Thursday, January 23, 2014

Happy Half-Birthday to Her!

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy-- *screech*


Sorry girl, that's all you get. Half a song for half a birthday. Which is fine by me because I don't feel like celebrating anyway. You broke the contract, darling. You were supposed to stay my baby forever, or at least stretch it out and now you go and do something like this! What is it about babies that makes life move forward on fast speed?



Half a year. Six months since one of the top five days of my life. Six months of learning and growing. You no longer sleep all day or nurse all night. You can be content when I'm not holding you, but you prefer to have me in your sight. You love to nurse, but only for food. When the milk runs out it seems you prefer you two fingers.  Perhaps six months isn't too bad after all...


Oh, and you have teeth! Of course, I didn't even notice until three had completely broken through (that's how I roll). But trust me, I'm well aware now. So you can stop biting me. We have quite a selection of chew toys. But your favorite is the vibrating strawberry. It's your gums drug. Get that thing rumbling and pop it in your mouth and you're off to utopia.  Your body goes limp, your eyes practically roll back in your head, saliva drips down your chin... And of course, I'm the one stuck holding you with one hand and maintaining just the right angle and pressure on the darn strawberry.



Good thing you're cute.  Like really cute.  And that thing you do where you think you're talking but you're really just flappin' your gums and grunting?  Well, keep that up and I'll have to let you keep growing, I suppose.  Those kisses are pretty great, too.  Or perhaps I should say "the way you fall on my cheek with your mouth open." And your giggles.  We all love your giggles.  In fact, we measure a moment's happiness by the extent it makes you laugh.



As it happens, making you laugh is one of big brother Jack's favorite pastimes.  I know he can be a little overwhelming.  And I know he hasn't quite caught on to the whole "be gentle" thing.  But that guy adores you.  Someday, when you're all grown up, he's going to have your back.  And something tells me that having Jack have your back is going to be a very good thing in the future.  In the meantime, he's making you tough.  I try not to let the two of you alone together, but in a family of six, that isn't always possible.  You take a lot, and you handle it with grace.  Although, I think we all agree, it won't be a bad thing when you finally figure out how to fight back.



You may have noticed your other brother, Jude, is quite the charmer.  I've heard he's taught all the girls in his preschool class to say he's "handsome."  And we all know he thinks you are just "so cute!"  Those melting eyes, smolder smile, and adorable lisp ... he's hard to resist.  In delicate situations, I've figured out the best way to handle these charms is to look just beyond him, somewhere over his right ear.  But most of the time, he keeps us all in his smooth-talking grasp.  It's a good thing he's so easygoing.

Oh look, Lia's signature photo eyes.


They're both in a stage where they often ask to get their pictures taken.
And finally, your big sister.  I know she hasn't slipped your notice.  You may think Julia is the loudest, sassiest creature you've ever come across.  You'd be right.  But please note this is something temporary we adults call "two."  You may have noticed that I give in to her loud noises and strange movements more often than necessary.  This is probably true as well.  But just in case you think you'll be able to borrow something out of her bag of tricks when you're two, think again.  Julia has one advantage you'll never have, and that's a baby in the house.  Girl, when all these older siblings are in school and it's just you and me at home, I'll be all over you like white on rice.  You won't even be able to think about whining without me knowing it.  Because, despite how much I'd love to "do" the baby thing again, I'd happily pass on another run of "the twos."  Thankfully, Lia will be out of this stage before you're in to it, and I know she's looking forward to having a playmate soon.  Someone she can "cook" with, an accomplice for emptying mommy's make-up bag, and a sister-princess that shares dress-up clothes.

She wanted her picture taken but couldn't take her eyes off the girl in the mirror.


And now all the inter webs have seen my fabulous shower cap.  Do they even make cute versions of these?

Another challenge being two: you can't turn doorknobs but your older brothers can.


Yes, darling, you fit in well as one of the Fantastic Four.  We love watching you grow and fill your place in our family.  But just don't do it too fast.  There's plenty of time for that.  Let's make the second half of your first year one to savor!

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