Letter to Bella: month seven

Dearest Sass,

Something you should know about your mother: She procrastinates, then feels anxiety about procrastinating, and then puts off whatever task it was she procrastinated...

With that said - Happy 7 Months! You arrived at this stage of the game all arms and legs and pudgy stomach scooting your way across the floor to whatever jingly, shiny object you wanted. Your favorites: Grandma's school badge, my keys, Ashlee's glasses, Daddy's watch. Like a monkey, you performed your tricks of mobility for cheering crowds and wowed us all with your ability to get around through a combination of rolling, inching and sheer determination.

You're a big girl, now. You've conquered your first Halloween in no less than two stage changes. You started the holiday as an Parisian Angel complete with beret and silver Mary Janes and then you ushered the day out as a fuzzy pink bear in a costume way to big for your little body. But you rocked it all the same.

The past month flew by but you managed to truly wow us with a) your demanding personality and b) some awesome consonant sounds. I don't hold your separation anxiety against you, though, because it's still so cute that you fall apart when Daddy enters the room and then leaves it without acknowledging you. And it makes me giddy with power when you collapse into a pool of hurt because I left your field of vision. No matter where you are, who's holding you or how content you were before we exit your presence, you never fail to wail when you realize we're not hanging on your every move.

Of course, I am a little bitter that despite how I spend every day all day with you, you've chosen to say dadadada and babababa instead of even attempting mamamama. I mean, I'd even be okay with mmmmmmm. But, no. You will even look at your daddy when you babble dada. And then (as if to test me!), you look at your brother and babble babababa. Yeah, it stings a little. But that's okay because sometimes you look at me and say those sounds. I can't hold it over anyone's head, but I know that's your way of letting me know you see me, too, even if your mouth isn't ready to let me know that.

We had another fun day with the pediatrician this month. Unlike the last visit, which left me frustrated with a doctor's attempt to label you at risk for obesity, this doc seemed to understand just how marvelous you are. At 16 lbs-14.5 ozs and 26.5 inches long, you sit solidly in the 60th percentile. Your head, however, is a big ol' 90th percentile melon.

You can't help that head, though. Like your eyes, eyebrows, ears and face shape, that head is the direct result of having Billy Miller as a daddy. Along with those dinstinctive features, you get boundless love, complete devotion and only a little bit of pressure to be THE BEST little girl on the block.

We've been working on fattening you up this month, but we haven't been offering you juice, snacks or more than a jar of babyfood a day. That's changing, though. The doc advised us that we should feed you solid foods three times per day (!) and it's time to offer you juice in a cup (gasp!). I'm pretty skeptical about the cup, I have to admit. You're the child who still doesn't care to hold her bottle - so unless I hold the cup up to your mouth, I don't know how you'll get any juice out of it.

Now's the time to give you mad props on handling your second round of immunizations. Whereas last time you screamed randomly and for no reason for the next three days, this time you took it like a pro and slept off any craziness. When I say slept, I mean like you'd never slept before. You took several loooong naps and then slept all night like a rock. The next morning, I was so nervous that Bad Bella would wear her nasty head, but you arose smiling and happy as always.

Despite all these 6-month milestones, you've yet to produce any pearly whites. This is not for lack of trying, though. You chew on anything and everything you can fit in your mouth - usually with the help of a waterfall of drool. Several times, I could've sworn there were raised bumps, swollen areas, and touches of white. Yet, as soon as I try to show those to a witness, they disappeared. I keep hearing about babies who don't get their first chomper until 10 months or later ... I don't think I can take another 4 months of build up before getting any payoff!

You have two big holidays coming up in the next two months. I can't wait to test you on table foods at Thanksgiving and to see your face light up when you first spot the shiny presents under an equally shiny tree. Every day with you is an adventure, though, so I know there will be a plethora of gorgeous moments between now and then.

Love, Mama


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