I keep a one line a day journal, and I feel kind of bad about the fact that Coco seems to play such a supporting role in it. I started it when Zuzu was born, but now that Zuzu talks so much, my entry is often something funny that she has said, or an update on potty-training, or note of an epic temper tantrum, and poor Coco's easy-going babyhood gets less attention.
But she's so great.
She's as expressive as her sister, but a little more even-keeled. She will definitely let you know if she's upset, but she is quite easy to please (basically, as long as she's fed, she's good.)
She's still a big fan of mama-milk (and Mama in general, thankyouverymuch), but she's also seriously into food in a way that Zuzu wasn't for a long time. I remember telling my mom that Zuzu would take a thermos of breastmilk to kindergarten because she was coming up on her first birthday and she just wasn't interested in eating regular food--purees or stuff she could feed herself.
Coco has been wanting to hang with the rest of us since she was six months old. Her first bites of sweet potato were a delight and since then the only food she has rejected is avocado. (Most babies love avocado, and I know it's kind of a superfood for babies, but neither of my girls care for it. In fact, avocado is the only thing that made me throw up--twice--during my last pregnancy. I love guacamole, but I've actually lost my taste for it since I barfed both times I ate it while pregnant with Coco.) She likes broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas, asparagus, mushrooms, rice, tofu, berries, oranges, bananas, applesauce, pears, bell peppers, salmon, refried beans, pasta, goat cheese, baby food puffs and yum-yum teething biscuits.
Coco started crawling at 8 months, was standing up at 9 months, and at 9 months and one week old she took her first staggering steps behind the toy shopping cart. She frequently "bear crawls" around the house so her knees don't touch the ground and she's just balanced on her hands and feet. David says at the rate she's going, she'll be walking before she has any teeth. (I'm already worrying about the issue of stairs in our house... I'm not sure if this technique will work for Coco the way it did for her sister.)
She adores Zuzu in a way that makes my heart itch. Her face lights up when she sees her sister, and she's so delighted to play with her. Zuzu can make her laugh, but is also the most frequent reason she cries. Fortunately, Coco is made of tough stuff. She has bonked her head and fallen on her face and gotten her little fingers stepped on and been pushed over backwards by her sister, and her tears of protest and pain only last a few moments before she's recovered and confident enough to get back in the game.
She still gets so many comments from strangers about how cute she is, especially her big blue eyes. I'm flattered when people say she looks like me--I actually think she's cuter than I was as a baby! Her hair is already started to come in a bit, so maybe she'll have bangs before she's three years old!
Coco is the baby who set her own bedtime at 7:30pm. We had been trying to put her down around 8, but she would get SO CRABBY that I finally realized life was easier for everyone if we started bedtime at 7:00pm instead. David didn't love putting her to bed so early since he doesn't get home until 5:30pm and wanted more time with her, but she was much happier when she'd have bath and nursing session earlier so she could be snoozing in her crib by 7:30pm.
We co-slept for the first several months--first with Coco in the bassinet in our room, and then with her in our bed. I loved having her close to me. Eventually, though, being in my bed meant that she was doing the all-you-can-eat buffet all night long. Now that she's in her crib, she wakes up once in the night to nurse and we all sleep much better. I know that technically she could be sleeping through the night, and we could probably train her if we really wanted to, but her first year is already going by so fast that even when I'm exhausted in the middle of the night, staggering out of bed to sit in a comfy rocking chair and nurse the baby doesn't feel like too much of a hardship. (Of course, if she wakes up a second time, I make David go to her!)
Coco loves her daycare teachers and in all her days of being dropped off, she's only cried once at my departure. Today when she kicked her legs in excitement at seeing her teacher, I actually felt a pang of jealousy. But her face always lights up when she hears my voice or sees me enter her classroom, and she crawls over to me at top speed every time I come to pick her up.
I swear she was saying "Mama" before she said "Dada" and her babbles sound more and more like she's trying to express herself in words. She waves hi and bye and says "Ba-bye!" which is incredibly adorable. Last night she was making happy shrieking noises in the kitchen that sounded exactly the way I imagine a baby pterodactyl would sound, at pretty much the same volume.
She's not a snuggler on my shoulder anymore, which I really miss. When she goes to sleep, she never lies her head down on my shoulder but instead prefers to stretch out across my lap. She takes the binky at nighttime and reminds me of her sister in the way she gives a soft sigh of contentment when I pop it into her mouth.
Her favorite toys are the Baby Einstein radio and anything of Zuzu's that she probably shouldn't really have--particularly hairbrushes, lunch boxes, and small figurines (not choking hazard small, but still ages 3+ small).
I love putting her in some of my favorite clothes that Zuzu wore, but I've also found that I sometimes favor different kinds of clothes than I did just two years ago. Coco is dressed a little more for comfort/function and a little less in the cute/decorative category. Fewer tutus, plenty of leg warmers. Because she's on the move, I tend to put her in more onesies and pants than dresses that hinder her ability to crawl. She's five weeks younger than Zuzu in terms of season, and as far as size goes she's a bit shorter and has more of a belly.
I love her baby belly and her thighs and her cheeks. I feel really fortunate that breastfeeding has gone so well for us (in spite of getting mastitis again!) and I'm so grateful that she has been healthy this year, with nothing more severe than a runny nose and a couple of ear infections. I know this cold and flu season was rough for a lot of people, and I'm so thankful we escaped the worst of it.
I wonder sometimes if Coco is so chill in part because she doesn't get as much undivided attention, or if she's just making it easy for me to split by attention by being so chill. Either way, I'm especially glad that we have had at least one day a week for the past nine months that was just Coco and Mama day so that I could focus on her instead of fitting in her nursing schedule and naps around Zuzu-mania.
Coco is so easy-going and predictable that staying home with her is an absolute pleasure. She's in that really easy nap routine (wakes up, naps two hours later, wakes up, naps three hours later, wakes up, goes to bed a few hours after that) but she's also happy to snooze in the car or in the stroller (although stroller naps are a bit more challenging because she's so curious and observant). Even if she doesn't nap in the stroller, she's usually content to watch her sister run around a park or playground. As long as her belly is full, she's pretty content to do pretty much whatever.
She is very active--a grabby and squirmy baby, and wrestling her on a changing table can be a real challenge! She's not especially patient when getting dressed or undressed, but she's very happy to be in the bathtub with sister, and thankfully is pretty chill when it comes to being splashed and having toys yanked away from her.
Eliza was the baby we planned for, and Zuzu was the baby we desperately worked for, and Coco is the baby we were gifted when we least expected it. The best surprise of my life. Everyday I am so grateful that she is ours. Her huge smile is reflecting my own big, goofy grin, because I feel incredibly lucky to be her mama. Our Coco-Puff.