Thursday, May 31, 2012

6 Months: Turning Point

Was it only six short months ago you were born, Grace?  From now on, you are closer to being one year old than born.  New tiny babies are being born in our circle of friends, and, though you were never tiny to begin with, you are well on your way to the milestones that define this next half of the first year.  As soon as you sit up, which will be very soon indeed, you will have lost all traces of the newborn I once held in my arms, and will be headed full long into babyhood.

You're a tall baby, continuing to grow to keep up with the top of the charts.  Your blond hair and dimples make you your own, but you certainly bear the resemblance of the Ordway Children.....Gerber Babies one and all, with your found face, big blue eyes, and long eye lashes.  A sweet song you are!

Believing you to be our last child, each stage you pass through represents a new stage for me as well.  Since 2006, I've defined my journey through my blog as Gourmet to Gerber.  As of Memorial Day, I now am beginning the journey back from Gerber to Gourmet!  We started solid foods just yesterday, and you gladly chased the spoon into your mouth to sample the Gerber Organic Carrots....your first taste of anything other than my milk.  Rice cereal has been a hit as well. As one might imagine, it was a sad transition for Mama as well...another moment of letting go.  From conception until now, my body has nourished you. Now, we begin the slow but steady process of transitioning you entirely away from dependence upon me.

Your voice is continuing to strengthen and grow, and the sounds coming forth are stronger, louder, and far less shrill.  Frequently, we'll hear you humming the same noises over and over....sometimes happily, and sometimes with the growing impatience brought on by tiredness, and always sliding along the vocal scale.  Hmmmmmm Hmmmmm Hwwwwww Haaaahhhhhhhaaaahhhh.  And occasionally in the frantic moment of impatience just before you get your milk, a high pitched (and very loud) squeal comes out!  In these moments, legs and arms are flailing and grabbing until the immediate relaxation of milk comes upon you.

Your eyes are merry sparkles, shining like always with a secret wisdom held deep inside.  If we're lucky, you'll quickly twitch your eyebrows in flirtation as a smile creeps into your rosy, dimpled cheeks.  And, oh how you stare into our eyes!  If we never looked away, you wouldn't either.  It's as if we are the most fascinating creatures you have ever seen.....sent for the purpose of entertaining you!

Your mouth is frequently open, ready to chew on anything that passes by....hands or toys or clothes. When your hands aren't inside of your mouth, they are often busy playing with your toes or clutching the fabric of your clothes.

I'm probably asked about a hundred times each day between your three siblings, "Can I hold Gracie?"  They must collectively spend hours each day in front of you, cooing and talking in their sing-song happy voices.  How they adore you!  And you them....  If anyone can get you to laugh or smile, it is Emet.  And, he would probably spend his entire day getting you to smile at him.  I've rarely seen a face filled with more joy than when Emet looks upon you.

Favorite toys these days include the rubber giraffe named Sophie, which you squeak and chew every time we are in the car, in addition to the stuffed giraffe we hand you as we lay you in bed. A little grey stuffed elephant also finds its nose inside of your mouth.

No longer do you sleep in the little bassinet in our room.  You have officially moved upstairs to share a room with your big sister.  For a few nights, I thought that move might be the end of us, for you began to wake each morning at 6am, almost 2 hours before you had been waking. But, quickly, I discovered if I brought you down to eat, you would fall back asleep nuzzled next to me.  Lately, you've been sleeping through to your normal wake time, and sometimes even waking happy versus frantic and crying.  Anna Ruth has been especially good, for she loves to have you in her room and won't risk having you taken out if she slips into a big cry.  And she doesn't seem to wake up when you do in the morning.  However, we know that stages are brief, and all too soon, you and she will be giggling and tossing toys from one bed to another. Oh the joys of siblings! And the joys of being witness to the fun they have together!

You're rolling over, though our hard floors prevent us from giving you too many opportunities to practice your newly found skill.  But, when you do, your back arches and you high center yourself on your belly! Typcially, your left arm gets stuck underneath, and the experience ends in a bout of crying until you roll back over.

The hanging jumper just came out of storage last week to be used for the last time, and the swing and the baby tub are but a couple of weeks from fading into obscurity.  My hardest goodbye will likely be your bouncer, and if one object will be able to evoke instant memories from your baby days - this will be it.  You have bounced yourself like no other.....lifting your leg to bounce the minute you recognize you will be placed in the seat!  Up and down you go, picking the back up off the hard floor and creating a clicking sound as it bounces up and down.  If given enough time, you will move yourself, inch by inch, across the entire floor!  What sweet memories we have of you in this chair.  You could spend an hour in it without complaint, smiling the whole time! Increasingly, though, your little back arches in the seat after a while of bouncing, attempting to roll out and away.  We wonder if you'll love the hanging bouncer just as much.

As hard as it is to say goodbye to the newborn stage, which has slowly faded away, it is a joy to see you grow and change....and we are so excited to celebrate with you each and every step of the way!  God bless you, dear Grace.  We love you!

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