Wednesday, March 2, 2011

month six

Dear Luke,

Last night, I watched you sleep. Your tiny little mouth, curled in to a kiss. Your tiny little nose, pink and perfect. Your chubby little cheeks, so squishy and kissable. I actually started to cry, the sight of you made me so happy. I love that I get to love you for a whole lifetime. I love that you are ours to spoil. Forever.

In 6 (*Gregorian) months, you have learned how to eat cereal from a spoon, grab toys with your hands, kick the shit out of your toy gym, turn your aquarium on all by yourself, stick your tongue out, suck on your hands, grab your feet, blow raspberries, squeal, babble, scream, and use Sophie Giraffe as a wrecking ball to anything in her path.

*Your daddy likes to talk about the Gregorian calendar (because he's a huge nerd) and how annoyingly unscientific it is. It is important to note that while some months have 30 days and some have 31 (and then there's this one month that has anywhere from 28-29 days based on something called "leap year"), we choose to celebrate your milestones on the 3rd day of each month because (frankly) it's easier. And while daddy certainly has an opinion (and a very well-crafted argument) for why your age would be more accurate if we had 13 months with an equal number of days in each, I felt very strongly that we should just stop counting how many weeks old you were after you turned 1 month (and I'm sorry, but those people who keep counting months after 1 year are just obnoxious. Nobody wants to do math when you tell them how old your kid is. Just say "he's 1" and be done with it.) So this little side-note is just to prepare you for the fact that your parents are huge nerds with really strong opinions about seemingly random topics. Just wait until daddy shows you the financial spreadsheets and mommy shows you how to diagram a sentence! You are in for some good times, kiddo.

It seems like a lifetime ago that I was getting up to feed you every 2 hours and cheering you on as you nursed a 2 oz bottle...frequently falling asleep before you could finish. Now you are a big boy and you waste no time with that 5 oz bottle and immediately cry when it's all gone. (note to self: try feeding him 6 oz at night, genius)

I still love our night-time feedings, but I'm proud to say that they are becoming less frequent. You have decided you just need one feeding per night (at exactly 4am on the button) and we have it down to a science. You cry for your bottle, I stumble in to your room, I shake your pre-measured formula in to your pre-measured bottle and I attempt to place your burp-rag somewhere under your chin as you wiggle and scream in agony at the FOREVER you have been waiting for this bottle. It takes a good 7 minutes before you're sucking air and when I tip you up, you burp like a college freshman in a beer-guzzling contest. You look at me in the dark with your giant, black eyeballs and you give me a wry smile that absolutely melts my heart. I lay you back down with a kiss on the cheek and you look over at your aquarium for your late night show. I am back in bed exactly 15 minutes from when I first got up, and I lay quietly in the dark - listening to you squeal with delight at your jumping dolphin and smiling polar bear - thinking about how cute you are and how lucky I am to be your mama.

Speaking of "mama", I try every day to make you say it. You concentrate so hard on the sound as I repeat it to you over and over, but all that comes out of your mouth is a long, loud squeal that sounds remarkably the same every time, but nothing like "mama". It makes you smile to hear me say "mama" and I think my heart will literally explode when you actually repeat it. My hope is that you won't say it to the babysitter before you say it to me.

Your babysitter's name is Emily and she's pretty fantastic. She was sick a few weeks ago and your friend Evelyn had pneumonia, so you had to stay with a series of friends/family members until Evelyn was all better. You stayed with Nana Beth on the first day, and that's when we heard rumors of you rolling over. Nobody actually saw you do it, but Nana said it happened twice. She walked out of the room for a second, and when she came back in, you were on your tummy - screaming bloody murder. Daddy and I have yet to see this new trick of yours, but we hope every night that "this is it!  he's gonna do it!" On Tuesday, you hung out with Shannon and the girls at our house. Shannon took pictures of you (and your amazing blue eyes) while the girls sang songs that made you smile. On Wednesday, you went to Kelly, Evie and Allie's house. Apparently you made Allie miss her bottles (which she donated to you) and it was a bit of a rough day for her (but Kelly said you were perfect, of course). On Thursday, your Uncle Chad spent the day with you and he now has a very funny story about changing your diaper and "drying you off" that he'll have to share with you some day - probably during a speech at your wedding. And on Friday, you got to spend the WHOLE DAY with your Nana Bev and Papa Wayne. They flew all the way from Houston just to see you (and hold you and kiss you and feed you and change you and play with you and spoil you...) I can say for certain that nobody in the world was ever quite so excited to become grandparents as your nana and papa. They love you SO much. We all do, buddy. You've changed us all.

