First 52: Happy Birthday Cinco!

This is so late! Right now, you are already on the verge of 13 months old! But, let’s recap anyway (because, as you’ve learned, Mama is often late with things).
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Before your first birthday, you became a model!

IMG0790webThis year, with a photo of you at just three days old, you began your career as a print model in Model Life magazine’s TIME issue.
You clinched a cover spot in August for Shining Faces Children’s Magazine. You’ve appeared in almost every issue since.
Your pictures appeared in several issues of Sparkle Bebe Model Magazine as a weekly contest winner.
You were #37 in the 50 Most Beautiful Angels edition of Angels in Glitter magazine (big sister Chi was #18).
You are a multi-month featured child for the 2014 Shining Faces Children’s Magazine calendar.
You were chosen as the “I Model for My State” representative for Washington, D.C. in Pose modeling magazine’s holiday issue.
You were featured in the 2013 Holiday issue of Model Life magazine.

Kirin and you – not a pair for all time

I tried really hard to come up with a concept for your monthly baby photo… Or rather, a concept I thought was pretty adorable popped into my head and I ran with it. As Cinco, you didn’t get the fortune of having your own room, but I accessorized you as though you did. (Sorry, hubs, I am still learning restraint.) My favorite animal – the giraffe – was to be your “thing.” Dad won you a Mom-sized giraffe stuffed animal (who spent much of last year living in our tub!). I picked up a giraffe here and a giraffe there while meandering through various stores and while online shopping. Kirin, your little anime giraffe, came with a mint green blanket shortly before you were born and he was to be your featured friend in each month’s photo. You, however, decided that was not to be. And by month 10, Dad declared “She’s outgrown Kirin.” Oh, well.

Walking this way

It happened like this: we sat in the small bedroom of Grandma Jean’s apartment. We’d been there for hours watching syndicated television and cringing as stomachs cried out for sustenance. Uncle arrived and flipped to the Cowboys game. Attention was riveted to tackles and fumbles. And then as they hollered, you realized no one was watching you fiddling with a well-loved toy. You stood up, teetering momentarily, and took a timid step. Half a dozen quick steps followed before you stopped, having reached the living room. We cheered – for you this time – and you smiled. A week later, you were master of the power walk. And now? You run!
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Santa’s baby

santa #2Last year, Mommy was in the hospital for much of the time leading up to Christmas. We didn’t have much opportunity to enjoy our traditions of making ornaments, having breakfast with Santa, or even getting into the retail chaos (though I’m not sure I missed that last activity). This year, however, you met with two Santa stand-ins and completed a salt dough ornament (after sabotaging – or maybe, embellishing – your sibling’s work).

You

RiAnne 1st bday shoot web Your snorting, baying laugh is just odd enough to be cute despite Daddy’s best efforts to eliminate it. Scrunched nose, inhaled breath, squeezed shut eyes – – all are signs you are, indeed, Mama’s child.

Your favorite person continues to be your “Waldo.” Let him walk past our bedroom and you spot him without fail, stopping whatever you are doing and whimpering until he scoops you up. The two of you always pause in the doorway, and you open and close your fist in a wave before snatching your whole arm to your chest, lest I try to retrieve you from him. He lets you “play” with his wrestling men, if gnawing on their heads is considered play. He lets you play games and listen to music on his phone and tablet. And when you grow tired, he holds you close and rocks you to sleep (often joining you in a nap with arms protectively wrapped around you). In every way he loves you, and you clearly love him, too.

A side note: Fake food needs a disclaimer for you. If left holding one of my props for any length of time, you never fail to sample a taste. Those razor sharp teeth have left many a mark!

First 52: month 8, week 35 (you ain’t ready)

She tosses my keys, listening to the jingle of too many shinnies as they clash. Intently, she inspects them in momentary pause. Surely one deserves to be in her mouth? “No, no! Get that out of…” She giggles, smiles in sweet mischief she’s not aware she’s committing. (Or maybe, she is.) She sings, not yet reaching for words but intoning in melodies mimicking “I love you.”  It’s enough for us who’ve become her minions, answering to her changing whims.

She rests her head on my stomach. Mere seconds pass, and she rises to unsteady feet. She wobbles, arms flailing for balance before knees bend and she plops down on diapered booty.  A box of bows – one of many modeling pretties around the house – draws her attention next.  Earlier, she’d wanted nothing to do with them. Now, however,  she wants to toss them about, toy with textures between her fingers, watch flickers of light in the affixed jewels.

