Friday, May 5, 2006

Monthly Newsletter, Month Eight (two days early)

Dear Nate,

You are grinning at me as I type this sentence. You have the most perfect baby grin in the entire world. Daddy needs to take a few new pictures of you and catch this perfect grin before you're 14 and you hate us.

A few moments ago, I looked around my computer screen and you had pulled yourself up to a kneeling position, holding onto the ottomon. When you saw me, you let go of the ottomon to grin at me, and just sat there, kneeling, UPRIGHT. That was the very first time you balanced yourself upright in your whole long life. You are also just starting to pull yourself up on things, like the top rail of your crib, and my leg.

Your crawling is very clumsy, but clearly taking shape. You can just get yourself to a sitting position from the crawling one, and everything is changing. You have turned into a very happy baby - grinning at strangers and reaching for them, and then burying your head in my shoulder. You still like to reach out and grab people's noses and cheeks.

Everybody comments on how cute you are, and your big blue eyes. I think you're the best looking kid around.

You eat "finger food" now - Cheerios and tofu cubes (how American is that?!). You're getting better about eating food when you're hungry, instead of screaming to nurse. Next month, I may make an attempt to wean you onto the sippy cup - those teeth of yours are giving your Mama a rough time these days. I'm sure that when you're old enough to be reading this you won't really want to think about that, but it's good fodder for the therapist's couch.

You still love your "Look Ma! No hands!" trick where you put a toy, pencil, credit card, etc., into your mouth and then let go with both hands in the air. You make a funny face trying to hold whatever it is in your mouth. You love waving your arms in the air - when I feed you in your highchair, you often are waving both hands out to the side the whole time. I know you're sleeping in your stroller when your hands are lying limply at your sides - that's about the only time they are!

You love to sit up in your stroller now, instead of lounging against the back. You look so cute, and so many people smile at you while we walk. You especially love it when I put some Cheerios in the tray on the front of the stroller - you grab them with both hands now, and try to manuver them into your eager mouth. Sometimes I find you with your hands balled up, and when I get them open I find Cheerios clutched inside. I don't think you even remember that they're there!

You LOVE, LOVE riding on our shoulders. When Daddy puts you up there, you just grin and grin, and you slap your hands on top of his head in joy. You love to slap your hands on tables, on the floor, on our heads and arms.

You love toys that weren't meant to be toys (and you ignore a lot of toys that were!) You adore chewing on toothbrushes, medicine bottles, pens, keys, baby spoons, straws, and anything shiny or jingly. Now that you're getting mobile, Daddy and I are going to have to be very careful about what we leave lying around. You have incredibly fast hands, and grab things before we notice!

You are the sleeping champion now, the envy of all the sleepless Mamas and Daddys out there. 6:30 to 6:30 every night, without a peep. Tomorrow you and I are going to Indiana to see Aunt Beth get married, and I think it might throw off your schedule. But I know that when we get home, you'll get right back on track.

When we're in Indiana, we're staying with Mama's friend Kara, and her husband Jason and baby Emma! Mama and Kara were pregnant at the same time, and we're so excited to finally meet each other's babies. I think you're going to be spoiled rotten there.

This is your "I'm NOT HAPPY" face:

I think we have a great life, Natey. You are such a delight. You play by yourself a lot, but you also love for me to hold you and tickle you and throw you in the air and make silly faces at you. Tonight I had you hysterically laughing by just rubbing my face and making a funny noise. You think I'm hilarious. You love me so much right now, and I'm soaking it in for as long as it lasts.

When you're tired, you lay your head on my shoulder and tuck your whole body into mine. Sometimes you wake from a nap feeling disoriented and cranky, and when you do I turn on your mobile, and hold you in my arms, and you watch your mobile with your head on my shoulder. I would do anything in the world to keep you safe and happy. I love you so much.


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