One Fish, Two Fish

Confirmation December 5, 2011

Filed under: Anna,Doctor-rama,Month Nine — leighnut @ 11:04 pm

Well, Anna had her nine-month appointment today. She is 23 pounds, 10 ounces (97th percentile) and 30.9 inches long (99th percentile). This confirms what we’ve thought in the past couple of months: she is skinnier and longer than a few months ago. She now has a neck! This is good news, since necks are important for lots of things, like looking around corners, and checking blind spots while driving. (Although, that’s not going to matter for a while, because Anna isn’t going to drive until she’s 28, right before she starts dating at 29.)

Dr. Roberts also said that she is thoroughly impressed with Anna. She said she acts more like a one-year-old than a nine-month-old, and is “very advanced in all areas of development.” I’m a proud, proud mommy.

 

Anna, Month Nine November 17, 2011

Filed under: Anna,Letters,Month Nine,Photo — leighnut @ 10:08 pm

Dear Anna,

What a month it’s been! You’re marching along toward toddlerhood, what with all the new skills you’re practicing. In fact, on Monday, you were video-chatting with your uncle Pete and Unca-Doo and showed off a brand new skill — standing alone. All of a sudden, you were standing next to me, saying, “ba ba ba” like it was no big deal. But it was a big deal, Anna. I was so excited, I nearly dropped the phone!

You’re also cruising the furniture. You like to stand at your musical activity table, then move to the couch, then go back to the table. Moving while upright is quite fascinating for you. You have really mastered walking while holding onto our hands, too. I know the day where you take off on your own is fast approaching.

The funny thing is, you still won’t crawl. You army crawl with great speed, especially if it’s toward the forbidden fruits that are Sam’s toys, but just won’t get up on your hands. I know you can do it — I’ve seen you! — but I think it’s more important to you to get to Point B quickly. Let’s face it: you get about 2.7 seconds with Sam’s Buzz Lightyear before he snatches it away from you, only to replace it with a boring stuffed giraffe or rattle. I mean, that rattle doesn’t have wings that shoot out or a laser on its arm or anything! Poor Anna.

You’ve also decided this month that you do, indeed, like to have a pacifier for bedtime. Most of the time, you want to share your pacifier with me, offering it up with a “luh,” as if to say, “Mommy, you can have a turn. I think you’ll like it.” Thanks, Anna. I pretend to have a turn, then give it back to you. You’re satisfied with that for a few seconds, then really want to share again. You’re such a nice girl! I think Daddy’s favorite part about this is that you will also drink from a bottle. He’s been waiting and waiting your whole life to get to feed you! Thanks for giving him that chance before you’re too big for bottles. He loves you so, so much.

Speaking of eating, you are a hungry bird! You still want to eat your food all by yourself, and will only tolerate cereal or other pureed baby food if we can sneak it in between bites of steamed veggies or fruit. You must be growing right now, because this week you ate a whole avocado, some chicken pot pie, and a half cup of baby oatmeal in one meal! I was astounded. I think chicken pot pie is your favorite food right now. You cannot get it into your mouth fast enough. You will sometimes say, “Mmmmmm” when you eat, and you can sign “more” and “all done” to let us know how you’re feeling. Oh, and if we’re not paying attention to your “all done” sign, you bat the spoon full of baby food out of the way, flinging cereal all over yourself and the highchair. It’s great fun.

Your language has really changed this month, too. You’re still practicing one syllable at a time, but also have a few “words” in your repertoire. This week, your syllable of choice is “luh.” Everything is “luh.” Show me a toy. “Luh.” Wave hello from your crib after a nap. “Luh.” But when I ask you, “Anna, what does the horse say?” you whinny a high-pitched, “Lllllllll!” If I ask you to sing, you’ll say “aahhhhh” in a high sing-song voice. And you perform great, loud monologues of “Ba ba ba ba ba ba.” But my favorite thing, by far, is that you said mama. I was holding you, ba-ba-ba-ing with you, when I asked,”Anna, can you say Mama?” And you looked right at me and very quietly said, “Mama.” I will never forget the look on your little face as you said my name for the very first time.

You are so affectionate, Anna. You want nothing more than to be with us and snuggle. If I ask, “Anna, can I have a hug?” you will lean in and snuggle your face into my neck. Sam especially loves your hugs. He is so happy that you understand him and respond with affection. He is so proud to be your big brother, and you very obviously love him to pieces. There is no greater joy for me than to watch you and Sam play together, giggle together, and become friends. You are the best little sister to the best big brother. I am so incredibly proud and grateful to witness your friendship as siblings grow, knowing that you will always have each other to love and lean on. You have made our family complete, Anna, and we are so grateful to share this life with you.

