The time is just racing by and you are getting so large (in a small kind of way!) and so very much yourself. Each day that goes by you seem more entirely you and we are even more besottted. The way you carefully observe before your smile slowly blooms, your great determination, the complete joy and delight you take in your siblings, almost matched by your wariness, the way you're always craning around my shoulder to see more, your great delight in people and play.
Your colouring is very pale and pearly, your large eyes an indeterminate shade of dark blue and grey with flecks of this and that thrown in, your skin pale and opalescent, always gently catching the light, your hair still waiting to make up its mind and blond or darken.
I didn't actually believe it was possible for you to become more beautiful and even more loveable, but each day you seem to grow more endearing. The way you curl your toes, the way you reach up to be held, the way you say 'mummmm' and 'dadddd' and that amazing deep gurgle giggle. The way when I pick you up, you immediately cuddle into my neck, content, leaving behind all crying instantly.
As usual, this post is a little late. You turned eight months the day we left the United Kingdom for the continent, almost two weeks ago now. (A bad move, to be honest, although in my opinion leaving Scotland was a Bad Move, so the further Southerly trend was just bad on bad, although I could be biased due to illness. Although in theory, and my over active imagination, seeing more cities since we were over there, was a Good Idea, when it came to leave Scotland I was in tears - so many people we hadn't managed to see, so many places we hadn't managed to go. Leaving the continent I was also in tears - but of sheer relief to be going home!)
As usual, you travelled brilliantly - the only one of us that did! While you rebel against being put in your car seat (me, kept captive, again? I think not! seems to be your general thought) you adore planes - mainly because of the scope of people to smile at. While you are still very much in your "I-need-my-mummy" phase, you do love smiling at strangers from the safety of my arms. You believe air stewards are put there purely for you to grin at and you could always be settled by showing you all the people on the plane. If you can believe it, some philistines did not smile back. (They could have been a bit weary from the antics of your brother and sister…)
You have seen snow. You have seen snow fall (briefly!) While from here on you're going to be a daughter of the tropics, you have seen snow fall.
You learnt to crawl in Scotland, my darling. As your Grandpa says, that means you're practically entitled to represent Scotland in the Olympics. (Let's hope you get your daddy's sporting ability!)
And… you had your first Christmas. Not a white one - but it was chilly, and it was in Scotland and we did rug you up warm and you did see a castle! It was lovely seeing five little stockings lined up, our little family complete.
You suddenly went from not many toys to a superabundance! (Many with a Scottish theme, Edinburgh Counting Board Book anyone… One Castle etc... (And that's not going into things picked up later in other places… but the travel is boring and you're suddenly at the stage where you like toys!)
We did not get to see as many of our Scottish relatives as I had hoped - the mastitis I traveled over with, on top of all the illness before that, knocked me around a lot, and we were slow getting our phones organised - alright, we never actually got them organised - they routed back through Australia. But you did see your Great Great Aunty, and while she didn't have a clue who any of us were, she did love holding you and playing with you. This was the first time I've been over since your Great Granny and Pappy died, and it was very hard being there without them, although even last visit your Granny's dementia meant she hadn't recognised me, but she'd loved holding your brother, a little one year old then.
I've been carrying you in your new winter carrier, my little-bundle-of-close-held-warmth, and while you don't like getting it on, you do have a tendency to fall asleep as soon as it is on, and it keeps us both snugly warm. And I love having you so close. I love feeling your breathing, resting my cheek against the softness of your hair, holding your hand or little feet (your shoes just refused to stay on, even putting hair bands on them - thank goodness for tights and layers! And they were such gorgeous little shoes!) Dressing you in cold-weather gear has been a constant delight - finally getting to play dress-ups with all the soft-as-soft hats, faux fur vests, velvet dresses, mini-coats and merino bodysuits was so much fun. I'm already looking forward to going back down to Victoria in the winter and hoping as least some still fit!
Your brother came over to me yesterday as I was feeding you and said "I'm glad we have Littlest. Now I have two sisters." Frown. "It's a lot of responsibility." (You have a habit of grabbing his hair, or crawling up to sink your two little teeth into his foot to get his attention, then grinning, so he knows we need to teach you to be a well behaved baby who strokes, not pulls, kisses not bites.)
And it is a lot of responsibility, but we love you so!