Happy, happy birthday!! Is it ridiculous that I’m already starting to get teary, just at the prospect of even writing this letter (yes, yes it is)?
I love how you’ve become even more playful and fun this month. You find it hilarious to chat and giggle back and forth with all your friends (i.e., everyone). You love handing someone something and grabbing it back at the last second. If you’re feeling generous, you’ll let them hold it and then do a grabbing motion, indicating you want to take turns and want it back. If someone is shaking a toy, you’ll hand it to them and sort of shake it a bit, but make sure that they know you want them to do it for you. Entitled, maybe, but darling. You also love to share food (sometimes even pre-chewed!) and are delighted when anyone accepts your offering. You just love to reach and push away in general, and have fun (messily) feeding yourself.
With finding everything funny, you’ve started doing a couple of things that express your delight. One is the most hilarious little cackle. It’s guttural but high-pitched and just filled with amusement. It cracks me up every time. You also do this amazing face scrunch. You’ll bring your nose down to your lips and scrunch up your eyebrows and entire face, or you’ll just scrunch up your eyes and give me a big grin. It kills me. You also continue to be ridiculously ticklish, especially on your neck.
You remain entirely obsessed with water – drinking it, that is. You enjoy baths, but drinking water? You cannot get enough. You adore your sippy (you love turning it all the way upside down to get as much out as you can) and Nat’s water bottle and cups and anything else. Yesterday, when were in Sacrament meeting at church, we let you drink one of the little cups of water. After you finished it and didn’t get more (despite seeing all the other cups), you [loudly] proclaimed your displeasure. This remains pretty much the only time you get shrieky – when you really want food/water and it’s not coming fast enough for your tastes. Simultaneously annoying and entertaining.
|You look like such a little girl here to me!|
While you used to just stand up on furniture all the time, you’ve finally started cruising a bit this month, and even standing for a second or two unassisted. I’m fairly confident it will be a while before you walk, but it’s adorable watching you learn some new tricks (including your hilarious crab walk that you do when you don’t want your knees to touch the ground). Speaking of, you’ve developed your love for dancing this month. Any time you hear music, if it’s on the iPod or if someone starts singing, or even if someone just happens to mention the word dance, you start moving your little body around like there’s no tomorrow. You bend your elbows and move your entire torso side-to-side and it is just the cutest thing. You also love to put your hands in the air and wiggle your fingers. Along with your dancing, you’ll look intently at the music source and try to hum along, and you adore drumming your hands on the table (especially with your brother). I love it.
You still only really say two words (“mama” and “dada,” but you’ve gotten better at imitating sounds this month. You’ll try your hardest to repeat “more” after me, but that’s likely just because you’re sufficiently motivated (it’s usually in the case of food). You’re also newly quatro-toothed! Teeth #s 3 & 4 just appeared a couple of days ago, within a day of each other. You’d started waking up at night for a few days and I was really puzzled, and then a new little tooth popped right through. You still woke up once that night, and I was worried you had gotten into a waking habit, but then we noticed another (your top right) the next day. After they both cut, you were fine the next night, thank goodness.
Speaking of sleep, you finally figured out the sleeping through the night thing this month – hallelujah!! For months and months, you’d been waking up once in the middle of the night to eat. We’d tried to night wean you several times, but each time, you’d just stay awake and fuss for ages and just would not settle back down until you got some food. We tried everything, and let you cry for ages, and comforted you, and even tried sleeping in the living room to let you cry in our room (our neighbors loved that, I’m sure). We hadn’t put you in Nat’s room because we were afraid you’d wake him up in the middle of the night when you woke, but finally, just over a month ago, decided to give it a shot. Lo, you slept through the night starting that night. Maybe you just missed him? Or smelled milk in our room? Or maybe he’s just a quieter sleeper? Who knows, but we’re grateful.
