9 Beautiful Months

Well friends, there's no denying it. I have a 9 month old baby girl! Which, I have to say, is so.much.fun.  Discovery and a newfound determination and delight are the common themes. I am unfortunately getting used the the twinge in my heart everytime we turn over a new month and say goodbye to the past ones. I did, however, have a really neat moment yesterday, as Selah and I were having a dance party in the living room to our favorite worship music. The windows were open, the sun was shining, "Beautiful Things" by Gungor was on, reminding me of listening to it in the hospital in labor with her... and we were simply sharing joy through spins, giggles, and sways. As I held her close I imagined the years ahead of us of her growing up, and I was overcome with the realization that her joy as well as what God intends for her life means so much more to me than anything I selfishly might try to hold onto. I realized how deeply I love watching her grow and bloom into all that God made her to be. I am excited about the fun and new sweet things each new stage will bring. I honestly don't think I've ever before experienced the specific emotion I have when she discovers something new, or develops a new skill. It usually brings me to tears because it just amazes me. I pray often that God would allow me the opportunity to be around for a long time and experience the joy of being Selah's mom and watching her grow for many years. I realize her life is a gift, a blessing, and a privilege for me to get to enjoy.

So that said, I have peace knowing we are embracing each day, each month as they come with our sweet girl...taking photos, making memories, pausing in the small moments to take them in, soaking up the fascination of each new experience, surrendered to knowing that God brought this sweet girl into the world for his purposes, his glory...and we have been blessed with the opportunity to prepare her for just that. So I can honestly say with joy that I'm ready to celebrate having a 9 month old!

Speaking of which, what is our baby girl up to at 9 months? Well, she is still army crawling like crazy...every so often in the past couple days practicing getting up on her hands and knees. Wait until she realizes her need for speed. ;) She has recently figured out that she can follow me anywhere if she'd like, though I don't even go out of viewing distance of her. But it's cute that she follows. :) Just yesterday I said, "Let's go out here Selah," and she followed me out of the bedroom after I made the bed in the morning. It was so sweet. I don't provide the opportunity that often because as many of you know, you just don't turn your back on the sweet ones at this age. Because there's nothing more fascinating to them than anything that's not a toy! Especially a furry friend that's just about your size! She loves to do a friendly face off with Chai if he's on the floor and for any reason I'm not looking. But although he loves and is very protective of his baby girl, we usually make sure he's on the couch or up higher when she's around...because he is (thankfully) clueless of her very strong grip!

Selah's sitting on the first quilt I've ever made...hard work, but fun!

Just this past couple weeks she went from more of her pterodactyl speaking sound to a more confident 'roar' or deep, "Ah!" when she wants to communicate. (She does sound a little raspy like her mommy. :) And she's more interested than ever in being verbal and trying to make sure you know what she means. She also loves to sqeeze and shake those fists when she's making noise at someone. As with every new month, more and more of her personality seems to be shining through. She's more persistent when she wants or needs something, and if she's particulary hungry, tired, or needs mama comfort she will literally try to climb up or on me. It's so hilarious. The other day I was on the floor taking pictures of her and the next thing I know she's climbed all the way from my feet to my chest. I laughed out loud and asked her if maybe she was hungry? ;) Speaking of which, I'm in no hurry to wean her, and am feeling better and better about her experinces with food. She isn't exactly overly enthusiastic about solids just yet...except for puffs. She gets a kick out of those. But our baby girl tightens those lips like crazy. And she really has no interest in keeping those hands down. It is getting better and she's learning slowly how to open that mouth. And she does like some things better than others...orange things she likes, as well as green things mixed with pears. Oatmeal and rice...not as much. The doctor says persistence is key, so that's what we're going for. She does especially love her new sippy cups though! I have to laugh at how I always used to look at the people whose kids made a mess when they ate and thought I could surely do it neater than that. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Strip the baby for a feeding and give her a bath afterward. It's just easier when they enjoy the whole process. Ha.

