Sweet Baby Katherine,
You are nine months old, my little love, and I can hardly stand how quickly the months are flying by. We've been extremely busy in the past week and I missed your monthly weight check, but according to my scale you're weighing in right at about 15 lbs. You cut your first tooth two weeks ago and your second one has just started to come through in the past few days. You're such a champ that teething hasn't bothered you at all. It caught me totally by surprise and Daddy was the first to spy the little addition that spells the end of your gummy grin. You spend a fair amount of time chewing on your lip and twisting your tongue to explore this strange new thing in your mouth and it's adorable.
You've mastered the pivot-and-roll to get around and the days when I could be sure you were safe and sound where I left you are well and truly gone. You scooch up with your legs on your back, or backwards with your arms on your tummy. Sometimes the harder you try to reach something, the further away it gets. But you don't usually mind. I sit back and observe you try to solve the problem and when you pause and catch my eye, you beam a grin that says you are as proud and delighted with yourself as I am. I've yet to see you lose your sense of humor and get frustrated.
I'll tell you what does amaze me - your capacity to go straight for the most expensive or delicate piece of kit anywhere in your immediate vicinity. Some say we should do a better job keeping these things out of reach, but I just never expected that when there's a whole floor-full of toys, you'd expend so much effort trying to reach the AV equipment, laptop, remote control, mobile phone or other nearby expensive verboten item. Fortunately, you don't yet throw tantrums when we gently but firmly remove the object of your desire. Sometimes Daddy can't help but indulge your wish to "type" on his laptop and you've managed to execute - in short order - some fairly complex commands that he's struggled to undo. Just a preview of the I.T. skills that will probably have you putting him to shame by the time you're about three.
In the past few days, you've started to briefly get up on all fours and it may not be long before you're crawling. Please just hold off a little bit, baby girl. The tiny rental house to which we brought you home from the hospital is not baby-proofable and we've just bought our very own home, with more space, including your own room and a lovely large garden to run around in. But Daddy's working very hard to renovate it so we can move in next month and it would be handy if you stayed relatively stationary until then.
Speaking of your own room, next month will mark a big change - the first time since your first night in Special Care when you won't be sleeping right next to Mummy. I'd be a liar if I said I won't miss it - though it's as much laziness as love, my dear. You tend to need a bottle sometime between 1 and 4 a.m. and often again before 7 a.m., and it is much easier to roll over to feed you from the comfort of my own warm soft bed. But apart from that, you sleep like an old pro and you've become proficient at putting yourself to sleep for naps and night-time so I rarely have to rock you to sleep to your "Snorah Jones" playlist anymore.
Last month you grew out of your bassinet and we moved you into a borrowed bednest, which will work until you're able to get up into a sitting position on your own. It afforded you more room to twist into adorable contortions while you sleep. You tend to sleep on your side, though a few times you've rolled all the way over and cried out only half-awake, "who the hell turned me on my tummy and why won't you people let me sleep?!" Then there was the morning when I found you turned upside down in a crib about half as wide as you are long. I think this photograph provides some clue as to how you accomplished that.
When you are awake you are generally a delight. You play well on your own and I often hear your little dove-coo giggle pealing out over and over as you amuse yourself whilst I'm washing the dishes or engaged in some other chore. I remember once after you'd just learned to laugh, and Daddy mentioned it to Granny saying, "She laughs all the time. I mean, at us... it's not like she's in the corner giggling away like a looney or something." Well, you do that now... and it's hilarious. And then I come in to see what's so funny and you grin up at me and I laugh so you laugh and we do the giggling looney thing together.
A few days ago, while I was changing you on the floor in a pool of sunshine, you noticed for the first time the sunbeams dancing in the light. You reached out over and over, waving your arm and trying to close your hand around the ephemeral bits of dust. You were entranced, and I was entranced with you. That's how I feel about these fleeting days - I want to capture them in my hand and hold onto them forever but it simply isn't possible, so I'll try to capture them with my heart.
I love you with all my heart,