Dear Marlowe // Eight Months

My dear baby girl,

Happy happy eight months! What a month it has been - no one was sick this month and we are fully in Christmas mode. Your dad is obsessed with Christmas and we have to put up our tree the first weekend in November and take out all the decorations. He loves Christmas so much because he loves to give gifts. He loves this holiday because he is crazy in love with blessing others and is so excited for you to experience your first Christmas... even though we know you won't remember it - hey, that is what pictures are for!

Just like your earthly father adores giving gifts, we know that your Heavenly Daddy loves to give good gifts to His children as well (Matthew 7:11). Marlowe, I say this almost every day - you are the best gift. I know Jesus loves you so much more than I ever can or could, and loves you with a pure love, not my broken human understanding of love - but know baby girl you are a gift to us. A true, beautiful blessing in my life.  You make me marvel at the goodness of God. When I look into your eyes and think of how he has entrusted me for this short time on earth to love you and raise you up to know His love it amazes me what a gift that is.

Changes to this month: we have dropped your third nap in the afternoon. You weren't really interested in it anymore but you go to bed super early now because you are still tired- always before 6:30pm because when you wake up at 2:30pm you are exhausted by 5pm. I know as you get older you will be able to last longer and even stay up till 7! :) hahah - but right now this works out really well because I can put you down to sleep and then work on Mr. Jackson's bedtime. I've also been diligent on keeping you in your room for 1.5 hours to help you learn to take two naps that last this long during the day. This is definitely a "still in process" thing at eight months old but I am happy to write in this blog that there is progress - good progress. Let's hope when I write your next month letter that we can check this off the list.

You still wake up once in the night to feed. It has gotten earlier (sometimes as early as 3am) because you go to bed so early but as long as it is one time in the night I'm going to be OK. Also solids - I'm worried I can't drop the last night feed because you have no solid food in you. We really need to get you to eat.

Speaking of eating - you have interest. Not in a spoon or anything puree but you will now eat a "mum mum" and chew on an arrowroot. There is progress - things are going in your mouth and you aren't fully rejecting them. Still no bottle, sippy cup etc. but I've come to learn with you, everything is slow and steady - at your own pace. Again small progress but progress none the less. This still is the biggest stress that I face with you - which I know is nothing compared to a lot of Mommas so I am not complaining.

Your eczema on your face was really bad this month and we rushed your dermatologist appointment because it was causing you so much pain - which means I was in pain too. She saw us for maybe five minutes and declared you will have this for life and to just try to control it and prevent the flare ups. She was not helpful and didn't answer any of questions so we left the appointment pretty discouraged for you - but not loosing hope. The 2% steroid cream defiantly helps but everyone told us (doctor's and pharmacist) that it can thin your skin... and I would never want your face to be thinned out and droopy. However, this dermatologist said to use it for a couple years before that would ever happen... which is confusing and she didn't explain why, even though I asked 10 times. But we are using it a bit more frequently to try and not let you skin become open, because once you get a flare up and start scratching it is really hard to get you to stop. Your Momma will keep researching and buying expensive creams in hope that we can kick this thing. I am also hopeful that it might go away once I stop breast-feeding.. I've heard this could be a thing?

Moving. You roll over both ways and enjoy being on your tummy. You turn around in circles but still no crawling or moving forward, sometimes you move backwards. I'm definitely not forcing this still because I really enjoy setting you down on the floor so I can use the bathroom and being confident you will be in the same spot upon my arrival.

You love your home and your schedules. You thrive off of these two things and when they aren't present it is hard for you. Your brother loves you so much and gets into your crib every single morning without fail to greet you. He says hello and gives you a hug and a kiss. It melts me every time. I love seeing the way he loves you and the ways you return the love as well. Even though you are eight months old it is amazing watching the ways you both interact. I hope you will continue to be friends and bond as you get older.

You spend a lot of the time sitting up now, by yourself, playing with all your toys. As long as you can watch us and see Momma at all times you are happy and content. You are a true joy to mother and we can't wait to experience 'all the things' with you - Christmas!!

I pray for you every day Marlowe and pray that I would show you a true and right picture of what living for Jesus looks like. That you would know from a young age that Jesus is life, true hope and is coming again to make all this brokenness go away. He is coming back for us and we will live alongside him forever on the new earth so very soon. I long for Jesus to come back and restore this broken world, but I know His timing is the best and His heart longs for more people to come to know Him - He is patient and will come at the right time. For now, we love Him and make disciples and give God away and I pray and beg the Lord you would see that in your Daddy and I and grow up to know the amazing unending love that Jesus has for you.

We love you baby girl, so very very much.  We will always be here cheering you on, loving you and showing you how much Jesus adores you. Happy eight months!

