9 months

Claire,

When I think about the fact that you are now 9 months-my breath catches a little. I feel like we were JUST there with your sister; and yet now Leah is somehow 3 and you, my sweet little baby, are 9 months already. 9 months in, 9 months out! Yet, somehow, the 9 months in went by at a snails pace, while the 9 months out have sped by in a blink of an eye.

You have the sweetest little soul. Everyone who meets you comments on your shy smile and gentle disposition. You are just the happiest little girl. However! You have had a bit of a personality shift this month and it’s one that makes me and your dad laugh. You used to let your big sister do just about anything to you and daddy and I would joke that you were going to do whatever Leah told you to do when you got older. Well, that may have changed a bit. Although you still idolize your big sis, you seemed to have developed a bit of a spit fire personality this month and I love seeing you hold your own. You now have no problem swatting Leah’s hand away when she annoys you and you will let out a loud shout when you want her to STOP whatever she is doing. You are going to need a solid backbone when it comes to your bossy (however well intentioned) sister, so I like seeing this bit of fire in you. You also may have inherited a BIT of a temper (now who did that come from…? 😉 ) Daddy and I always joke that “Claire is just so happy…until she’s not.” You can go from content to screaming in 1.5 seconds and you never know just what will put you over the edge. Usually it’s when someone tries to touch or take your food….

Speaking of food….you are a tank. Your biggest love right now is definitely eating. You are amazingly good at hand to mouth feeding and we have all but given up trying to spoon feed you because little miss independent would rather do it yourself, thank you very much. It’s very hard to find a food that you do not like, but I would say your absolute favorites include: watermelon, bananas, cooked peppers, cheese, yogurt (the only food you will let us spoon feed you), strawberries and hummus on pieces of tortilla. You can put away a whole (cut up) piece of pizza or a full helping of mac and cheese larger than what Leah is eating. If anyone is eating anything and they have the audacity not to share with you, you will frantically wave your arms and YELL until they give you a bite. You happily open your mouth wide and will accept whatever food we put in your mouth. You are as different as could be from your sister, who has always (and still does) eat like a very picky little bird. Along with your eating you are still happily nursing 4 times a day and you know what it means when I ask you if you “want some milk.”

You are a great sleeper…finally! You seemed to turn the corner once you turned 8 months and you now regularly sleep 12 hours a night without a peep-from 7-7:30 pm to 7-7:30 am. You also take 2 naps a day for about 2 hours each. You don’t (and never have) take a pacifier but you have a favorite knit blanket that has been in your crib since you were tiny and you are very attached. You suck on the corners while you fall asleep and if, heaven forbid, the blanket is in the wash during nap time you are NOT tricked by a different blanket that I try and put in your crib!

This month you are starting to scoot on your belly around the room. You will get up onto your knees into the crawl position and rock for a second, but your little jello arms aren’t strong enough yet to hold your chubby little body so down you fall to scootch along on your belly. You have also started noticing yourself in the mirror and you love to wave “hi” to the baby in the mirror. Lots of babbling, and definitely some “dada” here and there, but no “real” talking yet.

I can’t express how much happiness and joy you bring into our lives, our little Claire Bear. We love you and your sweet, happy spirit and I can’t wait to see what the next month brings.

Love,
Mommy and Daddy

7 months

Please excuse the million pictures, but as I haven’t documented her monthly letters since 3 months (whoops) I figured she deserved a full photo shoot…..

My dearest Claire,

It’s hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that you have been in our lives for 7 months. It’s so crazy how it can seem like it’s been a blink of an eye, and yet, like you’ve been in our lives forever, at the same time. What can I even say about you? You are, without a doubt, the world’s sweetest baby. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed with my love for you that I want to hug you tight and physically absorb you back into my body. Does that sound crazy?? Most likely, but it’s the truth. You just have this aura surrounding you of peace and calmness. Sometimes, when your sister is driving me crazy like only (almost) 3 year olds can, I hug you and immediately breathe a sigh of relief. You are my little stress ball-all I need to do is hug you and my stress melts away.

Everyone says you are my little clone, and, although I mostly agree, I see a lot of your daddy in your full lips and wide smile. You love everyone and haven’t seemed to develop any stranger anxiety as of yet. You LOVE your sister and you find her completely hilarious. Leah can be doing the smallest thing, like jumping down the sidewalk, and you will break into the biggest laughing fit, laughing so hard you can barely catch your breath. Of course, your spotlight loving sister enjoys her captivated audience and she highly enjoys making you smile and laugh anyway she can.

Your sleeping habits seem to be (slowly) turning the corner for the better. Although you usually still try to call out for your 3 am nursing snack, if I ignore you (sorry) you usually fall back to sleep until 6-7 am. Your tired mommy thanks you and has been enjoying sleeping through the night for the first time in over 7 months. You started eating solids this month! “Milky milks” as Leah calls it, is still your top favorite food, but you are starting to enjoy rice cereal and purees a little more each day. You seem to love pears and sweet potatoes and you tolerate green beans and squash. You absolutely hate avocado and apple sauce.

