Dear Elle: You’re Eight Months Old!

Dear Elle,

Happy Eight Month Birthday! I made it home as you were drifting off to sleep after three days on the road, so I got to snuggle you for a split second before depositing you in your crib. At least I got that – it’s better than other ‘birthdays’ we’ve had so far!!

Well, where to begin with all the changes going on in your world?

Three weeks ago, you figured out how to be mobile – clasping your hands together and pulling the entire rest of your body along with you. And then a week after that, you started figuring out that up on your hands and knees was a much more productive use of your energy, so you moved around using both for about two days before you were fully committed to crawling around on all fours! And in the last two weeks, you’ve gotten faster and smarter about how to get around – as quick as possible! You’re losing interest in the walker, the jumper and focusing your energies on the things you can do By. Your. Self.

Absolutely still in love with each other!

You started here. So far away. I have the whole series of pictures as you crawled closer. These are just a selection!

And you ended here! Notice I had to entice you with treats (Puffs!) on the floor in front of the camera to make it work.

 

I like that about you.

I’m pretty sure I’ll deplore it when you’re a teenager, but for now – LOVE your independence.

You are getting a bit more whiny when I walk out of a room, away from you. Anyone for that matter. A bit of separation anxiety? That’s to be expected, of course, but I hope it’s a short phase for you. You’re just such a happy girl, I wouldn’t want anyone to think otherwise (though that sounds like a lot of pressure – so just be you and don’t worry about anything else, kay?).

Turns out you’re a sucker for water — you go in search of the bath tub ALL THE TIME and we even gave you multiple baths in the same day because you’re just so interested in the tub. I attribute it to the great song I made up. But you love the water – you stared at the pool at our neighbors, Michael and Cheryl’s, until I dropped your feet in. You love the pool at your Grandma and Grandpa’s house and you’re definitely entertained by spending time in and around the water. I’m trying to stay very cautious in some ways about your experiences in the water. One bad experience could potentially ruin it, so I’m so, so glad that you love the water! You even love water in your “party cup” (what I have begun calling your sippy cup) because you like the ones with the straw. You love water and I think it actually refreshes you – though I could totally be making that up in my head.

You’re sleeping through the night again — well, you have. It’s not regular at ALL, but you’ve done it again lately. But then there are also nights you’re up four times – so I’m not really chalking up your good or bad habits to any one thing. It’s all completely arbitrary.

We went for your first boat ride at Great Grandma Rosemary’s house and you loved that too!

Your dear Mom has been too busy. I am planning on cutting out some of the things I’ve got going. In addition to my full time job, I have “Candy Tree Productions” – my small side business for, well, anything but up to this point, photography for friends and acquaintances. The Rotary Club. The Vision 2020 Economic Development Chairperson for Marketing. The Under 40s involvement group. And, trying to be good to the people who are good to me – family, friends, etc. There’s too much going on and I’m going to slow it down. Over-extending myself means I feel I don’t do any one thing well — and that drives me a little batty.

We had a big party for your Dad and Auntie Jen’s birthdays and – surprise to her! – Uncle Rick asked Aunt Jen to marry him! Which means that…YOU’RE GOING TO BE A FLOWER GIRL super soon! Haha, isn’t that great?! Regardless of when you tire of crawling and decide to walk, it’ll be before next summer when it looks as though they’ll be getting hitched. Super exciting, isn’t it?!

You and me, though, we’re awesome. I felt like I hadn’t gotten a chance to spend time with you, so last weekend I packed you up in the morning and we headed to the Farmer’s Market in Flint where we had coffee and donuts (ok, I did) listened to some music (and danced — that was you doing the dancing in your stroller) and bought some flowers. Then we went to the Flint Art Fair and did some early, early Christmas shopping and spent time together. Every person there commented on how cute you are and those big blue eyes of yours. They’re pretty captivating, even to people who AREN’T already your biggest fans (that’d be me and your Dad!).