Love,
Mommy

 

Anna, Month Eight October 17, 2011

Filed under: Anna,Letters,Month Eight,Photo — leighnut @ 10:16 pm

Dear Anna,

The word of the month is teeth. In the space of ten days, you sprouted six new teeth. Six! (Actually, the last of the six hasn’t quite popped through yet, but we’re counting it since they all were moving at the same time.) When you want new teeth, you don’t mess around. This mouth full of teeth really solidifies for me just how quickly you are growing up. If you could just slow down this quick-step to toddlerhood, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks.

With those five hundred new teeth, you’ve decided that baby food is for the birds. I steamed a diced sweet potato for you last week to see what you would do with it. You took one look at those chunks on the tray and reached right out with your tiny pincer grasp and shoved one in your mouth. Then another and another — until the tray was empty. Feeding yourself is fun! You’ve had avocado and banana chunks, too — all winners, as long as you can do it by yourself.

You’ve added a number of sounds to your repertoire this month. You love to blow raspberries and spent much of a week’s worth of your waking hours practicing. Oh, the gallons of dribbled drool! You will also say “kheeeeee, kheeeee,” a sort of hissing-out-of-the-sides-of-your-mouth sound. We’ve had lots of “kheeeee kheeeee” conversations this month. You’ve also mastered the long a vowel. You like to clap and say “Ayyyy” on a high-pitched sing-song tone, as if to say, “yay for me!” You will also answer questions. I’ll ask you something and you’ll look at me very seriously and say, “Uh.” Being the word nerd that I am, I love to see your language develop. It’s a fascinating process.

You are so fun, Anna. You love to play games with us — especially Sam. He likes to play peek-a-boo with you. He hides his face, says, “Where’s the baby?” Then flips his hands open and shouts, “There it is!” You never laugh harder than when Sam plays with you; he is still your favorite form of entertainment. This month you’ve also learned “So big” and love throw your arms in the air with great gusto. You will wave, too, but only when you feel like it.

Perhaps the biggest change is that you are now decidedly mobile! You can army crawl everywhere. You’ve gotten up onto your hands and knees, too, but still prefer to be low to the ground to get around. What I find most amazing is that you can get from your belly to a sitting position! You get up on your knees, then sit back onto your bottom. You use this skill to move from point A to B, too. Onto your belly, then up to a sit, then you turn and go onto your belly, again. Over and over until you reach your destination.

We’ve started going to music class together every Tuesday and you love it! The first time we went, I plopped you down on the floor in front of me and you were silent, just staring at all the babies in the room. (We happen to have a very young class this time.) I don’t think you knew so many babies existed in the world! You wiggle with happiness when you see the egg shakers come out and beeline for the instruments as fast as your army crawl can take you. It is so fun to share that time with you, listening to you sing and watching you dance from your spot on the floor.

It is such fun to see your personality bloom as you get older, Anna. You love to be with people, in the middle of the action, and already participate in conversations with your baby babble. You love to click toys together and “sing.” I think you feel proud of your accomplishment, because you beam up at me and shake the toys, as if to say, “Did you hear that, Mommy? I made that sound!” You are a happy, happy baby girl. I am so excited to hear your first words, see your first steps, and marvel at the little-girl-you that you are so quickly becoming. How lucky I am to be your mother! How lucky I am to be there for every little moment, every little milestone, cheering you along your way.

Love,
Mommy

 

Anna, Month Seven September 17, 2011

Filed under: Anna,Letters,Month Seven,Photo — leighnut @ 8:32 pm

Dear Anna,

I can’t believe how quickly you are growing! Every time I turn around, you are doing something new, saying some new syllable, surprising me at every turn. I am amazed by your discoveries and so proud of your inquisitive nature.

You have a new dance move this month. We call it “Rock, rock, rock!” You sit in your high chair, or on the floor, or standing in someone’s lap and rock — back and forth, back and forth — while grinning. When there’s music on, your new dance moves always make an appearance. I don’t know where you got your moves, because Daddy and I, uh, we don’t dance, but we love it!

You are definitely scooting all over the place and have quite an interesting way of doing it. You reeeaaaach for your target, then roll onto the side that’s stretched out. Then you pull your feet up underneath your body and lurch forward toward your reaching hand. After rolling back onto your stomach, you reaaaach with the other hand, then repeat the process on the opposite side. It’s a slow process, but you always reach your goal — unless, of course, Sam snatches the toy away from you before you get there. He often remembers to make a trade for one of your toys, but sometimes he leaves you high and dry. All that work and no reward. Poor baby. Somehow, you press on, finding another more suitable object of desire and slowly make your way to it.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but you have a lot to say. You make so many noises. Daddy and I are always impressed by the repertoire of sounds you make. You can say la, ga, na, ba, ah, ee, oh, and uh. And, this month, you’ve started smacking your lips. Smack, smack, smack, all the time! Every single time we put you in your high chair, you start smacking your lips and reciting the day’s monologue: Da da da da la na na na… DA DA DA da na na na! It’s very cute.