Selah is still a great car traveler, though she'll only sleep on long trips. She loves the stroller and taking walks, and can go for quite awhile. She loves bathtime which is still also some of her storytime, and I haven't transitioned her to just sitting in the tub yet. I'm still feeling safer with her infant tub as long as she fits it! She averages 2-3 naps a day and I feel like we've got a pretty good rhythm. (though that always seems to change for a time after I blog about it!!) I do think consistent sleep is really important for her, and I try to guard her naps as much as I can. When I don't I definitely can tell! Selah is a little snuggler, and seems to enjoy rocking and singing, which I love. If I need to I can lay her down to go to sleep without rocking, but I try too savor that time and use it to transition her to sleep time as often as I can. I think my body has adjusted to the mommyhood fatigue though I still have super tired days, and am definitely tired after any big excursion. I'm such a night owl but have learned that going to bed early helps a ton.

This past month Selah has loved her shapes puzzle, her shape sorter, banging on her leapfrog drum, playing the xylophone, shaking anything that rattles or shakes, and holding two of anything that makes noise when she hits them together. She gets a real kick out of that last one. Oh, and Chai's leash or the zipper pulls on the diaper bag. Can't get enough of those either. She's also still very interested in books...though she prefers to handle them herself...and would just love to get ahold of all the ones with real paper in them! She also loves door stops. That is cute to watch. She actually still will play in the exersaucer for awhile, and she does like the jumperoo. She is especially proud of herself that she can open and close drawers!

Also, since her daddy returned from a two week trip to Israel about 2 weeks ago she thinks he is just the funniest thing. She's quite smitten it seems, and will crack up at him. I think that's when she also learned to say 'dada' more intentionally, and now it seems to be her favorite word. Though today she crawled right up to my feet and said, "Mum." So sweet. She also said "Mama" kind of unintentionally on Easter and babbles it every now and then. Though it's not any sort of pattern or anything. Sometimes the way she looks at me I think she wishes she could just say what she means. I'm trying to get her start with 'please' and 'thank you' - whether she means it or not! :) I haven't been as consistent with signs, but I'm realizing this age is when it's starting to be fun to teach her things...because she loves to watch and listen to me when I go into detail about whatever I want her to learn. So now when she does the sort of whining noise whenever she wants something, I'll start up a big conversation with her. And at least she stops and looks at me funny, so I'll take it! I'm learning she loves when we act goofy and silly. I really got her going after her nap today, just from making funny sounds. And wouldn't you do just about anything to hear your baby laugh? It's so awesome.

While he was away she also started shaking her head which looks like she's saying no, but it seems like she just uses it to communicate. She got her second tooth on the bottom 2 weeks ago, and just today I saw one on top peeking through! Oh my goodness, she's going to look like such a big girl with a mouth full of teeth one of these days! That teething is as tough as everyone says for sure. When they really seem to be giving her a tough time I give her a cube of frozen breastmilk in one of those littlle mesh things that she can chew. That seems to help a lot.

This past month was filled to the brim and seems to have flown by. Selah experienced her first girls' trip with my mom and I, she celebrated both of her grandma's and one of her grandpa's birthdays for the first time, she went swimming for the first time on Memorial Day, (which she loved!) and she made it through another doctor's appt. like a champ. Better than me at least. So far I think summer and babies are a fun combo...with hats and sunscreen of course. I just think onesies, shorts, and sundresses are the cutest.

 There's always so much more, but I think that's a good summary of all I hope to remember. It's just so crazy that when she lays on my chest now she seems to cover my whole self. So I snuggle her just a little closer, determined to wrap her in my arms as long as she'll fit! then I try to memorize exactly what that moment feels like. I sure hope it works. ;) I have been thinking and praying a lot about the best ways to spend our days and how to start discipling her and raising her with a heart that burns for God from a young age. I'm so thankful for some great books, awesome older moms in my life who are an encouragement, and great ideas out there in blog world. What a blessing to have so many resources that a lot of our parents didn't. Thank you Lord for letting me be a mom. There's no doubt the journey has its difficult moments and will refine the very depths of a person...but but it's the most rewarding and fully wonderful experience all at the same time. What's crazy is how I know this baby stage is the physically exhausting part...but I have a feeling it is emotionally the easiest it's going to get. I know this sweet precious girl I write about might just find her tongue and break my heart on some days...but that's okay. Because I'm focused on and savoring right now.


