Sunday, October 28, 2012

7 months old.

I did it again.

I got so busy and wrapped up in you these past two months and it shows here.

You're eight months old and that is so blow my mind, whirlwind hard to believe. Watching you grow before my eyes is such a surreal experience. These are the days that I dreamed of and longed for when you were inside of me and it saddens me that something so anticipated is going to be gone, like a breath, like a blink, and you'll be one.

These past two months have been busy and hectic (aren't they all?), so I haven't had near enough time as I would have liked to write. You're becoming quite the feisty, opinionated little thing. You've found your voice and you're beginning to know what you like and don't like and how to let us know. You've gone through some really grumpy days, but I always tell myself 'tomorrow is a new day.' I have off days and bad moods, so you're sure to as well. We think it may just be a developmental thing - you're frustrated with the limitations that we and your body set for you and you aren't sure how to deal with that frustration yet. To be honest, we aren't sure how to deal with it either. I hate seeing you so unhappy and as hard as I try not to let it get the best of me, sometimes it does. Two parenting rules that I'm trying to follow are using 'no' sparingly and not slapping your hands. The first is so that you don't get used to hearing no multiple times a minute and ignore it. Hopefully when I actually say no, you'll know I mean business and it will catch your attention. The second because I always want to treat you with respect and encourage you to learn and explore. With these two things out, it really puts a damper on ways to express my impatience with you and ways to tell you that what you're doing is not okay. (For example, you love to pull cords out of the wall, but I don't think that's a very safe thing for you to play with, so I usually turn you around and tell you that cords are not toys.) I had no idea that parenting tactics were going to be needed so soon.

7 months old.

You are still trying to crawl. You like to pull yourself along the floor and since we have hardwood floors and tile, this works pretty well. You've started trying to pull up on things - the arm of the recliner, the back of the couch, Mama's hair, the sides of your crib, Papa's chest hair, Mama's *ahem* personal items. . . anything and everything, no matter how painful. I've become your human jungle gym and I'm sure it's just going to get worse. You're wearing a lot of 6-9 month size clothes, but can still fit into most of the 3-6 month things. At your last appointment around 7 months, you were 16 pounds, 4 ounces.

7 months old.

No teeth yet! You've gone through several phases of fussiness and we'll think one is going to bust through, but nothing so far. You're drooling and chewy and biting, but you've been at that for awhile, so it might not mean a thing. We're still breastfeeding - a lot, but you're getting the hang of eating real food. You love everything except tomatoes, mustard, and pickles, so sour stuff (but you like lemon and grapefruit?). The problem we're having is that you really aren't into being spoon fed. You usually just take the spoon from us, chew on it, and bang it on your high chair tray. You like to feed yourself and I like to let you, but it's hard to get enough food in you to really make a difference in how well you sleep or time in between nursing sessions that way. Right now we're at one meal a day, but I'm hoping to get you up to two soon. I also thought I was having issues keeping my milk supply up, so I started taking some herbal supplements and can definitely feel a difference. Hopefully you'll start sleeping longer stretches at night now that you're getting some extra milk along with food. You are such a horrible sleeper, you really are. I keep trying to find a reason for you waking every 2-3 hours, but I'm stumped, so that's my conclusion. You're just bad at sleeping, but that's okay - I accept that about you. I'll live and you'll grow out of it.

Two days ago (09/17/2012), you said 'Mama' for the first time. You had put those two syllables together before like a lot of babies do, saying 'mamamama,' but this was so legible, so full of need and desire. You were playing in the living room floor and I went outside for just a minute to help Papa fix the apple press. I came back in and you fussed a little, looked up at me from across the room and said 'Mama,' clear as day. Tears came to my eyes, I scooped you up, and ran outside yelling, "She said Mama! She said Mama! Like for real! She called me Mama!" You also started saying "baba" which we think means Papa, so you have our names down! You signed 'milk' for the first time when you were seven months old, and you know what the signs for diaper, more, food, water, all done, bath, and Mama mean. You love to jabber on and your sounds are becoming more varied, so I can see more words forming soon.

The day before you said 'Mama' you scooted from the living room into the kitchen and I thought my heart would explode. You just wanted to be in the same room as me and the fact that there is now this little person in this world that likes me that much is incredible. I get excited about that everyday, about loving another person like I love your Papa, and about having another best friend.

Your Papa and I fell hard for each other. We loved with a love that was more than love (and still do). We became best friends when we were just thirteen and have been inseparable ever since. I can still remember the feelings I had when we were just sixteen and the prospect of forever was on the horizon. While neither of us get those same butterflies inside, bat your eyelashes at each other feelings as often as we once did, in the nine years since we've loved, our relationship has evolved into something much more beautiful than that.

8 months old.

When I'm away from you, even if it's just for a nap, I get a taste of those feelings once again. Something just isn't right when we aren't together. It's like leaving home to run a few errands while dinner is on the stove. I'm antsy and forgetful. I can't keep my mind on anything but you. My heart beats faster when I think about you. My days are shorter when I'm with you. Music is sweeter to my ears. My priorities and plans have all shifted. Our future as a family is brighter, more exciting. I want to keep you all to myself. All I can think about is you, my little Evie Idella. My heart bursts with thanks for you, for this life and little family that I've been gifted with.

It took me quite awhile to figure out what these deja vu feelings I was having were all about and one day it hit me - I'm falling in love again. Madly, deeply, in love with you. It's the most exciting, but vulnerable thing I've felt. It's magic.

On August 22nd, Papa and I celebrated three years of marriage. It was the first anniversary with you here with us. Three years ago we devoted our lives to each other and now we've devoted it to you - to nurturing you, teaching you, supporting you. We have fallen in love with you and there is no going back. I love every part of you - the fluffy hair, rosebud lips, intense gaze, gummy smile, firm grip, the softness of your imperfect skin, and your little squeals and coos. I love how adventurous, curious, and joyful you are. What I think I love most of all is the look in your eyes when you see me, that flash of recognition, and the excitement in your eyes when you hold your arms out for me. Anytime you get excited you open your mouth and poke out your lips. It's an expression that's hard to explain, but it's like your saying "Oo, Mama!"

8 months old.

Besides all the developmental milestones, you've also encountered a lot of firsts - your first road trip to Arizona, your first time swimming in a pool, your first trip to the fair, your first taste of ice cream (09/20/2012). You've also learned to love bath time. You splash and stare at the bubbles that surface. You laugh as we poke your cheeks with the beak of your rubber ducky and say "Duck, duck, duck. . .GOOSE!" You watch your plastic boats float around the tub, catch them, and chew on them. You're such a vibrant little person. I hope you never stop smiling as much as you do now.

Everything feels right with you here. Everything is as it should be. There may be more babies in our family's future, but right now, it's just the three of us, the musketeers - living out our dreams, making plans, making memories, holding onto each other, and falling deeper in love every day. Thank you for coming into our lives and changing us. Thank you for reminding me of all these old feelings. This next month is going to be a good one. I can feel it.

All the Love in the Universe,


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