Friday, August 21, 2015

A Big Hug from My Lou

I didn't write Coraline's 8 month post yesterday, and that's okay because today must be documented.

Ben and I left the kids with a babysitter so we could enjoy a free dinner at Noodles and Company's pre-opening training session. Coraline was screaming like crazy when the neighbor kids came over to babysit, and I was having a hard time leaving her. Finally, the babysitter took control of the situation and grabbed Coraline out of my arms and headed for the baby swing in our backyard. Seeing that all crying had stopped, I grabbed my things and made a beeline for the door.

When I came home Coraline was in her crib, just waking up from a little snooze. I sneaked in her dark room and picked her up. Still a bit sleepy, she rubbed her eyes and pulled herself back to take a good look at me, and then I swear, she gave me the biggest little hug a baby could muster. I have no memory of noticing a first hug from either of my other kids. Babies snuggle and hug so naturally while you lug them around, I've never really thought about it before. But there is no doubt in my mind that, that sweet little kisser baby gave me an intentional and emotional hug. It was a tender little communication that required the coordination of her entire little body.

It melted my heart.

As for her past month in life, she has become an expert self feeder. See for yourself:

 Eggs and these muffins in the morning.

 Chunks of chicken in the afternoon.

I've been much more liberal with my transition to solid food for Coraline. I still make my own baby food by pureeing fresh steamed veggies and freezing them in ice cube trays, but I've also given up on most the allergy guides and appropriate age recommendations. She's been the most adventurous baby eater I've had. She's already snacked on greek yogurt, broiled tilapia, and tri-color quinoa. She hasn't met a food she doesn't like.

She pants like a puppy, and it is hysterical. She rolls around like a champ, but the past few days her preferred method of travel is the scooch. She folds her left arm up and uses her elbow to guide her while her right arm fully extends into a large reach. Her belly doesn't get off the floor, and those legs do a lot of pushing. She still sucks three fingers (tall man through pinky). She is growing out of her 9 month clothes and fitting nicely into 12 months. I think she'll outgrow her carseat soon (still has 10 lbs to spare, but only 1/2 an inch). 

The number one comment we hear about Coraline is: "her eyes are so big!"

She is a trendy little baby. Hopefully the big eye look is still around when she's a young adult, because she'll be super hip. Since birth everyone has noticed her "huge eyes." It doesn't seem like a trait she will outgrow. I'm not really sure where she gets them from. Her siblings' (and father's) eyes nearly disappear when they smile.

People also mention how happy she looks. She is social and usually smiling, but that's only because I'm holding her when we are out and about. There are very few moments when I can put her down and not immediately hear her cry. Reid and Nell have a good deal of success cheering her up. But she definitely does not like to be left alone, and she lets us know it.

She falls to sleep easily, but I don't think she's ever gone down without a whimper, at the very least (mostly likely, a little wail). They last all of 3 seconds, so I'm not at all heartbroken by it.

I have found so much joy in squeezing her and kissing her. I feel more aches and pains (a great reminder that I'm not getting any younger) than I remember with the other kids. But I'm savoring every chance I get to carry her around the grocery store or the backyard. A little nuzzle on the neck is sure to make her giggle, and I just love watching those big eyes glow.

We love our little Coraline baby.


Dad said...

Cute post. Love that little girl with the big beautiful eyes. Looks like she's a great eater! Can't wait to see her and her sibs and her parents!!!

Claudia said...

This girl definitely is a very happy long as her mommy is holding her!!!!

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