(That’s the newest nickname in a loooooong line of nicknames! You answer to practically anything!)
Once again, you have grown leaps and bounds in the past three months. For the past two you have been trying endlessly to crawl forward. You began by scootching both legs forward at the same time, then the movement transformed into a bear crawl position that left you doing push-ups all day long! Back and back you would go. And the harder you tried to move forward, the more frustrated you seemed to get. But today, on your 9 month birthday, you decided you could do it. And you did. It was the cutest little crawl I have ever seen. It was a bit stumbly and jerky, but beautiful just the same. All for a piece of lime green netting. :)
You can also go from the crawling position to the sitting position and back again. Most of your physical energies have been focused on crawling though. I can’t wait to see what you will get into first. But only first. Because after that I have a feeling you will give your Daddy and me a run for our money!
At meal times, you are now mostly eating food that is cut into small pieces. We use baby food only when we go out, or in a pinch. It doesn’t seem to be a problem for you to eat “big kid food,” as your Daddy likes to call it. He and Gram get a little nervous about you eating food like that, but you do so well! Sippy cups are also a favorite of yours. I have to keep it away from you until you have eaten most of your meal because once you have it you will NOT let it go! :) Water is what you enjoy best from the cup. You’ll take or leave the formula.
At the table, you have shown us that words may very well be a passion of yours. Talking will, anyway! Screaming is still an enjoyable pastime of yours, as are blowing raspberries. You babble on and on with the most wonderful sounds. Your favorite seems to be “Dada”, which has progressed from the original “ah-da.” Daddy was very excited about that, and you are beginning to associate that word with him. And oh how you love your Daddy! Just a couple days ago you smiled at him across the table at lunch with your head cocked to the side in a shy-Di kind of way. So precious! He just melts whenever he’s with you. I believe you have him wrapped around that tiny pinky of yours.
It seems that your hair is a combination of your Daddy’s and your Gram’s, both of whom have whirls and curls all over their heads. I absolutely love it! And you are getting quite a lot of it. Your eyes are now a hazel-green with a little gold hidden in there. Your cheekys are so scrumptious and I can’t get enough of your little chin! But the thighs. Oh Livy your thighs! I have always loved when babies have a little chub…and you have the perfect amount of chubbies my dear!
There have been several changes in your life lately. A couple weeks ago we all moved in with Gram and Muff. Our tiny house (we called it the “Hidey-Hole”) was just too small for our growing family. Daddy and I were in contract for a house, but Daddy got laid off from work. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately (we will have to wait and see), you were born during a time when our country’s economy isn’t so great. So we decided to move in with Gram and Muff to give you and Charlie some more room to grow until Daddy could find another job and get a larger place of our own. Though you love seeing Gram and Muff everyday, I think the greatest part about this move for you is the bathtub! You haven’t had a real bathtub before. The Hidey-Hole only had a shower. Livy, you and Charlie could splash all day in the tub if I let you. You absolutely love it! And you move all around the tub so easily. Cute! We have several bath toys, but you seem to prefer the little whale and the bath book best.
This move also means that you now have your own crib! It seems to be going well. There haven’t been any signs that the separation from your brother has been traumatic in any way. Actually, neither of you seemed to notice or care! The biggest change is that your crib is no longer just for sleeping. :) Apparently, it is also a place to practice crawling…and I’m sure you will think of some new stunts to work on in the near future.
The greatest blessing has come from this lay-off though. Daddy has been able to spend the past two months with you and your brother. This has been a great blessing and a special time for it to have happened. 6 to 9 months is such a great age! And he has been here to see it. He has found a new job though. He will be starting at Huntington Bank as a personal banker on September 21st. Just one more week at home with you. It’s been so hard for him to think of leaving you every day. He loves you so much. I am thankful that you have a Daddy who works so hard to provide for his family, and one who honors his priesthood. Never forget how much he does for us and how much he loves us.
Livy, you are such a happy baby. You smile and laugh all the time. Just the other day you started giving me kisses when I asked for them. So sweet! While you love interaction, you are also perfectly content to entertain yourself when necessary…a trait that is helpful to this mother of twins! Joy is plentiful when you are around and we just couldn’t love you anymore than we do. Your smile is so big and infectious. Every day you bring such light and life to our lives. Thank you. I only hope that we can do the same for you.
Dear Charlie Bear,
As I write this, it is actually the day after your 9 month birthday, and you are sitting beside me on our bed playing with a few toys. I have a blanket spread out under you so that any spit up will land on that instead of the bed (yes, you’re still doing that…a lot), but you are trying to pull the blanket toward you, therefore defeating the purpose entirely. Oh well.
Daddy and I have been busy lately trying to move most of our belongings into a storage unit. We have all moved in with Gram and Muff until Daddy’s new job starts and we can get a larger place of our own. Living here allows you and Liv have more room to move around, something that you have just recently started to be interested in. You went through a phase where you didn’t like being on your tummy, but now we can’t keep you sitting for very long! Moving is what you want to do. And though you are in the early stages of learning to crawl, I found you trying to lift yourself into a standing position on the window ledge in your bedroom the other day! Not sure if I’m ready for that yet, Bear. First things first please.
This move has also given you your own crib for the first time since the NICU. At our old place, there wasn’t enough room in your tiny bedroom to put up two cribs. All we could fit was one crib, your dresser, and a small storage shelf. We didn’t even have a closet. But here you have your own crib and closet the size of your old room! :)
You are doing well in your own crib, and you don’t seem to miss your sister at all. Get you out of your crib, however, and you just love her to death! Sometimes you will stop what you are doing, look at Livy, smile, and gently reach toward her. It is one of the sweetest things to watch.
You also love your Gram. You smile every time you see her. She seems to have a special place in your heart. But secretly, I think you love her so much because she sings your favorite song…
“Once there was an itty-bitty ant. Tried to move a rubber tree plant, but everybody knows an ant can’t move a rubber tree plant. But he’s got high hopes! He’s got high hopes! He’s got high apple pie in the sky hopes!”
Every time someone sings that song you stop crying if you’re sad, and start laughing if you’re happy. It just works wonders.
Perhaps this letter should be called “What Charlie Loves at 9 Months”, because I just keep thinking of things that you love. Food, for instance. You love food. And you can pack it away like a champ! No bite is too big, but most bites are too small. And if you can’t keep it coming with mere nanoseconds between bites, you might as well retire and go home. You just aren’t going to make the cut. And you haven’t met a food you don’t like. It’s such fun to watch you eat.
Another love of yours is the bathtub. You finally have one! Up until we moved, you had to use a little baby tub, but now you have a full sized bath that must seem like a water playground to you. Your favorite bath toy is the little alligator, and we a have an alligator song we sing when you are using it.
As for how your cute little self is looking these days? You are looking…well…cute. J Your hair is coming in a bit more, and it still looks pretty blond. Your eyes are still large, and everyone comments on how blue they still are. Two teeth have cut through these past couple of weeks too. They are your top two incisors, making you look a bit like a vampire in training! But a cute one. J But most importantly, we’re pretty sure you have caught back up to Liv in weight! For awhile there, you were pretty tiny, but some people think you may weigh even more than your sister. We’ll find out for sure at your doctor’s appointment at the end of the month.
Charlie, you have been such a pleasure these past three months. You have really begun to be more socially outgoing. You smile at everyone and are generally in a good mood. There never seems to be a lack of energy, and there is definitely never a lack of love. A good snuggle now and then is another love of yours.
And you, Charlie Bear, are a love of mine. I love you. Kisses!