You babble nonstop (bababa, mamama and dadada) and you love to let out a happy scream whenever you feel like the room has gotten a bit too quiet (like in the middle of church). You have this hilarious new fake smile you like to pull out now and again (best demonstrated in the second to last photo) and it cracks me and your daddy up. You like to do your little awkward smile when everyone around you is talking and laughing. Like you are thinking “I’m not sure what’s going on, but I’m going to pretend I’m a part of it…” You sit up like a champ, put everything into your mouth, and roll around to get where you want to go. You love being outside and being worn in any wrap or carrier. Cuddling mommy is still one of your favorite things in the world and you will instantly fall asleep as soon as you are bundled up to my chest.

You make us so happy, our happy little Claire Diana and the world is definitely a better place, now that you are in it.

Love,
Mommy and Daddy

2 months

Dear Claire Diana,

2 months…time is flying by! I look at you and my heart can’t seem to hold all the love I have for you. It spills over and makes me feel like my heart will burst from holding so much love. When I was pregnant with you I kept wondering how I could ever love another child as much as I loved your big sister Leah. It seemed as though my whole heart was full of love for Leah so I worried that I wouldn’t have any room left for another baby. But then you were born. And the minute you were put on my chest, I felt my heart grow. All that love I had for Leah was still there, but somehow, in that very moment, my heart grew and it was filled with even more love, this time all for you.

You are such a happy, content baby, and yet, most of the time you have this sweet little look of worry and concern on your face. That furrowed brow that I am constantly kissing away, like you are looking around trying to figure out this big world you’ve found yourself in. It makes me laugh because you seem to have inherited your mommy’s anxiety, or what your grandparents call mommy’s “Will there be a bathroom on this trip??” look. You’re welcome.

You have one deep dimple in your right cheek, identical to your daddy’s. It’s pretty much the one facial feature you inherited from him (along with your full lips) otherwise you seem to be (so far) mommy’s little clone. Grandma sent some pictures of mommy as a baby and we had a good laugh, seeing how alike you looked to mommy, especially the furrowed brow worried look and the squinty eye smiles.

You are a wonderful nurser and you are chubbing up quite nicely. You have your 2 month appointment later this week, so we will find out your “official” weight, but last night when daddy stepped on the scale while holding you, it looks like you weigh around 13 pounds! That’s pretty impressive. You are sleeping better and better, usually from about 10:30 pm-5:30 am. You then nurse quickly and fall back to sleep until 7:30 or 8 am. Last night, however, on your 2 month birth day, you decided to gift mommy and daddy with an impressive sleep from 10 pm-7 am! Was this a one time gift or can we expect this awesome sleep schedule to continue? I guess only time will tell.

You LOVE you sister (and she loves you!) Whenever she leans in to talk to you (pretty much in your face, I’ll admit) you smile and coo and lock eyes with her, staring up at your big sister. You watch her play, watch her dance, watch her talk…you are completely fascinated with her. She, in return, loves to kiss your head and squeeze your cheeks and she affectionately calls you “bug-a-boo.” I have a feeling that you two will be the best of friends before long.

We love you, our sweet Claire Bear!
Love,
Mommy and Daddy

One Month

Our sweet Claire,

How are you one month old already?! Between all our family visitors and the holidays, these last few weeks have flown by and, before we knew it, a whole month had passed since you came into our world. You are such a sweet, even tempered little girl. You have seamlessly fit into our little family and it feels like you have always been here with us. Your big sister Leah is so in love with you. She smothers your head and cheeks with endless kisses and will tell anyone in the room, “That’s MY baby sister!” and “I love Claire!” You love cuddles and sleeping on mommy more than anything in the world. You will be in the deepest sleep on my chest, but as soon as I attempt to set you in your swing or cradle, you will pop awake with a grunt and a disgruntled look, as though you are saying “Hey, I didn’t say you could put me down…” I’ll admit, you aren’t the worlds greatest sleeper. Because you love to snuggle so much (and because you pretty much refuse to use a pacifier) it can be tough to settle you down for the night. Daddy and I joke that you have some sort of internal alarm clock that makes you bolt awake as soon as we are ready to go to bed for the night. You are sleeping 3-5 hour stretches at night (although, every once and awhile you will throw in a 6 hour stretch, but those are very rare) but you are a quick night nurser before settling back down to sleep again. One thing that makes it hard for mommy and daddy to sleep at night is the fact that you are one LOUD sleeper! You make the funniest grunts and snorts all night long, which, although adorable, are awfully hard to sleep through. Daddy and I took your first movie the other day (Hunger Games!) and although you slept through the movie like a perfect angel, you did emit a few grunts and snorts that seemed to be perfectly timed to when the movie was in it’s most serious and quiet scenes. At one point, you emitted your token “goat noise” as daddy and I lovingly call it, which made the lady in front of us laugh and say to her friend, “It sounds like there’s a lamb in the theater!” You are a fabulous eater, and mommy still marvels at the fact that she has nursed you without any pain or difficulty from day one. You are starting to chub up quite nicely and you still have the furriest little shoulders (don’t worry, it won’t last forever!) You are definitely our little Italian baby and daddy and I laugh when we compare your olive complexion to your sister’s creamy one. You girls are the cutest of sisters, but you sure will look different growing up. Our two beautiful girls; one grey/green eyed with fluffy blonde hair, and the other dark eyed with the silkiest chestnut hair. We cannot WAIT to see what this next month brings, our little Claire Diana.

Love,
Mommy and Daddy