(I have had the hardest time getting these pictures. You won’t even lay on your back for a diaper change without crying. Two more months and then I can just celebrate you in your normal state, which is flying around like a crazy little thing.)
Weight: 21 pounds, 15 ounces // Length: 28 inches //Teeth: 4 complete teeth, a fifth one is working through right now // Eyes: Blueish-green // Hair: Blondish-brown, getting longer everyday
I did it again. The summer is almost over, two wonderful months of your life have passed, and I didn’t stop to write down the letter that’s always in my head. We have been glued at the hip for the entire summer, through two big vacations, countless day trips, the crafting of a cozy daily routine, doctor’s appointments, swim dates, long walks, and lots of fun. You are a completely different baby than when I was first home for the summer; you’re morphing into a toddler in front of my very eyes.
At the beginning of the summer, you were always content to sit in the “the pillow pit”: we would lay down a blanket and fence you in with every pillow in the house. Throw some toys and books inside, put on the Laurie Berkner Pandora station, and you would happily play for up to 30 minutes, never really venturing outside of the ring. I think of that now and laugh. During our first summer vacation to Florida, you practiced lots of crawling, and came home to shoot from room to room on your hands and knees. The days of the pillow pit were over. Once crawling was down, you started pulling up, on your toy basket, the coffee table, any wobbly furniture you can get your hands on. We’ve rearranged the furniture and started putting dangerous things in the basement. You’re not walking quite yet, but it’s so close you can taste it.
A lot of your “babyness” is falling away. Early this summer, we had to stop using your little blue bathtub. You are too strong and spend the entire time trying to launch yourself out to see whats on the other side. One time I stood up to get your towel and you tried to stand to reach to the faucet- I grabbed you as you were tumbling headfirst into the big tub with the baby tub landing on top of you. We bought a blue whale faucet cover, a little non-slip mat, and you started big boy baths the next day. You still love to splash. We still have to remind you to sit down.
You have also started holding your own bottle. This is very new and very cool. As far as adult foods, you can eat small bites of almost anything Daddy and I are eating, and we have three meals together daily. Now I can mix up a bottle and you can feed yourself while I fix our main meal. Watching you try and eat healthy foods makes me so proud. Having you begging for our scraps also makes Daddy and I more careful about the food we’re eating. You are hungry and eat a lot. You’ve tried ground bison, goat cheese, olives, kale, and other “grown up” foods. I know you’ll go through phases of eating less exotic foods, so I’m trying to take advantage right now, while you still enjoy almost anything. This week, you spit out cauliflower and zucchini. You love cheese and blueberries and broccoli.
As you get older, we have more fun together. I need to write you a completely separate letter to explain our adventures this summer, but there are some basic things that you’ve really come to love. You are a water baby, and we have spent a lot of time in swimming pools, baby pools, and spray parks this summer. Now that you can crawl, you move around the living room and choose the toys or books you want to pull down. You love to dump things out; in the living room you have a large basket of toys and puppets, a small metal bucket of G I Joes, and a cloth box full of board books. You ping from place to place and make messes, lighting on something for a second, throwing it into a pile, crawling to the next area and grinning the whole time. It’s really wonderful to watch you explore, make choices about what you want to hold, and discover what you can do. You also love to get into the grown up things around- you’re still into iPhones and remotes, and when I’m typing on my laptop, you love to pull up on the coffee table and try to bang on the keyboard. Daddy let you play with his keyboard, but as soon as you figured out that it wasn’t connected, you just tried to eat the cord.
We run lots of errands and you love to flirt with strangers. You still are more drawn to men than women, but anyone can win a smile from you. You love to people watch; if you are facing outward in any public situation, you are more than happy to stare and shout out baby babble commentary. The grocery store is one of your favorite places. At the end of the summer, you’ve just gotten into train tables. Thomas the Tank Engine is one of your favorite shows, and when you hear the theme song, you grin and clap (another new trick). We have played at a few public train tables, and you love to watch the big kids move their trains around the track. I have to remind you not to eat the trains, but mostly you just feel proud to stand up next to the other kids and watch them.
You have been developing your own attitude. You’ve always let us know how you feel, but we’re starting to notice more than Happy Milo and Sad Milo. We started using the word “No,” while we move you away from something unsafe, and you get very frustrated when we say it. You’ll wave your arms and have an angry face. You get angry if someone takes away the toy you’re holding, or someone doesn’t turn the pages of the book fast enough, or you don’t get more food on your high chair tray as quickly as you would like. It’s interesting to watch your personality develop. We’ve learned the things that make you feel better: being able to look around, getting down and having freedom to crawl, walking around in the stroller, and being in the water. Making sure you get your naps and some snacks are also surefire ways to combat grumpiness. Makes sense, because I’m exactly the same way.
You have a “lovey” doll, these little sock monkey babies. You can’t sleep without gently stroking the yarn hair. We had the original gray one for awhile, and then Aunt Tanya found more while we were on vacation and bought you a blue and orange! Your grin in this picture is because she had just handed them to you. You shoved them in your mouth and snuggled them, the best way you show your love.
You are your daddy’s best friend and you get so excited when he comes home from work. You guys play with G I Joes together, wrestle around and have crawling competitions, hide behind toys and pop out, and play outside. You’re his special guy, and sometimes even when you’re sleeping, Daddy will be looking at pictures of you and showing me the ones he loves the most. We spent half an hour this morning watching the videos we’ve been taking since you were a little tiny thing. Daddy, especially, is loving every second he gets to spend with his first son.
One of the reasons we’re spending so much time enjoying our little family of three is because we just found out that you’re going to be a big brother! In February, another baby will be living at our house! At the beginning of the summer, you came with us to the doctor’s office and we saw an ultrasound of the little gummy bear baby, wiggling around like crazy. I know you can’t understand the changes right now, but I know you’re going to do a great job showing the new little one what it’s like to live in the Swicker household.
In two months, you’ll be one. I can’t believe it. Thank you for everything you bring to us. We love you so much.