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Letter to a 9 Month Old

Dear Little Muppet,

I can't believe you are 3/4 of a year old.
Don't all of these monthly letters begin with me being shellshocked at your progressing age?
Still, you continue to grow 
and I continue to be surprised at how quickly it occurs. 

At your 9 month check up you weighed 19.5 lbs, which put you just above the 50th percentile. 
With all of the running around in your walker 
and crawling all over the place, 
I knew you were bound to start losing a little of your adorable chub.
I'll just keep squishing it while I have the chance.
Meanwhile the muscles in your legs are stronger than ever.
You have learned to pull yourself up on furniture and walk along it, 
so I doubt walking by yourself is too distant. 
I'm excited and sad about it all at the same time. 
I think I have picked up at least 30+ DVDs from random places in the house daily
for the past three weeks. 

Remember when I said your height was evening out from being so extreme?
Apparently that was a fluke. 
You are again in the 90th percentile for height
and if you keep up like this, 
you'll end up taller than your little old mamma. 

Because of your height combined with your newfound standing skills, 
we had to lower your crib mattress level this month. 
After you banging your head a few times, 
lots of crying, 
and cuddling to make it all better, 
we knew we needed to make it lower so you didn't end up trying to climb out. 

Speaking of your crib, 
I like to play this game with you where I get down on the floor when I come in to get you
and you peek at me through the slats and giggle. 
Then I come up and beg for kisses and you just pat my face like, 
"There there mamma, kisses are for adults." 
You think you're so funny. 

You have continued to say "Mamma" and now say it deliberately at me, 
so I would say that "mamma" is your first word as your now direct it at me with meaning. 
You haven't really said any other specific words, 
but your babble a lot of different sounds so I know they're coming!
You say things like "na na na na," "da da da da," doo di da doo," etc. 

We're practicing saying "Pappa" and I can tell your are right on the verge. 
You respond to me really well when I speak to you
and I am getting better and better about only speaking Swedish to you. 
You know that when I tell you No in Swedish, 
you should stop what you're going after and go find something else to do
and I am always pleasantly surprised that you understand and listen. 

Your hair is lighter but this month it has really filled in with lots of new hair!
It's a very light brown and sometimes look blonde, 
but mostly it looks fuzzy and so sweet. 
Your eyes are a mix between blue, hazel, and green depending on the day, 
and the outfit you are wearing, 
so I still don't know what color they will end up being. 
The suspense is practically killing me! 

It's going to be so fun to see if you get brown eyes like your Pappa
since your eyes are shaped like mine. 
It would be a combination of both of us!
In this picture I can especially see that you have my eyes. 
How lucky am I to have been part of creating such a beautiful little girl?

You still suck your two middle fingers for dear life
in the "I Love You" sign. 
I love it. 

You also still hate eating baby food. 
You always want to feed yourself finger foods, 
which is interesting considering you have no teeth and they always make you choke.
No matter how much you chew on your toys and people tell us that teeth are coming, 
none have even remotely appeared. 

Your Pappa and I still try to feed you veggies and fruits mashed up 
sometimes to fill you up before bedtime so you sleep well. 
It usually ends like this. 

So we aren't on a solid food eating regimen yet.
You like Cheerios and you don't like anything anyone tries to feed you. 
We'll have to see how this progresses. 
I am still just nursing you and I love the cuddle time it provides me 
with my ever-moving baby girl.

Every morning after I nurse you, 
I like to put on a DVD of the Muppet Show for about ten minutes
and the second you hear the theme song, 
your face goes like this. 

You are your mamma's Kermit loving daughter for sure!

This month we had a lot of fun firsts with you!
You went on a trip with us to New Orleans for Pappa's birthday
and his work vacation. 
You were in the Walk to End Alzheimer's with us. 
You had your first Halloween.
You got to visit the Phoenix Temple. 
You even went to the AZ State Fair for the first time!

I'll be writing about our New Orleans trip in another post, 
but suffice it to say it was a blast. 
You ate beignets for the first time, 
we visited the aquarium where you touched sting rays and made friends with a turtle, 
enjoyed local music and cuisine, 
and met some amazing people. 

Your Mormor puts together a team to do the Walk to End Alzheimer's every year, 
so this year, 
you were in it with us!

I put on your little matching converse and you were more than happy
to suck on cold water bottles in your stroller while we walked the 5K. 
You looked like you were getting hot at one point so Mormor just doused you with water.
You didn't mind in the least. 
I got doused as well...
which resulted in a big water fight between Auntie Tee Tee and I,
so that made the walk even more fun! 

During the walk, we passed a 96 year-old woman
and an elderly man in a wheel chair 
that had eight wind breaker flowers on it 
representing his friends lost to Alzheimer's. 
It was really humbling and I felt so blessed to be healthy 
and able to be walking with my family to support such a good cause. 

For Halloween I'll be writing another post as well, 
but you were the cutest little Santa Claus anyone has ever seen. 
I loved how many smiles you brought to everyone who saw you!

Pappa and I finished your playroom this month, 
so it was really fun to introduce you to your new place space.
You love your teepee, 
your books, 
and your piano the most. 
I love seeing you in a space that really will cultivate your imagination
as you grow!

We visited the Phoenix Temple with your for a tour with Sampson
and it was beautiful!
I am so very happy that after all of the prayers we have prayed
and the hard work of those who built and designed the temple, 
that it will finally be dedicated. 
I cannot wait to go there and do the Lord's sacred work
and feel His Spirit. 

