Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Elliette - Month 9


Dear Grown up Daughter of mine,

Today you turned 9 months old – which is actually 40 weeks, which is exactly how long it took to make you in my belly. And by exactly, I really mean exactly since you were born on your due date! It’s hard for me to look back anymore at the baby you were because we are SO CLOSE to hitting that 1 year mark and 1 year olds are NOT babies! I guess I was sort of in denial that my baby was growing up and getting bigger and older. I know I talked about it – but really, I was secretly denying it. Soon, I won’t be able to call you a baby – I will have to call you a TODDLER. And --WHOA - one thing at a time here. I am not ready to go there yet…

This month was unlike any of the other months in that you have definitely become more vocal about what you like and what you don’t. If you want something – you want it NOW. I also think that with all of your new physical accomplishments, you are going through a lot emotionally. So I can’t believe I am going to say this – but you have been a bit…. crabby…. I know I know! It’s hard for me to write that because it’s just so not like you! You need to be entertained, and your attention span is like 15 seconds so after like an hour and having tried 8 different things to make you happy – I end up feeling a little frustrated. I think your lack of mobility was making you mad too. And you really depended on us to make you happy. That was – until you started CRAWLING!!

That’s right my love! You are officially a crawler as of Dec. 4th. One night you could not – and the next there you were, getting your arms and legs to work together! You took your time and were very tentative about where you went and how far you would go. Now however, you are a MANIAC! It’s like you have finally been able to release ALL THIS ENERGY! And that is what was making you a little crabby. Now – the crabby baby has been replaced with dare devil not afraid of ANYTHING.

You have been loving your activity table and Jungle Center because you can stand up at them and play. You are totally professional at pulling yourself up on things – and by things I mean ANYTHING. Couches, chairs, drawers, highchairs, boxes, shelves, and you even tried to pull yourself up on Lena. She didn’t take to that very well and you haven’t tried that one again. But honestly, overnight you have physically developed into a very agile little lady. You are totally cruising all over the couches and when you are standing at the Jungle, you go back and fourth and sometimes even cross over to a piece of furniture. I am not sure if you will be crawling for much longer with all this standing and cruising. I am so not ready for that yet. Your butt looks too cute when you are crawling around that I want you to crawl forever!

No new teeth to report, but you have been doing a lot of drooling lately, so it may be soon! You have been getting better at using the 2 teeth you have lately. I have tried a few more finger foods and you are finally starting to be able to get them into your mouth with out your gag reflex sending it right back at me. I picked up a few jars of stage-3 baby food that has some chunks in it and you HATE it! I was sort of excited about this for some reason, because it actually looks like real food instead of…. what the other stuff looks like. You tried the Spaghetti with Cheese and the noodles were too much. And the Chicken and Stars were like the worse thing you have ever had to put in your mouth apparently. You cried the whole way though dinner, and by the end you refused to open your mouth, but you were still crying – and I am sure you can imagine – THAT was hilarious….

We took your 3rd trip to South Dakota –but this time it was just you and I. I was super nervous about driving 4 hours with you ALONE, but you did great. We had the new car seat and I think it was a little harder for you to fall asleep, but once you did – it was lights out for 2 hours every time. I stopped once in Blue Earth to feed you and then you went right back to sleep again. Such a perfect little angel. For Christmas we are buying you a portable DVD player so that these car rides will be a breeze as you get older. I am thinking you may have to open that gift BEFORE we leave for South Dakota!

Speaking of Christmas, this year is going to be so fantastic! I can’t wait to spend your very first Christmas with all of our loving families. I have been working very hard to get our house ready for this holiday since I kinda flaked on Halloween. We have lights outside around the house – which is a first! We have a beautiful tree complete with new ornaments for you. We have a cute little baby tree in your room. We have garland and mistletoe and all sorts of other things that scream Christmas. I have also decided to make an Advent Calendar so we can have a new tradition like one that your Daddy used to have as a kid. I hope you like it next year! I can’t wait to see how you open your presents and how you take in all of the festivities. This holiday is what having a family is all about!

