Category Archives: Gwendolyn

9 Months (Let’s see how much I can catch up before someone turns 1 this week.)

Gwendolyn, you’re 9 months old!


By the numbers: 9 months old. 18ish pounds. 5 feedings per day + 3 meals per day. 2 naps per day. size diapers. size 9-12 month clothes.

Your spunky personality manifests itself more and more each month.

It shows up in the way you eat. You don’t want to be spoon-fed anymore. Get rid of those purees and give me finger food I can grab myself, thank you very much. Sweet potatoes, bananas, and bread are some of your favorites. You still don’t have any teeth, but you manage just fine.


Your spirit shows up in your play with your brother, too. He has taken to tackling you. The first time he ran at you and knocked you to the floor, I started to rush over to comfort and protect you–only to realize that you were emitting delighted giggles from your pinned position. So I backed off and grabbed the video camera instead, to record the fun as Brandt tackled you and you cracked up again and again. I guess having a big brother encourages feistiness in a girl.


One other area where you’ve proved to be a spitfire? Your response to the word “no.” You’ve discovered electrical outlets, and you’re quite curious about them. The first time you reached for one, I sternly said, “No!” You looked at me, grinned, and stretched your finger toward those little holes in the wall again. “No!” I repeated as I moved your hand away. Same response. This time, to communicate my seriousness, I said, “No!” as I grabbed your hand and swatted it. You? You laughed. You laughed and reached for that outlet again. I had to move you away from the intriguing danger and distract you with a toy. We’ve repeated that little scene many times since. We’ll see where that spicy dare-devilry leads you in the future…

Wherever it leads, I love you.




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Eight Months

Gwendolyn, you’re 8 months old!

(no 8-month calendar picture; fail!)

By the numbers: 8 months old. 17ish pounds. 6 feedings per day. 1 night waking. size diapers. size 6-9 month clothes.

Here are 8 things about you at 8 months old:

1. You started crawling. The ultimate motivation? Your desire to grab your brother’s sippy cup.


2. You roar.

3. You clap.

4. Your fluffy hair is growing long and now forms tufts over your ears.

5. You eat finger foods now–Cheerios and small pieces of banana.


6. You love books with baby pictures in them; you smile and giggle and babble when I read them to you.

7. You’re beginning to pull yourself to a stand.


8. You snort when you laugh.

Lindo, I love you 8 times a million.

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Seven Month Girl

Gwendolyn, you’re seven months old!


By the numbers: 7 months old. 16 lbs 8 oz. 27 inches long. 17 inch head circumference. 6 feedings per day. 1 night waking. size diapers. size 6-9 month clothes.


Month seven has been a busy one for you. The day after your half-birthday, you started scooting around on your belly. Soon after that, you learned how to sit. It’s indicative that you started scooting before sitting; it seems entirely suited to what I’ve seen of your busy personality that you achieved mobility before stillness. By the end of the month, you were rocking on your hands and knees, ready to launch.


You’ve also been busy loving the two guys – big and little – in your life. You’re already taking steps to wrap your daddy around your finger. You beam at him whenever he appears, and you babble, “Da da da da da.” He is, understandably, enchanted. You are besotted not only with your daddy but also with your brother. When you wake up from your afternoon nap before Brandt wakes up from his, you’ll play contentedly with me for a bit. But soon it’s plain that you want your best playmate, your brother. You grow evidently bored with me, and then you light up with excitement when Brandt finally makes his post-nap appearance. He’s always happy to see you, too. And I’m happy that you love our fellas.


You’re our gal-pal, and we all love you.


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6 Months (“Better Late Than Never” Edition)

Gwendolyn, you’re 6 months old!

By the numbers: 6 months old. 15ish lbs. 6 feedings per day. 1 night waking, typically. 1 time sleeping through the night! 2 naps per day. size 3 diapers. size 6-9 month clothes.

When we put you to sleep, we often sing you a lullaby* that goes like this:

Hey, beautiful girl,
Daddy loves you, loves you,
Most beautiful girl in the whole wide world.

There’s a bridge that includes these words:

…Sweet little girls get older.
But when your tooth aches, or your heart breaks,
Will you still cry on my shoulder?

I know 6 months is not really that old. Yet, you’re already half a year old. Your babyhood feels like sand rushing through my fingers, as you rush to go and do the next thing.

You started solid foods this month, a step I would have taken slower if not for your obvious desire to speed into it. You had been eyeing my food for a while, but I resisted your interest. (I prefer waiting to introduce solids until babies can sit up well). However, one night as we ate applesauce with dinner, you watched your daddy longingly, your open mouth following his spoon from bowl to bite. You were clearly desperate to try this new thing, so we gave you some. Oh my word. You lapped it up. When you had eaten it all, you burst into tears, wailing to express dismay that there was no more. You’ve eaten two to three meals of solids per day ever since.

In your sixth month, you’ve also discovered more sounds you can make. You added a consonant to your coos. Now you express contentment with a repeated breathy “ba.” You also like thumping your hands. When you wake up from a good sleep, you lie on your side, rhythmically patting the bed with one hand and softly uttering “ba, ba, ba.” When you’re excited at play–on your tummy–you smack both hands on the floor fast; on your back, you delightedly kick your feet. “Baby stomping!” your brother says, as your heels pound our wood floors. And you’ve figured out the fun to be had if you carry that hand-flapping, foot-stomping behavior into the bath. You splash vigorously now, stopping to splutter when you slosh water over your face, then grinning and starting again.

