Tag Archives: being a mom

The Winter of Our Discontent

Song Lyric of the Day:

Wish we could turn back time, to the good old days / When our momma sang us to sleep but now we’re stressed out

Twenty One Pilots / “Stressed Out

I’m over this winter. Normally I love winter since it’s cold and I can’t overheat like I do in late spring and then summer, but this winter has been miserable. Why exactly? Because Sebastian has been sick since January 12. I remember the date, because it was the day before Rich was due to leave for India for work for 13 days. Good timing. Sebastian woke up covered in vomit that morning, so we of course immediately thought “flu!” and rushed him to the doc. It turned out to be a stomach bug and a little cold. Rich felt better leaving for his trip knowing he was not leaving me with a flu-afflicted baby.

Sebastian then got a virus, which started clearing up after a few days. Meanwhile, as Rich was away and that always upsets the natural balance of things, Knoxville got snow. One whole inch of snow led to three school snow days in a row — combined with MLK Day that Monday, Coraline and I were home with her sick brother almost all week. At least she had school that Friday, albeit on a two-hour delay.

The second Sunday Rich was away, Sebastian got sick again and was so weak with fever and bordering on lethargic that I was positive his virus had turned into the flu. I called my mom to come sit with Coraline so I could take him to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital to get looked at. When I told Coraline that Abuela was coming to watch her so I could take her brother to the hospital to get checked out, my poor girl got hysterical. She adores her baby brother and has been terrified of him getting the flu since she knows it can be fatal for babies. I did my best to calm her down, although I ended up crying a little bit, too, since she was so upset. I reassured her that I was sure the docs at the hospital would tell me I was just being a paranoid mommy, but she replied with, “I just want to spend as much time with him as I can while I can,” as she went to embrace her brother. It’s not like hearing her say that, through sobs, ripped my heart out or anything. Mom got to our house in about a half hour (she ROCKS) and Sebastian and I left for the hospital. I managed to stake out a corner in the waiting room relatively away from other people; it was full that night, and half the kids were wearing face masks because of flu-like symptoms. We got there around 8:20PM and didn’t end up getting home until 12:55AM. Turns out it wasn’t the flu, just the first day of a new, second virus. Poor Sebastian had blood drawn and spent most of the night in my arms practically fainting from his fever.

The next week was a bit of a blur as Sebastian had me up several times every night. I took to calling him the Fever King since he had so many I lost count. I’m very fortunate in that my job is portable and I can work from home, so when Sebastian felt well enough to play I’d work. I’d then haul ass to get even more work done while he napped since that was my longest uninterrupted stretch during the day. But with a very sick baby who is very clingy when not feeling well, I ended up working most nights after the kids were in bed to finish what I couldn’t during the day. I’d wrap up working for the night between 10 and 11PM, then rush to do a few household things, then try to get an hour or two of sleep before Sebastian’s first wakeup. He’d inevitably wake up with a fever; we’ve gone through I don’t know how many bottles of Infants’ Tylenol and Infants’ Motrin these last few weeks.

Finally the Friday arrived when Rich was flying home. One hour before his scheduled landing, I was changing Sebastian’s diaper before heading to the airport when I noticed his torso was covered in a rash. Another call to the nurse triage line (my second or third at this point) followed. Rich landed safely and the nurse called back while we were at the luggage carousel. After I answered what felt like 100 questions, the nurse assured me she was certain it was Roseola, which meant that the virus was coming to an end. Finally, our little boy was going to be well again, right? Yeah, not so much.

Sebastian was still sick enough that I had to keep working from home with him, but now with Rich home again, he was able to work from home with him a bit so I could get in to the office a few days. Because things weren’t fun enough, Coraline’s school district canceled school Monday and Tuesday that week due to illness since so many kids and teachers were out with the flu (among other things). They had school Wednesday, only to have school canceled the remainder of the week. That weekend Sebastian got sicker — again.

