Sunday, July 29, 2012

8 Months!

To my precious 8 month old baby girls,

I better begin this letter with an apology.  You may notice (in several years) that there are no 6 or 7 month letters.  Totally my fault.  You see, you keep me very busy.  In addition to your sweet smiles and poopy diapers, when you turned 6 months, I was busy finishing the school year, and when you turned 7 months, we had just returned from a long vacation in New York and were busy preparing for your sister, Medley, to arrive.  Excuses, excuses, I know!  Busy, busy, busy.  Just like I call you now… busy, busy, busy!

We have a lot to catch up on.  There are all kinds of things you can do since your last letter.  You sit! You scoot! You eat! You sleep in your crib at night! You poop in disposable diapers! You play like there is no tomorrow!

I’ll start with some developmental milestones.  Right before we left for New York (right around your 6 month birthday), you started to sort of sit by yourself.  There was a lot of propping up and a whole bunch of tipping over (I may have googled “Protective Baby Helmet” a time or two before you were champion sitters).  Nowadays, you pretty much never fall over when you are sitting.  You can even go from sitting to your belly, to your back, back to your belly, etc. You can’t quite sit yourself up from lying on the floor yet, but I have a feeling by next month you will be able to do so.  Both of you babble quite a bit, but Sophia is definitely the talker in the group.  You say “dadadadadadada” and “yayayayayay” all the time.  Annie, you spend more of your time letting out squeals than actually forming sounds, but that’s okay because it’s adorable.  Annabel, you are just learning to crawl and you are army crawling all over the place.  Soph, you get up on all fours really well and rock back and forth, but for the most part, you roll yourself around or scoot yourself backwards instead of forward.  I’m confident that within the next few days you will be crawling, too!

Sophie Learning to Sit
Annie Learning to Sit

The Sophie Crawl

Annie gets stuck crawling!
YAY! We can sit up!

Trying Mom's Peas
You both really enjoy eating.  I puree all of your food, and you eat it up.  You also love your Baby Mum Mums.  Sophia, you actually eat and chew them and get so excited when you see me coming with them.  You throw your hands out and wave them up and down and quite literally grab them from my hands.  Both of you also like Carrot sticks to soothe your gums, cucumber sticks (with the seeds cut off), and you LOVE watermelon, apple, peaches, and banana in your mesh feeder.  You even tried a pickle at Bird Dog BBQ, and you both made funny faces but kept coming back for more. Sophie actually says “mmmmmmmmmm” when she eats.  Annabel, you have the funniest way of showing us that you are done eating.  You close your mouth just as tightly as you can, and almost try to twist your neck off burying it into your high chair, away from the spoon.  Oh, one more tidbit about eating.  Right now, you eat in the nude.  I don’t want to get your clothes dirty and stained, so we always get you naked.  We always joke that when you are older you are going to strip down to nothing every time you want to eat.

The full body bib!

Sophia, you got your very first tooth on May 10.  That was pretty early considering you were born 6 weeks early and were barely 5 months old when you got your tooth!  Both of your bottom two teeth came in first, right at the same time, and just a few days ago, your third bottom tooth came in (this is super strange because that tooth isn’t supposed to come in until you are 13 months!).  You are a pretty good teether, and you just really want to be held when you have a tooth coming through.  Annabellers, your first teeth had some impeccable timing…they showed up the day we were flying home from New York at the end of June.  I was a nervous wreck, afraid you were going to throw a fit the entire way home.  But it turns out you are a pretty good teether, too!  You popped both of your teeth the day we got home, and even refused the Tylenol we tried to give you before you got on the plane.


Happy Annie on the Plane!
Happy Sophie on the Plane!
Speaking of planes, you took your very first plane trip in June!  We spent 3 weeks in New York.  For 2 of those weeks, daddy was gone hiking and camping in the San Juan Mountains with Uncle John, Pat, and Greg.  Then, he met us in New York for vacation.  I was so worried about flying with you two!  You are such good-natured babies, and you are always so sweet, but you hadn’t spent a whole lot of time outside of the house or outside of your routine, so I wasn’t sure how you would act in an airplane with all of that hustle and bustle.  But you were SO good. So good I couldn’t even believe it.  On the way there, you barely even made one peep.  People “ooooo”ed and “ahhhh”ed over you like crazy.  Sophie, when we were waiting to get off the plane in Albany, everyone was looking at you and talking to you, and you got just a little bit overwhelmed and started to cry, but that was it!  On the way back, you both did just as well, despite it being a much longer flight with a connection and late at night as opposed to an early morning flight like we had on the way out there.

On the plane on the way home!

You were able to meet so many of your relatives when you traveled to New York, and everyone loved you!  You met your great grandma and so many of your aunts and uncles!  You even got to meet some of your second cousins, like Aubrey, Remi, Ryan, and Mikayla.  You swam in your Uncle Remi’s pool several times and visited the Utica Zoo!  We had a blast!

When we arrived home from New York, something really sad happened in Colorado Springs.  The Waldo Canyon fire was burning when we arrived home, and the night after we got home, it burned down hundreds of houses.  It was a really devastating time for our city, and because of all the smoke, you had to stay inside for several days.  It was so incredibly sad.

When you were about to turn 7 months old, you had to stop nursing and take a bottle with formula full time.  I was really sad about this, but thankfully, you both did great and never seemed to be too bothered by it. 

