It’s been a big month for Emily!
She got to play in the snow!
And go sledding for the first time, which she totally loved.
And then later in the month, she got to play in the sun at the park, because winter in Colorado is nothing if not inconsistent.
This girl is pretty fearless, and continues to have zero sense of self-preservation. She climbs everything in sight and wants to be in the center of the action at all times.
Wherever Brother is, that’s where she wants to be. Luckily, Alexander tends to be very good at accommodating her desire to be near him most of the time.
These kids love each other so much.
Emily also grew a tooth! And then another one! Despite the above photo evidence to the contrary, 95% of the time she still steadfastly refuses to put anything in her mouth that’s not (a) her hand, (b) milk, or (c) a puree. We’ve still go a ways to go before she’s feeding herself finger foods.
But perhaps the most exciting thing that happened this month (most exciting for me, anyway) was that we accidentally gave Emily some pudding. With milk in it. And…she didn’t react. Not even a hint of a rash.
So, after consulting with her pediatrician, we started experimenting with more dairy products, first with her eating them, then moving on to me eating a little bit of dairy when she still didn’t react. Long story short, I’m eating pizza right this very minute. Cheesy, delicious pizza! I can hear a chorus of angels singing with every bite.
She also does the adorable baby booty dance when she hears music, which is one of the best milestones in all of babyhood, in my humble opinion.
Emily Judith, a.k.a Ems, a.k.a StinkerDoodle: Ten months old, full of mischief, and absolutely the best little girl ever.
Alexander’s been having bad dreams lately, and he hasn’t quite figured out that what happens in his dreams isn’t actually happening. This is understandably tough for a sensitive little guy like Alexander.
His dreams cover a broad spectrum of scary stuff, from monsters, to dinosaurs, to not being able to find Mommy and Daddy when he needs us. In one dream, he was driving my car, pulled into the garage, and something bad happened (maybe he crashed into the garage? The details weren’t clear). He was calling for us to come help him, but we didn’t come. “So next time, when I have that dream,” he told me earnestly the next morning, “and I call for you and Daddy in the garage, make sure you guys come, okay?” Oh. Oh, Buddy. We would if we could.
Bad dreams have been a hot conversation topic at bedtime lately, and the other night, Alexander asked if Tim ever has bad dreams. Tim told him that he doesn’t have bad dreams very often, and when he does, it’s usually about something silly, like going to work without pants on.
As their conversation progressed, Tim started suggesting ways Alexander’s friends (the stuffed animals who sleep with him) could help him out if he had a bad dream: “Clifford is as big as a house, so no dinosaurs will mess with him. If a dinosaur is trying to get you, Clifford will come save you.” Or: “If a monster is chasing you, Dog-Bear can come protect you. Monsters will stay far away from Dog-Bear.”
“Yeah!” Alexander chimed in. “And if you have a bad dream, I’ll bring you pants!”
You know, I don’t think Tim’s had a bad dream since that night. He’s been able to rest easy knowing Alexander’s got him covered.
At nine months old, Emily…
…is bound and determined to climb stairs, and has zero sense of self-preservation. She’s constantly lunging in dangerous directions: down the stairs, off the couch, out of my arms, out of her chair that I put her in for her monthly picture. Mama’s gotta have quick reflexes these days.
…is not so much a fan of the sleeping. Lucky she’s so cute.
…still has no teeth, and has no interest in any food more solid than a puree. Put one of those dissolving baby puffs in her mouth, and she immediately sticks her tongue out, gagging and spitting. She won’t put anything in her mouth except her fingers, which makes me think we’ve still got awhile before any teeth show up. For a couple of days, though, she thought it was fun to chomp on our dining room chairs, which lead to this adorable photo op:
…enjoyed her first Christmas very much.
…especially all the crinkly wrapping paper.
…thinks hats are both delightful and hilarious.
…thinks one of the best things in the world is crawling around on the floor with her big brother. They crawl all over the house together, and she laughs and laughs.
…is still crawling and pulling up to a stand and cruising and saying “Mama” and being generally adorable.
(I had to catch her face inches away from the floor about 3 seconds after getting this shot. See note above about her complete lack of self preservation.)
I’ve always loved Christmas, but it just gets more and more fun when you add kids into the mix, doesn’t it? Emily is obviously pretty clueless about the whole thing, but Alexander spent the entire month of December buzzing with excitement about all things Christmas.
