Monday, December 15, 2014

Meeting Santa

The six-month post is in the works, but for now, here's something to tide you over. 

The little lady was up past her bedtime, but she seemed to enjoy staring at Santa and trying to figure him out. There were no tears, only wonderment. And, no, she didn't need socks or shoes because it is ridiculously warm where we live.

I'll be back before the actual day, but Merry Christmas! Consider this your Christmas card with seasons greetings and joy from us to you.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Six months

December 12, 2014

Dear child of mine,

Your daddy informed me last night that we are halfway through with having a baby because you will officially be a toddler in six more months. I refuse to accept that because you need to be my baby for much longer than the conventional year. You're six months old, and the last month has included some huge milestones.
You started consistently eating solid foods: rice cereal, bananas, avocados, and sweet potatoes. You travelled to West Texas and North Texas for events and holidays. You started pushing up and rocking on your knees like you can't wait to crawl, and you can sit up as long as your hands are supporting you. Oh, and you relearned how to sleep, which makes us all very happy.
You like to talk, which sometimes consists of shrieks of joy and/or consternation, but we like your earnest quiet babbles the best. You can say "ma-ma" but since you're sleeping better, I don't hear it as often. You love to explore people's faces with your deliciously chubby hands and have given me a few scratches in your enthusiasm. Everything you do is done with exuberance and joy that makes me excited to see how passionately you will love people and be zealous for God.
Part of relearning to sleep included putting you on a predictable schedule, so our days are much more routine now. You usually wake up between 7 and 7:30, eat, play, and then take your first nap around 9. After you wake up, we play some more and do some housework until you act sleepy again, usually between 12 and 1. Most naps are about an hour long, but sometimes you sleep for up to 2.5 hours. In the afternoons, we run an errand or two or just hang out at home and finish up mundane house stuff until Daddy gets home. If we're home, you take a third nap between 4 and 5. And then it's dinner time with solid food at 6, bath time, and bedtime by 7. You wake up once or twice to eat most nights, but last night you slept 12 hours solid.
If we get you off your schedule, you let us know about it. Once you miss a nap, all bets are off for the rest of the day and night. Oh, my darling girl, I wish I could take a picture of how much I love you because even thousands of words can't do it justice. You are a delight to be around most of the time, and you're starting to give intentional snuggles and reach your arms toward us. Feeding you gets me lots of uninterrupted cuddles because you love to eat, and it will be bittersweet when you're weaned. Stillness is rare, and it seems like you are either on the go or asleep. Your little arms are constantly reaching, and my prayer is that you will always be seeking good things. When you try to eat the DVD player or fling yourself off the changing table, my reactions sometimes scare you, but it's just because I don't want you to get hurt. You've already helped God teach me all sorts of good lessons, and I'm already trying to apologize to you when I overreact because that's a good habit, and I can see lots of parenting mistakes in my future.
You are my sunshine, sweet girl. Keep growing and learning and be gracious to your imperfect parents, ok?

So much love,

Friday, December 5, 2014

Thanksgiving week

We're settling back into life at home with a busy week and recuperating from all our travels last week with sleep training and salads for dinner. Our Thanksgiving this year was wonderful and, like every other holiday since June, completely different from past years. Because I have a baby now, and that changes everything. No, really, it's cliche for a reason.
The little miss did great on our long drive to west Texas. We left Tuesday at morning nap time, so she slept for a while, we made a few stops to change diapers and feed her, and she slept some more. Husband and I listened to Son by Lois Lowry, and it was pretty good. It definitely made the time in the car easier. There were lots of gracious family members who prepared food and lodgings for us, and we promised the baby we wouldn't get near a car on Wednesday or Thursday, so that's what we did.

She has a turkey on her bottom because that really amps up the holiday cuteness quota.
Deceptively not-sleepy face at the breakfast table
Don't let her face fool you. She gobbled up that rice cereal.
However, our sweet baby decided her not-so-great sleep should be infinitely worse while traveling. She woke up every 2 hours most nights and I ended up feeding her 4-5 times with Husband rocking her in between. We dreamt of sleep training in the few spurts of sleep we got. It was made bearable by all the awesome relatives more than happy to love on our girl while we napped and tried to "sleep in" after passing her off in the morning. We also fed her rice cereal for the first times in hopes that a full tummy would help her sleep. No such luck, but she definitely charmed large audiences with her eating skills.

Back to the fun parts of our trip: we had a delicious meal on Thursday, got lots of visiting time, and took lots of pictures. On Friday, we drove to see Husband's grandma and his aunt stopped by to visit as well. We were fed well again and treated to lots of good conversation and doting on our precious girl. I'm so grateful we could see them both and the little miss could see Grandma Claudia's house and classroom at the high school and spend some time with her and her great aunt (or to be technically correct according to Husband, her grand aunt).
On the drive back to my aunt and uncle's, baby girl had the nastiest blowout. I discovered it by feel since we were driving in semidarkness and used up all the wipes when we stopped at a gas station. She definitely kept us on our toes while on the road.
We had breakfast Saturday with my extended family and then headed to my parents' house to break up our travels home. We went to early service with my parents and sister on Sunday morning, had brunch, and then headed home.
Life is indescribably different with a baby, but the sweet moments abound, and it means the world to me when I can hold her in my arms. Even if she just pooped all over everything after not letting me get a wink of sleep. That's love, my friends, and I'm so thankful that God has blessed me with an incredible Husband and partner in this parenthood thing and a beautiful, awe-inspiring little girl.
I hope your Thanksgiving adventures involved more rest and just as much love and gratitude as mine.