Fifteen Plus

Dear Baby Ike,

More than two weeks ago already, you turned fifteen months.  I’m clearly having just as hard a time keeping up with these letters to you as I have keeping up with you these days.  You are very much on the move.  The pitter-patter of your still fairly tiny feet sound off at a pace that I suppose qualifies as running.  I can put you down in one spot, turn my head for just a second, and then have to guess which direction you went.  Usually, if we haven’t taken care to put Dexter’s water bowl up out of your reach, you’ll be found in the inevitable puddle.

At your fifteen month checkup with the pediatrician, you weighed in at 22 pounds and three ounces, and were measured at 30 inches tall, which again puts you right in the middle of the pack for weight, though on the shorter side.  Your head circumference is still on the higher end of the curve, which makes it very tempting to dress you up as Charlie Brown for Halloween.  All we’d need is a yellow tee shirt and some electrical tape!  While you still don’t have much hair on top of your head, you have sprouted some length in the back.  Business in the front, party in the back, baby-mullet style.  I already don’t ever want to give you a haircut, but your father will likely prevail before I let you look like too much of a flower child.

Really, I should find you a little doggie costume for Beggar’s Night, as that is still your favorite word, followed closely by ‘birdie’ and ‘apple,’ which sounds more like ‘ahh-puuuw.’  I can’t get enough of it.  When we read the Charley Harper ABCs book we borrowed from the library, you’ll chime right in on B is for BIR-DEEEE and D is for DAGG-EEEE. You find much joy in putting Daddy’s baseball cap on my head, which serves as a great distraction during the diaper changes you’ll hardly hold still for anymore.  You’re picking up more and more words every week, including ‘hat’ and also ‘head,’ which you’ll throw your hands onto when asked where it is.  You also say ‘cheese’ (kee) and ‘keys’ (dee-dee) and probably at least seven other words that I am forgetting right now.  Oh yes, PEE.  We hear that with regularity during diaper changes. You call every infant or kid, and some adults too, in photos or random product packaging, ‘bee-bee’ (baby).  When you see pictures of me and your dad you point and exclaim MOMMY and/or DADDY.  I’m a little sad to have Mama fade into Mommy already, but you still bring Mama back every once in a while, for which I’m ridiculously, sentimentally grateful.

It takes you a little while to warm up around new people or those you don’t see very often, but sooner than later your curiosity takes over and you’re all explorer, checking out what you can get into if we’ve taken you to a new place.  As we move further into toddler territory, I know that we need to set firm limits on a lot of things, but I hope that you will keep that overwhelming curiosity at the same time.  I love watching you discover the world, giving names to things, and seeing your face light up at our excitement as you start to say those names out loud.

Next month you’ll be the ring bearer in Uncle Mikey and [almost technically legally finally] Aunt Steph’s wedding.  Your tiny suit arrived last week.  I’m torn on whether to look further for dress shoes for you or to just let you rock the black and white sneaks you already have that are probably almost close enough to fitting to work.  I honestly have no idea how you’ll react to a church full of guests looking at us (I will accompany you as the Flower Maid – a hybrid of bridesmaid and flower girl) and oohing and ahhing over your cuteness.  Around the house or out and about you will sometimes take my hand and lead me over to show me something, but I don’t necessarily expect that to work well on the spot.  I’m searching for some much lower than I’d normally wear heels, because I expect I might end up having to pick you up and walk you down the aisle. Hopefully having Daddy at the other end will help; you can always steal the show taking off running toward him.  I just hope that if you do become the center of attention it’s not for thrashing or screaming or earnest fussing.  As long as I don’t try to brush your teeth during the ceremony, we probably won’t cause too much chaos…though those may be famous last words!

The next letter I write to you here will be for your half-birthday.  I can’t wait to see how much you change between now and then.  I know it will be a lot, but as the months go by, I find I can never quite imagine the amusement (and some frustrations, of course) you’ll provide for us next.

Love you so much,

Mama (hanging onto that as long as I can!), better known now as Mommy

Photo credit to your Aunt Jeni

Stopping in to see all the ladies at Aunt Steph’s shower.

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Eleven

Dear Baby Ike,

Yesterday you turned eleven months old.  Without looking back at my past ten letters to you, I’m willing to bet that the second sentence in each one has something to do with my disbelief that another month has flown by.  I suppose it should go without saying, but it continues to be remarkable to me, every single month.  It’s very hard to believe that next month we will celebrate your birthday, but the calendar doesn’t lie, and I can’t wait to see your first cake-covered birthday face.

The speed at which the days and weeks go by is not the only fast thing around here these days.  At approximately the speed of light, you went from all army-crawl scooting to short spurts of halting hands-and-knees crawling, and now to full on, full time crawling as if you’ve been doing it forever.  Plus lots of pulling up to standing and now cruising from one piece of furniture to another, testing your balance, holding onto our fingers and walking from one end of the house to the other.  You’re a pretty good sport about the bonks on the noggin that will happen most of the time, and you don’t mind falling on your butt from standing at all.  I thought at first it was due to the extra cushion from the prefold diapers, but you’ve done it many times during naked baby time (airing out the butt to try and get on top of some diaper rash) now, too, and it doesn’t seem to make any difference whether you plop down on the diaper or just your cute little baby cellulite covered tush.  The toys that used to occupy you for good chunks of time are much more often now cast aside in favor of whatever you may find somewhere else, simply because you can take yourself there now.  And you do, all the time.  We finally got a little weary of trying to head you off before you take a dip in Dexter’s water bowl and moved it to the counter.  Now we just have to remember not to dehydrate our doggie.

Speaking of doggie, I am pretty sure that you did.  Just yesterday we stepped outside the front door to look at the clematis blooms and Dexter was sitting on the back of the couch (as he does when someone goes out front without him – we are not the best dog trainers, for sure).  You noticed him there and I could swear that you said DOGGIE!  That one hasn’t been repeated clearly yet, so it may be a fluke or my imagination, but we have started to get lots of in-context Dadas and some Mamas (I wonder if you’d say it more if I didn’t coach you as much).  There is a monkey-with-banana decal on the wall above your changing table (which you now FREAK OUT every time we go near – not loving diaper changes AT ALL these days), and as I try to distract you with it, making monkey noises (dignity?  don’t need it), I asked you what a monkey eats – does it eat a banana? And you replied, ‘ANA!  That one has been repeated pretty clearly a few times now, though I’m honestly confused on what qualifies as a first word.  Must it be intelligible by anyone other than your father and me? I’m guessing so.

I was just starting to get concerned that we haven’t seen you wave bye-bye or clap yet, but yesterday your Aunt Jen came over to watch you for an hour or so while your father and I went out to do some stuff and we returned home to you waving bye-bye.  High five, Aunt Jen (context will come, I’m sure).  Still no clapping, but you do give fives (high, low, and mid), you still raise your arms up to answer Sooo Big when asked how big Baby Ike is (if you’re in the right mood, of course).

We’ve been trying to spend some time outside as often as possible now that the weather is finally staying pretty nice most of the time. Just sitting with you on a blanket in the shade under the Japanese maple in the backyard is probably my absolute favorite thing to do right now.  You alternate between turning random pages in your books and watching birds as they fly around the yard from tree to tree.  You are not yet a big fan of the texture of grass, though.  You touch it willingly, but then make a scrunchy EW face and give a little shudder, not unlike your reaction to the taste of green beans.  When I picked a blade that had gone to seed and twirled it around and tickled you, though, you thought it was hilarious.  This morning you were so interested in the cable guy climbing the pole in the corner of the neighbor’s yard that you held my hands and walked barefoot through the grass for several feet, apparently forgetting that you dislike touching it so.  Won’t be long until you’re all over the yard all on your own, not holding onto anyone or anything.

