Chloë is 10 months old today. And what a little person she has become. To use the word "baby" seems a bit far fetched. She isn't a toddler yet, but she is such a different person compared to that little sleepy newborn she was just a few months ago.
Shortly before Chloë was born, my mom left me with a little journal of hers to read. It details some of the joys and trials of her pregnancy and labor, and then of raising me. It is both amusing and amazing to read about myself, and the striking similarities (or downright identical tendencies) in my own little girl. Strangely, the thing that strikes me most is the description of my stubborn will at that age. And then I think of my own daughter... and worry for a moment. Doesn't every mother say "you just wait until you have children. Then you'll understand"? I think I'm starting to.
The older Chloë gets, the more obvious it is that we live in a fallen world. She is usually a cheerful, and fun and silly baby. But sometimes, and usually if she doesn't get her way, she suddenly becomes a very loud and angry little person. She throws her body backwards until the back of her head is within an inch or two of her diapered bottom. She manages this well if we're holding her, but if she's in her highchair or on the floor, she sometimes gives herself a solid bump on her head. And still she throws fits. Sometimes we lovingly try to correct her attitude. And sometimes we are merciful. Being a parent can be hard work.
So the baby is growing up. She scoots and army crawls all over the place, and I have to be careful when I'm cooking dinner so that she doesn't sneak up right behind me. She still hasn't figured out a true crawl, but I'm thinking she might just skip it. She just gets around so well with her scooting. In the last couple of weeks, she has mastered the art of pulling herself up on furniture, and walks along it quite well. But she can't figure out how to get down. So once she's up, she's happy to play for a while, and then whimpers for help down when she's ready.
She is quite the chatterbox, constantly jabbering to herself or to her toys when she's playing on the floor. Occasionally she'll mimic us when we try to get her to copy our "mama"s and "dada"s, but usually opts for complete nonsense. She is still one of the most active babies I know, always moving in some way. We've figured out that one way to keep her occupied for a while during church is to bring her in in her car seat, and she can kick her legs and rock herself until she gets bored of it. In the unlikely event that there is lots of commotion going on around her, it's as if a magic spell is cast, and she becomes still and quiet while she observes all of the craziness around her.
She uses her hands and fingers very well, and has recently figured out how to "unlock" daddy's iPhone. She loves to roll and play with with her tongue, suck on her upper lip, and those hands and fingers of hers are so strange. Especially when she's tired, she'll grab her daddy's or my hand, trace it until she finds a satisfactory finger, and then try pick at the edge of my fingernail or cuticle until we make her stop. I really don't understand this quirk of hers.
Chloë still nurses throughout the day. I make an effort to give her a full "meal" of baby food at least once a day, and she's been eating all sorts of fun things recently. She eats lots of cheerios, and other cereals and crackers. I introduced squash a couple of weeks ago, peas last week, and let her try a dill pickle today. She tolerates the squash and peas, but prefers them mixed with applesauce. And she loved the pickle, the weird child. I cut up little pieces for her and watched her try to pick up the slippery little things off her high chair tray. She resorted to pushing them close to the edge of the tray, and leaning over and slurping them up. It was hilarious. I am amazed at her ability to figure things out. She absolutely hates the Gerber "garden vegetable" cracker puffs I bought for her to try. She tries to swat or throw them as far away from herself as possible. What a funny child.
Chloë is not very good at sleeping. (I'm not sure why. Her daddy could win contests he sleeps so well.) She rarely has more than one nap, and usually only 30 or 45 minutes at that. She had a two hour nap the other day and I got so much done. And at night, she wakes up frequently. If we bring her to bed, she'll grab one our hands and pass right out. But we've been working on having her sleep all night in her pack-and-play bassinet, but it is always a long night. She wakes up after 2 or 3 hours of being asleep, pulls herself up to stand, and cries. So I put her on her back, tell her to sleep, give her her pacifier, and we continue this cycle for up to an hour until she finally falls asleep again. But then she wakes up after another hour or two. We'll get there. Someday. I'm not too worried about it. Just a little sleepy.
When she wakes up in the morning, usually in our bed, she is often content to just lie there for a while, playing with her pacifier or staring out the skylight windows. Sometimes she gets cuddly and pushes or slams her head into my face or neck. As soon as she gets restless, she crawls towards the digital alarm clock and just looks at them. She is very fascinated by them.
She loves her car seat and going on short car rides. She usually starts jabbering with delight when the car starts rolling. She likes to "sing" with us. She usually just hits the hymnal with her hand and yells rhythmically in a monotone. She loves her baby doll that she got her, and her favorite thing to do is poke her eyes or suck on her ear.
Her daddy is frequently giving her new nicknames. Lately he uses Bonkis Nonkis and Chogkis Nonkis, among the many others we've adopted.
Her hair is growing, lighter than it was when she was born. Her eyes still have lots of blue in them, but are looking a little more hazel. Her eyebrows are getting bushy, and her eyelashes are getting very long. She still just has the two teeth, and occasionally I think she must be getting more. Her ears stick out quite a bit, especially the right one with the hemangioma behind it. I think it's adorable.
So there's an awful lot of scribblings about my baby. Since this is the only journal I keep, you'll have to bear with my overly detailed accounts of everything.
I know there are a lot of pictures of her here, but she is so expressive that I had to share just a few of the many, many faces and attitudes I see throughout my day. My goodness I sure do love this little girl.