As we toured the temple, 
and we walked into the sealing room, 
I couldn't help but wonder if that would be the room
where I will one day watch you sealed to the man who you choose to be with forever. 
I felt my eyes well up with tears of gratitude that I chose 
to be married to your Pappa in the temple
so that we could be together forever, 
because that means we have to opportunity to be together with you forever too.

We are so blessed to have the gospel in our lives.
If there is one thing that comforts me when I think about the things you will have to face in your life, 
it's that I know that your Savior, Jesus Christ, will always be there for you. 
He will guide you, 
love you unconditionally, 
teach you, 
and lift your burdens. 
He is truly our Redeemer and I know that He already loves you 
and watches over you. 

After the temple visit, you and I went to the fair with Sampson
and we had so much!
We went to a petting zoo to pet llamas, pigs, cows, goats, a wallaby, and other animals!
You were so fascinated by all of them! 

You outright squealed when you touched the huge llama. 
It was pretty hilarious. 

Although, Sam was pretty excited about the llama too. 
Who knew llamas are good at selfies?!

After the petting zoo, we checked out an animatronic dinosaur exhibit 
and you were by far the cutest of all of the baby dinosaurs.  

We finished off the night with strawberry funnel cake
(which you liked, but only if you could feed yourself)
and Sam and I both winning giant stuffed pandas!
I won mine with you strapped on me in the Ergo,
 trying desperately to grab my 
controller that shoots water at the target. 
I had to lean back to keep you from smacking it off course, 
but still hold on and hit the moving target with the water stream. 
I didn't realize that I had "mad skillz" until that moment...
Your mom is awesome. 
Well at that game anyway. 

The next week we got to visit the Phoenix Temple again with
Mormor, Morfar, Auntie Tee Tee, and Uncle JJ. 

You were so exhausted because it was later at night, 
but you still were such a sweetheart.
You ended up asleep on Uncle JJ as we walked to the car to head home. 

You spent time with your Auntie Dia & Delaney this month too 
when we went over to Steve's for a game night. 
It seems like it's so much harder to get everyone in our little gang together 
than it was not too long ago, 
but it's always worth it to hang out with them. 
You definitely have become of the crew and you love them. 

Speaking of friends, you have grown a lot in other friendships this month as well. 
Sundays are a hard day of the week for you because you nap all morning usually
and our church is at 9am to noon, 
so you end up missing the whole nap every Sunday. 
We end up spending a lot of time in the mother's lounge, 
but there is one reason you do love church...

It's this guy right here.
You have decided you really like Doug. 
One week when you were both in the mother's lounge, 
Doug crawled over, 
plopped his head in your lap and held onto your sweater tightly 
to make sure you wouldn't leave while he relaxed and chewed on your toy. 
Meawhile you played with a pacifier (you just like to bite them - not actually use them)
and petted his head. 
It was the funniest and sweetest thing. 

The next week you two were at it again in the foyer during sacrament meeting, 
just sharing toys and chatting up a storm with each other. 

You are always so interested in him and what he's doing. 
When we visit taught Vandy Miller this month and Doug was standing by himself, 
he stole your candy cane (remember you were Santa) 
and you didn't care one bit. 
You just wanted to talk to him and watch him stand there.
He's going to start walking and I bet once you see that you'll be even more motivated
(heaven help me).
I am so excited to see your friendship grow!
You will learn so much from having a friend who is your own age. 

On Sundays we also get to visit some of your other favorite people
like your Great Grandma and Grandpa Gardner,

 your Great Great Auntie Eva and Uncle Joe, 

and your Great Grandma and Grandpa Johnson (who I didn't snap a picture with). 
You love them all so much!
I can see it in your eyes when Uncle Joe says "Well hello little lady!" to you 
and your face just lights up,
or when your Great Grandpa Gardner says "Hi there Punkin!" to you 
and you flap your arms in excitement. 
You can feel their love and you must be able to sense that they are people you want to be close to. 
Even when you have missed Sunday naps and/or are late on feedings, 
you are nowhere near as grumpy as your normally would be, 
because you like to be surrounded by them. 

You also have spent more time loving on 
and laughing at your doggies. 
You still think that there is nothing on earth as hilarious as them.
When we took your 9 month photos and tried to get you to smile, 
you were so tired that the only thing that worked was bring Bamse in.

Then suddenly you were smiling!
Bamse and Saga are your very best friends. 

You love to talk to them 
and they love to be around you, 
despite their hatred for the walker contraption. 
They will probably have a party the day you can walk and chase them without it. 
For now, snuggling on the living room floor 
and patting their noses while they eat in their kennels are your favorite things. 

 Your Pappa and I have loved every moment we've gotten to spend with you. 
You still accompany us on our dates 
and I must say, 
you are always good
and always the talk of all the waiters and waitresses. 
Everyone has to come by and flirt with you
because you are so happy!

Your Pappa practically lives and breathes just to make you laugh. 
He would do anything to see that lovely little smiles spread across your face
and you think he's hilarious so really it all works out well. 

Whenever he is near, 
you know it, 
and you get so excited. 

I live for the moments that I get to hold you in my arms
and revel in everything about you. 

Your perfect little body functions exactly as it's designed to, 
your happy disposition eases the frustration of many situations, 
and your sweet spirit knows just what moments to lay your head on mamma's chest
or look at me with a twinkle in your eye. 

 You are a miracle. 
And I love you so very much. 

Love Always, 

(See the Cheerio peeking out of your mouth?) 

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