Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Newsletter: Month 8

Dear JB,

Today you are EIGHT MONTHS OLD! It is hard to believe. These sweet times don't feel like they are flying by. It feels like we are savoring them and enjoying them and filling up our hearts with them, but i look up from my entertainment weekly in the upstairs bathroom at 10pm on any random night and realize... whoa, time is flying by!

This last month, you got sick again. While on antibiotics for that recent, bilateral ear infection (the pediatric provider said the right was worse than the left) your left ear pussed up on us and your eardrum burst. Our first sign was a kind of foul, skunky smell coming out of your ear... our second sign was the 6 hours you screamed whenever we tried to put you down, and whimpered even when we held you. I can't stress enough how un-you that type of behavior is. You can be a twitchy mess when you are "fussy" and you can get whiny at times, but you have proven to us over and over that you just don't cry for no reason. We were up all night that night, and before you even spiked a temp, we had decided someone needed to look into your ears again. That makes 40 combined days of three different antibiotics in less than 4 months. We'd be lying if we said we weren't a little concerned about that. But a few days after we start the drugs each time, you seem completely happy, comfortable, and back to your joe-cool-self.

You are such a sweet, happy boy. You are quick to smile and laugh. Your Aunt Teri observes that you are more attentive to the voices, jokes, and peek-a-boos of your mommies and are more likely to reserve your quiet "quizzical expression" for folks you don't know as well. We notice that you get loud when things are quiet, but when there is a lot to see and and a lot of background clamoring, you are more pensive and serious, often scrunching your brow and pursing your lips as you take it all in. This is never more apparent than we we are in church. Pretty predictably, you stare mutely during the active times and shout out during the moments of silence.

You've developed this habit of rubbing your head and tugging your hair and ears. It's probably related to all of the ear infections, but it is still cute; and looks as if you are trying to put on a show: "Look at my head! I'm rubbing my head! See my hands? They are ON MY HEAD!!! Soon I'll rub my head AND pat my belly." This "rubbing your head" thing is something that you do that I don't see other babies doing. I can't tell, do you like the way your head feels when it is being stroked? Do you like the way your head or hair feels under your hand? Do you like exploring these newly discovered aspects of your body? At one point it seemed a little OCD-esque (rub head 5 times in a circle, tug ear twice, rub head, pull hair, etc.) I absentmindedly rubbed the back of my own mane, as I often do when I'm "thinking," and realized it is probably more "handed down" behavior than I had considered.

One morning this month, I was holding you on the bed and Mama was chattering away. I'm not sure what she was saying, but I was tired and staring up at her as she dressed and talked. She turned to us and started laughing because apparently, we were looking at her with identical expressions: tired, squinting eyes; head tiled up; jaw slackened with mouth hanging slightly open; a look of vague consternation... or was it constipation?!? People say over and over again, "He looks just like you," to me. I don't see it. I just don't. You look just like you to me. And I think you are way cuter than I am, by the way.

Milestones: clapping, clapping to the word "hooray," clapping when you get excited or proud, clapping when one of us enters the room, (have we mentioned clapping), sitting up independently, flipping and rolling all around the floor and the crib, holding your bottle, holding a sippy cup, holding the mesh-fruit-eater-thing-ee, eating everything stage 2- combos of fruits and veggies and rice, bouncing up a storm (in the bouncy seat), pretty consistently sleeping thru the night, knowing we are still there somewhere when we leave the room (object permanence.)

You moved up to a new, rear-facing car seat in each of our cars. You have developed quite a fan-base at day care. We love dressing you up for your "girlfriends" (what all the day care workers refer to themselves as.)

You are already becoming something that is entirely separate from us, even though we three are so intertwined and interdependent on each other. You move your hands purposefully. Sometimes it is utility (grabbing my hair to pull yourself up to a sitting position) and sometimes the purpose is purely tactile (to stroke your mama's shoulder.) You laugh at us and with us. The other day, I would lean into you as I said: "Aaaugh, aaaugh, AAAaaaugh-chooo!" And you belly laughed until your parents were in tears.

You really are a dream come true. We love you.

Your mommies

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