Friday, April 7, 2006

Monthly Newsletter, Month Seven

Dear Nate,

I imagine that most life is like this, months that are full of the ups and downs. This month was a real whopper in that department.

One month ago, on your six-month birthday, your Grandma Fredi died. It was very sudden, and very sad. I absolutely can't believe that you won't ever get to know her. She adored you, and we all adored her. She was such a good Mom to your Dad, and everything he knows about loving you comes from her. I've looked everywhere for a picture of you two together, but we don't have one. But she and Peepa drove up to be at your bris, 8 days after you were born, and you saw them again at your first Christmas. She called all the time to hear how you were doing, before you were born and after. I hope that your cousins will tell you all about her when you're older - she was their Grandma, too.

Your ever-practical Grandma would have been the first to say "life goes on". It's important to remember all of the good things about our lives, and you're our best good thing. I cry almost every day about your Grandma, Nate, but I laugh every single day with the joy of being with you. I am so grateful that you're here. Your Daddy is, too.

You have four teeth now, and you're eating up a storm. Tonight I gave you stinky gross green beans, and you absolutely scarfed them down. You don't like apples, though. Very strange baby.

You're starting to use consonants when you babble now - lots of "muh" sounds, and one "buh". I keep prompting you for a Mama, but you just grin at me. Very stubborn baby.

Here's our big news: you sleep now. Like, you really sleep now. We (and by we, I mean me. Your father did not participate in this hard work) decided that it was time to let you cry when you woke up to be fed at night. I don't know what the big issues in the parenting world will be when you're a grown-up, but right now there is a very heated discussion about CIO (Cry It Out). Some parents (the sane ones) realize that if you reward a baby by feeding them delicious food every time they wake up, they're going to keep waking up at night. Once I knew in my heart that you were big enough to get through the night without eating, we put the CIO plan into effect. (And by "we", I still mean me.)

The first night, you woke up 3 times, and screamed for about 10 minutes each time before falling back to sleep. The second night, you woke up 3 times and screamed for about 3 minutes each time. The third night, you woke up once and fussed for a few minutes. The next night you slept for 11 hours straight. The next night you slept for 11 hours straight. And it's been 6 more nights since then. If you could see me right now, you'd see me smiling as I record this.

I've also gotten you onto quite a good daytime schedule, which includes at least two naps of at least an hour each. And you're still wedded to your 7 p.m. bedtime. Woe to those who are around you after about 6:45. Very screamy baby.

With the set bedtime, and no worry that you're going to wake up a few hours later, I've been going out a lot at night. Daddy stays home to make sure you're safe and sound. It's been so nice to see friends, and family, and the outside world in general.

Do you hear the "halleluliah" chorus singing as I write all of this?

Your cutest new thing is that you now take your toys, hold them out to your side, and shake them up and down. I would be inclined to think you were "rattling" your rattles, but you're just as happy to shake stuffed animals, pieces of paper, or just your hand. It's especially adorable that you do it with a very serious, determined look on your face.

You live a lot of life with your serious face on. You suck in your upper lip, and stare and stare. You should see the contortions that people go through to try to get you to smile at them. You stick to your guns, though. No smiling for you. Very determined baby.

The other big news is that mobility is upon us. You're not quite there, but you're darn close. You easily get up on all fours now, and rock back and forth. You also like to push up from that position into what I call "a push-up position" and my yoga-instructor neighbor calls "down dog" (a yoga position). Very strong baby.

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You still love to sit up and play with your toys. It's nice that you can do that on your own - it's a real "future" moment. Sometimes I put you on the ground with your toys, and clean up the room or check my e-mail. We're here together, but we're each doing our own thing. It's really fun for me to see you apart from me. It's like your a real person!

One of my main goals in raising you is to always remember that you're supposed to grow apart from me. I want to make sure that you can always rely on yourself, in addition to relying on me and Daddy. My other biggest hope is that you're happy, deep down. Happy and strong. I'm already very proud of you, Nate, and I love you.


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