Sunday, April 7, 2013

Dear Cora: 9 Months

Dear Cora,

  Well, can you believe it, pretty lady? You are 9 months old! I can't believe that in just 3 more months you'll fall into the classification of "toddler" instead of "baby." Sad and wonderful! You continue to be cute as a button and so much fun. I'm surprised those smooshy cheeks aren't calloused by now from all the squeezing and kissing and nuzzling they receive on a daily basis!

  Your 9 month appointment is next week so I'm not sure on your stats, but your weight gain seems to have slowed down quite a bit. You have had a couple of weeks here and there when it is hard to get you to drink very much at once, but currently you seem to be in a growth spurt or something because you've added about an ounce to every bottle feeding. You are still taking 5 bottles a day, on the same schedule as last month, and you are loving exploring the wide world of finger foods at mealtimes. You have 8 teeth now (2 more bottom teeth came this month), so you do really well with chewing a variety of foods. You love puffs and yogurt melts, pieces of string cheese, banana, rotisserie chicken, and noodles. You are still sleeping about 12 hours at night and taking two good naps during the day.

  It is such a riot watching your personality develop! You really love interactive games, and you seem SO proud of yourself when you figure out how to participate in something. You've loved peekaboo for a while, but now you also love giving high-fives, making funny noises back and forth with someone else, and patting yourself on the belly when you're naked.

  You are really, really sweet. I can't wait until this summer when you can wear this little ensemble at the pool and the beach - look how adorable you are! You are happy most of the time, but aren't afraid to express your opinions ... like if you are hungry or upset that I'm not holding you. When you feel confident that someone isn't going to take you away from me, you grin and twinkle at those around you. You love smiling at strangers, especially little kids. The words pleasant and delightful come to mind when I think of how to describe you, little cutie! You are also beginning to display a tendency to be pretty sensitive to negative feedback. When I tell you "no," no matter how gently, you dissolve into big, weepy tears. You don't usually seem too mad at those times, just hurt. It's pretty precious, kind of hilarious, and SO much like me.

  Your biggest development happened over spring break, while Daddy was in Memphis ... you started crawling! The Monday of that week my friend, Kristina, came to visit with her two girls. Lowri is only a couple of months older than you, and I think you were inspired by her mobility, because you took your first wobbly scoots forward while she was here. These days, a couple of weeks later, you are all over the place! The other day you followed Liam all the way from our living room back to mine and Daddy's room, which is at the other end of the house! You are so happy to be mobile, but it has definitely brought a heightened awareness for Daddy and I as we try to keep Liam's small toys and the little bits of grass and leaves that he and Jack track in out of your mouth.

  I love how much you love your family. Often, when Daddy calls during the day to say hi, I put him on speakerphone so Liam can talk to him, too. Now that you're crawling, if you hear his voice coming out of the phone you hustle over with an excited look in your eyes and lots of grunting. You also get really excited when he comes home from work, and you kick your little feet and keep your eyes glued onto him until he picks you up and cuddles you.

  Oh, and every month you and Liam love each other more. You are really starting to become little buddies. I think this month your relationship has really become a two-way street, with him showing as much interest in you as you do in him. He LOVES trying to get you to chase him.

  He interacts with you a ton when we are driving, often trying to "teach" you to say new words. He picks some random word he wishes you could say and then tells you, "say 'sun', Cowa, say 'sun'!" over and over again.

  You both love it when he tries to tickle you. Usually that looks like him saying, "cootchie cootchie coo," repeatedly while just squeezing your arm or leg. It certainly doesn't tickle you, but you love the attention.

  And here the two of you are before church for our Saturday night Easter service. I had to bribe your brother with jelly beans to get him to sit with you and smile, but it's always worth it to get both of you looking at the camera.

  Gratefully, I don't have to bribe you for the camera yet. You turn on the smiles nearly every time I pull out my camera or phone and love batting those baby blues at me.

  You also chat with us all the time. You've added in some "g" sounds and more conversational little noises into your repertoire. When you cry you say, "mama mama mama," and it is just so pitiful. You love mimicking sounds your brother makes and the two of you will often squeal, fake cough, or pant like dogs at each other. Watching you develop your own sibling communication, even if it is just making animal sounds at each other, is one of the most fun things ever.

  Now that you're crawling everywhere, you love finding new things to play with. The tupperware cabinet was a recent discovery, but it still doesn't compare to your brother's toys. Cars, balls, trains, swords, arrows ... you're interested in all of them. It will be fun to see what your interests are as you get older - what girlie things you'll want to play with and which of your brothers interests you'll adopt as your own.

  Here are a couple of pictures from your first Easter. The day before Easter we went over to Grandad and Nana's to get your Easter baskets from them and to see your great-aunt Pam; and then we went to church that evening. Easter morning we stayed home and enjoyed time as a family before Papa and Grammie came to bring Easter baskets before we all headed over to Mrs. Sallye's for Easter lunch.

There is a long-standing tradition of spending Easter at the Hofs with lots of old family friends. It is so special to have a holiday that we spend with friends I grew up with, who now have children of their own. One of those little ones is your sweet girlfriend, Rooney. The two of you looked so precious together in your little Easter dresses and headbands!

   And now for your sweet 9 month pictures! I didn't mean to take your pics in the same headband you had on last month, which I know really doesn't matter. You just were looking so cute the other day and were in such a good mood I just popped you in the chair and snapped away. You were, as usual, happy to oblige.

  You got a little bored, though, so you took a reading break.

 I just love your smiling eyes!

  You are such a sweet doll baby - we love you!


No comments: