the book of Ro

February 4, 2011 at 5:25 am (picture post, status report)

“Babies are always more trouble than you thought — and more wonderful.”

– Charles Osgood


(Ro's "official" 9-months old *with a cold* photo)
My little lady Ro is 9 months old. Already. Nine months! That means she’s been here in the outside world now for as long as she was growing on the inside. I can’t help but wonder; does she remember that time? Does she miss it there? Is she glad she came? I know am!
(November 25, 2009 - sonogram)
This post has been a long time in coming, and only partially because I’ve just been so busy. I feel as if I haven’t posted much at all since Robaby was born. And when I have, most of my posts have been about the bigger sister, only because all that little Ro used to do was lay around, sleep, and yell! Now that she’s a bit older and her personality is really starting to shine through, I feel that it’s time we had a bit of a re-introduction!
(April 17th, 2010 Ro's birthday)
It hasn’t been an easy time for me, adjusting to this spirited little newcomer. Ro has proven a far cry from the easiest baby on the block. The word ‘cry’ is an understatement. The expression should be “a far scream” where Lady Dew is concerned! My mom calls her ‘practical,’ and I guess that’s a good way to put it. “Scream until they fix it” seems to be her philosophy. . . practical only when one can’t talk! Unfortunately, Ro is very specific – she knows exactly what it is that she desires, and it’s been up to me to figure out what on earth that could possibly be. With Ro, there is no distracting or redirecting. She wants what she wants and NOW. I’m no first timer, either. I’ve pandered to more than my fair share of infants. With Ro, it has never been the obvious solution. She definitely has her own unique way of looking at life!
(April 24th, 2010 - last day in the hospital)
I sometimes feel a bit sorry for her, my little Roebegone girl. . . This world hasn’t been such an easy adjustment for her, either. Starting with the forced separation at birth (it was 5 hours – mostly spent screaming on her part before I ever got to hold or feed her *cries*), and the week-long hospital stay full of strangers, bright lights, IV’s, and needles couldn’t have helped things along. Home was good, but after a short time of quiet and peace, our life was once again filled to bursting when our extended day-baby family descended upon us full-force! With so much mayhem about, I can totally sympathize with her desire to stick close to mommy! Ro not only had to contend with a big sister taking the attention, but also 3 maniacal toddlers running around doing what toddlers do best – which is, in general, creating bedlam. As much as I hated it, there were times when Ro just had to wait her turn behind a trio of poopy diapers – whether or not she was screeching her fool head off – because she was FINE. As for me? I’ve literally learned the meaning of the expression “Running to stand still.”
(May 4th, 2010 - looking at the mobile of her swing)
But she didn’t try to make it easy, either! Why couldn’t I have gotten one of these fabled ‘laid back’ babies who never cry and are content just to watch the goings-on of the world around them? Ro came to us with a list of mysterious rules to be deciphered and obeyed at all costs (some of these remain shrouded in mystery to this very day.) One of those rules was that mommy was not to leave her side. Ever. Any attempt to do so would immediately result in shattered eardrums.  Another was that strangers anyone who wasn’t mom was not allowed to hold, touch, or even LOOK in her general direction (Big Sis and dad were occasional exceptions to this otherwise ultimate rule). I can’t tell you how many sweet old ladies I prolly offended in grocery stores as I quickly spun the cart away from them, and filling Ro’s vision with my face instructed her “Just don’t look at them if they’re going to make you cry, baby! Don’t look. . .” while hightailing it out of the aisle. I meant no offense, it’s just that, with Ro. . . well, once she started with the bloody murder screaming it took some doing to calm her little self back down again. And poor daddy could look forward to a minimum of twenty minutes of pure undiluted screaming any time I had to be out of the house. My little girl *shakes head* – she has a fiery temperament that suits her reddish hair perfectly. And “fiery temperament” is the understatement of the year! She reminds me a bit of the infant version of Katie Ka-boom from the Animaniacs!
(May 11th, 2010 - one o'clockish AM)
Unlike most ‘normal’ babies, the Rowie flat-out REFUSED to enjoy riding in the car. If you’d heard her holler about being strapped into a car seat, you would prolly have sworn that she was being tortured with molten-hot diaper pins. (like her sister before her, once we switched into an upright ‘big girl’ carseat, the rides became much easier) Sleeping alone in her cradle, crib, or pack-n-play was also right out. She spent her nights snuggled up beside me, all warmth and smallness and baby-soft. We quickly learned that she had an infatuation with the swing, which translated into nap-time (and sometimes even over-nights with mommy camped out on the couch and nervous). When it’s literally your only option, you take it. Ro took all of her naps in the swing (unless I was holding or wearing her), all swaddled up, for the first few months of her life. But the magic of the swing was far from a cure-all. Ro liked to nurse herself to sleep, and sometimes refused to sleep  unless something nipple-like was in her mouth. Despite our desperate attempts, she refused to become a pacifier baby. . . but she compromised by accepting one ONLY if it was actually physically held in her mouth by someone – or something.
