Letters to Lexi: Happy 10 months, Baby Girl!

It’s only month 10 and I am already starting to run out of words for you.

There is so much that you do, so much that changes on daily basis, and so much love that grows with you.

This whole “having you as a daughter” gig keeps getting better. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish I could bottle up every single ounce of your cuteness for posterity.

Sometimes, I just stare at you trying desperately to commit every roll, every hair, every finger and toe, every single expression and sound you make, to memory, because I am so afraid that soon I won’t remember what you were like. A part of the reason for why I take so many photos of you ( and photos in general) is because, while I have excellent short term memory, my long term memory has always sucked. I don’t want to not remember every single thing about 10 months old you in 10 years. I want to have it right there on video and photo. So you and I are stuck with tons and tons of memories keeped in a digital file.

I’ll be honest with you, I still can’t nail down your personality type. According to one of my favorite books Baby Hearts, there are 4 temperaments: Sunflower (easy baby), Orchid ( slow to warm baby), Dandelion ( active baby) and Holly ( difficult baby). I know you aren’t a Sunflower, or a Holly. Your “difficult-ness” has to do more with the Dandelion characteristics ( doesn’t like sitting still, be confined, or be in one place for too long, is active, interested, won’t sleep well because of motivation and drive). However, I swear I see traits of Baby Orchid, which seems impossible because it’s the opposite of Dandelion. You are cautious with new things and in new environments, until you’re used to them. You don’t like new books right away, until you’ve had a chance to get used to them. You can sit still for longer periods of time as long as you’re “reading” a book or being read to, yet you won’t sit still to do anything else. So unless you’re some kind of “new breed” of temperament, I am at loss. Your dad is an Orchid, I am a Dandelion. You could have taken after either one of us, or both, I guess.

That only makes me more intrigued at slowly learning and discovering WHO you really are.

This month you’ve turned into a little girl. You look like a toddler, you act like a toddler, you just don’t toddle by yourself yet. There are so many cute things you do that blow our minds that I have stopped writing them down. I only hope I can remember a fraction of them.

 

It has been incredibly hard to photograph you this month. Most of the time (99.9%) you will crawl to me as soon as you see the camera. And since I shoot with a prime lens, that usually spells the end of the “photoshoot” unless I want a million images of you crawling. So this month , while I do have a few cute shots, I don’t have as many as I am used to taking. The only way to actually photography you is if I sit you down with a book and even then it’s 50/50. That is exactly how I kept you sitting in that chair for your 10 months pictures. And you just look as cute as a doll. (Well, I had to start with a new toy I’ve been saving for Christmas and then when the toy got thrown, a lens, then another toy and then I finally I gave you a book)

You are smart and catch onto things with lightning speed. I love seeing you figure out how things work.

Whenever you see a hair clip in my hands, you take it from me and try to put it in your hair. The first few days you started doing it, you kept poking yourself in the eye, but you quickly adjusted and now you hold the clip and keep pushing it to the side of your head. It’s so cute to watch.

I caught you brushing your hair for the first time the other day. You love playing with brushes, which is why we got you a non-toxic brush and comb, but recently you have been attempting to brush your own hair. It is so funny to watch you brush it with the wrong end, get it into your eyes… Such a sweetie!

You also know how to brush MY teeth. You still love your silicone toothbrush and whenever I say “Brush mommy’s teethies!”, you reach to me with the brush and try to not miss my mouth πŸ™‚

Like most babies your age with parents who have iPhones, you’re obsessed with ours. It doesn’t help that we read some Dr Seuss books on the iPhone, as well as a few Russian books I found, and talk to Grandma, so you’ve decided it’s a fun thing to play with. I used to get some minor blog work done, answer most emails and comments on my iPhone when you’d be playing on your own quietly, but now that is gone.

You are slowly getting ready to drop your second nap. Your morning nap is getting longer, you take it later, and your second nap is only 30 minutes and you keep taking it at or 5pm and then refusing to go to bed until 9pm.

Your sleep is up and down depending on what you’re working on developmentally or whether you’re teething or not. It’s always clear something is up, because sleep is the first to go. So right now we go from a week of really good sleep (2 good naps, going to bed easily and only 3 wake ups during the night) to a week of bad sleep where you stare into the darkness with your eyes wide open for hours or roll back and forth whining and the only way to get you to sleep is rock you while nursing. We just got done with a bad week, so I am enjoying a nice one.

