You continue to delight us, Little One. Your Papa, Mama, two brothers, and sister all smile from ear to ear when you smile or sing your sweet songs to us. In fact, your siblings are frequently arguing over who gets to hold you. You seem to show no preference as to who holds you, except when you are hungry......then only Mama will do. Sometimes if I'm busy, I'll keep hidden from you for a few minutes until I'm ready to sit down to nurse you, for if you catch a glimpse of me - a little panicked look comes over your face, and you begin to cry. Other than those times, and the occasional "accidental" drop or bump from a well meaning sibling, you really don't cry often at all.
Your biggest delight seems to be for someone to catch your eye and talk to you. Then, your eyes sparkle and your dimples pop right out.
You are now exploring with your little voice and will frequently slide the scales or simply say "Ahhhhhhhhhh" for extended breaths. Your giggle is becoming a little louder and longer, and Caleb, Emet, and Anna Ruth delight in making you laugh. Adults and children alike raise their voices several octaves when talking to you, and make their own silly sounds. Peek-a-boo is a favorite with you, almost always eliciting an "ah heh heh"....but sometimes a longer chuckle.
Your soft, plump little arms extend straight out at your sides and you flap them up and down when excited.....sometimes grasping a toy, other times flapping in the air.
The swing, the bouncer, and your bumbo seat are now things of the past. And we probably haven't used the hanging bouncer since Emet cut one of the ropes last month. We do entertain you in the activity station, that Papa has dubbed the baby trap. (True enough, there is no escaping this little play station!)
The little hanging high chair by the sliding door that belonged to your big sister only months ago, now belongs to you. These transitions between toddlers and babies happen so very quickly. I remember the same transition with the big high chair from Caleb to Emet. Now I am seeing the same transition between Anna Ruth and you. And with the high chair transition came the cheerios which you took to immediately. In a moment of desperation, four children crying "hungry" at once, I plunked some down in front of you, certain the only negative outcome would be frustration on your part. But no, in they went, one at a time, and your pincher grasp immediately went to work, though the first few cheerios entered via your entire fist. :-)
You are not only sitting with confidence, but a couple of weeks after sitting on your own, you began pulling yourself along the floor with your arms! I have always loved the sitting stage, where babies sit on the floor, happily playing with toys, yet unable to move from place to place. In my memory, this lasted for a couple of months. In your world, it lasted for about two weeks!
On our visit to Grandpa and Grandma B's house for the Stolberg Family Reunion, we sat you in the middle of the floor with toys to play while we sat down to chat with Grandpa and Grandma. Apparently, the fern in the fire place was too much of an enticement for you, as you reached and grabbed until your entire little body began moving along the carpet to grab at the fern. You seemed to be so pleased with your new accomplishment, and you've been on the move ever since!
Mornings have been coming early again for you lately. I'm not sure if you're waking hungry or cold, but your little cry calls us from our bed to bring you down to nurse in the early morning. When you see me, you become frantic until you have settled into the comfort of nursing and snuggling next to Mama. Suddenly, your world is secure again. This is probably my favorite time of day....snuggled next to you, knowing my body continues to provide you nourishment and comfort. These are the times when I know that I am your Mama, and you are my baby. Suddenly, my world, too, is secure and happy, and I feel so very blessed.
We love you, sweet Gracie Noelle!!! Grow on, Baby Girl!