You’re still somewhat in the stranger/separation anxiety stage. Thankfully you are so happy to be with Grandma that every workday morning doesn’t involve tears upon my departure, but you often shyly lean into the shoulder of whomever is holding you if someone you’re not familiar or comfortable with approaches you.  As with all these phases, this too shall pass, and I am not ashamed to admit that I quite enjoy those snuggles, knowing you feel safe with us and will turn right to us for comfort when needed.  You do have your social moments, of course.  When we went out to eat with Grandma and Grandpa for Mother’s Day, we waited in the bar for our table to be ready, and as Grandpa carried you around to see all the things while killing the time, you got very smiley and played up your cuteness for at least one pretty girl.  When we get the timing right (soon after a second nap of the day and not too close to bedtime), you’re a delight for an early bird dinner out.

Your eating and drinking skills have advanced way past the days when I called you Stinky Milk Neck (pincer grasp, check; sippy cup, check), but now I can call you Stinky Feet Ike – when I pick up a foot and sniff it, make an EW face and tell you it’s soooo stinky! you laugh and laugh and laugh.  I’d do it all day long if it wouldn’t get old.  We try to keep baths to when they are absolutely necessary so as not to aggravate the few spots of eczema still hanging around, so they may indeed be stinky sometimes, but I often catch a whiff of your lingering baby smell and wish it could stay forever.  A couple of months ago a friend of mine came by as we were getting you ready for bed, and as she leaned in to give you a smooch on the cheek she asked in surprise how you could still smell like a newborn baby.  I’m not sure exactly how that works, but if I had to guess I would say it’s mostly due to you still breastfeeding, which I’m very happy about.  I don’t know how much longer we’ll be able to keep that going, but I will surely be sad when you begin to smell more like little boy than little baby.  I wish I could bottle up that scent and keep it close forever.

Love you so much,

Mama

Let me out!

Double Digits

Dear Baby Ike,

Two days ago you turned ten months old.  TEN!  I don’t mean to shout, but I have to emphasize it to myself somehow so I can really try to grasp it.  For some reason, going from nine months to ten seems like a big jump from mostly-baby to nearly-toddler, and I won’t even try to pretend that is easy for me to believe.  You are having no problem showing us how serious you are about the transition, though. As usual, I will catch on eventually – just in time to be dumbfounded by the next stage, I’m sure.

This month brought your second case of the sniffles.  Well, this one I actually think solidly qualified as a true cold, as you were a little more miserable than the first time around.  Between that and your first two teeth coming through, as evidenced here,

Two Teeny Tiny Teeth

you more than earned those very first couple of doses of ibuprofen. The first time you seemed to like the taste, but after that you were less cooperative, which required us to get a little creative, putting it into your applesauce or a little milk in a small bottle.  I hope that it eased your discomfort when you needed it, and I’m grateful that you haven’t had more than those two cases of illness so far in your short life.  It’s no fun at all for anyone, but I imagine that not even understanding why you feel so icky doesn’t help at all when we keep coming at your face with tissues and damp washcloths to clean up the nose faucet and try (but mostly fail) to prevent the dreaded crusty nose.  I know that there will be both colds and teeth to come that will be much harder on all of us; thankfully these initiations in each were not as awful as I probably feared as I realized they were starting.

I had just begun to think you weren’t going to bother with a true crawl before you started standing and walking, but in the past week or two I have seen you do a few deliberate “steps” up on hands and knees before reverting back to the army crawl/scoot you find so much more efficient.  You are quite the little speedster with that method, sliding along the hard floor after a toy that catches your eye or, more often, the dog’s toys or water bowl.  You’re getting to be such a  little explorer.  You’ve also pulled up to standing at the coffee table at least twice, and can stand for a second or five without support on occasion, though I don’ t think you quite realize you’re doing it yet. You will take a few awkward steps while holding onto our fingers, wobbling back and forth and giving us a tiny glimpse of your toddler days quickly approaching.

You’re continuing to develop your sense of humor, cracking up out of the blue at something I do or say.  Sometimes I can recreate it later and get more giggles, and other times you look at me like I’m just insane, which I find equally delightful.  You turn the pages of your board books for me at story time before bed and before naps on the weekends, and most of the time when we ask you, “How big is Baby Ike/Isaac?” you will lift your arms high over your head to answer “sooo big!”.  You still like to bang your hands on tables, trays, toys, or nothing, so we are working on converting that into “fives,” both high and low.  I’m thinking that will be what gets you clapping soon; patty-cake merely perplexes you so far, but peek-a-boo is still a big hit.