I have learned to let you get your energy out before bedtime at night. You literally make circles around the room with your dad and I chasing you to brush your hair, put your diaper on, moisturize you, put your pjs on. Afterwards, we are both exhausted, but you’re still looking to play and roll around a bit. I read you two Russian books, then turn the light off and read you “1 fish, 2 fish” by Dr Seuss on the phone and before we even get to the line “And now good night, it’s time to sleep“, you roll off of me into a nursing position knowing what’s coming next.

Last month you met your “surrogate grandparents” for the first time and BOY, DID YOU LOVE THEM! You have not smiled and laughed for anyone as much as you did for them. I have a ton of photos from the day that I cannot wait to go through (oh if only I had the time).

It was only your first time really interacting with dogs. You see many dogs in the neighborhood and squeal at them but you never got close and personal with dogs until now.

At 9 months you started working with assistance and you have not slowed down since. You love walking and exploring the world upright. At this point you can walk holding onto one hand of ours with occasional losses of balance and you’re trying to stand really hard and getting better at it every day. It’s only a matter of time until my little girl becomes a toddler. So exciting!

You love walking up the stairs, proudly lifting each leg (but mostly right one). You crawl up the stairs with ease. You don’t get the concept of feet first when we are going down the stairs, but we haven’t really tried teaching you yet.

Your hair is growing so fast, You’ve got curls on one side and straighter hair on the other πŸ™‚ It’s probably due to how I brush your hair. But it’s growing an it’s getting looooong! I love it so much! I love that you have so much hair, I love brushing it and I love putting clips into your hair. Now that you move a lot more and are more comfortable in general I am having so much fun dressing you up.

It’s great to see you becoming more proficient at all kinds of moves. Just a few months ago you couldn’t do most of them. When you show off for grandma, it’s like gymnastics central. You tumble and stretch and lie down and stand up, get on your knees, bounce, move your body in all kinds of directions.

During your sleep regressing this month, daddy has been letting me sleep in in the mornings, so you two have been having a lot of daddy-daughter time and that has made such a difference in your love for each other. He adores you so much, he loves kissing you and hugging you and making you laugh and he says “I love her so much!” to me all the time.

In fact, every evening when we sit you down in your high chair we both look at each other and talk about how amazing it is that just a year ago you were not here and how awesome you are and how much we love you and how different it is to actually have you here from what we thought during pregnancy.

You are really communicating with us now. Your first word was “mamama” at 6 months and you continue calling me that, you say dada, meow, hey, “eto” (“this” in russian), “gde” (“where” in russian).

You repeat a LOT of sounds that we make without really knowing the meaning of them. Very complicated sounds, too. Currently, your favorite is a rolling R. You go “RRRRRRRRRRRRR” or DRRRRRRN-DRRRRRRN-DRRRRRN” all day long.

You’ve figured out what seatbelts are for and now try to fasten them yourself whenever you’re put into your carseat, your high chair, your rocking horse. You’re such a good little helper and it amazes me that you’ve caught onto that. You like to “share” food and feed mommy and daddy. You usually happily give us whatever you’re holding if we ask. You high five like a pro (though once in a while, if you’re not feeling it, it’s more of a high one)

You point! A few weeks ago I realized that you weren’t pointing because we never really point ourselves. So I started pointing to things and wouldn’t you know it? Within a day, you were pointing, too. You point at kitties and say “Meow”, you point at Christmas lights and often say ETO (this). You will also point at anything we are pointing at just copying us.

You really love Christmas lights, like daddy. When daddy was a little kid, he was fascinated with lights, they still give him a warm feeling. You love lights the same. Evening walks around our neighborhood are full of exclamations and pointing. I cannot wait to take you to Osborne Lights at Disney next week.

I really want to videotape this because it’s the cutest thing ever: when I sit down on the bed or the chair and say “Come to me, let’s read books”, you INSTANTLY crawl over with the BIGGEST smile on your face and plant yourself in my lap automatically rotating to face out.

I really do hope that your extreme love of books will stay. They are your best toys, the best way to calm you down, the best way to engage you in something. Wherever you are ( we have big baskets of books in 4 main rooms that you hang out in regularly), you crawl over to the books, pull one out, page through it, carefully studying the pictures in the book ( often upside down), then toss it aside only get another one out. You do this until all the books are out of the basket. And then you go through the ones you left on the floor once again.

