling the Diaper Genie bag and you are happy as a clam.

It is so funny how you seem to like the sound of that Diaper Genie bag. Oh, the Diaper Genie is awesome for swallowing up dirty diapers, but it is also awesome for putting you back in your happy place. I can't wait to see what our next great find will be.

    She's beautiful! She's beautiful! She's beautiful! Photo
She's beautiful! She's beautiful! She's beautiful!
March 06, 2008 (February 18-19, 2008)

Evija, you are two weeks old now. I had hoped to start writing sooner, but … well … you have kept us pretty busy the past 16 days. I feel like I could write this entry 16 years from now, too, though, because I will never forget the day I first saw you.

All through pregnancy, your mother was very strong and committed to doing everything to keep you safe and healthy and to making a happy home for you to come home to when you arrived. It was a busy year, but we got a lot done. When your due date came and went, we started wondering when you would decide to grace us with your presence. You were almost induced early several times, but somehow you always managed to stay on your schedule.

Then on February 18th, your mom and I were headed to a romantic lunch at Chez Panisse. You had been knocking at mommy’s door since the night before, but in the car, you made it clear you were ready to say hello soon. We turned around and headed home to prepare for you.

Later that afternoon, mommy’s contractions were a minute long and less than two minutes apart. That kept up through the night. Mom was great. She made it look easy. If you ask her, it sure as heck wasn’t, but she was so strong. I wish you could have seen her. She never looked more beautiful. The love she had for our little family was amazing.

You weren’t doing so well, though. At around 1 AM, mom had to go in to surgery so that you could be born by Caesarian section. They took mom in to the operating room and made me wait outside till she was ready. Minutes felt like hours, but finally, they called me in to be with your mother. Your mom was so brave.

To be honest, sweetheart, I didn’t know what to expect. Your mother and I had taken classes and read and seen videos and movies, but still, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to see you for the first time. Then the doctor said, “Daddy, it’s time.” Your mom couldn’t see you right away, but I got to stand up and see you being born.

A wave of emotion hit me like a freight train. The most amazing sight I had ever seen was there in front of me. My life was transformed forever in an instant. I lost myself in you and said over and over, “She’s beautiful!” and you were / are. I fell in love on the spot so deeply and forever.

Evija, you are the most precious little girl in the world to me, and you always will be. I love you so much, and I love your mother and our family like never before.