Thursday, September 12, 2013

My Baby has been outside of me for as long as she lived inside of me... +8 and 9 month photos!

I can't believe that Klair is 9 months old. I have a feeling I'll be using that "I can't believe Klair is [fill in an age]" for the rest of my life, but it's as true now as I'm sure it will be later. It's as though my life is a downhill rollercoaster that just keeps speeding up as I travel. I'm starting to understand what the elderly mean when they warn that life goes by quickly. I have this feeling that I am going to wake up and I won't recognize the wrinkled, grey-haired face staring back at me in the mirror. Hopefully I'll have Sam by my side and I'll be surrounded by a bunch of little grandbabies. That doesn't sound too bad, but I wouldn't mind if this destination that I'm speeding towards could slow down a little nonetheless.

So... in case I haven't mentioned it yet... Klair is incredible. She really is the best baby that has ever lived. Just today one of the receptionists at Sam's work commented (of her own volition) that Klair is her favorite baby, despite the fact that she has a number of nieces and nephews who she adores. We get that a lot actually. I think it not only has to do with the fact that she is absolutely adorable, but even more so I attribute it to her incredible personality. She is such a happy soul. She literally shines, and everyone around her notices. I feel honored to be associated with someone who can bring so much joy to everyone that she comes in contact with. It makes me want to be a better person, and indeed I feel that the moments when I have been my best self have been inspired by her. Being a mother is the most fun I've ever had in my day-to-day routine. I would call it a "job," but I think that has a negative connotation. Although it is work to be a stay-at-home mom, it doesn't seem like any other work that I've ever done. I don't begrudge doing it the way I think most people inevitably feel about work and/or school. In fact, I look forward to each and every day that I can spend with my little babe and my husband. I am incredibly blessed to say the least.

And now, a few updates on the Klair Bear. I've been keeping a running list of milestones and achievements in my phone with the intention that at some point I would update the blog. So here goes:

Sunday August 4th: Klair  pulled herself up to a standing position by using the hymn book holder on the back of the pew at church... She then fell and hit her head on it, but she pulled herself up! (And luckily neither the fall or the hit were bad enough to cause any real damage, she was barely shaken in fact.)

Monday August 5th: Sam got home late. By the time he got home I had bathed Klair and was putting her to bed. She seemed reluctant to go to sleep and when Sam came in it became apparent why. He came in and opened her bedroom door. She spun around and immediately yelled and squeaked with delight. He picked her up and she looked at him, nestled her head into his shoulder, looked at him again, and then hugged him--all with the biggest grin on her face. It was so sweet, I almost started crying. Although she has acknowledged him plenty of times, this was definitely the most aware I've seen her be of his presence. It was very apparent that she had missed him and was grateful to spend some time with him before going to bed for the night. I think the feeling was mutual :)

Thursday August 8th: I took video of her bend-and- scooting and spinning in circles on her bottom while sitting up. She loves to practice walking and her steps are getting more fluid and precise.

Friday August 9th: I was nursing Klair before bed. Oftentimes when I do this I close my eyes because it encourages her to do the same (if I make eye contact with her she becomes excited and gets more energy than a baby before bed should have). On this particular evening she was resisting her tiredness, and she was poking at my face trying to get me to look at her. I refused and continued to pretend to be sleeping. Finally she put her hand on my face, looked up at me and said "mama" very distinctly and very deliberately. At this point I couldn't help but look at her and acknowledge what she had just done. I opened my eyes and exclaimed that I am indeed her mama. A smile lit up on her face as she realized that she had won, and as I feared she became even more awake and excited... but it was worth it. This was the first time that "mama" was obviously anything more than random syllables. She knew what she was saying, and she meant it. Amazing.

This wasn't the last time she did this either. She did it a few more times in August and nowadays she constantly uses it to get my attention and to acknowledge me. She also knows what "dada" means and I can't say it without her looking to the door in anticipation (and then getting sad if he doesn't walk through it). Furthermore, although she can't say their names she knows who Harvey and Rosie are. She also knows the command to put her hands up and legs down when I slide the tray onto her high chair.

Monday August 19th: she had been working on scooting all month but finally mastered it... And I got some of it on camera! She also uses her toy table to pull herself up to a kneeling position (left leg kneeling, right leg out). I put her in a kneeling position on the 21st and she stayed like that playing with the toys on her table for a long while.

Klair also started swim lessons on the 19th and nothing scared her. She LOVED the pool and she even let me dunk her without a problem. During tummy floats she used her right arm exclusively to swim foreword.
By Friday (the third lesson) she was swimming with both legs and arms going. I wonder if this is making a connection for her--the idea of using arms and legs to propel herself foreword-- because that afternoon at Grandma Jeannie's she lunged from a sitting position into a crawling one. It didn't last long but it was more than she's done before in terms of crawling! She is however still a pretty efficient scooter.

