Archive for the 'Letters to Baby' Category

Record-keeping

19 May 2009

When Little Girl was born I started writing those popular monthly letters. “You are getting so big! You are learning how to X! I love you so much!”–you know the drill. (Over on the left there you can find their category.) Then sometime after she turned one the letters stopped materializing, and the notes I would make for them, like this from 21 months:

watches our mouths to see how we say words, starting to repeat what we say a lot, ask what things are
playing with baby doll a lot—checking diaper, feeding it, giving it something to drink
“no” to every question
very independent at the playground, can climb ladders on your own
likes to wear headbands and take them off

stayed notes. But then the lists got to be, somehow, too much work, and I would instead occasionally email myself virtually meaningless, at this remove in time, information, like this: “had a dream, asked for a video in sleep.” What? And these days I don’t even know how many months old she is to begin with (even though I know as of today she has just three months to go until she turns three, the math is way too hard) and have given up the whole enterprise.

I guess I’ll just have to piece together the rest of her childhood from whatever I was complaining about in my blog.

14 months old

19 October 2007

To my little girl,

Now you’re fourteen months! You’re a very darling girl, very charming. And you’re quite tall for your age!

You are starting to learn to walk though you’re not quite there yet—you can take some steps! First you started getting frustrated because you couldn’t carry your baby doll or a ball while crawling. You started practicing standing up without holding on to something (you can do that for a short time now), and you would take a step or two if you could hand on Mommy or Daddy. Eventually you would walk a few steps between us. Instead of crawling up to your push walker, if we put you down a couple of feet from it you would take the steps instead of getting down to crawl and then pulling back up. Usually if you walk we are holding one of your hands (just one! Not two anymore!) The push walkers are perfect for you right now and you zip back and forth across the kitchen; but you can’t get it over the threshold into the living room, so you cry for us to come, and we ask you to sign “please” (you don’t sign quite yet, though) and help you get it over. But you can now steer the walkers really well and even go backwards!

You still fall quite a lot when you walk, and you mostly crawl, but you usually don’t care about falling unless you fall flat on your face! One night while you were practicing walking you had a plastic toy in your hand, and you fell and knocked the toy accidentally right into Daddy’s mouth! The bottom half shattered and Daddy had to have the dentist rebuild it. Usually it’s the baby who has the injury when learning to walk, not the Daddy! Better him than you, we said.

You do lots of fun things. You love to play pretend with your tea set, and play with balloons and balls and cars. You can throw and kick balls, but we have to remind you that you can’t throw other toys, just balls. We call you our little soccer player. You love your baby doll, and can play with her for an hour, taking off diaper, picking her up, putting her on your rocking chair. You call her, “Baby.” You pretend to sneeze when Mommy sneezes. You can sort shapes with us for long stretches of time—you think it’s fascinating. Puzzles are fun, too, and we can say, “Where does the giraffe go?” and you will find it and put it in place! You like to hold things by their handles if they have them, and you just adore buttons. Sometimes we sit and bounce on the bed and you say, “yayayay!” You are too cute. We went to an indoor play place this month with lots of air-inflated slides and places to bounce and we just had the best time. You loved it because when you tried walking in there and fell, you just bounced and it didn’t hurt! I can still see your big grin on your face when you crawled around in the obstacle courses. You are fearless! Also, you went pee pee in the potty, but we don’t think you knew it; you just always pee when we start the bath water, so we just stuck you on the toilet and you went!

You have also learned how to go down the stairs safely (we remind you, “Go down safely, feet first” and you hear us and remember). Y can play the recorder and you’ve learned how to use a bowl (without throwing it), use a spoon and hold it level (you think this is so fun you eat more!) and hold your bottle. You do let us know when you are done eating by throwing your food.Climbing is captivating—you want to climb everything, and will put your foot up high even on things you have no chance of being able to climb, like the baby gate, just to see if you can. This month you’re getting your molars, so it has been very rough for sleeping. Hopefully they’ll be in soon! You can do “high five,” and you really want to stand up in the grocery cart right now. It’s hard to take you shopping since you aren’t interested in staying seated—you want to explore! In the kitchen, we have a step stool (we call it the “snack station” because you hang around there and eat snacks sometimes) with a little hidey-hold compartment that you sometimes hide your toys in. You love putting things in other things! Books are very intriguing now, and you can sit and “read” to yourself and point to things so we’ll tell you what they are.

