Dear Belly Bear,
Today you turned 10 months old. 10! Double digits! Which means, 2 months from now – we will be having an OFFICAL birthday party for you because you will be one whole year old. Oh my god… 1 year old!! NO WAY!!!! But I cannot dwell on that – because I still get to have you as a baby for 2 more months. I will take whatever I can get – because you are such a sweet awesome baby. I wish I could freeze you right now because I don’t want you to keep getting bigger. I want to keep you in my pocket and always be able to snuggle into your wonderful chubby sweet smelling baby neck. God I love that neck…
But as is goes - you are changing every day – becoming more and more of an individual. You love to laugh and you love to be silly which is a good thing because your Dad and I are ridiculously goofy like 85% of the time and you fit right in! We sing songs that we make up to you and I get the feeling that you wish you could jump right in and take the chorus. We play peek-a-boo and chase the baby, both of which make you squeal. You love it when one of us holds you and we run after the other person. You think it is SO fun to “chase” us. I also make you “chase” the dogs and you get a kick out of that too.
Your development is just unbelievable these days. We show you something and you totally try to do it! You can learn now – which is just so crazy to us! Before, I would do something and you would watch, but you didn’t have the ability to attempt it yourself. Like on your standing Jungle toy – we could not get your to understand how to make the balls go in the loop track. But then recently, we showed you again, and you figured it out! At first you were forgetting to let go of the ball so it would not actually work, but now – you are like a professional! It’s just the little things like that that make me swell with pride. You are real. You really are going to grow up and scream at me someday and someday you are going to have babies of your own that will grow up and scream at you. Totally crazy…
Speaking of learning new things, we have been busy trying to turn you into a circus baby wondering what new trick we can teach you next! Recently, you have become a pointing MACHINE! You point at EVERYTHING. I think this has to be one of the cutest things you have learned so far. It’s also a cool way to feel like I am able to interact with you. You point at something and I can tell you what it is. It’s like your way of asking, “what’s that?”. You now have started to make a sound when you point at stuff that sounds a bit like you are trying to say, “what’s that”, but we will have to see if you keep saying it. You have also started doing the classic “SOOOO BIGGG!!” which is adorable as well, even if it’s a bit… traditional for your Daddy and I. We are really hoping for the high 5 to stick – it’s a little touch and go, but you will get there. Once you start talking, I can’t wait to see what tricks we get you to do!
Your crawling is unbelievable. You FLY across the floor at warp speeds to get at something that is clearly dangerous. Which means, we have totally had to step up the baby proofing. We have installed some locks on stuff and some corner guards. But really nothing can keep you 100% out of trouble. You are SO curious and love to explore now. It’s like the minute you hit the floor you are OFF! Your favorite thing to get into is the TV stand. We always say “NOOOOO”, but you constantly try anyway. It’s like a magnet. You also like to get into the dog beds and try to tip over the garbage can in the laundry room. It’s amazing how fast you are able to get places. We look away for a second, and BOOM you are into some naughty stuff. We have like 4,000 baby toys out in the room for you and no matter what – you always want the stuff you can’t have – why is that?
Along with all this crawling you have been doing, you have been learning the art of cruising. You have pretty much mastered this as well. You can go from like 3 pieces of furniture, to a toy, to one of us and back to the couch. We have even caught you standing on your own a few times, but I don’t think you knew you were doing it. It seems like whenever we try to get you to stand, you get scared and reach out or fall on your butt. So when you do it without knowing, we try to tell each other without being too obvious about it because we don’t want you to get scared and stop!
This last month has been filled to the brim with family and events and traveling. I felt so blessed to be able to share all of these moments with you and your Daddy as a family. This was our first year as a 3-person unit, and it all seemed to be so much more special because of that. We started off the season with a Christmas Eve Eve night at Papa and Wawa’s house. We actually brought over your puppies and all of our presents and we spent the night there. We woke up early and opened some gifts and then we had to head out to South Dakota to see the rest of your families.
On the way there, we had a little bit of bad luck and we had to put some air in our tires. It was so cold that none of the air pumps at the gas stations were working, so we drove all over Albert Lea looking for one! Thankfully, we found one – but just as we were getting ready to get back on the interstate – you…. threw up. BIG TIME. Like 3 cups of whatever was in you. I thought it was because you had been coughing so we just changed you and kept on going.
We showed up a little (3 hours) late to Christmas Eve at your Great Grandma and Grandpa’s, but we got there in time for you to light your first candle and that made it all worth it. As a little girl, I have many memories of that Christmas. One of my most favorite memories is the lighting of the candle for someone who is not with us, but you are thinking about. You lit yours for your cousin Eli, and Mommy and Daddy both lit theirs for Baby Maggie and her Mommy and Daddy. It was so nice to have you be a part of that night – even if we missed most of it. Someday, Christmas Eve for you will be very different, but I really want you to have some memories of this too…
The next day, we woke up on Christmas Day at Namba’s house. We opened up our stockings and you had your morning bottle. And about 15 minutes later, you threw it up. ALL OF IT. ON ME. And so began the next 36 hours of our lives. You would throw up and it was usually on me. So the whole puking in the car thing wasn’t just cough induced it would seem. You had the full on flu – front and back door. For 3 whole days, I don’t think you had any real food – just Pedialite. You just sort of laid on me and had NO interest in toys or other people. I secretly loved every minute of you being sweet and sad and needy. I know you felt awful, and I didn’t love that part – but it was so nice to just snuggle with you for days in a row. It was like I had a 2 month old again – but without the screaming…
We had Christmas with Namba, Uncle Mik, Grandpa Jim and Grandma Judy, somewhere in there, but it definitely was not the memory-filled day I had been envisioning… Next year will be MUCH better I think. You still did try to open gifts and you wore the most adorable Christmas outfits I could find. And now that you are feeling good – you sure are enjoying all your new toys!
