Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Dear Hadley: Month 10

Dear Hadley:

Happy 10 months, Sweet Pea! This was your first June with us and your first experience with our local summer weather. Let me just start by saying, I am so sorry. Summers here are tough-- we have temperatures reaching the low 100's and humidity so extreme that you melt the moment you step outside. But all of that aside, summers are also so much fun. There's swimming, picnics, parties, vacations, and of course, ice cream. And for me, summertime now makes me nostalgic. I spent last summer melting in this crazy heat while I was pregnant with you. Consequently, I will now forever associate summer with your pregnancy and the last few months before I met you.

I sometimes wonder if you realize that you have now experienced three seasons since your birth. Do you realize that it was cold just a few months ago and now it is so hot that going outside is almost unbearable?? Do you realize that you used to wear layers and layers of clothes and now you hardly wear even one? I'm betting you will tell me all about these crazy things when you start talking.

We're making the most of our summer together introducing you to lots of fun warm-weather firsts. We went on our first family vacation to Florida in June with your aunts, uncles, and cousins. We stayed at a cool resort and you swam in both a pool and the ocean for the first time. You loved the pool, but you were a little underwhelmed by the beach experience. We also bought you your own little pool for our back porch. It blows up to just big enough for Daddy and I to sit in it with you. And, you love it. You splash and kick and squeal with delight when we go swimming. I love to see you so happy.

Recently, we enrolled you in a class at The Little Gym. I wanted to make sure you had plenty of educational and physical stimulation and the social interaction is just icing on the cake. You are in a class called the "Birds," which is for babies 10 months to 19 months. You are the youngest in your class, but you are giving the big kids a run for their money. At our class last week, you bested all of the babies by hanging unassisted on the parallel bars, something that completely amazed your teacher. I kept telling her that you have a crazy, monkey grip and that such feat did not surprise me at all. She, however, could not get over how strong you were and kept asking me where you were hiding all of those muscles. When I told Daddy about your athletic feats, he immediately declared that he was going to enter you in the Strong Man competition. He was so proud of you. And he wasn't really surprised, either. We've both had to pry too many things out of that crazy grasp to not think it is entirely possible that you can suspend your weight from those little hands and arms.

Just before Melissa let go to see if you could hang on your own. You did!!

We are also in a playgroup with about six babies and this week, we went to the local sprinkler park for the first time. All of the kids loved it, especially your cousin Ayden, and you had fun letting Aunt Kacey run you through the sprinklers. The best part was that once the sprinklers turned off, you could sit on the ground and splash in the water. It was just like your bath but without the drama of having your hair washed.

You reached a few more important developmental milestones this last month, too. You are now almost entirely transitioned to "finger foods" and love trying new things. You get excited when Daddy and I are eating and reach eagerly for the food on our plates. One of your new favorite foods is blueberry pancakes. Yummy. You also now have two new teeth (the second bottom tooth and one top tooth) and are working on the third (the second top tooth). That top tooth should be in any day now. That means that you have effectively gotten all four front teeth in the span of about five weeks. When you decide to do something, you go all the way, kiddo! You have also mastered standing on your own, cruising on furniture like a champ, clapping, dancing, and walking with assistance. You are such a big girl!

You tend to think you are too big sometimes, though. You have decided in the last month or so that you no longer want us to change your diaper or dress you. The moment we lay you down on your changing table, you flip over and try to crawl away or you just sit up. That makes changing you such a delight-- and changing you by myself is always an adventure. Your grandparents, Maggie and Pop, babysat you last weekend and they had the unfortunate experience of having to change your diaper. They are convinced that it takes four people at a minimum to do this job. I just laughed because you and I know that I manage to do it on my own. At least, most of the time.

GG, Maggie's mother and your great-grandmother, said that Maggie did the exact same thing as a baby. GG would start changing Maggie on one side of the bed and would end up at the other side of the bed before she got the new diaper on. And apparently, I was exactly the same way, too. At least you got it honestly, sweetie.

You have learned a few new "tricks" lately, too. You love to hide your face and then pop out to look at us. You laugh so hard when you do this. You mimic Daddy and I when we raise our hands or hit our hands on the table. You love to be the leader, too, and usually get us to copy you. You also have recently started shaking your head no when we ask for kisses. Then, you usually give us kisses anyway. And, you have started walking around your little activity table, over and over again, bopping to the music. It's like you have to see how many times you can go around without sitting down. We love to watch you play, Sweet Pea. It's so fun to watch the wheels spin and to see you learn new things.

I love you, Sweet Pea, and am having so much fun with you. I can't wait to see what new adventures we have in July.

Your Mommy


Cassie said...

What a beautiful letter. I can't believe she was hanging from the bars all by herself! What a big girl.

And oh, the diaper changes. My son is the same way, STILL, at 14 months old. I wish I could tell you it got easier!

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