Thursday, March 10, 2011

9 months

My dearest ClaireBiscuit,

You turned 9 months old last week. I can't tell you had makes me feel - you have been such an incredible little baby, so happy and smiley - you've had us all wrapped around your chubby little fingers from day 1 - and I'm actually a little sad to watch you leave your infancy behind.

That said, you're a pretty incredible pre-toddler as well! As your Gigi says, "every stage is the best stage" with your kids, and I know that will be true with you too. I also know that I thought your brother was fun at 9 months, but that pales in comparison to how fun he's been at 18 months and 2 years and how fun he is now at 3 1/2. So every phase may well be the best phase, but oh Claire, I will miss your snuggly newborn self.

Now, there are no time for snuggles (though you do give the most delicious hugs with your lobster claws clamped around your daddy or my arms and shoulder and your head buried into our neck, but they are growing brief- you are far too busy). You crawl and you crawl fast. You are fiercely determined to get from point A to point B just as quick as anyone else.

If you aren't moving, you must be vertical. You pull up on everything, including flat walls, and you've figured out how to set yourself back down on the floor with a bit more finesse than those first few days of crashing down with a cry. You cruise along furniture and continually impress (and frequently frighten) me with how fast you move from the place I set you down to the place you think you need to be. And it still surprises me every morning to head to your room and find you standing up and staring at me with a giant smile.

Most of the pictures I take of you now involve you moving way too close to the camera or crawling quickly away from it. You shower affection on your cat and dogs, and though they probably aren't quite as thrilled with your mobility as you are, they've tolerated it well. Rosie the yellow lab is your special friend and I swear she's smiling at you even as you poke her nose and try to crawl over her tummy.

You enjoy your daycare class more and more each day. Your teachers are a special group of three women who cheer and celebrate your every development along with your daddy and me. You love your baby friends and chatter away at them as soon as I set you down on the floor. You are enjoying your mobility there too, and according to your teachers, you are very proud of your lofty new position at the big baby table where eat your cheerios and puffs.

Speaking of eating- you're doing doing it all by yourself! A little over a month ago, I dumped a few cheerios on your highchair tray to keep you busy while I made dinner. It was way too early for you to have the fine motor pincer grasp or the aim to get any cheerios in your mouth, but I thought it might entertain to push them around. But when I looked back a few minutes later, about half the cheerios were gone and you were chewing! I watched in awe as you carefully selected one with your thumb and forefinger and then popped it in your mouth. I promise I won't compare you two too much, but Claire, it took your brother about 3 months to figure out how to do that, and I have several charming pictures of him with cheerios stuck everyone on his face except in his mouth. I missed out on those with you. You also drink water from a sippy cup and even drank your formula from one the other day when I didn't feel like cleaning a bottle. Your brother threw his sippy cup at me the first time I tried putting his formula in there.

In other new developments, you are clapping! You clap for yourself and others and always look delighted as you do it. You play peekaboo with your own hands over your face, and sometimes look honestly surprsied when you pull them away and find us back in front of you after disappearing. You play with your brother for hours, either following him around or trying to take his toys or letting him push you around in various transportation vehicles.

You went to your 9 month check-up yesterday. Here are your stats:

29 inches (90%)
20 lbs. 8 oz. (75%)
47 cm (99%)

Basically, you have an off-the-charts head, a long body, and a perfectly chubby middle. You showed the doctor all your tricks and she rewarded you with a finger prick that made you SCREAM. You don't get any shots at the 9-month appointment, but as it turns out, you're like your mom and don't bleed, and you had to get pricked 3 times just to get enough droplets to fill a tiny vial. You did not stop crying until we got about a mile away from the office, and even then, as soon as you saw your daddy back at the house you launched into a crying/babbling tirade that I'm sure told him all about the injustice you were forced to endure.

Claire, there are so many things I want to make sure you know about yourself, about us, about how much we love you and always will. There aren't words, so I can only hope that you grow up feeling its truth. I feel like the love and pride your Papa and Gigi showered on me while growing up is simply part of the fabric of my being; it's immutable and it's with me in all I do. Our lives are a little crazy at times, and while I think it's important that you have two parents who pursue their careers and passions while sharing all the work and joys of home, I hope you always know this to be true:

But oh my baby, little one,
the sweetest thing I do
is sweep you up and hold you tight
and come back home to you.

And I hope you one day understand how your mommy could both love her job and still get choked up every single time she read the last page of that book.

I love you my Clairebear- these past 9 months have been some of the happiest I've ever had and I look forward to all the rest.

Love, mommy


  1. She's beautiful! And your letters are so sweet, I feel guilty that I don't write similar ones for my daughter.

  2. Very sweet. Did you notice Rosie in the picture of Claire with her cheerios? Let Rosie inside! She looks so forlorn!

  3. Haha, yes, every picture involving our back door has a Rosie in it if the dogs are outside. She is the most un-outdoorsy lab in the whole world -- even if we're outside with her, she only wants to be back inside. She's pretty pathetic, but she's sweet enough to make up for it :)

  4. I would LOVE to know what some of your family's other favorite children's books are -- if you can take a little detour from RRA and delve into kid lit (and baby lit) for a post or two!

  5. Yay you're such a big girl Claire! Wow, off the charts head- I'm sure that means she will be super smart. My son's head had always been off the charts and I like to think it means he's got some extra brains in there :) I'm going to have to check out that book, it sounds adorable. She is just so freaking happy in all her pics, I love it!

  6. A www! She is so beautiful!!

  7. Every stage is the best stage - with the strong exception of the teenage stage! LOL

    There oughtta be a law against a kid being that cute, I tell ya.