7 and 8 Months

(DISCLAIMER: This post is overloaded with the most random photos, both in quality and theme. The result of a lack of blogging and a lot of practicing my photography!  Lesson learned...blog more! Bear with me...I'm a mess! ;)

Inevitably when you wait a few months to post about the current month details get a little mixed up.  But I'd still like to go back and record what I can remember and the details of Selah's 7th and 8th months!  Those were the months of March and April, and I feel like it was a fairly significant turning point for me and finding my rhythm as a new mom and homemaker.  I'm such a looong transitioner it seems, but at least I'm finally figuring that out about myself!

(This is Chai watching over Selah while she sleeps - he loves his baby girl. Also a peek at the nursery...more to come!)

Kevin thinks it's hilarious that I love her funny faces...but I just love her silly personality!

At 6 months I had said Selah started taking great naps...and she did.  Then the teething monster came to town a couple weeks before 7 months and we had a little bump in the road.  I had started working out consistently at 6 months, and was hoping to be a better blogger.  But without naps...those kinds of things aren't for sure going to happen...if you're me.  It's amazing what can be accomplished during that time if you have it.  We made it through though, and Selah remained her content little self, proud of her latest accomplishment of rolling over.  She rolled all around, discovering all kinds of toys during her daily play times.  She returned to taking two good naps a day.  She also tried her first baby food! 

(Little tip...feeding a baby in a Johnny Jump up is not recommended - ha!)
In March we celebrated my grandmother's and my nephew's 5th birthdays, Selah thoroughly enjoyed her first March Madness...in which her daddy's favorite team, U of K won the whole thing!!  Such an exciting tournament around here.  Kevin and I both enjoy basketball, so it was a fun way to spend our weekends, while also having the added fun of sharing it with our girl! 


(Niece Kaydance LOVES Selah, and is thrilled to be getting a baby sister this summer!!)

(Chase also loves Selah...and turned 5 this year!)

I also made my first quilts that month, one for Selah, and one for the new baby of our sweet photographer friend who took the most amazing pictures at Selah's birth.  I really wanted to do something special for her little one, so I attempted my first real baby quilt!  It was a lot of fun (and work!) to put together and follow the steps to accomplish.  Before that I had made a rag quilt for Selah, as she received one as a gift when she was born and I was motivated to try it myself.  That one was also fun, and even easier than the second one.

(This is quilt #2 - the more complicated of the 2.  I'll post pics of the rag quilt in the 9 month post.)

(Uncle Darin and Selah)

We also celebrated my older brother's birthday, and Selah started waving hi and bye for the first time - first at church when leaving the nursery, then to my brother after we had met him for his birthday lunch.  It was so sweet.  That was March, then came April.

(Braelyn, Jallen, Trace, Selah, and Jaxon - major cousin LOVE.  Yay for another little one joining the family in December!!)

Happy first Easter!
First Easter basket: Under the Nile bunny, Easter Storybook Bible, Easter storybook, stuffed lamb.
We had another fun month, making some new memories.  We celebrated Selah's first Easter, which was sweet.  I love Easter, celebrating the resurrection, and welcoming Spring.  My grandma came to stay with us for a few days, which was quite a treat.  We had fun sewing together, going to JoAnn's and just hearing her amazing stories from the past 86 years.  When we left a trip to JoAnn's, Selah also threw her first mini-fit when I took something away from her in the store that she had grabbed from the cart.  While minor, it was so crazy.  We had finally reached the point where my sweet gal had a pretty strong opinion and wasn't afraid to make it known when she didn't get her way!  Of course we've seen more moments like this since then, but it's so crazy to see it for the first time.  At least at this stage it's quite shortlived even when it does come!

Selah and I also met some of my friends that I used to be in a bible study with for an amazing girls' weekend it Indiana.  It was an absolute blast.  We crafted our little hearts out, and enjoyed some much needed laughter.  Selah was sweet and content, (though not the best sleeper there), and right after we came home from there she started to crawl!  Now that was also quite amazing to see.  As well as the moment where life at home began to look quite different...but fun in a whole new way!

That's a pretty good summary of those months, of course not everything but definitely some highlights!  Those are just the events, though of course I could write a post about my feelings on each...but oh well.  Maybe some day!  Each month brings a new adventure in the first-time mom world.  I am so very thankful for every memory we are blessed to make!