As my mother predicted (and I really tried to deny), I have been unable to keep up with the blogging I did about your older brother, for you. Finally right as you're turning 9 months, here goes:
Pretty much every day, your father and I marvel that you are the smallest, sweetest, smileyest little creature we could possibly have imagined. We think of you as a tiny but BRILLIANT ray of sunshine in our family, SO quick not only to smile but to give a grin that's about as big as the rest of your petite body. Picking you up is pure joy - you feel feather-light and you immediately rest your hands on our chests and arms and cling on with your legs. And you love to be held. Whereas your brother was Mr. Independent, you're a Mama's Girl.
You're also a good communicator, which is statistically more likely to be the case for baby girls. Just before turning 9 months old, you'd managed to (1) cry "Ma-Ma! Ma-Ma!" a few times and in front of two of my friends; (2) sign "book" for me to read you a book; (3) clap for "more" (but not consistently); (4) wave hello and goodbye (not consistently); (5) independently do the actions on each page of "Pat The Bunny"; and allegedly said "Da-da" to your father once... though nobody else had yet heard that one. When you were about 8.5 months I asked verbally if you were all done or if you wanted more after nursing, and you clapped your hands for more and then clapped one of your hands against my chest. Just over the past few days, at 9.5 months, you have your first real word - "Buh" for book, and you also say "Mmmmm!" when I tell you I'm making you your oatmeal. It has been really, really neat to get glimpses into what's on your mind. Even more fun to be a lucky recipient of your spontaneous kisses, which one day you even added sound to ("Maah!" - like your brother does).
You are a wonderful little sister. You love your big brother dearly; he is the only person in the world who can get you to laugh long and hard. In the mornings, I often have to wake him up because his presence is the only way you'll let me put you down and start getting things ready for the day. Just the other day (9 months 1 week) he was "bzzz"ing like a bee, and sort of tickling me with his hands to show that there were bees flying around me, and you took your own hands and did the same to him. You are very alert, very social, and outrageously sweet. You are such a joy to all of us, it's hard to believe our family ever existed without you in it. And during the thankfully brief moments during which I did believe you, or at least the you I knew, were no longer with us ... when you had what turned out to be just ("just") a hereditary febrile seizure without any other signs of illness, right after we'd found out your lead level was elevated (turned out not to be, thank goodness) ... all I could think (through my state of shock) was "Oh my God, she's gone, she really was too good to be true."
Other milestones? Well, you have no teeth, at 9.5 months! I keep waiting. You are about 32nd percentile for weight, 60th for height, and with a head in the mid-80's... meaning most of your weight is above your shoulders, and your frame is very petite. But you are incredibly strong and always have been. You've been crawling quickly and pulling up for several weeks now, and you already know not to go over the edge when crawling on an elevated surface. You love it when I hold your hands to practice walking. And you often crawl around on your hands and feet (rather than knees), downward-dog style. Your movements seem very graceful to me - just like they seemed on your ultrasound!
Your progression of nicknames is unending and while it will probably serve only to embarrass you, I want to document it because someday it will really bring back memories. Other than "Baby Claire" and Matthew's old "Bay Claire," we called you "Miss Moo" when you were first born. This became "Mooster-Meister," then "Moosters Toosters," then, with Matthew's pronounciation, "May-Das-Toos-Toos." That got shortened to "May-Das" and lengthened to "Baby May-Das." Yeah. I'm sure you're thrilled that I wrote all that down.
So far you're not as low-key as your brother was when he was a baby. You cover your eyes at bath time where it never bothered him. You started fighting diaper changes at 6 months of age, whereas he started at 10, and you fight them every. single. time. Of course, it's not a fair comparison since I don't have the luxury of giving you all the uninterrupted naps he got. And you wake up at 6:00 a.m. or earlier no matter what I do, so I can only imagine you must be tired...
Like your brother before you, you have a lot of energy and are
Oh baby Claire. So very few things in life are as good as we dream them to be, and fewer still are infinitely better, again and again, day after day, in limitless new ways. But you (and your brother) both are, every single day. I've wanted a daughter for as long as I can remember, and when I found out I was having one my imagination ran happily, crazily, euphorically wild. But dreaming of a child before her arrival is sort of like reading about a country versus actually visiting. You have hazy, blurry images but you can't even begin to fill in the depth and the details. Now take that joy and raise it to the umpteenth power, as each new age and stage reveals another "you." I'm sure there will be struggles and frustrations, as come with the territory of parenting. But hopefully I can keep in mind the words I sing to you each night as we nurse:
"Today, while the blossoms still cling to the vine, I'll taste your strawberries I'll drink your sweet wine... A million tomorrows shall all pass away, e'er I forget all the joys that are mine today."
- "Today," originally by Randy Sparks.
|3 Days Old|
|6 Weeks Old|
|3 Months Old|
|5 months Old|
|6 Months Old|
|In Bar Harbor, Maine, 7 Months Old|
|7 Months Old|
|9 Months Old|
|9 Months Old|
|9 Months Old in our backyard|
|9 Months Old Kissing Your Brother at Artesani in Brighton, MA|