Dear Em: HAPPY 10 MONTH BIRTHDAY!

My dear, sweet, energetic, sassy, curious, funny, smart, naughty little girl…

You are 10 MONTHS. I woke up this morning, looked at you, and you just seemed… Different? More like a toddler than an actual baby, although much of you is still very much a baby. You’re big (actually, you’re on the normal-to-smaller scale), but to me you’re big compared to what I think I remember of you being itty-bitty squishy baby sized. My friend Gigi just had her baby, and when I held Sloane I was in awe of the tininess and tried to remember how it felt to hold you at that size, and for the first time I don’t think I could have even fathomed it. At the same time, it made me sad and proud. Sad, because I miss those days (but I don’t at the same time, I know… Mama is filled with complex and opposing emotions right now. Hey, we’re all a mess in our ways..); proud, because you have grown so much, you’re so capable of so many things, and we have come a long way together in our 10 short (were they short?) months.

During your 10th month of life, you:

-Learned to say ‘DUCK’. And you latched on to your stuffed duck toy. Girl, that thing makes you sooooo happy! If you’re in a bad mood, or starting to get into things you should not, all I have to say is “Where’s duck?!” and your face will light up, you’ll stop what you’re doing, sometimes stand up and bounce for a second out of pure excitement, and go on the hunt for that duck. Or I’ll make him (if duck had a gender…) appear out of nowhere and goodness! That face is the happiest. 

-You make the funniest faces. Oh man… Like sometimes pensive, sometimes silly, most of the time mischievous. You’re so expressive.

-Speaking of expressive… Your ‘talking’. We may not know what you’re saying, but we definitely know what you’re conveying. We’ve started a game of “Please and Thank You”. The please is a hard concept, but thank you is fun. Just recently, you started sounding a very peppy (no thanks to me) ‘thank you’ after I hand you something and say it myself. Sometimes, its a high pitched “Hmmmm-hmm” or “Da-du”. Its cute. I don’t think you quite know what it is you’re saying, but I’ll take it! 

-You also are sporadically starting to say “Dog”, maybe because it sounds so close to “Duck”? But you know what it means, and who it means. I always thought you’d say “Lola” first, but this works, too. 

-You also know the word ‘no’, but you also know how to ignore it. Stinker. You love to hear it when you try to eat the dog’s food, splash in the dog’s water, chew on or play with the dog’s bones (you should see Lola’s face when you do this. Pure terror.), try to help mom type her blog posts (like you are at this very second), stick your fingers into sockets, get into the trash, get into the refrigerator, get into all the cupboards, get into the bathroom and the toilet, take off my glasses, chew on dad’s sunnies, chew on anything for that matter, steal my coffee or my food, drop your cup from the table, try to feed the dog your food… And the funny part is that when we catch you and say “no-no!”, you immediately make it look like you werent doing anything. You’ll pull your cup back up, put the food back to your mouth when trying to feed Lola, or just give us a blank “Dang, I was caught” stare, not too sure what to do. You definitely give me a run for my money. But I love that spirit of curiosity and adventure in you. I hope that continues for your whole life- understand risks, but understand reward in some of those risks. Don’t be afraid to push your boundaries like you push mine. Don’t be afraid to try new things, seek out new places, dare to experience things beyond your comfort level. 

-One of my favorite memories of us this month is when I was getting ready for work, you were up and daddy was trying to still sleep. I could tell you were still a bit sleepy and just wanted to be everywhere I was. I laid you on the bed and gently gave you kisses all over your face. Usually you try to shoo me away, but this time you just smiled, closed your eyes, and began to drift off. The happiness you had was so pure. Oh goodness, that moment was so sweet, I didn’t want to go to work. 

-You love to show us what you have. You’ll have something, then hold it out for us to see. Sometimes you’ll hand it off and quickly hold your empty hand back out to ask for it back; or you’ll just show us and go on to eventually put it in your mouth or throw it to the floor. Its a fun game for you. 

-Other random, fun little things you do: click your tongue and smile, point to yourself (or really anything and everything and a whole bunch of random nothings that you find amusing), and you love to kiss your reflection in the mirror. Oh yeah, that one is funny.

-You’re definitely an iBaby, no matter how many times Dada tries to tell you you’re a PC. Sorry, you’re not a computer, but you sure do love iPhones, iPads, and the like. You love to steal my phone. Sometimes, you’ll hold it up to your ear and then hand it back to me, like you’re saying “Phone’s for you, Ma!” We’re surrender working on the “Hello?!” or “Hi!” thing.

-You’re soooooo close to walking! When you start to lose your balance, you’ll sometimes replace you foot to get better balance, and dad seems to think that was a “step”. Exciting, yes, but walking? Not yet. You’re getting better at standing. You wobble a bit, but I’ve been you stand for a whole 3-5 minutes without assistance, and you can drink from your sippy cup or eat or wave a toy or bend down to pick something up and stand straight again without falling over. Impressed! Just waiting for that first real step!

-During this month, our family made a transition. We moved from Walla Walla to Garden Valley. Dad went from a full-time grad student to a full-time therapist, and I started staying home with you. We’re only a few days into it, but it’s working!

I can’t believe you’re at 10 months already… and that soon we’ll be celebrating your first birthday. Time has flown by so fast!

I love you, Noodle!

Love,

Mama

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