You are very good in restaurants. You just love to eat and all the people coming and goig fascinate you! There’s a particular Mexican restaurant you often join Mommy and her friends and their kids, and you are good buddies with one of the bus boys there. You guys light up to see each other! Mostly we eat at home, and this month you particularly liked beets, champagne grapes, soy milk, mangoes, raspberries, and lentils.

You’ve started asking for milk by saying, “muh muh muh” but that might mean “Mommy” instead—hard to say—sometimes it seems like you are saying, “mama” when you want something, not just milk. You call a lot of things “buzhy buzhy budee budee” and you say, “up” and hold up your arms when you want us to pick you up! You’ve also said “duh” for down, and “puh puh” for either potty or poo poo (we put your poop in the potty so we use those words a lot to talk about it). Imitating sounds is fun, like “shoe” and “tweet tweet” (which we say Alice says.) If we ask you, you can point to where your head and belly button (beebo) are—you are very excited to do this and you grin and pat yourself wildly.

The animals are still fascinating to you. You crawl up to our big dog Loki, who weighs 120 lbs more than you, and nose to nose, kiss each other. You just love it when the doggies play—you get so excited. We are working on patting the cats nicely, but you are still a little overenthusiastic. Sometimes we have to tell you, “no” and that makes you sad.

This month you’ve had lots of time with Daddy since Mommy has been teaching and attending classes. You two spend time in the playroom, read books, and go out in the backyard and play with your slide and your swing. You go to a babysitter’s a couple of hours a week, where you play with a handful of other little one-year-olds. When Daddy comes to pick you up, you are always surprised to see him, since it was Mommy who dropped you off. And then he takes you to the store, and you have dinner, and play, and then he puts you to bed. You two have a great time together!

You like to hand things to us, and sometimes are very clear when you want us to do something; you’ll grab our hands and move them and say, “uh!” Of course, when you are hungry or tired, you get more frustrated when you can’t get your toys to cooperate, and clingy. Overally, though, your disposition is just delightful. We take you to the playground at the park a lot, or meet your friends and their mommies (Mommy’s friends), and you are so fun for everyone to be with. We are so proud of how you are doing—you are such a dear thing.

We love you
Mommy and Daddy

13 months old

19 September 2007

You’re now thirteen months old! You are getting so big and capable.

We are so delighted with how affectionate you are. You give hugs and pat us sweetly on the back (like we pat you), and we all think it is very fun for you to blow on our bellies and sputter. You’ll crawl over to mommy and daddy and pull up our shirts so you can do that! What a silly bunny! You also learned how to blow kisses. Your baby doll, which was your mommy’s and Grandmama’s before you, is one of your favorite things in the world. You call it “Baby” and pat it, check its diaper, pretend to feed it, and try to put it in your little rocking chair over and over again.

Shortly after you turned one, you started really enjoying talking on the phone; you hold it up to your shoulder and babble, sometimes saying, “Ho?” You are trying to be like mommy! You also tried lots of new things, like using crayons to draw your first picture. You’ve started learning to use a spoon, and you love to push buttons.

Physically you are able to stand unassisted for a few seconds at a time, more every day, and can walk with us if we hold just one of your hands now. Shortly after your first birthday you took a real step! You love music, and you dance and sway and bounce to it, singing along saying, “dit dit dit.” Now you know how to move your arms and legs to help us get you dressed, and you got another tooth on the bottom.

Books are now interesting to you; mostly you want mommy’s books, but you will also bring your books to mommy to read to you. You especially love cars and balls to play with, and you have several Little People sets (a little barn with animals, for example) that you find just fascinating. It has a silo on it that opens and you can put the animals down it, close the silo, collect the animals, open the silo, put them down the silo, etcetera. You love putting things in things and taking things out of things! You love to pretend to hand us toys and then take them back, and for us to fling toys a few feet away so you can retrieve them and bring them back to us. Sometimes you will physically open our hands to give us items, and you once got very annoyed with your daddy when he didn’t understand you wanted to give him something! When you are frustrated you might grunt at us, so we have to watch out! You also giggle wildly when we tickle you, or just pretend to tickle you—you double over laughing! You like to try to carry your toys with you (which is hard when you are crawling). When you want to carry your favorite pink ball, you have a funny little method of scooping it under one arm while you try to move on your other three limbs. You also liked playing the piano this month.

This month you’ve started playing outside a lot in the backyard or at the playground with your little baby buddies. We got you a swing, a slide, and a toy-truck sandbox to play with out back! You crawl around in the leaves and examine them, and you love to watch the puppies play, too.

