"At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honeysweet where you feel it touching the first sounds. Containing depth within itself, darkness, something of the grave almost." - Rainer Maria Rilke

I know, I know. Another quote about the majesty of Fall. Just remember, I could have used the ubiquitous Anne Shirley quote about October, but I refrained.

The past several Autumns have been pretty eventful for me. Two years ago, we got married, and I was still flying when Hurricane Sandy happened. Last year, I was pregnant and barfing violently and having weird dreams.

Fall for us this year has been full of a rapidly growing baby with dimpled knuckles, rolls of plump flesh for the gobbling, and all sorts of milestones that have happened too fast. It will never be less cliche to say that time moves so quickly with a baby, but it will also never be less true.

I got all of my hair chopped, and when I came home I could tell Bryan's heart was warmed by the prospect of (hopefully) finding less of my hair on our floor, in his clothes, in the baby's mouth and diaper, and et cetera. I could also hear our shower drain singing praises of "GLORY" at the promise of less Fran mop clogging the bathtub. With that out of the way, I had important things to focus on. Namely, dressing up my baby in an animal costume for her first Halloween.

Thanks to the wonders of Amazon Prime, we got a cheaply made ambiguous-looking lion costume made of highly synthetic fibers. The Honest Company would have been ashamed. She looked like a hybrid of Fozzybear, a lion cub, and a capeless ewok. She lasted all of twenty minutes at the Halloween party before she was covered in sweat and ingesting her mane. It was really perfect for those twenty minutes, though.

Seeing another person discovering the world for the first time is so exciting. I never knew how conflicting my feelings would be all the time - part of me saying "you are growing too fast" and feeling greedy for how small she is, but also wanting to just exclaim, "keep going, it's amazing." How I want to freeze time completely, but enjoy the movement forward as each little season has its sweet pleasantries.

In the past couple of weeks there has been a lot of waking in the middle of the night, and I go back and forth between "Dear Lord, please let there be teeth soon," and "NonononononopleasekeepsleepingsoIcantoo." I think all of that until I pick her up and she gives a sleepy hug and then the oxytocin brain makes me forget all of my grumblings.

This past weekend, she just decided that she could sit up on her own and I'm mostly convinced now that she has a stronger core than I do. She enjoys screaming like a pterodactyl (earning the nickname YELLSA), grabbing people's faces (preferably with handfuls of flesh, clamped in her fists), and boobmilk. She is SOLID, curious, and playful. She is a baby.

I don't understand how it comes and goes so quickly each year. Maybe I just think that because it's only the middle of November and there are four inches of snow outside. Maybe it's because by the time the leaves change colors, we notice it for a moment before they all fall and the trees are barren. Maybe it's because Target put up Christmas decorations the second that last Halloween costume was purchased. Whatever it is, I refuse to ignore Thanksgiving. So easily forgotten Thanksgiving, without any songs of its own. There aren't costumes, and there aren't presents - but there's togetherness and gratefulness and tryptophan and that trifecta is worth celebrating.

Also, gelatinous cranberry sauce from the can with ridges for the slicing.