You still spend lots of time on your tummy. You play airplane, where your arms and legs are floating off the ground. And now, you pound your hands on the ground, or on the table, or your body. We say, “pound, pound, pound!” and you bang whatever surface is in front of you. You are very proud about this new skill. Grinning ensues.

You are trying new foods all the time. Your favorites are peaches, oatmeal, and a blend of spinach, peas, and pear. It looks awful, but you open your mouth like a little bird for more bites! I think you’re finally starting to look forward to meals. You’ve even tried a couple of sweet potato mango puffs. You like to push them around the tray and pick them up. They often get lost in your fist or stuck on your face as you try to get them in your mouth.

Anna, you continue to be such a happy, loving baby. You often check in with me as you play, reaching up as if to say hi, before diving back into the pile of toys you’ve gathered around yourself. There is nothing sweeter than your smiling blue eyes and drooly grin. Each slimy kiss from you just makes my day. You are my best girl, Anna. I love you.

Love,
Mommy

 

Brotherly Love September 4, 2011

Filed under: Anna,Mom and Dad,Sam — leighnut @ 8:35 pm

We had a family bonfire tonight. It was a breezy, beautiful evening, requiring sweatshirts and chairs pulled close to the heat of the flames. After Anna went up to bed, Sam was marching along the edge of the patio, trying to keep himself awake. I said, “Sam, do you remember what your life was like before Anna came to our family?”
Sam: Yes.
Rob: What was it like?
Sam: Good!
Rob: And what is life like now, with Anna here?
Sam: Good! Before Anna came, I didn’t like her. But now that she’s here, I like her.

I asked if he and Anna will always be friends and he said, “Mmm-HMMM!” I’m so glad he feels that way. It’s what we dreamed for them.

 

Wings August 31, 2011

Filed under: Firsts,Mushy,Sam — leighnut @ 6:51 pm

Tonight I watched from the driveway as Sam ran down the block to play with his friends at their house. He ran, arms tucked in and pumping at his sides, little feet running as fast as he could toward his playmates. My heart flew with him, as his first tiny wings of independence sprouted… and then I let go. Fly, baby boy, fly. I love you.

 

Anna, Month Six August 17, 2011

Filed under: Anna,Letters,Month Six,Photo — leighnut @ 9:49 pm

Dear Anna,

How can we be here already? Here at the six-month mark, half a year since the miraculous day of your birth. Everyone said, “When your second child is born, your heart grows and makes more room for love.” What they didn’t say is that my heart nearly bursts every time I see your little face brighten with a smile. You are simply delightful, Anna, and I am grateful every day for the gift of being your mommy.

You’re growing up entirely too quickly, baby girl. You have two teeth. Two! They sprouted at almost the same time, just one day apart. If your demeanor during that process is any indication, you are going to be a very happy teether. There was one night that you just wouldn’t sleep. Daddy even took you on a car ride at two in the morning to try to get you to fall asleep. He brought you back into the house and said, “Maybe she’s getting a tooth. She’s drooling and chomping on everything!” So I gave you some Tylenol, and — voila! — you fell asleep in less than an hour. The funniest thing is, we should have known a tooth was coming, because that day, you started doing the stridorous gasping sound that Sam used to make when he was teething! How funny!

The other big-girl activity you’ve mastered is sitting on your own. Oh, how you love to sit on your quilt and reach for toys. You fold yourself in half in order to reach the farthest ones and then sit right back up. It’s amazing how flexible you are. Sometimes you get so excited about something (usually it’s Sam!), you flail your arms over your head and fling yourself backwards. It’s a surprise, but more often than not, you’ll just flip over and play on your tummy.

We spent much of the last month away from home. You are a happy traveler, Anna. You don’t mind your car seat and are happy to squeal in the back seat and gnaw on Sophie the giraffe. However, if it gets dark while you’re asleep and you wake to that darkness, you FLIP out! Yes Anna, you are afraid of the dark. We’ve learned this the hard way and now turn on the light over your seat so you can wake to the light. I’m sorry we were slow learners, Banana.

You are growing and changing before my very eyes, sweet girl. I am so excited to watch you learn to propel yourself forward into the world of locomotion and take off into the wide world. Until that time, I will steal an extra snuggle in the morning and rock you for a few extra minutes at night, tucking away some memories with you, my bestest baby Anna Leigh.

Love,
Mommy

 

 
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