On Saturday the 24th I brought her pack and play up to our room for the sake of taking showers (simply leaving her on the floor is more dangerous now that she's more mobile). I thought she would protest but she happily played in it for about an hour, allowing me time to get some things done. I'm hoping the novelty won't wear off and that it can continue to be a good, safe option for me to utilize :)

By the end of August Klair became and extremely talented little scooter. It was amazing how quickly she took to it and excelled. Sam went out of town for a week and the difference from when he left tow he came home was remarkable. She scoots all over the house and gets into everything. It is adorable and difficult :)

On the 29th of August she had her 9 month appointment. She is perfect and healthy, and I am one grateful mother! She is in the 97th percentile for height, 80th percentile for head circumference, and 64th percentile for her weight. Thus, she has maintained her height and head size, but her weight is dropping a little (something that is apparently normal for breastfed babies once they start solids).

Monday September 9th: I had a hair appointment so I took Klair to my mother-in-law's for the afternoon. Earlier that morning when I was playing with Klair I attempted to get her to hold my phone up to her ear and say "Hello? Hi!" Although she was amused, she didn't perform. Apparently our little play session sunk in though, because while Klair was with her grandma she decided to play with her cell phone. She took the phone, put it up to her ear, and said "Hello?" ... except it was more like, "heh-wo?" She did this several times while I was gone, and she even did it for me when I arrived (and later for her dad at home). She has officially mastered her first non repeating two-syllable word, and it couldn't be any cuter.

Thursday September 12th: Today before bed Klair learned how to do a high-five. I made a pretty big deal out of it once she actually hit my hand, and it was so sweet to see how excited she got. It was apparent that she was really proud of herself, and now every high five is followed with squeals and giggles of delight.

Tonight she also decided to randomly drum on my head while I was laying on her carpet--something she thought was hilarious. And, even though I don't want to encourage any kind of hitting, I couldn't help but laugh with her. She has this devious, mischievous little sense of humor at times, and she is so stinking cute that it's hard not to laugh with her. I'm going to create a monster. The cutest little monster ever... Oh my. I am so whipped :)

Here are some photos that I took of her recently. I am not a photographer. I have a nice camera that does most of the work for me, and I enjoy taking pictures. I would rather have a professional take constant photos of Klair, but since I can neither afford that nor is it feasible, I am stuck doing a lot of the photo-taking. That being said, I really do enjoy taking photos of Klair. And she makes it so easy! That girl is photogenic. I usually photograph her with my iPhone because that's what I have on me at all times, but occasionally I feel inspired and get the Canon out. Here are some of my better Canon moments :)

8 Month Photos 
The first set of photos is of Klair in her most common state: sleeping. For her 8 month photos I decided it would be fun to go au natural and show the simplicity and beauty of pajamas and nap time. I have affectionately named this photo op--

Pajama Sessions: 

This is a collage that Sam helped me to create. 

9 Month Photos: 

For her 9 month photos (in September) I wanted to capture one last set of warm weather photos before the cold came and sitting in the grass in a romper seemed like a distant, pleasant memory. 
I am going to miss the short shorts and tanks that show off those sweet baby rolls. 

Just look at that arm dimple! I love it.

 And I love her. 

July Update + 7 month photos!

Well, the last month or so has been eventful. We moved into our new house at the end of June and settled ourselves in pretty quickly. It was so nice to go from our tiny rental to our big, beautiful new home. I feel like organizing and putting things away was actually fun...and so easy! Everything has a place here. We still need to do some painting and decorating, but overall this house is perfect and doesn't need any changes. It's strange. We went from having a laundry list of home improvement projects that we wanted to accomplish to hardly any at all. Plus all that time spent looking at, comparing, and walking through houses... let's just say we've freed up a substantial amount of time in our schedules. It's so nice to finally feel settled--to know we will be here for a long time and possibly forever.

And that brings me to Klair. She has developed SO much in the past few weeks.

By six months (I am so behind on blog posts) she had 2 teeth, and she was sitting up for extended periods of time.

Her mode of transportation became barrel rolling and a little bit of army crawling when she really wanted a toy. She loved (and still loves) Bananas, Laughing, Singing (yelling), Drumming with kitchen utensils (They make better toys than actual toys), Dancing around the house and Harvey. She loves that cat. The feeling for him is not mutual, but she doesn't care. Just his mere presence is enough to get those little feet a kickin' (her hallmark display of excitement).

In terms of language at 6 months she would say "Ma ma ma" (when she was sad or angry... Something she's been doing since she was a few months old) and just generally yelled a lot. She went from constantly making this cute little inhale squeak noise and babbling to yelling at the top of her lungs whenever she was happy or excited.

Some developments during July (her 7th month):

On the 4th of July she swam with her daddy for the first time at a family barbecue, then watched him play band on a stage for the first time, and had her first encounter with fireworks. Sam's band, j.wride, headlined for the Riverton fireworks and I took her with me. Afterward we stayed for fireworks and Klair not only watched without being afraid, but she even liked them! I was worried about her being out so late, but she was a rock star.

