Friday, March 21, 2014

Dear Seven-Month-Old Sally

Dear Sally!

Sleepy, introspective, 7 months old
You are seven months old today. The day started almost exactly the same way your 6 month birthday began: you woke up (too) early, spit up on my bed, played very cheerfully in the guest room while Daddy and Walter slept, got sleepy right as everyone else was waking up, nursed and fell asleep right in time to head to day care.  I dressed you in the same cute birthday outfit you wore a month ago: your red Osh Kosh overalls and red turtleneck, size 9 months.

So, much is the same, but also, so much is different. You are clearly taller than you were a month ago, and you look like you're filling out and gearing up for another growth spurt.  You have two teeth and you are crawling. Much like your brother at this age, you like to pick a goal and crawl toward it at alarming speed. Your goal is very rarely something safe and appropriate, like a family member or a toy.  You prefer goals like electrical chords, buttons and knobs, the dog, the dog's food, etc. This, I believe, is the natural way of baby curiosity. You are almost always on the move, squirming out of our arms and onto your next adventure.

NOW you sleep. Sigh.
I watched you play with the stacking rings this morning. You still explore the world primarily by tasting things, but you also like to put things where they're supposed to go (you like unstacking and stacking the rings, dumping out Walter's dump truck of plastic blocks and then putting the blocks back into the truck, etc.)  You pay very close attention to everything I do, and everything the other people around you are doing (especially your brother.)  You are clearly watching us and learning, learning, learning.
You are getting sleeeeeeeeepy.

What you are not doing very much of is sleeping.  It's been a tough week for Mama and Dada--both you and Walter have had bad sleep problems for about 8 days straight.  We're not sure what's going on with you guys, though of course we have a lot of theories about it. One thing that's been kind of nice is that, even though you've been very wakeful all night, you've been very cheerful about it. It's hard to despair when you smile at me so beautifully, when you giggle and make your throaty growly noise.  You love to say, "Hi, Dada!" to all of us. Dada, in particular, loves it when you say that.

You are eating: rice cereal, peas, sweet potato, squash, apple, banana, avocado and beans.  I got you to taste a little bit of raspberry and it was the first time I've seen you make the "ewwwwww" face. For the most part, you are interested in eating and tolerant of all the foods we try with you.  You LOVE eating anything we give you in this neat little mesh pacifier thing that allows you to feed yourself whole pieces of banana, avocado, apple, etc. The apple slice was very satisfying for you to crunch on with your new (and upcoming) teeth. Avocado is your favorite taste, so far. As long as we have your food quickly ready to go and don't make you wait too long, family meal times go well.  You like to watch me get the food ready--this reassures you that food is, in fact, on its way.  You are also nursing with great gusto these days.  I love feeding you in general, and nursing you in particular. You are so snuggly, you are so sweet!

Walter lets you pull his hair. Your brother loves you!
Words I'd use to describe you these days: snuggly, sweet, ferocious, voracious, cheerful, dramatic, focused, brilliant, charismatic, funny and loving.

This month you had your first big illness: a case of RSV that brought with it a persistent fever, a nasty cough and lots and lots of goopiness. It coincided with the arrival of your teeth.  You spent 6 days at home with me, and it was a hard time, but I'm glad I was able to nurse and care for you through it.  You didn't get an ear infection or pink eye or pneumonia or anything else, so we feel like we were lucky and got off relatively easy.  That's the way to do it, Sally!

Giving Umma a passionate kiss
I love to watch your relationships with your family members grow as you grow.  You are very bonded with Umma and Baba, giving them big smiles and loving looks of adoration.  You love your teachers at daycare--they will miss you when you move up to Room 2, soon.  You reach for your Daddy and smile wide to see him. And, of course, you are still my attached-at-the-hip girl ... you and I have a very special bond. You are very curious about Hank the Dog and incredibly gentle with him, always petting him with an open hand and never grabbing or pulling his fur. You grab your big brother's hair, though, and I'm amazed at how well he tolerates it!  I think you get away with a lot with him because he's so fond of you (and because you are clearly so fond of him.)

This morning you fell asleep on my lap after nursing just as Walter was waking up.  He came out to the living room and talked quietly to me for awhile--eventually you heard his voice, blinked, sat up (you can almost sit up on your own, now) and smiled at him.  You love waking up and seeing Walter there, with you.  Your biggest smiles and laughs are always for him. Walter doesn't like having his picture taken, but this morning he asked Dada, "Can you take a camera of us, Daddy?"  He didn't want the flash, so most of the pictures didn't turn out ...
Your brother makes you smile and smile!
too blurry, with Walter moving around, making you smile, and you moving around, smiling and laughing at Walter.  After a bit, Walter asked to climb up on my lap alongside you, and asked Daddy to put the camera away. He wanted to just enjoy being with you.  Daddy looked at the three of us together and said, "Hello, family."  It was one of those moments we don't have any pictures of, but will remember anyway, because we hold it in our hearts. You are always in our hearts, dear Sally!

Love you, and proud to be your

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