Monday, April 24, 2017

Letter to (Ten Month Old) Sarah Lamar

Dear Sallie,

Another fun month with you in the books! What are you up to?

You love Tula naps and you love being outside. 

You're eating more and more table food. You LOVE taco night- beans, corn, and ground beef! You also love Cheerios and Ritz Crackers. And you tried sweet potatoes for the first time and adored them. 

You fight diaper changes SO HARD. Like I keep saying, you're a feisty one. You don't get mad; you're just so squirmy and want to crawl away naked. I remember when I was in college and babysat for a family and the baby was just like this. The momma walked in mid diaper change one time and he (and I) were COVERED in poop. I also left a knife on the counter where his preschool brother could reach it. Eeek.

You still aren't sleeping through the night and I have no grand illusions the pack n play will be leaving our bedroom any time in the near future. But let me tell you what's magical: we've established a pretty consistent routine where you bookend your day with about an hour of playtime in the mornings and evenings in your crib in our master bedroom turned Peter Pan style "nursery" all three kids are intended to share. You watches her brother and sister play, Annie hands you toys she knows are baby approved, and Graves often joins you in the crib for part of the time. On Saturdays and Sundays when Papa works twelve hour shifts, it's kinda integral to my sanity. I love it because it's a break for me but I also love it because it's a special time for you. And for Annie and Graves.

You often take one nap a day. There are still several days a week that you take two because of a car nap or something, but taking one long one is frequent. And when I say long, it's like two hours. Which all seems kind of odd at your age. You still wake up a couple of times at night and nurse and go right back to sleep except when you spot Papa and then you want to play. I wouldn't say that you're bad sleeper exactly, but you're sure not a good one. It's hard to be mad, though, because you're so good-natured and really seem very well-rested. Until you don't. And then WE KNOW.

Papa told me he "disciplined" you (used his stern voice) for the first time. I sort of felt the need to discipline him with a punch in the nose. I do say "no ma'am" to you a lot and your literalist sister is extremely confounded by why I would use that title with a baby.

I did end up taking you to the doctor after a couple of days when you were so unlike yourself. You didn't have fever or anything but I was worried you must have had an ear infection or something. Anyway, everything was clear. My hypothesis was that either you had a sinus headache, you were about to hit a milestone or maybe you were just overtired from not napping for TEN hours (ugh). I really think it was probably number three. It seems counter intuitive but when you miss sleep now I think it effects you more than it did when you were tiny; I guess because you're so busy and "working" so much harder on things.

We actually went back to the doctor the next week for your well baby check. You had a weepy eye and were drooling like a fool, but otherwise had a great nine month check up!

You also fell off the bed this month. Not a milestone I was ever wanting to see, but you were fine. Selfishly, I'm thankful you're the third. I did feel sick at my stomach about it for awhile, but it was nothing to compared to how undone I know I would have been round one or two. I've watched Graves run in front of a car and wrap an elastic string tightly around his neck. I have a different perspective than I did when the big kids were babies.

I've loved pulling out some of your Summer clothes. It's a different story now (the 12 mo. Summer stuff was one of my favorite seasons for both the big kids and I let myself get you a FEW sweet things of her own) but this Winter I honestly favored your jams over her play clothes.

Most of the stuff that fits and would be comfortable right now is sailboats and crabs and ice cream cones and I just can't go there yet. But your fancy hat bubble feels *perfect* for Spring and perfect for my Little Sallie Sunshine. You also wore a little bubble dress of Annie's that I adore. 

It seems shallow, but I've really put a lot of thought into what I put on you. It's been really fun because everything I put on you is a "favorite" and because the more I analyze the more selective I am with my purchases and this last year I've been so much happier with the things I've actually dropped money on.

Papa told Graves that he was going to move y'alls car seats to the back of the van and Annie's to the middle once you are a a bit bigger and he asked "But will her hair always be soft?". I'm hopeful, Bud. 
Honestly, it's a wonder you have any hair and it hasn't all been rubbed off given how much time Graves and I spend kissing, petting, and sniffing your little head. 

