my strong, stubborn, happy, squeaky, delightful child…I start this letter as I do most, by telling you that Month Six of your life has been my favorite! You are DEEPLY, DEEPLY loved. And adored. You are exquisite. I am in awe of you….your wonder, your curiosity, your ability at such a young age to know exactly what you want and to fight like hell to get it!
May you ALWAYS always possess that trait!
You are a good little boy, more boy than baby really. I am proud as hell to be your mama and love every day that I get to see the world from your eyes. Everything is amazing, isn’t it? It’s been a reawakening of sorts for me to RE-learn, if you will, what and where beauty and joy and imagination can be found. That yummy yellow leaf you put in your mouth isn’t just dirty, it’s downright amazing to you….so, to me, it means seeing more than the bugs and choking hazard but also the possibility if may hold for you. Will it taste good? Is it soft? What’s this sound it makes?
I thank you for blessing my life, for making our little family so happy. To think that a year ago in this October month, we were celebrating a family wedding in Chicago. I walked the streets of Michigan Avenue staring at families, wondering what you would be like, how you would change our lives. As I breathed the Fall air then, my belly just taking shape, I remember promising to myself to continue this blog for you, so that you may always know how utterly in love with you I am, was and will always be.
Reeve, this month I am certain that you are MY child. Not only do you look like me (see THIS post) but I’ll be damned if it isn’t already completely obvious that you have my personality. You are stubborn, you are vocal, you are ornery as can be and you are constantly in motion.
At times, I worry that we should call the doctor to get you a prescription for Restless Leg Syndrome. THEY NEVER STOP KICKING. In the highchair, they kick the whole time you eat. In the carseat you think you are running as you look out the window and see the world going by. In your Exersaucer you are up and down and up and down so fast that Daddy says he wonders at times if you could just hit the ceiling. Man, you jump in that thing like I have never seen a kid do. It’s like you just have all of this energy and want to GO GO GOooooooo! I thought about making you a Road Runner costume for Halloween…man, I hope that energy parlays into speed someday when we start grooming you to play sports professionally. 🙂
This month EVERYTHING goes into your mouth. I worry that I will turn around and find you munching on a Hannah poop that has fallen off of her. You can grab the tiniest of things off of the carpet, hand-eye coordination is stellar, ability to determine what should and shouldn’t be consumed is not so great. You inspect everything with the diligence of a scientist and try to fit it in there sideways, upside down, or however you think it may fit.
You are loving every solid food I introduce to you, although the first attempt of everything guarantees a funny face. I despise peas, gross..the smell, the mushiness…you LOVE them! Your dinner has more color to it than ours, bright orange, neon greens, purples….it inspires us to eat more fruits and veggies as a result and, in fact, I ate my first every butternut squash this month! YUM!!! Thanks, Bubby, for teaching me too! At your 6 month checkup, I was taking bets on what you weighed b/c you were noticeably heavier. Kirk guessed 18 pounds, I guessed 20, my mom guessed 21…WRONG!!! My long, skinny baby came in at a hearty 16 pounds. Your belly has taken to looking quite round and plump and we were certain you were a heavyweight…Nope!
This month your hair is getting lighter and lighter. It’s also very fuzzy on the back of your head and may even be curly. The long pieces in the front have a tendency to part in the middle making you look like Teddy Roosevelt! THat would’ve been another good costume! Shoot! I can still see which hair strands are the original from when you were born, those hairs are long over your hear.
You LOVE Hannah. REPEAT. YOU LOVE HANNAH! First thing every morning, after we bring you to our bed, feed you and you acknowledge Daddy with you tongue, you crane and twist your neck to find that creature. I pat the bed, let her jump up and you are SO happy! You have taken to grabbing her fur and pulling, resulting only once at her nipping at you. She loves you too! THe sign language word for “dog” is to pant like a dog. It’s funny when you are an adult, but as a baby you think it’s hilarious. Sometimes I think you are doing it when you are looking for her, but I am not sure if you are or if I am imagining it. I can tell you two are future partners in crime. She isn’t quite sure what your purpose is yet, she only knows you disrupted her calm and quiet life and that you are an excellent source of dropped food. She licks your hands and face and you scrunch your face and turn your head, but then always go back for more.
You now have three teeth. Two on the bottom and the tip of a top one poking out. Those teeth will be the death of me. Or my nipple that is. You cannot seem to understand a Firm NO and bit me so hard this month it left a bruise. You also have bitten my shoulder, my arm and love to bit on my clothes. Teething isn’t something that is so horrible yet. You have a small cold right now and that seems to bother you worse than getting a tooth. I can tell when they are bothering you only b/c you suck on your lip when it hurts. You love to suck on the popsicle mesh thingie that we put fruit cubes in.
