Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Month 10, A Review

Dear Phoebe,

On Friday you turned 10 months old.

A lot of things happened on Friday.

We went to Morro Bay to visit with Annie and Joey and you were so excited to see Joey you were kicking your legs and waving your arms and laughing and wanting him to interact with you. It was so cute to watch you discover -- for the first time -- another baby (besides the one in the mirror).

When we got home after an afternoon of Chapala Market and Negra Modelos, I got a phone call from my (now-former) boss who told me that he decided to let me go because he wanted to have someone working in the office full time.

I was surprised, and then disappointed, and then relieved.

So things are gonna get tighter around here. And it's not going to be fun. For any of us. I was due to have a hair appointment, so I'm sorry about the roots you're gonna see in pictures from here on out. Or at least until I get the courage to dye it myself again.

Things are going to be tighter because I am not planning on getting a full time job, which would require putting you in daycare. This is something your dad and I discussed before we even got married: I could never put my babies in daycare. I don't care what we have to sacrifice.

So if it's grey roots instead of Grey Goose, and rice and beans instead of filet and bleu cheese and $2 wine (instead of the "spendy" $5 bottles) then fine. We can deal. Your dad and I were college students once.

What better way to see the richness my life than to spend all day with you?

Truth be told, I wasn't really happy with working while you napped. I had a lot of stress, trying to get things done. Now, I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I think you can tell, too. You've been sleeping better at night and you seem to enjoy the extra attention.

I enjoy it, too.

You are still trying to master the art of crawling, but you are quite efficient at getting where you want to go, whether it's by rolling or scooting or reaching. At your last doctor's appointment we learned that you are still in the 90th percentile for length (you're 29.5 inches long) and you're in the 9th percentile for weight (at 16 lbs, 6 oz).

You are learning to eat bigger, chunkier foods like Cheerios and peas, but you still prefer me to feed them to you, so we have this little routine that's like me giving you communion: you open your mouth, I place the Cheerio on your tongue, and you close your eyes, say a prayer and eat.

You will make out with the dog, but you won't feed yourself.

Your new gimmick is to shake your head from side to side as if saying "No", which is funny because your dad and I don't really need to tell you "no". So this head-shaking is something you just picked up on your own. Last week, I started saying "no no no no noooooo" when you do it, and you started to associate my saying "no" with you shaking your head, so now you do it on command. Except, of course, if we're trying to show OTHER PEOPLE your new trick in which case you just look at me like I'm crazy and laugh.

When we try to teach you "yes", you just laugh and laugh and laugh. I don't know why you think "yes" is so funny.

We learned yesterday that your eye surgery is going to be scheduled for June 9th, which is so funny because you were due on June 8th or 9th (depending on the source) last year. So those dates will always seem important to me, and now even moreso. So your eye should be fixed before your 1st birthday.

I wasn't really worried about it until Kim, who schedules the surgeries, said to me "The worst part is the fasting". I hadn't thought about that part of it. We'll just have to wait and see how you do.

I'm hoping for the best.

We learned last week that your grandmother (my momma) is moving to SLO -- and soon! She's already almost here. That means you're gonna be spending a lot of time with her so daddy and I can go on dates and what-not. I'm really excited she's moving here. And not just for the babysitting.

You are understanding a lot of words these days: cereal, yogurt, milk, froggie, pacer, doggie, daddy. You aren't talking yet, but you make these little "yelling" sounds that seem to be your attempts to talk. It's so cute. For the most part. And when we mimic you, you laugh and laugh and laugh.

We are at an interesting point in our lives, Phoebe. There's a lot of change happening with my being your full-time mommy now (maybe I'll even learn to sew, finally), and with your grandmother moving here there's a lot to celebrate. And a lot to mourn.

Things are going to be different now and change can be good, and I think it will be.

So far, I'm enjoying the freedom of not having to plan our days around my making phone calls, or stressing about whether or not you're taking a nap (sometimes you just don't want to sleep).

But I'm going to miss the freedom of being able to get my hair done and not consider the cost, or ordering something from etsy we don't really need, but that I desperately want.

Our priorities are shifting.

And I think that's a good thing.

When the world around you gets smaller, it can comfort you or it can suffocate you and I think our family becoming closer is going to be the former and be really good for us.

I look at you with amazement, wondering what your personality is going to be like and how much of it will be shaped by the events of your childhood. I look at the actions we take now and think about how they will affect you as an adult. I think about the changes taking place in our little world right now and how it'll affect you. And I wonder if you will feel fulfilled and happy and what that might look like for you as you get older.

What will be the things that bring you joy?

I hope it's the simple things, like eating a humble meal prepared with love and eaten at our equally-humble dinner table, surrounded by the family who loves you.

I hope you will learn not to cherish the things that fade away and turn to dust, but the things that live on through generations: God, family, love. You are a celebration of those things in our life, and so when we have bad days we are able to look at you and your simple joy (not caring that you have been wearing the same outfit for a day and a half) and go "This. This is what matters."

And we tickle you and you laugh and we see your little chipmunk teeth and your dad and I look at each other and get the affirmation we need to know that we are doing something good.

That we have done what's good in this world.

And we are going to keep on doing it.



Kyle Johnson said...

what does she recognize as "pacer?" what does that word even mean?

Meghan said...

Pacer(fier) instead of pacifier, I add the "r" hehe

Melissa said...

So sweet! She's a lucky girl.

PS - I'm kinda of hoping the new baby is a girl just so I can dress her in those leggings. Would it be weird to have a boy wearing those?

PPS - My blogger word verification on thise post is saggy. Coincidence? I hope so.

Erik M. said...

That was awesome...