One of my favorite memories of you from this month was when we first gave you blackberries. You just gobbled them down, and you were so messy, smeared with blackberry juice! You really love to eat and will try anything. Sometimes when you have food (or dirt, when we’re outside) stuck to your hands, you will shake them to try to get the gunk off.

You may be moving from two to one nap a day, and you got your first childhood illness today—roseola. You had a fever (though it wasn’t too high and it didn’t bother you very much) and then a few days later red spots appeared all over you! You were fine, though. We also got your first formal portraits done this month and you were just adorable in them. You are so photogenic! You wore a purple smocked romper your Grandmama gave you and the Christening dress that was mine and your Grandmama’s as well.

This month you started spending some time with your babysitter Miss K and the two other one-year-old girls who spend time with her for a few hours a week while mommy was in class before daddy comes home from work. As long as I stayed with you for a little while before leaving, you were fine and you seem like you are really starting to enjoy going there!

You’ve said some more words this month: doggie (dah—you say this for actual dogs and for dogs barking, and you say dah for Daddy, too), tweet tweet (sort of), hi, hey, hello (which you also say when the phone or toy phone ring), Mama, kitty (kee), kisses, Baby, uh-oh, up, and go. Some of these you’ve just said once or twice, but you are really starting to imitate us!

We love you! You just get more and more fun!
Mommy and Daddy

12 months old

19 August 2007

Today you turn one. You are one year old! We just can’t believe it. How did our tiny, little baby turn into this big, talented girl—full of personality and energy, always crawling around and exploring? We adored you as a newborn, of course, and marveled at your miniscule fingers and toes and were awed just by your focusing of your eyes, or your gripping of our fingers. Now we are even more enthralled. Your Daddy and I often find ourselves whispering outside of your room about how special you are, reporting stories about your activities and skills, delighted and proud to be your parents. Happy First Birthday!

You’re 19 lbs. 11 oz. now, and 30 inches tall—that’s exactly one foot taller than when you were born and more than 11 pounds heavier! You’re tall and thin for your age, in the 75th percentile for height and the 25th for weight. You’ve just started standing on your own without holding onto things; this usually happens for a few moments when you are doing something really fun and you need both hands, like when you bang blocks together, a big grin on your face as you hear the loud sound you are making!

Today, on your birthday, you worked a lot on standing while you played with play-dough and practiced walking to Mommy and Daddy before bedtime in the yellow light of the late afternoon in the playroom. You will take a step only if you have a soft parent to land on! Sometimes you fairly leap onto us. Mostly you crawl with great speed and pull up onto all sorts of things to get around. You are very fast! Once I found you scaling the bathroom counter at your Grandmama’s like a little rock climber.

You’ve been going up the stairs with alacrity for a while, and are starting to learn how to go downstairs safely. I think you have been figuring out how to do this (by backing down, not going head first like you keep thinking might work) by spending time hanging out with the two-step step-stool in the kitchen. That’s your special spot, and sometimes you’ll stand holding onto the top step while you hold your cup with the other and watch the goings-on in the kitchen, like the dogs and cats wandering around. You like to be in the center of the action!

This last month you spent a lot of time with your great-grandparents Lala and Granddaddy. Your great-grandfather was very impressed that you are an ambidextrous eater, and your great-grandmother just couldn’t get over how much you eat, and how you will eat just about anything! We just keep putting food on your tray (chopped tomatoes and spinach were a favorite this month) and you just keep shoveling it in! Lala says you’re “an eatin’ trick.” After you eat you are always a mess since you feed yourself with your fingers, so we take you to get cleaned up in the kitchen sink. There you love to bend down and drink from the faucet! You think this is very funny and do it in the tub, too!

When you like what you are eating you say “yum yum yum” and you imitate our speech a lot. You definitely understand more, like requests and reciprocal play, like passing a toy between us, and you are getting better at communicating what you want (to be picked up, to have more food). You say “uh oh” all the time, and a version of kitty cat “kih kah” or “kee” and also you’ve tried saying “kisses”. You wave “hi” and sometimes “bye bye.”

The most gorgeous golden curls are growing thicker on your head, clustered at the nape of your neck and sticking out around your ears. They are just adorable. You must have inherited them from your Farfar, who also had very curly hair as a child.

Yesterday was your first birthday party and you had fun—lots of your little buddies (the twins that are a few weeks older than you, Z who is Mommy’s good friend’s D’s son, and several others) came and you shared your toys very nicely with them.

