Laura Rennie

Dear Chloe (8 months)

Laura RennieComment

Just two days after turning 8 months, you cut a third tooth and started pulling yourself up on furniture. We can hardly keep up with your milestones — it seems you are doing something new at least once a week. I don't take this granted. In fact, I constantly think of your brother and sister in heaven and the struggles they would have had if they had lived. After carrying two babies with major health issues, I can't tell you the gratitude and joy I feel when I watch your little body move with ease.

You will hear this over and over for the rest of your life: you are a gift.

Your eighth month was full of special memories.

- You met your best friend Caroline for the first time in person. Caroline's mom Amy was one of my roommates in college, and our friendship has deepened greatly over the past ten years. God's timing with your birth is extra special because you were born one day after Caroline. I never expected to experience motherhood at the same time as Amy. We both cry whenever we think about it! The four of us met at your grandma and grandpa's house and they watched the two of you one night so Amy and I could go out to celebrate our 30th birthdays. The next morning we took you girls to Target and you both screamed and cried in the car, but were absolute angels inside the store. Maybe we just weren't driving to Target fast enough? 

- We saw your birth mom! She ate lunch with your grandma and grandpa while we were at Target, and we all got to see each other when we got back to the house. She was amazed to see how much you'd grown. She held you and talked to you, and you were very comfortable with her. We joked about your feet, which look just like hers, and your head of hair (which has been trimmed three times already).

- We celebrated your first Christmas at the cabin. It was so fun to watch your face as we opened presents! You received lots of fun gifts, but your favorites were a "Turn and Learn" toy and rubber ducks for the bath. It was adorable to watch you crawl over to your Turn and Learn over and over throughout the day. You pull it towards you, honk the horn and shriek with joy! You loved all of the attention you received from family and I loved handing you over to your grandma and grandpa in the mornings and going back to bed. :) I wish I had video footage of the reactions on everyone's face when I would bring you into the main room after getting you up from a nap. You're probably going to have some type of complex when you get older because we treat you like you're a huge celebrity. But let's face it — you're a pretty big deal. And we adore you (even though you had multiple middle-of-the-night blowouts and decided to cut MORE teeth and by the end of the trip had FIVE in your mouth). You are crazy!

- Our friend and worship pastor worked with us to put together a beautiful video about our family's story, and it "aired" at the Christmas Eve service. There wasn't a dry eye in the room! You were a trooper sitting through the service. Your aunt Katie got a hilarious picture of you on your daddy's lap looking super bored.

A few other things:

- You started going up stairs during your seventh month, but this month it was aaaaall you wanted to do! You're very confident in yourself and think you should be able to go anywhere you want. You like to climb over things, especially your daddy. We call him "daddy jungle gym." You discovered you can climb up on the bottom shelf of our end table in the sunken living room in order to get to the stairs that go up to the dining room. (See video below for proof!)

- You started saying "mama!" YAY! One time I came in your room to get you up from a nap and you grinned big and exclaimed, "mama" in a happy voice. It was the best. You said "mum" a lot in a pitiful voice while cutting three teeth over Christmas, and you say "ma!" when you want something. It reminds me of a Will Ferrell quote — "Ma! The meatloaf!"

- This month we put you face-out in the Ergo and you LOVE it! You seem to like feeling the cold air on your cheeks. You squeal and talk and kick your legs, and it's just the cutest thing ever.

- You love most of the foods I've given you, but your favorite is butternut squash. Peas are a close second!