You are both on a great nap schedule.  You go down anywhere from 2-3 hours after you wake up for 1.5-2.5 hours.  Then, you stay awake for about 3 hours and go down again for 1.5-2.5 hours depending on how long your first nap was.  You do all of your sleeping in your crib now, even at night.  This was super hard for your mom, but once you got your hip braces off and could roll onto your tummy, I knew it was time to move you out of the co-sleeper.  Annabel, the day we got to New York, you decided you wanted to be a tummy sleeper.  I don’t think I slept for a good 3 days because of this. I was so nervous!  Now, I can’t prevent it, and as soon as we put you in your crib, you roll to your tummy.  Thankfully, Sophie, you gave me a break and waited until we got home to learn to roll to your tummy and sleep there.  So, as soon as we returned home from New York, you officially slept in your cribs every night, and the co-sleepers were packed up and put into the basement.  Sophia, you sleep great every night, almost never waking up from the time we put you to bed until about 7 in the morning.  Annie, we haven’t pinpointed the reason yet, but you still wake up at least once on most nights.  You need to get about 30 ounces of formula during the day, or you wake up wanting a bottle.  If you get your 30 ounces, you end up waking up soaking wet needing a diaper and clothes change.  We are trying some nighttime diapers tonight to see if *fingers crossed* that makes a difference.  Most every night and every nap, we put you in your crib still awake and you put yourself to sleep.  We have a great bedtime routine, and both daddy and I really enjoy that time with you and each other.  On most nights, you get a nice bath, get lotion on, read books, and then have a bottle with cuddles and go to sleep.  I love to come and get you up in the morning because you are always just beyond thrilled to see me.  You are always facing each other in your cribs, and as soon as you notice or hear me, you whip yourself around, and start pounding and kicking your arms and legs on the mattress like crazy.  You both squeal with delight and give me huge smiles. It is so fun!

Neither of you cry very often unless you are tired or hungry.  Annabel, you are a little bit aggressive toward your sister and her toys sometimes, and occasionally you make her cry when you steal a toy.  It’s okay because I know you don’t quite understand yet.  Both of you are starting to show a little bit of stranger danger and separation anxiety.  If dad or I come near you and you are fussy, you will throw your arms out to be picked up.  It’s so, so cute.  Sometimes when you are nearing a nap or need some cuddles, you will make your way over to me and crawl up on my lap to sit.  Just this morning, daddy let me sleep in a little bit.  When I got up, you were both playing contently in your playpen. I came up to you and said “good morning, sweet girls!” and you both waved your hands and huge smiles spread across your faces.  I gave you both kisses, then went to the kitchen to get something to drink, and both of you burst into tears and threw yourself against the side of the playpen as if you were trying to escape and come and get me. It was so sad, yet so sweet. I felt so loved!

Annie and her toys
You love to play!  You love to jump and play with your toys or me and dad.  It makes you laugh when we put a burp cloth over your face and say “Where’s Sophie (or Annie)?”  You yank it off with a huge smile on your face then kind of clap your hands together and wave them around.  It’s adorable.  You also like to make music with your little music table.  You put every single thing that you can get your hands on into your mouth.  Annabel, just a few days ago, you learned to pull yourself up on your toy basket and figured out how to tip it over.   Oh man, what a mess we have to clean up these days!  Both of you really love to swing in the baby swing at the park.  You sit back to back, and I swear you could swing all day. You love walks, and you love to swim.  Water is pretty much your best friend. You loved swimming in your Uncle Remi’s pool, and now you love taking baths without your baby bathtub.

Big girls in the bathtub!

Medley came to visit you this month, and you really loved her.  She would put on puppet shows, sing you songs, and do pacifier rescue missions at night (you only take your paci when you sleep, but you also throw them out of your cribs).  Every time we went in the car somewhere she would ask if her mission was “awake or asleep.”  If her mission was awake, anytime one of you would get drowsy, I would hear her shout her favorite silly song right now, “DAH, Dah, dah, dah, dah CIRCUS AFRO.” It woke you up every single time and often made you giggle!  We went on a lot of walks to the park together where you enjoyed swinging together.  You are really going to miss her now that she is leaving. 

Farmer's Market with Medley

Both of you have learned to share experiences with us.  When we laugh, it makes you laugh.  When we are having fun, it is obvious that you are enjoying yourself.  You sense expression and emotion now, which is so wonderful and fulfilling.  When you are crying, oftentimes, a simple song I make up can soothe you.

Big girls in high chairs at Noodles
We love Costco!

We take you out all kinds of places, now.  You have been to many Farmer’s Markets, lots of malls, and Target at least a dozen times. You sit in high chairs at restaurants and in the carts at stores.  You love it, and you get so much attention.  You got a lot of attention in your stroller, but now that you are out and “on display” people just can’t get enough of you.  We get oodles of comments like “Double Trouble” or “You’ve got your hands full” or “Busy mama,” and sometimes I resent those comments because I feel like they aren’t acknowledging what an absolutely rewarding job I have raising the two of you (and usually, you are doing nothing but sitting and smiling, certainly not warranting those comments).  The truth is, you are AMAZING babies.  My favorite is when people say things like “You are so blessed” or “double blessing!”  People ALWAYS tell us that the two of you are the cutest things they have ever seen.  Yep, I agree.  (When we were at the outlet mall shopping for new school clothes for Medley, this strange old man asked if he could kiss one of you. Daddy said “NO THANKS” and the old man gave him such a dirty look.  So creepy!)

I have so much fun with you, every single day.  You are the light of my life.  Sometimes, when you sleep too long, I truly miss you, and as soon as I hear one of you start to make noise, I jump up, announce that “MOMMY’S COMING” and fly down the hallway to come see you.  Sometimes I just can’t stand your cuteness, and I laugh and squeal with you.  I love you both ever so much, and as always, I can’t wait to see what you do next.  I’m certain it will be something marvelous.

As one of our favorite nighttime books says, “I love you to the moon…and back.”