The only issue is that we have to make sure that you’re completely asleep before putting Nat to bed. Otherwise, the two of you just stay up chatting and giggling. The other night, you were both exhausted, but for 30+ minutes, you were just giggling to each other. And he wasn’t even the only instigator! One of the times I went in, he was lying quietly in his bed with his covers on and you were standing up in your crib, in your sleep sack, giggling like a maniac. You just get so excited to even see him. So I finally moved you into the pack-n-play in our room and you both fell immediately to sleep. I love how much you adore each other, but sometimes you just need sleep! You really do idolize your brother, though. You’ll often crawl to his door if he happens to still be asleep when you awake from your afternoon nap. A few days ago, his door was slightly ajar for some reason, and you excitedly and chattily pushed your way right in before I caught you and swept you out.
The great thing is that Nat, for all his poking and prodding of you, loves you right on back. He’s your best protector and advocate and friend, everything I’d hoped a big brother would be. A few weeks ago, it had been a rough day and I was being a grouch. After the seemingly 10,000th thing, you dropped my scriptures and all the papers fell out. Not a big deal at all, but I got a little impatient. Nat immediately spoke up and told me, “She didn’t know.” It was a sweet and gentle reminder, and I’m grateful for his kindness to you. He loves playing with you; we have a shoe cabinet by our door and Nat loves climbing on it (like his train or airplane or truck or whatever vehicle is momentarily in style). He really wanted you to sit on it with him one day, but I told him you were a little too small. I did hold you on there for a minute, but you weren’t in love with it. So when I wasn’t looking, he took all the shoes out of the inside and told me that there was a space for you inside. 🙂 And then whenever Amma comes over, Nat loves for her to feed him his lunch. He’ll pull up his chair beside her and then pull your booster right next to them so you can join in. It’s so sweet.
Re: bedtime, you’ve continued the sweet coos and cuddles beforehand. You love to lay your head on my shoulder and fiddle with my necklace while I snuggle you and sing you a song. It’s one of my favorite times of the day. Sadly, though, you seem to be nursing less. While you still consistently nurse in the morning and before naps, a few nights in the last few weeks, you’ve nursed for about 10 seconds before bed, have wanted nothing more, and have gone to bed just fine. One of those times was when we’d gone out to dinner and you had a mango lassi pretty much all by yourself. You love that stuff (also, straws). It breaks my heart a little, but I’m glad to know that bedtime will hopefully be fine if I’m not there.
Happily, you’ve come to enjoy books MUCH more this month. You didn’t dislike them before, but you certainly haven’t been as patient with them as Nat was, and often wriggle away after a page or two. But this month, you’ve started to happily sit through multiple books, and love turning page after page. You especially love hearing animal sounds, seeing letters, and pulling the little owl puppet on the “In My Tree” book (Nat’s favorite at your age, too). You also adore music books. We had a “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” book from the library that had a bunch of different verses for the song. I sang each one, totaling at least 5 minutes, and you sat stock still through the whole thing, loving it all.
Your dad and I were reminiscing over the last few days about this weekend one year ago. We attended a fall social with our church congregation where I erroneously chose to wear tall sandals even though the social was in a (slightly rocky and unevenly grounded) park, and with my balance already made precarious c/o my giant belly, I hung out on the patio for much of the time, chatting and laughing with some dear friends. Your paternal grandparents were in town, and none of us had any idea you’d come a week early, on the day of their departure, quickly enough that even grandpa could see you before his afternoon flight.
We brought home a hairy baby who loved to be snuggled and held, and who grew into the most cheerful child known to man. You evolved into the baby that everyone wants to smile at because you WILL smile back. You love everyone and everyone loves you back. You’re curious and interested and charming and gorgeous and playful and love to give high fives and are, as your name implies, a true light to everyone around you.
Baby doll, YOU. You! You are just too much for me sometimes, what with your cuteness and your loves and your giggles and I just could not imagine it any other way. Thank you for adding immeasurable sparkle to my life.
Happy birthday, my dear love.
|Taken on your last day as a 0 year old|