sweet, sweet Sugarplum…

At 10 months (just shy of 11):

She can roll front to back and back again.

She can sit up, stand up, pull up and ask to be picked up.

Somewhere in the midst of the last month we stopped tucking her into the brown sling so frequently. She came alive and is much too busy for our preferred coddling.

She has babbled Mama and Dada, although it really is more babble than pointed and in that Shakespearian Typing Monkey sort of way managed to eek out Hungry one time.

She signs All Done, Claps, asks to be picked up with her hands up and has a funny little wave in which her tiny hand pummels her forehead.

The funniest thing on earth is to be sitting up and suddenly fall backwards. And she is a master at it.

She is continuously into things- drawers, cabinets, toy boxes….

She crawls from room to room and comes when you call her.

She still likes to nurse. But if someone is in the room she is quick to stop and grin at them. If her sisters are nearby when she is nursing she reaches out a hand to them. If they or a blankie or lovey aren’t around she holds her own hand.

She has 5 pearly white teeth.

She sleeps with her little hands over her head and on her back. Not unlike what her ultrasound pictures showed.

Just last week we started putting her down in her snuggle nest in her pack and play after her nighttime nursing. She might let out a little protest, but then nods off. Prior to this she had been waking 3-4 times a night to nurse while sleeping in her snugglenest between us and I wrote it off too teething…then her teeth came through and the cycle continued. Now in the pack and play she wakes one time in about 11-13 hours of nighttime sleep. If she fusses as we are putting her down, but she really is tired you are likely to find her in a funny position when you go back to check. Sometimes sitting up sleeping and sometimes on her belly. If she is just ready to go down, when you go to put her little pink fuzzy blanket on her she pulls it up to her face and snuggles in to it.

She gets the 8 o’clock cat crazies. Just as we put her sisters down to sleep she is usually getting wound up. If we put her down before she won’t stay. Once she’s down from there though we’re usually good.

She has a shy grin and giggle when tickled.

She is mesmerized by Baby Einstein’s Baby Van Gogh. And that’s about it.

She has the busiest little hands of all The Sistred. She is the one we have to babyproof for. She is continuously undoing what is done- the dishwasher, a kitchen or bedroom cabinet drawer, the toilet paper roll. Any sort of manipulative toy is a winner.

She does love her bunny lovey. And she greets him with a big ole bite on the nose as a matter of course.

She’s still not much of an eater. She takes stage 2 baby foods now and vigorously signs all done when she is- which can be anywhere from 3-4 bites in, to finishing off the packet. She’ll also munch on Cheerios, puffs and crackers. I once fed her a single pea. Poor thing wretched the entire evening until she got it up. We’ve been handing her a sippy cup that has a top like a bottle. She’s not so keen on it either. Maybe she’ll drink an ounce from it if she is super hungry. I’ve stopped waking her to nurse in the morning. Usually she went right back to sleep afterwards and wasn’t really waking on her own at all anymore, then would not be very interested in a bottle in the coming hours. She still only takes 2-3 ounces from Lovey in the morning and might drink one 4 oz bottle at school. And then it varies what else she takes in- maybe a food packet, maybe cereal, maybe another bottle. She’s pretty inconsistent. Inspite of which her growth remains in the 75% for height and weight.

five-minute-friday: ordinary

…where a brave and beautiful bunch gather every week to find out what comes out when we all spend five minutes writing on the same topic and then sharing ‘em over here.

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Go:

She’s anything but and yet incredibly so. So ordinary in ways we couldn’t imagine based on the generalizations we were presented with when she was born. Would she speak? Would she walk? Would she go to school and learn? Would she know who we are? Would she nurse? Would she be a sister to dear Zuzu?

When the child in your heart and belly comes along with warnings of the complexities of her growth you find yourself backing up your hopes, your dreams your expectations: Dear God, give me an ordinary day. One where we wake and nurse and cuddle and play. Let her be healthy and happy. That’s not too much to ask for is it?

Now, four years into this journey, she just is. 

Yes she speaks, in her own way, in her own time, with much help from our community. Yes she walks, she also jumps and runs and tumbles and plays. Yes she will go to school, and it thrills her to have the attention of her teachers and classmates. She happily follows along and eagerly takes in what you take the time to teach her. Yes she knows her family. She asks for us by name when we are not there. She tells us what the other is doing. If the baby is sad, she runs for a grown-up and a tissue. If her big sister takes her toy she bellows and wallops her. If her mom grabs her purse on a Tuesday or Thursday morning, she pulls her backpack over her shoulder and chants her teacher’s name. If her Dad suggests a park run, she rifles through the shoe box for her purple crocs. Yes she nursed, with a lot more help than the average baby but also a lot more determination. Yes she knows her big sister and her baby by heart.  In the evening, she crawls up on the oversized couch with her legs criss-cross-applesauce and holds out her hands for her snuggle time with the baby. She crawls into bed beside her sister and lays down her sweet head at the end of the day, as comfortable in her place in that bed as she is her place in our hearts and family.

Those experts, they didn’t know. They couldn’t predict her.

She is so very ordinary.

And yet, she is so not.

Stop.