You say you're actually closer to eleven months, and that I completely skipped over a nine-month letter? Let's call it denial that you are becoming a big girl. Maybe if I just pretend the months aren't passing, you'll stay this size for a while longer.
Of course your little spongy self proves to me that this plan isn't working, so I guess I'll acknowledge your growth. You are just soaking everything up lately, and I feel like every time I turn around, you have learned something new, or you have some fun, new trick.
I had to look back at where you were at eight months to gauge your progress, and I can't believe what two months has done for you! Your biggest achievement is that you have become a crawling machine, starting off by using one knee, and propelling yourself forward with your foot on the other side. We called it your kickstand, but for the most part, it's now gone, as you have graduated to a big girl crawl on hands and knees.
We had our first family vacation just before you turned ten months old. In the past, my vacations have consisted mostly of laying poolside with a book. I quickly learned this time that vacationing is a whole different ball game when you have a child. It was all about you, baby. We have several pictures of you in your float in the pool, with everyone around you just smiling and laughing at you playing. You confirmed my suspicion that you are a water baby. You loved the pool, at times splashing and splashing until exhaustion; at others, you just laid back and relaxed while I held you.
On the other hand, you surprised me in your love of sand. When I put you down at first, you pushed up onto your hands and feet, like you were afraid to let any other part of you touch such an unexpected texture. It didn't take long for you to sit and start digging with your hands, squealing all-the-while. You got to experience some really quality time with Mama and Daddy for a whole week, without interruption, which was awesome for all of us. But you also got to be with Lolly, Pops, your great grandma, and your uncles, who we don't get to see quite as often. Ever since we got back from that vacation, when we talk to Lolly through video, you get a huge smile on your face. You really got to know them on this vacation, and I think they will always cherish that time they had with you.
- You are ornery - I know that you have learned what no means, but when presented with the word, you simply smile and carry on. Your favorite spot in the house is under the TV table, on top of the DVD player, where you have multiple cords to choose from. You are also loving the dogs' bowls, attempting a taste of their food and splashing in their water. Pulling you away from both only gives us about 10 seconds before you're right back at it. You are a woman on a mission, for sure, when you know what you want.
- You have become a pro at pulling yourself up. All of a sudden, it seems like nothing is safe anymore, and when Daddy and I are awakened by cries in the night, we typically find you standing there, waiting for us expectantly, when we arrive.
- Our nursing relationship was compromised while we were in Florida. We had already started using formula more often to supplement, but I developed Mastitis and you refused to eat from one side at all. My supply really suffered, and I was discouraged. I initially swore that we were done with nursing, but you let me know that you weren't ready yet; truth-be-told, I wasn't ready either. We have continued with just morning and night feedings, and I continue to pump once daily. Nursing, I will miss. Pumping, I will not.
- You have become a one nap baby most days. But my goodness, that nap is awesome. Like, three hours awesome.
- You love books. You know when you want to read, and we have had some days where you will sit and listen to books as long as I continue to read them to you. I promise to do my best to nurture that love, in paper form. Trust me, I tried ebooks - they're not the same.
- You are still so petite. I took you to the doctor a couple weeks ago for an ear infection and you hit the charts at 15th percentile for both height and weight. When people ask how old you are and I respond "10 months," their reaction is almost always the same - "She's so small!" Maybe that's why it's so hard to believe you're so close to one - you still fit into some six month clothes!
I feel like your daddy and I are broken records sometimes, with our "she's the best baby!"s and "she's just the cutest!" But it's true, you are. Ten months is good. Like, really good.
I love you!