(I’m posting this letter a few days late – we were in Atlanta on her actual monthly birthday and I didn’t have my laptop. Instead, Bronce and I brainstormed all the fun things the last month has brought – a great way to look back and collaborate on our favorite moments of her latest growth. I’ve included some of those things in the letter below.)
My sweet little bug, how is it possible that you’re 6 months old now? Half a year has passed since you were first placed in my arms all squirmy and wiggly.
Though that surprised face had more to do with our expectations that you would be a boy, it’s certainly a face I’ve made a lot lately as you’ve done some hilarious things to surprise me. It’s been a wild ride, girl.
We’ve done a LOT this month and you’ve traveled all over the southeast! We visited some friends in Nashville, visited Grandee an Papa at their lake house quite a few times (where you slept like a champ in their crib. Yay!), you’ve seen the aquarium in Atlanta, and hopefully this next month will have us returning to South Carolina to visit your Uncle Jim and cousin Kathryn a few more times.
Our “family” in Nashville:
We’ve made some change to your sleeping arrangements… You began rolling around your crib fully swaddled which scared me silly, so we got rid of the swaddle. Apparently that decision also rid us of our own sleep. Whew, you do NOT sleep well with your little arms and legs unfettered. Instead, they swing all over the place and wake you constantly. That first week you were waking every 30 minutes and needing to be soothed back to sleep. You’re getting slightly better now three weeks later, but haven’t really adjusted well at all. Sometimes you make it through the night only waking 3 times… that is considered a success, as bizarre as it sounds. If I can catch a 2.5 hour stretch of sleep, I feel like we’ve had a good night. I can remember complaining a few months ago that you were still waking in the night once to nurse… sheesh, I’d love to go back to those days! Your daddy and I pray for you every night before bed and we always slip in a request to the Lord that you would sleep well. After all, Philippians 4:6 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” We’re clinging to that literally – if He says everything, then He must care about it all! Including your (and our!) sleep.
Another hurdle to your sleep has been your newfound mobility. Yes, you’re about thisclose to crawling. Right now you scoot around quickly (you are no longer safe on our bed unless we’re watching you super closely) and can get to anything really fast. You get into crawling position and can make a few “steps” forward but haven’t started flying across the floors yet. You love getting up on all fours – hands and tippy toes – and “crawling” that way. Your Poppy thinks you’re going to be walking pretty soon. (Eek.)
As you crawl around you’re constantly finding new things to put in your mouth. In fact, sometimes I find you crawling off the carpet just so you can suck on the hardwood floors. Yuck, but you seem to like them. Or, you’ll crawl over to your jumper and gnaw on the bottom of the frame. Regardless, everything finds its way in to your mouth eventually (including my hair, cell phone, the tv remote – ooooh, you just love those buttons!).
Maybe part of the reason you’re putting everything in your mouth is to try out those new teeth of yours… Yep. You’ve got 2 teeth already! (The bottom front two) One came in a few days after your 5-month birthday and the other broke through last week. Yet another hurdle to your sleeping issues. It’s been a hard road as you’ve dealt with the pain – your cries have changed over the last 10-12 days too, and you’ve now included a new frantic scream into your repertoire. Tylenol and washcloth-covered ice cubes have been your best friends as you’ve adjusted to your newfound bite. Speaking of biting… yep, you’re making nursing difficult. I’ll leave it at that, but will say: OUCH.
Here’s a picture taken when your first tooth came in. I don’t have one of the two teeth yet.
Your little body is growing up… and we do mean up. You’re so tall and have these long, lean, perfectly kissable legs with just the right amount of chub. You’re wearing 6-9 month clothes (some of your onesies are 12-month) mainly for the length. In fact, we’ve purchased a new carseat for you since you’re about to outgrow your newborn seat. Granted, the old one was smaller than most, but you’re hanging off it and HATE being smooshed in the straps. So… on to a toddler seat! We’ll keep you rear facing for at least two years as all the current recommendations say to do. (Sidenote: The Car Seat Lady website has some great information on WHY to keep a child rear-facing for at least 2 years. This is really important, moms!!)
When you’re not dealing with tooth pain, you’re a very happy baby. You get so excited when daddy gets home from work – as soon as you hear his shoes on the wood floors you’re climbing all over me to find out where he is. You also get excited to play in your jumper, sometimes laughing and screaming in glee for 20 minutes or so as we giggle and watch you flail all over the place (I swear that thing is going to rocket you into the ceiling one of these days!).
You’ve become quite the mimic. When we make noises with our mouths you’ll try to copy us. You usually end up doing a great deal of spitting, too, but it’s so cute to hear you playing on the floor and trying to make the “pffffft” noises while you’re smashing your toys around. The other night you were sitting with your daddy and he whistled. You started blowing air through your lips at him – quite impressive!
You’re obsessed with the dog and cat, still. Biton (our dog) has become more friendly and will let you get near him. Chandler (the cat) is a little curious but wise enough to keep his furry tail far away from your little grabby hands.
You’re not much of a “foodie” yet. In fact, you hate cereal, making the funniest faces as you open your mouth and let it dribble down your face. We’re not planning to use much baby food, as we’re using Baby Led Weaning (info also here) to guide our food choices for you, and you’ve loved avocado, watermelon, banana, and bread so far. Up next? Sweet potato, carrots, and whatever our garden decides to start producing!
I know some people don’t like pictures of babies eating, but we have a whole series of shots like this one. See how much you love it? Hah.
And… shoulder straps? Seriously? Why did we think those were necessary? Instead, they’re just completely covered in cereal goop now. Yuck.
Last week Daddy put you in this box and slid you around on the floor. It’s true what they say – kids are more interested in boxes than toys! You had a blast and he thought it was so funny to see you giggle as he steered you in your “car.”
You and your friend Luke had another playdate. You’re so cute playing together – and it’s a huge change from when you’d just lay on the same blanket completely unaware that the other baby was close by. While Luke’s mommy got his bottle ready, I picked him up to comfort him – making my own little Bug jealous. So I scooped you up, too. So cute! (I love the monkey on her bottom!)
Sweet Eleanor, you’re amazing. It’s so fun watching you grow and change as you take in the world around you. Your smiles are the best thing in our lives. Watching you giggle as you plan with your Daddy is the best part of every day. I love you so much.