Poor fourth baby. Kieran has been so neglected on the blog.
It's a dilemma of his own design. He keeps me SO BUSY, I never have a chance to sit down. (At least, not without him in my lap, which translates into me trying to type while simultaneously wrestling a baby octopus who's drunk 12 espressos.)
With that disclaimer ringing in your ears, I make the following announcement: Kieran is ten months old today.
It's staggering to me that, the more I try to slow time, the faster it seems to go. Knowing Kieran is my last baby, I have tried to savor these last ten months like nothing before. Yet here we are, just a few weeks after his birth, and he's a crawling, standing, cruising toddler-in-training.
A few notables:
At ten months, Kieran weighs almost 20 pounds. He stands 29 inches tall. He wears 12 month clothes, which puts him just ahead of his brother at this stage. (Check out Kieran and Connor wearing the same pajamas -- only seven years apart.)
He is a cuddle monster, especially with Mom and Dad. To set him down is to set him into a cauldron of torture. He despairs when Mom dares to move out of his line of vision. He continues to give the sloppiest, wettest, most intense kisses I've ever seen a baby give.
Given that he's mobile -- crawling, cruising, puling to a stand, trying to take his first steps -- it's not a surprise that he's into trouble. (Pictured here: shredding the mail.)
When he gets excited about something, he kicks his little feet like he's auditioning for Riverdance. He babbles constantly (mamamamama / dadadadadada / gigoh-gigoh-gigoh-gigoh). He delights in his siblings. He is curious about everything.
He is a horrible sleeper, preferring to nap in the car and spend nights tossing and turning with Mom and Dad. (You can't win 'em all.)
But oh my goodness. The joy. The unmitigated, unqualified joy.
I love this age. The whole world is filled with wonder.
Almost every night, when I'm nursing him to sleep, I sit and stroke his silky, dark hair and his chubby, pink cheeks and I inhale the Johnson's baby shampoo and cuddle the cozy fleece pajamas, and I try to memorize the feeling of his soft breathing and the feel of his warm body pressed next to mine. And my heart beats, "The last baby. The last baby. The last baby."
And it's OK. It's right. The moment Kieran was born, the exact second I felt his tiny little body leaving mine, I had the most bittersweet feeling, a perfect mixture of gratitude and sorrow. It was my soul acknowledging that this season of childbearing is coming to a close. I'm moving to the next chapter of life. It has been so sweet, this decade of infants in my house. But it's also time for me to stop making babies and focus on raising children. I am unspeakably blessed with the four I have. I face this new season with a thankful heart.
But not yet. Because for the next two months, I still have a baby -- even if he's crawling away from me, drooling on the floor, trying to eat a wood chip he found next to the fireplace. (Hang on. Be right back.)
For a few more weeks, I still have a baby in my house.