Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Letters to Serene: 11 months

serene joy at 11 months
My dear Serene Joy,

You have been in our lives for 11 months now, and these 11 months have been the fastest and most transformative I've ever encountered. Every day in this past month, I marveled at how time has passed so quickly, how you learn and develop daily, and how you are practically no longer a baby, but nearly a toddler. I must confess: I am reminiscing a lot more these days about how teeny and fully dependent on us you used to be. In exactly one month, you will turn one whole year old. Time is ticking way too speedily! So here is my attempt to slow it down and remember. To remember all the sweetness, silliness, cleverness, and jolliness that makes up you this past month.

Ever since you gained more mobility, you've become more independent by the month. This month was no different. You mastered the art of pulling up, and are determined to stand your ground anywhere with somewhere for you to hold onto. Speed crawling remains your favorite mode of transportation, which you now spice up with tons of pulling up. Sometimes you'll even cruise a couple of steps. Not sure you'll walk before you turn one, as you aren't standing unsupported yet, but we'll see. You utilize dining room chairs as walkers, and you're adept at climbing stairs, us, pillows, everything. You'd rather mosey about than be confined to your crib, the pack n' play, your highchair, or your carseat.  After all, there is much of the world with which to get acquainted. You're fascinated by objects residing within containers. You have a grand time pulling things out of my purse, the craft drawers, your daddy's laptop bag, and scattering them all about. You like touching (destroying, as your daddy affectionately calls it) things in general and moving them about. Especially in the company of others. You're social in the most winsome way. You get so giddy when you play with other babies or kiddos. You giggle, squeal, and bounce up and down in excitement. You make a fun playmate.

As long as your parents are nearby. Your favorite word is still "mama." You call for me often, and there is no place you'd rather be than in my arms or on my lap as you play. Your new favorite words this month are "ba" for ball, and "wawa," which you utter often in your endless stream of high-pitched squeals and babble. We also like to think you say "may-mem" for Amen after we pray for a meal. It is most endearing to hear you chatter to yourself after you wake up from a nap. You smack your lips to deliver a kiss whenever we ask or whenever we kiss you first. You've been on a waving spree since the previous month. You wave when we ask you to say hi. You pump your arms and hands in the air and clap cheerfully when music comes on. You tilt your head to touch your right shoulder and babble at us, pointing to get your point across. You think the game of peekaboo is the most hilarious pastime. Your favorite song this month is "You Are My Serene," sung to the tune of "You Are My Sunshine." You adore bubbles. Bubbles are your new favorite phenomenon, particularly during bathtime.

Food prevails as another favorite. This month, you sampled for the first time hummus and pita, Spanish rice, string cheese, saltine cracker, turkey meatball, salmon, catfish, cauliflower, lemon garlic chicken breast, bell pepper, brown rice cake, udon, green onion pancake, and porridge. The following remain steadfast favorites for your palate: avocado on whole wheat toast, Rainier cherries, corn on the cob, watermelon cubes, string cheese, sautéed zucchini squash, and roasted seaweed. You eat ferociously like your daddy, and you don't allow your lack of teeth to hinder your culinary adventures. You also think slurping water out of my cup is most thrilling.

You still love to nurse. We've cut down your sessions to 3-4 times a day: when you wake up for an early morning feed at 6am before you go back to sleep, before your morning nap around 11am, sometimes (but not always) before your afternoon nap around 3pm, and before you go to sleep at night between 7:30-8pm. Though I'm pleased you're nursing less, I've also become nostalgic. I hug you a little closer every time you nurse, because I know weaning days are approaching.

Your sleep schedule is dreamy because of its consistency. Ever since I quit dream feeding you at the very beginning of the month, you sleep at 8pm and wake up between 8:30-9:30am, with a morning nursing session at 6am. We were amazed at how long you typically sleep these days: 12-13 hours, which makes me think dream feeding should have stopped even earlier. You also take two naps during the day: one in the morning around 11am and one in the afternoon around 3pm. Each nap generally lasts 1-2 hours, totaling 3 hours of naps per day.

My Serene Joy Joy, time is not halting, which is all the more reason to cherish every moment with you, reveling in your babyness before you're an official baby no longer. Even still, you'll always be our sweet baby, and I'll be relishing each moment I get to take care of you, with every moment a lesson on how miraculous the gift of a child is. And fervently thanking the Lord that He has graciously chosen us to parent you, to teach you who He is and how so very good He is in Christ.

Love you so,

P.S. Serene Joy at 0123456789, and 10 months.


  1. Cruz always said "may-mem" too after praying! SO cute! Serene is just the sweetest thing, I just love her! I can't believe how mobile she is, she needs to come here and teach Leni a few things :) Happy 11 months baby girl! xo

  2. Just beautiful! what a darling memory she will have the best memories from posts like this :) what a doll!!

  3. This is such a wonderful idea! My daughter is 4.5 yo.... I want to write her letters too now!
    Thank you for the inspiration! oh and thank you also for the instagram follow :)
    Love your blog and instagram posts. You have a lovely family :))


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