Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Month 6, A Review

Dear Phoebe,

Today you are 6 months old. We celebrated by going to a birthday party for Daisy, our friend's daughter. Now is as good a time as any to tell you that you are practically betrothed to Daisy's younger brother Isaac who is only one month older than you and totally cute.

The only way you're ever going to learn authentic Mexican cooking is if you have Mexican in-laws. So I am doing this for you and one day you'll appreciate it. Believe me -- you were putting down the rice tonight and your mom doesn't know how to make it.

This month has been chock-full of new experiences for you. You have begun eating what we call "people food" which ultimately is fit for human consumption, but because Lola wants to eat whatever we're feeding you, we typically have to say "No -- dogs don't get people food!" and you look at me and laugh and open your mouth wide for more.

So far you like everything: carrots, peas, bananas, squash, pears and sweet potatoes. You are not too happy about rice cereal by itself, but I just mix some into your other food and you eat it just fine.

You are getting closer and closer to sitting up these days. You strain and lift your head up off the pillow for a few seconds before collapsing from exhaustion. I'm impressed. I have not done a sit-up in at least 4 years.

Transitioning you to people food is an exciting process, but yet another reminder of your independence and how that independence is going to cause me to die from anxiety attacks. I can no longer rely just on breastmilk to keep you nourished and in addition to all the other worries, I have to worry if what I'm feeding you is going to be enough, the right temperature, not poisoned, and healthful. I did not need this extra anxiety, but on the bright side I can see a light at the end of the tunnel and it's shaped like an underwire bra. Oh how I have missed them.

Phoebe, boobs need to be lifted in order for most shirts to fit properly. And I'm looking forward to rediscovering all of my old shirts (and bras) sometime in the next few months.

I've been asked when I'll stop breastfeeding and I don't know. I sort of think that's up to both of us to decide. I stopped breastfeeding at 11 months. I'm not sure when you'll want to stop. If you're reading this, I'm going to assume that you have stopped by now and are probably going "MO-OM this is SO GROSS!" but it's true.

Wait until I tell your boyfriends how I used to dig out your boogers with a large paper clip. That's right. A paper clip. It works best to get out your dried carrot-tinged boogers, which are occasionally fed to the dog. Only if she's been good.

You have grown and changed so much in the past month. You are so long and thin. Everyone tells us how small you are, but when we pick you up they really get to see your impossibly-long torso. You inherited it from me, and I know I will self-flagellate with a martini glass filled with cheap vodka when you are 15 and one-piece swimsuits don't cover you up.

Oh my god, Phoebe ... you are going to be 15 one day. And you are going to want to wear underwire bras.

Your poor dad.

We went to Bakersfield last week to visit with your grandma Shelley while daddy was working in Utah. It was at lunch with Frank at Valentien when we fed you the split pea and roasted asparagus soup you loved so much. Your taste buds are already developing.

You continue to sleep through the night and smile and laugh. Your eye problem is now a little more pronounced. Well, not the palsy itself, but the winking of your weaker eye which is - ironically - not the eye with the palsy. So in many of the pictures we are taking of you these days, you have an obvious wink. We think it's cute.

I can't believe it's been 6 months since your dad and I tip-toed into the nursery at French Hospital to watch you sleep. You were on oxygen and you had your very own nurse watching you to make sure you were okay. You are more than okay. In fact, you are even starting to grow hair.

Your dad and I often get into heated discussions about your hair color. I am convinced it's blonde. Your dad insists that it's "getting darker". I'm looking forward to the future when you have longer hair and your dark baby hair (that you were born with) grows out and I can go "Dark hair, huh?" to your dad. And be all "That's right, I win".

One day you'll be married and you'll appreciate how important these types of situations can be.

This month we are celebrating your first Christmas and your dad was so proud to get a tree for our house and to show you all the lights and your Phoebe bird ornament.

This month, you are really starting to recognize us. You get so happy when your dad comes home from work each day. And I can tell he loves seeing you, too. You sit on his lap in the leather chair (that I'm hoping you'll set fire to on accident one day) and you tell him stories and grab his nose. You are obsessed with grabbing faces lately.

Everyone continues to marvel at what a happy, mellow baby you are. You bring so much joy to our lives, and you change almost constantly.

Now the people who met you a few months ago tell me "She's grown so much!" You are getting stronger, more alert, more fun. You laugh at everything (particularly when we eat, for some reason -- are we that messy?) and you should see the routines your dad and I do in order to coax the laughter out of you. Songs, fart sounds, funny voices ... sometimes you laugh when I shake my head from side to side and you see my ponytail swinging back and forth.

Everyone we see when we're out running errands stops us and tells me "What a pretty baby!" and "She's so cute!" and the older people tell me "Oh they're so much fun when they're that age, but they grow up so fast."

I agree.

I really wish you could stay this age forever, but I am really looking forward to watching you grow up.