Dear Em: You’re 11 Months Old!

bebe and Em

You and Bebe at the Lake

Hello, my sweet little girl-

You’re inches away from your first real birthday! I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited (and a little terrified- I mean, ONE?! Already?!). It really does feel like you were born not that long ago, maybe 6 months ago? But here we are, in your last month of being an infant, and I couldn’t be more amazed at how much you’ve grown.

However, there are some things about you that remain very itty-bitty-baby-like… Like, you LOVE being swaddled. STILL. I swear, you are probably the only 11 month old that still needs to be tightly swaddled. I’ve tried countless times to put you down for naps or at night without being swaddled, and its a mess. You squirm everywhere, you do baby yoga, or your arms and legs will flail around like crazy. I think you must have an infant form of restless leg (and arm) syndrome – just kidding. Whatever it is, its still pretty funny, but often frustrating because I just want you to sleep, but swaddling does the trick. Putting you down without being swaddle can take maybe 45 minutes (I actually have no real time amount here, I just usually put up with it for 45 minutes then swaddle you), and swaddling gets you to sleep in less than 15 minutes. Another thing you still love- breast feeding. You still prefer to do this about 3-4 times a day (if we can find the time to). NOT COMPLAINING. I actually love this. You’re my little cuddle bug, and nursing is often our way to cuddle and get some sweet time together. I love the way you look up at me while nursing, and the way your hands rest on me. Its sweet and endearing. And you’re amazing.

Some things you learned/did at 10 months old:

  • You clap! All the time! At everything! And its the best. Your face lights up into this goofy, big, toothy grin that is infectious. Daddy and I can’t help but clap along with you and cheer, even if we don’t know why you’re clapping. 
  • Your affections now lie with Monkey. I don’t know why Duck all the sudden took the back seat in your heart, but it happened. You grab Monkey, hug Monkey, give Monkey a big kiss. You hold onto Monkey for dear life. And we make Monkey sounds to you, and you think it’s hilarious. 
  • Speaking of sounds… You now makes sounds for Monkey, goats, and dolphins. Fun thing is- they are all the same sound. It this back of the throat, eh-eh-eh-eh-eh sound. You also make a great face when trying to make this sound. At first, we thought something was wrong with you, but nope… Oh, and the faces people give you when you make this sound? Priceless! Then we have to explain that that is just your Monkey sound.
  • You give kisses now. Yep! Big, sloppy, wet, and sometimes-with-tongue kisses. Oh sweetie, they are great! We love to ask you for a kiss. Most times, you’ll willingly face us and open your mouth super wide and lean towards us. Then there are times that you run away. Understandable. If your Daddy asked me for a kiss every  minutes, I’d get a little tired of it, too. But then, there are a lot of times you willingly and spontaneously crawl over to one of us and lean in, mouth wide open. And you’re so proud of yourself, too. You often clap after giving Daddy or me a kiss.
  • You’ve learned how to refuse. If I want to feed you something, you violently shake your head back and forth, tightly close your eyes, and purse your lips tight. Its pretty funny, and I get a bad parent award for laughing and encouraging you in this naughtiness. 
  • You try to put everything over your head- blankets, pants, diapers, wipes, noodles, lunch meat, shirts, shoes, towels, Monkey, etc… We think you’re either playing a game of “Where’s Emmy?!” or trying to imitate putting clothes on. I don’t know, but its fun to you!
  • If there is a drawer or cabinet within your reach, odds are you are rummaging through it. You’re pulling everything out, then getting into that drawer or cabinet yourself. Our bathroom is in constant state of disarray. So is the kitchen, or our dresser in the bedroom. The side table in the living room of the place we’re staying in at the time is your favorite. You pull the tiny drawer out, then find something like my shoe or my phone or your blanket and try to put it in, then close it, then open it again, then close, etc… Sometimes you have attempted to put your self in the drawer, by pull it completely out then putting it on the ground and stepping in it. You haven’t quite figured that one out yet.
  • You’re beginning to prefer Daddy at times, and I oddly love this. Its a nice break for me, and it produces this huge feeling inside me. Its kind of an indescribable feeling, but I’ll try- its like I’m so proud of you two, and I’m happy, and I get this huge feeling of overwhelming love from just seeing two of the people I love the most loving on each other and bonding. I feel blessed. I cant help but smile. And I think it’s because I remember the bond I had with my Dad as a child (and still do), and seeing the two of you begin this same bond makes me overjoyed. I remember how that bond with my own Dad created a feeling of safety, of a place of belonging when I sometimes felt the contrary, my friend and authority who taught me to love the outdoors, to work hard, to love Jesus, kept me in check, and loved me despite my grades or athletic ability or sassiness (He really was the only one – besides your Daddy – to understand that obnoxiously sassy part of me and make it into a good quality). You’re so truly, deeply blessed to have these two men in your life, as am I.
  • Speaking of Grandpa… Woah. You love that guy! We took a two week trip to visit your Grandparents, and to see Bebe and Aunt Joni while they were visiting. You couldn’t get enough of him! The minute he’d show up, you lit up and would reach for him instantly. And you two would play so much! And of course, the ice cream…
  • While we were up in Coeur d’Alene, me and Auntie Chels took you, Gracie, Abby, and Lexi to the fair for the first time. You had a lot of fun! You got your first balloon, you saw animals, you tried and Elephant Ear and Funnel Cake for the first time, and you loved playing with Gracie and Abby. You hated the donkeys- they made you and the other girls cry when they talked. You weren’t too sure about the horses- I think you were just in awe of such a big animal that you’ve never seen before. We really didn’t give you or the other girls a chance to see the cows or pigs, because Auntie Chels and I HATE cows and pigs. Walking into the cow and pig exibit was an accident- we thought that building was for the rabbits. And the rabbits- you were so interested in them! Who wouldn’t be, right?! But then the goats- you loved the goats. You were reaching out of your stroller to pull on the gates to get you closer to get a better look at them. And then you would do you excited dance you do when you’d see one. So, I let you out of your stroller and took you over to a little goat they took out of it’s stall and let you pet one. Oh, the squeal of happiness that came out of you!!! It was great. And you were glued. Maybe one day, we’ll have goats. 🙂 It was such a fun and great day for you… You and Abby passed out on our way to the car and slept the entire way home and even when we got home, too. 

10 months was a very good month for you. 🙂 You learned so much and grew so much. I am so proud of each new thing you do and learn. I cannot wait for your FIRST birthday- it’s going to be so great!

XOXOXOXO, I love you!

Mama

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