Next, she blows raspberries on my exposed stomach. She stands,  suddenly, and squeals. Rico has been spotted! Surely he will whisk her away to play?  She’ll cry if he retreats without her. But he slinks out at first notice of her distraction – a sparkly on a bright yellow hair ornament. She smiles in return for my “look at you!” when next she stands, each time longer without support.

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She quiets her humming when I request “say mama mama mama.” Then she smiles with her eyes, as though holding a secret to my happiness. Call her name and she smiles more,  but avoids eye contact. The channel changer draws her attention next, push a few buttons and they glow, a few more and the picture box flips scenes. Perhaps she’ll find Sprout, where Chica Chica chirps in aggravatingly high octaves. The remote, like the phone, is coveted. Play with either and draw quick results.

She bounces open-mouthed across my chest.  Time to nurse again.  Later, she’ll decline baby minces in favor of people food requiring teeth she does not have.  She’ll sip from a straw after refusing her age appropriate sippy cup.  She’ll crawl quickly across the floor identifying what vacuum and siblings left to entice perfect-sighted eyes. She’ll rub eyes with balled fists, pull curled rings of brown-red-blonde hair. And she’ll be ready to cuddle with me before slipping into dreams.

First 52: 33 weeks

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She wakes with a furrowed brow. She blinks and rubs her eyes, pans around for bodies. Heat seeking phalanges spread in exploration. How could anyone dare to leave her alone in sleep!

In the restaurants, we’ve abandoned the car seat carrier in favor of high chairs. If not strapped in tight, it takes mere moments for her to spin around and stand, sometimes pounding on the table and squealing happily, sometimes trying to crawl closer to an unmonitored plate or cup.

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She slurps up liquids from a straw, though sometimes she blows bubbles with a mischievous grin. She chews (without teeth). She begs for samples of everything, opening her mouth like a baby bird and chirping for a bite. Eggs, potatoes, chicken, meatballs, soup, corn… she’s tried the staples of our diet and then some.

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First 52: 31 weeks

Standing is your new favorite thing… and falling doesn’t phase you.
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First 52: 30 weeks and celebrating independence

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You donned starred red, white, and blue baby legs and a Hello Kitty bow to see your first Independence Day Parade. As the cars and walkers shuffled past, you busied yourself nibbling on Dad’s ear. The sirens whirled and screamed, motorcycles revved. You chewed vigorously and Dad winced.

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Officially, you’ll be seven months old on Saturday. Baby center says you should enjoy bouncing on my leg – a precursor to strengthen leg muscles for crawling and walking. What they don’t know is you’re already crawling quite well. You’ve found it efficient (finally) to use your knees — one at least, the other leg is extended sideways and drags. Last week you figured a crab crawl was the way to go, but moving that way was slow! You pull yourself to standing whenever you can.

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Rico is your latest favorite sibling. You escape into his arms when you feel sleepy and together the two of you sneak off to nap. You play with Chi. You smile coyly at JD. You compete with Ya – each of you trying to be the center of my attention, though no one knows why you all can’t share.

And you’ve seen your first firework show courtesy of Daddy and Uncle Joe. When Dad lit the first one, it popped and you tensed. A scream followed, and I thought for sure you were going to enjoy the rest of the evening indoor. But when the second firework popped, you looked intently at it and gave a satisfied laugh (a sweet sound oddly close to the initial cries that warms my spirits).

Bravo, Ri, you’re pretty much fearless.

First 52: weeks 26 + 27

“I was playing with the baby. Its not your turn!” It’s a rant I hear often as your siblings seek to steal away your attention.

Drafting this was hard.  As I write, your busy hand reach for my envelop-turned-notepad.  You will no doubt eat the paper should you get a hold on it.  You’re on my lap, or rather,  between outstretched legs, flipping from one position to the next. You have begun the steps to crawling, lifting up to your knees, yet you seem to prefer pulling up to semi standing with ever-moving hands. Rarely are you content with mere sitting.

You give kisses — long, wet smooches as you hold firm to hair or ears to steady your intended recipient. It’s one of those mastered showings of affection we most love.

You are 27 weeks old.

Amazing.

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