You are definitely starting to mimic us and it is absolutely adorable. On your activity table there is a bowl and a spoon and you love to “feed” us. It usually ends with a fierce spoon thrust to the mouth – but hey – you are learning! You have sort of stopped waving bye-bye, but you have started to shake your head “No No No” again. I think that it’s because you hear us say it A LOT more these days. I have tried really hard to make sure you understand what “NO” means. You definitely look at me and wait to continue doing what you were doing – but it still is a little unclear what that means to you. I think this may be something that we will struggle with until you leave the house though – so I am not too worried. The funniest part is when we ask you stuff and you shake you head as if you are answering. Like the other day, you Daddy asked you if you wanted to play with a toy and you shook your head like you knew what was going on. We have fun with that one right now!

The Highlights of Month Nine:

- You celebrated your first Thanksgiving, but you slept the whole way through dinner! It was a special Thanksgiving this year because your Namba and Uncle Mik came up and we celebrated with Daddy’s family too! So you had almost ALL of your family together!
- You had your first baby sitter this month! December has been a month of parties, so when your Grandma’s are not available, we needed to find a backup. I was lucky to find a girl that I work with who loves babies to come and hang out! She said you were an angel and she would be glad to come back and do it again. THANK YOU BABY GIRL!
- Your babbling is much more intentional these days. You are saying “da da da” very well along with “ma ma” and “ba ba”, but it seems like you are trying to form different words, which is awesome! I can’t wait to hear what comes out next. I swear the other day you were saying “dog” – but we will have to wait and see if it was just a fluke!
- The most amazing thing happened. Much to your father's dismay, you have started to make the scrunchy nose face that I used to make as a baby! It's pretty cute if you ask me - but that is just because FINALLY there is proof that you are mine!
- You have been eating awesome these days which I am sure has to do with all the energy you are using up during the day crawling. I am really loving the chance to give you new stuff and to see your adorable face while you try it.
- You also have totally changed your bedtime from 8:30 to 7:30, which again I think has to do with all the crawling! It sure takes a lot out of a little thing!
- You have finally started to hold your own bottle. I guess you really just like to be catered to because it took you 9 months to get on board with this. But now - I think you sort of like being the boss of it!
- You have grown very attached to your pink blanket and your bunny and the minute we give it to you – your thumb goes in your mouth, you pull it up by your thumb and you immediately fall over on top of it like you are going to fall asleep instantly. You of course pop right back up because you do not fall asleep just anywhere – but it’s so cute to see how much you are comforted by them.
- Speaking of falling asleep – you are now officially the best napper on the planet. I lay you down in your crib when I notice you are getting tired. I give you the blanket, the bunny and the nukkie and BOOM – you are out in 5 minutes. No crying, no fighting it – just sleep. And usually we can get a 2-hour nap out of you. Sometimes even 2 2-hour naps!
- Your favorite toys are things that are NOT baby toys. I thought I was being super smart and I bought you a bunch of cheap cooking utensils and for about 3 days – you thought they were AMAZING. But then – they just basically became baby toys and now they are not fun. You still really love the standing toys, but really your fun comes from finding things to get into. What can I say – you are definitely a curious baby!

Current Nicknames:

- Belly (of course)
- Belgian or Belgian Waffle
- Bell
- Muncher, Munchy, Munchy Munchy Butt Cakes, Sugar Butt Munch (seriously the most used one right now at the house)
- Miss, Little Miss, Missy or Missy May
- Baby Girl

As wonderful as this month has been, it also was a very sad month because some very close friends of ours had a tiny little baby girl named Maggie that didn’t get to live very long. Only 9 days actually. It was very hard as parents to see people you care so much about have to go through something that horrible. When you have a baby, they are your life. They become everything you think about and to loose that after such a short time was really hard for your Daddy and I to understand why things like this happen. We feel so incredibly lucky to have you everyday and after something like this happens – we are reminded that nothing is forever. There is no sure thing. Life is precious and we intend to live our lives with you as such. No matter how many days we get with you – we want to live everyone one of them like it’s the last… I love you my wonderful baby girl. And I love being able to spend everyday I can with you by my side…