11 Months

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Oh, Babette,

It half breaks my heart and half thrills me to no end that you will be ONE in less than a month now.  Today, I held another little baby (you smiled at her at first, and then decided to get all clingy and possessive, as much as your happy little personality could, and gazed at me imploringly) and it reminded me that you!  You’re not so much a little baby any more.  You looked pretty giant next to this teeny 6-week-old.  Your daddy and I were just thinking the other day that when you stand up next to your brother, he’s no longer looking enormous by comparison.  With your newfound height, we moved you into your big-girl convertible carseat this month since you’d exceeded the height limit for your infant one (although you may be 12 before you hit the weight limit).

Speaking of standing, once you started, you were all systems go.  You love pulling up all over the place, and have even stood without support for a few seconds on your own.  And while you’ll hold our hands and walk a bit, I think (hope!) you’re still a long way from walking on your own.  You have started doing this hilarious little crab walk, especially when we’re on a hard surface and you don’t want to injure your delicate little knees.  You’ll either walk on your hands and toes, or have one knee sort of down and the other up to walk on your toes on one side.  It’s just the funniest.  You also cut another little tooth a couple of days after your first, the other bottom one, but no more since then.  You did bite me a couple of times while nursing (ouch!!), but fortunately, it only happened those few times and then stopped.  You’re still eating a good bit, although not nearly as much as last month.  We have started taking your paci away when you’re awake and trying to reserve it mostly for sleeping time.

toothy toothy!
You’ve found a funny game in rocking back and forth in your booster seat
that you find hilarious, along with looking at yourself in the mirror. 
You also always grab your bum during diaper changes, so I have to be
quick with getting a new one on and making sure to have toys on hand for
you to hold, but hopefully not stick down there.  Ack.

You still love to follow us all around the house, especially your brother.  Whenever he goes into his room to play, you’re sure to be right behind (or if he happens to be sleeping and you’re awake, you’ll crawl to his door and wait outside it).  It nearly makes my heart burst at how you two play so well together now (usually…).  The other evening, you and he played in his room for upwards of an hour while I made dinner and listened to a book.  Granted, I came in and found 90% of the toys in the room inside the washing machine (I’m fairly certain nat contributed the toy jostling while you contributed the hysterical giggling), but hey, an hour’s an hour.

Nat has started treating you more like a little person now, which is so nice to see.  The other night, it was a little late so I was going to skip your bedtime book.  But Nat noticed I hadn’t read you one so he ran and grabbed one of his current favorites, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, because he said he didn’t see Moo, Baa, La La La, which he astutely remembered to be one of your favorites.  He’s gotten so good at sharing with you and is so sweet about letting you use his water bottle (your OBSESSION), and even thought it was hilarious when you found his paci and were sucking on it (with a little mischievous glint in your eye after spitting out your own) while camping. You both love playing on our bed and pretending it’s your “train” and it’s hilarious watching the two of you giggling like loons together.  Your independent play has also continued to be excellent.  In the rare instance when you’re awake while Nat naps, you’ll easily play by yourself with some blocks or books for 30-45 minutes.  I’m just really proud of you for loving to learn and study things out.

You are still the most social little thing and love being around us and all people, although you’ve finally started to show a liiiitle bit of stranger anxiety and a decided mama preference.  You still love having new people around and are a pro flirt, but as far as being held, your favorite place is in my arms.  (You’ll hear no complaints from me.)  You also will come right over to me and chat my ear off when you want to nurse or need a diaper change; you try so hard to communicate and it’s just the cutest thing.  You used to just look at me imploringly and open your eyes really big and sort of grunt meaningfully at me, but it’s progressed to full on chatter in an effort to get your point across.

The smiles still basically never stop with you.  Everyone we see comments on it, no matter the time of day or if you need something.  We did a beach day trip this month and we came home tired/hungry (we forgot our picnic so snacked on some random nachos)/and poopy (which we realized after we walked in the door) and you were still totally happy and smiling.  You are so ridiculously patient, and sometimes I just want to hug you and let you know it’s okay to speak up for yourself a little more. You are getting there, though, with some screeches expressing your displeasure when a toy is snatched from your unwilling hands by a certain sibling.  The only time you really get screechy, though, is when you want food, stat – especially frozen treats.  You love ice cream and frozen yogurt as much as…well, me.


