My sweet Addie girl, How did we get here?!
Back when you were a newborn, I remember thinking...
6 months is so far away. Whew. February is SO far off. Thank goodness! I get to enjoy this newborn stage for quite some time.
And no. It's just not fair. It doesn't. It just does not last long enough. The floppy weight of your tiny bodies on our chests, the newly opened and aware eyes taking our faces in for the first time, the tiny squeaks and groans and grunts….
I have this mind game thing I do sometimes where I visualize certain dates in the future and tell myself how long I have until we get there. So as I just mentioned, 6 months was that first big milestone, and it was awesome to think just how far off February was and how much time we still had to soak up this sweet stage.
And then all of a sudden February came. Ugh! So then, I shoot forward to a year. Thank goodness we still have six more months until you are a year. You'll still be a baby for a long time. But ohmygosh you're already almost 9 months old. And so it goes. On and on. Why do I have such a problem with time moving so fast? The fact that time is moving, and that you are getting older is a HUGE blessing. It means you are growing, it means you are healthy, and I will never stop thanking God for that every single night.
But I can't shake the feeling that I haven't done enough for you.
On Mother's Day there was this quote floating around that said something along the lines of "if you are worried about being a good mom, chances are you already are."
Well Addie, you must have the best mom EVER. Because now we're at 8.5 months (yes, late again on your letter) and I am so worried that I haven't done enough for you your whole first year of your only. Your ONLY "first year." You don't get another "first year," and have I made it at all special for you? I don't know.
I don't know what a "first year" is supposed to look like. I feel I should be doing more with you, providing you with more experiences, surrounding you with more people. We don't get out much still because of sleep training, though I feel we are finally starting to get a rhythm (you are starting to sleep really well during the days now, and I am so proud of you!) and so our days are mostly spent at home. I don't know if this is typical; maybe it is. Maybe it isn't.
But one thing I have to believe is that you will always know how much you are loved. Even if our days are only spent on the floor of your room; even if half the time I'm just walking around wearing you so I can get chores done. I feel so badly sometimes that our days are so monotonous. I don't know if this a normal routine for babies or if I am just a boring mama. There are a few things I do know that I give you though….smiles--maybe a thousand a day. Kisses--maybe 500. And a couple hundred snuggles.
I just pray pray pray every night that this is enough. That you always feel loved. That you always know how special and treasured you are. And I hope that you love having me for a mom as much as I love having you for a daughter.
Here's your 8th month:
Your first Easter. We spent it with family and friends in Abilene. Your two Easter dresses had been waiting for you since before you were born. One was handmade by a close family friend, and one was bought in May of last year on our annual Mother/Daughter girls B&B trip. It was the first shopping I ever did for you. We had just the week before found out that you were a girl. :)
You always have one of two faces when you look at your Uncle Jake. You are either smiling really big, or staring really hard. It's cute. For the majority of this little photo op though you were staring at your Aunt Rachel. We couldn't get you to look forward! I have like five pictures of you doing this.
I found these pictures while looking through folders for this letter. The first two are nice. But the bottom one is my favorite. :)
Another regret…I don't have any cute "growing" pictures of you in the same spot for every month of your first year. It drives me CRAZY. But I know that it was just beyond my control, because we were packing, moving, half our stuff was in storage, half your stuff was in storage, etc. So I did my best to take a picture of you on our bed in each new outfit/size. I am trying to at least continue that, so here is your first little photoshoot in some new 9 month clothes.
I'll probably always and forever make you take a picture in bluebonnets each spring. It's what your grandparents had us do as kids, and its just what you do in Texas. :)
You weren't super excited about it, because it was close to your bedtime, but we got it done! Also, these bluebonnets were in our backyard!
I love your brother's face in these pictures. He's trying so hard!
Ahhh. Finally. Picked up and in someones arms again. I feel like you're telling me "See. that's all I wanted."
You discovered mirrors. Or at least I think you began to notice that face looking back at you.
More 9 month clothes. One thing I've noticed this month is that you are in the stage where you are constantly looking for something new to get or grab. See: bottom pictures!
Pushing up like a pro!
Your Aunt Donna came to visit!
And your Uncle Jacob. I'm hoping these pictures will make them come see us more often! :)
Your first Founders Day. And your first experience with heat.
You were born towards the beginning of fall, so this was the first time you had really been outside in Texas heat for an extended period of time. And you did not love it.
On that note, you had your first taste of water! It was so hot, and you didn't want to nurse, so we gave you water using the old "finger on the end of the straw" technique. But then you just ended up liking the straw more. Whatever works.
I have been following along with this group of photographers, all moms, in a series called Self Portraits of Motherhood. The goal is to get in the frame with your babies. I think its an incredible idea, because spending the days with you is such a joy and a privilege, yet I have very few photos of us together! So here we are practicing your sitting up.
You really sat up for the first time while we were at your Grandpa's for Founders Day. You had decided to wake up at 5:30, so we went in the empty bedroom and played on the bed for an hour. But it was pretty dark so I don't have any pictures. You were so proud of yourself. As you are here too. :)
I'm SO proud of you! It's strange, seeing you holding yourself up! It seems like just yesterday your little neck and head were floppy as could be. Just another amazing thing to me-how God designs babies' systems to grow and change so quickly and so perfectly.
Food this month was interesting. To review-at 6 mos, you still weren't interested in solids. At 7 mos, you would eat a bit of rice cereal, and maybe some apples here and there. Completely hated peas.
At 8 mos, you have turned into a total lover of fruit and hater of vegetables. I know this is why everyone says to introduce veggies first, of course, but every time we try, you take one bite and won't touch the stuff again. I have lots of videos to prove it. You are not subtle about it.
Look at that hair!
I don't have a ton of iPhone pictures this month. I am hoping it is because I am getting better about dragging out my good camera. :)
You're still pretty small for your age, but I've still realized that so many of the clothes we have for you either don't fit you, or won't fit you much longer. So I've been taking them out and trying them on you just so I can get a picture. Yes, your mama is crazy. Look at that hat. The bow is huge, but the hat doesn't even fit over your head. And such cute shoes that you will never get to wear!
The last two pictures are some more of my dresses from when I was a baby. The white one actually was a little big so you can wear that one again!
Despite your dislike of vegetables right now, you are obviously becoming more interested in food, because you grab for everything.
And you're becoming quite the mover in your bedroom. Not crawling yet, but I will turn my back from one second and you will be across the carpet.
You don't show any signs of teeth yet, but you sure do bite everything.
And just a few random ones.
Baking with me, loving your stackable rings toy, opening a belated Christmas gift from Aunt Donna, and hanging out with Grandma.
Despite my best efforts ;), you've never developed an attachment to any blanket or lovey or paci, so I decided I would try to introduce something just for nap time to help soothe you if need be. This is Peaches the Giraffe and you LOVE him! (her?) He mostly stays in you crib and waits for you to nap again, but we took him for a walk this time.
I love you my sweet girl. I am, as always, thankful beyond measure for you.