Life With Nine Kids

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Baby Bee's First Birthday Countdown (and all those gushy mommy things I don't want to forget, like her frog legs, and noises, and floppy wrist waves, I go on and on)

Beatrice's first year is going by so fast. We expected it to. It always goes by fast but wonderful.

Baby Bumble Bee
She doesn't answer to her name Beatrice, she answers to Baby Bee. Everett calls her Baby Bumble Bee. We sometimes call her other nicknames like Honey Bee and just plain Bumble. Everett (3) goes to a preschool a few hours a week. At school he was asked to draw his favorite person. He was instructed that the person should have a  head, face, arms, and legs. He drew his baby sister and called his picture a baby bumble bee. His teacher thought humm okay....well he did what we asked him to, he drew a head and arms and legs. Later his teacher told me how he was asked to draw a person but it's interesting that he calls it a baby bumble bee. I laughed out loud with enthusiasm. I explained that he drew his sister Beatrice whom he calls Baby Bumble Bee. So cute!

I was just marveling at her sweet baby charm nine months old. She was grinning, waving her floppy wrists to say hello and batting her eyelashes at everyone she met. I was also just enthralled with how happy and content she was at ten months and how much she considered herself one of the kids already! It was so apparent. Hanging out with everyone, laughing or making noises when the kids would talk. Crawling over to her siblings and playing like a "big kid" next to them. How could I forget how fun and lovely ten month old babies are? Ten month old babies rock. Most aren't walking yet, but thoroughly engage with the world in so many other ways. Ten month old babies are precious.

She shook her head 'no' to me at 10 months, it was the cutest thing ever. I was offering her some food and she shook her head no. She looked like she was going to lose her balance as she did three off balance half shakes of the head. So funny and cute.

We love all these stages, because each stage seems so amazing, adorable, and awesome. We love the needy rooting nursling, the opening of brand new eyes newborn, the wide eyed curious infant, the roly poly wiggle worm, the laugh-at-everything especially when somebody sneezes baby, the sitter-upper, the explorer, the primal crawler... Oh, and all those jibber-jabber noises! LOVE jabbery babies, how cute they are! Beatrice is a jabbery little one. I love her so. Oh, and she kisses me! I love wide mouthed slobbery baby kisses even if they are messy and gross to observe as a bystander. Haha! She was doing the wide mouthed slobber kiss around six months old and on, but around 10 months old she started just leaning in and pressing parted lips to my face without it being a face-sucking drooly kiss.

I have been in a drunken baby-daze for the past eleven months. I cherished it. Suddenly now she's starting to try and stand by herself and I know the infant-baby days are numbered. Ricky and I actually don't care if she doesn't want to walk for four more months! Once they start walking it's all over. They are part of the world in a totally new way and gain profound independence all too quickly. On all fours she explores at a different level both physically and mentally. I think with every kid we hope for the various baby stages to last longer and be more drawn out than they are. Scooting around in the grass, dirt, and house floor; it is like she's still a primal mammal navigating the world. Ricky just mentioned that last night in fact. I had forgotten until just now, but Ricky described her crawl and overall sense of her environment as primal, like a monkey. We really enjoy watching babies grow so much, which I suppose is why we keep having them. That is an interesting point: We like the kids, we love them, we enjoy them...but we also equally like, love, and enjoy seeing each other with them. 
 I love when Beatrice sits up with her 'frog-legs' bent-tucked under her; she bounces up and down so happily. Sometimes she lays belly side down on the wood floor and scoots around for fun, she looks like a frog with her legs bent like that. One day very recently she raised up and slowly stood all the way up on her feet. The first time she did it she looked really unhappy about it. It was hilarious! She rose up, ever so wobbly, and she extended her hands out for balance and to catch herself. The look on her face was adorable; she looked like she was out of her comfort zone but biologically her instincts took over. She locked eyes with us a whimpered. She didn't want to do it but there she was doing it. She tried standing again several days later and now does it a dozen times a day. We all clap and cheer and she smiles at us with her one tooth. She's going to really get the hang of the standing thing by her first birthday. They tend to learn how to walk pretty fast after mastering standing. I keep thinking about her wobbly baby legs learning to take steps, and then not long after that she will test her fate by walking down the front porch steps as we look on in horror. Always on to something new. It's amazing how fast they desire to master new skills.

I just realized over the past two weeks that she is nursing less and eating more solid food and she has been for a while now. She never goes without some solid food for each meal time now. I can't believe how simple and fast it happened. I noticed all of the sudden she's nursing at night more and during the day less. I noticed she's distracted and fidgety on me while she waits for milk to flow, she has started toddler type nursing-gymnastics (flinging her feet into the air, twisting and tugging and fidgeting her body around, and trying to roll over while still nursing or turning her head to see something). She is slowly starting to nurse more when she is tired and less when she's hungry. She's sill packing on many calories from nursing, but it's slowly becoming less frequent and for shorter sessions. All of this means she's heading towards toddler-hood. I'm ready and not ready all at once. She's a total joy to watch.

She will be a year old next month and we plan to throw her a great, big, grand bumble bee birthday party. She'll never remember it but she'll always have pictures of it, and we'll celebrate her. Our baby bumble bee.

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