Thursday, June 24, 2010

9 months

Dear Madelyn Kate,
Today you turned nine months old. I woke up in disbelief. Every day you look more and more like a beautiful little girl and less and less like the newborn baby we brought home from the hospital. The changes and growth that have occurred over the course of the last nine months are simply breathtaking.

Two weeks ago, as you embarked on your 37th week of life (yes I still count the weeks in my head), I couldn't help but think about how you had officially spent more time on this earth than you had growing inside of me. When I was pregnant the days seemed to pass so slowly, yet it seems like just yesterday I was waking up in the wee hours of the morning to make our way to the hospital. It amazes me more and more each day how God simply spoke the world into existence, yet chose to knit you together inside of me for nearly a year. His design is fascinating.

At nine months old, you are vibrant and full of personality. You are starting to recognize things that you like, as well as things that you dislike. You have also discovered how to express those likes (claps, smiles, excited giggles) and dislikes (squeals of the unpleasant nature, crying, banging your hands against your side).When you encounter something new you are always so inquisitive. You inspect it. Watch with an eye that is closely examining everything. I love to watch you do this and I know that it will only get more fun as the days go by and your little eyes and hands experience so much for the very first time.
You still have the most precious birth mark on your foot. Everyone comments on how sweet and unique it is. Your hair is really starting to thicken and lengthen with each passing day. You have the most beautiful nose, lips, and long eyelashes.
Your handsome Daddy dotes on you constantly. I know some day you are going to introduce yourself as "Maddie Kate the beautiful" if we aren't careful. More than all your cute little features, he loves all that makes you you! Your cheery morning disposition, the way you love to play (and are good at playing by yourself), how you light up when he plays the guitar, the joy seen on your face when you are in the water. All the little things that make you distinctly you.
And you love him right back.
I don't blame you. He is a pretty spectacular guy. This month you have really started to notice who is around you at all times and when they leave. Nearly every morning when Daddy leaves for work, you wave "bye, bye" to him and then you crawl after him. Once you realize he is gone and not just playing peek-a-boo with you around the corner, you nearly always cry. When he walks in the door in the afternoons after get so excited you can hardly contain yourself.
You say, "DaDa" perfectly and seem to only say it to your Daddy when he is around. On the other hand, you only say, "MaMa" when you are hungry, your diaper is dirty or you are mad. That's OK with me. I love to hear it anyway.
You are constantly making the cutest faces and expressions. When we are out in public, you manage to get everyone's attention and keep it by flashing your sweet little grin or some other silly face. You love the attention.
Almost everyone tells us that you favor your Daddy. I think they are right but I secretly wish just one person would say, "She looks just like you".
Every day with you is a delight. You sleep in the bed through the night with Daddy and I. We put you down around 8pm (unless we are gone-then it's later) and each morning you wake up with a smile on your face between 7:30am-9am. You pop right up in bed and start jabbering. If you wake up early and we are still asleep, you choose who to tackle that day and let us have it. It's precious. As much as I just knew that I would never let you sleep in our bed and how adamant I was about it before you were born, I have learned that life is short. The days go by so quickly. I know that soon this era will end and you will sleep sweetly in your own bed and these days of you waking us up with your slobbery kisses and "gentle" pats will only be a memory. For now, I will treasure it. You take two naps a day. One short one and one long one. This month is the first month that I have consistently laid you down for each nap. I always hold you to get you to sleep for each one. We either rock or I lay with you until you fall asleep. I love it.
Your reflux does not seem to bother you as much anymore. We are praying with confidence that this is something that you will simply outgrow soon and it too will be nothing more than a memory (a bad one at that). For nearly nine months you have slept with an apnea monitor wrapped around your chest. I have grown so dependent on it and the thought that it may be unnecessary soon scares me and excites me all at once. I know that it means you are healthy and that it will no longer be necessary. I also know that there are so many nights that I lay awake watching the little green dots that blink with every beat of your heart and every breath you take. I have prayed constantly this week that the Lord would quiet my fears and prepare me for this new chapter of life...a chapter that most parents experience from the start. I am so thankful that we have gone from wearing it 24 hours a day and as many alarms sounding, to weeks on end without hearing that awful sound.
This month your first two pearly whites made their big breakthrough. They are SO cute. I never realized how much two little teeth would make you look so grown, but they do. I know that it's inevitable that these changes will come, yet they still catch me off guard.
You are still a great little eater. More and more you want Mommy and Daddy's food over yours. Sometimes we let you try it. The more we do that, the more you like it. You drink two or three bottles (6-9oz) a day and eat anywhere from two to four jars of baby food a day. So far you have loved just about everything you have tried with the exception of peas. You aren't big on greens but I discovered if I mix them with your baby yogurt, you will eat them. That's kind of a gross combo, but you need your veggies!
This month we had to retire the jumperoo for good when I left you in it for just a minute while I went in another room and you managed to climb halfway out of it. A few more minutes and you would have been on the floor. Same with the exersaucer. You have turned in to quite the Houdini. We have not packed the exersaucer away just yet...I take it in the bathroom and put you in it so that I can shower. We just don't dare walk out of the room while you are playing in it considering your escaping skills.
You wear 6-9 month clothes full time these days and are in size 3 diapers full time (except for the few size 2s that we have left-you fit in them but I am afraid to buy another big box because I know that you will outgrow them soon). I am not sure how much you weigh because your checkup is not until tomorrow, but a few weeks ago you weighed right at 17 pounds.
You crawl like a champ. You are so fast and follow me wherever I go. If there is anything out of place on the floor, you find it and it almost always goes to your mouth. Thank goodness for the steam mop! You keep me on my toes trying to make sure the floors are clean. You walk along the edges of all the furniture and love to stand at the coffee table. A few times it has looked like you were just going to stand in the middle of the floor but you make it half way up and lose your balance. I am sure once you start that, walking will soon follow.
You jabber constantly. Apparently, you have a lot to say. I think you get this from your Daddy. Who am I kidding? I talk a lot too. Soon I know all of those babbles will be your first words and you probably won't ever quit talking!

