Today you turn nine months old, my littlest girl! You have left infancy behind, and I fear it will be all too soon before you are saying goodbye to babyhood. Don't get me wrong, I love watching you develop and change, and truth be told, I'm a much bigger fan of most stages after the first year of life. But at the same time you are such a joy right now, just as you are, that sometimes I do want to just press the pause button. It's so easy to get a smile and a giggle out of you, and I know that's not always going to be the case.
You're a crawling fool, having abandoned the army crawl in favor of the more traditional (and faster!) style. After a few strikes, you are finally starting to get the hang of the sippy cup. You are sleeping wonderfully, so much so that I almost didn't want to write that down lest I jinx myself. When it's time for a nap, you will lay your head on my shoulder as I sing a few verses of Silent Night (don't remember how that particular song was started, but it's your cue that it's time for sleeping). It's the ONLY time that you are still in my arms, and I cherish those moments in our days. You have taken a particular liking to a white bunny blanket, and now sleep with it at all times. You terrorize Oscar, pulling out fur whenever you can (but between you and me, he has plenty of extra - I know because I vacuum it up all the time). You are eating many more solids, and just yesterday took a particular liking to graham crackers. You love to play peek-a-boo and perform well when I ask you, how big is Sophie?! (Answer: SO BIG! and you'll raise your arms proudly).
In short, ladybug (or, stinkbug, if you are being naughty), you are becoming such a fun, smart, energetic and spirited girl. You make me smile every day, and though you may not believe me if you read this when you're, say, 12 and your sister is almost 15, Emily adores you. We often go around the table at dinnertime after we've said our prayer and share one thing we're thankful for. Emily will normally say ice cream, or Dora, or something equally profound. But the other night, she paused, looking thoughtful and serious and said: "I'm really thankful for my sister". And I, Sophie, am really thankful for my youngest daughter.