As I recently thought about how to sum up your personality, I decided the best word is “independent.” You are generally happy to play wherever I lay you down. You occupy yourself pretty well. There would be times–when your brother demanded my attention for lengthy periods–that I would almost forget you were awake, enjoying your own little corner of the living room. You’re so alert and engaged with your toys that you don’t need me to entertain you. That makes you a rather easy baby. But I want to make sure I don’t let your independence cause me to miss out on playing with you, soaking up your sweet baby days. Because…

Hey, beautiful girl,
Mommy loves you, loves you,
Most beautiful girl in the whole wide world.

*”Beautiful Girl” by Andrew Peterson, on the album Slugs & Bugs & Lullabies


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4 and 5 Months (Must. Hit. Publish. Before. 6 Months.)

Gwendolyn, you’re growing faster than I can write! We’ll have to lump months four and five together…

By the numbers:

at 4 months old… 14 lb 12 oz. 26 inches long. 17 inch head circumference. (70th–80th percentile for all.) 6-7 feedings per day. 1-2 night wakings. 2-3 naps per day. size 2 diapers. size 3-6 month clothes.

and now at 5 months old… 6-7 feedings per day. 1 night waking. naps per day. size diapers during the day, size overnight. size 6-9 month clothes.

I need to record all these things more frequently, because I already forget so much of the last couple months. Here are some memories in a few categories of baby life.

Sleep (always important to the mommies and daddies, even if the babies themselves don’t care)

For the first three months of your life, you slept swaddled–in the swing during the day, and on your back in your bassinet (or our bed) at night. At four months you literally broke your bonds and changed every habit. During your daytime sleep, you kicked your swaddle blanket off, so you started sleeping–in the swing still–simply snuggled with your swaddle blanket instead. Nighttime swaddles held on a little longer, until you started waking up with every appendage free and your blanket belting your middle. Then you’d sleep on your back with your arms and legs splayed like a frog.

At five months, things changed again, when you outgrew your bassinet and started rolling over. You wanted to sleep on your tummy so badly that you’d try to roll over even in your swing, straining against the straps. At that point, we moved you to a pack-n-play with a bassinet-style insert. Now you do all your sleeping there on your tummy,  day and night. You join us in bed after your early morning feeding and spend the last couple hours of the night there. I love how you greet me in the morning with freshly awakened smiles!

Once you no longer had the motion of the swing to lull you to sleep, you needed some more, um, aggressive tactics. Plenty of babies need bouncing, pacing, or rocking to encourage sleep. You? You need running or speed-walking. Anything slower, and you want to keep looking around or interacting with us. But a faster pace temporarily overrides your curiosity, making your eyes roll back and droop closed. This quirk seems in keeping with what we see of your busy little personality so far.


As mentioned above, you began rolling over in earnest these last couple of months. You went from the occasional unintentional flip to quick and regular rolls–mostly from back to front as you try to reach toys. You often get yourself into pickles now, rolling until you’re face-to-face with a radiator or until a limb gets caught on a chair leg. Then you complain loudly until someone rescues you.

You’re not only somewhat mobile now; you’re verbal, too. Right when you hit four months, you started cooing constantly. Then you learned how to blow raspberries. And you laugh frequently–when we tickle you, when we play peek-a-boo, and most of all, when your brother goofs off for you. The other day, we were in the car, and Brandt started banging his sippy cup against his car seat buckle. You cracked up again and again, and I thought how blessed my back seat is.

Odds and Ends

You love your toes. You grab them and suck on them whenever you can–in bed, on the floor, in your bouncy seat, in your car seat. You love when others play with your toes, too. If I blow raspberries on your feet, you invariably giggle. And you’re delighted when your Papa lays you on his lap, grabs your feet, and says, “Whose toes are those?”

You’re a hot-blooded little girl. You sweat when you cry (taking after your mama). You sweat in your car seat if it’s even marginally hot, so with the summer we’ve had, car rides and walks would often leave your fuzzy hair dripping with perspiration. I try to dress you in cool, lightweight outfits, but I can only do so much to combat your inner hot water bottle.

And in keeping with your zealous spirit, you eat ferociously. You took to nursing easily as a newborn, but then we had a couple iffy months. Your dwindling but fierce eating times left me sore and worried that you weren’t getting enough. But then I added my observations of your equally rapid draining of bottles and your increasingly chubby thighs to my observations of your generally eager nature, and I decided there was no need to fret and force you to nurse for more than a few minutes every few hours. You’re just fast, and now we’re doing just fine.

However, your mama’s heart wouldn’t mind if you slowed down the rush through babyhood, Gwendolyn-do-lindo.

Love, Mama


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{embrace the camera} august 30

How Gwenny and I do the forest preserve:

How Gwenny and I do the park:

How Gwenny and I do the beach:

How Gwenny and I do the fair:

Catching a theme? Girl loves her some carrier.


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{embrace the camera} july 26

Today is my mom’s birthday. Today is also my half-birthday. Tomorrow, Gwendolyn will be 4 months old. If we had gone ahead with the scheduled C-section, three generations of women would have shared a “26” birthdate. (I think Gwenny’s birth was more than worth having her birthdate miss the pattern by a day.)

Here are a few favorite pictures of my mom and her granddaughter, back when Gwenny was still brand new.

And here are a few recent self-portraits of me and Gwenny, taken at arm’s length in the lovely light on our front porch.

Not quite in the frame…

In the frame, but now Gwendolyn’s out of focus…


So there you have it, the “26” birthday ladies with the “27” birthday baby.


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