I think of you and I only see smiles. I see your sweet, happy, gummy little grin. I see the smiles you put on your sister's face, your daddy's face, your grandpa's face. I see the smile Bean has just for you. Mostly, I feel the smiles of my own.
All anyone has to do is look at you and you smile back, kicking your little feet and, if I'm holding you, tucking your roundest of heads into my neck in the most winsome little gesture of fake shyness. You visibly melt everyone around you. This is probably a good thing, because you're starting to to be able to get into pretty much anything and everything and you've already figured out that no one can be mad at you for anything you destroy. We say "no" and you laugh and you win.
Eight months old and you're cruising and crawling and pulling up on everything (the first time you got it was on the side of the bathtub) and you're quick. You'll wiggle around on the floor, then if I'm sitting on the couch you make your way over and pull up, smiling at me with the cutest, proudest, open-mouth smile. I thought you might skip the knee crawling and just belly crawl everywhere since you'd been doing it for so long, but you kept at it (I think you knew it would be faster) in spite of hardwood floors and little red knees. No pain, no gain Mama, and off you went. You didn't do the typical baby-style rocking on your knees; nope, you'd go up and move a knee and fall and go up again and move a hand and fall and go up again and start all over. You are the most patient child on the planet, determined and stubborn and completely chill about it all. You know what you want, you will have only what you want, but you'll work hard and patiently until you get it. If that follows you in life, you'll do anything you can dream.
You cut your top two teeth this week and we only lost a night's sleep to it. Poor baby, you had a cold at the same time and that made for a very rough night just before July 4th. But just like everything else, you barely let that phase you. You were ready for action the next day, back to your quiet, sweet, smiling self. I'm proud of you for those teeth, but they break my heart a little. There's something about the top teeth taking away the gummy grin that shows how quickly you're going to leave your tiny babyness behind you.
You're eating anything and everything and love all things sweet. Ice cream has rocked your world and watermelon isn't far behind. Sometimes I freeze it in really thin slices for you to teeth on and you love that. You love sweet and cold, so much so that you'll eat so much you'll shiver and quake and so clearly get a brain freeze but that still won't stop you opening your little mouth for more, just like a funny little baby bird. Nana gave you Koala Krisp for the first time and you went crazy. Your favorite real foods are probably broccoli and ground beef, or anything with tomato sauce. Or really just anything. You just love to eat.
With your smiles come giggles and you laugh and laugh and laugh. It's so easy to get laughs out of you. You love to be tickled and you've just started laugh-crawling; the best little game in the world (your sister played it too) of crawling away and hoping you'll be chased. If you're not laughing, you're pretty much sitting and staring in half awe/half horror at your sister and cousin doing their shenanigans.
Your favorite activities are eating stink bugs, trying to eat cat food, hunting for tiny choking hazards to eat, trying to eat or drool on your sister's things, trying to eat sand and seaweed if we are at the beach and bumping your head into stuff. In other words, your favorite activities are trying to meet an early doom and eating inedible things. Truly. That is what you like to do. I can't make this stuff up. I'm seriously trying to think of all that you like to do or what your favorite toys are but this is what comes to mind. You do love to splash in the bath (you hate cold water, so pools have been a loser) and you love any game that involves bouncing or anyone talking to you. You like all of your toys, especially if they are good for chewing. In other words, you're very, very easy to please.
You are completely head-over-heels in love with the cat. Unfortunately, the feeling isn't mutual. This is probably because you show love by pounding and/or clawing with your grubby little excited hands. Biddy is missing chunks of fur because of this and my chest is covered in tiny fingernail marks. You are also head-over-heels in love with your sister, but thankfully she just gets kisses. Your love of the cat has also translated into a love for a book called Sneakers the Seaside Cat, and this week at the beach you are pointing with one finger at the cat on every page and kissing it. It's absolutely adorable and your sister did the same thing at 7 months old. (You probably would have done it that early too but I didn't try until this week and you still blew me away with your brilliance, obviously.) Otherwise, I haven't been able to convince you yet that you love books. You'd rather move around and talk to people and eat.
You're not talking much, but just today you started saying "more" (well, it sounds like "da" or "mmah") and you say "mama" and "hi." You still love the baby carriers and I carry you way more than I use a stroller. I love how entirely content and relaxed you are in the carrier. You love to have me near and still see the world and I love how much we get to interact. Today I carried you while I picked blueberries. I gave you tiny pieces as I picked and you kept trying to grab at the bushes. You knew I was getting the sweet treat somehow from those leaves, but you couldn't figure it how!
We finally moved you to your own room in June and that was hard for me not to have you right beside me, and really hard to finally completely give up the beloved Moses basket. You slept better since you've been in your own room, but you're still not an amazing sleeper and that's tough. You still get up to nurse at least two, often three, times at night. You go to bed around 8:30 or 9, nurse at 12ish, 3ish, and 7ish but then usually sleep until 9. Lately though it's been a bit more like 1:30 and 5:30 and those days are easier. You often end up staying in bed with us after that, because you love snuggling up so much and we love having you close. You still love to sleep on Daddy's arm, just like your sister loved to sleep on his chest.
Last weekend Daddy and Sweet Pea slipped out of our room at Nana's beach house and left you and me to get a little more rest. When you woke up you instantly got up on your knees and started crawling around like you always do (no cuddles and snuggles and books for you, thank you much), and I tried to ignore you in the hopes that somehow you'd stop and just lie down and wake up slowly, even though that has never happened ever. So you crawled up over my back right up to my face and smiled your hugest smile and gave me a slobbery kiss and said, "Haaaaaaa!" and made my day before it ever even started.
You are still the easiest, sweetest, most content baby in the world. People have goldfish that are harder to please than you. But would you please sleep 8 hours straight? I guess you can't though, because then you'd be perfect and no one can be perfect so I'll take you just like this. We love you so much, sweet boy.