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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Letters to Emmy : Nine Months

August 12 to September 12, 2014
Dear Emmeline,

Ah, you're nine months old. Your last month in the single digits. I'm pretending next month isn't happening because "ten months old" rounds up to a year in my head and I'm NOT NOT NOT ready for you to turn one. Partly because you turn one in December and it's freaking cold in December and I hate the cold, but mostly because you're my little baby and I can't accept the fact that you're getting bigger.

This letter is late, but this time I have a good reason: we were on vacation when you turned nine months old and just got back late Wednesday. So you celebrated your nine month birthday in Hilton Head. Which was amazing. But I'll save the trip summary for another post, since it will be like a million words and pictures just by itself, and this letter celebrating you will be long enough without the extra.

You are SO STINKING CUTE, Em. Do I say that every letter? Probably. But you have the squishiest face and legs and belly and best smile in the whole world and everything about you is just adorable.

You still have light hair - much lighter than your sister's was at your age, although about the same amount - and still have gorgeous, big blue eyes (though do I detect a bit of hazel starting to appear around the irises? will you end up with beautiful hazel eyes too?). And chubby, perfect little thighs. And two deep dimples. And round, darling, extremely kissable cheeks. And now two teeth! Your first tooth popped in at the end of August and the second followed a few days later. The first tooth - and the biggest - is on the top, on the right side as I look at you. It's hilarious, because who gets that tooth first? It's totally a snaggle tooth. I'm sorry, but it is. The second is the bottom middle (a normal first tooth).

Do you see it just poking out of the gums there on the top right?

You're so happy still. When we were on vacation, your great-aunt Mary Jo couldn't stop exclaiming about how happy you were, all the time. If I close my eyes and picture you, it's with that big gummy grin and big blue eyes. Also clinging to my leg or knees or hair or arm or shirt or pants or whatever piece of me you can get your hands on, because you are going through a stage, kid. A STAGE. You will not let go of me. Which is okay, because see previous "you're my little baby" thing, but still. Stage 5 clinger alert up in here.

Despite your attachment to me, for the most part you're happy to go to someone else or have someone else watch you. Sometimes, if you see me, you'll reach out and whine for me, but as long as I stay out of eyesight you're perfectly content with others. Mary Jo baby-sat you a couple times while we were on vacation (vacation vacation vacation I know) and just marveled at how good you were. She popped a paci in your mouth when she thought you were tired and you passed out in her arms. WHAT? Maybe I need to hire her to come live with us and put you down for nap and bed.

Speaking of bed...no, you're still not sleeping through the night. You got down to waking up once, maybe twice a night, but then the teeth happened and you went back to waking up every two seconds. I don't even know, I can't count the wake ups, I'm too tired.  I've tried to let you cry a few times to see what happens but you just SCREAM. It's not even crying, it's full on screaming. None of us can take that. So to you I go. Again and again.

You nurse to sleep (when with me) and I love it because you are so sweet and cuddly during that time. The other day, you had one hand resting on my cheek and one hand holding my hand as you fell asleep and I melted into a puddle of love. You love play with my little gold necklace and will just rest your hand on it or finger the charms gently while falling asleep and it just slays me.

You are cruising like a bandit. A speedy bandit. A speedy bandit for whom there are no obstacles. You're fast. And you love to walk while pushing a chair around or holding hands. You've also just barely started to let go as you transition from one object to another, and will stand alone for a split second. I also discovered that you apparently can climb up stairs like nobody's business.  You can't get down them yet, but I had no idea you knew how to climb stairs. When did you learn that?

You're also getting pretty banged up now that you think you're ready to walk. You like to let go and forget you can't actually stand or walk yet and then, I don't know, crash into the corner of a wall. You also like to think you can go down stairs, but you can't. Maybe you think gravity doesn't apply to you? Or maybe more likey, since you're a baby gravity means nothing to you?  Well, it's time you learned, kid. Gravity hurts.

This injury faded quickly THANK GOD.

You just started playing peek-a-boo if I give you a blanket and OH MY GOD IT'S JUST THE CUTEST. I don't even know what to say about it other than I can't believe my heart can hold all the cute that happens when you do it because it feels like it's about to explode.

You've also started this hilarious head tilt thing, where you tilt your head alllllllll the way to the right and then laugh uproariously when we mimic you. We did that over and over and over and over yesterday. Emmeline head tilt, mommy head tilt, laugh laugh laugh. Rinse and repeat.

You still put every single thing in your mouth, but you're just starting to "play" with things, too. At the beach, it was "eat sand eat sand eat sand OMG look what happens if I run my hands through it!" When we went to the park the other day, your first instinct was, again, to put a fistful of sand in your mouth, but you quickly started to push the sand around and actually play with it. So maybe the "everything in your mouth" phase is starting to end. I hope. Because I feel like I spend all day fishing pennies or Ariel's shoes or tiny pieces of paper out of your mouth.

You're doing well with solid foods. Which isn't surprising because: paragraph above. But you'll try anything. I haven't seen you spit anything out or reject anything yet. Oh. Except ice cream. Which disgusted you because...cold maybe? You'd better get over that quickly if you want to remain a part of this family.

We got out the bubbles at the beginning of the month and you were dexterous enough now to chase them around, and deep thought time: how must bubble just completely mess with a baby's head? Their whole life, they've been able to grab or touch things and the things stayed there. Then suddenly, they are introduced to bubbles, which disappear when they touch them?!?!? I'm sure they're all just, "WTF IS HAPPENING?"

Carys dressed you up at the Lincoln Children's Museum.

This was a busy month. We went to Lincoln to visit the zoo and children's museum, we went to St. Louis, we went to the zoo here, the children's museum here, we went to a parade, we went to Hilton Head, we went on playdates and bike rides and walks and to the park. And you soaked it all up.

With Nana at the SeptemberFest parade.

You are such a good little traveler. Our flight to Vegas last month was direct, but this time we had a connecting flight (both there and back) and you did great. You were completely unphased by all the commotion. We also had a 6+ hour drive (more like 8 hours) to St. Louis and you were great during that as well. As long as we have food to distract you, you don't have a care in the world.

You want one thing in the world, and that's to be a big kid. We comment on it all the time, but it's so true. Whatever the big kids are doing, that's what you want to be doing.

You and your sister together are pretty much the best thing in the entire world. You want to do absolutely everything she does and she wants to share her world with you (unless it involves her clip dolls, in which case she only wants you to GO AWAY EMMLINE!"). But the two of you are such good friends already. You splash in the bath together, you squawk at her while she talks to you, and you look at her with love and devotion the likes of which I didn't even know an infant was capable.

You're not quite babbling with consonants at this point, though you LOVE to blow bubbles and raspberries and squeal and scream. You're loud, just not with 'ma ma ma ma" and 'da da da'. I asked the pediatrician about it at your checkup and he wasn't concerned at all, but I'm so eager to hear the words "mama" come out of your mouth that I pretty much spend all day looking into your eyes and repeating it over and over. When you say it, I'll probably faint from the overwhelming joy. There's just nothing like hearing your child call you mom.

You love food, your sister, big girl toys, squealing, bouncing, playing in water, swinging, and momma.

As for me? I love you, baby girl. I want to scoop you up and give you a hundred million squishes and kisses. So many hugs.


And one more for good measure.