Big Eats, Little Feats

Dear Charlie,

You’ve blown past 6 months & now we’re on the downhill slope towards 7! I’m sorry your letter is late this month… there’s been a nasty cold/virus from hell circulating through our family the last couple weeks. Unfortunately, it seems to be hitting you now as you’ve been coughing for the last day or so & had a slight temperature when you got up this morning. Thank goodness it’s the weekend and you can lay low for a couple days. I feel like you guys are “THOSE kids” who are sick much more often then everyone else we hang out with. Not sure why that is. The only thing I can think of is that we are pretty big social butterflies in that you guys go to daycare, plus I run a decent-sized weekend playgroup. So, you’re exposed to a lot of other kids & that means a wider variety of germs. Oh well, it is what it is. I just wish you guys had waited a little longer so I could have saved some leave time back up.

Speaking of the playgroup, I can’t believe it’s been 2 years since I started it! Alex was around your age then. And now you’re reaping the benefits too, as many of our friends have also had babies/younger siblings this year. Mommy friends for me, toddler friends for Alex, baby friends for you… win-win-win. Even Dad has made a couple daddy friends! πŸ˜‰

Anywho, I love the 6 month mark because that’s when things start to get interesting! In the last month you’ve gone from this….

To this!

I didn’t think this was possible, but I think you love food even more than Alex does. πŸ˜‰ Now that you’re at the age where we can let you feed yourself a bit, you’ve really risen to the challenge. You’ve always been great at fine motor skills, so this gives you a chance to practice them some more. Similarly, you’ve gotten really into holding your own bottle lately. This is one of my favorite milestones & I’m so glad you’re into it, but your skill is not quite up to snuff yet… so every feeding goes something like this: I hold the bottle for about 10 seconds, you snatch it from me and proceed to get milk EVERYWHERE because you want to experiment with positioning the bottle, I take it back and try to resume a calm feeding, you grab it again & I think “screw it, he’s gotta learn somehow”… and then you start to make a mess again. And invariably, Alex is nearby so you’re doing all this while you’re trying to squirm around and get in a position where you can watch him while you drink your bottle. You’re actually not the only one interested in learning how to feed you your bottle:

Alex has been asking to feed you more & more often lately. I keep wondering when the novelty is going to wear off, but the two of you still love each other to pieces. I actually think now that you’re more interactive and able to hold/”play” with things, you guys enjoy each other even more.

Climbing on Dad’s back together. I see a lot more of this in your future!

Checking out the pool together at a friend’s birthday party. This was your first dip in a pool! You liked it. Not a great picture of you, but you wouldn’t stop looking at Alex! We’re heading down for an extended Hampton visit Labor Day weekend, and I plan to take you on your first beach trip then.

Alex was telling you all about the animals on this little farm toy.

I was surprised that this month I ended up with so many pictures with me in them, and not that many with Dad… usually it’s the other way around! That last one is my favorite. Snuggling up with you two for a bedtime story is the best part of my day. πŸ™‚

A couple of other things you’ve been working on this month are sitting up and crawling. You are getting a lot better at sitting up– you can usually hold it for a minute or two at a time, depending on how motivated you are. I don’t have a lot of pictures of this either, as usually my hands are tied up in making sure you don’t fall over & hit your head on the ground. You are nowhere near crawling yet, just bending your knees and wiggling in some sort of attempt at an army crawl… this doesn’t really do anything but spin you around in circles, or flip you over onto your back. You still don’t really like tummy time but will stay there if I catch your interest with a toy or something. Despite not being able to crawl, you have managed to become mobile! You recently figured out the fabulous skill of moving by rolling. Now that you can roll back-tummy as well as tummy-back, I notice you rolling away more & more frequently. One time I left you on the floor in the middle of you room while I went to grab something, and in the 2 minutes I was gone you’d managed to get yourself almost to the door! Admittedly, I am a little nervous about having two children on the move. But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. I suspect we’ll be putting “baby jail” back together sometime in the next couple months.

The only other major event that happened this month was your first big trip. You & Alex spent a whole week down in Hampton while daycare was closed for vacation. I can’t wait until I have some leave saved back up, so I can just take that time off of work. But for now, the grandparents generously stepped up to the plate and offered to take care of you guys. Up until this point I hadn’t even had you away from me overnight yet, so a whole week was a HUGE leap. You did great but oh man, it was SO hard for me. I missed you & Alex more than I ever thought possible. Dad & I tried to spend our time doing lots of fun things that we wouldn’t typically get to do with two small children in tow, but we still found ourselves wondering what the heck we did with ourselves before we had kids. LOL. Such little beings take up such a huge space in our lives and in our hearts. πŸ™‚ We were both extremely happy to have you back at the end of the week. Here’s a picture of you & Alex hanging out with your cousin Tori while you were down there. Tori really stepped up to the plate & did a phenomenal job helping take care of you both during your visit. Dad & I were both really impressed!

Other than that, we’ve just been “living the dream” as Dad says. It’s so true. Our life may not always be picture-perfect and things can get a little crazy around here, but you & your brother really are such a blessing to us. Nothing makes me happier than seeing your smiling faces, hearing your giggles & giving you lots of hugs + kisses. Being a working mom with a baby + toddler is not always easy, but it’s always worth it. You are such a happy baby– you almost never cry unless you’re hungry, or sometimes if you get left in a room by yourself for too long (other than your crib). You have a smile for everyone you meet. And you have the BEST little smiles! πŸ™‚

Here are a few other photos & videos from our adventures this month:

Your first bathroom selfie! This particular day you discovered your tongue and kept sticking it out at everyone. LOL

Practicing for the 4th of July fireworks! Unfortunately it ended up being rainy on 4th of July this year, so we ended up skipping the fireworks and settling for sparklers at home (although you had gone to bed by that point– maybe next year!).

Hanging out with your cousin Shayla!

Playing with your feet– still one of your favorite pastimes. πŸ˜‰

Bouncing– one of your new favorite pastimes!

Now that you’re so good at rolling both ways, I’ve noticed that you seem to like sleeping on your side the best, or your back. Almost never do you sleep on your tummy. I’m a side/back sleeper also so I can relate! Dad & Alex both prefer sleeping on their tummy, which looks so uncomfortable to me. Anyway, I love watching you sleep… although I don’t get to do it these days as much as I used to. Yesterday was the first time in awhile that you fell asleep in my arms. I’d gone in there to pick you up & soothe you, as your congestion was keeping you from falling asleep as easily as you typically do. I picked you up and sang to you (“Sunshine” of course, that is my song for you & Alex which I sing to you both quite frequently). It didn’t take you long to fall asleep in my arms, but I stood there and held + rocked you for awhile anyway. I looked at your peaceful face, smooshed up into the crook of my elbow & felt that heavy weight of you against me that is 100% trust and relaxation, with your little hand on my chest. This not being my first rodeo, I know now how all too quickly this infant phase will fly by & how soon you’ll be too big for me to hold that way (although sometimes Alex still asks me to “hold him like a baby” and I happily oblige him)… and therefore I’m trying so, so hard to soak it all in. Being a parent is the most bittersweet thing… I feel tremendous pride as I watch you grow and learn so many new things so quickly, but on the other hand there are many times where I desperately think “Oh my dear, won’t you please stay this little?”

Until next time, Charlie-bean! πŸ™‚

All my love,

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