- You are wearing a few 6 month outfits, lots of 6-9 month onesies, and a few 9 month sleepers. For some reason, the transition to wearing 9 month outfits entirely is tricky for Mommy. You are growing up so very fast....
- Playing with toys is a big part of your daily routine, and it has been so fun to watch you discover your favorites. We've set out your activity mat on the couch and ottoman, and you have a nice play space in the middle of the family action. You enjoy sucking on your stuffed caterpillar, chewing on "Sophie", and catching glimpses of yourself in the mirror. You've figured out how to make the electronic frog play the "Froggy Went A'Courtin'" jingle by slapping the button three times. You've chewed the corners of your "Animals" board book, and you love looking through the pages to find the "pupp-y!" You seem to love books, and we love that. People seem to be your favorite "toy", though.
- You are still nursing several times a day, although you're getting distracted far more easily. You reach around with your free hand and grab onto mine, or onto the side of my tummy. It's difficult to imagine that we ever struggled with finding our rhythm...you're an expert now, and feeding you feels so natural.
- You are discovering solid food, though! So far, your repertoire includes rice cereal, sweet potatoes, avocado, applesauce, peas, yellow squash, green beans & bananas. You've yet to really get excited about any food on a regular basis.
- Royal has figured out the beauty of your eating solids, and he sneaks under the table to his post next to your highchair. When you see him nearby, you sneakily stretch your arm down so he can lick your fingers, although we try our best to minimize this behavior. You've discovered how to throw chunks of banana onto the floor specifically for Royal's benefit, and although it's ever-so-kind of you to share your favorite snack, we've had to tell you "no" a few times. You two seem to have an agreement, and are making quite the pair!
- You are learning to put yourself to sleep, or, rather, soothe yourself back to sleep after you wake up. You consistently wake up at or very near 10:30 p.m. and often need my hand on your back to help you fall back to sleep. Then, your internal clock wakes you around 2:30 a.m., but you've learned to cry for a bit and sleep once again. Around 5:30 a.m., you're ready to nurse and often go back to sleep for a short while. At 7:00 a.m., you usually wake up with a smile, happy to sit on the bed while Mommy and Daddy finish getting ready for the day, entertained by Royal's tail, purely delighted by the excitement of a new day!
- You are consistently napping for an hour or so around 9:30 or 10:00 a.m., on the couch with Mommy. (Laying in the crib for daytime naps is still not something you tolerate.) Then, in the afternoon, you're ready for another hourlong snooze around 1:00 p.m., and then take a "power nap" around 4:30 p.m. before Daddy comes home.
- Your vocal skills are coming on strong! You've mastered "buh, buh", "ffff", "vvv", and "puh, puh". The funny thing about it is that once you discover a new sound, you seem to practice it all day...and then after 24 hours, we don't hear it anymore! You're storing it up, I suspect, until you're ready for complete sentences.
- A few months ago, Grandpa brought the bird feeder at the kitchen window to your attention ("Come back, chickadee, come back!"), and it has become more and more appealing to you. When we're in the kitchen, we look for birds (often, Mama and Papa Cardinal) eating their breakfast or lunch, and you know just where to look to see them.
- The bathroom counter was getting too wet to continue your baths in that fashion, so we've moved you to the big tub. You still sit in the infant tub, however, just until you're not wobbily sitting up anymore. It seems to work really well. Splashes are minimized, clean-up is a breeze...and Daddy and I get to soak our feet in the warm water every night while you bathe. It's a great set-up. ("Frankenstorm!")
- Making you laugh is one of our favorite things. You often squeal when we "nibble" your tummy, blow raspberries ("I'mmmm...gonnnaaa...get you!"), or pretend to smell your feet ("puht, puht...stinky, stinky!"). Your giggles are so beautiful; you seem to like the sound of it, too. I hope you always love to laugh.
- When you're hungry or sleepy, you often grab my neck with your fingernails...and I have a network of scratches to prove it. Also, you bite...and I'll leave it at that.
- I don't mind the scratches (the biting I could do without), because you're learning to communicate your needs...and you've also started giving "kisses" by sucking on my chin after I kiss your cheek. Those kisses make my day.
- You enjoy playing peekaboo and have started initiating the game by putting a blanket or the nearest burp cloth over your head. ("Where's Emerson?"..."There she is!")
- You're an expert at sitting up, though you are so ready to be mobile. You've begun falling forward intentionally and are moving your leg up under you a bit when you're on your tummy. You often rotate full-circle on the floor...it won't be long now!
Your personality is blossoming, little one.
You become more entertaining by the day, and as you interact with us more & more,
I see how much your spirit shines.
What a gift God has given us through you!
I love you, Emerson.