You are very friendly and give everyone sunny smiles. You love animals and you crawl after them. Your giggles are the best sound in the world and we get to hear them often. You still love belly buttons and hunt for ours under our shirts! We’ve started calling you by name, too, sometimes, though mostly we say “Baby Nora” now, or “Princess.” We think you are the most incredibly wonderful creature on earth and are so very lucky and delighted to have you. We wish you great joy throughout your life and are doing our best by you.

We love you Birthday Girl!
Mommy

11 months old (almost two weeks late)

30 July 2007

What a big girl you are getting to be—you are now 11 months old! This last month has been so very busy for you. You went to the beach again, and you went to Sweden for the first time (well, you were not yet born the last time). At the beach it took you a few tries to warm up to the water, but once you got used to it, you loved splashing (you love water anyway, always hanging out by the running faucet in the tub), and you adored crawling in the sand and through tide-pools. There was so much open space!

You are still crawling absolutely everywhere, as fast as you can go. You can kneel and squat, and you learned very fast how to clap along to music once I started showing you. You draw your arms wide apart and slap them together (or near each other) very enthusiastically. These days you are amazing acrobatic, fearless, monkeylike. You want to climb up everything you see, getting footholds on people’s belts, on cushion outcroppings. My hands hovering below, you were like a little sailor scaling the ropes of the hammock going towards the tree.

All this intrepid investigating has led to some injuries, which is inevitable at this age. You get over things very fast, though; after a little cuddling and thumb sucking, it is easy to get you interested in a toy.

You’re not just adventuresome about your environment, but also food. Any food in front of you is worth trying and you have liked everything (except sauerkraut). Right now you love fruit and tomatoes especially—like watermelon and strawberries. But in Sweden you had so many foods, like Swedish meatballs! Your relatives there couldn’t get over how happy you were to try new things, and how much you ate!

You’ve discovered your tummy! Sometimes when you are just wearing a diaper you grab happily at it, and poke at your belly button. You love everybody’s’ belly buttons—mommy’s, daddy’s, mommy’s pregnant friend’s, your own. We call them beebos from one of your children’s books. This month you also got two more teeth, your fifth and sixth, on top on either side of your middle teeth.

You’ve started saying Mama (or rather muh-muh-muh) when you are sad. And you love to imitate sounds and have competitions to see who can be loudest (you usually win!) The most interesting linguistic development this month though was your ability to understand some instructions, like “Come follow Mama!” and “Go get your toy.” You also give kisses, the sweetest sight, when asked (sometimes). Your great-grandparents Lala and Granddaddy gave you a stuffed chicken when you visited them this month, and you just love that thing, and give it big kisses when you see it. You kiss people, too, which delights them—your mouth wide and aimed not too specifically towards their faces. Everyone wants more kisses from you! You’ll also kiss pictures in books and magazines. What a sweet girl!

Your family in Sweden was so delighted to meet you. You thought your Farfar was so funny when he fake sneezed, and you always giggled when your Farmor played Tittut with you. You and your cousin A gamboled about on the sunny front lawn and in the sandbox, and you also spent played with your Farmor’s Russian dolls with your second cousins S and F. You met your great-grandparents and went to your first wedding (when Uncle R and Auntie V got married). It was wonderful to see you having so much fun with your aunts and uncles and grandparents and everyone, and they were smitten and delighted with you. We took hikes as much as we could and you took in all the gorgeous scenery. You even seemed to say “Tack, tack” once when your Uncle R was feeding you strawberries. Your Auntie A and Uncle M were so pleased to get to know you and introduced you to all sorts of Swedish baby clothes, toys, and food.

It’s been a fun and busy month with you and you were a joy to be with throughout.

Love,
Mom

10 months old

27 June 2007

Today you are ten months old. So much happens so quickly to you now—the notes I make at the beginning of the month are out of date by the time it comes to write your monthly letter! You are so swiftly growing up.

Read the rest of this entry »

9 months old

19 May 2007

Today you are nine months old! What a big girl you are getting to be! You learned a lot of new things at eight months—crawling, cruising, waving, peekaboo, going from lying down to sitting to standing, among other things. And you got two more teeth (in the middle on top). Your hair is longer and thicker, enough so that you are collecting some ringlets behind your precious ears. And you can walk (like a drunken sailor) if we hold your hands, so your Grandmama gave you your first pair of shoes. You are so excited about walking like this! You’re also learning how to go up the stairs.

Your newfound mobility is so fun. You started out by lunging in the direction of what interested you, and you eventually learned how to army crawl and heave yourself across the floor. You still haven’t mastered the classic crawl, and although you can get from one place to another, for the most part you stay put except for when a very enticing toy is just out of reach. But I know that soon you will be getting into everything! The way you motor about in your walker removing things from coffee tables and trying to open cabinets gives me a sense of what you’ll be like.

