Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dear Hazel: Month 4

Dear Hazel

Well, it seems that we have another wonderfully precocious kid on our hands! You know, before you were born I was bound and determined not to judge you based on what your sister was like, or what she had done...I didn't want to be left thinking less of you if you ended up not being as quick on the uptake, or as sweet, or as full of life...because lets face it, some people have much more personality and just somehow pop in the world, and it is hardly fair to deem someone else not as good for simply failing to be extraordinary. But really, my Hazel Amazel my dear, I needn't have worried so. You are, 100% truthfully, every bit as devastatingly incredible and awe-inspiring as your sister was, but in a completely independent, unique way that I can only describe by saying "well yeah, it's Hazel!" You totally rock my world, Hazelnut, in the best possible way, and I just love you to itty bitty pieces and right back together again. Such. An Amazing. Kid.

Anyway, where can I possibly begin? I'll never get it all down...but here's to trying!

We started off this month down in Phoenix for Danial and Poonam's wedding. You were SUCH a little trooper, little nut, and you did remarkably well with being away from home - and in the midst of crazy festivities and exuberant love - for such an extended period of time. I was truly impressed with how well you adapted, and how well you seemed to, dare I say it, actually enjoy the trip!?

You totally took to just trusting that we would be with you and not leave you behind or let you be in a situation that made you feel unsafe or scared, and it made everything so much easier. You also discovered that you could scoot all over our hotel room on your back...and so you did. I'd set you down on the changing mat, and after 5 minutes, tops, you'd be clear on the other side of the room and I'd have to be chasing after you trying to keep you from hitting your head in the corner when you ran out of space. Where's the baby? oh, under the desk.

Oh goodness, little one, you did such an amazing job at the wedding(s), too...it was several days worth of ceremonies and running around, and you never melted down, never lost it, never caused anyone to miss out on anything or disrupted anything...I didn't even have to step out more than once. You are such a good little baby. Totally awesome!

Though, socially speaking, once the ceremonies were over, you certainly did create quite a fuss...everyone loved you (what's not to love!?) and wanted to hold you and play with you...you tolerated all the attention superbly, and let me know when you'd had enough with plenty of warning, and good spirits never had to be broken by our tiny little baby feeling overwhelmed. You were totally amazing.

We also discovered on this trip that you are a water baby fo suah! You LOVED splashing around in the pool, you'd even try to lean forward to give yourself a better doggie paddle stance, and you'd hold you head back above the water and smiiiiile as you tried to swim away! You just got SO excited every time you encountered water. It was totally awesome, and makes me realize how important it is going to be that we continue to give you opportunities to swim, lest you lose your comfort and eagerness, and we accidentally deprive you of one of your earliest passions.

But yeah, if you haven't already guessed based on the fact that you could hold your own head out of the water, you are now very successfully holding up your own head & chest when you're on your tummy - something you still don't really enjoy, but you seem to be abel to appreciate the novelty of it at the very least, for a couple minutes before the screaming sets in.

You TERRIFIED me early this month, actually, when you proved just how true it is that, no matter how 'helpless' a kid your age may seem, you CANNOT leave them (YOU) alone for even a split second...I was changing your diaper, so you, naturally, were on the changing table, which had railings along all four sides to prevent falls. While I was getting out the fresh diaper, you, very suddenly and adeptly, as if you knew precisely what you were doing, reached out, grabbed the railing, and rolled over as you pulled yourself to it...thereby flipping half your body (lengthwise, we're not even talking divisions at the hips here, this is straight down the midline...) right over the railing before I was able to grab you and roll you back to your place int he middle of the table...honestly, had I not been standing right there, I don't know that I would have been able to catch you. So there you go, it IS true that a 3 month old who can't independently get to sitting can go around almost flipping off of changing tables and getting into all sorts of unexpected mischief.

And I suppose it is a little bit of a misnomer to claim that you can't sit on your own...while it is true that you can't get there on your own, once you are there - either because we stuck you in a sitting position or because you were bouncing with us and landed sitting - you can stay that way on your own, completely unsupported, for a decent length of time.

Your physical prowess is indeed quite impressive. August 12 marked the official End to Our Control over your sleeping position...to avoid unecessary risk of SIDS, we have always made sure that, among other things, we always put you down to sleep on your back, never your tummy...well, that AM, I awoke to find that you had rolled onto your belly all on your own.

You also put this skill to good use when we were in the park the other day; we'd settled for a rather impromptu mini picnic in the park after seeing my friend Blake's street performance routine (he's a clown and a contact juggler), and you kept rolling clear off the pad I had you on and trying to eat the grass.

And oh, how you yearn for solid food. You seem to want to eat SO! BAD! It's gotten to the point that I can't even eat while holding you, you'll grab whatever I've got well before it gets to my mouth, and no amount of contortion on my part seems to be able to compensate. You physically struggle to reach any dishes that catch your eye, you study your sister with utter scrutiny whenever she has food, and you'll often yell and fuss at us for not sharing.

Oh that's another good thing to mention this month: You've discovered your 'loud' voice. and I do mean LOUD. You and Cadie have a game now where she'll sit next you you and you'll grab her face (if you can get it!) and yell so loud you knock her right over! Then you'll both laugh and repeat the whole thing, ad naseum, except that it's so cute even the noise doesn't seem quite as painful as it easily could. You've got some serious lungs, kid!

I also think that you try to have conversations with us now, by yelling. You'll shout and use loud, emotional, well supported yelling noises often when you don't seem otherwise upset, and you seem excited when we respond to this communication with our own words, and spaces for you to talk.

You seem to be particularly into toys these days, and you will actively try to get them, and when you do you play HARD. And eventually the novelty of each thing will wear off and you'll be bored. BORED! BORED! with everythign and will actively search out new things, usually somewhat fruitlessly since you've been through most of the stuff in the house. Unless we go out and about, in which case there is plenty to take in and you seem to just drink it all in from your contented cuddle in the wrap.

And OH how you adore you some CRINKLES!! Plastic bags, potato chip bags, tissue paper...whatever you can find that crinkles just absorbs every fiber of your attention. You get almost frantic with excitement and will use all your energy trying to get and then figure out those crinkles.

The last thing I'll take the time to mention is not something you do often, but it's so classically 'baby' I can't help but mention how you recently discovered that you have the ability to suck on your toes, and sometimes I feel like you do it just to show off, you little sweetheart you!

I love you so overwhelmingly much, little nutter, my sweetheart honeynut! Thank you for being such an amazing babidy one, an awesome personality blossoming in that itty bitty little body of yours, with so much awesomeness all about you...thank you for making life so great, sweet girl.

Love always,
Mama

{NOTE: I usually write these letters and then go through and add the pictures and publish them when I have time...due to the break in we had, I don't have access to our pictures, and it looks like it'll be a while before I can get everything in order, so I decided to go ahead and publish this sans photos, but rest assured I will revisit and add the pics in as soon as I can. I will let everyone know when this is done. Sorry for the disappointment!}