Today you turn six months old. Happy half birthday! It’s hard to believe it has already been half a year. Time just goes by so fast. You are such an amazing child and you make each day more enjoyable simply with your presence. It’s like you radiate happiness. Just yesterday we were driving in the car and Ana was making faces at you and you were giggling hysterically. Your dad and I exchanged a smile and I said I was pretty sure that was the most amazing sound I have ever heard.
You are truly aware of the world around you now. This has its advantages… and its disadvantages. You are very easily distracted, so it’s harder to nurse you. We often have to be alone in a quiet room before you give up and realize there isn’t anything more important going on and finally settle down to eat. At the same time, you are easily distractible. If you happen to get upset, we can calm you down pretty quickly by handing you a toy or an object you haven’t seen before.
When noticing things around you, you are particularly keen on things of mine. Anything in my hands you instantly try to grab: my phone, my keys, my water bottle. You name it. I assume you want to know what is so interesting about it that I have hand selected it and you immediately try to steal it to figure it out. You are also very fond of my jewelry. You grab, twist, and pull on my necklaces and on several occasions I have caught you turning yourself into a pretzel trying to chew on my watch.
But putting everything in your mouth is an important developmental milestone. You are figuring out the way things taste and feel, and at the same time you are probably getting some relief from the discomfort of teething. You don’t have any visible teeth yet, but you chomp down on just about anything you can get your chubby little hands on, so I am sure it’s only a matter of time!
Speaking of putting everything in your mouth, in the last few days you finally accomplished a task that you have been aspiring to achieve for weeks: you got your foot in your mouth. As any mothers of a well-rounded baby knows, this is no small feat (Ha! I almost just wrote “feet!”)! You noticed your tootsies a couple weeks ago and ever since then you have been reaching for them, grabbing and watching them just slip away. But once you got a good grip and were finally able to make contact with your mouth you looked at me like, “Did you know I could do this?!” Yes, yes I did. Chew on, baby girl.
Your interests do go beyond what you can put in your mouth. You have a very obvious appreciation for music. It soothes you when nothing else can. When I am in the middle of my Stroller Strides class and you are D-O-N-E being in the stroller, I can often calm you down by singing you a lullaby. Ana is aware of this as well and I have found her making up songs for you when you are fussy or upset. In fact, the other day she decided to share the music on her iPhone with you and let you wear her headphones for awhile. You weren’t quite sure what was going on, but you liked it!
Spring is desperately trying to arrive in Portland and with it comes glimpses of the sun. But for you, my fair-skinned, blue-eyed baby, this isn’t always the best thing. I hate seeing you flinch away when the sun blinds you, so the other day I picked up a pair of adorable baby sunglasses. You thought they were hilarious! You even kept them on for quite awhile before you managed to pull them off your face… and promptly decided to chew on them instead.
A couple weeks ago you were sitting on the Boppy on my lap after a feeding and you pushed yourself back in such a way that you ended up hanging upside down. Thinking you just lost control of your balance, I quickly righted you only to have you flip yourself right back into that position. Everything was instantly different and you were delighted in your accomplishment. But who am I to blame you for occasionally wanting a fresh perspective in life?!
I have a handful of friends who all had babies (daughters even!) around the same time you were born and we have finally gotten around to having a few baby play dates recently. Mostly it’s us mamas comparing stories and commiserating about 3am feedings, while you kiddos lay near each other on the floor but you are slowly starting to become more aware of each other. Now you are only staring, smiling, or even squawking at your tiny friends, but before long you are going to be whispering about boys and trying on each others clothes.
Last weekend we drove up to Mt. Hood Skibowl to get in a final day of tubing in the snow. You have been doing so much better entertaining yourself in the car, that we didn’t even hesitate about bringing you along. And I was so happy we did. We bundled you up (though it was such a nice day, we were peeling off the layers before too long!) and let you take in the amazing scenery, the fresh air, and the endless parade of people flying down the mountain on inner tubes. You were laughing at your sister’s giggles and squeals as she rode down the steep hill over and over again. I even set you down in the snow and watched you feel it with your fingertips and saw the delight in your eyes as you explored this new icy sensation.
Oh, Hadley. I love you so much. You are beautiful, intelligent, inquisitive, and loving. I could go on and on listing endless adjectives describing what a wonderful child you are, but the most important thing is that you are mine and I get to cherish every single one of the traits you are and look forward to discovering the ones you will become.
All my love,