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Claire Bear,

You just turned 10 months old a few days ago and I’m shocked and amazed with how quickly your infancy is going, going, gone. We went to our friends’ house last night and one of them said that you aren’t a baby anymore. I think this made me sadder than he realized.

You’re so beautiful, Claire. You have beautiful blue eyes that suck me right in. You have a lovely smile and even though I really liked your tooth-free gummy smile of a few months ago, I find that I’m really liking your toothy smile even more. It’s just more expressive, I guess.

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You’re certainly getting more mobile, little one. You can roll over like a champ now. You can scoot around on your belly – kinda doing a backwards crawl, which often gets you trapped on table or chair legs and frustrates the heck out of you, but it works for getting you around, albeit in a bit roundabout fashion. You can also get to a sitting position from your tummy now. In fact, for the first time yesterday I walked it to get you up from a nap and found you sitting in the corner of your crib just looking at me. What’s next? Finding you standing in your crib with your leg up on the railing as you attempt to jump out? I hope not. We have wood floors, after all.

Here you are finding cat toys underneath the sofa (this is mid-twist as you roll over from your tummy to your back).

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Here you are scooting off the blanket to go see what that thing is with all of the buttons to push.

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You’re so smart, Claire. You are beginning to mimic your Daddy and I which is really cool. It’s like you’re a little kid just getting ready to come out of that baby’s body. You hold up your hand if you want me to pick you up, you put your hand in the air to wave “hi” to yourself in the mirror, and you say “huh” in a loud voice if you are wanting attention from us. I love your breathy “mama.” It just gets me every time, even though I’m not entirely convinced you’ve put the word and me together yet.

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I think you’re caring in addition to being smart. When we were at our friends’ last night and they put their 15-month-old down for bed, you whipped your head around every time you heard her cry and you responded back to her in your own gibberish. We’re not sure if you were yelling at her to be quiet and go to bed or if you were commiserating with her because you understand all too well the frustration of being put to bed when you don’t want to. Either way, it was adorable. Even though I was shhing you so that she could fall asleep, I was giggling with pride the whole time.

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Some things I absolutely treasure about you right now are:

~The way you gently stroke my hair when you nurse before bedtime. In fact, it’s such a habit for you that if I have my hair back in a pony tail you wave your hand in the air feeling for my locks until I give in and put my hair down for you.

~The way you pick up your food (Cheerios or beans or carrots) like you’ve always known how to pinch little items between your thumb and index finger. It’s so easy for you that it’s easy to forget that you just learned how to do that 3 months ago.

~The way you lick your lips when I ask you if you want “mama’s milk” or “numma numma.”

~The way you chew with your mouth open and make little smacking noises (we’ll work on table manners later. For now, it’s just stinking cute.)

~The way you sit up in the bathtub and lean this way and that, desperate to get the floating rubber duck in your hands.

~The way you put up with Neville who is always in your face wanting attention. You’re really good at putting your hand on him and turning and playing with your toys with the other hand. Way to placate the attention-deprived beast, my dear.

~The way you bust out the biggest smile imaginable when I walk in the door after being gone at work all day. There’s nothing like that in the whole wide world.

~The way you put your head on my shoulder every night after I’ve nursed you and I pray for you by your crib before I lay you down. You are so sweet and cuddly and my heart melts every time you do it.

Most of all, I treasure you for being you. There is no other Claire. You are special, you are unique, you are mine and I love you.

Love,

Mama

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