Breastfeeding is still going well. We have made it 7 months and are more than halfway to a year. I get a little sad when I think about you not doing it anymore. There are, however, times I wish it were just over with. Lately your memory has made breastfeeding quite difficult. On the floor beside your chair that I rock you in is a sound machine with a blue light on it. You found it one day while squirming around and, almost 2 weeks later, have not forgotten it. You try to find that damn blue light every time you eat. You have a memory like an elephant!
You are a chatterbox. Babbling away, everything sounds like DaDa…which is the word we practice the most. I like to put my finger in and out of your wet, gooey mouth making you sound like an Indian, you think it’s so funny. You also use your hands to bang the highchair tray for MORE and to grab my necklace, hair, face…sometimes you simply open and close your mouth, making no sounds, and I think you are trying to hard to speak.
Your belly is ticklish this month. I blow on it, kiss it, tickle it and evoke the biggest laugh of your life. I have about 58 thirty-second videos of it if you would like to see. 🙂
You still fart more than any baby I have ever know. Mostly when you are lying on your belly and the pressure forces them out, but also in any quiet setting where we are around strangers like Story Hour, which you love. We try to go 3 times a week, but it’s hard to get out of the house at 9am to do so. You love the stupid songs we sing, the bright and colorful playmat that all of the germ-infested and puked on baby dolls lay on, and the other babies. I love it too. I love sitting you on my lap and instilling in you the importance of books.
The only thing I don’t like about Story Hour is how it’s the only time I get to compare you to other babies. Just today I noticed that 2 babies who looked about your age were crawling. You can’t even sit up on your own yet! I found out they were a whole month younger than you and I got obsessed in worrying about your development. I just can’t put you down long enough for you to really learn how to sit and so we worked on it all day. You sit better for daddy than you do for me. I think there is a correlation between wanting to be held by mommy and not sitting. I swear you will walk before you crawl though. You love to stand up (with our help of course) and bounce!!! If we sit behind you or support you, you can hold yourself up for about 10 seconds, and crawling isn’t far behind sitting. You still roll in circles to get where you want, but we know it’s any day now. Hopefully when we return from Hawaii and not on the beach.
You have a new vocabulary this month. I have found myself telling you “NO” quite often. No biting. No scratching. No pulling mama’s hair. No chewing. No pulling Hannah’s hair. No screaming. It’s starting to click that this word means something, but most of the time you just look at me like, “yeah…okay.” I was told when I was pregnant with you that “little boys are the best. The ‘sweet’ ones are wonderful and the ‘ornery’ ones keep you young.” Well, guess which one I have been gifted with? Ha ha…I wouldn’t trade it because you do have these sweet moments where you hug me, lay your head on my shoulder, stroke my face or just look at me like I am the whole world.
The carseat is still your enemy! You have major shit fits when I put you in it and then again when I fling it into the car. You omit a little scream and then fuss until I start the car and we are moving. More and more often you stay awake in the car these days. If you are awake or trying to fall asleep and can’t, you just want to hold my hand. The safety of doing so concerns me, but we do a lot of hand-holding in the car. I am certain the issue is that you like to face forward and just don’t want to miss anything. We used your umbrella stroller for the first time this month and you loved it. Loved the new view of the world, it’s only a matter of weeks before we put you in an upright carseat anyway b/c you are so big, but until then you will just have to deal with a view of the seat behind you.
Napping is still going okay during the day with a nap every 90 minutes though some naps are only 20 minutes or so. At least I can plan my day around those naps and get some stuff done. However, again, that damn blue light you are constantly searching for means it takes a little longer to get you to fall asleep. But when you do, your snore like daddy! At nighttime, your routine has become very important to you. We feed you veggies and homemade rice cereal at 7:00, bath just after and then down for the night. You still sleep 10+ hours every night and we thank you for that! We still don’t talk about it when people ask how you are sleeping. We are very lucky and just smile when people ask us if we are sleep deprived. But, like a clock, you wake up within minutes in either direction of 6:30am each morning. Sometimes you wake up happy and are content to play with your sound/light machine hanging in your crib. Others you are mad as hell that you are trapped in your cage.
We make out a lot, you and I. I kiss you more in one day than is probably necessary. I just can’t help it. Your neck is my spot of choice. You learned to kiss me this month as well. Okay, you learned to open mouth gum and drool on my cheek this month, but I figure it’s a kiss. You don’t do it to daddy and it just feels so sincere as you plant your wet mouth on my cheek for upwards of 5 seconds at a time with both hands on each side of my face.