When we lay you in your crib, you can now pop up to a sit, and even to a stand. I remember the first time you discovered you could pull to a stand in there; you were supposed to be napping, but I heard you fussing on the baby monitor, so I went to check on you, and you were clinging by one hand to the slats of the crib, looking around for me, able to stand up but unable to get back down. What a surprise it was to see you standing in there! Once you could do it, though, now you do it all the time, holding onto the crib rail and bouncing up and down on your fat little feet and giggling like crazy at your accomplishment.

Most of the time these days you like to be standing. Your absolute favorite activity is to stand holding onto the bottom drawer of your dresser and methodically remove every item of clothing to the floor, occasionally stopping to bounce your knees and giggle. Your Daddy says you are very selective of what you pick up and into what pile you put it (right or left of you). It’s so funny to watch you digging around in the bottom of the drawer trying to get every last onesie out. You also love to stand at the coffee table and bang your toys (especially your wooden puzzle pieces) repeatedly onto the table. And you can move from side to side holding onto things, cruising (tables, baskets of toys, your dresser) with more ease all the time (though you’re still just a beginner at it).

A lot of things are very funny to you, like Mommy brushing her teeth (but you certainly won’t let Mommy brush your teeth!), Mommy’s sticking out her tongue, Daddy’s tickling you, the doggies, the baby in the mirror. And some new things are completely upsetting these days, like diaper changes and changing clothes (you have much more important things to do, thank you very much, like rolling onto your tummy and grabbing at toys). We have to change your diaper standing up sometimes! More than before, when you can’t have something you want (like Mommy’s food or Daddy’s beard or Mommy’s necklace) or you can’t move yourself to where you want to go, you get frustrated. Sometimes your aspirations are greater than your abilities, but you’re developing all the time, and I promise you you’ll be able to do whatever you want soon.

We are so thrilled that you can wave now! You wave bye-bye, hello, when you’re excited, yourself in the mirror, and when you pass through a door (you never know who will be on the other side!) It is so much fun. You must think the world is crazy for waving all the time since everyone is always doing it around you now to encourage you. And you love peekaboo! You even do it yourself now—if you have something like paper or a diaper or clothes in your hands, you’ll bring both arms up above your head, covering your face (or trying to) and waiting eagerly for us to say peekaboo. You are so fun! And you adore it when you make clucking sounds and we respond in kind. Any kind of imitation game is thrilling for you. This month you’ve really started to notice other children—big kids walking around in stores, or other babies with whom we have playdates. You try to touch them and take turns stealing toys away from one another. So fun!

This month you tried more new foods, like seaweed, pineapple, strawberries, curry, cauliflower, tofu, mac and cheese, goat’s milk, feta, pasta, cherries, apricots, and mango. What an eager eater you are! But mostly you are still on milk. Mommy weaned this month, and you are enjoying your formula milk just fine. You are a very good eater. Whatever Mommy is eating you want, too!

Your Daddy and I thought you were definitely trying to say a few words this month. It sounded like you said, “ki” meaning “kitty” when you saw a cat, and “peek” when we were playing peekaboo. You still say da da da a lot, and ahh, and dai dai dai dai, blah blah, and muh muh muh. Sometimes you’ll go on and on, saying agah in a very serious tone of voice. We love to hear you talk and can’t wait till we understand what you want us to know!

Since this month was so busy for you developmentally, your brain and body were often too busy to sleep as well as you used to. You had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. Cutting your top two teeth was hard on you, too. Poor Baby Nora! But you have the sweetest, most easy-going disposition. We can take you anywhere and you will be no trouble, like the Country Club to which your great-grandparents took you to for the first time this month, or the pediatric ophthalmologist where your eyes were pronounced perfect. Everyone called you an angel!

This month Mommy started taking an intensive course for a few weeks and your Grandmama has been staying with us watching you. You and she have such fun and you are always so thrilled to see her. You two like to sit on the front porch and watch the birds, and she naps with you in the afternoon after taking long walks. We have a \baby pool for you on the back deck that you think is so fun even without water in it. You sit there playing with the inflatable toys and watch the doggies and bounce up and down in joy since you love to be outside while your Grandmama sits with you and sings songs and tells stories.