And after all of that – your Daddy and I STILL were not scared off from traveling with an infant! This time – we decided to go even FURTHER away! For New Years, we spent the week at the Papa Wawa Lodge with all your cousins. You did great traveling there I think partly due to the fact that your DVD player was totally awesome. The Lodge was great – even though this time it felt a bit smaller with all the babies everywhere! You went sledding for the first time with Eli, but you both kind of just sat in the sled like stuffed peppers sucking on your nukkies. I am not sure if you really enjoyed it, but everyone else sure got a kick out of you two cuties!
Of course, this trip did not go off without a hitch either… Mr. Eli started to feel pretty awful, and was having trouble breathing. He ended up getting a nasty fever too and his Mom and Dad decided they needed to go home and get him to a doctor. Turns out the poor little guy had pneumonia – so it was a good thing they decided to get him fixed up. Then in the middle on nowhere northern Minnesota, we ran out of formula for you – but thankfully we were able to make it until we drove through Duluth. Man – babies are TOUGH!
And of course approximately 18 hours after we got home – you got sick too… Daycare called and they told me you had a fever – so I drove as fast as I could to come and get you since Daycare has NEVER called during he day so I knew it must have been bad. I got there and you were the sickest I have ever seen you. You had a fever of 103 and were lifeless. I cried the whole way home because I was so scared! I got you into the doctor and you had an ear infection. So we got you on antibiotics and stayed home with you all week. You also started a TOP TOOTH teething session that week so you were particularly miserable. But finally we are all on the mend. Your tooth has come through, and I can’t wait to see what that turns your smile into. Hopefully this was the last of the sickness for a while…
The Highlights of Month Ten:
- You are starting to make some super amazing sounds that could very easily be mistaken for real words. I am pretty sure you think you are holding very intense conversations, but I am still trying to understand you. You know who “Mama” and “Dada” are and you say “dog” and point to them.
- Your hair is totally out of control these days. When I was pregnant I had assumed that you would have a full head of hair based on the amount of reflux and heartburn I had, but no. You were a baldy – but lately it seems your hair is taking off! It is however, coming in pretty crazy – and by crazy I mean sticking up all over. Your Daddy loves to try and give you Mohawks and mess it up all big so he can see what you are going to look like when you have even more!
- You love to take 2 toys and bang them together. You especially like to do this if the toys are hard and they make noise. You will sit with a bunch of toys around you and just trade off which two you clang together.
- You still love your standing Jungle Toy and now you have mastered the loop track which has made you love it even more. You also have figured out how to make that monkey sing to you, which is equally annoying and adorable. Annoying because by now, your Daddy and I have memorized the words and they sort of suck, and adorable because you now groove and dance a little whenever it starts.
- We are up to 3 teeth now, which to me is crazy. I think it’s now time you stop getting more. They make you look too old!
- You are still a texture freak and anything that has chunks is NOT going in your mouth. I have had to blend a few of the stage 3 baby foods down so you will actually eat them.
- Your snacking has gone to a whole new level. If it’s crunchy – you love it. Graham crackers are your most favorite, but you also eat Cheerios, puffs, and these little Gerber cheese things.
- You still adore your pink blanket and I actually went and found a couple more just in case something horrible happens. I brought one to Daycare and they have basically thanked me every day because now you sleep like a champ as long as you have your soft little buddy to snuggle.
- You are starting to really want to interact with the dogs now, and it’s been hard to keep an eye on all 3 of you all the time. You have tried to sneak up on Lena when she is sleeping and she doesn’t really like that, so we have to kind of corral all you when I can’t watch your every move. I am hoping eventually you will be able to have wrestling matches though!
- Belgian, Belgian Waffle or Waffle Maker
- Miss, Little Miss, Missy or Missy May
- Baby Girl
- Sass or Sassy Pants (what can I say – you have been sick a LOT this month and sick babies are not very happy!!)
Well just as quickly as one month comes to an end – another one begins. It’s amazing how fast this journey has gone and how wonderful it has been. I am forever different now for having you. You make me a better person and every day I strive to be a better Mom. We are lucky that you were such a good and happy baby because now I am sure you will have a couple of brothers or sisters. I think about having more babies and it’s exciting because I want you to grow up in family with dynamics and other kids, but right now, I want to focus on you and all of the amazing parts of YOUR personality. Some day there will be more babies to have, but right now – I am so glad that I have this baby because I couldn’t ask for a better one…