I start this letter knowing that I can only call you “Baby Reeve” for just a few more short months. Your are getting bigger by the second and, I swear, as you sleep on the bed behind me, I can see you growing and your brain getting bigger and bigger. It’s amazing and bittersweet and just so awesome and hard at the same time.
I had just gotten used to telling people you were 9 months old when, before I even knew it, I was saying “he’s a week shy of 10 months”….each month gets harder and harder to choke out those words, that number that defines you.
If the theme of last month was DISCOVERY, then this month it’s FIGURING IT OUT. WIth the intent and focus of a research scientist, you twist and turn objects to look at them. You taste, sample everything with your mouth to make sure it’s not food. You bend to look under things, turn your neck to see the backs of things, smell…YOU CAN SMELL….you big brain is my favorite part about you (well, who am I kidding, and your tiny booty and your big blue eyes and your hair….and on and on and on)
Your 9th month began in Kansas for Christmas. Your FIRST Christmas was fairly anti-climatic. Kirk and I, never having been really “into” Christmas before, felt a joy and love in our hearts b/c of you that was so special. Mommy spent a lot of time (and money) making this Christmas special for you. I feel so excited about future Christmases where you can really understand why I’m making such a big deal out of traditions we are starting for you, the Spirit, where you can tear into the presents we and Santa wrap for you, where you can sample all of the cookies I bake and where we can threaten you with “you better be good or Santa won’t come.” As for this year, you were sick with a cold while we were home in Kansas and didn’t really understand what all the buzz was about. You got some cool toys and a lot of clothes, but your favorite gifts were your baseball bat from daddy. It was really special for me to see you running with your walker down the halls I used to toddle down. We wore family Christmas pajamas and sang carols at the top of our lungs for a full month.
I was sad when the Holiday Season was over, but not as sad as you….You walked around for a week looking for the Christmas Tree saying “tee?” AND we came back from Kansas to your first ear infection. 😦 Double sad…the missing tree was pretty cute though. The absence of the tree gave reason for you to question something…you would say “tee?” with an inflection and raise your hands up to look around. So cute!!!
You ended your 9th month in Florida for Great-Grandaddy’s funeral. It was a long flight alone, but you sure made Poppy smile and happy when he was feeling so sad. You love being there and getting to play outside in the grass. It’s fun to see you walk on this new surface that tickles and feels so weird. You got extra spoiled by all the ladies and ate lots of vegetables while there (Southern Cooking = butter)…
It was over the trip to Kansas and in the week following that I really began to notice how much you had fallen for your Daddy. At one point, you jumped out of my arms into his and screamed when I tried to grab you. Heartbroken, to say the least. As the month progressed, your love for him has become more and more apparent. You are his best friend now too. It works out okay for me b/c he’s my Bestie too.
I still cannot believe how differently you act with him than with me. To see you two play together blows my mind. There is NO way in the course of our 8-hour day at home that you will throw a ball to me or crawl up/down the stairs or build Legos. NO WAY! You don’t “play” with me, but crawl in and out of my lap tugging down my shirt and reaching inside my bra to try to get some action!
Your favorite thing to do with Daddy is BAT!!! You can turn anything into a bat and always have to have something in your hand to act as just that (hairbrush, toothbrush, paper roll, spatula, remote)…BAT…BAT…you walk around saying it. We hand you a little ball and you say “BAT!!!!!”. You love to throw the ball at Daddy and we get such a giggle at how hard you throw it. We can’t tell if you are are a righty or a leftie quite yet. Either way, we don’t care…just keep playing hard!
This month, you really began to understand Cause & Effect. We have played the Dropsie game no less than 3 times a day. YOu just love to drop your spoon on the floor and let me pick it up and hand it to you over and over and over again.
Randomly, one day this month while playing with Daddy in the basement, you began making truck sounds. VROOM!!!! How did you know how to do that? I don’t think I had ever done it! You also can click your tongue when daddy does it and make fake chomping motions when one of us is chewing gum. Another sound you like to copy is when we sneeze and laugh. If we say “Achooooo!” you try to do it. Of course, it sounds nothing like a sneeze, but we know that’s what you are doing. When we laugh in front of other people, you fake laugh and crinkle your nose.
This month you learned where Mommy’s nose, mouth and eyes are. Yours, however, might as well be on your back b/c you just can’t seem to locate them. 🙂 You still like to smack on your head and play “BONK” with the padded headboard each morning.
You have learned how to crawl UP the stairs. With one of us right behind you, you will pull and push and grunt until you can get where you want. We really need to work with you on how to carefully go DOWN them as well.
Halfway through the month you learned that crawling on all fours was much faster than Army Crawling and you haven’t looked back. You are so fast. We have to shut doors and can’t let you out of our sight b/c you can be gone with just the blink of an eye.