As of now, your most impressive trick is spinning yourself in a circle while laying on your back. You do this under your toy gym and you do this in your crib. Very often, daddy and I find you perpendicular to your mattress, kicking the crap out of your aquarium
to make your dolphin jump. You LOVE that aquarium! I don't know how you figured it out (other than "kicking makes the music play") but you can turn it on all by yourself! The buttons aren't even that big, but they all play music and they glow a soft blue light that calms you down instantly - which is awesome because the thing that USED to work like a charm was your binky. You loved that binky!  You just made a really valid point one day as you took two little sucks and spit it clear across the room. Clearly it did not provide food, so what was the point? Rather than long for the days when it used to comfort and calm you, we simply stopped offering it to you (but not before I pondered the idea of a semi-humane device that could permanently strap it to your face). I just had way too many close-calls trying to fish it out of your car seat while driving down the highway with one hand, swearing that you intentionally spit it over your left shoulder, and buried it under your blanket. Besides, nothing could come close to the deliciousness of your two fascinating hands your SUPER AMAZING FEET!!!!

Oh, my goodness!  Your feet!  Even if your enthusiasm sometimes gets in the way of an efficient diaper change, I just love to watch you grab your little legs and stare at those long, wiggly toes. You inspect them thoroughly and then slam them down to kick the bejeezus out of your changing pad with a delightful little squeal. Fortunately, you're not sticking those feet in your mouth yet (which makes me gag just reading that sentence) but I know the day will come. And I'll have to get over it. (p.s. mommy has a bit of a foot phobia.) Sometimes we catch you staring at your hand like you've never seen it before. You hold it up in the air and you turn your little wrist around like it's part of an acid-induced hallucination, then suddenly something snaps and you snatch that hand with the other one and shove it straight in to your mouth. It's fun to watch you discover your little baby hand at a time. 

You've begun to drool a little bit, which immediately signaled my brain to construct freaky nightmares of a dragon baby who sprouted 47 razor sharp teeth overnight. I always thought that drool meant baby teeth were on their way, so I caused some unnecessary panic in the house one night when you started (inexplicably) screaming. I just assumed you were in horrible (tooth-related) pain so I quickly gathered up all of the teethers I could find (ripping open packages and shoving them in the freezer) while your dad read all of the parenting books we had about teething and how you're not supposed to freeze the teethers or give babies medication because it doesn't actually help dull the pain. Turns out, you weren't sprouting any dragon teeth that night. You were just mad. Or bored. Or poopy. Or tired. Or you just wanted to see what would happen if you made that sound. 

But one thing is for certain, Luke. If you ever scream like that again - we promise to frantically run around the house and try our best to fix it. Even if we can't.

You love to kick your legs and you are SO FREAKING STRONG!  I'm surprised you don't have little bruises on the backs of your heels, the way you smack them down on the floor, the tub, the car seat, and your parents. You love to kick, but you especially love to kick in the bath tub! Water splashes you right in the face and you don't even flinch. You squeal and kick and throw your little fists in the water in quick little bursts of energy - then you stop and smile to see if we noticed. Yeah. We noticed.

One good thing about your baths - other than the fact that they keep you awake for an extra hour in the evening (which we seriously need to discuss, by the way. Luke...6pm is when OLD people go to sleep. Any chance you could aim for a more reasonable 7pm? 7:30? You sleep so much longer in the morning when you don't go down before the sun) but your baths are really fun now because you actually have a little bit of hair!  It's really blonde and you can only see it from certain angles, but it's there! So instead of just putting some soap on a washcloth and polishing your bald little noggin, we're actually washing your hair! It's adorable.

Tomorrow, we are leaving you for the very first time. Overnight. Your daddy and I are going on a ski trip with some friends to celebrate my birthday. I have no idea how to be away from you for one night, let alone 5 days. What am I going to do without your chubby little cheeks to chew on every day? Sometimes I pick you up and I swear you've gained a whole pound overnight. After 5 days, you're going to look like a completely different baby. 

Sometimes your daddy and I just stare at you and smile. We want you to stay little forever, but we can't wait to find out who you're going to become. You make us so proud. You're our little bug and we love you so much.

Happy 6 months, baby!