Today you are 11 months and two days old. Your hair is strawberry blonde. In some light, it looks just light brown. To me at least. More times than not, when we're out and about running errands, there's always at least one stranger who comments, "Look at that red hair!"
The red hair comes from my mom's side of the family. Unfortunately, your grandma is quite sick, and we don't talk to her often. Sometimes, I like to reminisce on who she used to be. Old photographs of her captivate my curiosity. I'm drawn to the beautiful pearly white smile, the flawless porcelain skin, and her stunning red hair.
You captivate me even more so.
Your eyes are bright blue, and they dance when you laugh. They're pure and sparkly, and they take me back in time because they're the same blue eyes as my dad's and his mom's. Your grandpa died nine years ago. I miss him. But I see him in you. Completely. The first time I saw you, my first thought was that you looked exactly like my dad. I remember feeling so blessed in that moment and so ... not alone. It's hard to describe, but there I was in the hospital, living thtough one of the most difficult experiences of my life, and there was this new little person who was all mine, and she looked like the one person I missed the most.
You started crawling at the end of April, and you went from zero-miles-per-hour, snail's pace immobile to lightening fast super crawler. You haven't sat still since.
You love to explore. You love to continuously openandshut openandshut openandshut openandshut cabinets, and you love to look out the window overlooking our backyard. Sometimes you lick the glass window pane. And sometimes you carry things in your mouth when you're crawling. You like to play in the dog's water dish, and you have even snuck in a taste or two of her kibble. I sometimes wonder if you think you are a dog?
You love to put everything in your mouth.
You keep mama busy.
Two weeks ago, after much anticipation, two teeth sprouted through your bottom gums. You're now obsessed with running your little tongue over the jagged edges, and sometimes it reminds me of an old lady who forgot to put in her dentures. I mean that in the most endearing of ways. Really.
At this point, pureed foods MUST be fed to you via spoon via Mama or Daddy. Left to your own devices, you'd surely get food everywhere BUT your mouth. You enjoy feeding yourself Gerber dissolvable puffs and other little crunchy foods made for babies. And, each day, you get better and better at mastering drinking from the sippy cup.
You love ice cream. You love yogurt. You're a pretty good eater and do well with trying new foods. When you're full or don't like something, you vigorously shake your head "no."
Oh, you like cheese puffs, too.
You like them A LOT.
You hate hate hate when we wipe off your hands after you've eaten. You've learned to squeal in disdain. By the screeching sharp sound emitted from your mouth, one would think we were pinching you with electrically-charged clamps or something. Oh the drama that is involved in cleaning you off after eating.
You don't care much for binkies, and your favorite toy is Sophie the Giraffe. You like to play with my papers and anything else that is just within your reach. You think that EVERY thing is for Miss Greta Laine.
You've learned to pull off the headband bows with which I've decorated and adorned your sweet noggin since you were born. I knew you wouldn't tolerate being dressed like a doll forever.
You like to pull off people's sunglasses and eye glasses from their faces. I bought you your own pair of shades but you've no interest in them. Go figure.
You still nurse. About four or five times a day. Everyone asks when I plan to stop. I don't know. You still take two naps a day. You don't often sleep through the night. You usually wake up about once to eat, but you're pretty-much strictly business because you wake up, cry to get my attention, eat and then fall right back asleep.
Despite my horrible singing voice, you like to be sang to and you love going to music class. I love watching you clap your hands and bob your head and body to the music. And it's super cute to see your face light up when you recognize a familiar song.
You're smart. I stare at you and can see the wheels churning in your brain as you soak up the world.
You're happy. The smiles have turned so big.
I cannot get enough.
You now weigh 18 and a half pounds, and you've only been sick once.
You're a lover. You never cuddled or snuggled when you were a younger baby, but in the past couple months, you've won me over a million times more so just by laying your little head on my shoulder and wrapping your little arm around my shoulder. Sometimes you'll run your fingers through my hair, and it's just the sweetest thing.
You're intrigued by new people and love to stare at new faces. You're quite the serious child until you warm up and then you're nothing but silliness and love.
This letter is a ramble and not the best-written, but I wanted to write about you, about who you are right now as an 11 month-old baby, learning to toddle, loving to gibber jabber, growing right before my very eyes. I wanted to get these thoughts down on paper because although the thoughts are not fleeting, the moments, unfortunately, certainly are.