A Letter: Ten Months

Dear Hadley,
Today you are ten months old. So does that mean you are a “tween” of babyhood? If so, you definitely have the attitude to go along with it. You are generally a very happy and content little girl, but if we take something away from you or stop you from doing something you want to do, you go from peaceful and calm to full on MELTDOWN. Your Daddy says you get this from me, but I have no idea what he is talking about.

The biggest development this month has been your mobility. You started crawling on the day I wrote your nine month letter, but your skill level has improved so much in the last 30 days. For one thing, you are now fast. What was once a slow and very deliberate movement is now turbo speed. By the time I turn my head to see what is making you squeal with delight, you are already on the other side of the room and getting into something different. Last weekend you accidentally (I shudder to think you did it on purpose) figured out how to open the sliding screen door and before we knew it you were heading out on the back deck. Kid, are you TRYING to give me an anxiety attack?!

Not one week after you started crawling you were already mastering the stairs. So now my life is a constant state of opening and closing baby gates. As soon as I open one (like to let your sister upstairs to go to the bathroom) you are heading for the stairs and making a break for it! I am very diligent about closing the gate at the top of the stairs, but I am encouraging you to climb up the stairs. You just require a spotter. You like to stop, stand up, and look back to see who is following you (or see if anyone noticed you were fleeing!) and you aren’t always the most sturdy when you do so. And until you learn to go down the stairs safely (preferably sliding, feet first, on your tummy) I’ll be hovering right behind you every move you make.

Your constant movement doesn’t even cease when you go to bed. We find you in the strangest positions because you wiggle, roll, and crawl all over in your crib. But I have to admit the strangest was when I walked in to find you sitting up, one foot dangling out of the crib, totally passed out. You had apparently sat up in bed and couldn’t figure out how to lay back down so you just went to sleep right there.

My once wonderful eater, who would open her mouth like a little bird to every spoonful of food is no longer. You now refuse to eat anything pureed. In fact, if we come at you with a spoon you turn your head to the side and clamp your mouth shut. Instead, you insist upon feeding yourself. I have been chopping up every thing we eat into tiny, gummable bites just for you and you could not be happier about it. Sure, it makes a huge mess and you pretty much need a bath (or at the very least a washcloth or several baby wipes) after each meal, but I am kind of happy to be done with baby food. I love sharing with you foods I love and watching your trepidation and then excitement as you try something new.

To my surprise, one of your favorite foods is chicken. Well, any meat, really. I will cover your high chair tray with everything from sliced olives, to blueberries, to spiral veggie pasta, and you will deliberately seek out the little chunks of chicken hidden within the array of finger foods. It’s almost comical to see you scanning the tray to see if you missed any of those tasty morsels before settling for a less tantalizing fruit or veggie to gum.

Speaking of gums, just yesterday I saw something in your mouth and upon closer inspection, I noticed the very first signs of a TOOTH. That’s right, my little girl isn’t going to be toothless forever! I was pretty surprised too because you haven’t been unnecessarily grumpy, excessively drooly, or any of the other tell tale signs of teething. And that is just fine with me! I’d be happy if those sharp, little teeth came in with as little disruption as possible. (I haven’t been able to get a picture of the new tooth yet. Partially because it has barely broken the surface and partially because lately it takes the jaws of life to get you to open your mouth on command. So instead here is an adorable picture of you laughing hysterically at a wiggling, giggling stuffed cow.)

Your hair is another thing that has shown up all of a sudden. What was once fine little wisps of strawberry blond fuzz, is now looking like actual locks of golden hair. It’s still to early to tell, but it looks like it might even be curly! When you get out of the bath, or wake up sweaty after a nap, your hair frames your face in a chaos of curly cowlicks.

I know it’s not new information, but it demands to be said: Ana is your favorite person in the entire world. You spend the majority of your day just trying to find her. This has been made especially tricky since school started again. Every day after we drop her off you stare longingly at her empty car seat. Then once she returns you are so giddy you look at her and just smile and laugh. I promise I will do my best to entertain you in her absence, but those size 12 Twinkle Toes are surprisingly large shoes to fill!

As you get older and are more interested in things around you (besides your sister) we are able to take you to more exciting places. We recently took at trip to Newport to visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium and you had a great time. You simply loved the shark tunnel. You were mesmerized by the sharks swimming, literally, all around us.

Oh Hadley, you are so amazing. I am having so much fun watching you discover the world around you. Whether that is tasting your Daddy’s latest BBQ chicken recipe, watching tiger sharks swim over your head, or simply seeing your sister first thing each morning. You are such a delight to be around that I find myself always wanting to be near you. Sometimes at night I walk past your bedroom and an invisible force pulls me in and I cannot bring myself to do anything but stand over you and watch you sleep. You are simultaneously breathtakingly beautiful and adorable, sweet and mischievous, cuddly and independent. You are a force to be reckoned with and I could not be more proud to call myself your Mama.

All my love,

First Day of Pre-K

Yesterday was the first day of school and Ana started pre-kindergarten. This is a BIG deal because she is going to be at school EVERY DAY. Last year, in the 3’s class, Ana was in school only on Tuesday and Thursday. Traditionally the natural progression would have been to attend the 4’s class which would have been Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Based on the recommendation from her teachers, we made the decision to skip the 4’s class and go directly to Pre-K (5’s class). Ana could not be more excited about this.

We left extra time in the morning for the traditional first day of school pictures.

We arrived at school and Ana was able to walk in with her best friend, Lauren.

This year, instead of sitting anywhere she wants at a large table, Ana gets her very own desk! With her name on it and everything.

When they get to school in the morning they are asked to sign in by writing their name on the board.

Ana, Lulu, and Lauren were checking to see what their “job” would be this week. Ana was assigned to feed the fish!

Ana had a great first day. She is in a class of ten kids, five girls and five boys. She was very excited to see that several of her friends from the 3’s class were in her class this year. Today the 4’s class started school and she got to see the rest of her friends from last year on the playgroup at recess. All in all, she is off to a fabulous start and we cannot wait to see what is in store for Ana this school year!

You can see all the pictures from her first day here.

Hadley is famous!

As you all know, before Hadley was officially crawling, she was prone to finding herself in “plank” position. I posted several pictures online. Well one of those photos was sought out by Stroller Strides to be used in their upcoming Exercising Baby Contest! I could not be more thrilled. Not only do I love what Stroller Strides has done for me but I love the example I am setting for my daughters. I don’t think exercise is something we should be ashamed to do but rather we should get out there and have fun while making our lives healthier in the process. That’s what Stroller Strides is for me. So I am really happy that Hadley is currently the “face” of the exercising baby.

You can see the ad on the Stroller Strides Exercising Baby Contest Facebook page. Yep, that’s MY girl!