8 Months

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a double chin! :)
I realize that my last post was a very late 7 month update, and I've written nothing between then and now, but here we are.

And can I just say whoa? The seventh month was the coolest one so far. It seems like Lucy changed more in the last thirty days than she did in the three months prior. And, soon, we'll be starting to plan for her first birthday (not too soon, but you know...I may or may not have created a Pinterest board). What the what? How did this happen?

Looking back, I remember feeling like those first three weeks, and even the first month or so, would never end. That I would never get over the hormones, the rush of emotion with every letdown, every tear, every look, or the sometimes suffocating reality that she was here and I could not give her back. I didn't want to, of course. But I also didn't feel like I would ever get this mother thing right. On the other hand, the thought of never knowing our girl, of her ever belonging to someone else, instantaneously brought out a protective, almost possessive, creature I never knew lived inside of me. She was our baby. My daughter. But during those late-night nursing sessions, and often random moments throughout the day,  my emotions alternated between overwhelming gratitude and joy and sheer panic-inducing terror. I thought, "What the hell did we do this for? We can't be parents to this tiny little human. I can't be a mom! Lord Jesus, why did you trust me with this? She's too precious. I can't do it. You made a mistake."

And then, like everyone said they would, things got better.

Slowly, like the sticky, humid heat of August transitions into crisp September breezes, things got better. I could breathe again. I could go more than an hour without crying. I could look at myself and see a mama. What's more, I could see a good mama. Someone whose fears somehow made sense in the light of the big, beautiful mess that is parenthood and, as a result, stopped feeling quite so paralyzing. I discovered grace is an even more glorious thing than I ever imagined. And God does not make mistakes. The proof is in our daughter.

At eight months old, Lucy is incredibly fun. She's always been sweet-natured, easy to please, and interested in her surroundings. She still loves to be around lots of people and sounds, whether we're taking a walk or we're at a party, but now that she's older she loves to interact, too. She babbles and giggles and squeals with delight over the tiniest things. She loves to sit in her crib and play with her books (proud mama!), and just last week she scooted over to the toys on her shelf and started pulling them all out. It was such a joy for me to sit quietly on the chair in her nursery and watch her play independently. I get the pleasure of living life all over again through her, and it's even sweeter than my parents said it would be.

We've also reached a ton of milestones this month! Lucy is officially crawling, clapping, mimicking the word "Yay!", and starting to wave hello and goodbye. Last week, while I had some bible study girlfriends over, she even said, "Mama" while looking at a picture of me and her together. I have witnesses! My heart just about turned into a puddle on the floor.

Sleep is still going pretty well. Lucy will usually wake up once around 3-4 in the morning for a diaper change and bottle, but then she goes back to bed until we get up for work. I'm super grateful for the rest because my mind pretty much never stops. I'm still learning to let God take control of my thoughts and show me truth where I often see only fear or failure, so sleep helps. A lot. Thanks, baby girl.

We're trying lots of new foods now to help Lucy get a taste for flavors. Thus far, she's had rice cereal, Puffs, Cheerios, pineapples, watermelon, blueberries (not a fan), avocado, banana, scrambled egg (also not a fan), sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and some carrot/broccoli baby food. Most of the time, she's pretty eager to try new things, but we'll see how eager she is once we start her on real solids. I worry constantly about her choking. Lucy's daycare actually gave her Cheerios before we said she could have them because the new girl there thought all the babies ate them. It was an honest mistake, but my mind immediately went to OMG CHOKING HAZARD. She eats them every day now, and we're actually pretty thankful that she reached that little milestone in the presence of infant CPR-certified professionals. We need to take a class ASAP. I know the steps in my head, but the execution needs some work.

Some other fun developments:

Lucy's favorite game is "Mama Steals the Paci". Lucy giggles when she sees it in my mouth and she always takes it out and puts it in her own.

Lucy is getting a huge crush on her daddy and it's absolutely adorable the way she lights up when he comes in the room. She's so lucky to have a father like him.

Her next doctor's appointment is in three weeks and she'll be getting her 9-month shots, plus a weight/height check. We mark her height on the door frame in her room every few months, but I'm excited to see how much she's grown since our last visit. I mean, have you seen that picture up there? I just want to eat her up!

Okay, I'm done swooning now. You may return to your regularly scheduled blog reading.

7.5 Months

Well, hi there! It's been awhile. This whole magazine project has taken over my life. Plus, I also work freelance and have a part-time job, and we had vacation last week so we decided to purge our house of junk and clutter (and dust...oh, the dust). Anyway, I'm back for a late update on our little Lucy.

At seven (and a half) months, Lucy is rapidly changing. Every day it seems like she can do something new and we love it (when do we not?)! I think she might be going through another growth spurt because even the 7 or 8 oz. bottles are not always enough to fill her up. Sometimes, when she's done, she'll hold out the bottle and drop it on the floor like she's a rapper playing for a sold-out show. And, of course, we hurry to meet her demands. We know who's the boss in this house ;).

Over the last week, Lucy has developed a knack for practicing her vocal scales. Once upon a time, I sang and this totally cracks me up, especially when she moves from high trills to low growls. Unfortunately, Lucy is also learning that squealing like a banshee when she's tired/fussy/cranky is quite useful, as well. We're trying to nip that in the bud now by replying with a stern "No" and signing the word at the same time. Hopefully, as she grows older, she'll recognize the sign as a warning so we don't have to resort to other more serious forms of discipline. Trying to set those boundaries early! But, rest assured, I am not naive. No matter how well we might parent, I have no doubt we have plenty of meltdowns waiting for us in the future. Just trying to be consistent and pray we'll meet those challenges with plenty of patience and courage!

As far as mobility goes, Lucy can pull herself up on her knees, roll around all over her crib/Pack-N-Play/rug, and scoot on her stomach. She can also roll from her back to front and then push herself up into a sitting position. We love watching her grow and play! It's fascinating how much she learns in the course of a week.

Lucy's favorite toys are books, her stuffed lamb, Carlos (the pink monkey), and anything she can chew on (this list includes any jewelry I wear, my hair, my finger, the table, and whatever is lying in front of her).

Also...we have successfully transitioned Lucy from the baby rocker next to our bed to her crib in the nursery! Seriously, I don't want to rub this in the face of mamas who are struggling with sleep training or transitioning their babies, but Lucy is a champ, you guys! We put her down in the crib each night at 8:30, read her a short bedtime story, say a little prayer, turn on her sound/light machine, and close the door. She usually goes straight to sleep and doesn't wake up again until about six a.m. Sometimes, she'll need a bottle/diaper change around four in the morning, but she usually goes right back to sleep. Lucy, you are a dream baby and we thank you for letting us get so much sleep these last seven months. Also, please don't jinx us because I said that...

Lucy's new favorite "words" are "dadadada", "babababa", and something that sounds like "kika". Maybe she's trying to say "kitty cat"? No "mama" yet, though. I'm holding out hope.

In one month, Pierce's mother will start keeping Lucy full-time, which means no more daycare AND I'll get to see her throughout the day! This is such a blessing for us. We love her daycare center and she's been going there full-time since the beginning of the summer (our friend, Amber, who was her previous caretaker, just had a baby and has decided that, with three little ones at home under the age of three, it's time to take a break... at least from in-home daycare!). But knowing that we can help support our in-laws with a little income and that Lucy will get to spend her days with her grandma? So good.

Hopefully it won't take me more than a month to write again, but I'm not making any promises ;). I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July!