When I prompt you with “can you say Ma-ma?” you usually reply with either one mmmMEH/mmmmMUH/mmmmMUM or three MAs these days, and we are getting a lot more unprompted Da Da Das.  Your babbling and squealing is taking on the cadence of conversation more and more every day.  On one hand I am already wistful for the long gone days of mere coos, and on the other I am eager for the little chats about everything and nothing that are somehow just around the corner.

Love you so much, Ike.  Looking forward to what the next month and every one after has to bring!

Love,

Mama

 

Nine Months

Dear Baby Ike,

Today you are nine months old.  This weekend your paternal grandma came up to visit with us (well let’s be honest, she came to see you!), and I think she was quite blown away by how big you have gotten and how active you are now.  I am, too, frankly.  It is a little unfortunate that her visit seemed to coincide with your separation/stranger-anxiety phase, so you were a little shy with her and much preferred to have me or Daddy around while you hung out with her.  But she couldn’t stand to wait any longer to see you again, and you did have some very good playtime and peek-a-boo sessions with her, if not quite as many snuggles and hugs and kisses as I’m sure she hoped for. Next time will be better for all that, I’m sure.

According to the baby development emails that I get, this is your fortieth week of life.  I gave up counting weeks myself a while back – now I’m doing good if I can just believe the actual number of months that have passed since you were born, as they are still flying by way too fast for my taste – and I know this isn’t going to reverse itself. Given that you were born a week and a half before your due date and that you didn’t actually exist for the first two technical weeks of my pregnancy (period math – someday you may care, I think), you have now been around longer outside of me than you ever were inside me. While I know that my conflicting feelings are normal, and every mother feels this way, I am still astounded that I can be so excited over every tiny stride forward you make in your development and at the same time a little saddened that you are less and less teeny tiny every day. Of course I want you to continue growing big and strong, but at the same time I am always going to miss your newborn-baby-ness!

You are going to be crawling proper any day now, it seems.  You can go backward pretty easily, while forward is more of an army crawl-scoot hybrid at this point.  You do a lot of rocking back and forth on hands and knees, though, so I think it is going to surprise me any second now to see you motoring all around as if you’ve been doing it all your life.  You’re going to keep the dog on his toes, I can tell.

We haven’t added a whole lot to your diet in the past month, as getting you to slow down enough to drink a bottle or have a good nursing session is still a bit of a struggle what with ALL THE THINGS that need exploring and examining all the time, so we have been trying to focus on making sure you get plenty of milk.  I am very thankful that you are still nursing, even though it pretty much takes a dark-as-possible bedroom and lying down either before bedtime or naptime or right after you wake up.  Every once in a great while I actually get to cradle you while you nurse if I catch you awake but still sleepy enough, which I relish, but for the most part you will hardly tolerate it, preferring to have more space of your own for kicking and wiggling. And forget little snacks on the couch in the living room, or anywhere else – everything is just too much of a distraction for you.  But as far as new solids, carrots are going over well, as are peaches, though apples are still your favorite by far (if we don’t count Os, which is what I’ve been calling Cheer.ios).  I had lofty intentions of not giving you any grains until the one-year mark, but I failed to convey that to Grandma, and I think it would be a silly thing to be too strict about – the Os are definitely good for helping you develop your pincer grasp. Not too many of them make it to the floor anymore, much to Dexter’s dismay! But I think his day is coming, as you haven’t yet really taken much to finger foods, so you aren’t purposefully throwing things to the floor yet, either.  He’ll be really happy when you figure out how much fun that can be.

We have gotten a little bit better about a bedtime routine (about time, right?) in the past couple of months.  So long as you’re not already overtired, we now have storytime before sleepytime.  I am always amazed that, as easily distracted as you can be, you do seem to enjoy reading books.  Most nights we can get through at least two or three, depending on the length.  The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a favorite (of mine, anyway – I’m not sure if you’re really as into it as I am), and you are enthralled by the page of Goodnight Moon that has only the picture of the tiny mouse on it.  When we get to that page you usually rip the whole book out of my hands, flip it sideways, and try to eat the mouse.  I love it.  Makes me laugh every time.

