six months

Dear Emmett,

Today is your six month birthday. Between your last letter at five months and today, your personality has started to emerge. Your brain is working so hard making connections and figuring things out, sometimes I think I can actually see the wheels turning. This is even more fun, because about a week ago you learned to sit up on your own. All at once. So far, that's the way you do everything. You don't try, not interested, no thank you, and then one day you decide to do it. And that's it, skill perfected. Overnight, my life became ten times easier. Being able to take you anywhere around the house and have you sit and play and look around makes you so much happier and more flexible. You observe the world from right side up. You smile this sweet little squishy-faced grin and you're so proud of your own independence.

Bath time remains a favorite. You love to splash and try to steal your washcloth to suck the water out of it. Water is pure joy for you. Even pouring water right over your head and your face makes you laugh.

A couple times a day, you and I curl up with a couple of books. You love to turn pages, look at pictures and listen to stories. I'm so glad you love stories and reading; I hope you become an avid and curious reader.

We have started showing you some sign language, using a combination of my memory from my ASL class in college and signs from a baby sign language book. You watch, fascinated, whenever I go through signs with you. We sing the alphabet song and sign the letters, which always makes you smile.

Silly sounds are a hit. You learned to buzz your lips a couple weeks ago. And a few days ago you figured out how to smack your lips together to make a popping sound. Any silly sounds I can think up make you start giggling, especially if accompanied by tickling or by burying my face in your neck and dancing around. When I stick my tongue out to you, you grin and study it intently, trying to figure out what to do. You contort your mouth and try to copy me. A few times your tongue has actually stuck out, but I think it's mostly an accident. You haven't quite figured that one out yet!

Your motor skills and coordination are really starting to develop. If you are sitting on the floor and drop a toy, you reach out to wherever it fell and pick it back up. You've got an eagle eye for your pacifier and if it is anywhere within reach, you spot it, pick it up and put it in your mouth. If it falls too far out of your reach, you lean way over as far as you can and try so hard to figure out how to get it. When this fails, you screech at me so I'll come and retrieve it for you.

Last week, we took you to the pediatrician for your six month appointment. You clocked in at 18lbs, 15oz and 26.5in long. Your growth curve is holding steady at 75th percentile, so even though you are a little chunk, you are following that curve, which is perfect. Your doctor adores you, and after a perfect checkup, cheerfully told us, "I have no complaints about this person." She declared you developmentally at about 7 months, and told us to go ahead and feed you almost anything we want to, except eggs and fish, which have to wait until 9 months.

You're now on bottle feeds 4 times a day, since I stopped nursing a few days ago. It was a little sad to end our nursing sessions together, but you were ready and I was ready. It was the right time for us. When you have a bottle, you've mastered grabbing it with two hands and putting it in your mouth. A few seconds later, though, you drop it. You're also having three meals of food a day. This past week we've started you on yogurt and chicken, both of which you love. Coming up this week, you're going to try cottage cheese and some new fruits, including strawberries, kiwi and blueberries.

I can't believe we are halfway to your first birthday already, Emmett. You fill our lives with joy. The adventure continues.



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