Thursday, March 15, 2012

Seven Months

Seven months, Avery.  Closer to a year than to being born.  Mind blowing!

No doctor's appointment this month, so I don't have your full stats, but let's just say you are, at this moment, wearing a 12 month outfit, and it fits, so we'll just go with... ahead of the curve.

You've been busy this month, growing stronger and smarter and generally more awesome.

Seven month milestones:
  • Rolling like the wind
  • Improved balance in the standing position
  • Eating solids like a champ
  • "Waving"
  • Cutting your first tooth! (Bottom right)

I'll chew on anything... an-y-thing.

Look at me wave... I'm freakin' adorable!

Your dad bought you this lion at a garage sale months and months ago, and this month you took a serious liking to it.

When you "ride" it, you look SO big.  You're still a bit unsteady on it, so there's always a hand near when you're on it, but I'm sure it won't be long until you're using your wheels to cruise the halls and terrorize the cats.

When you press the nose it plays lion-themed Jamaican jams.  You totally "dance" by bouncing up and down (while I half lunge for you every five seconds because you are a TINY BABY and should not be able to do such developmentally appropriate things).

I could literally eat those cheeks up.  Luckily, you tolerate the roughly 50,000 kisses we give you daily.

We read lots and lots of books and you are super interested in them, which makes your mother's nerd-heart (it's a thing) deeply happy.  You are also very good at turning the pages, because you are a genius, clearly.  But you also like to chew on them, because you are normal, too.

Current favorites:
  • That's Not My Monster!
  • A Trip to the Zoo (vintage... aka was mine, like most of your books)
  • Sesame Street Bedtime Book
  • Blankie (a memoir)


Also, as I mentioned, you have really started to enjoy eating this month (she get it from her mama!).  New tastes this month were: acorn squash, avocado, banana, pears, green beans.  You pretty much liked them all and in general spit out much less than you did before.  In the evenings, when I'm making dinner, you will hang out in your high chair and just watch what's happening.  It's super cute.

Exhibit A

Now, as I was reviewing this blog, I realized you might be getting the wrong idea about yourself from these monthly posts.  You are, in general, a very happy baby, yes, but you also have your moments.  Moments where you express your displeasure.  See Exhibit A.  Unfortunately, you are still stinkin' adorable when you're cranky. 

Also, SLEEP.  For the love of all that is good and holy, please start sleeping through the night.  Mama is so. so. so. tired.  And so is your dad.  And we just really are not those people that do well with no sleep.  We get cranky and cry sometimes and put your diaper on completely wrong at 2am which is really hard on your sheets.  And I'm afraid I'm going to face plant into my desk from sheer exhaustion, which would probably not be the best impression to make at the new job.  So, if you could maybe just work on that.  But we love you anyway, no worries.

Seven months.  Rad.

We love you bunches and bunches.  And bunches.  And then, more bunches after that.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

To Avery on Her Baptism

Through the Sacrament of Baptism we are
initiated into Christ’s holy Church.
We are incorporated into God’s mighty acts
of salvation and given new birth through
water and the Spirit.
All this is God’s gift, offered to us without price.
- from The United Methodist Baptismal Liturgy

People often ask why some churches baptize babies and others wait for a profession of faith.  Your father was baptized as a baby, while I was baptized later, when I was nine years old.  I don't think it matters either way, really, but a pastor I worked for once always included an explanation when he was performing baptisms that struck a cord with me. 

He asked the parents when exactly they started to love their children.  Was it when the child was able to tell them that he / she loved them?  The answer was always no, they loved the child from the time that they were no more than a glimmer in the parent's eye, they loved the very idea of that child, and that love only deepened over time.  So it is with God, but so many times over, without price.  The baptism is a way to formally welcome that child to the family of faith.

As part of the ceremony the pastor asked us, "Will you nurture this child in Christ’s holy Church,
that by your teaching and example they may be guided to accept God’s grace for themselves, to profess their faith openly, and to lead a Christian life?"  Your dad and I responded confidently, "We will!" but inside I trembled a bit at the weight of that responsibility. 

For now, it is easy.  We say your prayers every night before I put you to bed.  You go to church with us.  But mostly, we love you, unconditionally, without cost.  Someday (soon) things will get trickier.  I'm sure my words and example with fail us both.  But, just like God, I will always love you, unconditionally, without cost.

The gown you wore was older than anyone that was in the sanctuary.  It represented a line of faith, unbroken, for over 100 years... 115 years of the joy of babies being born, prayers recited at bedtime, whispered pleas for a fever to break or a broken heart to mend, silent invocations thrown up for patience and grace, 115 years of thanks given and struggles laid out and comfort sought. 

When your great-great-great grandmother, Caroline S. Jaeckle sewed the delicate lace and tiny puckered shoulders onto the gown for her daughter Charlotte, do you think she knew that she was sewing a legacy of faith as well?  It is my hope that in another 115 years even if that gown is long gone, that legacy remains.  It is my prayer that you will grow into the fullness of a life of faith, that you own the promise of being part of God's work here on earth, and that you share the love you have with those around you unconditionally, without cost.