One Month Shy

My Dearest Alice,

Eleven months.

As I type this you are lying on the floor next to me eating your bottle. Ok, you are playing with it and waving at me and kicking your feet and making all sorts of chatting noises. It’s adorable. You are adorable.

baby alice

the tippy toes. always the tippy toes.

And you’re almost one. Just one month shy of being a whole year old.

I told Eddie that in only one month you would be one year old, and that I couldn’t decide if I was sad or excited. He said, “MOM! It’s EXCITING! Getting older and bigger is so fun! She will get to do new things and learn and grow…oh and eat CHEESE!”

I replied, “But we will be all done with little babies. No more babies in our family. That is a little sad, right?”

“Yeah,” he said thoughtfully, “it is a little sad. I love little babies. But Alice is so fun. And it’s just super exciting to grow up.”

Eddie knows what he’s talking about, Alice. (Remember that. Eddie is a good guy for talking to when you need to talk something out.) I miss your fuzzy baby head, it’s true. But my goodness! There has been nothing more wonderful than watching you learn and grow each day.

Baby Alice

Trying to squeeze past so you can touch the TV.

Let’s see…so you are standing next to ALL THE THINGS and you like to push that little activity table in the photo above. You get SO! EXCITED! about pushing it that you sit and just laugh and laugh once you get it across the room. You have started pulling to standing next to me and daddy and then letting go to balance on your own. The problem is, you fall when you start laughing at how AWESOME! YOU! ARE! I keep asking you if you think you are going to walk at your birthday party. Of course you just giggle. Stinker.

Your crawling has gotten so ridiculously fast that you are starting to scuff the knees of your leggings, jammies, and pants, and your little knees turn red if you’re just in a diaper or onsie.

You wave and scrunch your nose when you smile and clap hands and attempt to give high-fives. You love everyone and rarely fuss. You cuddle when you’re tired. You crawl around saying, “mum mum mum mum” or “da da da da” until you find one of us. And you laugh out loud when you see Eddie or Charlie.

Baby Alice

you play so differently than your brothers

I am one of the last people to ever support gender stereotypes–you probably know this–I mean, you play with cars and trucks more than anything else because that is what we have and who cares? But you play with toys so much differently than your brothers do.  You play…like a girl. I mean that in the most positive, factual way. Where the boys would sit and just smash toys together or throw all the things, it’s like you instinctively know the purpose of the fire truck is to roll on it’s wheels, so you push it back and forth in front of you. And that rattles are meant to be shook, so you shake it. The shape “cookies” go in the musical cookie jar, so you put them in, dump them out, put them in. No one showed you how; you just did it.

Baby Alice

This is trouble, right here.

Recently it’s become clear that you understand the word “no”. Most things we tell you “no” about you listen! It’s amazing. You used to want to pull all my books down. We have told you “no” and now you don’t. At first I was relieved. This was how Eddie was too. But then you discovered the TV. You are not allowed to touch the TV. When you try, we tell you “no”. You shake your head at us and continue to touch the TV until we redirect you. Seconds later, you’re back by the TV shaking your head “no” and smiling and touching that dang screen. The lower right corner is filled with tiny finger prints. As you can see, your need to get to the TV has even taught you to CLIMB. This is something Charlie did at your age too. So now I am worried.

Eddie was (and still is) a rule follower. If we said “no” that was it. Charlie was (and still is…sigh) a rule ignorer. If we say “no” he either does it anyway or throws a fit.  For awhile you were following Eddie’s path, but that TV has too much draw for you and just for that you are like Charlie. “No” is not an option when it comes to you and the TV.

Baby Alice

Such a dainty eater

You are still a very dainty eater. Not exactly picky, but definitely more choosy than your brothers ever where. You also don’t throw food everywhere like they did, although you have a tendency to blow raspberries when we feed you baby food when you determine that you have had enough. That’s gross, Alice. Your favorite foods are fruits (just like your brothers), but you will also eat sweet potatoes/yams, chicken, turkey, summer sausage, but not ham or beef. You also like a french fry here and there, but not tater tots or other potatoes. And you dig bread, but not corn muffins.

Baby Alice

Taking a ride

My favorite thing about you is how you make people smile. You have a smile that lights up your whole face and brings joy to everyone who sees you. Seeing that smile every morning sends me off into my day with light in my heart. Coming home to your face every day brings peace to my soul.

People want to be around you. They want to hold you and talk to you because you always smile. You always emit joy and laughter that is so pure, so innocent. You are a constant reminder of what true love and light looks like. While I know that you will not always be this happy, I hope that the delight you are able to bring to this world always radiates from you.

Baby Alice

Smiley Lady

I hope that you always smile at everyone because your smile is a true gift from God. Just this morning in church, I watched as people reach out to touch your little hand, your place their hand on your back or head. You smile and give their soul what it needed.

The past eleven months have been something very new to me. It has been a long time since I could find a bit of joy in every single day, but I believe that it’s been possible over the past year because of you.

While each of my children has brought a different gift to my life, you have been a joy-filled balm that I didn’t even know I needed. It is truly an honor to be your Mum Mum, a privilege to be the arms you turn to when you need solace and love.

Baby Alice

11 months old!

I love you, my beautiful daughter. Thank you for completing our family. Next month you will be one, but for now we will celebrate eleven months of wonder.

Love,
Mum Mum

Magnificently Seven Months

Dear Alice,

I think every month I tell you how much I love the age you are, and your seventh month is no different. Look how happy you are!

IMG_6981

Let’s look at your stats:

You are sitting up like a boss!  Just before Trisha took your picture this past month, you decided to figure out sitting. You are about a month behind your brothers, but that is Ok. My favorite thing is how little you care when you tip over. Your brothers cried or whined when they went booty over apple cart; you just smile even bigger. Like it was fun to tip sideways, backwards, or forward. You wiggle until you are on your tummy and just play that way.

2015-10-06 17.12.00

You are eating food!  Well, baby food. Ok, you like pears. You make faces with apples and bananas, as well as with puffs and those mum mum things. However, you find puffs–and how they stick to your hands–amusing. I think you are ready to try some veggies, but I am sure you will make faces at those too.

We have quit keeping track of when your bottle feedings are, and packed up the perpetual “feeding schedule” that we kept on the island listing when your last bottle was and how much you ate. Now we just know: you have three 6-oz bottles at Renae’s house during the day and two at home before bed.

I took a glimpse back through the notepad before tucking it away in your memory box. That pad of paper had all your feedings since the day you came home from the hospital. The first few pages also had a little column along the side where daddy kept track of which pain meds I took and what time.

That time seems so long ago now. Much longer than mere months–seems like a totally different life. And it sort of was.

2015-10-06 17.12.27

Ever since those first days, you have been a great sleeper. That trend has continued for sure. Renae says that you sometimes doze a bit in the morning, but usually take a nice big 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon. You’re usually passed out by 10:30 at night for us and sleep until we wake you at 6:30am.  It doesn’t matter where we put you in your crib, you always wiggle your way to the one corner–daddy even found you asleep with your head propped up against the slats in that corner one weekend morning! You will fall asleep however, but you always roll to your tummy–just like your brothers always did.

Occasionally you will wake in the night in need of your pacifier and a butt pat, or sometimes a little teething gel. You have three bottom teeth now and they are ADORABLE when you grin.

2015-10-06 17.12.42

While you’re not crawling yet, you are definitely a little mover! When you are on your tummy, you can push yourself waaaay up so you can look around. You can also scoot yourself in a circle and back and forth by launching off your knees, which you can now scrunch up under you. Daddy is concerned that soon we will have to put the baby gate back up by the steps. We waited too long with Charlie and he rolled right down them. Oops!

2015-10-06 17.13.59

Alice, you are the happiest little baby. You love people so much. I still have you sit with us in church rather than put you in the nursery because you are just so good. You sit by either daddy or me and play with a toy or your feet. Sometimes you look at the people behind us and smile, then hide in my shoulder. You make everyone around you smile because you are such a little sunshine.

2015-10-06 17.53.24

When you are displeased with something, you don’t just cry, you make a little huffy whining noise. Sometimes we can change it into a giggle if we pay you attention right away, but if we ignore it, it turns into shouts of anger. It’s sort of a diva move, but since you only do it when you’re tired, hungry, or poopy, I’ll let it go. I mean, I get crabby when I am tired and hungry, and I am sure if I had to sit in my own poop I wouldn’t love it too much.

IMG_7005

Your current favorite things are a mini sofie giraffe teether, making LOUD noises like ZAH ZAH ZAH and DA DA DA, giggling at your brothers, shaking your head “no”, and eating your feet.

IMG_6934

Daddy has been working so hard to get you to crawl. I don’t know why. For one, non-mobile babies are SO MUCH EASIER. And two, once you start, it’s not like we can go back. That will be it. No more stationary baby. We will be done with that phase.

That’s the weird part of parenting. I can see why daddy is excited; you can get on all fours, you just can’t lift your head from that position. So you are on the verge of learning something new. That has always been such an exhilarating part of parenting–having the privilege of being front row for your child’s learning.

