I used to tell the world about your progress... but you are older now, and I think I should be telling you directly.
You are 5 months old, today. You have grown so much, it is hard to believe. You are too big for most of your baby cloths. I've gotten very sad, putting away your tiny onesies. There was this outfit that I bought for you before you were born. It was so cute. When pregnancy was tough, I would go in your nursery and hold onto that onesie. It was hard to imagine what it would be like to hold you in my arms, but this sweet little outfit helped me to dream. Now you are too big for it.
You are healthy and you are growing. There is this song that Rafi sings, about a little boy who doesn't believe he is growing, and his mom keeps telling him he is growing, growing up. The song makes me cry. I am very emotional about this whole growing thing.
You love to play. Your favorite thing to do is to lay on the mat and swing at the toys above you. You got very excited when you learned how to hold onto two toys at once. Then you figured out how to hold onto your feet, and that was endlessly entertaining. You learned how to roll from back to front when you were three months old, but you had a tough time going in reverse. You often get stuck on your belly; then your little arms get tired and you need our help to get over onto your back. When we flip you, you roll right back onto your belly. You do this over and over again. I don't mind. It's nice to feel needed.
It is really tough for me to work sometimes. I want to work but I want to be with you, too. I want to be a good mom, and I think working is a part of that for me. But it is tough to find balance. I think about you all day long. The moment when I walk into your room at daycare and you look up and see me -- that's the best moment of every day. You are very happy at daycare. They love you and hold you all day long. Every time I pick you up, you are in someone's arms: cuddling or playing. It is difficult for me to be apart from you, and I am glad they take such good care of you.
You love looking at mirrors. It always makes you smile. People make you smile. You smile so easily. Everybody who meets you talks about how smiley you are. You smile at funny sounds and funny faces. You smile at peekaboo. You love when I roll you from side to side, or when I touch your head and then touch your toes. That always makes you laugh.
I love your laugh. It is the best sound in the world. I think I would do anything to make you laugh. I love to know that you are happy. We throw you in the air and you have so much fun. I started saying "1, 2, 3...", and now when I get to three, the anticipation overcomes you and you start giggling. I think you will always have a way of being the center of attention -- you like to be entertained, and you like entertaining. You're just like your dad... you make everybody around you smile.
We got you a highchair. That was a big deal. It was the first time you could sit up and play with toys with both hands. We put you in it every morning and let you pick out toys. You like gnawing on the round ends of the wood toys. You like things that make noise. You are getting really good at reaching for things. You are very determined and forceful about what you want. If a toy rolls out of reach, you yell until one of us comes and helps you get it back. I think your world will be much easier when you are mobile enough to get what you want.
You've discovered so many different parts of your body. There are your feet and your toes and your ears and your tongue. Lately you've been sticking your tongue out into a little point for no reason at all. It is very cute. You seem very interested in my face. You like to grab my hair and put your hands in my mouth or near my nose or eyes. Your hands fascinate you. You interlace the two of them together and move your fingers around or pull your two hands apart. I'm not sure if your hands get stuck together because you don't know how to get them apart, or if you like the feeling of pulling your fingers against one another. I think you are going to be right handed, because you pick everything up with your right hand. You are just now learning how to throw things onto the floor. If we're not careful, we forget that the wood toys fall on the floor. Tori has eaten two of your wood toys. You liked them so much that I got you new ones. Every time I go somewhere or get something on Amazon, I end up getting you a new toy. It is going to be so hard not to spoil you.
You are teething and it is uncomfortable. I feel so bad for you. You try to eat everything. You put it all in your mouth and chomp down. You put your hands into your mouth. You feel your gums with your fingers. You are obsessed with textures of all kinds. We read books to you, and you seem to get frustrated: you try to grab the pictures, but they are flat, and so you keep trying and trying but can't pick them up.
You love the song Baby Beluga. We sing it to you all the time. I sing it to you a few times in a row when we drive home from daycare. I sing it to you at night when you go to sleep. I sing it to you anytime you start getting upset. It makes you so happy. You recognize it on the first line or two and start smiling. I can't sing very well, but you don't seem to mind.
You get a real kick out of having your diaper changed. It's so funny. Your changing table is oriented so that you can see your own shadow on the wall. Whenever we change your diaper, you try to grab at your shadow and that makes it super challenging to get clothes on you.
The noises you make are just so funny and so sweet. I know the sounds you make for sleepy and hungry and bored and frustrated and grumpy and happy and excited. You are a communicator. You are babbling now. I heard you say "da" the other day. Your babbling and goes up and down sometimes. That is exciting. You learned how to squeal a few weeks ago. We were a little scared that you might not ever stop squealing -- you liked it so much. But you've settled down a bit with the squealing and our ears are happy.
Your dad and I agree that something changed in you, right around 4 months. It was as if you realized that the rest of the world was separate from yourself. You suddenly noticed us and wanted us. One day when your dad changed your diaper and brought you back to bed, you reached out for me. That was a big change. You seem to understand that there are sequences to events. Instead of just responding to your world, you have started interacting with it.
You love to nurse. We will give you solid food soon, and that makes me sad. I would exclusively nurse you for much longer if we could. It can be inconvenient and frustrating at times (especially because you have a habit of nursing until my milk lets down and then pulling off so that the milk goes everywhere!), plus there's all the pumping at work... but it is worth all of the inconvenience. When you were a little baby you would attack me like a pirhanna! Now you are a little more patient. Sometimes you are full but you want to keep nursing. You lean back and look up at me with a happy little smile. And then you nurse again and then you lean back again, and then you growl or gurgle a bit and smile happily and I am just so happy that I can be what you need in that moment. My milk turns bad very quickly and that can make the bottle situation at daycare challening. I think it means that you were meant to nurse from me, not from a bottle. Nursing is a special time for us. My body needed help to bring you into this world, and that was tough for me to accept. I am lucky that I make so much milk for you, and I am happy that I can provide you with everything you need right now. I will be so sad to start you on solid foods.
Sleep has been tough. You wake up frequently and you're not so good at taking naps. But you are getting better. You are napping well at daycare. It is not unusual for you to sleep for an hour or more while you are there. At home, you are napping more frequently in your swing. You are learning how to fall asleep on your own, right next to me but in your own little bed. Sometimes we hold hands until you fall asleep. When you wake up at night, you want to be with us in bed. I don't blame you. Your dad and I like having you in bed with us. We all spend so much time snuggling. It is tough for us to function on so little sleep, but you are simply the best and we want to spend as much time as we can with you.
I am so proud of you. I used to have terrible nightmares, since I was a child, that there was some awful thing about to happen and I had to pick up what was most important to me and leave the house with it. Now I don't have those nightmares, because I know. You are the most important thing. As long as I have you, everything else will be OK.