Our little "Blond Bomber," as Daddy likes to call you. Your eyes are the bluest of blue and your hair is a lovely bleach blond. Your cheeks have the perfect amount of baby chub, and you just all kinds of kissable! You have two different smiles now. The first is a big, open mouth grin that lights up your entire face. I see this one after you've had a good nap, and during a tickle session. The other smile is a lazy, closed lip grin. It shows that you have observed and appreciated whatever has occurred, but it isn't so uproariously funny that you must make an effort to show us your...tooth. You have one little tooth on the bottom that popped through about a week ago.
These past three months have really mellowed you out. You are a much better sleeper and therefore, you are generally happier than you were during the first few months of your life. You have also started moving a lot more, which I think has contributed to your better mood. A couple weeks ago you began sitting on your own, and once you saw your siblings trying to crawl, you hopped right on board that train. One can often find you in the yoga plank position, or spinning around in circles. :) Just a couple days ago you started to pull yourself across the floor.
We started feeding you all finger foods just before you turned 8 months. At first, you wanted nothing to do with it. You would sit in your Bumbo and stare blankly at me as I tried to get you to pick up the food. But little by little, you gained an interest in feeding yourself. In no time at all you had perfected your pincer grasp and were feeding yourself in a very clean and orderly way. While your siblings grab handfuls of food, you delicately grab one piece at a time and savor it before moving on to the next morsel. There hasn't been a food that you haven't liked yet, but you favor sweeter things like fruit. Once we moved you into a booster seat with a tray, you ended up in the middle of the eating line-up. Consequently, Luke and Wendy end up reaching for, and then eating, a lot of your food. You don't seem to mind. In fact, you just reach around them as you eat. It's cute.
I've been giving you sippy cups, but that hasn't gone very well. You are starting to get the idea that it somehow goes in your mouth, and that you might be able to get it there yourself, but I wouldn't say you are an efficient cup drinker yet. We'll keep working on that. :)
Another thing you have started doing during this time period is babbling. You were the first to do it. And I can't tell you how sweet those sounds are. Sometimes, when you are in your Pack 'n Play, I can hear you cooing to yourself. I love it! Your repertoire of noises has expanded. You now do this grunting thing, and have figured out how to blow noisy bubbles. The two of us often have bubble blowing "conversations" with each other. You are learning the give and take of communicating quite well!
You are such a gentle baby. When you are being held, you will often gently stroke my skin. It is just so precious. And when you wake up from naps, you grab both of my cheeks and give them a squeeze, just like a grandma might do to the grandchildren she hasn't seen in a while. Perhaps you are an old soul?
Looking forward, I am starting to worry a little about weaning you at a year. I have not minded nursing one bit, but I would like to be done by a year for two reasons. One, it will be a lot easier for me to meet the needs of the entire family if I'm not having to nurse throughout the day. And two, you have a hard time going to sleep without nursing beforehand. I feel I'm doing you a disservice in that regard. I want you to be able to sleep without needing that. But I'm having a difficult time adjusting your schedule to make that work. This is new territory for me as I never had to nurse children at Mary Evans, and Charlie and Liv stopped at 5 months on their own. We'll just have to figure this out together little buddy. :)
I love you so much, Jackie! It is such a pleasure to be around you, and I am loving watching you grow in every way. I can't get enough of cuddling and playing with you. This has been a wonderful 9 months! Thank you.
Your look has changed a bit. The blue eyes are there (but looking more gray-blue), and you still look so much like Charlie. But your hair has REALLY grown. In fact, you need a haircut already! It's all curly and getting blonder after being in the sun. And you are so big! By far, you are the biggest of all of my babies. You have been wearing 9-12 month clothing, and sometimes 18 month clothing, for a couple of months now. It's exhausting trying to keep your dresser stocked with clothes that actually fit you! I am forever taking things out and putting new things in. And your body is thick and sturdy too. No chubs on you, but still you are wide and generally large.
You learned to crawl a few days ago, and are making great progress. You are still trying to perfect it though, which makes you a little frustrated, so you've been crying a lot lately. But I know it's just a matter of time until you are crawling all over the house. I'm not surprised in the least that you were the first to crawl. Even before you were born I would lay in my hospital bed and feel you zipping up and down the left side of my belly. You never stopped! And you haven't really stopped moving since. :)
You can also sit up on your own now, which means that when I walk into your room in the morning you are already up and ready to go. Makes me smile!
Meal time is still...well...interesting. You just DON'T put things in your mouth! You've gotten a lot better at feeding yourself, but sometimes you will sit there for a good 10 minutes and take only a bite or two of food. And generally not from your own tray. Poor Jack never gets to eat everything I give him. :) It's gotten so that I have to put you in your booster seat and walk away. Otherwise you will sit and wait patiently for me to feed you something. Ironically, you also have the most teeth. 5 to be exact. Three on the top and two on the bottom.
