You are 8 months old. If you look back through these letters you may notice that there appears not to be a letter for your 7 month birthday. I can totally explain that. You see first, there were the monkeys that took over the computer and deleted my fabulously written 7 month letter. And then there was the flesh eating virus that deleted all your 7 month pictures. And then I developed a painful pinkie cramp and was completely out of commission for like, 3 days.
Ok ok ok, I just made all that up. To be honest, I don't really remember much about November, your 7th month of life. It went by in a blur. You did get to meet your Aunties Lauren and Jenny, and that was lots of fun. Other than that, can't recall a thing.
When I think about it, you have accomplished quite alot in the past 2 months. You can now sit all by yourself, without any problem. Sometimes you will try to reach a toy that is too far behind you and you will fall backwards and bump your head on the floor. The first time you did that it scared me, because I thought you were actually hurt. But as it has happened more and more (because you really love your toys) I have realized that you watch my reactions and you react the same way. So when I look all scared and worried, you cry. But if I clap my hands and say "Yay Norah!" you smile and roll over. Of course, this doesn't work if you are actually hurt, like that one time I bonked your head on the roof of the car when I was putting you in your seat. Sorry about that.
You can also eat just about anything I give you. You still love sweet potatoes and applesauce and cereal, but you also enjoy green beans, eggs, cheese, Cheerios, pears, bananas, avocados, carrots, grapes, rice, noodles, regular potatoes, and...pumpkin pie. You don't really like corn or peas, but you make awesome faces when we try to make you eat them. You weigh 17 pounds and 7 ounces now, which means you have almost tripled your birth weight. I think its all the pumpkin pie.
You have just about weaned yourself from breastfeeding, Norah. This is not what I was planning. I wanted to breastfeed you for a year so that you could go straight from nursing to cow's milk. But for whatever reason, whether you are just more interested in eating real food, or my body just doesn't make enough to fill you up, you seem ready to quit. I have been sick the past 4 days, and have not nursed you at all, and you really don't seem to mind. I'm a little sad about this, because I know that our days of nursing are numbered. You won't fall asleep against my chest anymore, and I won't have that exclusive time with you, but its ok. I just have to remember that I should not feel ashamed for bottle feeding you from now on. I didn't do anything wrong, and you are a wonderful and healthy little girl.
You are on the cusp of getting your two bottom teeth. I know you are. I can see the bumps, I can feel them under your gums, and you will randomly start shrieking only to calmed by Oragel. But this has been going on for at least two weeks, with seemingly no progress and I really wish your gums would just surrender. (Give up Gums! The Teeth are going to win in the end and you are just prolonging the inevitable.) You are also not crawling yet. You're getting close, and I frequently find you on your hands and knees in your crib. Just waiting for you to figure out mobility. Once you do I don't think I will ever get to sit down again.
You like it when I sing to you, but you have some songs that you like more than others. The Itsy Bitsy Spider, for instance, will unfailingly calm you down in the midst of a Diaper Change Cage Match. And the Usher song that comes on TV...Girl what's up! Won't you be my lady? I sing that over and over to you, and you think it is hilarious. And today we were singing together. You were standing in my lap and you would go "AHHHHH! Ahahahahahahahahaha!" and I would do it back. And then you would do it again, and I would do it back. And each time we both got louder. I can't wait until you try that one in church.
Norah, you're 8 months old now, and I think that is a perfectly acceptable age to begin learning important life lessons like:
Bye Bye Toy! --You learn this lesson when you drop your things for the million and first time, and on that million and first time, I don't pick it up for you. Then you get mad and me and ball up your fists and yell. I'm not kidding here, girlfriend. The other day at the doctors office, you were leaning off my lap, dropping your toys and watching them hit the ground.
No Norah! --You learn this lesson during Diaper Change Cage Match. You roll around trying your hardest to get away from me when your butt is naked, and often, still poopy. I don't like poop on my floor, so I roll you back over and say "No!", but you don't listen. So this goes on, you trying to get away (which is pretty hard since you can't even crawl yet) and me saying "No!" until finally I get fed up and say "No Norah!" Then you get mad and ball your fists and yell.
Soft Hands --You learn this lesson when you grab the cat with the force of a thousand excited babies. You love the cats and try to grab them at any opportunity, but you often grab their feet or their tails or their ears and cats generally don't like this. Luckily we have some very even tempered cats in these parts, but to train you for future animal encounters, we are working on petting the cats with soft hands. Unsuccessfully. You usually get mad and ball up your fists and yell.
Oh Norah. On Wednesday I taught you how to bonk. Bonking is something your Grandpa Al does with his kids, me and all your aunts and uncles on that side. It is a gentle butting of foreheads, a special sign of love, and I wanted you to learn it. So on Wednesday I began bonking you, and within 30 minutes you had caught on. I was pretty impressed to be honest. And now, if the mood is right and there aren't too many people around, I can lean forward toward you, and you will lean your head toward mine, and give me a bonk.
Little baby, every time I write these letters I try to articulate just how much you mean to me, but I never even come close. But I bet someday you will understand, when you have your own little baby who yells at you and tries to escape diaper changes and gives you bonks. Then you will understand, you will maybe call me and try to explain all the things you feel about that baby, and I'll say "Norah, I know exactly what you mean."
I love you sweet girl.