Harley is eight months old today. It’s actually amazing for me. I mean, I know time keeps marching on and all that jazz, but it’s just crazy to realize how fast it’s going, how much she is changing, and how much her changes are having an impact on me. It’s hard to believe how much my life has changed in such a short period. I knew things would be completely and irrevocably changed when she arrived, but I don’t think I realized how fast those transformations would come, and how profound they would be.
It seems crazy to think that eight months ago I nearly died. Eight months ago, Harley made her dramatic entrance into this world. Eight months ago, I became a mom. And with her changing so much with every day, here are eight things I love about my eight month old, exactly as she is right now.
- I love her sense of humor. Harley is still totally bizarre in her laughter – she doesn’t know what’s going on in a conversation but she knows how to laugh, often at completely inopportune times. There is something so delightfully insane about her laughing just as we might be discussing serious, upsetting or life changing things. It reminds me to laugh more. Plus, making Harley laugh is so ridiculously fun and adorable.
- Harley has had an amazing effect on me and Dean. We are having so much fun with her and each other. We work together, we enjoy time alone or together, and it feels like we are even more of a team than ever before. No matter what, we have each other’s backs, and will do whatever is necessary to take care of Harley. It was a challenge for us, but as we’ve worked through the difficulties, we’ve come out stronger and closer than ever.
- I love how determined Harley is. At the moment, she clearly wants to figure out crawling. She hasn’t gotten there yet, and it definitely frustrates her when she’s on her tummy and she can’t get around. But just as she learned to sit, she will learn how to crawl. I will just need to hide all the things because she is definitely curious and enjoys exploring any and every environment.
- I love Harley’s interaction with her sustenance. She is still a total booby monster, opening her mouth wide and latching and gulping away when we nurse. She is so incredibly healthy, and that’s still because of the milk she’s gotten from me. I’m so proud of the fact that I’ve been lucky enough to breastfeed for this long, and that Harley clearly seems to love it still. She is also exploring her food, enjoying the taste and consistency of the various foods we offer her, even if she doesn’t always actually swallow much. She is willing to grab and taste just about everything (including boxes and wires that she shouldn’t taste).
- I love how gorgeous my little girl is. I know I would love her no matter how she looked, but I just can’t get over how beautiful, how perfect this little girl is. She was so early, and it was so scary, but she is absolutely perfect and I feel so very lucky to have her in our lives.
- Harley is figuring out how to talk and it is far too adorable. She has moved beyond her oohs and aaahs, embracing a bizarre scream that has Dean calling her a pterodactyl. Even better? She’s now enjoying making repetitive sounds – ma, ba, da, ga. It seems she’s enjoying how they feel in her mouth, and we have far too much conversing with her with simple “blah blah blah? blah blah blah blah!”.
- I love the way Harley brings out a wonderful side to strangers. I don’t know if they react this way to all babies, or just her, but everywhere we go people want to smile at her, make her laugh, play with her. She is like the mayor of our local Pick n Pay, has every one of those ladies wrapped around her finger. Whether we’re waiting in a queue at the post office or maneuvering through a crowded shopping center, everyone stops to adore her, to say how gorgeous she is, to comment on her smile or just to make silly faces at her. Or, you know, to tell me to put socks on her.
- I love being a mom. I love that Harley is learning to reach her arms for me, to smile when she sees me, to grab my clothes and pull me close. She still seems to laugh more with Dean, but when she’s upset, I can calm her the fastest. I know how to take care of her. I know what she needs. And it is so incredibly fulfilling to know that I created a life, grew it inside me and have sustained and nourished and loved her. Dean and I are her first experience of love, of safety, of family, and it makes me so happy to know that I am (hopefully) shaping a decent human for this world simply by being attached, by caring, and by modeling how to love and be loved.
I type this as Harley sits on my desk, keeping herself entertained by playing with my hair, sucking on her sleeve, or trying to type along with me. She is so smart, so funny, so silly. But most of all, she is so incredibly herself – she is growing such a personality and I feel so honored to be a part of it. Now, here’s an adorable video of Dean making her laugh.