Dear Mr. Biver Butt,
Happy New Year!
You have been nine months old for a few days now, and I must apologize for being late getting this letter written. It's been a busy Christmas vacation in Las Vegas so I haven't had time to look at my computer, much less write a lengthy tome on what you've been up to this month. But I've managed to carve out a few hours this afternoon, so here I am.
This has been the month of the Ya Ya Ya's, River. It's your new favorite word and, oh boy, does it have a lot of meanings. You say it when you're hungry, excited, tired, frustrated, curious, bored, or just want to chat. The inflection and meaning you can put into one little syllable is amazing, and I love to listen to you yayaya all day long. We've had some meaningful conversations this month and though you haven't said any "words" I sure know you've a got a lot going on up there.
You've continued your physical development this month, increasing coordination and strength. The changes aren't happening quite as rapidly as they were in the first months, but we're still seeing slow and steady progress. Climbing and crawling has gotten easier, and your dexterity is really increasing.
This month you learned to wave and I think clapping is right around the corner. More and more your body is able to let us know what you want.
REACH: I want mommy
BANG BANG: I want cheerios
YAYAYA: I want to play
Boston was hit with a couple big snow storms in December, so you've finally gotten to see some real snow. We took a walk one afternoon as it began to fall and you were so fascinated--looking around at the drifting flakes, then up to the sky to see where it was coming from. You took a bite of freshly fallen snow and were pretty pleased.
We've had a wonderful time in Las Vegas celebrating the holiday with family. Every year, we get two full Christmases, celebrating one at my parent's place a day early, then doing it all again at your daddy's folks'. It's worked out pretty wonderfully--not only does no one get short-changed, but we all get twice the fun.
This year, your great-grandparents came to spend the holiday with us. It's real treat for me to introduce you to Gordon and Frankey (especially since grandma has been hounding me for babies for quite a while!). And you were just as charming as I expected. You warmed up pretty quickly to everyone and spent more time in other people's arms than mine.
On our first Christmas morning, you did as I expected and found more joy in the wrapping paper and boxes than the presents themselves. Thankfully, no one went too overboard. It's such a decadent holiday and your father and I don't ever want you to feel entitled to a ton of presents. Thank you for reminding everyone of how much fun can be found in the little things.
At your grandpa and grandma Doyle's house the next day (the actual Christmas) we had another fantastic time. We spent the morning opening (so many) presents. Music was the theme this year. You got two drum sets and a guitar. You also had a great time playing, or rather, banging on the piano. I remember when your cousin Sydney was at this stage and I was sure she was going to be a musical prodigy. Really, I think you just like to make a bunch of noise.
That afternoon we had a great dinner, then a big party with all of the extended family. You were amazing with all of the strangers and did lots of flirting with the ladies. You gave auntie Roxanne such an eye batting I was sure your uncle Scott was going to have words.
On New Years Eve your father flew home, leaving us behind because you've gotten sick once again. I'll be really happy once you can blow your nose and understand how to pop your ears, but until then, we're here waiting out this stinky cold.
As usual, it's a blessing in disguise as you get to spend more time with your grandparents and I get a few more days with multiple sitters around.
This has been an amazing year. I think back to the beginning, as I eagerly awaited your arrival, and how small and helpless you were those first months. Now you've gained so much independence and your personality is just blossoming. You are such a joy to be around, my son, and I love you so much. Thank you for making this the best year of my life. I hope you know how very loved you are.
And now, because I'm sure I'm embarrassing you, I'll be quiet and close.
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