Happy half birthday, little lady! Plus one week because Momma has had no time to sit down and write your letter. Life is certainly busy these days. But, oh, so wonderful.
You are such an active and attentive little peanut! You are always on the move, and it’s become impossible to keep things out of your reach. You squirm and scoot across the floor to get to Sam’s cars or Lucy’s bone, and that pretty vase of flowers is no longer safe on the kitchen table.
You sit straight up and out of your bouncy seat, and you arch your back as soon as I loosen the straps on your car seat. You easily bounce and spin in your jumperoo, and you are able to turn complete circles while laying on your belly in the pack’n’play. You also now ride like a big girl in the stroller and the grocery cart!
You can sit without assistance for several minutes, but you usually spot something across the room and topple over to get to it.
As active as you are, though, you seem to be less destructive than Sam was at this age. Your movements are more graceful, and your grasp is more gentle. Perhaps it is your petite size, or just that feminine touch.
You got two teeth this month! Both on the bottom. The first popped up totally unannounced, and the second wasn’t far behind. So that explains all the drooling and the constant need to have something in your mouth. Of course, most things still end up there. You are especially fond of napkins, washcloths, tags, and the nylon belt used to buckle you into your high chair.
Speaking of your highchair, you’ve been spending much more time there this month. You never took much interest in purees — you would purse your lips together every time I tried to give you a spoonful. So towards the end of the month, we gave baby-led weaning a try. I put a slice of pear on your tray, and you reached for it right away. It was a bit slippery, so I helped to guide it to your mouth, and you started sucking on it immediately.
As expected, you love food much more now that you are in control! Since that first slice of pear, you have also had roasted carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash; avocado; roasted apples with cinnamon; watermelon, cantaloup, and honeydew; banana pancakes; pasta and cheese; and lemons (!!). You also love to play with Cheerios while I prep our meals. It’s amazing how quickly you have learned to grasp and guide and release bites into your mouth. And you get so angry if I take the food away before you’re finished!
Most of your meals still end up in the pocket of your bib, or on the floor (Lucy doesn’t mind!), but a surprising amount gets ingested, as is evident by the new surprises in your diaper.
While we’re on the subject of eating, let’s talk about the bottle. You absolutely refuse to take it! Mommy had to spend a night away from you this month while celebrating Auntie Laura’s bachelorette party. We “practiced” several days leading up to that weekend, and you screamed every time the bottle touched your lips. I figured you would take it if you were hungry enough, but I was wrong. Nini tried everything, and even resorted to giving you spoonfuls of my milk and sips from a tiny shot glass. It was awful, and it broke my Mommy heart to see you so distressed (and likely a bit dehydrated) when I returned on Sunday morning. Needless to say, I will NOT be leaving you again anytime soon.
Another cause for anxiety this month came after your six-month visit with the doctor. The doc heard a “clicking” in your hips and instructed us to take you for an x-ray to rule out hip dysplasia. Of course, I was a nervous wreck waiting for the results, but I am so very thankful that the tests came back normal.
In fact, you are a very healthy and happy baby girl. You weighed 13 lbs 9 oz (9th percentile) and measured 27 inches (89th percentile) at your appointment. Even though you are still so long and lean, I swear I’ve noticed little rolls and dimples on your legs. And you still have those chubby cheeks that I have loved since the day you were born!
Sleep was quite a struggle this month. Prior to our 10-day trip to Dover and during it, you were waking up between 4 and 6 times every night. And I almost always had to nurse you back to sleep. We were both exhausted! So as soon as we got home, we got a little more strict with nighttime sleep. It took just two nights of listening to you cry before you figured out how to self soothe. It helped that I also stopped swaddling you, which means you can now grab your WubbaNub and put it back in your mouth. You still wake up between 2am and 4am to eat, and I am totally fine with that. I’m just grateful for a few more solid hours of sleep.
Naps have only gotten slightly better, however. I’m lucky if you get a total of two hours throughout the day — usually dispersed among several cat naps. When we’re home all day (which is rare), I put you down around 10am and again at 1pm. You do so much better on this schedule, it’s just nearly impossible to stick to it right now. So I’ll keep taking what I can get — in the car, in my arms, or in your crib.
One of my absolute favorite things is watching you interact with Big Brother Sam. You just adore him. You give him the sweetest smiles and watch him with such curiosity. You’re both learning to “play” together, and I can’t wait to see the things he will teach you! Sometimes, of course, he still likes to roar like a dinosaur in your face. But you have gotten much better at “yelling” back. You certainly let him know if he’s bothering you, or if he’s squeezing your hand too tight.
You’ve also started to pay more attention to Lucy and usually try to grab fistfuls of her fur. Poor puppy is going to be outnumbered very soon!
Nora, you are such a doll, and you make our lives so much fuller. We love you, sweetheart!