As he was exhibiting flu-like symptoms again, back to the doctor we went. It wasn’t a virus this time, but his first-ever ear infection. He got prescribed an antibiotic, but a few days later somehow got sicker while on it. Back to the doc, where he got diagnosed with a double ear infection and put on a second, different antibiotic. And — because this has been the winter that keeps on giving — you guessed it, he got sicker. Back to the doc, where his doctor took one look in Sebastian’s ear and said it was so infected even a first-year med student could diagnose it. That’s right — his double ear infection had gotten worse while on the second antibiotic. Sebastian was then put on Augmentin, which eventually made progress on the ear infection while destroying his stomach in the process. His doctor had warned us how harsh it would be on Sebastian’s stomach, but boy, it was more vicious than we anticipated.

As I write this, a little more than seven weeks since Sebastian first got sick, he’s still not quite back to 100 percent. He’s pretty close, though — I’d put him around 90 percent. He went eight days before developing another fever this past Friday, but it was a low-grade one of 100 degrees. He also currently has a very runny nose and a little cough; the last few weeks he learned to recognize the Boogie Wipes package, so that’s made wiping his nose extra fun since he fights it. (I don’t know why since those wipes are awesome when you’re sick.) Best of all, he’s eating again. He had next to no appetite at his sickest; breastfeeding was all that was keeping him from dehydrating. And, if I’m honest, as a Puerto Rican, it freaked me out that he wouldn’t eat. When people don’t eat, it freaks us out. We need to feed you. Not eating is weird and scary. At least Sebastian would take his beloved pouches, which oftentimes were the only thing he’d eat for days on end.

I know things could have been much worse, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t the most stressed I’ve been in ages during Sebastian’s illnesses, particularly while Rich was out of the country. I made a point to thank Coraline for behaving so well while her dad was away, since she was a big help with her brother. I’m lucky that my parents and sister are in town (as well as close friends) and a phone call away if I need anything, like the night I needed to take Sebastian to the hospital. Now seven-plus weeks, three antibiotics, lots of Children’s Benadryl, Infants’ Tylenol, Infants’ Motrin, 4 negative flu tests, 4 negative RSV tests, and one negative strep throat test later, my baby is finally getting back to his normal, silly, noisy, bottomless eating pit, mess-making self.

Now if only it were spring …

Sebastian on the go

Taken when he felt good one morning, before he napped and woke up with a raging fever later that day (2/19/18).

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Done Went and Had a Baby

Song Lyric of the Day:

Like when I close my eyes and don’t even care if anyone sees me dancing / Like I can fly, and don’t even think of touching the ground / Like a heartbeat skip, like an open page / Like a one way trip on an aeroplane / It’s the way that I feel when I’m with you, brand new

Ben Rector / “Brand New

I logged in to my blog the other day, trying to remember if my last post was in the spring (I could have sworn it was), only to be shocked to see the last time I posted was the day before Sebastian was born. That’s right – I now have a second kid, Coraline is a (fabulous) big sister, and Rich has his very own Mini Me. My unintentionally long, almost year-long blogging break reminded me of the short-lived show Up All Night, when Will Arnett’s character reminds Christina Applegate’s character that she last updated Facebook the night before their baby was born, and that people probably thought she’d died. As with me, that was happily not the case.

So what have I been up to these last 11 months? The first six weeks after Sebastian was born were all about surviving an ungodly level of exhaustion. There were nights he would wake up after only 20 minutes of catnapping; I can’t rightly call what he was doing sleeping. Why was he up so often? Because we didn’t get really good at nursing until he was about 6 weeks old. Once he started latching correctly each time, he would get nice and full and then he would sleep. It was such a relief to finally get more than 20-minute catnaps. We’d get two-, three-, even four-hour stretches. It was glorious.

In hindsight, I never should have said Coraline was a bad sleeper as a baby, because sweet 6-pound, 8-ounce baby Jesus, Sebastian made his sister look like a fricking sleep Olympian. But we survived. Although at times it felt like I wouldn’t. I had several days where I would cry purely from exhaustion, as well as days I’d cry that it looked like he wasn’t putting on weight no matter how much I nursed him. Once we hit that 6-week mark, though, everything improved across the board. And boy, has breastfeeding this time around been an experience. I’ll try to write more about that another time; I promise it won’t be 11 months from now.

I admit that I was ready to try for a second kid a couple of years ago, but needing the spouse to be on board with that kind of thing is a pretty big deal. And, you know, kind of important. Coraline had of course been lobbying for a sibling for about three years prior to Sebastian being born. Originally she wanted a sister we would name Elsa. Then she decided a brother wouldn’t be so bad. Then she decided one of each would be great. I shot that idea down pretty quickly. She’s a great age to be a big sister, though. She’s been helpful from the get-go, getting me things she knew I’d need (wipes, the Boppy pillow, a burp cloth) before I asked for them. She’s also great with Sebastian and has even been able to soothe him at times when Rich and I couldn’t; it makes me believe that she really can understand his baby talk and interpret what he’s telling her. Sebastian is also pretty fond of her. Watching them interact is one of my life’s greatest joys. They’re also not yet old enough to fight, so I’m enjoying every second of their current peaceful existence.

I hope to get back into updating my blog semi-regularly. I’ve missed it — and writing in general. (My sincere thanks to the one reader who still checks in occasionally.) For now, though, I’m going to call it a night as I haven’t slept more than six hours straight in almost a year. Luckily it’s been for a very good reason.

My babies

Cora reads to (then 3-month-old) Sebastian

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Photoblogging: Mother’s Day 2014

Yesterday I enjoyed a low-key Mother’s Day, my fourth as Coraline’s lucky mom. We started the day with brunch — Coraline’s favorite meal — at The Egg & I, our first visit and one of the few places with a less than two-hour wait. Then we came home, where Rich and Coraline presented me with cards and presents. Coraline’s card made me cry (Rich chose well), while Rich’s was sweet and heartfelt. They gifted me with Lily Allen‘s new album, Sheezus, which I really like; a gift certificate to my favorite Italian restaurant, Altruda’s; and the Evil Dead Blu-Ray, which is a huge deal. It’s a huge deal because while I LOVE horror movies, Rich does not. At all. So he really took one for the team, because now that I own it, he knows there’s a chance he might have to watch it with me. That’s a good man right there. As far as Coraline is concerned, it’s a “people” (read: adult) movie that she can’t watch for a very long time.

Rich then offered to watch Coraline so I could enjoy a solo trip to Barnes & Noble without my tiny bookworm in tow — so luxurious. After the bookstore I went to my parents’ house to give Mom her card and presents. Coraline will be personally presenting her abuela with her Mother’s Day card today; we knew she’d want to do that herself. I got home, hung out a bit more, then when Coraline went down for her nap, I passed out on the couch with my cats. Then it was time for dinner, which we picked up from a nearby restaurant, and more family time. All in all, it was another great Mother’s Day. I’m really fortunate to be mom to such a fabulous kid, which I would never be without an equally fabulous husband.

Speaking of, said husband indulged me and took some pics of me with our curly-topped cutie to commemorate the day.


Coraline insists she be called Darth Vader when wielding this little inflatable light saber.


A kiss from Mommy




A kiss from Coraline


A BIG kiss from Coraline


She’s very into making silly faces for photos these days.


Me and my little girl


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The Little Social Butterfly

Song Lyric of the Day:

(When it gets loud, I turn it up) / Shake it like a bad girl up in Harlem / (When it’s too hot, I light it up) / Ooh, light it up, yeah, smoke em if you got ’em

New Politics / “Harlem

The other day Coraline got an invitation to a friend’s birthday party, this one for a zoo extravaganza. That’s when it hit me: My 3 1/2-year-old has a more active social calendar than I do. Sure, Rich and I went to our friends’ baby shower this past weekend, which was a blast and where we made some good new friends. But that was one of our few and far between social engagements these days. Coraline, on the other hand, has been to a couple of birthday parties recently, then has two upcoming parties on consecutive weekends followed by her first ballet recital the following weekend. As for my and Rich’s social calendars, uh, well, we’ll be accompanying Coraline to two upcoming birthday parties on consecutive weekends followed by her first ballet recital the following weekend.

I do have to say, I’m proud that Coraline is nice, and well-behaved and well-liked enough to be invited to her daycare classmates’ parties, among other events. She’s also social to a fault. Just last night, Rich had to remind her that while it’s OK to say hi to and smile at people we pass or have brief encounters with, we don’t necessarily need to tell them our life stories. Let’s just say that Coraline is very well known by certain cashiers at Target, Barberito’s, and Trader Joe’s. She’s particularly fond of yelling, “I’ll see you tomorrow!” as we head out the door. After telling them what we’ve bought, where we’re going, who we’re going to see, and so forth.

Raising a confident child has definitely been at the top of my list as far as qualities I want to instill in Coraline, and so far, she’s got confidence to spare. It manifests itself in a love of performing (look for a Coraline-directed all-toddler version of Frozen coming to a playground near you in fall 2014), her imaginative play, her eagerness to make new friends everywhere she goes, even her at times let’s say unique fashion sense. So far, so good on the confidence front.

Now if I can just figure out how to help her retain her self-confidence as she grows older.

Who's a social butterfly? Why, little ole me!

Who’s a social butterfly? Why, little ole me!


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Dear Coraline: Month 11

Dear Coraline,

As of 1AM this morning, you turned 11 months old. Thankfully, this month has been far less eventful than last month was. If I had to guess your weight as of today, I’d estimate that you’re around 20 pounds (based on my biceps, anyway). You’re almost exclusively wearing clothes sized 12 months and — you guessed it — are still in size 3 diapers. You finally outgrew your infant car seat carrier: Day 310 saw you graduate to your official big-girl car seat, which is in our new car (a second big-girl car seat will be here soon for your poppa’s truck). You’re also so incredibly happy — you’re a delight to be around, smiling easily and making us laugh through your actions and facial expressions. And you are just gorgeous, with a full head of curly, fluffy hair, eight teeth (still), chubby little fingers and toes, awesome arm and thigh rolls, and a perfect, round belly.

HappyThis month, you’ve turned into my crazy, silly little monkey. You can stand up unassisted for several seconds at a time, and can walk several steps on your own before stopping and sitting down. You rarely fall these days, and when you do, you cry more out of surprise and frustration than actual injury. Although you occasionally do bonk your head — you’re lucky you seem to have your poppa’s thick skull. Basically, you never want to stop moving. You almost never want to stay in your play yard anymore, and you rely less and less on your dinosaur to walk, preferring instead to hold my or your poppa’s hand(s) as you parade around our house. You also love taking “wind sprints” along the length of the couch, jumping up and down, screaming with delight, and biting the cushions when you get to either end.

Standing TallYou first walked holding only one of my hands on day 314, going on to walk between your poppa and I around the basement for the first time, holding onto one of each of our hands, later that night. That was also the same day you seemed to purposely turn your dinosaur instead of going in your usual straight line. The next day you went on to stand unassisted for almost 15 seconds, a new record. You also cracked up your poppa that night by rolling around like Scrooge McDuck for a full five minutes on the downstairs dog beds (I was upstairs taking an online class at the time). I enjoyed witnessing your first true solo walk, from our ottoman to the couch, on day 316: You held your arms out Frankenstein-like and made it a few steps before falling. For some reason, later that night you did what can only be described as a Spider-Man crawl on the basement floor; your poppa and I found it quite amusing. The following day, you walked/ran on tippy toe (a habit of yours) from the ottoman to the sofa, then from the ottoman to me, then stood on your own while you drank from your sippy cup. That night we enjoyed a birthday dinner for your Auntie T, at which your cousin Elliott played peekaboo with you, cracking you up in the middle of the restaurant.

Mugging for the CameraAs the aforementioned rolls and round belly would attest, you eat very well. You weren’t crazy about your first taste of baked chicken (day 304), but now you love it. That was also the day you last had breastmilk; I’m happy I had enough stored to last until you were 10 months and 1 day old, since I never thought we’d make it that far. That night you demonstrated that you knew what “kiss” meant when you kissed both your poppa and I on request. You later made us laugh when you gleefully grabbed our cat Buster, who was trying to relax on the couch, and when you refused to go in the play tunnel we bought you, preferring instead to go (far) around it. Two days later (day 306), you waved when we asked you to. You really enjoyed — and still do — showing off that skill to whoever asked. Going back to new foods, you liked your first taste of cooked spinach, which you sampled from your poppa’s breakfast (day 313), as well as corn, which you tried the next day.

Walking!Your baby talk has finally evolved into a few discernible words. Your first word was “up,” said to your abuelo and verified by your abuela (day 309). That was also the day your abuelo let you try some ice cream; he said you wanted some since your cousin Stephen was having some. I’m sure you’ll love it someday, but right now you’re not a fan of how cold it is. You said “dada” (day 317) before you ever said “momma” (ouch). While your poppa swore he heard you say “momma” (day 324), I didn’t hear it that first time; I did hear what you said, but it didn’t sound like “momma” to me. I think your poppa was trying to humor me so I wouldn’t feel left out. It wasn’t until a few days later, when we picked you up from your abuelo and abuela’s house, that I finally heard you say “momma” (day 329). Your abuelo said that not only had you been saying it all day (yay!), but you’d been saying “poppa” for about a half hour before we picked you up. We find it funny that you said “dada” first since we always refer to your poppa as, well, “poppa.” But you’ve obviously heard other people refer to him as “daddy,” so we know that’s how you made the connection.

Saying hi to Mirror BabyProving once again that you are indeed your poppa’s daughter, you “played” Jenga (day 312) one evening, successfully getting six pieces out — the lowest piece being six rows down — before the tower fell over. During your second round, you got a piece in the ninth row down out before the tower fell over. All in all, not too shabby for your first time playing. You also appreciate how our game shelf is organized, trying to put back a game you’d taken out (day 325) before your poppa could do it for you.

As is typical, you have enjoyed many visits with family and friends. When your grandma and grandpa came over (day 318) to see you show off your walking skills, your grandma brought you her beautiful antique baby doll cradle, which you promptly squeezed yourself into. At dinner with them that night, you tried cucumber for the first time, which you liked. (It’s worth noting that cucumber came from your abuelo’s garden.) You tried ground beef for the first time (day 322) and LOVED it. To the point that you started eating it so quickly you ended up getting sick because you crammed too much in your mouth. At least I know that we can look forward to trips to a local burger joint when you’re bigger.

The Cora's in the CradleYou continually amaze us with your cognitive skills. It really is wonderful watching you learn new things and figure out things all on your own. For instance, your poppa used a cloth napkin to play peekaboo with you at Little Bangkok restaurant (day 323). Once you had the napkin in your own hands, you would drape it over your head, then quickly pull it off, smiling and laughing as you played peekaboo back. You learned how to back up your dinosaur on your own (day 324) when you got stuck. You mimicked me pointing out words during bedtime stories (day 331), and even turned the pages of your books when I asked you to (day 334). You also figured out my iPad very quickly, which I knew you would. That night we enjoyed some quiet time together, watching YouTube videos of hungry kittens and giggling babies (day 329) with you nestled into my side, sucking your thumb. Halfway through a kitten video, you turned to look up at me and flashed me the biggest smile. I love those sweet, stolen moments we have together.