Graves also loves to pick you up and spin you around "like a helicopter". He's pretty competent and I trust him to do it. 

And Annie is warming up to you more and more. The other day she suggested I bring you outside in your PnP or exersaucer to watch her and Graves ride bikes because you'd "probably enjoy that more". I told her that I needed to be inside doing laundry and she said "we'll take care of her, Momma.") So sweet. 

We also got you some Beanie Boos for an early birthday present and Annie has enjoyed playing with you with them since they're her favorite thing. 

One day, Annie heard you wake up and she ran and got Trooper to "entertain you". It worked- you 
thought they were really your friends! 

I also recently heard Annie say "Oh Sallie, I love your tortoises." When I asked for clarification (because I certainly referred I to them as turtles when she wore them) she said"Well, they seem to be on land." And Annie may have to just be disappointed because you looked WAY too big in shorts and I don't think I can take it. 

Speaking of Annie, the other night at Mickey and Minnie's you were on your tiptoes stretching soooo hard for Mick's remote. Maybe another gal with a "great determination of purpose" as he so accurately described Annie?

Of course, one of the biggest life events lately has been our big trip to New York for a month. 

It took us three days of airport trips to get here! The first day we boarded the plane and were on it for FOUR hours before the flight was cancelled. You literally didn't cry the whole four hours on grounded plane and I know you just wanted to get down on the ground and crawl around. 

Papa had really wanted to try to get a flight to Atlanta and risk having to sleep there in the airport overnight. I put my foot down and told him that I could do it but he'd HAVE to carry the tension and not get stressed and more importantly he couldn't let you sleep in the stroller in case we both dozed off. Human trafficking has become a big anxiety trigger for me and I told him he'd have to spend the entire night with you in the Tula strapped to him. 

The second day you were so patient at the airport again. I had just found a quiet corner to nurse you and had gotten you to sleep in the Tula, and our flight was cancelled completely. Again. Whew. I was so tired and wishing for someone to feed me and put me to bed.

You did actually SLEEP in your crib for the first time.. Huge accomplishment that occurred somewhat spontaneously because we got to leave all our checked luggage, including the PnP, at the airport. Before you find this impressive, the big kids watched a movie and slept on a pallet in the den that night. 

We finally made it! You (and I) slept on both flights here which was glorious. 

When the car arrived at the airport, the straps on your carseat were way too loose and there was no time to adjust them (I was barely able to get Annie's buckle clicked before the guy pulled off). I realized that I just feel so much more in control of the situation when we're driving. And yes, it's important to let go of control and God calls me to do it often. But in this stage of the game, I feel like I'm letting go of it in so many daily ways and this was too much. 

One special thing was going to a church service just me and you. It was the first time for me to worship with just you and it was so very special.

You have been such a magnet up here (not surprising to me but I'm super biased) and even more so here. My hypothesis is that it's a because people don't have as many kids and therefore babies are less common. I love that you are number three and I know (or Graves has proven to me) that you're not super fragile and I don't worry about other kids rubbing on you. You've already licked the subway pole a la three year old Graves, so I'm letting go of germ worries, too. 

It feels good to let go of a lot and hold things loosely and you yourself extra tightly. 

We love you, Little Sallie Sunshine. 

Momma (and Papa)

P.S. You Peter Rabbit jammies (of your very own!) are 9 m0. I try not to make it too much of a habit, because Annie's closet was extensive (excessive?) but sometimes I just need to splurge on you. And anything Beatrix Potter is kinda my jam. This was the only month your outfit wouldn't match up with Annie's (I wanted to put you in the Christmas and Valentine's ones based on the month, not your age, and that left over the 3 mo. outfit Annie wore at six months, which you are clearly too big for). So I felt like it was perfect for you to wear one of the few things that I bought just for you. 

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