Friday, February 8, 2013

Alaina at 11 Months Old

Dear Alaina,

Eleven months, sweet girl. Eleven months. I feel like this is my last month to have a baby. It's very bittersweet. I have loved your "babyhood." You've been such a sweet, easy baby. There have been no major frustrations with you over the past eleven months. You've been a good sleeper (hallelujah!), a good eater (aside from the fact that you're making Mommy work so hard at pumping -- but even that doesn't seem like a huge deal), and a sweet-natured baby. You're such a joy now, as my baby, and I know you'll continue to be a joy in the future, as my toddler. That makes your impending first birthday a little less bitter and a lot sweet :)

The pumping has continued over the past month. You never picked nursing back up, and I eventually just quit trying and accepted the fact that you are a bottle baby now. I pump four times a day, and you get four 7 ounce bottles. Sadly, I only have 3 bags of frozen breastmilk left, so you won't make it to a year without some kind of supplementation. I've come to terms with that, and I feel good knowing that I did absolutely everything in my power to give you as much breastmilk as I could. You're still eating mostly baby food, but we're working on introducing more table food. You've eaten and liked all of the table food I've given you, so the only reason you're not eating more is because Mommy is lazy. Table food requires more thought and time than just feeding you some baby food and calling it a day :) We've given you a sippy cup with water, and you like to hold it and chew on it, but I don't think you actually do a lot of drinking from it. This is something we really need to get serious about in the next month so that we can get ride of that bottle around your birthday!

You are still a good sleeper. You start the day around 7:30, and you take a morning nap from 10(ish) until 11-11:30.  You then go down for your afternoon nap at about 2, and you sleep until 3:30 or so. Bedtime is at 8, and you usually sleep great all night. I've noticed lately that your morning naps seem to be getting shorter, and your afternoon naps have been a little longer. This is GREAT with me! I'll be happy when you get rid of the morning nap altogether and just take a longer afternoon nap. You have been going down so easily lately. I rock you for a few minutes until you push away and squirm, and I lay you own in bed. You roll right over and go to sleep.

You've cut a new tooth in the past couple of week. It's on the top, but it's not one of the middle teeth. You might look like your brother did when he was your age and have vampire teeth! :) That brings your grand total up to three teeth! That's three more than Aubrey had at your age. You Howie babies are just a little slow in the teething department. Another thing that you have way more of than your brother or sister had at your age is HAIR. Your hair has gotten a lot longer and thicker in the past month, and it's so curly after a bath. It's adorable. I just wish you'd leave a bow in that pretty hair! :) Lately, several people have commented on how beautiful and blue your eyes are -- I agree!

You are ALL over the place! You're an expert crawler, and you pull up like a pro, too. You have let go and stood on your own for a few seconds a couple of times, but I really don't think walking is in the VERY near future for you. I've noticed lately that you're a pretty cautious child. You like it when I stand you up, but if I try to let go of your hands, you get scared and cling to my fingers. Some babies topple over, and it's no big deal. They bounce right back up. But you, my sweet little Laney, are more bothered by it. You get very upset when you fall, and you want to be held and cuddled when you take a spill. Also, you don't like being tossed into the air like most babies (at least the ones I've been around). Aubrey and Jude would just squeal with laughter when we would "throw" them up above our heads, but you get really scared. It also makes you nervous when I come bouncing down the stairs quickly with you on my hip. You always turn your head towards my chest, grab onto my clothes, and kind of catch your breath. Lately, I've been thinking about these things and wondering if this is all because you're still an itty bitty baby (because you definitely are), or if it's more of a personality thing. Maybe you'll turn out to be our cautious, reserved child? Or maybe you'll grow out of it and be fearless like your brother and sister seem to be. Either way, you're absolutely precious, and I cannot wait to watch your personality develop!

You've just started to have some real separation anxiety, and it makes me so sad. You've cried the past couple of times I've left you in the nursery at church. On Wednesday night, I left you and you cried and cried. I stood in the hallway to make sure you calmed down, and I could hear you crying and babbling "Ma-Ma-Ma." I know you were just babbling, but it took everything I had not to go grab you and take you with me. I would have if I hadn't had to teach! When I picked you up, they had you in the "big kid" room (the 2 year old room). They said as long as you weren't in the "baby" room you were fine. Ha! You silly girl! You think you're just as big as your brother and sister! You also get upset if I walk out of your line of vision, even if I'm still in the same room. I love that you're so attached to me, and it makes me feel good that you love me :) I hope this stage passes quickly, though, because of course I don't like seeing you upset.

I started thinking about your birthday party the other day, and I just cannot believe we're to that point. I think the past eleven months have flown faster than any other period in my life. I truly feel like I should still have an infant. We love you like crazy, Alaina, and we are just enjoying you and enjoying our little family of five so very much. We are incredibly thankful that the Lord chose to put you into our family. We would not be complete without you!


No comments: