Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Letter to (Eight Month Old) Sarah Lamar

Dear Sarah Lamar,

It's been another amazingly sweet month with you!

You've gotten so grown up over night. The silver lining is that you've grown increasingly fond of your papa and he's grown increasingly fond of you and now Annie's even enjoying engaging with you (on Annie's terms). The timing is great because as much as I love you, you've started wearing me out a lot more. Do NOT mistake this for griping. I adored having you to myself for the first half year of her life.

And your tummy issues have largely subsided.

You've gotten even more good natured than you were, if you can believe it. I just love you to pieces.

Even though (always surprisingly to me) I still don't feel like time is moving TOO fast, it does seem crazy how the milestones have started to come nearly on top of each other, so differently than with your brother and sister. You rolled early-ish and it did take several months after that for you to sit unassisted but you wanted to SO badly for so long and then I don't think she were sitting by herself but for a few weeks when you first started crawling. (I recently remembered when Annie started crawling. I laughed so hard thinking about it because you did it TEN weeks earlier than she did.) And now you are PULLING UP. 

Your sleeping has improved like whoa. You take two very solid naps a day and have a somewhat predictable routine which is DELIGHTFUL. Your night time sleep is still touch and go but- and this is probably unusual- the naps are way more important to me (a lot of that has to do with Papa's schedule and how independent the big kids are and how I can sleep in when I need to). And you go to sleep for the night relatively easily most nights and go down for naps easily. I nurse you every time but you've started not falling all the way asleep and will go down awake and soothe yourself. Sometimes you even wake up happy and play a bit! I don't want to knock sleep training too hard and I'm sure I'd resort to it if it was the price of my sanity, but I'm so grateful that with you and Graves I've been able to just give y'all the space to figure it out (we did some low key "getting on a routine" type stuff with Annie but she was an excellent sleeper). Partly CIO just makes my anxiety out of control but I also just have loved letting you guys do your own thing and not worrying about a schedule. It's one more thing I don't have to micromanage and worry I'm doing "wrong". Systems are so life giving to me in many cases, but with infants (and really with kids' sleep) it's nice to release myself from it. 

What have you been up to?

You love being outside so much. One of your favorite things is when we hang your doorway jumper on a door to the outside and you're have inside, half outside. Probably your very favorite, though, is your swing in the backyward that Papa hung up for you. It's been such a mild Winter and we've already got some great use out of that bubblegum pink swing. It's been so nice outside (in the seventies some days!) so we've really been enjoying it! 

Speaking of warm weather, I recently put you in the sweetest little bubble with ducks on it for the last time. It is one of the few things I bought for Annie at a boutique and I don't think I paid full price, but I may have. I loved the little vintage apron style and how soft it is and the buttery yellow and the sweet ducks. My style has changed in some ways and I really dislike some of the stuff I picked for her but I love this one every bit as much as I did then. Annie actually never wore it- not once. It was too big her first Summer and too small her second (she did wear a good handful of 6 mo. things when she was between twelve and fifteen months). And every time I reached for it this Summer for you, the minky dots just seemed like they'd be uncomfortable in the Mississippi heat. But we finally got our money's worth and you wore it so much in September and October. If I had it to do over I'd do it this way- a lot fewer things that I just adore and that's my goal going forward. When you wore it, Graves would say "she's her own lovie". I know it's completely inappropriate for January, and silly as it is, I felt completely rebellious and even a little scandalous putting you in it. I'm usually a stickler for this kind of thing and it gives me an HSP skin crawl when I see like a linen dress in February. BUT, it's seventy five degrees and sticky and more importantly, I knew it was my last chance to see you in it. One I didn't think I'd have. So when I saw it in the closet and realized I was being given a bonus day, I was just so thrilled.

It's been a mild Winter, but it's also been a sick Winter. We were hit with a stomach bug and I was hopeful that the six million times a day that you still nurse would give you some great immunity and that I paid my vom dues sufficiently the entirety of my pregnancy with her. My hoping was not in vain- we both managed to escape. But you have had a yucky cold with a gross little runny nose and a bad couch.

And one night you had 101 temp one night and just felt horrible. You slept all morning and then I treated you to some screen time (Clifford's Puppy Days) and got out your new favorite toys- the whole box of Fisher Price Little People. Annie and Graves were neither one interested in them until they were toddlers (well, Annie didn't know about them until then). You just seemed so grown up watching a show and playing with Alien and Bride Cinderella and their friends.

But you recovered quickly. By the next day, you just had a little cough and a bad runny nose and were a bit grumpy. Annie asked me if grumpiness is contagious (answer: YES). But it was so nice to see your signature Sallie smile, especially once I gave you access to your brother again

I could tell you were feeling better because I walked out of the room for a few minutes and when I came back in you were flat on your tummy on the plastic box the little people were in, kicking your feet super hard
Your brother and sister are so good to you. They often make you the conductor of the train and when I got your exersaucer down from the attic, they put pillows around it and proclaimed you the captain of the ship. They are so good to her!

Recently I was mopping and Annie suggested I let you be in the train (she and Graves like to line up the chairs and pretend it's a train) by strapping you in your high chair. She and Peyton have both started to enjoy you a lot more now that you are crawling and "can play with us" as Annie says. She still doesn't like you to touch her because  you drool SO much and it's pretty comical the lengths she'll go to so that she can engage you without any physical contact.   

You and Papa have been taking midnight strolls- to drop off library books, for example. He also took you swimming at the Y recently with Annie while Graves was having a special outing with Mickey and Minnie. You had a blast with Papa and your sister! 

You are such a delightful little person and I know I'm very biased, but I think you are simply an amazing baby.

We love you, Little Sallie Sunshine!

Momma (and Papa)

P.S. You pjs are a 6 mo.


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