Letter to Bella, month eight

Dearest Sass,

How did seven months pass so quickly? You've tackled many major holidays: Easter, 4th of July, Halloween. But you rocked my favorite holiday - Thanksgiving - with aplomb. Who would've thunk that you'd gum a piece of ham like a pro or that you'd go gaga for sweet potatoes (the real kind, complete with butter and brown sugar)?

But the real success story is all the time you spent in the car trudging through multiple states for your first national tour. We packed up on the day before Thanksgiving and drove through NC, VA, WV and KY until we wound our way to New Albany, IN where you met your Aunt Nicky, Uncle Ricky and Grandpa for the first time.

Ricky was absolutely smitten with you. I thought the stranglehold you have on Matthew, Ethan, Javier and Daddy was by virtue of their (relatively) long relationship with you. But, no, apparently any boy with a good heart will automatically fall victim to your charms. Hopefully this keeps up and no man ever breaks your precious heart.

After IN, we made our way back through KY to the Volunteer state. Daddy's people fawned all over you, but your favorite memory of the trip is a love of pickles - especially the spears, which you can hold on your own and which last forever. This love has carried over and now when you see a pickle, you whine and moan until you that pickle finds its way to your mouth.

Of course, that's not the only new food love you've discovered. You also lose your marbles on sight when we break out the graham crackers, goldfish, grapes, puffs, and anything that you see someone else eating. I've heard of babies who eat tablefood at this age, but I'm still careful to follow the 3-day rule - even if it makes you shriek at me on a regular basis.

But you've done so much more than eat! Your army crawl is so impressive. You started this last month, but you've refined your prowess. You can make it across a room in 2.5 seconds, especially if you see something you want. At home, that something is access to the kitchen. We have to keep the gate up because it's not the kitchen itself you want but the stuff in the kitchen. Namely, dog food. You've yet to sample its questionable goodness, but you love to grab the bits and grind them in your tiny hands.

You also cut your first tooth! I've yet to capture a picture of it because the thing is moving so slowly that despite a full week passing since it first broke through your steel gums, only the top ridge is visible ... and that's to the trained eye. Woe that cameras don't feel for pictures, but anyone who's had the misfortune of getting their finger in the way of your food has felt that little tooth with all its might.

You've also mastered the sitting position. You've been able to sit up on your own once we get you into position, but now I look over at you and you've pushed yourself into position. Often, you'll get so excited by this feat that you'll fall right back over, only to begin the process again. There's been one unfortunate side effect: Now that you've increased your elevation, you want to go a step further.

Yes, little miss, you are starting to be interested in pulling up. I put this way because it's only your (usually hesitant) top half. You'll grab onto something with both pudgy hands and lift your upper body until you can see over (or into) that object. Once that's accomplished, you just gnaw on the rim of the object until something else grabs your attention. For some reason, you're very interested in doing this with objects that will give - so we often find you tipping over Javi's homework tray or balancing precariously on a large ceramic pot.

Daddy is so excited by your development that he often lets you pull up on his hands and walks you around the room. You aren't quite ready for this because after the first step or so, your legs buckle and you lunge for a close object with your mouth. But, we have to keep you entertained because you've lost your love for the exersaucer. If we try to limit your travels by popping you in it, you thrash and whine until we put you back on the floor.

So, life is changing so quickly. Just as we get accustomed to one stage of your development, you go and change things up on us. Everyday is definitely an adventure as we hold our collective breath wondering what you'll do next. I can't wait to see your reaction Christmas and the bright lights and shiny paper it promises.

Here we come, month eight!

Love, Mama


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