Monday, June 16, 2008

Month 7

Dear Alli,

Well, I suppose I should start off with the one thing that has most defined this month: Your top two teeth poked through. And that seemingly simple change affected life as we knew it.

Being so little, rituals and habits -- especially concerning food -- are something you have come to rely on. They are the cornerstones of your days, and everything else falls around it. So when you bit me to the point that I could no longer feed you without crying, and I reluctantly had to transition from breastfeeding to pumping and bottle feeding, it wasn't easy on either of us.

But somehow we both adapted.

The whole thing taught me that you are far more patient and understanding than I give you credit for. And breaking routine isn't the end of the world. It just opens the door for making new ones.

I'm learning. Really I am.

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The highlight of the month, by far, was your first dip in the pool. During the long winter when you were a newborn and I was delirious from lack of sleep and the uncertainty that I would ever feel human again, the thought of playing with you in the water and sun helped get me through.

Reality didn't disappoint.

You immediately squealed with delight and started slapping at the surface. The resulting splash was so surprising, you had to test it out again. But figuring out how to time your blinking to synchronize with the splash to avoid getting water in your eyes is a complex task to master. So you just splashed away and blinked hard afterward, looking a little shocked and enthralled each time.

Pretty soon, your face was covered in tiny droplets and I was laughing so hard, I'm sure most of the waves in the pool were mine.

We're going to have a ton of fun this summer.

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You also became a lot more chatty this month. Well, I should clarify that. It's not that you're talking more often, but your repertoire of sounds is growing by the day.

The one you've become most fond of is "ba." But instead of putting your lips together to make the sound, you curl your bottom lip all the way into your mouth, so your top lip practically meets the middle of your chin. Then your eyes get really big and you erupt into it in rapid fire. "BA! BA! BA! BA! BA! BA! BA!"

You look like an old man who misplaced his dentures and you sound like a sheep on steroids.

I've tried to get it on video at least a dozen times, but when I dangle the camera in your face, you lose all interest in your lung capacity and want to test out your arm span. If I'm successful, and I'm able to rewatch your first vocal antics in a few years, it will singlehandedly be the reason you become a big sister.

In the meantime, you're also mimicking some of the other sounds you hear. I've detected "Ma" and "Da," "yeah," "huh" and "bye," among others.

But every once in awhile, you'll use a sound in context and it makes me do a double take. A few weeks ago, we visited New York. While we were upstairs in your room there, grandma finished changing your diaper and told you, "Time to go downstairs, OK?"

You seemingly contemplated it for a moment, sighed and said, "OK."

Grandma and I just stood there slackjawed. I'm sure it was happenstance, but I'm seriously tempted to count that as your first word.

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Then there are the physical antics. It is so amazing watching you discover how to use your body. Just a few days ago, you FINALLY ... drumroll please ... rolled from your back to your tummy. I had given up hope that you would ever roll in that direction and assumed that you'd be like a turtle forever -- the second you landed on your back, you'd flail helplessly until someone came and helped you up.

But just once was all it took. Now you're rolling all over the house. That basket of magazines in the office? Haven't checked out that before. The wooden legs on the chair in the living room? Lets see what those feel like. The dog toy on the kitchen floor? That looks delicious.

You're not quite crawling yet, but you're scooting backwards by pushing yourself with your arms. Once you rolled off your comforter in the living room and got on the slippery wood floors, you instantly became mobile. I watched as you slapped and pushed and spun for the first time. You looked up at me, grinning wider than I'd ever seen before, and I swear you were thinking, "FREEEEEDOMMMM!"

I'll probably see that same look when you get your driver's license.

The tougher realization is that we now have to change the way we live. Sure, we have to worry about the leaning shelves in the dining room with all of the breakable ceramic and glass on them. But, more importantly, I'm going to have to clean our floors more often.

After you tired from that first spin around the living room, I picked you up only to find black dust stains on the knees and toes of your pajamas.

GOOD LORD.

But rather than stress about it, I've come up with a solution. I'm just going to staple some Swiffer dust cloths to your outfits and dispose them when you're done playing. You stay clean and the floors get cleaned in the process.

BRILLIANT.

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I am just in awe of you -- everything you're learning and mastering, the way you're growing, how easygoing and agreeable you are.

Some nights when I get home from work, I sit at the computer and just scroll through your pictures and videos because, well, it's either that or run into your room and wake you from a deep sleep just to smother you with hugs and kisses. It's impossible not to marvel at all of your developments. I mean, seven months ago you could barely stay awake for more than a few hours at a time.

When we're hanging out as a family, sometimes I look at your father and say, "We created a person."

Without fail, he always responds the same way.

"And she's amazing."

Don't ever forget that.

Love,
Mom

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

oh wow.
she looks JUST LIKE jerry in the photo with the pink hat.
it's just uncanny.

ilovemycop said...

Congrats to Alli and all of her accomplishments thus far! I remember when my family was anxiously awaiting for my niece to start crawling. I'm sure Alli will be crawling in no time! You do have to admit though, the whole rolling around everywhere thing is cute. I had to laugh when I read the part about "babababa"...that is my 10 month old niece Olivia's favorite thing to say:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFPtjLvl4Gs

Ray said...

As the months go by the letters to Allison keep getting better. And this one was no letdown. I could quote you on a whole bunch of things but I won't. I'll just say that I enjoyed reading it. =)

I love the first photo of Allison. It immediately reminded of a baby photo that I have of myself like that. And OHMYGOD that third photo of her is, "SO JERRY!!!!" ;o) Wow! Also, that baby pool float is beyond adorable. Babies of the
2000's have such great gear.

Well, take care.

Anonymous said...

Oh Kelly, you gave me chills!!

What a wonderful Mom and Dad she has!

Keep up the good work, it's worth it!!

Jill

Ray said...

ALSO: I know exactly what you mean about the splashing in the water thing with Allison. A few weeks ago, we took my little cousin Aiden to the beach. And watching the water splash in his face and him not care and continue on splashing was awesome. Babies + Water = Fun Times!

Lim Jun Jie said...

THE THRID PHOTO bares such a STRONG resemblence to JERRY!

~rita at www.xanga.com/thatsmypoint said...

This is so beautiful, and I love the way you do it every month. This one left me with a little concern, though.

Please make sure you are backing up all those photos and videos. One of the xanga moms whose blog I like to read just lost over a year's worth of photos from her hard drive - no back up. I also lost a huge amount of photos earlier this year when my hard drive failed (and I've tried to get it recovered - no luck).

Now that I've told you this, I'll be able to sleep tonight. I actually almost started to hyperventilate when I read the part about scrolling through pictures and videos (which was really so sweet, but I got distracted by the concern).

Love to you, Jerry, and Alli!

~rita

Timberly said...

I can't wait to see her again. Just a few more days.

chelsea said...

In this first photo she looks ready to crawl. As always, adorable.

Karrie said...

How adorable is that little person you and Jerry have created?!

By the way, I saw this a while ago - I think it was a joke, but you never know who is actually trying to patent this right now:

http://www.apparelsearch.com/Unusual_Clothes/unusual_clothing_baby_mops.htm

Anonymous said...

You're creating such a treasure for Alli with all the stories of her milestones. You're an awesome momma!

Rachel said...

She is such a doll!

Jessica said...

What great pictures! Addison has that same hat. I love it but it doesn't fit her anymore!