Your language and communication continue to evolve.  We still get a lot of ‘ma…ma…muhhh…mehhh…MUHM!’ sounds, and the bbbbbbb motorboat sound has become a warning of sorts that you’re not too thrilled with whatever is going on at the moment – a precursor to true fussing or crying, it seems.  We are also hearing lots of Das and Nas, some Yas and Tas and Guhs (and those consonants followed by various other vowel sounds).  Lately you’ve been doing some head shaking, more of the No variety (side to side).  It doesn’t seem as though you associate it with the word no; I think it’s more just an interesting sensation for you.  You’ve also started doing this thing where you scrunch up your nose and sort of pant through it, like a tough guy face with huffing and puffing.  It’s hilarious, and you think it’s hilarious when we do it back to you, which I of course have to do every time I catch you doing it.  Grandma caught a picture of you doing it – it’s blurry but captures the expression pretty well:

IMG_0105

Last but definitely not least this month, we finally (not that I’ve been looking forward to it) have the beginnings of some TEETH!  Both your bottom middle two are peeking through.  They don’t seem to be bothering you too much, at least not constantly, but it seems like they still have a long way to go before we can say they’re fully in – and then more will quickly follow, I’m sure.  You will rarely let me put a finger in your mouth to check them out, but if you grin wide enough they are just barely visible.  Yet one more way that you are morphing right before my eyes from baby to little boy – no need to hurry on that, young man.

I can only imagine, and I do, all the fun that is right around the corner…but I am trying my hardest to stay where we are, and be present for the present, not getting too worried about what’s next. Wherever we are now is always where I want to be with you, Ike. Kisses and kisses and kisses, as I say to you while covering your still-chubby-for-now cheeks with them (good thing Mama hardly ever wears lipstick, right?).

Love,

Mama

Way Back Machine Memory Jogger

The title above is the subject line of an email my dad sent to me and my siblings a few days ago, and it is definitely apt.  The email contained two links to You.Tube videos of this crazy song, apparently from the 70s, that we found absolutely hilarious as little kids.  What can I say?  We are a bunch of weirdos.  Memories like this from my childhood are one of the many things that make me hopeful that we’ll be able to give Ike a sibling someday in the not-too-awfully-distant future, so he can have someone to share giggles and peals of laughter with, creating memories with his own family’s strange silliness.  Not to say that I’m really anywhere near ready to start taking action now toward that end, or even soon, but it serves as a reminder not to wait too long, either.  It still feels like a greedy thought to imagine another baby coming into our lives, and I don’t assume that it will definitely happen, but I am hopeful enough to allow myself to think about it from time to time.  I love the idea of Ike having a little brother or sister with whom he can someday look back on the funny things they remember from childhood.  He needs someone else who’ll “get” how weird his parents are, and thus are probably going to make them.  I would rather there not be a huge age gap between siblings, so they’ll be able to relate to one another (though I’m sure not always) but again, I know that we certainly don’t always get our druthers when it comes to family building.

Here is the video that gave me such a flashback/flash-forward (skip to the two minute mark if you want to go right to the song – but the first two minutes do contain some supreme oddness that I think is worth watching!):

Fish heads, fish heads,
Rolly-polly fish heads,
Fish heads, fish heads,
Eat them up, yum!

Fish heads, fish heads,
Rolly-polly fish heads,
Fish heads, fish heads,
Eat them up, yum!

In the morning,
Laughing happy fish heads,
In the evening,
Floating in the soup!

{Chorus}

Ask a fish head
Anything you want to,
They won’t answer,
They can’t talk!

{Chorus}

I took a fish head
Out to see a movie,
Didn’t have to pay
To get it in!

{Chorus}
They can’t play baseball,
They don’t wear sweaters,
They’re not good dancers,
They don’t play drums!