CoyAlong with you learning new things comes you learning not to do certain things. You understand when we tell you “no” and “stop.” Of course, you didn’t listen too well one night and ended up dousing yourself with a glass of cold water because of it (day 327). We couldn’t help but laugh at your stunned expression before you started wailing; we dried you off and you calmed down pretty quickly. You’ve also taken to exploring the kitchen, trying to eat every cabinet doorknob within reach. You don’t like when Troubadour is crated for a time-out, working hard to figure out the latches to spring him from his canine hoosegow. You’re quite interested in a hole in one of the basement doors. When we tell you “no” to keep you from touching it (lest you get a splinter), you give us this look as if to say, “What? I wasn’t going to actually touch it,” before turning your attention to a door hinge or the door itself, acting as if that old wood is the most fascinating thing in the world.

The face of innocenceI can’t believe that in exactly one month you’ll turn one year old. Where have the last 11 months gone? You’ve gone from my tiny, 6-pound, 7-ounce newborn to a little walking, somewhat-talking dynamo. It’s such a privilege and blessing for me to watch you grow and learn, especially since you seem to be developing leaps and bounds every day now. I look forward to many more fun times with you, as well as our little stolen moments — I live for those hugs you give me when you walk into my arms, you know. I can’t wait to celebrate your birthday with our family and friends next month, and to experience all that your toddlerhood will bring. Until then …



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Dear Coraline: Month 9

*This was originally to be posted Thursday, June 23, 2011, the day you turned 9 months old, but thanks to a massive storm, power outage, an even worse storm, and other various disasters since then, it’s been delayed until now.

Dear Coraline,

As of 1AM this morning, you turned nine months old. The first day of this month (day 242) you had to go to the doctor, three days after you developed your first-ever fever. It turns out you had an ear infection, another not-so-fun first. You never let on that your ears were bothering you, so it’s a good thing the fever and your general misery tipped us off. You’d lost a bit of weight due to being sick and were down to about 17 1/2 pounds as of that doctor visit. Fortunately, you are now back to being hale and hearty and are rapidly gaining weight, including starting to outgrow a lot of your size nine months clothes (although you’re still in size 3 diapers). Your poppa agrees that we need to go shopping for some new clothes for you, which I love doing since baby clothes are adorable. Size 9-12 months, here we come!

Standing in cribYou’ve become a little nut this month, all personality and chattiness and ever-increasing mobility. You finally pulled up on your knees in your crib (day 243), prompting your poppa to hurry up and move your crib mattress from the middle to the lowest position, which worked out since on day 245 he caught you pulling all the way up to standing in your crib. I got lucky and saw you pull up to a standing position the very next day using your giraffe in your play yard. You spent all evening on day 249 pulling up using me and your poppa for leverage, making for a fun night for all of us. You’re quite fond of your downstairs play yard (which I like calling “the pen”) since you’ve got a lot of fun toys in there and are free to roam around however you want. As your mobility has increased, though, we’ve let you play free-range outside your play yard more often, which you love. You now take off crawling at warp speed in the blink of an eye, pulling up on the coffee table, couch, your play yard walls, even your exersaucer — whatever you can get your hands on. You’ve also developed a fascination with the fireplace, which we now have covered with bumpers for safety. And you made our day when you finally started to noticeably dance (day 265) to some of your toys’ music.

Standing tallYou sprouted tooth #7, the second left incisor on the bottom (day 242), and tooth #8, the second bottom right incisor (day 250), and enjoyed your first tooth brushing session on day 252. You are continuing to develop your palate, trying new foods more and more often. You’ve now tried squash (day 247); peas, which you LOVE (day 254); peaches, which you didn’t love (day 252); and even teething biscuits, which were a hit (day 255). However, it was on day 257 that you almost made your poppa’s heart burst with pride: You saw him eating broccoli and wanted to try it, and you LOVED it.

Mmm ... broccoliYour newfound mobility led to a very sweet moment on day 252, when you spotted our dog Caleb (still your favorite) on the floor nearby. You started crawling toward him and he started crawling toward you, and you giggled and smiled as he kissed you once you met up. That was also the same day you first cruised hand-over-hand around your play yard. We bought you a baby pool, but it was too cold the day we tried it out (day 255). You looked absolutely adorable in your bathing suit, though, and Caleb went nuts over your matching sun hat, kissing you until your hat flew off your head and you tipped over.

