Dear Skylar Joy, Hello sweet girl! This month is pretty exciting! First, your "8 month birthday" was on your Mommy's birthday! How cool is that? We were excited to have two things to celebrate that day! Your Mom turned 30 on the 8th, but she largely celebrated her birthday the weekend just before that. You were such a good girl during the festivities! I think about that weekend and how perfectly you behaved with your baby sitter and with all the guests and I am just so proud of you! Thank you for such a lovely "gift" baby girl!
This month has been filled with changes and exploration (as every month has been thus far!). The "big" thing you learned to do this month is stand on your own. It was crazy how quickly you figured out how to pull yourself up to standing. One day you were trying to get to my water bottle up on a chair and couldn't quite make the "leap" to put your hand up and pull yourself up to standing so you could reach it (3/17) and the next day you stood up using another chair to get to my camera gear (3/17). I wasn't expecting you to figure it out so quickly, but once you did you started standing all over the place. The only problem with this development is that you are scared to get DOWN from standing. So... you tend to start babbling "ma-ma-ma-ma" with increasing intensity the longer I let you stand without helping you down. It's cute, baby girl, but someday you will figure out the sitting down from standing thing... Until then I'll keep helping you. ;)
I mentioned that you say "ma-ma-ma," and we can officially say that "mama" is your first word, baby girl! You call for me to help you when you're trying to get down from standing, to come get you when you're up from a nap or at night, and when you're ready to be fed. You're very close to saying other things too... and try out sounds and syllables a lot. At times you make noises like you're trying to say separate words -- like a phrase or sentence. You do this most when you're in the car talking with your travel toys (your owls and your bunny are still major favorites for traveling). Your Dad noticed that you were saying a syllable that sounded like "get" over and over while trying to grab something (4/4). We're not sure what you're really trying to say, but it's obvious that you are continually trying to figure out how to express new words and information to us and your toys.
At the beginning of this month you still did the "arms only" crawl sometimes, but now you're just doing a standard crawl everywhere -- and fast. You can get from one area to another surprisingly quickly! One day this month you crawled right up to the stairs and were trying to get up them (4/4). Of course it was after your Dad and the kitty had just walked up the stairs -- you didn't want to be left behind. We figure it's only a matter of time till you'll be able to climb up the stairs. All of your crawling and adventures are awesome for us to watch. Your Mom and Dad are having to be extra vigilant lately to make sure you don't get into anything that can hurt you, but we both love watching you learn and explore. :)
Speaking of crawling, you crawled into the kitchen for the first time this month and then proceeded to crawl to the bathroom to "find me" while I was in there (of course I was looking out at you to make sure you weren't getting into trouble anyway) (3/13). You used to crawl up to me and then flail about for me to pick you up, but now crawl right up into my lap. In fact you now crawl over any obstacles in your path -- including legs and arms and the cat and toys. You also crawl up to your Mommy and Daddy while we're standing and reach your arm up on our leg to get picked up. It's so cute to see you learning to communicate -- even in non-verbal ways!
You had juice for the first time this month, darling girl (3/19). It was apple juice and you liked it a lot. You also had prune juice (you had some "plumbing issues" for a while and your Mom and Dad were doing all they could to fix the problem). Your first juice was out of a regular cup because you weren't able to get the juice out of the Tommee Tippee cup (it's surprisingly difficult to suck liquid from!). Just a few days later (after we offered you the cup every time and you tried each time) you figured out the Tommee Tippee!! Now you have no problem getting juice and water from it.. This is super helpful, little one, because the Tommee Tippee doesn't spill easily! It will be very useful in the car and such. :)
You are in size 3 diapers now and are wearing 9 month and 12 month clothing. I weeded out a lot of clothes that don't fit you anymore this month... and we're stocking up on 12 month and 18 month clothes at the moment. You're getting so big, my sweet girl!
You still enjoy being in various carriers on your Mommy, but you rarely fall asleep in them now. You usually love to interact with people in stores and typically smile at them. You are sometimes getting shy, though, especially when tired. One interesting turn of events is that you are afraid of men with beards. It's comical how easily you cry if a man with a beard picks you up. We're working on exposing you to more bearded men, but since your Daddy doesn't have one you aren't around them daily. It's important to tell you that you do warm up to guys with beards -- it just takes some time and you're not as friendly for a while around them. You're definitely starting to recognize people you know from strangers. You're much more cautious about who holds you, but are usually okay as long as your Mom or Dad are holding you when you're around new people.
Your grandparents (Mom's parents) visited you for the first time in North Carolina this month (see the photos below with your grandma and Momma!)! While they were visiting your Mom & Dad left you for the first time! You were juuuuust fine while we were out on a date (a late "Valentine's Day" date). We enjoyed spending some time alone just the two of us, but missed you and were glad to be back home with you after a few hours. Now that we've broken the "baby sitting" ice we may have to find other people who can watch you from time to time. :)
You experienced your first Easter this month (3/31)! It really wasn't all that different for you, but you did get a fun Easter package from your Gram-Gram and Pop-Pop. You also got to enjoy some toys from your first Easter Basket that was left on our doorstep by a loving neighbor (anonymously). We're looking forward celebrating with you next year when we can interact more about the true meaning of Easter (and enjoy a good egg hunt as well).
You started teething again hard-core this month, Skylar Joy. It's been difficult to comfort you at times and you haven't slept well at night for a lot of this month (this has been tough on your parents, but we all made it through and are doing better now!). The sleeping issues led to a more strict "bedtime routine" and you now are typically in bed sleeping by 8pm at the latest. This is quite a change from your flexible bedtime previously, but you're definitely needing the structure now. The teething led to two brand-new teeth! You now have 4 teeth in your little mouth: your two bottom front teeth and your two top front teeth. Your Mom forgot to note which day the top two "cut," but it was one of the first few days of April. Even though the teeth have cut you're still teething so it's likely you will have more teeth poking out next month! ;)
We love you so much, baby girl!!!! Keep growing, learning, exploring. We can't wait to see what you're going to do next!
Love Always, Your Momma
Except for the bottom one these pictures were taken by your Dad (edited by me, though):
This final picture is a preview of the "spring" photos of you and Daddy. I'll be posting the rest on their own in the near future: