You are 7 1/2 months old as I write this letter. You are growing up so fast! I wish I could stop time and let you be a newborn baby a little longer. Your dad and I have enjoyed you every minute since you joined our family. Everyday you get cuter and smarter. This letter is the first of many that will document your development, experiences and our feelings.
Your hair has gone from almost black to light brown, and now it’s turning blond. If you didn’t look so much like your daddy, people might think you came from the milk man! This past Sunday, your dad gelled up your hair and you both had the same hairdo! You LOVE everyone. You have no concept of “stranger danger”. You will happily go to anyone without question. Your dad and I don’t get to hold you very much at church because everyone else wants to hold you. You have a unique talent for making everyone feel like they are your favorite. You love to study people’s faces and you have a very fast and strong grip when it comes to grabbing necklaces and glasses.
You are learning how to communicate with us. We secretly think you speak English. We’re almost positive you are waiting until a later date to debut your speaking skills. In lieu of talking, you have chosen to grunt, laugh, squeal and cough to get our attention. I have to admit, the fake cough is pretty clever. You will have a full conversation with us by grunting. You grunt, then we grunt copying you, then you grunt, then we grunt. This goes on far longer than it should, but in the end we both feel understood. We love the fake laugh. We’re not really sure how or why you learned it, but none the less it is dang cute. You are clever enough to think we actually believe your fake laugh is real, and we are clever enough to let you believe that.
In the past few days you have discovered that your tongue helps you concentrate. The harder you focus on something, the longer your tongue gets. It is adorable. In fact, we think you are the cutest baby that was ever born. We love to take your picture and you love to be photographed! To date, we have over 1,300 photos of you! You smile and squeal for the camera, you are the perfect baby to photograph.
About a month ago you decided you no longer wanted to be wrapped up like a burrito when going to sleep. Instead of telling us in English (which we know you can speak), you decided a more dramatic approach would work best to get your point across. One night, while putting you to bed, you screamed and screamed for no apparent reason. After we spent what seemed like hours troubleshooting the problem, we unwrapped you. You smiled and cooed and went right to sleep immediately. You are enjoying your new found freedom, sprawling your body all over the bed. When you are put down for a nap you must try out every sleeping position before choosing one. We know you have had a good nap when you wake up backwards and on your belly facing the wall.
We have started teaching you American Sign Language. You seem to understand what we are saying, you are just not signing back yet. Again, we are pretty sure you know how to sign, you are just waiting for the right time to debut your bilingual skills. You have started to mimic us. You don’t wave or clap yet, but you have tricks way more exciting than that. You will scrunch up your nose and breath through it really fast while smiling. It is a lot cuter in person than the way it sounds on paper. You and your dad have a nose scrunching contest everyday. Don’t worry, you always win!
You are constantly happy. You will smile and laugh even when rubbing your eyes and yawning. You must have read the book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” while you were in heaven because you sure know how to wrap everyone around your little finger! You have recently learned the concept, “you can win more bees with honey than with vinegar”. We will put you down to sleep, and then we will leave the room assuming you will nod off any minute. Sometimes after we leave, you will decide that sleeping really isn’t what you want to do. Instead of crying like most babies would, you squeal, laugh, and talk to yourself. If you think we haven’t noticed you, you turn up the volume adding a few fake laughs and more squeals. Inevitably, this charming personality of yours entices both your mom and your dad enough to run into the room to see your happy smiling face. You of course win again. You are already a little flirt. We are going to keep an extra watchful eye on you! When you decide you are ready to go to sleep, you moan yourself to sleep. It is very cute. It puts me to sleep, but not your dad!
You love to inspect everything, especially anything that has a tag. You LOVE tags. You are very particular about what actually goes into your mouth. Items will only enter your mouth after careful inspection and much consideration. You definitely discriminate as well, not everything is mouth worthy. Some things just do not make the cut! You study everything and everyone around you. You always find the smallest things. Leave it to you to find a piece of thread, lint or dog hair. We know you are smart. You are very interested in other little kids and babies. We have to watch you because you love to grab other babies’ faces, arms, and ears!
Nursing is one of your favorite pastimes. You love to nurse and when you are hungry you will pull at anyone’s shirt hoping for a meal. You are obsessed with knowing the whereabouts of your dad. You have to know where he is all the time. When you are nursing, you will stop and look around for him. When you see him, you will smile and grunt to get his attention. If he doesn’t respond, you will grunt louder until he smiles at you and says, “hi Hannah!” This of course makes your day and you flash him your million dollar smile. You can then resume nursing for a few more minutes until you start to wonder where you dad is and then the whole process starts over again. We call you our “little social eater”. You like to hum in between sucks when you are nursing as well. This is makes it an interesting experience for both of us. You also like to kick or twist your feet around. Maybe nursing is more fun when you are active.
Speaking of your dad, I like to refer to him as “dessert”. Because that is exactly what he is to you! You get to hang out with me all day, and when daddy comes home you squeal with excitement. He, of course, roughs you up, teases and tickles you, and then passes you off to me. I’m pretty boring compared to him. You think everything he does and says is funny. You LOVE it when he rubs his scruffy beard across your hands and feet. You are very strong and you love to stand up in your dad’s hands. Doing this will put a smile on your face and sometimes you will do the “scrunch your nose” trick at the same time. You wave your arms around and squeal in delight, you are just TOO CUTE! You and daddy dance and sing together. Nothing makes you happier.
You have no teeth yet. All your baby friends have two or more teeth than you. Don’t worry, that doesn’t seem to bother you. You just keep flashing your million dollar gum smile to everyone. You are definitely a talker. Maybe you don’t have any teeth to show your friends, but you sure do have a lot to say to them! When you are talking you will go on, and on, and on (sometimes about nothing we think). However, if anyone interrupts you, you will talk louder and louder until you are finished.
I took you swimming for the first time a couple days ago. You loved it! I thought you would since you love splashing around in the bath. The water was a little cold, but that didn’t seem to bother you. You smiled, squealed and laughed as you shivered in the cold water. I dunked you under the water and you came up with a look of, “what was that for?” You splashed and had a great time.
Grandma and Grandpa P visited us on Saba a couple of weeks ago. You didn’t cry once during their visit. They are now convinced you never cry. I told them you certainly can cry, we just prefer to anticipate your needs instead of you screaming your needs to us. You are so happy and content all the time. We prefer you this way. You are perfect in every way and we can’t explain in words how happy we are to have you in our family.