You're now nine months old - and a little bit - and the sweetest little bundle of giggles and cuddles and hugs.
You have a very determined, stocky, elbows out, no-nonsense crawl and you're standing up and beginning to cruise around the furniture. I have fears that you will soon be walking. Little one, truly, there's no rush. Take your time. Savour.
You are well into I-have-to-be-with-mummy-every-second-of-the-day, and unless the stars align and the moon is on the specified place you howl the house down if you can't see me for more than a millisecond - say if I'd like to go to the toilet/have a shower. While flattering, I would like to someday go to the loo with the door shut. I know, it sounds decadently indulgent to me, too.
I love watching the way you study everything. You carefully, slowly, pick up the desired object and carefully, slowly move it around to study it from every angle. Soon it goes in the mouth so you can check out how it tastes.
You remain very much an outside girl and want desperately to be out with the trees and the sky all the time. This is a little problematic because you also come up in massive big red bumps with the mossie bites, and mosquitos we have a plenty up here. While you love nothing better than to sit in the shade of the poinsettia tree while I hang out the washing, thoughtfully gnawing on a stick, the mosquitos just eat you alive.
We are settling in well to our new state. It remains hot and muggy but I love the noise of the thunder rolling in, of all the summer storms and the sudden down pours and it is so nice having an abundance of family. I've nearly recovered from my chest infection - I'm just a little coughy and so so so tired. But that could be to do with the fact you feed all. night. long. and your daddy comes in from work about midnight generally and I try to stay up and see him and shortly after that your brother and sister pad through from their room and then you want another feed and by morning I just want a good nights sleep.
Very, very soon I intend to night-wean you. Your daddy's next break 'cos he needs to share the pain. I'm generous like that. I'm not looking forward to the tears and heartbreak but I'm so tired I'm even ditzier than usual Which is saying a lot.
This week I managed to leave my phone on top of the car on the way to the shops - it luckily stayed on the car, lose it at the beach - kindly returned to me, and then leave it again on the car on the way home from the school run. This time it came off the car at the worst possible time and got run over by a ten tonne truck. I went back to view it's shattered remains and seriously it is in so many teeny tiny pieces I couldn't count them.
I might need some more sleep.
Just this week your daddy and granddad journeyed down to Victoria to get our old house ready to sell and bring up our furniture and my (not inconsiderable) boxes of books and treasures, and it really feels like this town is our new home. Your daddy is still moaning that I 'sent him to the mines' on his days off. As soon as he reached our old town he became sick, wheezing and headachey with the coal mine pollution, only to instantly recover as he got off the plane here in Queensland. We're still living with your grandparents while we look at houses. I've fallen in love... but we'll see. Unfortunately I tend to fall in love with gorgeous, high maintenance old houses rather than practical, low maintenance new houses. This is a problem.
Your daddy is settling in to his new job. Tonight is his first night shift on the emergency ward so we'll see how he goes. At present you are both sleeping on the bed beside me as I type in a quiet house, your sister at kindy your brother at school.
You still adore your brother and sister. Nothing brings out that big laugh like seeing either of them. Your sister dotes on you and has begged me to bring you into kindy to show off to the other kids. She carts you around like a sack of potatoes, holding you under your arms and taking you outside or into the hallway and shutting doors and turning off lights to give you a shadow show with a torch. Amazingly you just grin. She climbs into your cot to play with you and I am amazed you learnt to crawl with the amount of time you spend being carted around. I love seeing how much you love each other.
You are very vocal now and tell us all about everything at great length and volume. You say 'mumma' and 'dadda' and 'hello' and 'nana'.
You love your food. Especially your blueberries. I got a punnet out of the fridge yesterday and you started making frantic 'eh! eh! eh' noises and lunging for them. Another little fruit-bat in the family. Your new nick-name is 'Blueberry Girl.' (Which I love as there's a Neil Gaiman book for newborns called Blueberry Girl that my God-mama sent me and which is lovely.)
Sweet heart - you are my joy and my sunshine and my delight. On days that are hard and frantic and full of herding kids here and chugging them there in a sleep-deprived blur, your smiles make everything full of wonder and reminds me just how lucky we are. At present you've just woken up and have crawled over 'Mummumum!" and then you grab for the computer cord and give me the cheekiest grin as I tell you "No!" And then you blow a raspberry which you know is just the cleverest. And now you lunge for the milk with content gurgles.
My dear delight, you've been on the outside now as long as you were on the inside, and each day you grow more precious.