Dear Em- 9 Months Old

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Dear Em, 

You’re 9 months old today! Happy Birthday! I know it’s silly, but every month I get so excited that you’re another month old that I sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to you first thing after you wake up and tell everyone who talks to you that its your 9 month birthday. 

You’ve grown so much and it seems like in an instant you’re this baby, no longer a newborn. You light up when you recognize certain people like your dad, me, or your Grandpa. You smile and laugh when we cover our faces, wait, and say “Booo!” or some other surprise sound. You especially go crazy when Grandpa does that and makes a raspberry sound while hiding. 

You’re totally a Mama’s girl… and most of the time, I love it! At other times, it makes it very difficult to get anything done. You want to be held, or put down then picked right back up immediately. If I hand you off to someone else or turn my back on you, watch out! You scream like a banshee. But really, I dont mind most of the time because one day you wont need me like you do now. You’ll become a “big girl”, then you’ll have your little girlfriends and besties, then boyfriends (over your dad’s body), college, marriage… These ‘koala’ (because you literally try to crawl up me and you latch on like a little koala bear) moments are so fleeting that I want to hold onto them as much as you want to hold onto me. 

You love food- for a baby, you’re such an adventurous eater! Beans, rice, salmon, turkey lentil meatballs, sugar snap peas, blueberries, watermelon, steamed carrots and broccoli, zucchini, any bread or crackers you can get your hands on. But above all, your faves are: strawberries (they FLY off your plate), cheerios, peas, bananas, cheddar bunnies and those puree pouches. You try to eat those pouches on your own, but it ends up a massive mess. You have tons of fun making that mess, though. 

You love ‘reading’ books! You’ll talk to yourself while looking through them. “Bah bah bah bah Da da da na na ga ga ma ma…” You’ll hold the book over your head, move it from side to side  by one page, point at certain things for a second, then put the book on the floor and use it to slide across the floor. They entertain you for a long time. Sometimes you’ll even sit long enough for me to read you one! You’ll slide a book over to me, climb in my lap. You’ll try to clumsily turn the page as I read, before I’m even ready. But you have fun and love it! You also love to chew and wave around a kids’ toothbrush your babysitters gave you. Other toys you love: the DVD basket, my Coach wallet, boxes, the Wii remote, Lola’s water bowl, the refrigerator, this bunny that sings, a green water toy that looks like a cross between an alligator and a hippo (your Aunt Sandi and I aptly named it a ‘Hippogator’), bottom cupboards and drawers, crawling in and out of your car seat, a rainstick, my iPhone, and your toy phone. You are active and curious. Always getting into everything and anything, but always with full intent and every ounce of your focus on it. 

You are fully crawling now. And can you move! You can crawl almost as fast (or faster) than I can walk. You’ll suddenly stop, sit, look at your hands or something you found, or the toy you put in your mouth to carry with you, then suddenly go in a totally new direction and go! You find anything you can to crawl up to a standing position- legs, couches, stools, shelves, table legs, walls, tubs, toilets, etc… You’ll then begin to bounce and jump around like a little monkey! You’re even starting to stand up on your own! At times, you’ll pull yourself up against my legs, lean back, balance and stand. Sometimes, you’ll stand up from a sitting position all by yourself! Its amazing to me! I cant tell you how proud I feel when I see you stand! I want everyone to stop what they are doing to see you simply stand and I cheer! 

You also love to point everywhere and at anything. Its really so cute! I will lean back, point at the ceiling with your thumb still sticking out and begin to babble. You point to random little things and will squeal, giggle, laugh, or ‘talk’. You can also wave to say hello or goodbye if you’re not too tired or grumpy. It really is such the sweetest thing and makes me so happy!

You love your bath times. You graduated from a makeshift tub I made for you out of a laundry hamper and towel. You have the best time crawling around the tub, inspecting the faucet and drain, propping yourself up against the side, splashing, trying to clap or eat your washcloth. 

Bath time is great, and all, but I really think your favorite time of the day is when we come home. We immediately go to our bedroom and play on the bed for about an hour. We read our books, tickle, you climb all over me like a jungle gym, and then we play a game that makes you go crazy! I will slide down to the floor and hide. You then giggle, get really quiet, then crawl to the edge to find me. I’ll move to different side, and sometimes you know where I’ll pop up. When I do, you get this huge smile and giggle. I love it and it lasts forever! We also play this game where I’ll hide behind a corner or something, peak out until you glance at me, then hide again. You chase after me and get so happy! I love seeing you like that!

I love you so much! I cant believe how much my love for you grows almost daily. You make me so immensely proud of you as you pass each new milestone like a boss. As we look at the last three months before you turn one, I get excited to see how much more you will grow and learn. 

Love, 

Mama

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