He loved decorating the tree, and spent many evenings draping his ever-present pile of blankets from his bed over various parts of the house, declaring “I’m decorating for Christmas!” He’s also very insistent that all Christmas trees must have stars on top. Whenever we see a tree with an angel on top, or even a pine tree outside with only lights, he’ll note, “Oh, I guess they forgot to put a star on top of that Christmas tree.”
He watched a ton of Christmas shows and learned (well, mostly learned) a bunch of Christmas songs this year. His version of “Jingle Bells” is delightful (Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all da way! Ash-ee-urr dinnda oneeeuuuopen sleigh, hey! ), but his abridged rendition of “Frosty” is my favorite:
He wasn’t timid at all about meeting Santa this year. Our neighborhood hosted a Story Time with Santa event where Santa came into a room full of kids right at the end of a reading of Frosty the Snowman. All the kids noticed Santa around the same time, but no one was too sure what to do. Alexander, no longer our shy little guy, took the lead by marching right up to Santa and giving him a great big hug. Once A. broke the ice, the other kids were quick to follow suit. It was adorable.
He was excited about getting presents from Santa, of course, but he surprised me with how excited he was about giving presents to other people. We got Emily a book from us/Santa, and that was it since she’s a baby and doesn’t really need anything. But then a week before Christmas, Alexander asked me out of the blue, “Mommy, can I give Emily a present for Christmas?” I’d already finished shopping and didn’t want to go back out to the stores, but I wasn’t about to discourage Alexander’s spirit of giving. So I suggested we go down to the basement and pick out one of his old toys from when he was a baby that he could give to her. “Oh, yes!” he exclaimed. “Can we do that right now?!” I need to remember on future gift-giving occasions that he’s old enough now to understand and have an opinion about what gifts he gives to people.
Alexander couldn’t get enough of helping me wrap presents. He helped me with almost everything I wrapped, and wanted so badly to wrap more when we were visiting my parents the weekend before Christmas that my mom picked a decorative box that’s been on her end table for a few years and let him wrap it up for my dad. And there have been several nights, even now that Christmas is over, when I’ve gone upstairs well after his bedtime to find him sitting up in bed, wrapping his stuffed animals up in blankets. “I’m wrapping presents for my children. I’m playing Santa!” he explains.
After Alexander expressed a desire to ask Santa for “All the toys!” we spent a lot of time discussing the fact that Santa would probably only bring him one or two presents. He could not believe his luck on Christmas morning, then, when in addition to the one present plus stocking stuffers from Santa, he had more presents from Mommy and Daddy and Grandmas and Grandpas and cousins. “I get another present?!” he exclaimed over and over again. And, with the exception of some fun dump truck socks that Santa really thought he would like but were met with mildly disappointed confusion, every single present he opened was followed immediately with a delighted cry of “Whoa! It’s just what I wanted!” (He’s since come around to the dump truck socks and asks to wear them every day. I guess they just weren’t as exciting a present to open up as all the other goodies.)
We spent Christmas morning at our house, just the four of us, for the first time this year, and it was so much fun. I’m loving figuring out our own family traditions, not to mention seeing all the joy and magic through Alexander’s eyes. It’s only going to get more fun from here as Emily grows up and starts figuring it all out, too. I can’t wait.
At eight months old, Emily…
…legit crawls, and she’s quick.
…pulls herself up to a stand, and sometimes takes a few tentative cruising-style steps.
…lights up whenever she sees me.
…says “mama” when crawling toward me, and does it often enough (and not when crawling toward anyone else) for me to think she probably knows what it means. First word!
…snuggles up close, nuzzling her head against my chest when if I’m holding her and someone asks her, “Do you have your mama?” It’s as if she’s saying “Yeah, I’ve got her right here. Life is good.”
…loves stealing toys from her brother, and wants to be wherever he is all the time.
…grins from ear to ear when her brother gives her goodnight hugs and kisses, even if she was fussing and grumpy a second earlier.
…wraps her arms around Alexander to hug him back whenever he gives her a hug.
…sometimes sleeps through the night, sometimes doesn’t, but when she does wake up, it’s usually only once per night.
…gives slobbery, gummy kisses.
…still has zero teeth.
…had her first taste of mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving and let us know in no uncertain terms that she hated it: tears, gagging, lots of drama. Oh, Emily.
…loves pulling the dogs’ hair and splashing in their water bowl.
…won’t leave the Christmas tree at daycare alone, but so far hasn’t paid much attention to ours.
…is still my Very Best Girl.