Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Six months

6 months
 Katherine, my little lovely,

You are six months old today and bright as a shiny new penny.  Many people have remarked on your expressive little face and the inquisitive gaze that you adopt as you take everything in.  I think sometimes people find it surprising to find such an engaging soul in a tiny little package not much bigger than some newborns.  Last week you weighed in at 11 lbs, 10 oz.  You've only just outgrown size 1 Pampers, and your 0-3 month wardrobe fits just about perfect.

We don't need no stinkin' tummy time by keeniebeanieYou seem to attract attention wherever we go - walking down village streets, in the shops... little old ladies find you especially irresistable.  I was feeding you in an out-of-the-way corner of Windsor Castle and two little old dears with a tour group from some far-eastern nation came over and began to coo and comment over you.  They didn't speak English, but the tone of their conversation and their wide smiles were unmistakable.  In short order, we were surrounded by a knot of elderly admirers and one of them stuttered out what must have been one of the few English words she knew: "be-ooo-tee-ful," she said, smiling and bobbing a little bow, then that compliment was tentatively repeated by a few other people.  Your little eyes widened as you gulped down your bottle and assessed your fans, and when I said "thank you" to the compliments and smiled back at the group, you followed suit - grinning widely from behind the bottle, utterly charming them all.  After the group disbanded, one of the castle guards remarked that you're one of the more popular attractions on the day.
Open wide by keeniebeanie
This month you've been exploring your vocal range, squawking like a baby pterodactyl to discover the limits of pitch and volume.  But, quite considerately, you do this odd little thing where you kind of swallow those squeals, not really pushing to full volume.  Heaven help us when you decide to do so, because I imagine it will be ear-splitting right up to the point where you go ultrasonic.  In the past week though, you've started emitting a dulcet, conversational babble which is adorable, and I would love to know exactly what you think you are saying.

Find a toy, pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck by keeniebeanieYou've started to try to hold your bottle, you bat at toys on the play gym and you are fascinated with hands, both mine and your own.  When I spread my fingers out in front of you, you place your hand against my palm and stare, as if absorbing the difference... and the similarity.

We went on our first holiday with you this month, to a little cottage in Cornwall, and on the way down we stopped at Granny's house.  She asked if I had any toys along for you and I told her you weren't really interested in toys yet, because you had exhibited a distinct indifference to them to that point.  I felt like mother of the year (not!) when she handed you a toy from her stash and you picked it up, examined it intently and then shoved it in your mouth.  It's not the first time that you've surprised me with a new trick and I'm sure it won't be the last.  I'm amazed at how much you absorb and learn all on your own.

Loves her Cuddle Blanket made by Grandma by keeniebeanie
Loves her cuddle blanket
You giggle when I kiss your apple-round cheeks, flirt with yourself in the mirror, and love to play your own version of peek-a-boo.  You ball up your cuddle blanket and bury your face in it, furiously kicking your little legs, then peek out over the top and go completely still to see if I'm watching.  You catch my eye and I exclaim, "there's Katherine!"  I can sometimes only see your eyes when you do that, but your grin under the blanket lights them up completely.

Speaking of holidays, you once again proved your resilience - not being rattled at all by the change in location or routine.  In fact, the first full day we were away, you were quite tired and I put you down to sleep before 8:00, nearly two hours early.  And just like that, your bed time moved from 9:00/10:00 to 7:00/8:00 and you never looked back.  With a few exceptions here or there, you're sleeping through to 5:00 for your first bottle and back to sleep until 7:00 or 8:00.  It's actually a bit hard for mummy to drag my butt out of bed that early now since your night owl ways for the first months of life seem to have reset my morning-personality.

Also, I braved my first cold with you this month (mine, not yours - thankfully) and it was the hardest thing I'd had to do as a parent so far.  You needed me, I needed sleep.  You win.  You'll always win when you need me, my precious baby girl.

In the past few days, you've started to lay your head on my shoulder when I hold you upright.  This is in stark contrast to your effort, without fail, to hold your head up and look around when in that position ever since you were born.  It's so lovely when you melt into me and tuck your head under my chin.  It's as if, after 6 months of me cuddling you, you're cuddling me back too.  I absolutely love it... and I love you...

... with all my heart,