Now, of course, you’ve been living outside Mommy longer than you lived inside her. Today you are 39 weeks old, and you were only inside Mommy for less than 38. Pregnancy with you was enjoyable—feeling you kick inside and respond to the environment. But having you now is so wonderful, a thousand times better. Mommy and Daddy are so proud of how engaging and curious you are. We kept calling you “determined” this month—the way you get an idea in mind and work towards it (grabbing something, moving somewhere). You’re not scared to try anything, and you never meet a stranger. You are a very special little girl and we cherish you.

With love from
Mommy (and Daddy, who was so excited about this month’s letter since you’ve done so many new things recently and he wanted to make sure I didn’t leave anything out!)

8 months old

19 April 2007

Now you are 8 months old! This last month you experienced a lot of physical development: you got two teeth (on the bottom; they came in at about the same time, with only one day of misery), and you started pulling yourself to a stand! Your legs are very strong. You really want to get places, and will reach out and try to grab onto things to climb up, like mommy’s shirt or pants leg. Right now you’re obsessed with pulling up! You can do it on the bed frame in your nursery if your legs are in just the right position, and you are always turning to Mommy or Daddy so that we’ll put our hands out for you to grab and use for leverage.

So far you can only get around by rolling, which you mostly do in your crib, but you are definitely trying to figure out the mechanics of climbing over things and getting place. For now, you like to lunge in the general direction of whatever interests you, like the cats, and fall over onto your face! But you don’t mind. You just lie on your tummy and kick and look around and reach.

You don’t want to sit anymore, you want someone to put their fingers out for you to grab onto so you can hoist yourself to standing. Your legs are so strong you can stand up holding onto something for seven minutes—your Daddy timed you! He also helped you to walk, by holding your waist or hands. What a big girl you are getting to be! When you are happy and excited, you make a silly sound (huh, huh) and if you are sitting, you bounce up and down and rock back and forth and pat your hands on the ground! You’ve also figured out the secret of the walker, and you can go really fast; you like to chase the doggies around in it! You can even pop wheelies in that thing, and you wander all around the downstairs. We have a bouncing stationary baby entertainer that you just figured out how to jump in, and you find it so very thrilling to do so. You’re starting to learn how to get on all fours, so either crawling or walking, I bet you’ll be getting places soon! Too soon for Mommy, at least.

When you do sit and play, you have a basket of toys you find very entertaining; it has blocks, Mardi Gras beads, a baby cell phone, rattles, teethers, a wooden truck, cloth caterpillars, a froggy bell, and a laughing butterfly (it has a recording of a child giggling—your Daddy refers to it as the toy that mocks you). You also really enjoy your giraffe toy your godmother B gave you. Your Daddy has noticed that you will have a toy in each hand and consider them, choosing which to stuff in your mouth (usually you choose a wooden block). And sometimes you’ll just move your hands and watch them. You have a curious mind and find anything fascinating. It’s so interesting to see what intrigues you—ceiling fans, children playing, a magazine. One thing you think is particularly funny this month is when Mommy takes off her glasses (usually because you keep pulling at them).

You’ve been vocalizing a lot (you are especially loquacious when you are tired), saying “ah eh ih uh ew.” Other things you say are “blah blah blah” and “daaa,” often with your finger in your mouth. I personally believe you have attempted to say several things, like “yeah”, “hi” and “clap,” but only your Daddy believes me. Sometimes it appears that you try to imitate what we say. And from time to time, it seems like you are singing to yourself. But your favorite way of communicating is through blowing raspberries and making your “stinky face” with your nose all crinkled up, and blowing air in and out through your nose very fast. You will do this over and over again, and love it when we join in! It’s so funny. You’ve also started to try to give us kisses: you’ll open your mouth wide and smash it into some part of our face or neck. It is so sweet! Your Grandmama especially loves it when you do this to her!

You are a very, very good eater. This month you’ve gobbled down so many things: spinach, blueberries, peaches, avocado, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, squash, string cheese, Russian cheese, cream cheese, kefir, pastry from Uzbekistan, applesauce, pear sauce, salsa, egg yolks, bread, tofu, chicken, salmon, turkey, tortillas, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cereals, soups, potatoes, various herbs, yogurt, marinara sauce, noodles, tomatoes, kale, barley, carrots, beets, the list goes on. You’ll eat anything! I feel like a mama bird when I feed you, with your big open O of a mouth waiting for food.

You are a very, very good sleeper, too. When it’s sleepytime, you go right to bed with your thumb in your mouth, and sometimes before naptime, you play in your crib for a while. You have a rabbit rattle your Aunt L gave you that you are delighted to see at naptime, and you bang it up and down and roll around with it in your crib and talk to yourself before settling down, invariably, on your tummy in some far corner of your bed to sleep. Sometimes before you sleep, or when you wake up, you smile and giggle at me through the slats of the crib, and it is so sweet.

And what a cuddly baby you have been this month. You reach your arms skyward when you want to be held, and you give hugs and wrap your arms partway around my neck. I love when you are cuddling in my arms after eating, and you reach up and touch my face and smile and talk to me (and grab my hair and glasses, too!)

This has been a wonderful month with you. I feel so lucky to be your Mommy.

With all my love,
Mama

Seven months old

19 March 2007

Wow, you are seven months old! Being six months old was a very busy time for you! You started infant swim classes; you went to the beach; you spent time with your great-grandparents; you started eating solids; you began babbling; you went to the park to feed the ducks often; and you pooped in the tub with Daddy for the first time! We have enjoyed you so much–you have such a sweet disposition and hardly ever cry and you love to laugh.

Your first food besides milk was banana when you were about six months, 1 week old, mashed up and fed to you on mommy’s finger. You were confused by it and didn’t eat very much and made silly faces and a big mess. Now, a few weeks later, you know all about how to open your mouth for the food (when you are feeding yourself or when a spoon is coming) and how to keep it in your mouth and swallow it. When I am feeding you and you want more, you reach out to grab the spoon!

After banana, in order, you have tried:

Applesauce—at first eh, later pretty good
Sweet potato wedges—loved them (a fave every time we serve it)
Avocado—in the mesh feeder, and on a spoon loved it
Mashed peas—icky unless warmed
Pear in the mesh feeder—yummy
Carrots—very, very good, a favorite!
Whole apple—you loved to suck on it!
Yogurt–tasty

Your first real babble that we heard was, of course, directed to your good friend Pudding: you said MM-bah (on 2/25/07). You also say blah blah blah over and over again, and aye aye aye! You can be really talkative! You’ll stick some fingers in your mouth (still no teeth, but we can see them under the gums!) and chat away to yourself. In the mornings, you also talk to yourself for several minutes before you want to be picked up and fed.

Water has been a big feature of this month, what with the tub, the pool, and the beach. You just love to kick and splash! In the tub you grab at your toys and the faucet, and could spend all day in there, I bet. You also have enjoyed your swim lessons (sometimes more than others since it’s during your morning naptime and you can be a little sensitive). There we chase after toys and sing songs and swim in a circle; you are really starting to enjoy it. The toysies keep moving in the water and are fun to reach for.

Our trip to the beach with Grandmama and Daddy was very enjoyable. Although the ocean was too cold for swimming (though of course your Daddy swum, the Swede), you thought it was neat to put your toes in, and you especially enjoyed playing in the sand (yum!). You kept raking the sand with your fingers, and then examining your hands carefully visually and a couple of times with your mouth. You also enjoyed the hammock at the beach, and the sunshine and fresh air there, and all the attention from family!

It’s been a few weeks at least since the last time you took a pacifier. You really prefer your thumb. Sometimes you will switch between both thumbs rapidly; it looks like you are deciding which one is the tastiest! Your thumb really helps you to sleep; it is so adorable to see you slumbering away with your thumb firmly in your mouth.

It really was a busy month; we also went to a wildlife farm this month where you petted a deer, a donkey, a bunny, and a goat! You really seem to adore animals and the outdoors. You have such a good attention span for observing animals, and a trip outside captivates you every time.

And you’re such a good sitter now that we can put sit you in a semi-circle of toys and you can entertain yourself. Your current favorites are a teeny tiny four-note piano and the cloth cube you’ve adored for months (right now you think the tag on it is fascinating). But what you’d really like to play with is whatever Mommy and Daddy are touching—a book, a fork, a telephone. What a grabby little baby! And you think toys are meant for two things: banging up and down, and exploring with your mouth.

You are so much fun, baby girl. We are enjoying every day with you and watching you grow up (it’s happening much too fast!) You are such a sweet, smart, strong, pretty, curious little bunny, and we love you!

From your adoring
Mother

6 months old

22 February 2007

You’re six months old now, halfway through your first year! It is incredible how much you have changed since birth, in such a short amount of time—you’ve gone from a floppy, myopic little thing to a goofy, busy girl. You weigh 15 lbs. 9 oz. and are 25.6 inches long and are such a happy, smiley, giggly baby! The pediatrician says you are a very active, alert little girl, and that’s so true.