(May 30th, 2010 - Chikkus)
Many hours during those early days were spent with Ro swaddled, in the swing, (rocking side to side not back and forth!) with a minkee-soft fleece blanket cowled over her face (the softness HAD to touch her cheeks, and regular fleece would not do) and pressed against the pacifier to keep it firmly planted in her pie-hole. After a couple of months, we were able to convince her that her cradle was okay – but only if we could get her in there in a way that resembled sitting upright. And pre-warmed it with a heating pad. And only for 3 hours per night. And only if mommy was sleeping right next to her in the room. Is it all starting to sound a bit complicated? It was. . . Really, all she ever wanted was to be with mommy. Held, rocked, nursed, and snuggled – mommy, mommy, MOMMY! Can’t really blame the kid for that, though (because I AM the greatest). She’s smart. If I had no way of communicating (aside from wailing) and couldn’t get around, I’d want to keep my source for food and comfort (and clean diapers) close at all times, too. My Moby wrap was a life saver (thanks for that gift, sis!), because when all else failed (as it did quite frequently) I could just “wear the baby like a T-shirt” (as big sis likes to say) and Ro would snuggle down to sleep whatever else was going on in our world. Oh my, it’s been a wild ride with this little beauty!
(June 30th, 2010 - chatting with mommy)
But Oh. My. God. . . that smile!
How could you ever even think of looking away from that crinkly little smile? That thing can light up a dark room (and I would know, cuz’ she just loves to flash it around at three AM)! As loud as she can be when angry, her smile is twice as nice when she’s glad. And smile she does. Because, you see, it isn’t all trial and tribulation. I am MOMMY. And as such, I get a front-row seat to the happy baby show. And man. . . I’d live there if I could!
(July 7th, 2010 - in mommy's bed - can you spot the empty cradle?)
From day one, Ro has been a very tactile baby. She just loves the feel of things – anything, really. She’d go all quiet and still as I brushed a new texture gently against those round little cheeks. Soft blankets, feathers, the roughness of denim – she just ate up each new sensation. Her favorite, of course, was the feel of mommy kisses on her face – and the tickle of my hair against her cheeks made her squirm and teased out those very first giggles. In this way I found that she (like her daddy) has a super-sensitive and highly ticklish neck. The big belly laughs I could get from such a little lady you would not believe! I set aside a small bit of alone time every night for us, after big sis was in bed, and we had a bit of sensory time, and a few ticklish giggles, and before too long, we started having ‘conversations.’
(August 20th, 2010 - Ro's first cookie)
If you know me, you know how chatty I can be – and I chat up my little girl every night. We talked about the day we had, where we went and what we did. . . and Ro? You know, she just started chatting right back with the most adorable little ooohs and coos that you’ve ever heard. By her third month wellness visit, her doctor declared her ‘vocally advanced for her age.’ (whatever that means for a 3-month old is really beyond me, but it was nice to hear!) In those early days, ‘dada’ was her first word, and ‘eee-dat’ (Rospeak for kitty-cat) was next. . . but mom wasn’t so far behind. Technically, the sound that is made by the letter ‘m’ was a bit beyond her at first, so. . . she just called me bob. It’s fine. I was thrilled to be bob! It’s better than boob, and after all I was just so happy to be addressed by name – any name would have done. Before too long she figured out that the ‘b’ sound when made with one’s lips closed becomes the ‘mmmm’ that she had been searching for. Even so, I remain bob most of the time. But when she’s serious she very carefully (and loudly) enunciates “MMMMMOOMMMMM!” (or just screams) until I come and rescue her. It’s ridiculously cute, and how could I refuse to respond to such a winsome plea for love and attention?!
(September 15th, 2010 - the real swing)
She hasn’t slowed down one bit as far as speech is concerned. At 9 months, she now has quite a few words under her belt, including; dad, mom, sister (both the word and her proper name), I see that, What is it?, See?, shoes, kitty, cat, meow, dog, Violet, yay, uh-oh, bye, hi, up. . . I’m sure I’m missing a few. Her pronunciation is far from perfect on most – if you aren’t mom, dad, or big sis you might not understand, but some of them are perfectly put for all to hear. And she’s consistent with her little words, so there is no room for misinterpretation. She’s already starting to mimic all that she hears, and constantly trying on new words for size. She loves to babble endlessly, and experiment with new sounds, and how they can be put together. She makes me laugh when she finds sounds that she thinks (for whatever reason) sound great together. “Boo-shee” is her current favorite babble word, she’ll just boo-shee boo-she boo-shee all around the house for hours on end. Actually, her favorite sound in general right now is the ‘b’ sound. two months or so ago, everything started with da. Such a silly little mite!