Daddy has traveled a lot this month and on one occasion as he was walking out the door, I said, “wave bye bye to daddy” and your little hand made a waving motion (but backwards, more like a “come here”) and then you started bawling. YOu didn’t want daddy to leave and with your first wave, he didn’t want to go either and the next thing I knew Daddy was crying too. You can sure as heck bet that I was in on the action as well. The 3 of us cried and waved to each other for a few more minutes. Now, you wave hello and bye bye at people and cars and dogs and walls and chairs and any other thing that I tell you to.
You mastered the Sign for “more” this month. You can’t quite put your fingertips together, but you clap your hands and point as you are eating to let us know you want MORE!!! Good boy! Smart boy!
The other thing you certainly do a lot this month is the sign language for Dog…which is really just to pant. You LOVE DOGS!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE….. Hannah, Buddah & Lexi next door, Sally & Ginger, you don’t discriminate. You love books with dogs. Pictures of dogs. Shirts with dogs. Dog sounds. Dogs on magazines, toys or tv….You love dogs and doing “what does a doggy say” so much that you do it all day long. In fact, you love dogs SO much you think any animal is a dog right now. If it has 4 legs, it’s a dog to you. Cats don’t meow and cows don’t moo…they pant. Crocodiles do and so do camels and bears and even frogs…even other babies make doggy sounds. It’s pretty dang cute. You can sort of make a monkey sound if you aren’t over-stimulated, but doggy is your best trick by far. With that being said, you also love FEEDING dogs…ahem…Hannah has eaten the green beans you don’t want, the cauliflower you spit out and the Goldfish cracker you give her a bit of and a lot of licks from, and then, you eat the rest of it. (by the way, I am in love with how you can take 3 bites out of a teeny tiny Goldfish cracker). You also like to try to give Daddy & I bites of everything, but mostly, Hannah eats 50% of what you do. You also ate a few pieces of Hannah’s dog food this month. When we put you in your walker, you just love to run over to her dog bowl and put your bat in her water, splash around and then snag a piece of her food if you can.
This month you learned how to use a Sippy Cup and a straw. You are better with a straw, but the sippy cup is pretty fun. It’s hard for you sometimes to remember how to tip the cup back and so you throw your head back and gulp and gulp and then fall over. I have a few videos of you throwing your head back every 3-4 seconds…
I read in a book or online that this month I would start to notice that you are more attached to me than usual. I beg to differ. There are times at Story Hour when you crawl as far as 50 feet away before you even look back to see if I am there. It freaks me out, but I love that you are your own person already. Seeing how independent and how you are able to play alone AWAY from me makes me proud. I know it’s really early and you are still really young, but I love that you keep me in your sight, but are okay to venture out on your own.
You have little to zero interest in doing anything that doesn’t require you to stand. You walk from couch to ottoman to walker to me all while carefully reaching for one thing and then the next. It won’t be long before you walk, but for now I am happy that you have perfected the crawl and that you are somewhat cautious. When in your Walker on wheels, simply put, you are HELL ON WHEELS. You literally bounce off of the walls, run into things while running full speed, splash in Hannah’s water, open all of the drawers, hit anything you can with whatever object you are carrying and using as a bat. You are fast! Speed is not an issue. I worry you will go straight from crawling to running, and on a few occasions, when you have forgotten that you can’t walk, I’ve seen your legs take off in a run before your mind realizes you can’t walk or run. You fall to your butt, look around as if to say, “hey, how come I can’t do that?”
I am still your favorite jungle gym. You crawl in and out of my lap no less than 50 times a day. Reaching into my belly button to scratch at it or yanking on my hair. Breastfeeding has become borderline inappropriate, as you just crawl up onto me and yank my shirt down or try to grab my breast. We are just shy by 2 months of trying to wean you and this month I am concerned how that is going to go…you just like to get in there too much!
You are becoming quite musical this month. I sing a lot of “Hey Jude (Reeve)” to you and you take, again, whatever object is your bat at the moment and hold it up to my lips like a microphone. I don’t know where you learned to do that. When I smell your feet and make “EWWWWW!!!!!” or “Stinky” sounds/faces you just think it’s the funniest thing ever. We are working on High-5s and blowing kisses, both of which you think are so funny. You have been known to bust a move when music is on….talk about funny. Your elbow go out and your booty bounces up and down, you sway side to side and your head either bobs or sways like Stevie Wonder. I could watch you dance all day.
Bathtime has become increasingly easier. One day you love the water pouring out of the faucet and try to catch it and the next you freak out by the noise. Bubble baths make it a lot easier, you love to try to grab the bubbles and get so frustrated when you can’t pick one up. You still can’t stand to sit still and spend a lot of time up and down with me trying to splash and distract you into being still long enough for me to clean your bum. Twice you have peed on me in the 20 seconds you are naked and on my lap as I fill the tub.
This month you bit Ezra at Story Hour twice and whacked him on the head once. Both bites left teeth marks and permanent damage to Mommy’s Story Hour Cred. No, seriously, it was awful. Ezra cried, mommy cried and then you cried each time I firmly grabbed you and told you “NO BITE.” You look at me in shock, your bottom lip turns down and then you all out get hysterical. That lip….man….if you are able to keep that pout until you are in elementary school, we are going to have some serious discipline issues….it truly breaks my heart AND makes me want to give you the moon.