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5 months old

21 January 2007

You’re now five months old. Five! What a big girl. There are so many things you can do now: you’re starting to be able to sit unassisted, you can hold your head all the way up when you’re on your tummy and use your hands to play with toys, you can talk and talk and talk (AHHHH, ehhh), you make friends with strangers when we’re out and about, you can drink from a sippy cup (well, you tried it once, and it went well, at least), and you can grab at everything you see!

This last one is your obsession. First you were grabbing your feet all the time, and toys, but now all things are fair game: Mommy’s hair, Mommy’s cup, Daddy’s fork, Mommy’s glasses, Daddy’s shirt, Mommy’s book, Mommy’s telephone, Daddy’s beard, Daddy’s computer, Daddy’s watch, Mommy’s necklace, and on and on. You especially like paper products, like crinkly envelopes, paper towel holders, and magazines. And sometimes you’ll get two things in your hands (like a cup and spoon—you’re still just on milk, but we’ve given you food serving items to play with so you get used to them) and bang them together over and over. You like to pat things, too, like the couch, or Mommy, repeatedly.

Besides grabbing things, you like sticking things in your mouth and exploring them there, particularly your hands. There was a period of time where your hands were constantly in your mouth, so much so they were getting wrinkly from being wet!

Sometimes I’ll notice when you’re having one of your firsts, like going to your first birthday party; your first time in a mall; your first experience of a thunderstorm; your first time sitting in your high chair; your first time in a playground swing and on a slide. Other things have happened gradually as you’ve gotten older, like gaining control of your head, starting to drool, being more alert and aware of your world, sleeping longer at a stretch, and how big you are (almost 15 pounds now!).

You love to watch our animals and are always reaching out trying to pet the cats, especially Pudding (she’s your favorite). Sometimes you’ll grab a big fistful of her fur and hold it tight, though! You like to stare at Alice, the parrot, and watch her fly across the kitchen to her cage. And when the puppies playfight, you always observe carefully, like a little wildlife biologist.

You’re a friendly, playful, smart, delightful, strong little girl. People always stop us when we are out to tell us how beautiful and adorable you are, and we always tell them “We know!” You’re constantly amazing us with your new talents and interests.

Right now you think a lot of things are very, very funny, like Mommy’s face in your hair, or diaper changes, or when Mommy pretends to eat your feet and hands, or Daddy kisses your tummy, or when Daddy helps you to fly, or Mommy buzzes and pokes your nose, or Daddy makes funny noises. We love to hear you laugh! And you are very, very loud right now—squealing, shrieking at the top of your lungs. You love to hear the sounds you make!

Keep up the good work, little lady. We’re proud of you! You’re such a curious little thing and we love the new perspective on the world you show us. We can tell how much more interested you are in the world around you because when we carry you now you always want to be held looking forward, and will whip yourself around so you can see what’s going on!

With love,
Mommy

4 months, two weeks old

28 December 2006

You rolled over today! You’ve been working on it lately, but this morning I was sitting with you on the floor, and you somehow launched yourself by kicking off me from your back almost totally onto your stomach. Boy, were you surprised! For a few days now you’ve been able to rotate your bottom 90 degrees or so by wiggling around while on your back. I bet once you can roll over reliably you’ll be so excited you can finally get around a little bit on your own.

Your godmother B gave you the best toy for Christmas: it’s a little baby gym. In that thing you love to kick at this beach ball with a bell in it, and look at yourself in the mirror, you little narcissist. The little fishies with crinkly flippers interest you, too. You also like plastic rings, anything with bells, and anything with a mirror. Stuffed animals have yet to entice you.

Did you know we don’t call you by name? Never ever. We call you Baby. You have no idea what your name is! I keep thinking we should starting calling you by name, but you are the one and only Baby in our lives, and so far, that’s your designation. Other people can never get your attention by calling you by name because you never hear it!

Longer, fuller hair is growing on your head, and your eyes are a lighter blue than at birth. It actually was several weeks before you kept your eyes open enough for us even to see your eye color. We kept guessing what color they were; they even looked dark purple for a while.

You’re doing so many new things all the time now. Your father says every day when he comes home you have some new skill or interest. I’m so lucky I get to spend all this time watching you grow!

Christmas wasn’t so fun for you. Lots of activity in largely unfamiliar places (Grandmama’s and Papa J’s) with unfamiliar people (Grandmama, Papa J, Granddaddy, Lala) kind of wear you out. But you certainly got lots of wonderful presents that you will enjoy with time, from books to toys to clothes, to your new favorite toy, rattle socks (from Mommy and Daddy). You have disovered how fun it can be to grab at your feet and move them around, so the rattle socks came at the perfect time!

We love you, Baby.
Mama