I’m writing again from a plane… sigh… I swear, in nine years of working the travel has been minimal, but somehow this month has two west coast trips back to back. But, this one at least is just for one night – and sshhhhh, I took a few minutes extra to snuggle and play with you this morning, so my Bex-ometer is nice and full, love!
This was such a fun week with you – you are growing and maturing so much that what you do on a daily basis continually blows my mind. You have gotten good – and are almost over – high fiving and “SO BIG!” Your favorite activity is emptying all of your toys and books from the bins that hold them in the living room, and examining each item before you put it down. (Or the opposite – emptying it just for the fun at rapid speed!) If you take out a book, you often want to read it from cover to cover. You put it in front of you, and if we say, “Should we read this?” you understand and settle in, thumb in mouth for the story to begin. You are the one who turns the pages (sometimes before we’re even at the end of the page, which has one word on it, but I digress) and when we’re done, you decide if we move on to another riveting board book with pictures of baby animals, or choose to read that one again. And again. But your books are familiar to you, and you love them. You laugh at the pictures of baby animals, and when we make the sounds that correspond to them. You touch the parts that are raised, furry or sparkly, and absorb everything about the process of reading them – you are like a sponge.
On Monday was Halloween – we did so much that day, and you were such a trooper, despite being zipped up into a fleece ladybug outfit! First we went to a party at Mason’s house in our building. Mason’s mommy, Cori, is so sweet and had a whole lunch spread out – and you ate tiny pieces of real turkey! You loved it! I was so happy, and realized that I think you are over the baby food thing somewhat and ready to move into real food. Terrifying but exciting nonetheless! We left the party so you could nap and be 100% for the Hoboken Rag-A-Muffin parade, and boy was it a sight to see! There were children, babies, dogs and adults dressed up EVERYWHERE, marching down Washington Street and gathered watching on the sidewalks. You seemed happy, it probably just was a crazy, funny walk outside to you! We met up with your friends Julia, Brooks, Lil (who slept the whole time!) and Chloe, and had a good time people watching.
Then we went back to the party room at our building where the children’s Halloween shindig was well underway. It was packed, hot and the floor was littered with streamers and candy wrappers and tiny toys, so not the optimal place for a baby zipped in fleece who just finally wants to crawl around! Not to mention that we didn’t know too many people… so we left after about half an hour of me telling you no, don’t eat that… no Bex, don’t grab the stringy, cottony spider web off of the window… no, don’t crawl behind that person who is swinging a stick at a little piñata.
We went outside for some fresh air and to take pictures in the adorable haystacks and pumpkins that our building had set up. We got some great shots! We ran into your friend Ava and her family, and got some cute pics of the two of you dressed up. Finally we went upstairs, the Daddy got home in time to see you in your costume, and Matt and Erica came by to catch a glimpse of you too. Altogether, a great first Halloween, I’d say!
Monday also began the “Hold Your Own Bottle Bootcamp.” I was talking with Dina that day, and we realized that you’re a little bit like the Daddy and I – lazy!! Not physically – you crawl and climb all over, but if it comes to something that you know we’ll take care of for you, there’s zero shot of you attempting it on your own. And frankly, we’ve been pretty lax about correcting that as it’s easier to just do it for you – i.e. tip your sippy cup and bottle to your mouth, place food in your mouth, etc.
But NO MORE! On Monday Dina started teaching you how to hold the bottle, forcing you to use your own hands with her guidance. That night, I put you to bed and you fed yourself half of your bottle. We continued the next day – that night you pretty much fed yourself the entire bottle. And on Wednesday, I put you to bed, and you not only grabbed the bottle out of my hands and popped it into your mouth, but you then proceeded to take your left hand and play with your hair, smack the bottle, smack your leg, play with my fingers – holding the whole bottle just with your other hand! “Look ma, one hand!” This morning I actually gave you your bottle for breakfast, and you just sat in your highchair, reclined a bit to help you out, as I walked around and did things.
It’s bittersweet to see you do this. While it’s frankly pretty awesome to not have to feed you, it is a sign of just how big you’re getting. I very quickly grew to love giving you a bottle (other than those times when you must not be too hungry, or are too wound up to eat and you whip your head from side to side in the midst of taking huge gulps of formula) as it was amazing quiet time for us together, especially when putting you to sleep. You used to hum while you ate, the most glorious little noise I’ve ever heard. You don’t do that anymore, but I still hum and sing to you sometimes, and you always play with my hand while you’re eating, or pat my arm or leg, and you most certainly stare up at me with your amazing blue eyes at some point and I melt with pure love.
I used to say a poem to you at night before you went to bed while I was feeding you, and then sometimes follow that up with the You’re the Love of My Life song that I still song. I haven’t recited the poem to you in a while, but will always remember it, and just may bring it to say while you feed yourself – so that you know that as I fed you, I used to stare at you nonstop, and love every little detail of you. It went like this:
I love your eyes, I love your nosey
I love your feet, and all ten toesies!
I love your hair, and your smile so yummy,
I love your hands, I love your tummy!
I love your laugh, I love your sneeze,
I love the dimples in your knees!
I love your cheeks, and your tushy too…
Every single day I love all of you!
I love you today, I love you tomorrow…
I love you in happiness, I love you in sorrow.
I love you clean, I love you smelly,
I love you forever my Rebecca Ellie!
In case you couldn’t guess, I love you, baby girl!