Claire Katherine: 11 Months

Dear Claire

The last letter mama will write to "baby" Claire! I have a lot of thoughts about what this first year with you as meant to me. I'll save those and try to gather them for next month.

It's been another month of firsts for you. Perhaps the biggest was your first airplane ride. Mom and dad were pretty nervous but you proved that we had nothing to worry about, sleeping through both your first AND your second flight. The trip was down to Florida where you met your Uncle Tom, Aunt Becky, and cousin Nick for the first time. They also had two dogs, one of your current favorite things, that you loved pointing at and shouting "doh!" (translation = dog). Which brings us to another first this month- you're showing your first signs of language development. You seem to know the words for dog and cat, you say mama and dada, you point at other things and look at us to say the word, and you babble away most of the time that you're awake. The one other word you seem to know well is "no." You crawl towards an outlet, point to it, turn to us and shake your head while saying "no." Intonation is another thing that is beginning to make sense to you. You offer us a toy or a pacifier while making noises that have the cadence and intonation of "here go!"

Crawling is constant as you begin to show signs of moving on to standing and walking. You pull up on things easily and often. For a few days you were hesitant to pull up because when you got there you couldn't figure out how to get back down. Now that you have that taken care of every coffee table, couch and shelf present a nice opportunity for you to stretch your legs. You also pause in the middle of a crawl to straighten your legs and stick your behind straight up into the air. Its like you're trying to figure out how to get your hands up off the ground too but don't quite have the coordination ready to go.

You just got over what might have been your worst illness to date- hand, foot, and mouth disease. You had blisters all over the inside of your little mouth so it hurt to eat and even take the Tylenol that we tried to give you to make it feel better. Your 11 month picture was actually taken in the middle of that nonsense- despite feeling terrible and having lots of tears you found time to smile and play.

That's all for now, my little lady. Your next letter will talk about our first year together! While I've loved this time I'm glad that its behind us. We have so much fun up ahead.

Love, Mama


Claire Katherine: 10 Months

Dear Claire-

So much has happened in the last month as you inch closer to one year old. You are turning into less of a baby and more of a little person everyday. You have taken off with your crawling- zipping back and forth across the floor, chasing the cat but looking back at us every once in awhile to flash your sweet little smile and make sure we are paying attention. Your curiosity is evident. Looking carefully at new toys, pointing at items and looking at us to ask what it is, tasting any food (or non-food) that we put in front of you, and using your voice to make new and different sounds. You are such a happy little thing provided that you are not constrained in the car, your stroller, or the highchair when you don’t want to be. Sleeping is not particularly popular right now- too many other things to pay attention to and too much that you want to share with mom and dad. Mom and dad have tried to be distracted this month, moving into a new house and all, but you have hardly allowed it (and in most instances that distraction is welcome).

I keep wondering who you will become and looking for glimpses of the things that will become your talents.  Will you keep your feisty little personality, your determination coupled with charm and a sneaky smile. Will your chattering turn into words that you use to make the world a better place. Or are those just who you are now when mom and dad are watching. I love watching you grow. Things have changed so quickly the last few months, in a few short weeks we will have a toddler instead of a baby. The changes and steps and milestones will keep coming and coming. Thank you for sharing them with us and letting us be your guides on this part of your journey. We can’t wait to see who you become.

Love, Mama


Claire Katherine: 9 months

Dear Claire

I never thought I would say this but... How in the world are you 9 months old?! I always rolled my eyes when people talked about how time flies when you have a baby (time hardly flew during your first few weeks!) but now I'm beginning to understand. It's a Wednesday morning at 8:00. I'm on the couch in my pjs and you are in your crib finally getting some sleep. This isn't our normal routine but, then again, normal is a moving target. You're a bit sick and didn't sleep well last night because of a nasty cough. We're playing the rest of the day by ear. Part of me wants to let you get a whole days worth of good naps but the other part of me realizes that I have a really important meeting this afternoon and need to get into work. Balancing my two roles isn't easy, my little lady. I hope a few things change to make it easier by the time you're in my shoes.

These are our last two weeks in this house before we move to our new home. It makes us a little sad that you'll never remember this place- it's pretty special to your dad and I. It's the first place we called home together, we took on (and screwed up!) many home repair projects, we held 6 Thanksgiving dinners, countless bbqs, and late nights with friends. I paced the hallway of this house for 4 hours before going to the hospital to meet you and stood on the porch with you the day that you came home. The walls of this house saw the challenging newborn days and watched as you stopped crying, began smiling, and finally started laughing. Two weeks from today we will close the door on this house for the last time and move to the place that you will think of as home. We hope to make it a happy place, a comfortable place, and a place that you always look forward to seeing.

We love you, little peanut! Thank you for being one of the reasons this house will always be special.

Love, Mama