On the other hand, I just want to keep you little. I don’t want to rush you to the next thing because once you’re there, that is it. We are done. No more babies will follow with first rolling and first head lifts and  first crawling. You are the caboose of the Sluiter Nation Train.

IMG_6994

In many ways, Alice, you are my easiest baby. You are content 98% of the time whether chilling with your brothers, sitting alone on your play mat, or hanging out on someone’s lap. You weren’t colicky like Eddie, and you don’t have “stranger danger” like Charlie did.

But there is something more difficult about you too. It’s more subtle and hard to name; I think it has to do with fear. My own fear that the smiles and cuddles that are just for me will fade. That you won’t possibly love me this much ever again. That you, too, will join the chorus of “YOU’RE MEAN” and “I DON’T LIKE YOU” that your brothers have begun when they don’t get their way.

IMG_6929

Right now, you like me always, and I just want to keep it that way for as long as I can. It’s like a calm, happy in the middle of a storm of crazy some days.

You are my joy, my dear Alice.

I love you,

Momma

ps. All outdoor, professional photos were taking by Trisha of TMV Photography. We love her to the moon, Alice. She has a heart of gold and is one of the best friends I could ask for. Find friends like her, and you will always have joy in your life.

Half Birthday

Dear Alice,

Somehow, you are six months old already. I know. It’s surprising!

2015-09-06 14.22.38

I just read over Eddie and Charlie’s 6 month posts, and I can’t believe how different this time around is. Both boys were sitting by 6 months. You are not. You haven’t figure out yet that you need to put a little lead in your butt or you’ll tip over. If I sit with my legs out, you will sit in between them, but if I let go, you will fall forward. Plus you move your legs too much to stay sitting. It’s like you’d rather be on a bicycle.

Both boys were also already eating cereal, applesauce, bananas, carrots and peas by this point. You’ve had four bites of applesauce, turned your nose up, scrunched up your face, gagged, and then barfed. Tonight I gave you some cereal which induced less gagging, but you still didn’t seem too pleased with me.

2015-09-06 18.40.34

You definitely use rolling and scooting to get you were you want to be and to get you the things you want to reach. Just like your brothers, you have learned you can now roll to your tummy at night and you prefer to sleep that way. Daddy and I joke that you “always go left,” because even when you are falling asleep on us, you try to roll left…even if there is no where to go that way!

2015-09-06 14.22.49

While you will still lay in the swing, we don’t need it anymore to help you fall asleep, so next week we will be passing it on to Uncle Mike and Aunt Ashley for baby Maddox (who is supposed to be here around Thanksgiving). It will be weird giving up a piece of baby equipment that we have had since before Eddie was born. We started giving all the boy clothes that Charlie no longer fits into to Harry and all the girl clothes you grow out of to Aunt MacKenzie for their baby girl due in November. And now we will start to shed the infant stuff too.

2015-09-06 14.23.24

A month ago I could tell that one tooth was on its way; now you have two! Both bottom teeth are cut through and darn it if it’s not adorable when you smile! Those teeth are an endless source of interest to you. I watch you run your tongue over them and make silly “goy goy goy” noises. You also love to suck on your fingers and thumb, which has made meal time more difficult. Yup, you like to try to suck on your thumb while eating a bottle. It’s frustrating to both of us.

You can also sort of hold your own bottle, but it’s more of a tug-of-war than a cooperative thing usually resulting in your getting angry because you have knocked the bottle out of my hands, and thus your mouth.

2015-09-06 14.24.07

Your favorite toy is your feet. When they come out of your jammies in the morning you grab them and put them straight in your mouth. And give us the BIGGEST smile. You also love your bunny and your blankies. You have a few small “lovie” sized blankies that you like to put right up to your face/nose in order to fall asleep. We never sent a blankie or lovie to daycare for the boys, but we sent a little blankie for you.  Maybe Renae is right; maybe you are a little spoiled.

2015-09-06 14.24.35-2

Daddy reminded me that you are now closer to turning one than you are to birth. I punched him, of course. But I know I can’t keep you little (even if I totally sort of want to. maybe). And I am mostly ok with that. I mean, it’s so exciting watching you grow and learn and change!  Your little personality is starting to emerge and it is so so sweet.

6months

Tomorrow I go back to work, and I am going to miss seeing your face all day long. I’m going to miss our impromptu naps on the couch or in the chair after one of your bottles. I’m going to miss lying on the floor by you and tickling you which you suck on your big toe.

But our evening cuddles will be so much sweeter. At least that is my hope.

I love you, Miss Alice Beans.

