Monday, April 14, 2008

Anna Dumpling, Age Six Months

Oh Anna. I've sat down to write this post ahead of schedule for the last few days, but each time I stop myself and save it for a time when I've had more sleep, when you are fussing less, when... I don't know. Pigs fly? No, you aren't horrible to live with. Let's just say there are some current challenges that might dampen my enthusiasm.

There are so many wonderful things about you right now. You are so darn verbal and LOUD. When you tell a story, you really get noticed. You include facial expressions and gestures and farts and raspberries... anything you can do to get your point across. And we just sit back in pure amazement and delight at this little creature who joined our family.

Last night in bed, I asked your daddy what he wants to remember about you at six months old. He said he wants to remember your oral fixation. Honestly? Lots of babies have love affairs with mouths at this age, but you just seem to do it cuter. You love pulling things into your mouth to gnaw on them with your gums, but you are equally pleased to put your fingers in our mouths. When we give them a little nibble or a little kiss, you grin wide with your eyes and chuckle.

Nana wants to remember how verbal you are and how much you play with your feet. She is totally taken with your smile and your happy responses to someone talking to you. She also loves how much you enjoy having your diaper changed because it means that someone is paying total attention to you. She's been here nearly non-stop for the last couple weeks while I heal and rest from my lady part surgery, and she is totally enamored with you. Heck, she even took care of you in the middle of the night a couple of times when you weren't feeling well and couldn't fall back asleep.

And what do I love? Oh honey. I love how your whole body shuddered when we fed you applesauce for the first time the other night. It was tart, and you had never tasted something like that before.

When we nurse, you play with your hands now, and it's so precious to watch you concentrate both on sucking and twiddling your fingers.

Your eyes light up and you chuckle when you see Ben. You love grabbing at his nose and his ears. He's always bringing you nuks and blankies, and if you get fussy, he'll put a toy in your fist.

I can tell already that you are going to be a very curious and interested young lady. If something is going on in the house, you demand that we take you there and let you watch and hopefully, give you something to chew on. We are happy to oblige; you are a part of this crazy family, and you are a part of every new memory we create.

We've gotten in the habit of letting you and Ben take baths together. It's a bit of a challenge, but I can fit the baby tub in the big tub. I soap you up and scrub you down in the baby tub, and then I lift you out of the tub and lay you on your back next to your brother, who is usually sitting, playing with his cars. And then the splashing starts! You kick and flail and scoot your way around the tub, and Ben squeals with laughter and amusement... and he splashes you back. So much fun.

Yesterday I contemplated canceling the photo shoot with Mary because of how you've been feeling lately. After your nose stopped running last week, you came down with a fever, and you haven't been able to shake it. When you don't feel well, you certainly let the neighborhood know! So when the lady with the camera came yesterday, I wasn't sure if we'd get any good pictures. Granted, many of them feature you staring off into space with a Tylenol-induced daze, but in others, you let your sparkling personality shine through.

You are such a delight and a blessing, a joy and a miracle. I never knew baby girls could be so cute and adorable and pretty. I love playing dress-up with you. When you are older, though, I hope you know I won't mind that much if you ask me not to dress you in so much pink and purple. You don't have to be a girly-girl all the time, and I will let you get muddy and covered in grass stains. But for now, you have little roses on your socks, and my favorite outfit for you is a summery orange-and-pink check dress worn with a pair of dark pink long knit pants. I think it makes your eyes ever so blue, and blue eyes are a novelty after staring at my brown ones for the last 26 years.

We can't help ourselves. You get more wonderful each day, even when you are driving us batty.