Sep 16, 2011

Dear Daughter: Month 6

Dear Vivienne,

You're half a year old now! In milestones and clothing size, you're closer to a year. I have yet again filled a box with clothing sized for children older than you into a box for storage for your future sibling. At your most recent check-up, you weighed 19 lb 7 oz, and when we weighed you more recently using your bouncer and the luggage scale (your father's idea, not mine), you weighed 22 lb.

Your reaching 22 lbs meant an emergency trip to Babies 'R Us to get you a new car seat. You seem to really like your ultra-luxurious convertible car seat, and I enjoy all the modern safety features on it. On the day of writing this section of the letter, you and I went to Deerfield to meet up with the Peeps and the Little Peeps at the Yankee Candle Flagship store. You did really well on the 30 minute car ride despite having no one in the back with you to keep you company. You napped on the way out, and we both sang along to Lady Gaga on the way home. I am so relieved that the days of you screaming in the car seem to have come to an end.

At the Yankee Candle store, we smelled all the exciting scents of candles. You really enjoyed smelling the different aromas, and invariably, you would try to eat the candle lids. You loved the different Halloween and Christmas rooms, and I thought you would really enjoy the large pumpkin but you were asleep by the time we made it outside to where it was kept.

The biggest vehicular achievement this month was our drive to New York. You always had someone to keep you company, but it was a long drive and you didn't cry once. Nana and Grandpa Nick had gone to New York ahead of us to spend a couple of days sightseeing, and we met up with them to spend a night at the historic Algonquin hotel. We took a lovely trip around Central Park, and walked along Fifth Avenue, stopping off for coffee at the Rockefeller Center. Nana, Grandpa Nick and your Dad went to Little Italy for dinner while you and I hung out in the hotel. Nana was worried that I was missing out on going to dinner, but I really enjoy spending time with you, and there was no feeling of being "cooped up" anywhere. The next day we went gift shopping for Nana's friends back in the UK, and then headed home. You didn't cry, but Nana and I nearly wore out our vocal cords keeping you amused. Of note was a rendition of Old MacDonald, in which the farm comprised cows, pigs, dogs, horses, donkeys, cats, mice, owls, butterflies and one bee (to name a few.... it was a long drive).

In terms of milestones, you have had quite the month. First, you are now sitting. Earlier in the month, you were a little like a learner driver, in that you could sit until you turned to look at something, or became distracted, at which time you would invariably topple over. Now you can reliably sit up on your own, without the boppy pillow, and I've been enjoying facing you to read books, teach you how to clap, or roll a ball to you. Now that you can sit, you are getting really good at amusing yourself with toys while I get my coffee or prepare my lunch.

The biggest achievement this month was your motility. You have been so eager to go exploring, and I can see a real determination in your eyes when you are looking at something you want to play with. Now finally you can move. There's a slight drawback; your crawling is in reverse. As a result, the more you want to get a hold of something, the further away from it you move. You find this extremely frustrating, and as much as it makes me a terrible parent to Say this, I find it a little amusing. Don't worry, I help you out long before your frustration turns to tears.

Another big milestone this month was the introduction of solids. I had wanted to make it to 6 months before giving you solid food, but Nana would have been gone by then, so we gave you your first solids at just over 5 and a half months of age. We (meaning I) decided upon giving you organic bananas as your first solids. We had prepared a mix of bananas and milk for you, and you were eager to be fed, but Nana took so long to get downstairs that you were quite cranky by the time we started feeding you. However, one mouthful of bananas was all it took for your mood to change. You very quickly figured out how to eat from a spoon and wolfed down 2 oz of bananas. Since then, you have cheerfully eaten a portion of solids each day with no problems at all. Although, I was a little scared by the black squiggles in your poop, but some googling reassured me that it was completely normal.

You have been extremely chatty this month. My favorite thing you've been doing is this extremely high pitched screaming noise. Your Dad calls you his little pterodactyl! I love that you are so verbose. Sometimes, you start talking about something, and you are very focused on your narrative and don't like being interrupted. Other times, you are happier to have others join in on the conversation. It's clear that (like your mother), you are enamored with your own voice. Luckily, so is everyone around you.

We went swimming again at the Chicopee State Park, this time with Nana and Grandpa Nick. It was a nice day, but as it was the first sun we had seen in a week, the water was cooler than before. You and I stayed in the shallower water which was a bit warmer, and you were delighted because this made it easier for you to shovel sand into your mouth. You managed to get a few handfuls, but I am sorry to say your killjoy mother scooped most of it back out.

While this month has been yet another great month with you, there was a little sadness in that it was time for Nana to go home. I really miss having her around, and I am sure you miss her too. You two spent every week day together with no one else to spoil your bonding time. I was surprised and relieved that you recognized Nana on Skype. I had been worried that you wouldn't be able to identify people on a screen. However, once she started singing the silly "Suco Suco" song that she had been singing all summer, you beamed a big smile at her. To alleviate our missing of her, we have booked our flights home to Ireland and England for Christmas, so you will get to see your grandparents in person again soon.

There is so much more I could add. You are developing so fast, and so much of your personality is coming through. When I look back at the pictures of your newborn days, it's really striking how much progression you have made. No wonder everyone comments on how bright and alert you are. I am also glad that your sweet affection has also grown with you. I am so blessed to have such a happy and loving child.

I love you, darling,

Mom xxx

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