Forever and always,
Your Momma

sibs6mo

My Girl

Dear Alice,

It’s all going too fast. Thursday you were five months old and I missed it. I knew it was this week, but it sneaked up anyway. I noticed yesterday morning as I fed you. I turned on the Today show, settled into our spot on the couch, began feeding you your morning bottle, and there it was on the TV: Friday, August 7.

The day after your five month day.

Admittedly, Thursday was difficult. We had the funeral for Mary in the morning. They boys went to hang out with Grandpa, but you came with me and Daddy. It seemed right since she was so excited about you. You slept in my arms as Karsten delivered the message. He talked of her love of children–specifically the Children in Worship program. She knew every child by name. And she knew you too. She talked about you in her last days. Knowing she won’t be around to watch you learn about Jesus’ love for you hurts my heart.

5mo

You are growing and changing so much, Alice. I looked back on both Eddie’s and Charlie’s five month posts and I realize I felt the same with them. Five months is a game changer, apparently.

Gone is the new babyness. No more infant. Nope, you are a baby with a rapidly developing personality, tons of smiles, and a penchant for rolling over in your sleep and playing with your feet.

You are no longer happy just lying somewhere with toys. You roll immediately to your tummy to be able to see what everyone is doing. Then you yell. Being left out irritates you. You work those abs and try to sit up in your bounce seat and swing, yet unlike your brothers, you still like them. You actually play with the toys that are attached to them–something Eddie and Charlie had no interest in.

2015-08-07 10.28.25

You are still on bottles only–no solids. Both of your brothers were into cereal at this point because formula alone wasn’t satiating them anymore, but you are good. Although the way you watch us eat is hilarious. So intent on watching us put things in our mouth.

You are no stranger to putting stuff in your mouth though! Everything that is within your reach goes in there!  You have been teething and just this week I could feel the ridge of a tooth on your bottom gums. The days of gummy smiles in our house are almost gone. It’s bittersweet.

2015-08-07 10.28.43

Eddie was a pretty smiley baby, and Charlie was pretty serious. You are extremely social. You clearly recognize certain people and reward them with giant grins. Your Church Grandma Nancy is one of those people. She loves you so much and you are starting to show her that you love her too!

You have a tickle spot on your ribs. When we kiss you or nom on your ribs you giggle so hard your eyes tear up. You love to shout-talk at us too, which is also hilarious. I am starting to think that just like me and Eddie, you might not have an indoor voice. You cannot stand to be ignored, so you will growl/shout/cry until someone looks at you. Then you will smile. You’re kind of a stinker.

The only time you get truly angry and cry is when you are hungry. And as soon as you’ve eaten, you’re back to being your happy pants self.  Most of the time. Like I said, you are teething. You’ve been a bit clingy because of that, but by and large you are our easiest teether yet. Eddie was pretty good–he would get a little butt rash and be a little warm. Charlie was awful. Poor guy got a million teeth at once and his life was hell during that time. You felt a little warm to me a few times, but nothing I thought twice about. When you were being particularly clingy, I stuck my finger in your mouth and low and behold, a tooth was coming through. No big deal.

2015-08-07 10.30.37

This month you had your first beach day and went to your first funeral. You began to enjoy bathes and cry when Charlie cries. You are happy to sit in your bounce and watch me do something, but not happy to sit there and watch me write or read. Apparently that is boring.

2015-08-04 13.51.26

You love going places, but not being confined to your carseat/carrier. You would rather be held or put in the Moby/Ergo. You love to be outdoors because there is so much to see and take in.

I don’t remember much about Eddie’s first year. I don’t remember taking his picture for his 5 month post. I remember a lot about Charlie. We spent his first 6 months almost inseparable. That is how it is with you, Alice. We are almost never apart. I would say I was better at leaving Charlie with a sitter than I am with you. I just don’t mind you being along for whatever I am doing–most of the time.

When I need to be alone, it’s not because you’re driving me crazy, it’s that I have to get some things done–like writing or school planning. It’s never because I need to be away from you. I know that will change as you grow and change more. I know your toddler years will be more demanding. I know this because I am going through it with Charlie right now.

But I want you to know you make me very happy.

I have had some pretty dark days lately, and I never didn’t want to have you around. Feeding you or holding you or just talking to you somehow lifting the ugly thing on my soul, even if just for a little bit. You are starting to “hug” and “kiss” my shoulder and face. I love it. I find myself wondering if we will always be this close. If you will always be My Girl who loves me best and likes to “talk” to me when you are sleepy. Will we always prefer each other’s company?

I hope so, Alice. You are my smart, funny, pretty girl. And I love you so so much.

Love,

Mommy

I realize this could be the same baby, but I assure you, it's three different children.

I realize this could be the same baby, but I assure you, it’s three different children.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...