In search of a baby poolYou seem to have bypassed a lot of the social anxiety we’d been warned about. You study people very closely before deciding they’re worthy of a smile and have been very brave when new people have wanted to hold you. You did, however, leap into my arms at your ear infection recheck appointment when your doctor reached for you. You didn’t cry after seeing your abuelo for the first time in two weeks after he got back from Puerto Rico; we’d all expected at least a few tears, but you smiled as soon as you heard his voice. You’ve enjoyed visits here at our house with your other grandparents, too, and do really well with them both. Your poppa and I were particularly proud of how well you did during a sad occasion, the viewing of our friend’s father (day 270); you didn’t make a peep or fuss at all while we were there. One of your most significant social milestones came when we met up with a couple of my friends from high school and their babies (day 261). You liked Michelle’s daughter, Prisha, but you went absolutely NUTS over Neeta’s son, Armaan. I had to keep pulling you off him, you were being so aggressive going after him. I will say your poppa wasn’t too thrilled hearing about you chasing a boy at your tender age. I mean, just look at poor Armaan’s expression, then look at yours. Crazy, right?

When Arman Met Coraline

When Arman Met Coraline …

You enjoyed hanging out with your honorary grandparents’ grandsons Thomas and Matthew (day 268), particularly Thomas, who is 9 years old. That was the same day we went to a neighborhood association cookout and you met tons of new people all at once. You also saw some familiar faces, like our neighbors who have babysat you, which made you happy. You received tons of compliments and comments about your hair from just about everyone there. Oh, sweetie. Your hair. It’s taken on a life of its own. Most days it’s curly and cute as can be. Other days it looks like you scalped Little Orphan Annie and dyed her red hair brown. Either way, if I got a dollar for every time someone has commented on your curly hair, we’d have about half your college tuition by now. It’s insane the amount of attention your hair gets — insane.

Give me a head with hairPerhaps one of your best days this month fell, appropriately enough, on Father’s Day (day 269). We treated your poppa to brunch at Tomato Head and then enjoyed a walk around downtown. You were happy as a clam, snug and face-forward in the Baby Bjorn on your poppa’s chest, swinging your feet, flapping your arms, and smiling at everyone we encountered. I know that day meant a lot to your poppa, and you made it extra special for him. Later that day you enjoyed your first bottle full of water; the sippy cup is still a work in progress. That was also the day I got the biggest laugh I’ve ever gotten from you. I would creep up to you in your exersaucer and you would just die laughing. We were laughing so hard, in fact, I was almost crying. It was awesome, especially since you typically laugh more for your poppa.

Hanging out with PoppaYour ninth month ended on a literal dark note when a massive storm hit — the first time your poppa went out of town since you were born, no less — and we lost power (day 271). I don’t think you even noticed, to be honest. The storm was just starting when you went to sleep for the night, so you didn’t get to see me wielding a flashlight and lighting candles all over the house. I was just happy it turned out you didn’t need your nightlight or sound machine to continue sleeping happily. Small graces and all, especially since we still don’t have power. Yesterday, you started rolling your tongue and sticking it out the side of your mouth in concentration, which is too cute for words. I’ll do my best to capture that on film.

All in all, you continue to amaze me and your poppa with pretty much everything you do. You’re smart, sweet, and funny. You’re getting more affectionate, which is something I’ve been waiting for. You reach up for us to pick you up and bury your face in our shoulders or against our chests. You “kiss” us by either sucking on our noses or biting our lips. You grin from ear to ear when we walk in your grandparents’ house after work each night. You enjoy snuggling with us in our bed on weekend mornings. It’s the little moments like that and tiny gestures that make every single second spent with you the most meaningful ones. I look forward to a lot more of them in month 10.



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