Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Happy 6 month-day

Dear Jack,

You are six months old today. I can hardly believe it.

Six months is halfway to one year. Your dad and I are already talking about what we might do for your first birthday. I think the theme should be guitars, because you love music. Your dad is quite the rock and roll type, and all of our friends and family know it. You have so many guitar outfits, you wouldn't believe it. When you were just a tiny thing and your dad played the guitar for you, you would kick your feet and swing your arms as soon as he started strumming. Now, you watch his hands move back and forth in rapt attention. I think you are trying to figure out where the sound is coming from. We went over to a friend's apartment and you had a blast banging on the drums and the piano. You can hit your hand against something with a good rhythm already. In fact, we're all surprised that a little baby can keep such a good rhythm (I'm glad you got your dad's genes about that).

Guess what? You survived your first big snowstorm! We got 20 inches of snow and we kept you inside the whole time, boo! It was really cold, though, and it wouldn't have been much fun for any of us. Still, you liked looking out the windows. Everything must have looked so different to you after the storm. You also had your first Christmas and New Years. It was a big month.

Now that you are bigger, you can stay in a seated position without any support, and you can push up into a standing position if we hold you steady. It is all very exciting. Sometimes when you push up on your feet, you plant yourself very firmly and seem quite proud. You are so playful now, and really into toys. You like banging on things and making a lot of noise. You are very interested in everything, especially things that move or spin. You love to play peek-a-boo, and you like it best when we cover your whole face with a blanket. Sometimes you can`t stand waiting until the "boo!" part and you start giggling and moving your arms. We make lots of funny noises and faces for you, and you think this is the best. We think you are the best. Every once and a while, you hold out your arms to reach for one of us when we get near. This just melts my heart.

You've discovered a new favorite activity: bouncing. Sometimes you take this activity very seriously, and sometimes you just get all giggly. When our arms get tired from bouncing you on our laps, we put you in the doorway bouncer. You like to bounce in the evenings but not in the morning. You go crazy bouncing! Your little legs are so cute when you bounce, and you make such happy noises, I almost can't stand it. You and I play peek-a-boo around the corner while you bounce in the kitchen doorway. It is a lot of fun for everybody.

You are still teething and I think it bothers you a lot. Everything you can reach goes right into your mouth. You figured out how to get your thumb into your mouth, but you don't want to suck on your thumb... you want to gnaw on it. Speaking of your thumb, I cut it today when I was clipping your nails. I'm so, so sorry. It bled a ton and we were both very upset for a long time. It's a really bad cut and I feel awful. If you grow up and wonder why there's a significant chunk missing out of your right thumb, well... now you know.

You've discovered the full range of your voice! You squeal and whine and fuss and yell. You do a great Billy Idol impression, with one side of your mouth up high and the other low. You can blow raspberries, and sometimes when you get into the raspberry mood, you just don't stop. This is quite hysterical when it is the middle of the night and you are turning to look first at me and then at your dad, blowing raspberries. It never fails to make us laugh. You like putting your thumb in your mouth and puffing out your cheeks like a fish. You learned that your tongue can reach the roof of your mouth and sometimes you make little clicks as you're falling asleep. Your tongue moves all around and up and down and your lips make the strangest shapes. You can make so many sounds now! Every day, you are more expressive. I just love hearing you chat.

You've eaten quite a bit of food this month! You've had... carrots, and bananas, and avocado, and squash, and blueberries. We're doing a bit of smashed up food, but I'm not pushing it on you. You very much prefer feeding yourself. If I hold the spoon in front of you, you will grab onto it with your left hand and bring it to your mouth. Occasionally you'll get excited and want to eat more, but most of the time you just play. That's fine by me.

Don't worry. We don't ever let you sleep unsupervised in the Big Bed. In this particular moment, I was sitting up in bed while you took a nap, and I had to catch a picture

You've been sleeping so much better, I just can't believe it. You nap so well now -- you don't sleep for long, but you will fall asleep reliably. When you're alone, you like to sleep with your nose pressed firmly into the mattress of your crib. This scares the heck out of me, but it's how you always seem to settle yourself. You always wake up with a bright red streak on your nose from pushing it into the mattress. You don't like being alone at night, and so we bring you into The Big Bed. I usually sleep on my side and you sleep on your back without any problem. I curl my arm around you to keep you safe. My back and neck hurt from sleeping in such a funny position, but it's worth it, because every time I wake up to check on you, I can give you a kiss on the top of your head. I know that one day you will stop letting me give you so many kisses, so I figure I'd better get them all in now.

One of your favorite things to do when it is dark is to hold up your hand in front of your face, against the background of the ceiling. The shape of your hand is very clear was you wave it around, and you spend a long time inspecting your hand in this manner every morning. If your dad or I put either of our hands up next to yours, your face breaks out into a huge grin. You must think the difference in size is funny. This hand business is one of the cutest things I've seen you do. Hands aside, you are simply obsessed with shadows and shape. You attack the shadow on the wall every time we try to change your diaper, and you get really into the shadows in the bathtub, too You spend quite a bit of time in the car every day, driving to and from daycare, and you are so patient. You just look out the window and watch the trees and the powerlines go by. I think you must like the interesting shapes.

You are just the most playful, happy, smiley, beautiful baby. You have a great smile, Jack, and it never fails to cheer me up. Taking care of a baby can be difficult at times, because you need so much from us, but you always behave just as a Jack ought to behave: you want to play and be around people all the time. You are exactly like your dad in that way.

I love you so much, Jack. Don't grow too quickly.

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