This is significant for three reasons:
1) HOLY CRAP, NINE MONTHS.
2) Maggie has now been alive outside of my body for longer than she was alive INSIDE my body. This always feels like a significant marker to me.
3) If Maggie is 9 months old, then I am waaaay overdue for an update. Commence update.
Dear Little Peach,
OMGeezers, MaggieGirl, you are amazing! This is my favorite picture of you right now:
It is my favorite because it shows off your teeth (four!), your new found ability to accessorize with hairbows (okay, I guess that's really MY new found ability, but still), your love for making an UNHOLY MESS, your voracious love of food, and your near-constant sunny disposition.
Your food preferences are a great source of amusement to your Dada and I becuase you are So. Completely. Offended. by being fed from a spoon. It's all finger food, all the time round these parts. Your favorites so far, other than the obvious crackers & cheerios, have been lasagna, spinach ravioli, broccoli soup (which you like SO MUCH that you will allow a contraband spoon in your mouth in order to eat it), black beans, and CHEESE. OMG, CHEESE! You do this hilarious thing when you have a food you like on your tray- you scoop up a handful, jam it in your mouth, and then press your hand over your mouth while you chew to keep it all in there. Choking be damned! There's cheese in your mouth, and YOU NEED IT ALL.
You do not, however, care for fruit. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND, MAGGIE. Fruit is amazing, what is wrong with you?!? You will eat a couple bites of bananas, grapes, blueberries, even APPLESAUCE does not tempt you, and then you are done, moving on to the savory foods on your tray. Preferably cheese. MORE CHEESE, PLEASE.
You also crawl. It is unspeakably cute. You do need to be motivated though. You only crawl to get to a forbidden object or a beloved family member. Usually Henry. He LOVES to lay on the floor with you and shout "Cwawl to me Maggie! Cwawl to your bwuver Henry!" I think that you love your brother the best because he can ALWAYS make you laugh, and you say his name the most, too. I'd be jealous if I weren't so smitten with the two of you.
If you do love Henry the most, your daddy is a veryveryVERY close second. You flirt with him shamelessly and he FALLS FOR IT. As soon as he walks in the door from work you bust out your biggest, loveliest grin and just wait for him to come scoop you up. Whenever he's in the room, he's the one you pay attention too. If I'm holding you on the sofa and he sits down, you dive into his lap. I guess that means that I'm in third place as far as your affections go, but that's okay. I'll take what I can get.
You say 'buubu' for brother and 'buubu' for byebye when you wave. You other favorite noises are 'mama' (thankyouverymuch) and this screechy pterodactylish 'AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGHKLAA' noise. You love to jabber these days, so there's a lot of indiscriminate noise, but we do think that your first words are brother & byebye. Buubu!
Sometimes, when Henry takes a toy from you (gasp!) or when you want our attention or are just feeling a little put out you scrunch up your face and do this fake cry thing. We call it your 'cranky face' and it's adorable, which is really not doing you any favors because we kind of like to see you do it.
When I tell you 'no', which is usually because you're trying to eat a power cord, or insisting on flipping over during a diaper change, or biting me while nursing (#$%^&*$%^), you immediately look at me, with the MOST confused expression, and smile. Because, oh my gosh, why would Mama ever use that tone of voice with such a sweet peachypeach as myself?!?! SHE MUST BE KIDDING ME. If I do not immediately smile back at you, you cry. Unless you're in a mood already, then you scream at me. Either way, it's such a funny reaction, and, as always, so cute.
A few of your favorite things lately are staring at and crawling towards the pets, any toy that is your brother's, when we sing 'ItsyBitsy Spider' or 'I'm a Little Teapot' to you, and being outside. You're not hard to please. Thanks for that.
We had to lower your crib and pack & play a few weeks ago, because you tried to kamakaze out of them. Don't worry, we figured out your shenanigans before you actually fell on your head (more than we can say for your brother... oops.)
Speaking of crib shenanigans, I am happy to report that you no longer need to be swaddled to sleep. Hooray! Big girl! You still require your beloved paci, but you can now crawl to it in your crib, stick it in your own mouth, and put yourself to sleep without being wrapped up in a baby straitjacket. It's lovely. Thank you again.
However, Maggie, I've got to throw you under the bus a little bit now. You still, at nine months, are not sleeping through the night yet. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT, GIRLFRIEND? It is time, Maggie, it is soooo time. I do think I have to take most of the responsibility though- it's probably my fault. See, the problem is that you are SO SWEET when you wake up at night! You are so cuddly and warm and Maggie-smelling and you snuggle up and nurse and then you wave at me and pat my face when I put you back in your crib and there's never any crying and it's just kind of lovely. There. I said it. Waking up in the middle of the night with you is kind of lovely, and I fully expect someone to try to institutionalize me now that I've said it out loud.
Despite all this, I should warn you, that your father and I have decided to lay the smack down. There's no way you need to wake up for a snack at night when you ate an adult-sized serving of lasagna at 6:30pm. You can't fool me. YOU DON'T NEED IT NO MATTER HOW CUTE AND SNUGGLY YOU ARE.
But, I still don't want to break the habit. I think there will be crying. I dread it. You cry so rarely that I feel like I'm especially sensitive to it, and I have never been good at the whole cry-it-out thing anyway. But we'll figure it out. It's time, my girl. It's soooo time.
Aside from the still waking up at night to nurse business, you are a little gem of joy in our lives. I know I've said this before, but I think it bears repeating: one of my favorite parts of the day with you is when you wake up in the morning or from your naps. You wake up SO HAPPY! Babbling, giggling, peering out of your crib, it's AMAZING. We have NO IDEA where you get this from, as your father and I are terrible, terrible human beings in the morning, and Henry is following in our footsteps. You, however, are a bright spot of light each morning. I have a suspicion that this will be a trait that characterizes you your entire life; that you trail a little bit of extra brightness wherever you go in this world.
And speaking of being a little spot of light, your Daddy was reading me a part of an article last night, and in it the author was talking about our connection to heaven and he said this:
"The Kingdom of God is breaking in all around us, as Jesus says repeatedly throughout the Gospels. For Christians, the line between heaven and earth, while still present, is very thin and in some places... it is traversed entirely."
I thought about it all night; what it means that the Kingdom of God is breaking in, that heaven itself is breaking in all around us, and what that might look like, other places where I could see the truth of that.
And I thought of a few things: verses that have been so meaningful to me recently about the Lord making all things new, about seeing the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living; some small miracles, quiet blessings that the Lord has brought into my life over the past few years, bits of heaven pushing through into the bleakness of these pilgrim days. But, Maggie, I thought most of all about you and your brother.
I thought of what a blessing it is to have you, to know you, to raise you, to spend our lives pouring into your lives; what a miracle it is that you are both here, both healthy, both ours. I take so much for granted every day, so much passes by me without a moment of gratitude or appreciation, but my heart knows that the world is a broken and harsh place, and that every bit of beauty, every moment of joy, every scrap of light and drop of grace is not of this earth, but from heaven.
It's true sweet girl. Heaven is close. It is breaking in all around us. And you are proof of it, my little spot of light.
I love you so much (but please stop waking me up at night,)