Happy half-birthday! You’re getting so big and developing into your own person; sometimes it’s hard to believe that you’re the same little squigglebug we brought home from the hospital in the fall.
You’re big enough now that you can wear most of the clothes that have been too big for you until recently: Boba Fett from Uncle Phil, Green Lantern and Star Trek from Fake Aunt Sheryl, plus all kinds of other stuff that Mommy and Daddy picked up at sales and clearances before you were born. Your waist is still super skinny, though, so even though you’re in 6-month onesies, you’re still rocking 3-month pants.
You’ve started straight-up rejecting Mommy’s breast in favor of a bottle. I guess it gives you more noms faster, but it still makes Mommy sad to think that our special bonding time is almost over. You’ll only nurse in the early mornings and in the evening before I give you some “solid” food. Mommy still pumps at work, though, so you have a little breastmilk to eat during the day.
Right now, we’ve got you eating a little food along with a bottle of formula for dinner. Mommy will sit you on the living room floor in your Bumbo seat (without the cover, since you don’t like it so much), put a bib on you, and sit cross-legged on the floor to feed you. (We really need to think about getting you a real high chair soon!)
You’ll eat about a tablespoon of rice cereal mixed with two tablespoons of water, plus a tablespoon (or an ounce) of the Food Of The Week. Your first food after cereal was pears — we had a couple of over-ripe pears that Mommy hadn’t eaten, so Mommy put them through the food mill that the Abtses gave you for Christmas. You weren’t sure what to think, but you were still just getting the hang of this solid food thing.
After that, Mommy steamed and strained some carrots; Mommy didn’t know she was supposed to peel them first, though, and you really hated the bitter taste the peels gave to the carrots. There’s still two containers in the freezer that will be combined with some other fruit or vegetable later, so they won’t go to waste.
The next new food you tried was applesauce, at Daddy’s suggestion. We keep unsweetened applesauce in the house all the time, in giant jars, so it’s a quick and easy food to give you. And you love it! Applesauce is the first food you’ve eaten where you do all the things the experts say to look for: leaning forward and opening your mouth when you’re ready for more, and turning away when you’re done eating.
The next food in the queue is green beans. Mommy forgot to steam the frozen green beans before trying to mill them up for you, so it became quite the ordeal trying to get them to a good consistency for you. I’m fully expecting that you’ll hate them, anyway, even after all that work. But you’ll love the bananas that are next on the list!
Mommy’s going to make your baby food at home for as long as it’s feasible. We might buy some jars of food for stuff that Mommy and Daddy don’t like, like peas or lima beans, just so we can see if you hate them as much as we do. That’s how parents roll, little guy.
After dinner, Mommy will usually play with you and give you some tummy time. You don’t hate tummy time as much as you used to, and you’re able to hold yourself up on your forearms. You try to push up with your arms straight, but it doesn’t always work the way you planned.
You haven’t rolled from your back to your front again yet, but you’re trying. Whenever Mommy puts you on the floor, on the blanket that Fake Aunt Sheryl made for you, Mommy always puts you down on your back first, then shows you how you could roll over onto your tummy. Once you’re done with tummy time, Mommy shows you how you could roll from your tummy onto your back again.
(When we went to Sears to get your 6-month portraits taken, you surprised Mommy and Daddy by rolling from your front to your back for the first time ever! Too bad we were trying to get some cute tummy pictures at the time….)
You’re also close to staying in a sitting position without falling over, but you tend to lean forward over your knees and end up doubled in half if you don’t have anything to lean back on (like Mommy’s shins). (Again, this proved to be a challenge to Christie, the Sears photographer; she declared that you had RBS — Round Bottom Syndrome.)
After playtime, Mommy usually gives you a bottle. Most of the time, you fall asleep in the rocker-recliner while you’re eating — you’ve been falling asleep a lot earlier lately, around 7:30pm or 8 — and Mommy and Daddy suspect a growth spurt.
If you don’t fall asleep during your bottle, Mommy will read a book to you — either Hop On Pop or The Berenstains’ B Book — then rock you until you fall asleep. You rarely need to be swaddled anymore; usually you’ll fall asleep wearing the sleeper that Daddy’s had you in all day. The only time you get swaddled anymore is when Mommy and Daddy have kept you out on a weekend and let you get overtired; even then, we swaddle you with one arm out, just in case you roll over again.
You’ve been interacting with people and objects (and Mei Kitty) a lot more lately. You like to stare at your hands, especially when you’re tired. You also like to smack things repeatedly, like your bottle during a feeding, or even just your own lap. You’ll also grab objects like your Huggie Dog or a burp cloth and shove them in your mouth, then shake your head back and forth to rake the object across your gums. You do that with your own hand, too. (Still no sign of teeth, though!)
You’ve been taking more notice of the cat lately, and she’s been taking more notice of you. She’ll get a lot closer to you than she ever used to, and you’ll watch her as she walks across the room or plays with her kitty fishing pole.
You also like to get a reaction out of people: if someone smiles at you, or even looks at you, you’ll smile back, and you’re not picky about who gives you attention — you’ll smile at anybody. There are a few restaurants we go to frequently, and I think you’ve started to recognize some of the people you see on a weekly or bi-weekly basis: Sherry at Wei Wei and all the servers at New Empire, especially. It’s hard to tell, though, since you do like to smile at everybody — even the ladies at the La-Z-Boy showroom.
This letter has already gotten so long, and I still have so much I could tell you about this month. You make Mommy and Daddy smile when you’re happy (and you usually are).
We love you, little dude.