You continue to get to spend lots of time with your grandparents, which makes me so happy, and I feel like we’re just better and better as a family each day, the three of us. Sometimes I hear other Mom’s mention to me “Oh – just wait…” like you walking is going to be ‘worse’ than now. But, now is awesome.

You’re honestly such a good baby, such a good girl, so fun and so neat and so smart, that I’m just more and more excited all the time to see who you’re going to be tomorrow, the girl you’re becoming on a minute-by-minute basis. I’m just so optimistic about all the things you’ll do in your life – our lives – that I can’t wait to see what’s around the next corner. People have begun asking if we’ll give you a brother or a sister and while I think that having a sibling is perhaps one of life’s greatest gifts, I selfishly just want to spend time with YOU because you are such a cool girlie.

As ever, you fill me up.

No, you actually overflow me.

Love,

Mom

Dear Elle: You’re Six Months Old

Dear Elle,

You’re six months old. And I’m kind of emotional about it. I mean, if you’re ALREADY six months old, I can already imagine what it’s going to be like waking up when you’re 16 and trying to figure out how you grew that big so quickly.

So, some general information about you at six months: you’re 16 1/2 pounds. You wear size 2 diapers – but we’re testing out size 3’s. You still kind of fit into 3-6 month clothes, but we’re transitioning into 9 month clothes. Crazy. You wore a pair of pants to school this week that I bought for you last year on the day AFTER we found out you were a girl. That was almost a whole year ago. And you FIT into them. You’re a real girl and you wear pants that I picked out for you a YEAR ago. Isn’t that just nuts?

I’m going to ask one thing of you in this letter. Please sleep. Please, please, please. Sleeping is not coming easy to you (or me) and your Dad is working 3 hours away, so I’m solo most nights and it’s just NOT easy when you have to work and be functional most days. So, please, sleep.

We continue to see your specialist, Dr. Shwayder (I’ll write more about him later) for the hemangioma on your forehead. He said that it’s ahead of schedule in how it’s going away, which is great news. Sounds like you’ll be fully off the medication you take three times a day within the next 2-6 months. Super exciting!

You still very much enjoy ‘school’ and your teachers there (except they keep calling you Ellie, and you are MOST DEFINITELY an Elle).

You like playing toys, a lot. You are very good at rattle shaking, pounding on the drum that you got for Easter from your Grandma Wendy, and jump-jump-jumping in your jumper. You LOVE jumping.Whenever you hear the word ‘jump’ you jump. It’s pretty cool to watch the word association you have and how proud of yourself you are for jumping when you hear the word. You are SMART, girly.

You are SO SO SO strong. I mean, so strong. Your legs are super duper strong (probably from all the jumping). You have begun pulling your legs up underneath you and scooching backwards on accident. You are excellent at sitting up (thought not as excellent as I think, sometimes…you fall over and bump your head, too. That’s when I say ‘oh, I meant to do that’ and you seem to be just fine – no crying for this girl!). You will be crawling in no time, I’m certain of it.

Guiltily, your Dad and I often let you sleep with us (because it’s about the only way you manage to sleep for any extended period of time) but last weekend, when the three of us woke up and you were laying in bed and we laid there for 30 minutes just playing and cuddling and talking, it was like something that people WANT to have in their lives, but it just HAPPENS in ours. It’s like we are all meant to go together. I like it. I loved it. I love those moments. Those moments laying in bed in the morning, those are among my favorites. Because they’re EASY, so easy. They’re natural.

Well, anyway, I just want you to know how great you are. Seriously. Coolest girl in the world. I’m so excited to see what you’ll be in another month and what we’ll be up to. You make everyone better, you bring our family closer and you are so LUCKY AND FORTUNATE to be loved so well and wholly be so many people.

I love you, girly. My whole body overflows with how much I love you – it’s even coming out my eyes as I finish this letter.

You fill me up.

Love,

Mom