You love to be on the go and are so easy to take out! Target is one of our favorite weekly stops and so far you are great when we go out to eat. I think this is where you take after love to shop!
One of your "firsts" this learned to clap. Now you are a clapping machine! I love to see your face light up as you put your hands together! You clap when you see someone new walk in the room. You clap when you see me bringing you your bottle. You clap when I put you in your high chair and when you hear the bath water running. You LOVE to clap those little hands together!
When you do it you have such a look of pride and accomplishment.
We are always trying to get you to clap (because it's so cute) but you like do things when you want to rather than when Mommy and Daddy want you to.
I cannot put in to words how deep my love is for you. You are indeed a gift from the Lord. A gift that I cherish daily. I love you Maddie Kate.



  1. BEAUTIFUL pictures!!!!! It's hard to believe she is already nine months old. How nice that you have such a beautiful journal of these nine months.

    And by the way, she does look like you -- seriously. I look at her pics and she reminds me so much of you and Ryan at each of those ages. She is just a little beauty -- just like her mother (and daddy).

    Love, Aunt Nancy

  2. Katherine,
    You are a good mommy. I hope that someone tells you that every single day. Maddie is beautiful. She looks like a little lady. You know how some babies just look like babies? Not her. She has the most beautiful eyelashes. Great photos! To many many more healthy months!

  3. Happy 9 month Birthday, Beautiful Girl....Love great grandma

  4. Oh gosh, how my love runs over for this baby girl. She is so beautiful and definitely looks like her mommy. I love you! I am so proud of the parents you and Luke have become.

    Aunt Rachel

  5. No way! I've always thought she looks like YOU!!!!!!


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