It has been a long month full of new experiences and changes, both the exciting kind and the unwelcome variety. Perhaps your largest accomplishment this month, and one that took you all month to achieve, is that of getting your feet into your mouth. You began by reaching for them:
Then by golly you got them:
Finally you managed to get your legs to stop working against your arms and you got those toes into your mouth:
Mmmm - toes. Such flexibility you demonstrate! I am amazed as neither your father nor I are gifted with flexibility of any sort; we cannot even manage to touch our toes, much less put them anywhere near our face. You are not the only one who enjoys your toes; Cooper-chew-lones quite enjoys licking your tootsies whenever he gets the chance. You are the only one of us he licks, aside from a quick one to say hey. He licks your feet with such fervor, as if to say "Finally! I'm touching the baby!"
We have been getting out and about as much as possible this month. We went to the Houston zoo, to the Scarecrow Festival in Chappell Hill, and then we went to Virginia to celebrate your Geat Ganny's 80th birthday with all of our family.
You flew for the first time this month, and I must say that you are a champeen traveler. There was essentially no fussing on the plane ride up to Virginia and only a little bit on the way home. By that point you were tired of traveling for the day. I don't blame you one bit; I was tired of it too.
We do need to talk about the way your body reacted to life after the plane however. It appears that flying throws you off quite a bit. You went from sleeping through the night a good eight to ten hours pre-plane to sleeping an average of 3 hours at a time post-plane. Things were especially bad at Guga's house in Virginia. You refused to sleep unless in my arms the first night, and things only gradually got better for the following two nights. Then, when we returned to Houston, you decided that your new "schedule" was fine and dandy in your baby opinion and so I am back to not sleeping. Thank you so very much.
Your new night-time behavior is due to a combination of things, since the first waking is for food, but the others are just 'cause. Two nights ago it was because it was freezing in the house and a few nights, like last night, it was because you felt the need to practice your gymnastics at 1:30 am. Excellent.
Apparently you are learning to roll over to your right side. You woke up in the middle of the night and practiced rolling to the left a while ago, so why wouldn't you take advantage of the same for your right side? It worked well for you then, so why not now?
You also have a love of sleeping on your tummy and when you can't get all the way over because you run into the side of your crib, you half-way wake up and complain about it. Right this very minute you are on your play mat beside me in the office. You played for a while and then got sleepy, so you fell asleep on your back, but then silently rolled over to your tummy and you are snoozing away...half on and half off the mat.
Back to the trip home, boy was it a whirlwind of people and noises and New! Things! Everywhere! You met so many new people and were bombarded with love by your cousins. One of them loved you so much that you now have her cold. Awesome!
Our family gets together once a year and we eat (Imagine that. You will soon learn that my side of the family tends to plan most things around food.) and then have a hoe-down of sorts. We have banjos, guitars, lots of singers, and a family songbook. You were so exhausted from your travels and all of the new things that this was your participation:
That is your Aunt holding you; she couldn't stand it that you were so snugly with her all night. Yup; she hated it so much that she held you like that for what seemed like forever. A baby fix indeed.
Well, hello! Your head just popped up; you are awake! Ooohhh...where am I? Lookee here; things to play with!
Speaking of playing, you have been getting a little use out of your exersaucer this month. At the beginning of October, you could barely even hold yourself up at all in the seat. Mostly, you just sucked on the seat itself. Now, however, you can hold yourself up pretty good and you even manage to move to and push the buttons on the toys to make them play music. I am fairly certain that you will come to love this toy in the months to come.
Another thing you love to do it to stand up. Oh, it is one of your favorite activities. You will grunt while we hold you and then we will help you stand and then you let out a squawk because: success!
This weekend we spent our time at home and you practiced sitting in your new seat. You enjoy this position and are almost always in a quiet-alert learning state when in it. In the morning on Sunday we listened to Pop-Pop on the computer and you sat in your seat:
Then later in the evening, we gutted and carved the pumpkin. You had no idea what was going on and this photo marks the one split second that you even looked at one of us working on the pumpkin. As usual, your hands were on the menu and you were busy with them:
Aside from the hands and feet which are constantly on the menu, you have now begun to search for other things to place in your mouth. Right now your searching is limited to your tongue. You have yet to figure out that your hands would be the best tool for finding things, but I am sure that will change soon.
Due to your runny nose, I have been wiping your nose/face frequently the past two weeks. When I do this, and also when you are getting a bath, you stick your tongue out of your mouth as far as it will go in the direction of the washcloth. The first time I put it in your mouth so you could see what it was, you let out a squeal. Oh how exciting to accomplish what you are attempting. The cold accompanied with the constant slobber you wipe all over your face has caused your cheeks to become chapped. They also have a rash on them. Good times.
For future reference, when you are a teenager and are oh so upset with me because I am So Unfair and So Uncool, I will remind you that your life is like this because I had to use the aspirator to rid your nose of copious amounts of mucous when you were almost five months old. That's right, it is All My Fault.
To say you do not like this particular activity is such the understatement.
Not that I blame you.
One thing you most definitely enjoy is being outside. It has become very fall-like here in Houston in the past week or so. I have to put layers on you in order to take our daily walk. This green outfit has come in handy:
This past Saturday we had lovely weather so we spent some time in the backyard with he dog. We grilled our dinner and your Dad spent some time talking to you about the trees.
I can't wait to take you to the lake nearby to feed the ducks. There are only about one hundred of them and boy do they come a runnin' when bread is to be had. We'll be sure to leave Cooper at home so that they'll actually get near you without a ton of fussing.
Pretty soon you'll be reaching for the dog all on your own. We shall see how that goes over; I suspect that he shall steer clear of you most of the time because holy! smokes! it! moves! You are already reaching out with one hand to grab toys and people, so it is only a matter of time before you grab him.
I think the only other thing of note this month is that your hair is finally growing. It isn't enough to see in photos yet, but your itty bitty peach fuzz is gone and very fine hairs are getting longer by the day. It makes me a little sad because I miss the peach fuzz head that I was accustomed to snuggling with at night when you fell asleep. It makes me happy because it means you are growing and healthy...and also that maybe you won't be bald at two years old like your mama was.
I imagine that most of your life will be like this. Accomplishments and changes will be at once sad and exciting for a multitude of reasons. I am also fairly certain that my feelings regarding your growth will surprise me more often than not. At least I know that one feeling won't be a surprise and that is that I love you very much.