Sunday, November 2, 2014

273 days of Zoe

Dear Zoe,

You are 9 months You've been out in the world longer than you were in my belly at this point, and this cannot be possible. How did 8 months of pregnancy feel like an eternity, yet 9 months of your life...WHOOSH...there it went.

Pom hat. Favorite.

Everyone with children says that time just keeps speeding up from here on out. Some days, this is a delightful thought. Other days, I can't bear it. I actively try to slow down at least twice each day (before naps and/or bedtime) and just snuggle you, because I know the days of rocking you to sleep are short (even though sometimes they feel so long). I pull down the shades in your room, dim the lights and sit in the rocking chair with your little head nestled into my shoulder. And we rock. Sometimes you babble quietly or blow half-hearted raspberries as you sink into a state of relaxation. Sometimes you just stare out the window quietly until those heavy eyes close. Sometimes you play with my new hair-wings that are growing and flipping out at the nape of my neck, and this is by far the best part about growing out a pixie cut (which I would never recommend to anyone, ever. Just in case I haven't been vocal enough about how awful it is. The struggle is real).

In these quiet moments, I usually hold you tight and rub your back or stroke YOUR newly growing hair (so, so soft). Sometimes I whisper affirmations to you (you are special and precious and valuable...), sometimes I pray over you, sometimes I just sit there in silence, basking in the calm after a day of not-so-calm, anxiously awaiting the break your naptime gives me.

You really are the greatest little 9 month old in the world, and I don't think I'm too biased. I'm not prone to exaggeration, so you can trust me when I say this. You're determined and opinionated, you're funny and energetic and giggly and snuggly. You have a thousand-watt smile and a belly laugh that is pure joy. And when you're hurt or upset or scared, your little face absolutely crumples into the saddest, most pitiful depiction of sorrow that I have ever seen.

Within the past month you've started for-real crawling and pulling yourself into a standing position and you are constantly on the move. When you get excited about something, you kind of hyperventilate a little bit. You talk ALL DAY LONG, but your favorite thing to say is da-da. I am constantly saying to you "Zoe. Can you say ma-ma?", to which you usually look at me, smile that nose-crinkling, gummy smile and respond "DA-DA-DA-DA!" with great enthusiasm. Fine. Whatever. You will say ma-ma, but usually only when you're crying, which is just heartbreaking...but it also melts me a little bit that you know who is going to comfort you when you're having a hard time.

You still LOVE to eat and provide a lot of entertainment in doing so. Not having any teeth doesn't slow you down at all. Chicken still seems to be at the top of your list, and we have to watch you closely because you will fill your little cheeks full before deciding that chewing and swallowing should be part of the process. Minor details, little one.

Your newest thing is a fascination with teeth and little fingers pry open your daddy's and my lips and you enthusiastically stick your entire hand in our mouths, not-so-gently probing around, trying to grab our tongues. A future dentist, perhaps?

You love music and will usually stop whatever you're doing and turn towards the source whenever music begins to play. Future concert pianist slash dentist, probably.

Your Oma and Opa came to visit and it was the most fun, particularly for your daddy and me. We LOVED watching you interact with them and give them big smiles. Your Mimi and Poppy will be here soon and we can't wait for that, either. You're just at such a FUN age and we are loving watching you grow and explore and interact with people.

We're just crazy about you, Zo. Being your parents is easily one of the best parts of our life these days. We love love love you, baby girl!