You understand so much of what we say. I really feel we have good communication going at this point.

You still love food and you eat everything. You even like eating raw spinach leaves (what?). Your biggest favorites are buckwheat, couscous, tomatoes and any kind of stews or soups. You say “Nom Nom Nom” when you chew and laugh when I do it with you.

You cruise non-stop these days. I’ve positioned your bObles so that you could cross the room using them. AND you took two independent steps towards me and fell into my arms! (this officially happened at 10 months 6 days) That was so awesome! From that day on you have been set on learning to walk. You let go, try walking, fall, get up, do it again. Your balance is still really off, but you’re determined. AND you look so happy doing it!

You’ve seen me use a feather toy to play with cats and now you love doing the same thing. It’s kind of dangerous because you could poke your eye out, so I watch you closely when you do that. You find the toy, grab it and start banging it to get our kitties attention.

I’ve been trying to transition you to taking a bath on your own (up until now we’d get in a tub with you because it’s so slippery), but you seem to be afraid of bathing alone (we did switch bathtubs for that, so it could be the issue).

We’ve gotten to the point where you will barely sit in a stroller, carrier or even in our arms when going for walks. YOU WANT DOWN! The problem with that? You take EVERYTHING in your mouth! I mean everything! You can’t be put down on the ground, because you WILL eat something really bad off of it. We can’t go to playgrounds because you just want to eat the mulch. We still go, but I have to have in my arms all the time, swinging, going down slides, otherwise you get sneaky and I found you chewing on a piece of mulch.

You use signs. I have to admit, I wish we were better at using them ourselves, but you’ve caught onto the ones we use the most. You sign eat, all done, milk.

This one is a totally new development: you started moving your lips when we read to you! I am not exactly sure what that means.

Oh and to my disappointment, you’re starting to lose rolls? *tear* You are slimming down, getting taller. You’re still one BIG girl. I never recorded your weight and height here because our appointments always fell in the middle of the month after I’d already written the update. This month, I actually have the numbers since I am writing this a few days late: 24 lbs, 30.5 inches tall. Your height has exploded this month. You’re the size of an average 15 months old. You go, girl!

And to finish up this update, I want to post the cutest video of you, playing with the What’s Inside Box. I won’t have a 9 and 10 months video ready for a few months due to my full schedule, but this video was too priceless not to render.

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37 Comments

  • Reply
    conny
    December 10, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    Awwww. So sweet! What’s the book she’s reading? It looks like a good one!

  • Reply
    Kerry
    December 10, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    Wow she has definitely grown this month! She looks like a little lady and as beautiful as ever!

    Kerry

  • Reply
    Vidhya
    December 10, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    Lexie saying “all done” in the video is so adorable and cute. And she seems beyond excited to see the dogs. Maybe you should adopt a puppy sibling for her!

  • Reply
    margaux
    December 10, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    omg that video !! she is SO cute !!!!!! you have amazing light at your place, your videos are so sharp ! so so so so cute !

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      December 10, 2012 at 2:27 PM

      Thank you :))))
      Actually the light in this video was horrible. It was after sunset and a lamp was the only light source. I really had to increase gamma to make this video acceptable.

  • Reply
    Corinne
    December 10, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    So cute in the video! And I caught the ‘all done’ at the end :] Russian is such a pretty language.

  • Reply
    jamie
    December 10, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    Lexi’s face with the dogs – so excited and adorable!

    I can’t believe how big she has gotten – she DOES look like a toddler! She’s just darling, Elena. You must be such a proud mama.

  • Reply
    Jessica
    December 10, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    She’s too cute. We were due on the same day, if you remember me. Mariah was born February 2nd, though. I think it’s super amazing that you are teaching miss Lexi to sign. We have been teaching Mariah since my mom and brother are deaf. She does ‘more’, ‘milk’, and ‘all gone’/’where’. It’s amazing how fast they learn it! I even learned when I was 6 months old! Keep it up! She’s so adorable!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      December 10, 2012 at 2:33 PM

      I love signing with her. I really need to learn new signs now.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      December 10, 2012 at 2:37 PM

      I also feel like it REALLY helps us communicate. Though I have to admit that sometimes I’m so slow in catching on with what she means. Often I don’t get it until after that fact.

  • Reply
    Roxy
    December 10, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    Love the video… I can’t believe how fast she has grown. =)

  • Reply
    Trudy
    December 10, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    Aww! I love Lexi’s dress in those pictures and the little barrette in her hair is adorable!

  • Reply
    Katie R
    December 10, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Happy 10 Months, Lexi! What a sweetie, she really is starting to look like a little girl and less like a baby, and she is absolutely adorable, as always! I’ve never heard of the four types of babies, and that is very interesting to me! My son is a Dandelion, and my daughter is a Sunflower. The video you posted is really cute, and I always find it fascinating when babies learn two languages from the start. Such a wonderful knowledge to have!

  • Reply
    Tawny
    December 10, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Those pictures are SO cute! She is getting big!

  • Reply
    Lara
    December 10, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    I LOVE that red and white swimsuit!!!!! Where is it from? Does it have a ruffle butt???? So darling!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      December 11, 2012 at 12:35 AM

      No ruffle butt πŸ™‚
      I’m not sure where it’s from, it was a gift. But I seem to remember someone saying it’s target.

  • Reply
    Amber
    December 10, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    I totally agree with the pictures getting more difficult. My son is just one month behind Lexi and its a battle to get a good shot. He NEVER sits still! The only way I can get a good shot is if I let him stand since he can’t walk yet.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      December 10, 2012 at 10:31 PM

      You know I’m even ok with her moving all the time. I can capture that. Some in action shots are fine. But Lexi goes STRAIGHT for the camera! I have to be super sneaky about it now.

  • Reply
    Jessica Joy
    December 10, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    That is so amazing. She totally understands you, even better than most of us probably do! I saw her sign “finished” when you were saying that there were no more!! I just want to say how amazing it is that you allow us to watch her grow and what a great example you set for all of us future mothers that read your blog. I am sure I will be a better mother because of what you are doing! Lexi is beyond adorable and so lucky to have you both!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      December 11, 2012 at 12:34 AM

      Thank you Jessica! It’s very nice to know it’s appreciated. :)))))

    • Reply
      Tina
      December 11, 2012 at 1:18 PM

      Well said Jessica!
      Lexi brushing her hair!! Sooo cute!!

  • Reply
    Krista
    December 11, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Elena,
    My daughter loved books when she was Lexi’s age (she’s 2 now and STILL loves to read and be read to). One thing I did for her which has been awesome was make a Shutterfly book with all her favorite real life things. I put pictures of her family members (those who live near and far) and pictures of the playground we go to, Nana’s house, her favorite foods, etc. She absolutely loves it still. It’s a great keepsake too!

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      December 11, 2012 at 7:18 PM

      Great idea! I was planning on doing a few similar books. I made a board boob of our pictures illustrating emotions and she LOVES it!!

  • Reply
    Kelly
    December 11, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Love the hair brushing………

    I found your blog about a month after Lexi was born… i cant believe how much she has grown.

  • Reply
    Ashley M. [at] (never)homemaker
    December 11, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    she’s beautiful, elena! and i, too, resort to books and lenses to get ada to sit still for photos!

  • Reply
    Mamato2
    December 12, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    Even before I read this post, my first thought was “Lexi looks like such a little lady now!”. This is such a fun age, for all sorts of new explorations.

  • Reply
    Amy Bassett
    December 15, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Hey Elena!

    Beautiful post, as always!

    I just wanted to comment that my baby (now 4 months) does the same thing at night. He will just lay in his crib with his eyes open for hours, sometimes sucking his thumb, but never crying. I find it so strange. He’s been doing it for about 3 weeks now, although less recently. Do you know why they do this?

    Love ya!
    Amy

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      December 15, 2012 at 5:40 PM

      I am not exactly sure what it is. She doesn’t do it quietly… She’s usually rolling or whining or trying to crawl somewhere.
      I know it happens every time we put her to bed earlier than normal. So it’s possible that she just has a “sleep quota” lol

      But honestly I have no clue otherwise.

  • Reply
    May
    December 21, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    Your Russian is SO beautiful! It is such a comforting language to listen to!

  • Reply
    Jillian
    December 22, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Lexi is absolutely beautiful and I truly cannot believe how big she has gotten. She’s looking more and more like a toddler and not a baby. How exciting!

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