Tuesday, July 5, 2011

(Belated) 8 Months

(Also, picture overload. Don't say I didn't warn you.)

Dear tiny,
I know I say this every month, but this one really has been the most fun of all. Your little personality has developed so much, and you are so animated and happy.
I've been able to be with you 99.9% of the time this month, which thrills us both. I'm happy to report that stay-at-home-mommyhood has been great for both of us. I have to admit - I was curious as to how we would handle it, and if I'd feel like I was going stir-crazy. Quite the opposite - it has been so much fun to play and read books and sing with you all day.It also helps that for as social as you are, you are also very independent. This means that I often have solid 30-45 minute stretches to get things done, in addition to your naps. For this, I am enormously grateful, and it gives me great confidence in starting the perfect part-time, from-home job opportunity I have next week. Your good behavior is, of course, excepting the couple of hours before bedtime, at which point you become clingy beyond belief, and only mommy will do. This means that it is near impossible to actually get dinner ready at a reasonable hour, as I have not yet learned to prepare it ahead of time like any rational person. Oh well - I guess we're both learning.
You continue to get into anything and everything you shouldn't. You've gained increased confidence (for better or for worse) in pulling to stand and have started dancing and cruising around a bit while on your feet. You love exploring and finding new things, crevices, nooks and crannies. You have a true gift for finding whatever little tiny something the vacuum cleaner left behind, and immediately sticking it in your mouth. You especially love playing with anything dangerous or messy (of course). Some favorites include shoes (I've tried building a pillow wall or sticking the exersucer in your way, but you've started just crawling through...) and any sort of power cord. You are also speedy - you often grab things faster than we realize you can. Just this morning, I was feeding you some oatmeal and you were trying to grab the spoon while I, of course, was trying to get the oatmeal in your mouth. You can just take a guess at who won that round.Speaking of the vacuum cleaner, you've somehow developed an inexplicable fear of it. You'd think that this would simply indicate a strong startle reflex, or anxiety with loud noises. Not so - you still have trouble sleeping without your sound machine (bless that thing), and you were just fascinated by the Fourth of July fireworks. However, you are absolutely terrified of the vacuum cleaner. Once, it was coming in your general direction (although you were a solid 5 feet away) and you started frantically clawing your way to the other side of the room, utter panic in your eyes. You started sobbing not only when I turned it on, but also when it was just standing in the middle of the room and I put you down to get something in the kitchen. Things got a little better after I left it in the room for the whole afternoon, in hopes that you'd make friends, and tried to distract you by reading books (current favorite: "Gossie Plays Hide and Seek"). You were finally able to focus on the goslings, but you did regularly crane your neck to glance suspiciously at the Dyson. I was proud when you crawled in its direction to grab a toy and accidentally brushed against it, but thought it a true success when you actually reached out to grab its yellow top. Way to conquer those fears!
Your love of water has also grown this month. We've been fortunate to have many opportunities to go to the pool and spraygrounds with your grandma as well as with our fun friends, which you always love. We also took a wonderful family vacation down to Charleston, Savannah, and Myrtle Beach this month. You had so much fun going in fountains and playing in the waves. You weren't too sure about them at first, but after realizing they weren't going to eat you, you couldn't get enough of them and wouldn't stop squawking and flapping your arms in delight at them.Your preferences have also become much more clear this month. It is so fun to watch you develop your own little interests and make tiny choices and decisions. Some current favorites: books, spoons, straws (all of which you like to put in your little collection under the exersaucer - I fear we have a little hoarder in the making), and having "wiggle room" - you hate being held or having to sit still for too long (the picture below is from when Daddy won a cool award and you were tired of being in one place so I let you crawl around a bit. They gave out those stickers, which I conspicuously put on you, and the kind photographer graciously snapped a few shots and sent them our way). You've developed a strong preference for daddy for playing around, and love sitting and reading books with him. You've also developed an equally strong preference for me whenever you are in need of some cuddles, want comfort, or are just tired. I love how attached you've become to me this month. The clinginess is sometimes hard when I need to do something and no one else will do, but in all honesty, I love it - I love how you are my little buddy and best little friend, and that I am yours.You continue to forgive and love so easily. You really have a remarkable way of dissipating tension and restoring peace to any situation; it's near impossible to be upset in the face of your gummy grin (still not one tooth to be found). I have to admit - I was changing your diaper on our low-to-the-ground guest bed a few days ago and realized that the diapers were in the living room since we'd just returned from camping (during which you were a total pro). I stupidly thought I could run and grab one before you would move, but, of course, in those 5 seconds, you rolled right off the bed. I felt just terrible. You'd think you would be totally mad at me, but instead, you cried out and gave me a sweet little smile when I picked you up and comforted you. I need to learn to forgive that quickly.Your interest in food has continued to develop this month. You've definitely developed a preference for savory over sweet and love trying things that we are eating - some recent favorites include homemade lasagna, guacamole, potato salad, rice with an Indian curry soup, watermelon, and pickles! It is so fun to see you experiment with new foods. You almost always wrinkle your nose when you first taste something, perhaps just because it is SO new to you, but regardless, you are almost always up for subsequent bites. I really hope your adventuresome eating continues.Tiny, being your mommy just feels so natural. Is it easy? Heck no. Does that mean I know what I'm doing? Certainly not. All that means is that having you in my life seems so natural, so perfect, so right. Whether at home or out, I love having you as my little sidekick. Truly, I can't imagine my life without you. I love you, my little son.love,

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