For the past 6 months, this girl has honored me with a wide one-tooth smile every time I walk into view. That one tooth is one of my very favorite things in this world. I remember when it popped up just before her third month, and I tried to brush it away with my finger, thinking it was a spot of left-over spit up. To my surprise, I felt a sharp, jagged edge protruding out of her swollen gums. My other girls didn't sprout teeth until close to 6 months so I thought this tooth was going to present a million problems while nursing, but thankfully, we've only had a few biting incidents, and I have come to love that baby tooth.
Sadly, the days of her one-tooth smile are numbered. Her top teeth are making their way out of the gums as I write, and each day we inch a little closer to having a toothier smile. It makes me sad. I am going to miss her cheesy grin.
Birdie Bea turned 9 months old today, and more than a handful of people today said she actually was starting to look more like a little person and less like a baby. She sleeps through the night and has for more close to 2 months now. She began sitting and crawling in the same week three weeks back. I never thought she'd sit. Her stomach still frustrates all of us, except her. Her core muscles are incredibly strong, but something inside her body must hurt her because she still would prefer to be on her stomach than sit up, but she does it because I force her to. Because she throws up so much of her food, she is still a tiny little thing, but she is long. Her feet kick against my thighs on a frequent basis, reminding me how happy she is to be in my arms away from the constant chaos below.
Her sisters adore her. Adore might not be a strong enough word. If I put her down for a second, one of the three girls scoops her up and drags her every which way until she squawks, and even when she squawks, they refuse to put her down. Genevieve is especially hard with Birdie at the moment. She monopolizes every waking minute I don't have her in my arms, and Felicity is sort of over it. I'm sure it's just a phase, but it's a rough one that we are all patiently hoping will pass very quickly.
I wish I could put into words how much I love this little baby of mine. I love how she folds her body into mine when I nurse in the morning and at night. I love how she grabs my finger when I walk with her around the house. And I love how she smells after bath time. She has her own smell, and it lingers until the morning when I pick her up out of the crib. She is curious and serious most of the time, but when I do get her to laugh, it makes my day and week.
She has taught me to love the baby stage; it's too bad she's my fourth baby. I constantly ask Tim, "Did our other girls do this?" I just notice different things with her, and perhaps it's because I'm much calmer with each child (not when they're throwing a tantrum of course), but she makes me feel calm. I love her, and I wish I had a dozen more just like her.
Forgive the little red spots on her cheeks...I'm not sure if she's allergic to strawberries or prunes, but something got her last week, and we're still trying to get rid of the rash. I just didn't want to not photograph that smile before it was gone.