9 months old

Dear Kaylee,

My sweet baby girl. It is hard to believe your first birthday is just 3 months away. You have become quite the little adventurer lately; you take every opportunity to stand and walk (with assistance) that comes your way. This inspired me to get you a walking toy for easter. It is a rather large plastic monstrosity in wheels complete with flashing lights and music, and you absolutely adore it. After a few days of practice you got the hang of it and now you can go for walks around the living room on your own after you have worn us out.

You spend a significant amount of your waking hours playing. You are totally into your toy farm now, and are quite proud of yourself whenever you activate one of its songs. Your favorite is the one about going to the fair; “Oh, it’s so exciting when it’s time for the fair. All of our animal friends will be there. Pigs and horses and cows that moooooooo. Lambs and sheep and chickens too. Who’s going to win??? Who’ll take the prize???? There’s a blue ribbon that’s just your size!”… You squeal and ooooooooo (are you mooing? I don’t know) every time it plays.

This past month your babbling has started to take the shape of real words. You say ewwww, ewwwww, ewwwww until we look at you when you want our attention. You say mama and dada but seem to interchange them frequently (I’m dada more that your dad is mama). You make a moo/meow sound, and I’m not quite sure if you are imitating the cats or a cow. You can wave bye-bye on cue and you know the signs for eat, bottle, bird, and water, but you still don’t sign them on your own. You can drink from a cup on your own and much prefer to feed yourself than have our help. This means more finger foods, which you are able to pick up and get into your mouth like a pro now.

You also really enjoy climbing, crawling, sliding, flipping, twirling, and generally being upside-down. In fact, if you are fussy, we can just flip you head-over-heels and calm you down. Perhaps this means you’ll be a gymnast, or a trapeze artist, or a bat. You also really like to be tickled, but not too much. Some nights when you are having trouble falling asleep, I tickle your cheek, your neck, or your arms, and you drift right off. I just adore these quirky personality traits of yours.

The weather has been nice enough for us to go out on a few walks in the neighborhood lately. We have visited the lake and the forest preserve and the ice cream shop. We did all of these things last summer in the weeks following your arrival, but it is much more fun now that you are able to actually take things in. Everything is new for you, and we get to experience things in new ways again too. Reveling in your innocence makes it easier to deal with life as times continue to get more difficult around us. We have been burdened with low-interest rates, rising taxes, gas prices, inflation rates, and worries over the state raiding our retirement accounts to balance their budget. We’re considering moving out of state, but  I don’t think we could sell our house right now even if we threw you in for free. And that’s saying something, because you’re cute and everybody you meet falls madly in love with you and tries to smuggle you home with them in their purse.

Love,
Mom

(p.s. your father’s main goal is ‘keeping you off the pole’, mine is keeping you out of the military, but Kaylee my love, if you become a republican when you grow up it will break both our hearts).

[outfit: Carter’s footed sleeper]

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