{Chorus}

Rolly-polly fish heads
Are never seen drinking cappicino
In Italian resturaunts,
With Oriental women, yeah!

{Chorus x four}

Yeah.

(Link)

I am still laughing at “they don’t wear sweaters, they aren’t good dancers….”

What oddball things from your childhood would you like to pass along to your own child(ren)?  Do you share certain things with your sibling(s), if you have them, that instantly have you laughing, but would make no sense to anyone else?

Seven Months

Dear Baby Ike,

I hardly know where to start this month.  You turned seven months old this past Friday, and while I know this letter won’t capture anywhere near all of the amazement I have in your development in the last month, I need to get it posted now or before I can blink you will be eight months already!  You are doing so many new things and there aren’t enough hours in the days for me to properly sop up all your deliciousness and also function as an adult human.  I gladly sacrifice the functioning part, frankly.  A lot of the time I know I am leaving a lot of quasi-important, household-y things completely undone, but for the most part I don’t care at all.  It’s quite difficult to convince myself that I should do anything at all instead of hanging out with you, feeding you, playing with you, or snuggling you.  This often means that I also neglect to do things like cut your fingernails and toenails, because I have such a hard time forcing myself to do something that I know will frustrate you and make you upset (and yet I’m also loathe to try doing it while you’re alseep, because I know you need that sleep and I don’t want to wake you up accidentally!)  Good thing Grandma is happy to help out on that task as well.  Otherwise you’d have talons probably literally inches long sometimes!

Going to work five days a week makes me feel like I am missing SO MUCH of your cuteness, which is getting dangerously cuter by the day.  Grandma got some awesome pictures of you in the bathtub at her house the other day, and I can’t wait until she sends them to me. I love it when she gets her camera out so I can feel like I get to catch up on at least a sliver of the fun you have with her all week. You really do keep her on her toes, and you’re not even actually mobile yet.  I know she loves being with you so often (but she could probably stand it if you gave her a break with a real nap now and then).

Speaking of sleep, we have been mostly cosleeping for a while now (three months?  I don’t even know anymore), as it seems most logical that neither of us has to really get up out of bed to have your dream feeds.  I know I should probably be working harder to get you used to sleeping in your crib, but again, it’s very hard to care right now.  It seems silly to put effort into putting you down for the night farther away from me than you need to be.  You will only be small for a short time, and this time of being a baby is getting shorter all the time, so I don’t think I will look back and regret being able to cuddle you close after you drift off to sleep.  Waking in the night with you can be exhausting, but I treasure it at the same time.  A couple of times now you have woken up in the morning and fussed for a bit without actually opening your eyes first, and then you eventually open them, continuing to fuss a little, not realizing that I am right there in the bed next to you.  When you do notice that I’m there, your face breaks into the biggest, most joyful smile I have ever seen, and my heart bursts into a million pieces right there on the spot.  It makes me long for the technology of a camera implanted right in my brain so I could simply blink and try to capture that feeling and never ever let it go.  I suppose I might get the same kind of smiles coming in to pick you up out of the crib in the mornings, but it’s so nice to be able to lay my face down right next to yours and just drink in the sweetness that is you.  I have never in my life been this close to being a morning person, but you really do give me endless things to look forward to, day after day.

You’ve now tasted several different solid foods:  avocado, sweet potato, green peas, and bananas (I feel like I may be forgetting one right now).  At first you didn’t seem to really be liking the tastes of these things, if the hilarious faces you make are any indication, but you do like the act of eating, grabbing the spoon and putting it in your own mouth.  I think you’re slowly starting to actually like the food itself, at least sometimes.  Next on the list to try are pears and apples, and who knows what else.  There are still many, many tastes that will be brand new to you; it is so exciting to me to think about seeing your face and reaction to new foods.  I am also relieved that you’re still nursing.  Now that you’re not exclusively breastfed, I will admit to living in a little fear of the day that you decide to wean.  As thrilling as it is to watch you grow and develop, I am nowhere near ready to be done with your babyhood.  Thankfully we still have a little ways to go!

