My littlest girl will very soon be 7 months old. It has occurred to me lately how quickly her first year, her baby year, will be coming to an end. I love this age! I think I could keep her 7 months old forever....although I love watching her grow up too. I already have her 1st birthday party planned in my head and ideas for her own little girl bedroom. I envision tea parties, pink rubber boots and tu-tus. I imagine a chubby cheeked little girl with dark curly pigtails pushing a little dolly stroller down our driveway.
She is developing and growing wonderfully (maybe I'm a little biased). She loves her bath time. She adores her daddy. She thinks her siblings are hilarious (they finally have an audience who appreciates their antics). She has never met a morsel, spoonful, or bottle of food she didn't like. It's a new experience for me to not have to practically force feed my baby.
Speaking of food....I've been cooking up lots of sweet potatoes and acorn squash lately for her. I bake them, run a batch through my food processor and then freeze the puree in silicone muffin pans. Once they are frozen chunks of colorful goodness I pop them all out into a plastic bag and store them in the freezer. So easy. Super cheap. So much tastier and more nutritious than store bought baby foods (not that I don't keep a few jars on hand just in case). She also loves any other fruit, fresh berries, veggies, or even vegi soup squished through my little manual baby food grinder. She is loving feeding herself and has been working on those fine motor skills necessary to get the puffed wheat from the highchair tray into her mouth. It is fascinating to watch her try ,and try again ,to get the timing just right.
Miss Cece is sleeping through the night most of the time and generally takes 2 good naps a day (sometimes a 3rd power nap). I couldn't ask for a better little sleeper...although sometimes she kicks up a protest in the evening. She has grown quite attached to her little sleeping buddy "bunny". I may need to buy a couple more "bunnies" because she is threatening to teeth it to pieces.
I have not made her a baby journal or yet started a baby scrap book for her (I guess for now this blog is it). I think at first I assumed she would be leaving soon and then I just kind of held my breath...afraid to start something. Now it's just a matter of getting pictures printed out and an album bought (and time to do it).
Naughty mommy. Maybe I can blame it on being a fourth child.
With each of my other children I wrote occasionally in a baby journal documenting milestones, personality, development, my feelings, and what they were like. From Aili to Silas that journal became much more sparse. Now Celina doesn't have one at all. I guess it's not too late to start.
Even if she leaves.
It's probably even more important in that case....although I don't know if a future adoptive family would value my love poured out in words. I know she would appreciate a record of this first year though, in an album where I don't have to cut out her pretty face.
I recently bought cloth diapers off of ebay. 20 new diapers for $100. So far so good. They are so soft, and I like the soft fleece lining next to her bottom. Seems so much more comfy than paper. They have micro fiber inserts that I can double up during nap time. I really don't even notice the extra laundry. The only down side is they aren't the Hoover dam like disposables are ...I have to actually change her after she pees.
Letter for sweet Cece
You have been part of our family for half of a year now. How is it possible that in only that amount of time you have become so deeply ingrained into our family? You have grown from a tiny, scrunched up, screaming stranger into our chubby, snuggly, playful girl. You are precious to us and will always be our unexpected treasure. You have brought so much joy to our home.
In loving you this much, I am very vulnerable. Some things in life are worth risking heartbreak for, and you, my sweet girl, are one of them. You did not come from my body. You were never nestled in my womb, but you are no less part of my heart than my other children. You are a blessing to our family. You are adored by your daddy and you are doted on by your siblings. Each one of them profoundly loves you. You will always be their little sister.
We pray that you will be a physical part of our family forever. I dream of the day when you will be forever ours. When we can give you our name and claim you as our own. It makes me smile to think about it. If life doesn't happen the way we want it to...you will always be our daughter in our hearts. We will love and pray for you from a distance.
As you grow there are things that I never ever want you to hear from us, or to feel. You are not ,nor will ever be, seen as a burden. I never want you to feel indebted or like somehow we have saved you from something. All children have their challenges. All children are inconvenient at times. All children have unexpected difficulties, whether they are brought into our family through birth or adoption. Our life together may have it's share of bumps and bruises along the way but I promise it will also have a lot of love, grace, and fun too.
You are not our charity case. You are our child.
You are adored.
You are loved.
You are a blessing to us.