I keep thinking about how now you've been on the outside, if you know what I mean, just about as long as you were on the inside ... of me. You still kick like crazy, and you still like it when I rub your butt, but, well, your world and ours are mighty different now.
For one thing, now you have teeth! I swear they came out of nowhere. One day you were all gummy grins, and then one morning while I was changing your first diaper of the day, I looked at you smiling and spotted a tooth. It was a bottom tooth, quickly to be followed by its neighbor. You complained a little when they were breaking through your gums (hey, who wouldn't?), but so far the new arrivals haven't derailed you too much. I guess you've been through worse, and we're adding this latest show of resilience to our portfolio of reasons to be proud of you.
You also ditched your reflux medication this month, as we noticed that you'd gone from spitting up about 200 times a day to ... nothing. So your new tally of daily medications has gone from three in your first months of life (in six doses spread throughout the day) to zero. We now use the dry-erase board in your room that used to keep track of your medication times for funny messages and quotes. Much, much better.
While the spit-up seems to have disappeared, we did have our first bout with honest-to-god barf. You were sleeping soundly one evening when I heard an awful choking noise through the baby monitor. I threw down the computer (a MacBook laptop, which I bet will sound antique and laughably underpowered by the time you're old enough to read this) I was working on, hurdled the couch and arrived in your room to find you writing face-down in a huge pool of your hurked-up dinner. I picked you up and started to clean off your face when you let loose again, hitting me and the carpet. You cried so piteously, puked one more time (on my shoulder, thanks) and then ... you were fine. We braced for what we figured was your first childhood illness, but it seems to have been an isolated incident. Maybe too much excitement from your newly acquired teeth? I don't know. But I do know I've spent way too much time talking about barf. Sigh.
On a much more palatable topic, you had your first Christmas this month! As expected, your favorite gifts were the bows and boxes your gifts were wrapped in. You also liked watching the lights twinkle on the tree. You had so many gifts from us and your doting grandparents that we had to do Christmas in installments. Breakfast, open gifts, nap, lunch, more gifts, nap, second lunch, continue crinkling wrapping paper. You had a blast, and so did we. They say Christmas is best experienced through a child's eyes, and, wow, it's totally true. You gave us some truly beautiful moments of pure delight as you examined a new toy or just widened your eyes to take everything in. You also slept in until 8 a.m. or so, which I realize is probably the last time we'll have that luxury on Christmas morning until you're a teenager.
Your first Christmas was also a rare white Christmas here in North Carolina, and what a beautiful one it was. You'd seen snow before, but only in smallish amounts immediately followed by freezing rain. This time the snow fell soft and deep, and we had a whole day to play in it. You watched Murray chase snowballs that poofed apart when they hit the ground, and you even held one yourself for a few seconds.
You worked on all sorts of new skills this month. You've been sitting by yourself for a while now, but you're much steadier now, even when you fold yourself almost in half reaching for something far away. You're also practicing your pincer grasp so you can pick up snack puffs and small objects. But one thing you've perfected: sock extraction. You can get a sock off in milliseconds, and you're damn sneaky about it, too. We've lost untold numbers of socks (only one at a time, of course) in malls, grocery stores, parking lots, etc. The upside of this habit is getting a reminder of the kindness of strangers when people come rushing after us to return a sock they saw you wriggle out of. The downside is an ever-growing stack of orphaned socks, and a penchant of yours for losing my favorites. I look forward to summer for plenty of reasons, but chief among them this year is the chance to let you go out sockless. Unless you're walking by then, in which case ... sighhhhhh.
Mama and Dada