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Happy 7 Months, Madeline!

September 21st, 2008

Maddie turned 7 months yesterday. I wrote this letter late last night, but I wanted to take time to add the photos today. Enjoy this installment of the Letters to Maddie series.

Dear Madeline,

Happy 7 months! I can’t believe another month has passed. Every day brings new adventures and discoveries in your life. It’s so fun to watch you while you learn a new task or explore something new. Life will never be the same for us, but I’m not complaining! Your personality continues to develop, and you certainly like to get your way. Our favorite phrase around the house continues to be, “not for babies!” You are constantly on the move, and we have some interesting ways to keep you in one place. Currently, our living room is an obstacle course as we have arranged the furniture in such a way that you won’t wander into other rooms or “danger” zones.

This month you discovered many solid foods, and you seem to be enjoying them. You have been eating fruits and veggies every day since my last letter. So far, it seems like the only foods you do not like are rice cereal and peas. You love carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, and green beans. You also seem to like bananas, oatmeal, pears, applesauce, and prunes. You’re not quite sure about peaches yet, but you tolerate them. You’re developing your pincer grasp, so you’ve started on finger foods. So far, you’ve tasted the banana and sweet potato varieties of Gerber Puffs. You have a few with each meal, and you have them during snack at daycare twice a day. I think you’re excited to be eating with the older babies in your classroom at the snack table. You’re even learning how to use a cup, something that I think is pretty amazing. I’m still nursing you the same amount throughout the day and night. Usually, I come over to nurse you twice during the work day. It’s so nice to see you and have you close to my office. You’re just a short walk from my building!

Everyone warned us about how your poop would change once we started solid foods. We’ve been trying to vary your foods in such a way to help your digestion. We’ve had quite a few diaper blowouts this month. Your daddy and I take turns with the bad ones, and you better believe we do not forget whose turn it is! Yuck! Our first major disaster was on the way down to Atlanta to visit family. We had just left your grandparents house, and we stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few things on the way out of town. Daddy was carrying you into the store, and I looked over and thought, “um, why are there carrots on Maddie’s leg….OH!” I quickly went back to the car to get the diaper bag while your Daddy attempted to hold your wiggly self without making a bigger mess. When I got to the car, I noticed an even bigger mess in your carseat. It took us a while to get you and the carseat all clean.

Aside from that disaster, we had a nice time in Atlanta over Labor Day weekend. We visited with your great grandparents and grandparents as well as some of Mommy’s aunts, uncles, and cousins. Your great grandparents were especially excited to see you. You did not disappoint with lots of smiles and baby tricks. I think they were very impressed with you! You are a very well loved baby. We stopped in Davidson overnight on the way to Atlanta. On the way back, we weren’t able to make a stop halfway. It turns out that we pushed your limits and don’t plan to drive that kind of distance all at once for a while. You weren’t a very happy camper towards the end of the drive, and we had to make frequent stops.

While in Atlanta, we went out to eat at Macaroni Grill. We had recently purchased a shopping cart cover which we can also use on high chairs in restaurants. You love sitting in the high chair! We had a very nice meal, and you stayed happy for the majority of it. You also enjoy sitting in the shopping cart like a big girl. We have been using our fancy cover quite often. You and Daddy took me out to dinner for my birthday, though you did get a little fussy towards the end.

You had a few rough days this month while you were sick. Mommy and Daddy caught your little bug as well. You have had about four colds or viruses since you started daycare. I think that I have been sick all but one of these times. I feel sad when you’re sick and hurting and I don’t know how to help you!

You continue to hone your crawling skills. This month, you ventured beyond the living room. Previously, you seemed apprehensive about the change in flooring between the living room and kitchen. One day, you crossed the line and day by day became more daring. Now you have no problems crawling anywhere you want! We have to blockade the room to keep you safe. Sometimes you and Daddy explore all the rooms downstairs. You had issues with the floors without carpet at first, and you would try to avoid putting your knees on the floor by crawling on your hands and toes. You still do this sometimes, but the hard floors don’t seem to bother you as much. You’re pulling up to a standing position at every opportunity, even when you shouldn’t…like in the bath tub or Mommy and Daddy’s bed. You have started to cruise along the furniture small distances. I’m guessing that you’ll be doing more of that in the upcoming months!

You have decided that sleeping for long stretches of time is completely overrated. You’re trying to teach us the same, but we’re still not quite buying it. We do feel pretty rested most of the time, even though you wake up numerous times throughout the night. You spend a few hours in your crib, and then you join us in our bed for the rest of the night. One night (and one night only), you slept for SIX HOURS in your crib. We were shocked. I did wake up a few times concerned about you and confused when you weren’t right next to me. Daddy says that I sometimes wake up in a panic on the rare nights when I fall asleep before you join us. I’ve gotten quite used to having you in the bed next to me. You’re so snuggly and sweet. I love having you close to me. This month, we finally received our Snug Tuck Pillow, and we love it! I feel a bit safer when you’re sleeping between me and the edge of the bed. This makes it easier for you to nurse when we need to switch sides in the middle of the night. Before we got the Snug Tuck Pillow, I tried to make sure you were between Daddy and me.

This month you have had more separation anxiety. It breaks my heart when you start crying and look at me with the “why, Mommy?” expression when I have to leave you at daycare. This happens at home often when I leave the room or sometimes when I’m simply not in a position where you can see my face. You sure love your Mommy! It’s sweet, though difficult since I can’t be right next to you all the time! You did cry the other day when Daddy left the room for the first time, so perhaps you are broadening your attachments.

You have been laughing even more this month, especially when I make funny faces and sounds or do a goofy dance. It seems that you think your Mommy is just about the funniest thing on the planet. You still laugh when you feel like laughing, and nothing funny that we do will make you laugh every time. I did discover that you do not like Tennessee’s fight song, at least not the possessed way that your Mommy sings it. Twice I started singing “Rocky Top” to you, and both times you looked at me in a very angry way and screamed. Daddy says I can’t try that again.

We thought you were going to have swimming lessons this month. We went to our first one with your buddy Caroline, but they canceled the lessons since you were the only two babies enrolled. We had about half a lesson before the lightning storm cut our visit short. We plan to sign you up for the same class next month. Caroline is planning to join us.

I can’t believe how many things that I have to report about you each month. Every time I start writing your monthly letter, I wonder whether I will be able to write enough material. Then I think about the month and realize that I have plenty to say. I can’t believe how fast the months are passing. Before I know it, you will no longer be my little baby girl. You seem to be in a hurry to become a toddler! Mommy and Daddy love you biggest bunches.

Love,
Mommy

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