A week from tomorrow, you will be 9 months old. How did that happen? These last 9 months certainly flew by much faster than the 9 months (or ya know, 10 months) you were in my belly. You are growing into such a little boy. We are so blessed to have you in our family.
Books are one of your favorite things. You will play with books for a long while on your own, and you absolutely love story time before naps. You snuggle up, look at the pages with interest, and smile at certain repetitive phrases. You are beginning to try to grab some of the objects in the pictures too. Your favorite book is "How Many Veggies?" by Phil Vischer. When Percy, the pea, shows up on the page, well your little pincers try to grasp him just like you do with real peas. When we finish reading, you fuss. You want more. I hope your love for reading continues till your an old, old man.
You continue to love bath time. Without fail, you do the "Superman" flying pose as we carry your little naked self to the bathroom. You are still using your blue infant tub over the bathroom sink and your favorite activity is leaning over the side to grab the mouthwash container. The colorful blinking frog is a good piece of entertainment too, along with the splashing while in the tub...and of course, that cute little boy in the mirror.
You're not so much a fan of getting your teeth brushed (the same goes with nail clipping time), but sometimes we need to do things we don't want or like to do.
You find getting your ears cleaned a unique experience. You certainly don't complain as I clean some of the gunk out around your ears with the baby cotton swab. You lay very still, facing up at the ceiling, with a closed mouth grin. I can tell it tickles. I bet you'd let me do that all day. You have such a sense of humor. When the baby lotion is being squeezed out and makes a tooting noise...well, that is a wildly funny thing to you. You still wrestle my arm as I change your diaper and enjoy scratching your bottom as it airs out, grossing me out but making me laugh too. You are so interested in our shadows on the wall next to your changing pad. You stare at me. You stare at my shadow. You turn back to me and my wave...you look back at the shadow. You don't understand it, but it sure makes you smile.
Witnessing and being a part of your joy is one of the best parts of being your mother. Whether we sing and jump around the room, or you sit on my lap as I do "Round and Round the Garden" on your belly and then tickle you under your arm, we both end up laughing. You love it when Daddy tosses you in the air every night after getting you into your pj's. I wait patiently in the rocking chair to give you your bedtime bottle, watching you giggle hysterically. My favorite part: you stare directly into my eyes the entire time you're being tossed and laughing. "Are you seeing this, Mom?" Yes, Stephen, I'm watching. I'm glowing. I'm delighting in your joy. I hope when you're grown, you fondly remember your "little one" years as being full of joy.
Eating is still amongst your favorite activities. You love shoveling those Cheerios and Puffs in. You find it entertaining when the spoon of whatever fruit or veggie flies around to different noises in front of you. You're my best pal in that high chair when jobs need to be done in the kitchen. You happily snack, play, and watch while I do the dishes, cook, bake, or clean. I end up with more dishes in the end from the ones I give you that end up on the floor, but seeing your curiosity as you twirl the measuring cups and lids in your cute hands, is worth it.
Your hands. I'm amazed at the size of your hands when gently touching mine. I often wonder what those hands will do one day. However you choose to use them, do it for the glory of God, dear Stephen. He has great things in store for you. I love you so much. Continue to be the joyful boy you are. I pray as you grow, that we inspire you to grab hold of the joy that will last forever, the joy of the Lord.