(October 20th, 2010 - accidentally matching!)
She also does tricks! she’ll pat her tum-tum if you ask her to, and loves giving high-fives, or clapping while shouting ‘yay!’ One of her favorites is announcing to the world that there is an ‘UH-OH!’ in progress. . . THEN dropping a favorite toy – with full expectation that you will pick it up for her. And you will. OF COURSE you will, because otherwise she’ll scream. And we can’t have THAT! Her current favorite game is the please, thank you, and uh-oh game (Ro gives me a toy. I say ‘thank you’! Then I *accidentally* drop it (or toss it across the room). ‘Uh-oh!’ Then ‘please can you get it?’ Ro retrieves said object, and the game starts over.) She’s played this game for an hour straight, and would have continued, but I was done. She’s also at that magical age when peek-a-boo is the most amazing thing ever! Like the whole world REALLY vanishes just because her eyes have been covered. Love that!
(November 18th, 2010 - first pulling-up!)
She’s been tall since the day she was born, ranging from the 90th percentile to off-the-charts for height. At her 9-month checkup she was in the 25th percentile for weight at 18 pounds even, and in the 95th percentile for height, coming in at a whopping 29 and 1/2 inches! Tall and thin? Um. . . has she met her family? We tend to be short and stout. I’m not sure what she’s thinking. Add in her randomly reddish hair, and if I couldn’t see such a strong family resemblance, I’d swear she got switched at birth! But Robee is HUNGRY! She has to be to maintain such insane amounts of growing. Aside from her mommy’s milk, Ro has been eating real table food since she was about 4 months old. I tried feeding her baby veggies and fruits for a week or two, but she wanted none of it. She wanted what her big sister was eating – and it obviously was not this runny crap! We started her out with peas that had been *slightly* squished (not counting a dippin’ dot or two) and she’s been eating the same stuff as everyone else in the family since.
(January 16, 2011 - brushin')
Talking and eating weren’t the only things my tiny love has been in a hurry for. She was born a big kid trapped in a baby’s body, and I think much of her grumpiness has stemmed from the frustration of being unable to run and play with Big Sis and The Day Crew. Ro first rolled over just shy of her 4 month birthday, and was sitting unassisted 2 weeks later. From there she took off, and although she couldn’t technically ‘crawl’ in the classic hands-and-knees formation until the end of November, she found new and exciting ways of getting around, and was soon squirming, rolling, and wiggling all around the house. FAST! Robee-girl actually learned how to pull herself up in mid-November – before she mastered hands-and-knees crawling! She just H A D to get into that toy box! Cruising came not very long after, and just the other day she pulled herself up and let go. Walking isn’t going to be very far around the corner for this one, I suspect.
(December 2nd, 2010 - new wooly-pants)
While I’m doing the world’s most massive update on all things Ro, I have to toss in at least a bit about teeth! There are now FOUR of ’em, and of course Ro didn’t sit back and just let them come in. Oh goodness no! That wouldn’t be at all like her! Teething with her has proven to be quite the affair, complete with snotty nose, night wakings, fever, and general grumpiness. But now with four through she looks like the most darling little chipmunk, with two tiny pearlies on the top and two on the bottom. She brushes them at least once a day, and sometimes even lets me help her out with it! She gets quite upset when tooth-brushing time is over, as her toothbrush is one of her very most favorite things!
(January 17th, 2011 - bubbles!)
Her other very most favorite things (in no particular order) include; stuffed pandas (not making this up – she LOVES them!), big sis (she can’t get enough of the big sister action!), books (she will sit and look *and chomp on* books for quite a while) especially touch-and-feel books, dancing (just put on a tune and witness the cute baby bop), her Violet dog, anything that even remotely resembles a phone or remote control, refrigerator magnets (think LeapFrog letters), being outside, and helping mom in the kitchen (be it banging on pots and pans or ‘shopping’ in the pantry). Though not *exactly* a social butterfly quite yet, she’s become far more tolerant of others handling her, and doesn’t give her daddy too much trouble anymore (actually, she tends to be far nicer to him than she ever is to me!) She loves going just about anywhere (and asking what everything is), though she still isn’t the biggest fan of the car, she tolerates it much better now – for the most part. Life has become much better since Ro decided that she can, in fact, sleep through the night (if you consider 5:15 to be morning, that is… I have no choice but to!) She still has a bit of a mommy complex, but that’s getting better. And the fiery temper hasn’t receded one bit (I suspect she’ll always be just exactly how she is) but she’s just as quick to giggle and grin and show off her sparkle. In short, she’s an entire tiny perfectly lovable little person!
(January 29th, 2010 - sisterly love)
And there you have it, in a nutshell, my little lady Ro! She’s so full of personality and cuteness, what’s there not to love?!!
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11 Comments

