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Dear Moe (11 Months)

Hello, sweet baby doll. In a few days, you will be 11 months old. It’s pretty much blowing my mind how quickly the time is passing. We have had a very eventful month.

You had your first Christmas, my love, and it was wonderful to watch you enjoying the day. A very special visitor was there to greet you when you came downstairs on Christmas morning - Mrs. Claus! You had a nice little visit with her, then she left and Grandma showed up right away. We opened your stocking, which Granny made you, and were a little stunned by the amount of gifts under the tree that were for you. We opened them slowly throughout the day - the next couple of days, actually - and you were able to really appreciate them. It was a really fantastic Christmas for us, too - having you in our lives has made Christmas even more special. I look forward to next year. And after Christmas, Daddy had 8 days off and we had a lot of fun together. I think you really enjoyed spending so much time with him.

You are on the move, little boy. You crawl at light speed, and it won’t be long before you’re standing on your own. You can pull yourself into this tripod position - crawling, but with one leg straight and your foot on the ground. Sometime you hang around in what is essentially downward dog, with your bum in the air. You love to walk and cruise the furniture with help. You also do this awesome thing were you crawl to a toy, pick it up, put it behind you, and then go to sitting. You know exactly where your toy is - and it didn’t get in your way during the transition!

This past month, we weaned you. It broke my heart to do it, I won’t lie. We both enjoyed nursing very, very much. But I need to prepare you slowly for my return to work, and this was an important part of that. You handled it beautifully, overall, only refusing a bottle a couple of times. There were some sleep issues that arose as we weaned, but we dealt with those with many, many extra cuddles. Cuddles are now an important part of our bedtime routine. I stroke your hair, kiss your forehead, we give each other Eskimo kisses, and you snuggle your face against my arm. It’s a really special time and I think it’s helped us both. In some ways, it’s my favourite part of the day. (Maybe someday you’ll stop sticking your fingers in my mouth and nose while you drink your bottle.)

Some of your little friends have made the transition to cow’s milk quite well, but you have not. We did it too quickly, and you got a terribly upset stomach for a few days. It was horrible. But we took you off milk entirely for a week, and are now introducing it slowly into your bottle. Right now you get 75% formula and 25% milk, when I think of it.

I love you like pancakes, little man, but meal time isn’t our best time right now. You want to do more and more, but aren’t quite ready and it becomes very frustrating for both of us. I’m finding different ways of keeping you occupied while I get the food into you, but you would much rather be in control of the situation. (I tried that, and discovered that “in control” meant basically finger painting with your food.) You are occasionally able to feed yourself a Cheerio, but not consistently. Once you can do that, we’ll move on to letting you do more and more of your feeding yourself. You do love feeding yourself a Mum-mum or a biscuit, though, and you can hold your sippy cup by yourself!

Christmas brought you all kinds of new toys to play with. Your favourites include your Fisher-Price Farm and the Leap Frog music table (you love to groove and dance!). You like playing with your ball, rolling it back and forth with us. You love your Touch & Feel books and your Little Panda book. You also like looking at the photo album I made you. It’s an album of photos of people who love you. We point out different people to you, or you point to them and we tell you who they are. I look forward to when we can say, “Where’s so and so?” and you’ll point to them.

A few weeks ago, we were reading the book Hug. At the end of the book, put your head on my knee and patted me. You had never done that before, and it was so fantastic. Since then, when you’ve been playing very hard and need a rest, you’ll come to me and put your head on my knee. It’s like you are recharging - it’s wonderful.

We still try and get out every day - either outside for a sleigh ride or on an outing of some kind. Sometimes, Uncle Mark brings Zaphod over and we all go for a walk together. You’re very comfortable with Zaphod, as well as with other dogs, and that makes me happy. The other day when we were out with Zaphod and Mark, you got licked by a Rottweiler and a Collie-Bouvier cross, and it didn’t phase you at all! (And those were some BIG dogs!)

There are a couple of shows we watch together when you need a quiet moment. Your favourite is definitely The Backyardigans. You smile and boogie when you see the intro. You have a similar reaction to Bert and Ernie’s Great Adventures. We’re also watched Big and Small together, but I think I get more out of it than you do right now.

You know how to communicate really well. You can sign “sippy cup”, “bottle” and “bedtime”. You wave goodbye. You let us know when you want something and are extremely clear when you don’t want something.

And sweetheart, it may be time for your first haircut soon. Your hair is just getting so long - although some of it still manages to stand up straight. But I think we’ll do it in time for your first birthday. I haven’t decided if I’ll bring you to our friend Asha, or if we’ll head to Chiquicuts where they specialize in children’s cuts.

I am determined to really treasure this last month that I have off with you, my sweet boy. But I’m not sure how I can treasure it more than I have treasured the last 11 months. I have done my best to treasure every day with you - and you make it so easy. You are so sweet, so easy going, so quick to smile and laugh. You are a joy, little Moe, and I love you more than I ever thought possible.

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