Monday, March 10, 2008

Ruthie is 8 months old

A couple of my friends who are bloggers post letters to their kids on their monthly birthdays. Since there has been no work EVER on Ruthie's scrapbook and no progress on Esther's in almost a year, I figure this "monthly birthday letter" is a pretty good idea.

Dear Ruthie,

Today you are 8 months old. On your 8 month birthday you will be participating in a study at Maryland about how babies process language. The fact that you are 8 months is quite shocking to me as a few days ago I was insisting to someone affilitated with the study that you would be turning 6 months old on March 10. The girl sounded really confused and I heard some frantic paper shuffling and keyboard clicking until I realized my mistake and told her that you would be, in fact, 8 months old.

Many people comment on what a happy baby you seem to be. And you are a happy baby. I like to say it is because I feed you when you are hungry and Daddy and I put you down for a nap or bed when you are tired. None of this rigid parental timetable stuff for you! You have a slow smile that you use for strangers or when you are tired and a quick smile that is usually just for me, Daddy and Esther. If you are well rested and well fed, you also welcome Daddy when he comes home with waving arms and kicking feet, which I think makes him feel pretty good.

Just within the past couple days, you've started sticking your tongue out and letting it hang out there and you also tuck your tongue inside your lower lip so it looks like you are chewing tobacco. Your first tooth poked through a few days ago and the other bottom tooth is very very close, so perhaps this is causing these new mouth and lip experimentations.

You are very close to actual locomotion and I am very nervous about this. You and I are home alone together three mornings per week and I get some household chores done during this time. I'm afraid once you are crawling I won't be able to dash downstairs to switch the laundry while you sit contentedly in your exersaucer! You can move from sitting to all fours, lay down and stretch to reach something, and then get back into a sitting position again. You sometimes get on all fours and bounce and you also move your knees back and forth. You've also started pulling up to your knees on things, although you haven't figured out what items are stable.

You are a rock-star at falling asleep. After I nurse you I put you in your bassinet and you will fall asleep by yourself with any one of your beloved Ikea washcloths and a bubba (pacifier). I occasionally have to pat your little butt for a minute or two to get you over the edge. You nap twice a day and are in bed from 8pm to 7am each night. On a good night you wake up around 12 midnight and 3 or 4 am. On a bad night, it's more. You start out each night by yourself in your bassinet and after your first feeding we sleep together. I love this time with you - it makes me worry much less about whether I hold you enough during the day or not. But then again, it was really important to Daddy and me that one of us was holding you as often as possible for the first 6 months of your life, so if you sit and play by yourself now and again, then it's okay with me. Speaking of sleeping, you still sleep in a bassinet on the floor. I'm looking for a crib and anticipate that you will transition there by the end of the week.

Your sister Esther frequently asks where you are the minute she wakes up. You each squeal with delight when you see each other after an absence and this makes my heart thump and my throat close with a lump, because I know what it is like to love and be loved by sisters and I am so grateful to God that you will have this feeling too. Of course Esther also pulls your hair, squeezes your hand too tight, and a couple days ago she thumped you on the head pretty hard with a block. To be fair, she only does these things when she is tired and she also knows to take herself to the "naughty spot" after she does so.

I'm not sure how often you nurse or for how long. When you were a newborn I kept a schedule for a few weeks, but now I just feed you when you seem hungry or before we get in the stroller for a walk or the car to run an errand. You tasted your first solid food on your 7 month birthday and now have a few bites a day. You had no interest in Esther's first food, avocado, so we are trying the commercial, processed, baby rice cereal with banana flakes in it. I'm hoping in the next few weeks that you will move onto the homemade (and much healthier) rice cereal that I also made for Esther. Since you are approximately a whopping 17 pounds (around the 25th-30th percentile) I'm not too worried about whether or not you are eating solid food. (And to think that some people still think that breastmilk is not "enough" to sustain a healthy and growing child. HA!)

You love your toys (and Esther's) and you particularly like to sit on floor and pull stuffed animals out of a laundry basket. Like Esther, you also love chewing on the lids from baby food jars. I am forever grateful to Ms. Cocqui (who was Esther's caregiver in the infant room at Greenwood) for introducing me to this fabulous toy.

On Sunday while Esther and I were running errands, you went for a walk with Daddy and the dogs in the cold weather and your nose was bright red and your face was so cold. Despite this, you loved it and were still a happy baby.

Oh Ruthie, you bring such joy to our lives. I treasure my time with you as a baby and it seems to go so fast.


Mommy (with input from Daddy)


Sandy said...

Dearest Ruthie, I am going to echo Mommy's words, I can't believe you are 8 months old already!! I am so happy your Mommy is posting pictures of you here. You have grown and changed so much since I held you in my arms in November. You were such a happy baby then and I am delighted to hear you are still so happy most of the time. I love reading about some of the daily activites you and your sister participate in with Mommy and Daddy. I can't thank your Mommy enough for sharing her blog with me. It is one more way for me to be connected to your life when I am so far away. I will be sure to check in often and leave notes for you and Ester when I do. I love you sweet little girl! Aunt Sandy

Mother of Beans said...

You have a beautiful baby! I don't mean to be nosey (although I know I am!) but I read on another site you had Cholestasis of Pregnancy? I did too. I've never met anyone else who had it... My youngest was born at 38w5d, and weighed 4lbs. They say it was the CHLTS. Who knows. My first was over 8lbs.

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