Eight-Month Birthday

Sorry for the break in transmissions. I was out in LA for a week. Nice to be back and have my baby in my arms. Feels like she’s grown another inch or two. Mommy and Ellison came to the airport to greet me at baggage claim. It was quite the treat until I tried to hold Ellison at which point she threw an absolute tantrum, began kicking and punching me and lunged for mommy’s arms. Oh well, so much for Hallmark homecomings. Seems that I went from daddy to stranger in the course of about six days which this is about the right time for that to happen. We thought that her stranger anxiety had subsided earlier, but now we’ve noticed a bit of a flare-up of it again. Took us a few hours to get familiar with each other again.

And, yeah, because I’m an awesome absentee father, I missed her eight-month birthday which was Monday. Hence the frustrated scowl in her birthday photo.

She’s probably starting to wonder why in the world we keep making her pose with that stupid dog. That last photo reeks of “act like you love each other.” Hat provided by the wonderful auntie Sarah. I’m coming around to all the floral accents. I’m not much of a flower guy, but I can get with it. Ellison can rock it with the best of ’em.

So what did we learn about our boundless and beautiful baby girl this last month?

  • Girl can pack a wallop. After having a run-in with her at the airport, I’m convinced that in a street fight, she’s taking kids down. She’s scrappy in the late rounds and, when she gets tired, step away from the girl or else she’s coming for the jugular.
  • Crawling is no problem. In one month, she’s moved from the “inch-worm” to an remarkably-improved “army crawl.” Her mobility can take her from the rug into the kitchen with relative ease. Reporting for active duty.
  • Still working on a “clap.” She enjoys watching me do it, that’s for sure. Her clap comes accidentally on the tail end of her horizontal jumping jacks where her hands just happen to strike each other.
  • She loves her mommy. When mommy leaves, she moans and cries. When mommy walks in the room, Ellison begins swimming towards her.
  • Her bottle-eating has become a lot more sporadic and unpredictable, but she can wipe out solids.
  • She has a new friend. A big freaking monkey that Bryan got her. I named him this morning. His name is “Bootsy.”
  • She doesn’t like grass. We tried putting her in the grass last weekend in Lubbock (yeah, there’s still grass in Lubbock) and her feet pogo’d back upward.
  • She can walk with our assistance. You hold her hands and watch her waddle and sway trying to put her feet in front of each other. I’d say that’s pretty damn good for an eight-month old.
  • Two teeth have broken through. I’m really freaked out by the teeth thing. Something that really grosses me out about teeth coming in. Losing them, too, gave me the willies when I was a kid. Maybe I’m dealing with residual emotional stress from my last root canal or wisdom tooth removal.
  • Diapers are becoming much more of an adventure. Gone are the days of the predictably smeary and loose stools. Now they come in all different shades of brown and green as we keep introducing more foods into her belly. And they reek too. The old poos smelled like dried doggie doo on the bottom of a shoe. The new poos smell like a sun-bathed day-old carcass. Brother J says, “yyyyyyuk.” And on that sweet note, I’m gonna get some breakfast. Happy birthday, Ellison.

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