Tuesday, July 24, 2012

5 months old.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012. 3:05 P.M.

These past two months have been a whirlwind of happenings. We bought a house - and anyone that has purchased a home before can understand how one event can take up so much of your time and energy, but it's over and I'm here writing again. (Deep breath. . . and exhale.) Finally. I sit in what I think was once a laundry room, but what we have converted into a small office space, in the back of our house as you and Papa nap. So many times since we moved in I've caught myself looking around, thinking to myself, "Are we crazy? How are we even old enough to own a house?" It seems like last week that your Papa and I were just kids, laying on the back of his truck parked in a gravel driveway, staring up at the stars and talking about things like babies and houses. Now there's you - a tangible product of those dreams and our love - and this home, a nest of treasures and inspiration and future dreams.

You aren't quite six months old yet, but we are far enough away from five months that the milestones and bookmarks I had placed in my mind to distinguish your growth between the two have all blended together. You've learned so much in these past two months. Papa and I catch ourselves exclaiming, "She's getting big!" so often now. I see a little bit more of the little girl inside of you come out each day as a little bit of the baby I know floats away. We have been working on helping you sit up and you've gotten pretty good at it, but you still abruptly fall sideways and smash your face into the ground every now and then so I stay close by to catch you, especially since the new house has tile and hardwood floors. I've also been whispering sweet nothings in your ear trying to convince you to crawl early, but you aren't having it. You like to sit up or stand in your jumper and look around for hours, but if I put you on the floor to play you start to fuss after ten or fifteen minutes. You tuck your knees under you and flop forward when you get frustrated, so maybe that's a start. . . or maybe it's just a preview of what your toddler fits will be like.

We've started giving you solid food and you're loving it. I was originally going to wait until 6 months or longer to start feeding you solids, but you were really interested in our food (watching us eat, smacking your lips, and grabbing for our plates), so we took that as a sign that you were ready. You've tried a wide array of food in the short time we've been doing this: grapefruit, orange, lemon, watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, mango, a lick of grape, mashed avocado, steamed broccoli, steamed zucchini, steamed carrot, steamed spinach, baked sweet potato, baked apple with cinnamon, mashed banana with cinnamon, baked potato, green beans, plain yogurt, sweet pickle, dill pickle, a lick of steak, yeast roll, and biscuit. Plus a tiny sip of coffee, sweet tea, and horchata. It's very strange, but it seems your favorite so far is avocado and broccoli, and you seemed to like orange and cantaloupe a lot too. We've broken every rule that pediatricians recommend following as far as when to introduce certain foods and how many to introduce together, as well as not pureeing your food, but I'm following my instincts and you don't seem to mind. We're sort of going the baby led weaning route, but I sit and give you bites of mashed food along with the sticks of things that we lay out for you to pick up and eat as you please.

. . . and now we will take a moment of silence to remember the breastmilk poops.

Everyone said the newborn poops were at the bottom of the gross meter. Honestly, I thought they were pretty gross - I mean it was poop. All poop is gross, but this. . . this is a whole new level of poop. This is not baby poop. This is human poop, and it is smelly. The only good thing about it is that it's a bit more solid so we haven't had as many up the back, out the leg, in your toes and hair kind of diaper explosions as we were having.

Ok, no more poop talk.

6 months old.

You had your six month well baby appointment with your pediatrician yesterday (08/01/12) and he was very happy with your growth. You weighed 15 pounds, 4.8 ounces, were 25 inches long, and had a head circumference of 42 centimeters. The only thing that we need to work on is giving you more floor time. I've been trying to give you time to move and crawl every day, but a lot of times we're out all day or I put you in the carrier. I love to keep you close to me and you love to watch me do stuff, but I do need to let you gain some independence soon. You're in various sizes as far as clothing goes - some 0-3 month things still fit, like dresses, but most of the things you're wearing are size 3-6 months. I've started pulling your 6-9 month collection out of bags and putting them up in your closet because almost every day I've put something on you and noticed how close it is to being too short. That's how you outgrow most things now - the bottom won't button or your shoulders start to slip through the head hole.

I'm not sure if everyone says this about their child, but you are so unbelievably smart! After I finish spoon feeding you I lay the spoon on your high chair tray and let you play around with it. The first time I did this you picked up the spoon, slid it along the tray to get some food, and put it right into your mouth, clumsily, of course, but you knew what you were trying to do. Also, a week or two ago, we made a trip to buy you a new toy and your own cup since you're so interested in our water bottles. We were trying to decide whether you needed handles or not, so we handed you one without and you grasped it with both hands, found the spout, and turned it up to get a drink. Your Papa and I just stood in the aisle and stared at each other laughing. I can't believe how fast you figure things out! You're obsessed with anything you see us using, which includes anything we're eating or drinking. You've started reaching out and touching everything, then bringing it to your mouth. You even try to taste other babies, which is hilarious!

All this curiosity and touching means we have to be a lot more careful now - you try to touch and pull things off the shelves at the grocery store and you have almost pulled our plates into our laps on several occasions. You're in the beginning phases of the throwing and dropping stage too, so you're just a mess all around when we take you somewhere or hold you while we eat, but I love it. I love watching you figure things out and experience new tastes, smells, and textures. Sometimes I revel in the days when you were a tender newborn, but at times I'm so eager to meet the little girl you're becoming that I can almost stand watching you grow so much. You're so fascinated with the world and are wild with joy. I hope you never lose this about you.

We have finally gotten you to sleep without a swaddle. You were sleeping horribly for a week or so, so we took it off to see what you would do. You fell asleep easily and we haven't used it since, but you still aren't sleeping through the night - not even close. (As of 08/12/2012, this is still the case. This is lasting longer than I had hoped.) You wake up several times a night, sometimes every hour or two. Most of the time you aren't even hungry, you just dropped your pacifier or are making sure I'm still here, I guess. It has definitely been a test of patience for me. Naps have been on the to-do list a lot lately, which is nice, but I don't get near enough done around the house if I sleep with you. Your Papa has been a great help though. A lot of mornings you'll be waking up as he's getting home from work (He's working nights now.) and he'll change your diaper and entertain you until you get hungry, letting me get an extra 30 minutes or hour of sleep. Of course, he listens to all my grumbling and complaining too. A lot of times you cry a tired, heart breaking cry, sobbing "Mama, Ama, Mum, Mum, Mum" and I can't help but pick you up and cradle you. Papa and I both agree that we need to start helping you learn to fall asleep on your own, but I secretly love how affectionate you are when you're overtired like this. Usually I'll wrap my arms around you and you'll start to struggle and kick like a little animal. "Evie, let me cuddle you," I'll say with a giggle and you'll grunt and huff to say, "Mama, let me free!" When you're tired, you sink into me and burrow your face into the nook of my arm. I hold your head close with the palm of my hand, listening to your steady breath, and the whole world grows quiet.

One day I will miss this time when the lines between you and I are so blurred, as if we're one person.

All the Love in the Universe,


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