Yesterday you turned ten months old. Ten months. That means that you have now been outside of my body longer than you were inside the confines of my protective belly. There are days when I would give anything to be able to put you back there, where you were safe from the harsh outside world but when I remember just how big you are that thought goes right out the window. Last month, at your nine month check up, you weighed 20 pounds and were 29 1/4 inches tall. You are a little more than double your birth weight.
The bigger you get, the more I am reminded just how fast these baby days will be over. Over the last two months, you have cut five new teeth. You have a total of eight teeth now, which makes nursing quite interesting. Your brother stopped nursing at nine months so I never had to deal with so many teeth with him. You, on the other hand, have no interest in stopping any time soon and you like to BITE! The worst part is that when I tell you “NO!” you start crying and then I actually feel bad because you bit me. Tell me how that’s fair.
You really love your nursing time and (except for the biting) I do too. When you want to nurse you barrel your head into my chest and say “na-na” over and over again until I give you want you want. I cherish that time with you. I love having a few quiet moments with you every day where it is just the two of us. Unfortunately, I see that time coming to an end soon.
A few weeks ago your Daddy and I decided it was time for you to start sleeping in your own bed. We shipped Zach off with Grandma for the weekend and were determined to make you sleep in your bed even if it meant letting you cry. And boy did you cry. I’ll let you in on a little secret though – I spent a big part of that first night with tears in my eyes too. As hard as it was those first few nights, it actually worked. You’ve been sleeping through the night in your own bed for just over three weeks now. The downside to that is that you are no longer nursing all night long and my milk supply is feeling the change. If I’m lucky I’m able to pump you one bottle during the day, but you are drinking pretty much everything I have during your morning and bedtime feedings. I hope that I can keep it up until you are ready to wean yourself because I hate to have to take it away before you are ready.
Because of the breast milk supply issues, we have started introducing you to cow’s milk. I know it is a bit earlier than doctors recommend, but you absolutely hate formula and soy milk. You aren’t super thrilled with the cow’s milk either, but you will take a few drinks out of a sippy cup. If we mix it with a little breast milk you drink it right up.
You are starting to eat more and more table food and less baby food. So far you are a much more finicky eater than your brother was. He would eat pretty much anything I put in front of him but if you don’t like something you spit it right back out. You absolutely hate green beans. Your favorite foods are carrots, bologna, any kind of fruit, and Gerber Graduates ravioli (in any flavor variety). Last week you saw Daddy peeling an orange and decided you had to have some. You ate a whole slice in about 2 seconds and screamed until we gave you some more.
After having a reaction to bananas and a couple other foods, we ended up taking you to an allergist for testing. Every time you eat bananas your face turns bright red around your mouth and down your neck. As it turns out, you tested negative for everything, including bananas. The doctor told us not to hold back on anything so we are re-introducing some of the foods I had stopped feeding you (including milk). I’m still holing off on the bananas for now but hopefully you’ll be able to eat them again soon because you really love them.
You are starting to say more words, although sometimes it is a struggle to figure out exactly what you are trying to say. Right now you have about 6 words that come out pretty clear: Mama, Dada, na-na, cat, doggy, and Bubba. I think I have also caught you saying Zach(“ack”) and “Budduh” (brother) a time or two but those aren’t as clear. Recently you have really latched onto a baby doll that you got for Christmas and you have a name for that too. At first I thought you were trying to say “baby” since that is what I kept calling it, but I think you are actually calling it Kyra. There is a baby at day care (only 2 months younger than you) named D’Kyra, and I’m pretty sure that is where you are getting the “Kuddah” sound that you are calling your baby.
You are also getting closer and closer to walking. You don’t seem to be ready to let go quite yet, but you walk along the furniture pretty easily these days. I’ve even caught you doing a little climbing and using toys as steps when you want to reach up a little higher.
Your personality comes out more and more all the time. You are a Mama’s girl through and through. You love to giggle and play with Daddy, but when it is time to snuggle you want to be in Mama’s arms. And do you ever like to snuggle! You are such a cuddly girl that sometimes I have to remind myself just to sit and enjoy it rather than get frustrated. In a perfect world I would be able to just sit and snuggle with you all day but it seems like there is always something else that needs to be done and cuts our time short. Since you have been sleeping in your own bed at night, it seems like those few moments we get to snuggle in the evenings are even more special. As much as I need the sleep at night, I really miss having you cuddled up next to me.
You have developed a little game that you like to play when I come pick you up from day care. When I get there you squeal and get really happy. Then, when I reach my arms out to take you from Miss P, you turn away from me and snuggle up with her instead. Then you reach out to me and quickly turn back to her again. You usually do this three or four times before you come to me and you think it is so funny. I would be offended, but I’m so glad that you love Miss P as much as you do that it doesn’t really bother me. The other night you played your game with Grandma while I was holding you and I have to admit it was even cuter from that angle.
Last month we got to celebrate your very first Christmas. It was the first time that our little family has spent Christmas morning together, just the four of us. While I loved watching you and your brother open all your gifts (Santa went a little overboard this year!), the best part was sitting back knowing that there was absolutely no other place in the world I would rather be than right there in that moment. You, your brother, and your daddy make my life complete in ways I never knew were possible and for some reason on that day I realized just how blessed I am.
Tomorrow is going to be a historic day in our country. Even though you won’t remember it, you were with me in your sling when I cast my vote for Barack Obama, our 44th President. Tomorrow is the Presidential Inaguration and Obama will officially become the first black President of the United States. While the color of his skin shouldn’t matter at all, it does. It matters because of how far our country has come. Only a few decades ago, people with colored skin were not allowed the same rights as your ancestors and starting tomorrow a black man will lead our entire country. By the time you are in school, this election will be in your history books. I hope that when you read about it you won’t understand why this is even such a big deal. As a country we still have a long way to go but this is a step in the right direction. I hope that you and your brother will never see color when you look at another person’s face, but see the person inside instead.
I suppose I should wrap this up and get some of that precious sleep that I’m finally able to enjoy these days. I have about seven hours before you will wake up and start hollering “dada” from your crib. Even though you can say other words, “dada” is still your word of choice. It’s okay though. “Mama” has been slipping out more and more frequently here lately. It really doesn’t matter though because I’m the one that gets all the smiles and happy cuddles in the morning anyway.
Baby girl, I love you more and more each day. I’m not sure how much a heart can grow, but it seems like mine just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Every day I spend with you, your brother, and our little family I feel so very blessed. I don’t know what I would do without you all in my life.