Today you are six months old. That still hasn't really sunk in. I keep thinking about when you were a newborn, with scrawny (!) legs, and we were waiting for you to do things like smile and grasp a toy if we put it in your hands. And now you're so BIG, and not just physically.
This whole month has felt like one long developmental explosion for you. It started when you figured out how to say some consonants--specifically ba and ma but sometimes also la and pa--and also began noticing and getting upset when you lost a toy or your dad or I left the room. You love toys, or really anything you can grab on your own and then alternately stuff in your mouth or bang on the nearest surface, and if we hold one in front of you we are rewarded with a giant grin and an attempted grab. The flip side is that when you drop the toy out of reach, there is a moment of stunned silence followed by total dissolving into tears. We are constantly impressed by your fine motor skills--many times we've observed you reaching for a far-away toy that we're sure you won't be able to pick up, only to see you carefully pull it closer and then wrap your fingers around it and put it straight into your mouth.
You've also gotten much better at sitting up on your own this month. You can do it for several minutes at a time, or sometimes indefinitely, until we pick you up. You've started to figure out how to not just sit until you lose your balance, but also maintain your balance if you start to lean. We've watched you catch yourself if you start to fall, and also lean very far forward to pick something up and then straighten back up on your own. Of course sometimes you still tip over, or occasionally pitch yourself backward, but not nearly as much as before.
You've become much more interactive this month. You have a real grown-up-sounding chuckle and screech of laughter and you do it all the time. You've started enjoying peekaboo--you stare intently at our hands when we cover our faces, and when we pull them aside and say "peekaboo!" you blink in surprise and then give us a huge smile or occasionally even a laugh. You like to grab our faces and sometimes you pull us toward you and press your mouth against our faces in a way that seems very much like you are trying to give us a kiss. You laugh hysterically when we kiss you, and you also like to pat and stare at other babies. One day we walked by someone with a seven-month-old when we were out in the neighborhood, and when you caught sight of the other baby you just started laughing. You also smile at yourself in the mirror and reach out to pat your reflection.
We tried out solid foods with you again this month, and it went much better than the previous attempt. You have tried and clearly enjoyed oat cereal, carrots, squash, peas, green beans, sweet potatoes, and pears. I'm pretty sure you would eat nothing but pears ever again if we let you, but overall you don't seem to be too picky, at least not yet. However, you made it clear that you were not a fan of avocado by retching and then actually making yourself throw up, and you don't seem to like zucchini, either. We also aren't sure of your opinion on brown rice quite yet. But we'll keep trying. So far you've only eaten cereal and purees, but I'm planning to talk to your pediatrician at your appointment this week about starting some finger foods and seeing how you do.
By far your biggest development this month has been your rolling. You've been rolling front to back for a few months now, but this month you figured out how to roll back to front, and with the combination of those two things, you're suddenly mobile. You will happily spend an hour or more rolling from one side of the living room to the other. You roll over to grab for things that are out of reach, you try to roll over during diaper changes, and you roll over in your crib. We still put you to sleep on your back but in the last week or so we've come in to check on you several times only to discover you sleeping peacefully on your belly.
Just in the last week or so, you've started imitating sounds. So far the only one you can do successfully is "ba." Your dad or I will say "baba" to you and you will stare at our mouths for a second before saying softly, "Beh. Beh." You have such a loud voice most of the time but when you're "talking" in response to us you have this sweet little baby voice that just slays me with cuteness. You also try to imitate other sounds but so far they either come out as spitting, sticking out your tongue, or a "ba" sound.
You are still growing like nuts. We won't get your official measurements until your pediatrician appointment later this week, but our unofficial home measurements have you at well over 28 inches long and close to 24 pounds. You're the size of an average one-year-old, fully in size 12-18 month clothing, and your dad and I are developing sore arms from hauling you around. I wonder if now that you're rolling so much, and getting relatively close to crawling, your growth will finally taper off the way people have been telling me it will for months now. You also continue to sleep well. You seemed to regress slightly last month, but you've been back to sleeping through the night (knock on wood) for a few weeks now. Your latest thing is to take just one massive, 2.5- or 3-hour nap in the middle of the day, then go down for the night around 8 and sleep for 12 hours or so. This is a pretty big change from your previous schedule, but if you decide to stick with it, we certainly will not be complaining. You've more or less outgrown your swing at this point, but luckily the transition to napping in the crib has been relatively painless for all of us.
You had a lot of firsts this month. First baseball game. First fireworks. First vacation, and first road trip. First hike and first swim. And you've adapted great to all of it. You are just such an easygoing baby; as long as your basic needs are met, you are more than willing to go with the flow. We can take you to new places with tons of stimulation, keep you out late, and you will just roll with it. You exude a sense of confidence that I find surprising for a six-month-old. I wouldn't think of "self-confident" as a term to describe babies, usually, but it's one of the first words that comes to mind when I look at you.
You are still absolutely obsessed with your daddy. You love to sit on his lap and have a conversation with him, where he talks to you in German and you shriek and babble back at him. You also display a surprising fascination with books--you will happily let us read to you for ages, and look right at the book and grab at the pages as we read the words.
You've also started displaying much more of an interest in Montana this month. With the advent of solid foods, she's become more interested in you too, and will come near you when you're eating and even try to lick your hands when she sees the chance. You watch her all the time, whenever she's in the room. When you hear her you turn around to get a better look, and wherever she goes, your eyes follow her. When she comes near, you twist in all directions to try to get your hand on her. I know you're just touching her the way you like to touch everything, but I like to think of it as petting. And it really does look like you're petting her when you bury your fingers in her fur or stroke her ears.
The first half-year of your life has been an absolutely amazing, wonderful experience. I'm one of those very verbal people who is hardly ever at a loss for words--but when I look at you and think about everything you do and are, I am just overwhelmed in a way that can't be articulated. You're only six months old but you are already so very YOU, and we feel so very lucky that we get to be the ones to raise you. We love living with you and getting to know you. And we love getting to know the family that the three of us have become.
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