  1. deb said,

    I loved every photo and word.
    I could relate,
    remember,
    feel for you,
    and smile for all this love. You love good, Mama. You do.

  2. Bryna said,

    As I type with one hand because my bub-a-lubber is restlessly napping on me, I can say, I relate!!!! I don’t think mine is *quite* as fussy as Ro, she is pretty challenging. And the no-one-but-mommy thing? It’s like a catch-22. I love that she loves me, but sometimes Mommy could use a shower… ya know?

    Ro is A-DORABLE! That smile!!!

  3. Kelli said,

    Can it be that Ro is really 9 month old? Please help me to make time slow down!! What a sweet post that you will look back on one day and probably shed a few tears!! Your girls are beautiful!!

  4. YoMama said,

    Loved it! And a VERY accurate description, too! I just love it that she doesn’t hate me anymore. I really didn’t like it when she looked at me like it was the enemy! Can’t wait to see her again. And, if I’m in the least bit lucky, she might actually let me give her a kiss and a squeeze! You never know with Baby Ro!

  5. Kendall said,

    Awww!! I love her!! She’s sooooo sweet, even if she’s also just a wee-tad bit overcontrolling of your time and energy! 🙂 Very sweet, that little one.

  6. Ki said,

    This tribute is tremendous… Blood, sweat, and tears, that baby. You’ve helped me to see that she’s really had a big personality all this time. I could’ve cried… but it’s really not my place to do so. The pictures alone speak a thousand words. She is beautiful. And she looks so happy that it kills. Her face just explodes when she grins, though I don’t need to tell YOU that. I’m really glad that she’s here, and even though I haven’t spent much time with her

    I love her.

  7. FooFoo said,

    Boo-shee baby in the bath tub with bubbles is such a darling photo. This is an amazing blog entry, it gave me a glimpse into the personality of Ro. You really impress me as a loving mother.

  8. Blunt Delivery said,

    1. i love those green knitted pants. do they come in my size?

    2. i’m quite amazed at how details ultrasounds are these days.

    3. babies…. oh man. all my friends are collecting these now. they seem like a lot of work. but they are pretty cute…

  9. Nikki said,

    Looking at all those pictures… I am pretty certain she is happy she came too!

    What a tough birth.. but I bet you, she doesn’t remember it.

    I just loved looking at all those fresh pictures. You have beautiful children!

  10. Uncle Gabey said,

    AWWWWW! She is getting so big so quickly!

  11. Sharon said,

    Wow it’s been 9 months already? I could swear she should be turning 1 next week. Your description reminds me a bit of another mini-human we all know and love. Except Ro-baby is working double hard to catch up to the day babies I think. What a cutie.

    And really she IS getting better about people. She only cries half the time when I dare speak to her anymore. Maybe the temper is an inability to talk thing and will go away in no time 🙂

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