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Thursday, January 27, 2011
::Sagan's Monthly Newsletter, January 2011::

Dear Sagan,

It’s hard for me to believe that everything that’s happened this month actually happened. From two days after Christmas... to now?!? Wow. It’s been a month more characterized by developments in the world instead of in you.

We went to the Marshalls’ timeshare condo in Conroe for New Year’s, and it was grand. You had the best time crawling around, cruising the tall coffee table and dining chairs, and I loved being able to exhale a little bit. See, it being simply a furnished condo, there was very little “stuff” sitting around. No DVDs for you to tump over. No cords for you to try to chew. No bric-a-brac for you to throw. It was a marvelously childproofed place!

We “did Christmas” with Nana Judy, Grandpa Karl, Uncle Blake, and your great-grandparents; you made everyone smile when, as we were saying goodbye, you reached for Great-Grandpa Bill for an extra hug.

New Year’s Day, we visited the Hemmes, who have a baby girl about three months older than you. You were so friendly! Of course, you demonstrate affection by grabbing your friends’ noses, so Jade wasn’t the biggest fan of your advances. But you guys shared toys, even handing them to each other, and it made me excited to see you interact more with babies your age.

As we left, you actually waved “bye-bye” (for the first time!) to your new friend. You got to hang out with Shelby, another dog whom you absolutely adore:

You’re cruising like a champ, reaching out to move from one object to another (the couch, your music table, Mommy, and the wall are your favorite “cruise anchors”). At last, you’re able to hold your bottle yourself, but whether you want to remains an issue. You’ve carried your bottle as you crawled by holding the nipple in your mouth, which was the cutest thing ever. Just recently, Pitter and Gran noticed you could click your tongue – or maybe it’s your whole mouth, but it’s totally cute, too. Here’s a video of you waving “hi” and showing off your click:

You’re also picking up clapping, and the “roll-‘em-up” portion of “Patty Cake.” Nice motor skills, kiddo!

I could do without – as could anyone who’s changed you this month – your motor development vis a vis ROLLING OVER WHILE GETTING YOUR DIAPER CHANGED. We hate it. Especially when your diaper’s poopy. So please. We know your core muscles are strong. You should just stop now, ‘kay?

You can also play with your toys, for minutes on end. This is a big deal! Sometimes, you’re even content to play alone, with no one else in your sight. It’s adorable to hear you randomly giggle at a toy, too; you’re able to literally entertain yourself. It’s great. But you run so hot and cold... One minute, you’ll be fussing because we left the room. The next, you’ll crawl out of the room, stop to turn around, notice we’re following you, then let out a huge cry of abandon as you hightail it out of the room even faster.

Your new favorite food is puffs. You can’t get enough of them. Banana, mango, “green,” sweet potato, apple... they’re all fun to eat (and find under the couch three days later). Your food repertoire has expanded to include cheese, pork, and several other fruits and vegetables. You love the tube packets of baby food; we went to IKEA and after 3 ½ hours of shopping (during which you were an angel!), you started to get fussy, so I opened up a packet of prune puree. As I leaned down under your stroller for a bib, you squeezed almost all of its contents on your shirts, your stroller shoulder straps, and your face. AND it was a deep, brownish purple.

You continue your fascination with minutiae, and your new “friends” are the lights that show up on the walls – reflected, refracted, whatever. You coo and talk at them, and your giggle when they move (like when I jiggled your exersaucer and made the light bouncing off its mirror fly across the room).

You’re also sleeping better (thanks to Elizabeth Pantley’s “The No-Cry Sleep Solution”), only waking up once or twice a night, rarely requiring a pick-up. Your dad and I really appreciate that.

The biggest occurrence this month isn’t a development for you, but for your Uncle Josh. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer. And Sagan, I don’t know what all of us would’ve done without you. When Dad and I went to the hospital to visit him, Pitter and Gran babysat you, and your time with them gave them a much-needed break from thinking about hospitals and cancer and medicine. You went to the hospital several times (we always tried to keep you away from the germ-infested people). Gran watched you in the parking garage, and you were fascinated by the mirror-ceilinged elevator to the skywalk, the pebbles (which you remembered from the lake, but were freaked out that you couldn’t remove from the bench).

We met up with Josh, too, and your visits to him in the hospital made him feel better than morphine.

And here are videos from one of those hang-outs.

There’s some super-cute stuff around 3:00, and then again at 4:00:

Check the little wave at the end!

More curious adorableness:

You have no clue that Uncle Josh is facing the biggest battle of his life, and that Mommy spends most of the time you’re napping researching ways to give him even the tiniest edge against cancer. You don’t understand why everyone hugs you a little harder and smiles at you a little longer. You haven’t the foggiest idea that you were one of Uncle Josh’s first thoughts when he heard his diagnosis.

And you don’t know that your beautiful smile, musical laugh, and amazingly clear love for all of us is giving us exactly what we need.



Dislikes: lying on your back, being fed (you want to do it yourself!), hanging out in your tent, run-ins with the Roomba
Likes: exploring textures, meat, cheese, your FaceTiming with Josh, escaping the living room corral, "talking" to Oscar and Loki
Things You Can Do: Wave hi and bye, stand supported on one leg, “click” on demand, carry things in your mouth, make anyone smile
Oh!that child is very cute!
I like he!
Cartier bracelets

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