Surprisingly, your ability to nurse in public has actually improved this month.  I don’t know if it’s that I’ve been using the cover less (I think it actually makes you MORE distracted because you’re so intent on getting out from under it) or that you’ve just been really hungry the times when I’ve needed to, but your focus has improved, thank the heavens.  Your nursing at bedtime, though, has gotten a little trickier, in part because you’re no longer swaddled!  You had been getting out of it pretty consistently, and had a few nights when you’d wake up just because you had come unswaddled, and you’d go right back to sleep after being re-swaddled, so we decided to get rid of it and switched you over to a sleep sack.  In any case, because of this, you’ve been more easily distracted while nursing before bed since your arms will flail around and you’ll pull off and sit up a bit.  But usually if I can get you snugly tucked in and hold your arms steady, you’re do okay.

You’ve had a few nights of sleeping through the night this month (including the night after we switched you to your sleep sack – which worked much better than having nothing at all, as I’d tried for your naps that day), so I’m really hoping that continues.  We’ve tried night weaning you several times and had you wait longer, rocked you, let you just cry for LONG periods of time (much to the chagrin of our neighbors, I’m sure), and you’ve still just really needed that feeding.  I’ve finally decided that you must have a high metabolism and need some more food then.  It’s usually not until 5 or 5:30, but it would be really nice if you could start pushing through a little more.

We had another camping trip this month, at which you did much better than your first camping adventure.  You slept great at night and for your nap, loved all the camp food, and we just overall had a ball.  You also attended your first baseball game this month, where your brother was delighted to hear the entire crowd chanting “Let’s Go Nats!” (He was also rather enamored of the shirt I made him.)  Fun times, those are.

First time in a hammock, not too sure
Out of focus, but that excitement!  The NATS shirt was a hit.

 You’ve acquired a couple more tricks this month.  You’re still saying dada consistently and usually on command, still love clapping all the time, and think peek-a-boo is totally hilarious.  You will occasionally deign to say “mama.”  If we say “ahhh” and open our mouths, you do it back and it’s THE cutest little sound in the world.  If we say that we’re going to say a prayer, you fold your arms without prompting, oh, it is even more adorable than it sounds.  Your bye-byes have moved to you waving your entire hand from the wrist, and you’ve started pointing at things that interest you.  You also love to do flips and swings in our arms and at the playground.  You still scratch your head with both teen arms reached up when you’re tired, it is hilarious.  You also now give kisses on demand and it understandably melts my heart every time.

But maybe best of all, the cuddles.  You’ve turned into a total cuddlebug when you’re tired and it is. THE. BEST.  I cannot tell you how it just makes my heart want to burst right out of my dang chest ever time you lay your little head on my shoulder and throw your sweet, teeny arms around my neck and arm.  Before, when swaddled, you couldn’t really cuddle a ton.  But now, with your arms free, OH.  There are no words for that feeling.  You just lay on me while I stand and rock and sing you a song before nap and bed.  And coo.  You coo-hum through that whole song at me.  I always wonder if you are asleep, but no, you never have been good at falling asleep in my arms and your eyes are just open and you’re calm, so calm.  And snuggly.  It is gut-wrenching to put you down when you’re being like that, and I take extra time each time.  All those sleep experts who say I’m creating bad habits by rocking you to sleep?  Must never have held a sweet, snuggly baby on their chests.  And gosh darn, this time is so very very precious to me and I refuse to give it up.  The only thing that gets me to put you down ever (usually only after you’ve finally raised your head a teeny bit, giving me the extra push I need to set you in your crib) is the fact that I know you need your rest and you won’t fall asleep while I hold you, otherwise you better believe I would be holding you like that allll the livelong day.  Every time I leave the room after snuggling you, I just cannot believe my good fortune and the the warmth that fills me from my very core out.  That heart-bursting love I have for you and your brother, and that dad of yours, it is good.  It’s really good.

Kina, you are just the most charming little person.  It’s more than you being beautiful or cute or coy or friendly – you are truly charming in every lovely and delightful and virtuous sense of the world.  As I nursed and rocked you the other night before bed, I said a little prayer of gratitude for the light you are in the lives of everyone around you, and your middle name, Deepa, or “light,” popped into my head.  Both your dad and I felt strongly that that needed to be your middle name, and I cannot think of one more fitting of your personality and gifts.  Kina girl, thanks for lighting up my year, my life, and my eternity.  You’re a treasure.


(These were taken by Nat and I kind of love them.)

One Response

  • Well that is just about the sweetest thing I've ever read. I love this little lady more and more every day.

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