On Saturday the 13th we had our first family get-a-way. My good friend works at a Snowbird ski resort and was able to get us a great deal on some rooms with an adjoining kitchen, and free passes to all of the attractions that they have (zip line, tram, alpine slides, etc.). Plus my friend and her husband have a daughter that is 11months older than Klair, so we had a mutually beneficial arrangement where we took turns watching the girls to do the fun activities. It was 15 degrees cooler up there and so green and beautiful! It was nice hanging out with our friends who understand the demands and limitations of a baby, and it was good for the girls to spend time together. Despite the age gap they are about the same size and they showed a lot of interest in each other. It was fun to see them share toys, hold hands, and babble at each other. I also think it was good for Klair to see someone her size walking around...perhaps it will influence her a little. We spent the weekend swimming, playing, and having a good time. I was worried about the sleeping arrangement but Klair slept in the crib the hotel brought us for the first half of the night, and when Sam accidentally woke her with a loud noise I didn't even bother trying to get her back to sleep in the crib. I caved and let her sleep with us for the rest of the night...which of course she loved. All-in-all, our first family get-a-way and friend trip was a success!

On Thursday July 18th she said the syllable "da" and followed it with lots of "da da" and "da da da" over the next couple of days. Now it is one of her favorite sounds along with "ma", and she has started to replace the all out yelling with quieter yet excited strings of syllables (a fact that her publicly paranoid father is grateful for).

Another fun development that attests to her intelligence is that she understands to push the seat belt button on her high chair when I remove the tray. She has intently watched me remove the tray and take her seatbelt off to get her down, so now she anticipates this and tries to speed up the process by doing it herself. Luckily she's not strong enough to actually get down, but it's a cute, intelligent gesture nonetheless.

Speaking of high chairs, she is such a good eater. She loves solids these days. She is up to 3 solid meals a day and she is still maintaining a consistent and frequent breastfeeding schedule. She loves food and trying new things. So far I haven't found anything that she will refuse to eat (although she likes some things more than others). I'm hoping this is a sign that she takes after me when it comes to food and won't be a picky eater like her dear sweet dad. We even tried giving her lemon last Saturday (video tape ready for the anticipated sour face) and she was unaffected. She liked it! Haha!

Another development is that she has said what sounded like more "mo" while eating and "hi" while playing peekaboo several times now. I could be imagining it, but I suppose time and another witness will tell if she is indeed saying deliberate, meaningful words or just babbling.

Monday July 22: I felt her top right tooth poking through her gums while she was chewing on my finger. Teething this go around has been so much easier! She's been a little fussy but she seems pretty unaffected overall. I can't wait to see her toothy grin with two front teeth!

Also on Monday I videotaped she and Rosie playing tug-of-war. Klair was sitting up, tugging with all her might while Rosie gently tugged back. Klair thought it was hilarious. We have such a good pup.

Oh and yesterday (the 23rd) I was playing with her in her room on her rug and she put a foam cat in my mouth. She has this little book with removable foam animals that she LOVES to chew on. Well for some reason she decided I would enjoy chewing on it too, and she put it in my mouth. I responded by biting down, growling a little shaking, and my head side to side (like Rosie would do). She thought this was hilarious and proceeded to do it over and over again. I have a feeling it won't be the end of this new game.

And that brings us to today, the 24th of July, aka Pioneer Day. I can't believe that one year ago today Sam felt Klair kick for the first time. Now she's a lively, bright, adorable 8 month old!

Our holiday was pretty uneventful. We slept in (she wakes up around six or seven these days, I bring her in my room, feed her laying down, and we go back to sleep until nine or so every morning. This morning we didn't get up until after ten and it was lovely! My baby is such a good little cuddle bug :)

Anyway, back to our day. We then went on a walk around our neighborhood with Rosie. It was meant to be leisurely, but it was more of a hike. I didn't realize how steep this neighborhood really is until I found myself wishing I had worn my workout clothes as my nice stroll turned into an arduous trek. We then went to the grocery store and bought a bunch of produce, and ended the holiday with dinner at my sister's. We were going to try and stay for fireworks, but it became apparent that Klair wasn't going to last so we came home. And now, here I am blogging. All in all, a good day...

Truth be told, we've been having lots of good days recently. Klair has been such a fun, loving, easy going, HAPPY baby. We have such a beautiful connection. All I have to do is smile at her and her perfect little face lights up. And, if I put in a little more effort... say a funny face, dancing around, or some version of peekaboo I can easily get her laughing and squealing. I seriously enjoy her! I love my little baby to pieces. I'm partly saddened by the fact that she's growing so quickly, but I am also just so excited to watch her grow and for our relationship to continue developing. She is one amazing, brilliant little soul! She is a light and I am fortunate enough to bask in her radiance everyday. I am one blessed "ma ma ma."

Here are the most recent photos of Klair--her 7 month shoot. Sam took them in our new backyard while I assisted him (positioned her/made her smile by jumping around and making an all out fool of myself to any neighbors who may have seen). 

The dress she is wearing is one that my great grandma made for me. She was a seamstress all her life and even into her eighties she was still making dresses for her great granddaughters.
 I think it is both sentimental and timeless. 
Thanks, Grandma :) 

I had to get at least one photo of her in her swim suit. 
Two words: 
baby. rolls. !!!