Salem: Nine Months

The last time I posted “basket photos” of Salem was when she turned three months old.  I had taken her four-month photos right before we left for Cleveland for Spring Break (a couple of days early, in fact, just to be sure).  I hadn’t yet gotten around to posting them when my mom died.

And then I just couldn’t.  Every month I have diligently taken her basket photos, but it hurt too much to think about posting or writing.  So now that we’re effectively six months behind, I’m going to post them, starting with Nine Months–how old she is now.  Then I’ll go back to Four Months and catch up.

At nine months old, Salem is crawling like a crazy toddler with a whistle is chasing her.  Oh wait, she actually IS crawling like a crazy toddler named Tyler is chasing her with a whistle he unearthed from a pile of ten-cent toys in his room.  Video of that to come.

She loves to eat, and it’s like Eric and I are feeding a baby for the first time, because Tyler almost never ate food.  We tried and he wasn’t into it and drank plenty of breastmilk so we didn’t push it.  So, we didn’t know what it was like to have a messy baby in a high chair.  Or what to feed a baby with no teeth.  Salem is a pig, and a messy pig at that. Organic homemade baby food blends? Pshaw.  This girl eats Chick-fil-A, collard greens, salmon, ice cream, pickles, and Lord knows what else.  She has yet to decline anything.  Still, she’s only about 15 pounds and rocking 3 month onesies.  She must burn a lot of calories crawling away from Mr. Whistlepants.

I have a box of baby dresses that were mine.  My mom used them to decorate for my baby shower when I was pregnant with Tyler (we didn’t know what we were having) and then brought the box out to us one time when my parents drove to Colorado.  I hadn’t thought much about them after Tyler was born (for obvious reasons) but after Salem was born I was excited to drag them out.  I knew they were bigger, though, mostly 12 months and up, so I hadn’t done it yet when my mom visited after Salem was born.  I so, so, so wish we could have gone through that box together.  I know my mom would have loved to remember when I was a baby and wore them 36 years ago and would have loved even more to see Salem wear them.

The romper she is wearing in her photos was mine.  She wore the coordinating dress to church last week.  I’m actually surprised how well these clothes have held up baking in a 100-degree attic at my parents house for over 30 years.  I think she looks adorable in this vintage outfit.

Tyler, who lately has been resisting looking at the camera, tried to get into every one of these photos.  Salem obviously loved sharing her shoot with him.


Four Months

It’s been four months today since my mom died.

There’s so much to freak out about it’s impossible to write it all down.

One strange fact I can’t let go of:  Salem was about 4 1/2 months old when she lost her Nana, whom I know loved her the most.  Salem is now almost 9 months old.  I have taken comfort in the fact that Nana knew Salem for more than half of her tiny, short, just-beginning life. She loved her for 4 1/2 months.

Two weeks after my mom died, I could still stay that she knew Salem for most of her wild baby life.  Two months after my mom died, I could still say that she knew Salem for more than half of her bold little life. But very soon, the math will turn around.  4 1/2 + 4 1/2 = 9.  After Salem is 9 months old, my mom will have known her for less than half of her sweet, perfect life.  As time goes on, the overlap between Salem’s life and my mom’s will become very, very tiny. A dot on the timeline of both of their lives.

My mom spent a little over two weeks, total, with Salem.

She held her when she was 8 days old:

December 3, 2016
December 4, 2016

She held her for a week at Christmas:

December 21, 2016

And she held her in March when we visited Cleveland over Spring Break:

March 25, 2017
March 27, 2017

I have maybe a hundred, or more, photos of my mom with Tyler.  But this is all I have of my mom with Salem.  Five photos.  Five photos of my mom and my bitty baby who is her mini-me.


It’s the lips, and her smile.  We see her Nana in her every day.  Even Tyler calls it out when he sees her “Bonnieface.”  I can’t believe my mom isn’t here to see her grow up.  Tyler, either, but even at 2 1/2 she could have a conversation with him, play with him, read books with him. They say he won’t remember, but he might surprise us all.  Salem doesn’t have a chance.

She has five photos.