Your Momma



Dear Marlowe // Six and Seven Months

Miss Marlowe,

Happy Six and Seven Months my beautiful baby girl. So yes, I'm combining two months because, well, these past two months have been insane. I kept thinking I needed to write your six month letter and then it kept getting pushed back and now it's your seven month birthday - so I must ask you for grace as I summarize your last two months. Let's be clear - you haven't been the problem - sickness has. Your Momma was sick for six weeks. Yes, you are a reading that right - SIX WEEKS! I can't even. I still have an awful cough at night but can confidently type that I am better. When your Dad and I look at our calendars we knew September/October was going to be busy. I was coordinating three weddings, heading back to work. Mark was launching all the fall events and the church ramps up again at this time. The weeks are busy and the weekends are full. We knew we would need to work together as a team to get through... and then we both got sick. I got it the worst but Jackson was sick and so was your Dad. We didn't even make it to thanksgiving this year - so sad. But baby girl, you were a champ. You were the only one who didn't get sick - thank you breastmilk is all I can say.
You are a trooper and I am so glad we made it through!

You were weighed today at exactly seven months and came in at 50% weighing 16 pounds 1.5 ounces. Your length is 70% and head is 85%. You've definitely thinned out a bit but I am still obsessed with your legs. They are my favourite and I never want to forget those chunks - I can't even - you are too cute.

You still won't take a bottle, a soother or any food. We tried introduce solids at five months and you just won't take it. I've lost so much sleep and stressed about this so much but looking back - we did it. You did go 15 hours without food at one wedding and I just think you are like your Father - beyond stubborn. Who doesn't eat for 15 hours? You. So I return to my office job at Beacon tomorrow and guess what - you have to come with me because I can't leave you for eight hours without food. I do struggle with "mom guilt" so we will see how trying to work an office job with a seven month old goes... grace... we just need grace in this season. You did eat willingly once on October 21 but then never again. You gave me such hope but I will keep trying - you just do things on your own time. But please Miss Marlowe - you can start eating or taking a sippy cup anytime now - that would be amazing!

You aren't "on the move" yet but you definitely move. I can't leave you in your bumbo and you have to strapped in everywhere we go. You roll confidently from your front to your back and back to front and have even started sleeping on your stomach in your sleep because you roll around so much. I have to be careful what is on the floor and where you will go. You love tummy time and spend a lot of time on your stomach, playing with toys and watching your crazy brother.

You still head to bed around 6:30pm and sleep until 7am with one feed. I will try to eliminate the last feed this month (or next) we will see how you do and how I am feeling. But you are a good sleeper! I've had difficulty in naps and after talking to my girlfriends at 6.5 months I started letting you stay in your crib for 1.5 hours in the morning and afternoon nap even if you only slept for 30 minutes. It was a hard week of "cry it out" but you barely cried and just whined for a couple days. After one week of difficulty you do have some sort of sleep rhythm in the day. You have transitioned from the 2 hours of awake time to needing a nap to following more of a clock schedule.

Right now at seven months this is where we are at: Wake up around 7am - feed and play. Feed again at 9am and you have your first nap. Wake up around 10:30 and feed around 11ish. Feed again around 12:45 when you go down for your second nap. Hope you sleep around 2-2:30 (we are still working on this nap being longer than 1 hr) but then the third nap is always hit or miss and then you sleep anywhere from 5:30 (if you don't nap) till 7 (if you've napped). You've slept through the night twice in your whole life randomly one of these times being on September 17.

Oh and your teeth! You first tooth came in September 27 (5.5 months). It was your bottom right tooth. Since then your other bottom tooth has come through and just last week your top right tooth is poking through. Lots of drooling and it is bothering you a bit - we've had some good snuggles and I've rocked you to sleep a couple times but that has been amazing because I miss those snuggles already.

You were dedicated on September 16 and it was a beautiful service. I often catch myself dreaming of when you are older and we can do more together but am trying to slow down and embrace these moments, knowing I will miss them so much.

Marlowe you are truly amazing. You have the best temperament and just love us and your dear brother who is crazy about you! When you cry he will run up to you and give you a hug, rub your belly and kiss you. He longs to see you every morning when he wakes up and he is always telling your Dad or I when you are awake and that your eyes are open. He jumps into your crib and snuggles you and always talks about you. If you are coming with us every time we go out to the grocery store or library or any activity. Your relationship makes my heart burst and I am so excited to see how it continues... once you start crawling and taking his beloved garbage!

You use to love being alone - you preferred this in the past, but this last month you now know when we leave the room and you cry. You love being held and given a toy to play with. You still do like time alone but I would say this is slowly going away - especially since you've been teething you've wanted lots of love.

You also travelled to the states with your cousin Cora as we went to see Jennie Allen and Christy Nockels on their freedom project tour. It was such a good couple days but wow, I was so sick and so tired and travelling with two babies on different schedules was rough... not going to lie. But you do travel well. We've had lots of trips back to Elmira visiting family and friends and you've been a trooper through it all.

I'm crazy in love with you. You have taught me so much and give me such grace. I am so grateful to have you as my daughter. Happy Six and Seven months my dear baby girl. I couldn't love you more if I tried.

Your Momma

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