Along these same lines, you still won't hold your bottle. Any time I try to help you hold it, you let out a piercing scream. I've all but given up on that. It also means that you have no interest in the sippy cup. I guess I'll just have to keep putting it on your tray and hoping that you find it intriguing some day.
Your smile is still one of your most endearing qualities. It is just so open, honest, and genuine. But they have become a little less frequent. Actually, you have become a bit more subdued this past month or so. I am interested to see if your bubbly attitude will return, or if you will remain more calm and quiet.
I have also noticed that you are very sensitive to feelings and sounds that you don't like. For instance, the other day you were crawling around the Relief Society room at Church and barely grazed the top of your head on one of the chairs. You immediately started crying as if the chair (and the person in it) had fallen on top of you! Also, if you are awakened before you are ready to get up, watch out! You are NOT going to be a happy camper. But then, I'm like that too, so I can't really fault you for that. :)
While I'm talking about sleeping, I want to record the sleep routine you have developed for yourself. Every time you are put in your crib, you roll to your left, get up on all fours and rock back and forth. Then, you make your way to the back of the crib, lay on your left side, grab the bumper, stuff your face into it, and fall asleep. A definite creature of habit.
You don't make a lot of verbal sounds, but when you do they are LOUD. No quiet cooing for you. It seems that whatever you have to say must be heard. And we like to hear it!
You are a joy to have in this family Lukie. I have a feeling you will be a very hard worker, intent on doing things the "right" way. That's how you've gone about life so far. We'll see if it continues. I love you so dearly, and though you aren't one to snuggle much, I cherish the moments when you do. I hope that you are enjoying life. It's enjoying you!
Dear Wendy Jane,
The Lady, Wendy Lady, Janie, Jane, Wendy Lou, Pretty. These are the names you might be called at any given time. You are now looking a little less like Livy did at your age. You are beginning to show us your very own look, and it is beautiful. Just like your siblings, you eyes are now officially blue, and a bright blue too. Hair is growing steadily, and is a dirty blond color. You are such a tiny little thing too. At 9 months, you are now firmly in size 3-6 month clothing. Sometimes you can get away with 6-9 months, but this is a very recent development.
But no one should let your daintiness deceive them! You are STRONG. For a little more than a month you have been pulling yourself around the house with the most amazing upper body strength. For most of this time, you haven't even used your legs! You just started allowing yourself to use your toes and legs to give yourself an extra boost in the direction you are headed. In the meantime, you have also been working on crawling, and I expect you to start that any time now.
From the very beginning you have taken to feeding yourself. You love it! And you eat more than both of your brothers. Sometimes you eat so fast that by the time I get the other two babies seated for the meal, you are almost done with your food. Since your 6 month letters, we have discovered that the possible food allergies you had were just dry skin that happened to coincide with new foods. Naturally, I was so relieved to know that we won't have to be dealing with that. Hopefully no one will develop any serious allergies.
I have been giving you all sippy cups recently, and just this Monday you lifted it up and drank the entire 7oz of formula by yourself. It was so exciting! That means I should be able to start the weaning process at any time. Eventually, we'll go down to nursing only in the morning and evening.
Recently, you have been incredibly happy. There is a smile on your face almost every moment of the day. And if someone is interacting with you, it is a guarantee. When you smile, we can see the two tiny teeth on the bottom of your mouth. Let me just say this. As a nursing mother, I do not appreciate the combination of these sharp little teeth and your incredible strength. :/ But I love you anyway.
You have been talking up a storm lately. You babble on and on sometimes. And judging by the tone of your voice, you might end up with the same cute, lower, raspy voice that Olivia has. Your babbles have a tendency to sound like a low rumble. Hehe!
A funny little tidbit about you...I can always tell when you have a dirty diaper. Before I can even smell it, you do this funny little kicking thing with your legs that looks like you are trying to get away from your diaper! It's a no-fail sign! Also, when I am spoon feeding you something that you really want, you flap your arms like a chicken and making this grunting "mmm! mmm! mmm!" sound. It's hilarious! I'm working on helping you sign "more," but this is just as effective.
Wendy, your personality is infectious. You are so playful and happy. Charlie and Olivia think you are one of the greatest babies ever. They always want to see you and hug and kiss you. Even at this young age, you play so well with Luke and Jack! You'll pull yourself over to them and play right along side them. It's really incredible to see.
You are so loved by this family. There is no doubt that you are a very special member of our family. I see in you the potential to be a uniting force in our family. How perfect, then, that you have been named after your great-great-grandma Wendy, who has been a uniting force in your Daddy's family. We love you baby girl.