Stella turned eight months old on Friday. In another three(ish) weeks she’ll have been in the world as long as she was in me. We’re four months away from a year and I cannot believe it’s possible to have a baby this old, or that she’ll just keep getting older and more active. I keep thinking of myself as the parent of a newborn when that hasn’t been the case for months. I keep wondering when I’ll worry less about all those things you worry about as the parent of a newborn and I realize, I each day, that some things just drop off my radar of importance, or at least lower on the scale.
She continues to charm the pants off of everyone she meets. She is all smiles and giggles and full-body waving at the excitement of seeing new people. Or dogs. Or grass. Or a new toy. She loves to look at herself in the mirror but even more when we’re video chatting with her grandparents. Moving things on a screen are her thing, which is probably why she loves sports so much.
She started waving this month. Well, she’d been waving her hands before that, but on Wes’ birthday she discovered that you wave when you see someone and now that she knows how to do it she cannot be stopped. If you wave and smile at her, she will wave and smile at you and it is adorable and awesome as you think it is. In fact, just after she learned Wes and I spent the day cleaning (everything, including the floorboards) and decided to treat ourselves with a Frosty and fries. The cashier took a look at Stella and gave her a huge grin and said hello to her and when Stella responded with her own huge smile and wave, we got our treats for free. Our baby is so cute she gets us free frosties!
She hasn’t started crawling yet, but that doesn’t mean she can’t get around. She rolls everywhere and if there is a pair of flip flops or a dog toy within 10 feet of her, she’ll get there quickly. Late last month she started pushing herself up to her hands and knees and rocking back and forth. Sometimes she’d take two knee hops forward before face planting and sometimes she’d just fall. We were convinced it would be days before she started crawling. But then she learned out to get to a sitting position from her belly and suddenly trying to crawl seemed pointless when she could just scoot herself backwards and sit up. Now she seems more interested in assisted walking than she does in learning to crawl. If she didn’t look like such a drunk sailor when on her feet, I might be able to convince myself that she’ll walk before crawling, but I think we’re still a long way from that.
The first time she sat up we were sort of accidentally crashing an AA meeting, by which I mean: we went to the park and picked a spot incredibly close to an AA meeting where the circle just kept getting larger and larger. It took her about three feet of scooting before she could get up, and we were on a slight incline so it was a little easier. After that she would try when she got close to the wall but, well, there was a wall in the way. Every time she got close to doing it on her own I would call to Wes and she would stop what she was doing and look up at me like, What’s going on? and she’d lose her momentum. Naturally, Wes didn’t see her complete this feat until yesterday.
The same day she learned how to sit up, her first tooth broke through: the bottom right. She had been a little fussy a few days before, with a runny nose and watery eyes and we thought that she might have caught my cold, but that quickly passed and then the tooth popped up so maybe that was teething. She still slept through the night and even at her fussiest she was still the best baby ever, just a few extra snuggles, which I will never tire of. She doesn’t bite yet, and hopefully won’t. But she also knows how to blow raspberries and sometimes I can feel that bottom tooth pressing into my arm.
This month we spent a few more days in the water and I’m happy to report that Stella loves it. Her first encounter wasn’t so great and I was a little worried that she wouldn’t love being in the water or at the beach. But we spent one morning at a hotel pool where our friends were staying before moving to Puerto Rico (don’t get me started on how sad it is that Stella’s first friend has moved away. When they can dictate letters they’ll be pen pals.) and she couldn’t get enough of the water. She kicked her little legs and splashed. We’re starting swim lessons at the end of this month to learn some water safety, but I see a lot of beach days in her future.
This month was my first Mother’s Day and Stella celebrated the day by sleeping until after 7 and even though I couldn’t get back to sleep after I woke up at 6, I did get to stay in bed and read without feeling guilty about missing out on family time. This year, obviously, she’s too young to make me a macaroni card or bracelet or any other hand made craft but I’m hoping next year I get something that she created.
Grandma Tina came into town, arriving on Mother’s Day. I know a lot of friends out here don’t get to see their families very often so we’re very lucky that my mom has been able to fly out as often as she has. We did a lot while they were here and Stella was a champ throughout. Very few crib naps and lots of go go going with very little crying. She’s still the best baby ever and Wes and I can’t wait to see her grow and learn. We are so excited to be able to talk with her and introduce her to new things and run with her on the beach.