Oh, Farrah, I'm so sorry that I missed your ninth and am late on your tenth. However, when you are older I will explain the circumstances and you will understand. I refuse, however, to throw it into this. So, I decided to clump in two months worth of progress into this entry. I had to. I honestly couldn't pin point when everything started to happen.
1. Using two words and understanding them: You say DaDa!!! when your daddy walks in the room. You don't just say it, you shout it. You also say MaMa when you need me. Dada, I've discovered also means "playtime." Mama also means "feeding time." As a matter of fact, this morning you yelled "Mommy!" Your dad and I laughed hard at that.
2. Standing: At the nine month mark you started to not only stand on your own and balance, but use couches, benches, and legs of people to begin the process of walking. It was usually a side to side movement.
3. Walking (or at least giving it 100% effort): You have been practicing your walking by hanging on to your Daddy's and Mommy's hands to get you around. It started out with both hands and worked its way to just one. You've also been using your Cowcycle to push and walk behind. You actually started that just two nights ago. As a matter of fact, this morning, you were upset with me and standing about 2 feet away. This just wasn't close enough so, all on your own you took one step forward and didn't fall down. At least not for another 10-15 seconds. It was your first REAL step!
4. Your Cowcycle: Your Aunt Donna and Uncle Joe bought you a darling spotted cow on wheels. As mentioned before, you've been using it as a walker, but you are also riding it. The first time we put you on it, you wouldn't shut up. You squealed and growled with excitement. We didn't exactly know what the growling meant, but we figured it was a good thing. You also started a weird thing that is all Farrah. Squinting your eyes.
5. Squinting your eyes: Yeah, you squint your eyes about stuff. Not because the sun is out or because you're trying to peer into something. If I hand you something to eat, you squint as if to physically prepare yourself for what you are about to do. Either that or you have horrible vision problems and you can't see what is 6 inches from your face. You also squint hard if you've been crying. This is how you get those big juicy tears out of your eyeballs and quickly onto your cheeks so as to make your dad and I feel even worse for whatever you're crying about in the first place. By learning that, you now squint very hard when you're fake crying. You seem to think that the phony crying and real crying both produce tears. You're confused for now and we think it is funny, which is why you see us laugh hysterically when you're trying to make us feel sorry for you. You've met your match with me, Farrah. C'mon, I used to fake being dead and make my cousin cry. You can't fool a pro.
6. Crawl running: That basically translates into crawling very fast so that I have to actually exert effort to keep up with you.
7. 007: You know how to escape from our baby prison we built for you. We purchased one of those very long and bendy gates and you've learned how to push and kick and knock it to the side so you can crawl out of the living room and hunt for something unsafe to put in your mouth.
8. Teeth: You have two of them. And you use them too. On us!!! Luckily, we're pretty quick to pull away when you think toe chewing sounds like a fun past time. The biting isn't near as bad as the face scratching. Holy crap, girl, you've drawn blood. It seems like I trim your nails constantly. It's as if someone is pumping some sort of super vitamin into your bottle so that they grow back over night. I joke with your dad telling him that I cut your nails at a point and that is why it feels like you are stabbing us.
9. Clapping: You clap when you're happy. You clap when you're excited. You clap when an audience on TV is clapping so that you don't feel like the only who isn't clapping. You clearly like to cheer people and events on. We need to let your Aunt Evie know! Also when you're excited, you kick. When you're lying down, you pick your legs up and drop them down hard. You do this over and over and over. You are capable of making the floor shake when you do this. When you do it the most is when we throw a blanket over your face. When we quickly take it off (mind you, we're playing peek-a-boo, not see how long Farrah can hold her breath), you have a huge smile on your face and you are laughing hard. It has to be your favorite game.
10. Eating for reals: You are eating finger foods and you seem to really enjoy it. The food really seems to enjoy you, too. It particularly enjoys sitting on your face, in between your fingers, up your nose, on your clothes and in your hair. Honestly, I'm not sure if any of it is making its way to your stomach or not. The stinky evidence in the diaper says, "Yes!" You love Mum Mums. When I show you the packet, your eyes get big and your feet all over the place as if you aren't aware that you are strapped in to your high chair and you think that you are running to me for your treat. You have yogurt in the morning. You were very excited about the transition from boring cereal to exciting flavorful yogurt. You tell me you're bored of whatever you're eating by spitting it out at me. It gets in my hair on my clothes, on my eyelashes, all over. Although I might jump up and let out a nice "Ugh!" I know you're still having fun because you're smiling about it.
11. Clothes: Yeah, you're wearing the real thing now. The only time you're in a onsie is if I'm throwing it under a sweater. You're in people clothes! I've even placed your crazy feet into shoes. You only have one pair that fit. Which reminds me, I should probably look for some more to place on those feet so you don't look like some hobo baby when I take you out. At least you're keeping your socks on.
12. Announcements: You make your presence known...to EVERYONE. If we are in a restaurant, grocery store, mall, public bathroom, wherever, and not every person there has acknowledged your existance, you are sure to let them know you've arrived. You let out a constant yell, a high pitched scream, or anything that is considered loud. This is your baby way of making a grand entrance. You get this from your dad, only he doesn't do it so loudly. When he enters a room, people notice him, one way or another. You feel entitled to the same attention, only for you its one way, not another. People don't seem put off by this impolite behavior and actually embrace it. I apologise for you, but apparently for no reason. Cool. Scream away while it's still cute.
13. Nose picking: Um, yeah, you do this. Often. You stick a finger up a nostril and breath really hard out of the empty nostril. At times, and I know this is awful but I am documenting everything, you stick the finger that has been up your nose into your mouth. Ewww. We play a game where your finger heads towards your nose and I push it away and the finger comes back and I push it away again. This can go on forever until I realize that you are determined and I shouldn't fight that type of determination.
Oh, sweet, Farrah. I can't believe how fast time is flying by! I'm starting to map out your first birthday party already. It was this time last year that when I started to see Halloween decorations around the neighborhood, I knew we were getting close to the arrival of you. Once there is Halloween, then there is Thanksgiving, and of course Christmas. And since your due date was Dec. 26th, Christmas meant Farrah. The joy you've brought into our lives is amazing. The weight of the world that feels like has been placed on our shoulders gets lifted the moment your smile lights up the room. All the badness goes away, and your father and I are reminded of how beautiful life truly is. And it truly is, Farrah, with you in it. I know I've said it time and time again, but you are a magnetic force. People are drawn to you and it is the most amazing thing to witness. Complete strangers will stop what they are doing just to look into your eyes and catch a smile. Who, but you can bring such joy into strangers' lives too? I love you so much that it hurts. Every morning and every day with you feels like I just woke up and my stocking is full of everything I ever wanted. Santa Claus is real!!!
Thank you, Farrah, for being you. Wonderful.
I love you.
(Big sloppy kisses and bear hug)