Saturday, February 23, 2013

To My Dear Little SB at 11 Months and Change

My Dear Little SB,

How is is possible that you are almost a year old?  Surely, you just arrived last week, or maybe the week before.  Yet, I feel like I have known you forever, and always had you in my life.  You are such a sweet little soul.  When you look up at me, it is always with a smile that lights up your whole face, including your eyebrows.  You have one devilish little smile that you give me when you are being mischievous that I absolutely love, and which I call "giving me eyebrows."  You are overbrimming with joy every moment of the day, and you impart joy in everyone you encounter.

And how has it been so many months since I have written you one of these little notes?  Oh, I know for sure why it's been so long.  You are a busy, busy little baby, and have kept us on our toes!  A few months ago, I worried that you weren't meeting your milestones.  You were just about 8 months old, and hadn't sit up yet, let alone crawled.  But it turned out that you just weren't all that interested until then.  Then, just a day or two before you turned 8 months, you started crawling.  Yes, all of my books say that is impossible.  They say babies must sit up before they can crawl.  But not you.  You started crawling, then sat up a few days later.

For a few days, you were a bit of a slow crawler.  I went to work one morning, and you could barely move yourself.  But somehow, in the course of just a single day, you put it all together while I was at work.  When I got home at the end of the day, you could FLY!  You were crawling so fast, I could hardly believe it.  You were (and are!) like a little spider monkey, flying all over the place.  Right after that, you learned to pull up, and for the last few months, you have been pulling up on any old surface, even a flat wall.  You'll walk along the couch or a wall now.

This week, you also started standing up all by yourself from the floor in the middle of the room, without anything nearby to pull yourself up on.  Today was the first day I saw it for myself, while I was visiting with a friend here in our apartment.  Daddy says that you've been doing it for a little bit, that he's seen it before, but that he just didn't tell me.  He likes me to see things for myself.  He hates to spoil the surprise!  It was pretty awesome to see you stand up all by yourself.  You are still working on the walking thing, though.  It won't be long.

You still have only two teeth, the two bottom front ones.  You don't seem to be teething at all.  I wish you'd get more teeth, so you could eat more types of foods.  With just two front teeth, you are mostly able to eat mushy soft things.  But you like almost everything, and are a good eater!  You eat all fruits and veggies, except peas.  You don't like mashed potatoes, either, or cottage cheese.  But you like (baby food) turkey, beef, and chicken.  You like yogurt.  You like fresh mango and banana.  You love the Gerber puffed snacks, and Cheerios.   You seem indifferent to cheese.  But given all of the things you DO eat, I'm not concerned by the ones you don't.

We'll start in on regular cow's milk in a few weeks, and we will wrap up nursing soon.  You aren't terribly interested in doing it much any more, and increasingly drink your breastmilk out of bottles.  You don't like to sit still long enough to nurse.  You don't like to sit still for any reason!  It is a bittersweet moment for me.  I will not miss pumping, especially at work, but I have treasured our time together, our quiet moments.

You increasingly play with your big sister Miss M, which is such a joy for me to watch.  You seem to really enjoy each other.  She is so good with you, and knows just how to talk to you to make you laugh.  You love her toys, and mostly she shares with you.  She likes your toys, too!  I hope you will be friends.  I can already tell that you are likely to be two very different people.  More than anything, I hope you will both be very kind, very smart, very honest, and very good friends.  I will feel successful if all of the above are true!

You've been going to daycare for the last 8 weeks while your daddy took an intensive Spanish class, and the people at the daycare have really enjoyed you.  You will be home again with daddy starting this week, and he is eager to spend time with you again.  The daycare folks are sad that you will be leaving, because they think you are such a joy.  Your daddy and I are glad to have you out of there, though, because you have basically been sick the entire time you've been there.  You are currently on antibiotics for a double ear infection.  You've also had a vomiting illness, countless colds, and another digestive illness in the last two months.  Your sister was NEVER sick as a baby, but you are exposed to so many germs in daycare!  We feel bad, but it probably is good for your immune system in the long run to have been exposed to some of the germs and given a chance to develop some immunities to them.  At least, I hope so.  But regardless, blech.

You give the best hugs.  Everyone comments on it.  All of our friends want to hold you and get hugs from you.  You just fold your whole body into the hug, and squeeze your arms tight.  It's just what I need at the end of a long day.  You make everything better.

For Valentine's Day, Grammy and Grampa sent you and Miss M a huge, soft, stuffed teddy bear.  You love the thing.  You love to roll around on it, to squeeze it and love on it.  It's hilarious to watch.  I simply must get it on video so you can see it when you are older.  It's pretty adorable.  YOU are pretty adorable!

Speaking of Grammy and Grampa, we've been able to visit with them about once a month while we've been living here in the U.S..  You love Grammy.  You fall asleep on her almost every time she holds you, and she is proud of that fact.  It also cracks her up.  She says you just relax your whole body right into her and go to sleep.  I am secretly envious that she is able to put you to sleep so easily at any time of the day!

You refuse to sleep in your crib.  You are still sleeping in bed with me at night.  We are working on this.  You roll over and sleep on your own for long stretches, so I know you would be fine in your own crib.  You just prefer to be able to roll over and snuggle with me when you feel like it!  Soon, though, you'll need to be in your own bed, so that we can have ours back.  There isn't enough room for all of us, my dear!

You are saying "mama" and "dada."  You have been saying them for months, mostly on the rare occasions when you are upset and want someone to pick you up.  That generally only happens when you are tired and seeking a snack and a nap.  But still, I love to hear them.  It's awesome.  I'm trying to teach you to say Miss M's name, and Grammy, but so far, those are your only words.  Soon, I know it will be a steady stream!

You have thinned out quite a bit since you started crawling.  You burn a lot of calories during the day!  You are still wearing 12 month clothing, although we will soon get out the 18 month clothing.  I'm guessing you weigh only about 18 pounds or so.  You weighed around 17 in December, when we last got your "official" weight at the doctor's office.  It's funny to see you in clothing that Miss M used to wear, though--you are growing so much faster that you are already wearing things she wore at 18 months!

You are so very loved, my dear.  You have added so much to our lives, and I feel so incredibly lucky to be your mother.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  I look forward to your first birthday in a few short weeks, and to watching you grow and change in coming months.


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