Food is still an obstacle, but this is common at this age. You won’t eat vegetables to save your life. Well, I take that back, you will eat them on the first try and I think, “YAYYYYY…he loves cauliflower or broccoli or green beans” and so I go out and buy some to prepare for you in some way and you won’t eat them….I now have a freezer full of vegetables in casserole forms/frozen form/soups, etc that you loved the first time you ate them and then freaked out on me for the second time. I have seen you take your little pointer finger and poke into a food before eating it to see if it mushes…and if it does….then it must be a vegetable and you don’t want it, but Hannah does. Frustrating…but typical. I have taken to sneaking Green Machine into a morning smoothie or a green bean in with a chicken nugget bite.
Your face is more boy-ish every day. Not that you ever had any baby fat, but you just look more and more like a 5-year-old every day. Just yesterday at a birthday party, the people where shocked that you were only 10 months and not several months older than the 1-year-old who you towered over.
Your hair is all boy too. You don’t have random long strands of your original baby hair like I’ve seen other kids your age have. You have a perfect swirl/hurricane in the back of your head. Your hair is thick and lighter each day.
Can we just talk for a second about the fact that I am completely terrified of what’s to come and desperately in love with you? I have always known “boys are busy” and that there was a possibility you wouldn’t have your daddy’s calm, quiet personality…but I was in NO way prepared for how much you have going on. You are everywhere…in everything…you just want to touch everything, turn it around, look at it, taste it…figure it out. It’s terrifying and awesome at the same time.
I just love that you are so curious. That this big world I see and take so much for granted every day is opened up slowly each morning through your eyes. Toilets are awesome. Air vents are awesome. Couch legs are super cool. Toilet paper is the most amazing thing on this planet.
Baby Reeve, sigh….only 2 more months of being a “baby.”
I see you slowly becoming this person. A real little boy with feelings and missions and thoughts and opinions and I can’t wait to foster and support and encourage the person you want to become. I don’t care what you want to be or what you want to play or who you grow to be, I will love that person so much! I already do. Visions of you walking out the door to college fill my head everytime you learn a new trick. Time passes so quickly that it’s not unrealistic to start preparing for that day now.
As you truly become a toddler, our days are more and more fun. We chase dogs and beat things with bats and throw balls and flip books open and shut as hard as we can. ALL BOY!!!!
My wish for you remains the same this month, as always. That you grow strong, healthy, loving, patient and tolerant.
My wish for Daddy & I is that we can keep up with you. 🙂
Reeve, nearly a year ago, as I prepared to hold you in my arms, there was NOTHING that could have prepared me for any of this. I had no idea. I stumbled into Motherhood with a blindfold on and truly believe that even when you were placed on my chest for the first time, I didn’t feel like a parent. Being a “Mommy” is much easier than being a “Parent.”
I pray a lot for the wisdom to be the best parent I can be for you. Mommy is easy. I hold you, I hug you, I kiss you and wipe your tears and comfort you. Easy. As I see you growing into a fast, busy and active little boy, I pray for myself that I can do the best by you.
Thanks for being mine (and Daddy’s). Thanks for leaning into me a little more this month, for those few hugs you’ve given me and the few wet smooches smacked on my cheeks and sloppy open-mouthed goober, wet kisses into my mouth. Thanks for constantly showing me where my nose is and for the gentle hand on my chest or side when you nurse. Thanks for eating your eggs and sleeping through the night (but not for waking up at 5 am). Thanks for letting me read books about doggies to you all the time. Thanks for letting Daddy play so hard with you. Thanks for being my best little man.
From your hangnailed pinkie toes to your whispy baby hairs, I love you more than any word will allow.
Let’s always love each other, I couldn’t stand it if we didn’t.
I love being yours and love that you are mine. Tears fill my eyes at the thought of a life without you. I think about the day you were born and how they cut into me to take you out so that you would be safe, and there is not a doubt in my mind, that I would let anyone cut into me anywhere on my body again if it meant I could always keep you safe. For your health, this month, I am so very thankful.
Our small little family is beyond blessed.
To the moon and back…
I love you,
Favorite things to do: Run in the Walker and chase Hannah while squealing at the top of his lungs.
Favorite things to eat: Chicken nuggets dipped in ketchup. Any fruit. Crunchy Veggie Sticks.
Dislikes: Vegetables. Being told “no.” Being buckled into carseat. Hats.
Funny Tricks: Dancing…you sway side to side and sometimes bob your head up and down.
Scary items: The animal thing at the Play Zone in the mall that growls.
Cute item: Puffy Vest with Superman logo on it. Books with dogs in it. Loves having teeth brushed.
Hair color: Your stripe is gone…your hair is filling in and you have a hurricane swirl in the back
Eye color: Still bright blue!
Clothing size: 12-18 months
Diaper size: 4
Weight: 20.6 lbs (25%)
Teeth: EIGHT chompers