THis was a month of firsts for you. First trip to the zoo where you loved the birds and fish. First wedding where you flirted with anyone and everyone and thought the party was going on well into the night, sleeping just four hours. First day with daddy while mommy went to a baby shower (he had to drive you around for an hour to get you to nap). Mommy’s birthday where you gave me a tea towel that said “Take time to notice the little things” (daddy said you are a little thing?). First trip to Pumpkin Patch. I try to make a big deal out of all of these “firsts” for you and dress you accordingly (animal shirt for zoo, shirt with a tie for wedding, overalls for pumpkin patch). On that note, your wardrobe is ridiculous. You have more clothes than I do and we often get compliments on your attire. It’s sort of an obsession for me.
Putting clothes on you is like trying to put a saddle on a monkey. You fight and twist and scream! I can’t figure this out. You like being dressed and you like getting up and ready with the day, so what’s the deal with not wanting clothes on? Just last night, in trying to put your pajamas on, you fought so hard you kicked through them and tore them! You also HATE having your fingernails cut. I know I am 10 times bigger than you (literally) but I can’t win this battle. Your daddy has the fastest growing fingernails I have ever seen (not to mention beautiful…weird, right? They look like they are manicured they are so perfect) and you seem to have inherited this weird trait. I cut them every 5 days or so. Otherwise, you would claw my eyebrows and nose off as you like to grab those and pull.
I know someday you will read these monthly letters and think I have too much time on my hands. Reading these might seem silly, like I need to focus on something else, but Reeve, you are all I want to focus on. Every new thing, every little thing you do is a miracle to me! It’s important to me to keep track of all the skills and new things you learn. Yesterday I spent hours erasing over 2,000 photos and videos from these 7 months off of my iPhone. I backed them up in several places for fear of losing them. As I looked at you in the hospital, our first days home, with Hannah and so on, I only felt comfort in knowing that this journey exists in more than just my memory. I don’t ever have to go far to refresh my brain on your sweet newborn face or sounds, or how you used to cross your legs at the ankle or even how much hair you were born with.
Seven months is seemingly an unimportant month. It’s not monumental like Six Months or even nice and divisible like Nine Months, but equally important. Each moment we have together mean more to me than you can imagine so when we hit the 21st of each month and I get to challenge my brain to go back in time to March I am reminded of the way my heart has grown to hold you. I still can’t believe you are mine. I can recall just bits of being pregnant as I look back and it’s insane to think you have almost been outside of my body as long as you were inside of it.
I have learned that it’s impossible to slow any of this down. I don’t even try anymore. I don’t get sad that you are getting so big. I just look forward to each new thing you learn. Each milestone you hit makes me feel so proud. Each rite of passage that we enjoy together I hold so dearly. Daddy and I find ourselves becoming “those” parents all of the time. We think you are the cutest baby we know. We think you are probably the smartest, no doubt the biggest and with all certainty the smartest.
Reeve, it would be fair to say that until I met you, I had no idea what my heart was capable of. Each morning when you first see me you give me this look, this “Oh, it’s YOU, mom” and I am a puddle of love all over the floor. Having you makes me feel complete. Someday our family will grow, but for now I could not feel more whole. More content. I learn from you every day. As I type this, you are stretched out in your chair watching Mickey Mouse cartoons (the only one I let you watch….no TV for you until you are a bit older). You are babbling, cooing and your bottom teeth are reminiscent of the Jack-o-lanter our neighbors carved yesterday. You are screaching and your earlobes are so big. Your eyelashes curl up and your eyebrows are crazy, growing in every direction. You are my work of art. My masterpiece. I watch you as though I might miss something, notepad in hand at all times in case you do something amazing.
Reeve, even more so as you grow into a boy who can mimic and who is definitely internalizing everything you see and do, I pray that you continue to grow big. Healthy. Happy. Smart. I hope you learn to love to read books instead of chewing on them. I hope you are a kind person who loves me as much always as you do now. Let’s always be in love, you and I. Let’s always have talks about how girls can break your heart and how you should open doors for them like your daddy does. Let’s always sing silly songs and oink oink like piggies. Let’s always make out and kiss a thousand times a day. Let’s always be best friends and have our secret club.
Let’s always love each other just as much as we do now…and forever….and then forever after that.
To the moon and back,
Favorite things to do: Be outside. Go on walks with mama and ride facing forward in the Umbrella Stroller. Jump as high and as fast as I can in the exersaucer.
Favorite things to eat: anything! I love bananas, sweet potatoes, peas, peaches, apples….