You continue to add different sounds to your repertoire of baby babble.  Lately I hear a lot of “buh-wuh” and “bwuh” though I don’t think it means anything in particular yet.  Still lots of MEH and MUH, sometimes repeated so it gets awfully close to ‘Mama,’ which I of course love to hear.  The more I hear you making recognizable sounds, the easier it becomes to picture you actually talking, though that is still a ways off yet.  I can imagine your little voice singing songs and telling jokes and asking for things that you want and telling me what you think about all kinds of things, and I just can’t believe how lucky we are that we get to have you in our lives, doing all these normal things that to us will be clear strokes of genius, every time.

You’re not crawling yet, and I haven’t seen you roll from back to belly yet either, but in addition to rolling from tummy to back you now also scootch in circles when we put you down on your belly, so you’re definitely working hard on the pre-crawling skills.  It’s starting to become more concretely imaginable that we’ll be chasing you all over the house soon – we have a lot (read:  ALL) of babyproofing yet to do!

I love you so much, my little Sugar Butt.  I never thought I would be the kind of mother to make up ridiculously obnoxious nicknames for her kid like that, but you have really turned me into a different person, and I absolutely love being that goofy, baby-obsessed mother that I never thought I’d have a chance to be.  I’m definitely a great big silly fool for you, Isaac.

Love always,

Mama

Six Months

Dear Baby Ike,

Yesterday you turned six months old, and on Monday you had your six-month checkup with the pediatrician.  You now weigh a whole 17 lbs. and 9 oz., and you’re 25 and a half inches tall.  You’ve done so many new things this past month, I can hardly keep up!  You really love it when we make a zzzzipzzzipzzzzzzip sound as we zip up your sleepers (snaps are seriously inferior for getting-dressed entertainment).  You’re sitting up on your own now, which threw me for a loop because I expected you to roll over before you sat up – wrong, Mama!  You clearly do things on your own timeline, as all babies should.  Just the other day, Grandma said that you rolled over in stages, starting on your belly, then hanging out on your side for a bit playing with a toy, then eventually flipped the rest of the way over onto your back.  And this morning you did it without all the pauses between stages, twice in a row.  You tolerate a whole lot more tummy time before you get mad about it these days.  You’re almost mobile…which is a whole new world of parenting for your father and me.  I doubt we’re ready, but as always we’ll try to catch up quickly.

You’re babbling all kinds of sounds now, becoming quite the little conversationalist.  I’ve heard Gs and Bs and Ws and Ms and many more.  You still love doggies, and get so excited when Grandpa and Maggie do their little obstacle course in which he lies on the carpet and she runs around and jumps over him, and you don’t mind when Dexter tries to make you his popsicle.  Your squeals of delight are the best music my ears have ever had the privilege of hearing.  You love to stand on our laps and jump and jump and jump up and down, laughing and yelling.  I know there’s a Jumperoo in your future, thanks to your Grandma on Daddy’s side.  She and Grandpa are coming up from Alabama on Saturday, and I know they cannot wait to see you. Skype is great, but they don’t yet know the force of your current cuddles since you’ve gotten so much bigger than the last time they saw you.

For quite a while now you have shown keen interest in food when you see people eating, recently adding a sort of practice chew to your repertoire  but we held out and waited until yesterday to give you your first solids – starting with avocado.  I think that you did like it, because you kept eating it, but the faces you made were hilariously indicative of displeasure all the same, complete with an emphatic and perfectly-timed blehhhhh sound at one point that cracked everyone up. You are too hilarious right now, sometimes I can hardly stand it. This eating thing opens up a whole new world for you to explore, and I can’t believe how lucky I am to be one of the people who get to guide you through it.  I have so much fun with you; I still can’t get enough of your chubby little smiles and sweet little snuggles.  I’m sure I’m probably forgetting some milestones (oh!  passing toys from one hand to the other – I didn’t know that was kind of a big deal, but apparently it is) but suffice it to say that you continue to amaze me with every little thing you do.  I know that most people probably will not agree because they think the same of their own babies or the babies in their lives, but I’ll tell you a (not so) secret:  we think you’re the best. baby. evah.

Love,
Mama