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7 Months
Saturday, February 25, 2012 - 05:46 a.m.

Seeing as I'm awake anyway, I might as well take the time to post. As always, the weeks have flown by and Aerin actually turned 8 months old on Tuesday. This would probably be a more tender look back at the month if she hadn't woken up at 3:15 this morning. Or if I'd been able to fall asleep after I put her back down.

So yeah. This adorable brat is 8 months old.

7 Months

The big story of the last month is TEETH and MORE TEETH. She has total of four now, her two top left teeth having made a rather dramatic appearance a few weeks ago. She supposedly has two more lurking on the right side, waiting to pop at the most inconvenient time, I'm sure.

This month marked her very first (and hopefully last) nursing strike. One morning she woke up, nursed, and went to daycare, just like every other day, but when I went to feed her at 3:30 that afternoon, she absolutely refused to eat. She arched her back away from me and cried. At the time, I thought she was just tired and maybe hungry for the blueberries she hadn't eaten yet. So we got home and she still refused. She was clearly hungry, but she wouldn't even lie in my arms, much less latch on. She screamed, she scratched, she pinched, she pushed away, and she wouldn't eat. Todd was out of town, so finally, I just had to put her down in her crib so I could cook dinner for me and Micah. Aerin screamed the whole time; I mean screamed. And so went the rest of the evening. And the weekend. And the first two days of the next week. She wouldn't even take a bottle or a sippy. When Todd would hold her out to me, she would stiffen in midair, already pulling away just from my touch. I spent the entire time worried, upset, hurt, and just kind of pissed. When she finally latched on at 8 PM on the following Tuesday, my arms were covered in little black bruises and I had already promised her to a roving band of Gypsies.

Of course, she's fine now.

Jerk.

Who, me?

Her growth has slowed down a bit. She's still in 9 month outfits, although she fills them out a bit more. Her weight dropped during the nursing strike, so she's still holding at around 19 pounds. Since she's approaching the 22-pound weight limit in her Chicco carrier and Micah's nearly outgrown his car seat, we bought Micah a new car seat a few weeks ago and turned his old Roundabout around for Aerin to ride in. We're still using the baby carrier in my car, but she seems to enjoy the bigger seat in Todd's.

She's started eating more solid foods like Cheerios and puffs and has learned how to chew things pretty effectively. She loves yogurt and can drink water from a sippy (although she can’t quite hold it up yet). She still doesn't roll over (I KNOW), but she's got pretty good balance when it comes to sitting. She can also swipe a remote, water glass, or phone from a far greater range than you'd expect. Nothing within a good 3-foot radius is safe. She's also pushing up on her arms and acting like she's thinking about getting her legs tucked up under her. She's actually happy to play on her stomach these days, at least for a little while.

She's got a whole repertoire of noises now, from a happy little dadadadaDA to an imperious tuh and she straight-up GROWLS at us if we're not moving fast enough when getting her dinner together. Her teachers laugh at that one; she's their little feral baby.

She has started bouncing a lot when seated and loves the jumper at the daycare. When she's excited to see someone, she flaps her arms, squawks, and bounces up and down with pure, unrestrained joy. She has yet to meet a stranger and is still completely free with her smiles. We've been known to cut quite a swath through the grocery store, and no little old lady is safe from her charms.

See what I mean?

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Looking back:

6 Months 5 Months 4 Months - I missed this one 3 Months 2 Months 1 month 4 Days

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When my bear was a real bear
Saturday, February 4, 2012 - 01:02 p.m.

One night last November, while tucking Micah into bed, I had the idea to tell him the story about the bear that broke into the candy shop in Gatlinburg. Micah has a stuffed black bear he sleeps with every night and I thought he'd get a kick out of hearing it. Three months later, and the story has become a fixture of his bedtime routine. It has to be told in a very precise way and no parts can be left out, although a few details have been added as it's gone on.

After telling it nearly every night for the last three months, it seems impossible that I'd ever forget how the story goes, but I'm pretty sure it will be overwritten at some point. So I'm writing it here. There's no punch line - this is just something I really really want to remember.

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Mommy, I want to talk about when my bear was a real bear.

Once upon a time, before you were born-

When I was in your tummy like Aerin?

Yes, when you were still in my big tummy, kicking around, Mommy and Daddy went to Gatlinburg, Tennessee to visit some of Mommy's family. While we were there, your daddy found this bear. And even though you weren't born and we didn't know anything about you, he thought you'd like this bear. So Daddy bought it for you, and this was your first present from Daddy.

I love my bear, Mommy.

Well, in Gatlinburg, where this bear is from, there's a real bear that lives in a cave up on the mountain. And early one morning he woke up. So he-

Was the sun up?

No, it was still dark. He walked-

Were there cars on the road? And planes in the sky? And were people going on abentures?

It was really early. It was still dark, and there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky. Everyone was still asleep and no one was going on adventures.

Oh.

So he walked outside and he stretched and he realized he was HUNGRY. So he set off down the mountain. He walked down the hill and through the trees until he came to road that goes through Gatlinburg.

Were there cars on the road? Were people going to work?

No, it was too early. And as he walked down the road he sniffed. Then he smelled something VERY GOOD TO EAT. He looked in the window, and what did he see?

A CANDY STORE!

A candy store! So he raised up his big bear paw and he SMASHED the door in.

Smash!

The first thing he ate was some...

Taffy!

Then he ate some...

Candied apples!

And then he ate some...

Peanut brittle!

And then he ate some...

Rock candy!

And he ate and he ate and he munched and he munched. That bear ate so much, for so long, that the sun came up!

And were there cars on the street? And planes in the sky? And were people going on abentures?

YES! There were cars on the road and planes in the sky and people were going on adventures and they were going to work. And when the two little old ladies who were supposed to open the candy store to sell candy to people got there, they saw the door all smashed in. They looked inside and..."AAAAAAAH! THERE'S A BEAR IN THERE!" So they ran back outside and they called the police.

And while everyone was outside waiting on the police, that bear snuck out the back door and ran off, back down the road and back up the hill and back through the trees and into his cave. WHEW!

And they never caught him.

Mommy? When my bear was a nice bear…he shared some of his taffy.

This kid, man. This kid.

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