Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Letters to Serene: 8 months

serene joy at 8 months
My dear Serene Joy,

Happy eight months of life! You are full of life, and chock full of winsomeness. I always tell your daddy that you can't possibly get any cuter, but as you turn another month old, you prove me wrong with cuteness overload in the best possible way. You babble constantly, click your tongue, blow raspberries, and chatter gleefully to yourself and anyone who pays you any attention. There've been a high volume of "Eeee!", "Babababa," "Vuhvuhvuh." and "Mamama" this past month. You raise your hands up in excitement, and wave them around for emphasis. You emit high-pitched giggles and wiggle your whole body when you're happy, especially when you get to ride on your daddy's shoulders. or when we kiss or tickle you in the tummy. You're so endearing that we constantly find ourselves smothering you with hugs and kisses.

You're not the biggest fan of that for too long, for it restricts your freedom. You'd much rather explore your environs, as long as we're nearby and within your sight. Ever since you turned 31 weeks, you push yourself up from your tummy, back, or side into the sitting position like a pro. You sit and play for stretches at a time. Playing means gnawing or pounding on objects this month. Your interest in a single toy never lasts too long, because there is much to see, touch, and taste elsewhere. You crawl like the most legit soldier I've ever seen, and you've been crawling legitimately for a week. You amble around haphazardly in your walker. You grab at everything with lightning fast dexterity. Your curiosity has no bounds, which resulted in a tumble off the bed and a scrape with the nightstand at 32 weeks. Thankfully, you're okay. You adore bouncing on your bum when you're seated, and on your toes when you're standing with support. You started kneeling at 33 weeks while reaching for curios. You also began standing on your tippy toes while holding onto furniture that same week. Your favorite objects to snatch lately are shoes: yours when they're on your feet or when they're in your closet, other people's shoes while they're on the floor, or even when they're on their feet. When we're in the cry room during Sunday service, everyone lifts their feet while you're crawling around so that you don't chew on their shoes. It is highly unsanitary and amusing at the same time. You love interacting with other babies pretty much as much as you love shoes. You grin so hard and kick happily at any baby or toddler you happen to see, especially when it's your own reflection. You've been loving your reflection since the first few months of life, so it's no surprise that you enjoy the presence of other little ones.

You also enjoy discovering new foods. Your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners comprise of homemade pureed veggies mixed with brown rice cereal, or mashed fruit, with water as a beverage. This past month, you realized that peas and green beans are not your favorites on their own, but you happily eat them with a bit of pureed butternut squash or watermelon. Zucchini squash is still your favorite veggie, and you love all the fruit you've tried so far. In addition to avocado last month, you've tried and love bananas, cherries, strawberries, tomatoes, and green mangoes this month. You like green mangoes more so because they're excellent teethers - you're still teething madly, but no teeth yet! You especially like frozen banana by the way you kick your legs and pant for more. You also tried Trader Joe's O's oat cereal for the first time today on your eight month birthday. You put so much effort into grasping each tiny little O to put into your mouth. You love them! As much as you enjoy tasting new foods, I don't think you eat as much as other babies your age. You still prefer to nurse most of the time. You simply love sitting at the table with your daddy and me so that you are a part of the family meals. You're all together more content having the both of us at once rather than just one of us.

In fact, you developed intense separation anxiety this past month. You reach for your daddy or me frequently, and hug us tightly for comfort and security. You have not really been letting others hold you as much as before. Instead, you'll start crying and reach for us, although you're content to interact with others while you're in our arms. Sometimes, you only want your mama, and we can always count on you to be cozy and content when you're in my sling, which I absolutely love. You also make it loud and clear when you're tired of playtime and are ready for a naptime or bedtime, which usually occurs every two and a half to three hour stretch during the day (Before this month, we would put you down every two and a half to three hours, but you've really taken ownership of your sleep schedule this month). You begin whimpering and reaching for us. Then you nurse or have a bottle, and then we put you down in your crib. You put yourself to sleep, and if you cry, you don't cry for more than five minutes before knocking out for usually an hour, and sometimes up to two hours. In other words, your nap and sleep schedule have become pretty consistent. Your sleeping predictability, combined with sleep training when you were six months old, make us so grateful. You are ready for bedtime around 7:00 or 7:30pm, and after splashing happily with your rubber duck during bathtime, getting into your pajamas, storytime (you've been loving the Sophie le giraffe board books this past month, especially when your daddy reads to you in his silly voices), prayer time, and bedtime nursing, I put you into your crib by 7:30pm (ideally), 8pm (normally), or 8:30pm (at the latest). You roll around, rub your blanket against your face, and fall asleep. If you cry, you cry for no more than five minutes. Your consistemt sleep schedule has been so dreamy and allows your daddy and me to spend quality time together in the evenings. I also started dream feeding you around 11-11:30pm this past month before we go to sleep because you woke up more often from hunger. Once I did that, you slept until around 5am for a morning feeding, and went back to sleep until around 8am. Then you're ready to start your day!

You're still wearing most of your 3-6 month clothes, as well as some 6-12 month clothes. You're still wearing size 2 diapers and size 2 shoes, although I think you'll be moving to size 3 diapers and size 3 shoes in a few weeks. I think you're about 16 1/2 pounds now. Some people say you're petite. Others say you're big. I think you're just right, but then again, I'm your biased mama. Your mama who could not have comprehended before you came into this world that you would bring us so much joy, little love. Your life is a testament to who God is: kind, merciful, and deserving of ultimate honor, glory, and praise. You are a precious gift from the Lord, and your daddy and I want to be good and wise stewards of our time with you, because we have the blessed responsibility to show you the ways of the Lord. So grateful that I'm able to be on family leave from work this month for that reason. I am beyond thrilled to spend major quality time with you this month, little love! Here's to making more memories in the simple, everyday moments.

Love you so,

P.S. Serene Joy at 0, 123456, and 7 months.

1 comment:

  1. Awww that little girl's smile is so radiated with pure happiness. You will soon have to find a bigger chair, she is growing so fast.

    Certainly, it doesn't take much for those wild flowers to grow. They thrive on their own with very little water (only the beginning). I guarantee you will have a success and be happy with them.


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