eight months.

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This little snaggletooth cutie is eight months old. This was a big month for Eliza. One day she was scooting around on her belly and then, all of a sudden, she's crawling and pulling herself up on to furniture. She is such a curious, little thing. And she's getting so darn fast! When I enter a room, I have 2.2 seconds to scan the area for every little bit of thing that can possibly be found by 14 pounds of crazy, fast baby. I am constantly finding bits of "no-no!" in her tiny fists, and sometimes poking out of her toothy grin. If I can keep this child alive, it will be a miracle. Because between the things I find in her mouth, and her constant attempts at launching herself off of and into things- I have a huge task!

Eliza has three modes of transportation now:
1. The Canoe Scoot: In which she scoots on her belly, using her arms in a back and forth paddling motion (like she's paddling a canoe.) This is her most efficient mode on hardwood floors.
2. The Traditional Crawl: In which she crawls on hands and knees. This one is not used for long distances, and usually on surfaces with more traction.
3. The Peg-leg: In which she crawls with one knee and one straight "peg-leg." This one just surfaced a couple of days ago, and is quickly becoming a favorite.

These eight-month pictures make me smile so much. What a big girl. Eight months- that's it. Eight months was when I looked down and my newborn was gone. Now, she smiles up at me in her disheveled and dirty outfit after crawling around in the dirt all day with that crooked snaggletooth grin, and I just can't handle it. I love this age. I loved every age. But, this one is particularly good. 

Eliza at eight months:
-such a little flirt- she is always gathering new friends
-clicks her tongue constantly
-likes to sing when you sing, especially in church
-she seems to smile with her tooth- so it comes out a little crooked and cartoonish
-when she nurses, her free arm wanders around until she finds my hair or my necklace to yank
-her hair is getting so thick
-she loves tugging at your face
-she pulls herself up to standing on just about anything
-we dropped her crib, and ditched the swaddle!
-she giggles like crazy
-pretty clingy with her mama
-eating three meals of solid food a day
-loves the puffs
-only wants to feed herself, and prefers "real" food
-solid foods = real poop = gross.
-more Berkeley park hopping and trail blazing
-loves her baby friends
-fascinated by older children
-very good at finding the one tiny thing you left on the ground
-likes turning the pages of board books
-loves all of her new toys
-always falls asleep in the car lately
-first trip to the zoo
-little explorer
-gets bashful, and buries her head in your shoulder


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I know this is very late, but Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!

We spent this Christmas in Utah with Sam's family, and loved every minute of it. It was the first time in a couple of years that the entire family was together. There are six brothers, three wives, and three grandkids now. On one beautiful, sunny day we set up a tripod in the middle of the street in front of Grandma Gray's log cabin in Mapleton and took a few family photos. The photo shoot ended with all of the brothers competing to see who could throw a snowball at the stop sign down the street. I think after a good 20 minutes of this, I might have finally heard a metallic clang as I retreated to the house with the rest of the girls. Oh, brother.

Many firsts for Miss E:

Her first 13 hour road trip- after we missed our flight standing in line at the Oakland airport. She was oddly good on the drive, and slept most of the time. I decided it was a Christmas miracle.

Her first Christmas- where she finally got to find out what was in the shiny packages she's been chewing on for weeks. Thank you, thank you to all of our family for the mounds of gifts she received. What a lucky girl! Although, to be honest, I think she was most excited just swimming in a happy sea of wrapping paper and ribbons with her cousin, Baby Leo.

Her first time meeting the whole Gray family- I mean, that's a big deal and she only freaked out a few times. Eliza became a bit clingy on the trip. This makes me feel very motherly- full of warm fuzzies, while also feeling slightly annoyed. But hey, if that means I get a fleeting cuddle once in awhile, I'll take it!  

Her first snow- which she loved to go for walks in, darting her little tongue in and out in the cold. Sam even took her sledding down a hill, and would drag her around on the sled like a little seal. On the sharper corners she would roll off and just lay there in her puff-puff suit like the kid in "A Christmas Story."

We had such a great time in Utah with family and friends. It made us miss the Beehive State, but after a couple of weeks we were very happy to come home to the Bay. This past year has been absolutely amazing. It has brought us a new home, a new job, and a beautiful baby girl. I couldn't be more grateful for where we are in our lives. We are all looking forward to what 2014 will bring us!

bonus brother photo: