Friday, October 5, 2012

10 Months: A picture of determination

Determined.  That's the word that describes you this month, Gracie.  Constantly moving forward....advancing to the next thing.  Everything before you seems to be your next challenge, and if you see it, you go after it.

We took at family trip to Cannon Beach on your 10 month birthday.  I had wanted you to wear this little beach outfit in the sand, and while I had envisioned you sitting in one spot flapping your arms and grinning....instead, you seemed to have the sensory experience of a lifetime.  I couldn't get you to look up and smile once!  You flung, dug, and crawled the entire time....and loved every minute of it!

You're not walking alone yet, but if we hold your hands, you will walk along underneath us, and you do love to walk along the coffee table. In fact, I'd say that is your favorite place to be, as typically it is full of "treasures" left behind by your siblings, Mama, or Papa for you to spill, fling, or eat.

As Fall chills are just around the corner, we're gearing up for wood stove season around here, and thus training you to stay away from the bricks.....a lesson that must be learned in this old farmhouse.

If there was some type of built in volume control on your voice-box before now, it has broken.  Your voice now pierces the air with yells, screeches, and Aaahhhhs.  Voicing your displeasure with your lack of food or patience with staying in your high chair seem to be your most frequent dialogues with the family.  It probably doesn't help that your big brothers play a game with you where they walk away from you until you scream, then they come running back.  Parenting a fourth child does have it's challenges, for sometimes it seems like I'm working backwards!  However, I wouldn't trade a minute of these precious sibling interactions for anything.  You're well loved if nothing else.  Ru Bear loves to sit right next to you, "sharing" your cheerios and blueberries in the morning.  And all of your siblings want to hold you and carry you around, each minute of the day!

Speaking of your voice, you love to sing.  We'll be singing in the car, and you'll join in with "Ahhh ahhh ahhh ahh...".  It always seems to coincide with the music, and it does occasionally make it rough to have a conversation in the car, as you are almost always "singing"!

Your actions are beginning to be much more like a little person, and less like a small baby....less flapping and more clasping and clapping of your hands. You shake your head from side to side and roll around your eye balls....then stop to see if we are watching you.....and of course we are.  Then, you give us your big dimpled grin and do it all over again.

You love to share cheerios with us, sometimes offering....then quickly sticking it in your own mouth with a playful twitch of your eyebrow and a quick smile.  Peek-a-boo remains a favorite as well.

You can hardly be laid in your crib without immediately rolling over and pulling right up on the side.  At nap time, you'll instantly cry the moment your little back hits the mattress, but in more determined times, you simply pop right back up.  You pretty much have to sit yourself down, then eventually tip over with tiredness....alone in your crib.  But, in the meantime, you have your stuffed friends to entertain you, as you examine each part of them.  (Unless, that is, you have pitched them out of your crib.)

I can hardly fathom the amount of food you eat, and you're basically eating everything now.  By the time I walk away to begin fixing the other children their meals, you have finished what I originally gave you....cheerios, oatmeal, yogurt, cheese, egg yolks, avocados, steamed carrots, frozen blueberries, bananas, and little bits of bread and meat comprise most of your meals. And, you have recently added Annie's "Bunny Snackoos" (as your sister calls them) to your list of snacks for a treat during morning walks.  It no longer works for us to not feed you when we eat.  The minute you see food, you start to whine, and a high pitched squeal is to soon follow!

Your thickening hair is a shiny blonde that shimmers in the sun, and now that we're walking most mornings, I have seen the back of your shiny head a lot in the beautiful early Fall weather.  I love to look down and see your shiny head and your little hands clasping the bar in front of you, toes curled...possibly all together.  No, we really haven't moved into sock season yet, and on only one outing have we put you in shoes. I'm eating up all of the baby stage I can in the few short days left of this glorious weather.  By the time we emerge into next Summer, you'll be walking and shoes for an outing will be the norm.  

With the closing of Summer comes the closing of the baby season of this Mama's life.  Yet I know that what lies before us is a great adventure that will be filled with many new and unexpected joys.  I'm trying to have open hands in the process, not clenching hard to what's in my grasp now....but opening my palm for new blessings to be placed there as the old ones pass on.  So for now, this Mama is enjoying those little baby toes spreading and scrunching in the sun, each day more that I can see them!

I love to kiss your puffy cheeks and see your face instantly light up all over, dimples popping in your big, open mouth grin.  Your two front bottom teeth are the only ones to make a showing thus the days of teething are yet ahead.

One of my favorite things is to watch you crawl, your little bottom wagging back and forth as you head with focus and determination to a specified location.  A present favorite for you in the kitchen is the bottom of the stairs.  You've successfully made it up one stair a couple of times, but have fallen both....and while you continue to reach and contemplate, you don't seem eager to repeat the same fall.

We've started to change you out of your 12 month clothes and into 18.  I realize now, as I put away your big sister's clothes that you will likely be in some of them next year.  And then, it will seem but a moment ago that you were in the baby clothes.  And so it goes.

The start of the Fall season is upon favorite season of all, for it begins with the anticipation of all of my babies birthdays, bringing us into the season of Thanksgiving and then celebrating the birth of our savior, whose birth your name celebrates:  Grace Noelle, meaning "Grace.  Born on Christmas Day."  I look forward to the next months as we enter the crisp air and the fall baking, with you crawling by my feet and pulling up at my leg as I move about the kitchen.

I love you, Little Grace.  Grow on, Baby Girl!

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