May 12 to June 12, 2014Dear Emmy,
You turned six months old on the 12th and my jaw dropped straight off in disbelief that from this day forward, you're closer to being one than you are to being born.
I've gotten to enjoy many outings with you in the last month as the weather's gotten nicer - we hit the Summer Arts Festival, the Children's Museum, the zoo like a million times, we went camping for the first time with you, we rode on a bus to fulfill your sister's bus obsession, we spent countless hours with family (including your great-aunt Nancy from Austin!), we hiked, we walked,
You're teething (I think?!?!) and had a raging ear infection and were still just an awesome baby. You were a little fussier and cried a little more at night, but for the most part were still the joyful baby you always are. You still wake up a few times each night - I don't know how many, honestly, but say more than once and less than a hundred - but you go right back to sleep. Yesterday you just wanted to sleep in my arms, and since I've figured out how to do that both safely and comfortably with you (a skill that eluded me with your big sister) I was like, "YEP. OKAY." Because I love it. You're a wonderful little snugglebug when you're sleeping (and not so cuddly when you're awake) so I will soak in every cuddle I can, even if it means doing it while you sleep. And I don't.
Carys is both your idol and your biggest source of aggravation. You pull her hair; she screams. She takes a toy away from you; you scream. She wants to be the only one in my lap; you scream. You grab the pages of the book she's reading; she screams. But then two seconds later, she spontaneously envelopes you in a giant hug and you beam and coo at her. Your face just breaks into the biggest grin when she so much as glances your way, and the laughs you give her when she plays peek-a-boo are second to none. A toy doesn't count if Carys didn't have it first. You don't want a book unless Carys is trying to read it. Food only looks appetizing if it's something Carys is eating. And kid, let me tell you - she adores you, too. Still, six months later, she runs up to total strangers to introduce them to "my baby sister Emmeline!" She is so proud to be your big sister and always wants to cuddle you and make you smile. She shares all of her joys and successes with you first, before telling me or your dad. I've said it before and I know I'll repeat it probably eight thousand times - the relationship developing between you two is one of my favorite things about being a mom.
You got your first injury. You were in your car seat - unstrapped since we were just hanging out on the porch - and either Carys tipped you forward or you rocked yourself forward and fell right out of the seat. I'll leave it to the two of you girls to hash out who was at fault when you're older, but regardless of who did it....you had a big scrape on your face for a couple days.
You have these enormous big blue eyes and amazing cheeks. And your leg chub. It's actually more like Leg Chub. It's amazing. And your hair is getting a little....darker? Redder? Browner? I don't know exactly, but it's not the white-blonde it was for a little while there. You can actually sort of see it now, though it remains a light downy fuzz more than hair.
SERIOUSLY JUST LOOK AT THIS CHUB.
Right around your six month birthday, I tried solids with you. I gave you some big wedges of avocado and....well, you weren't a fan. You see us eating food. You want to eat food. But when you actually GET food, you look up with this betrayed expression and wonder what the eff we just gave you. We went camping with you the weekend you turned six months old, and you were desperately trying to get to the banana that your Nana was eating. You liked that more than the avocado but still had no idea what the hell was going on.
You started swim class a couple weeks ago, and much to my surprise, you seem to enjoy it. Or at least, you don't hate it, which I'll be honest, surprised me a little bit. While you love baths now, you hated them for a few weeks there, and I wasn't sure how much you'd enjoy slightly colder water up to your neck. You haven't cried yet, even when you get dunked underwater, and you seem to like kicking around in the water. It's so hard to believe that you're old enough for swim class already. It was so hard to take you in the water, though - you still seem like such a little tiny baby to me. Not at all big enough to be taking swim class. Not big enough to be dunked underwater. I don't want to let you go and give you to the teacher when it's time. I feel this urgent need to protect you and keep you with me at all times.
You are your own little baby, so entirely, but the comparisons to Carys are inevitable. It's so strange - you seem so big sometimes, but you seem so much littler and smaller than she did at the same age. She was eating solids at 5.5 months, and seemed totally ready for swim class. But with you, I find myself thinking you aren't ready, even though you probably are. You're physically bigger than she was at the same age (barely, but a few ounces heavier and an inch longer) and you're at the same stage developmentally, but since I have a toddler running around, you seem so tiny in comparison. Six months seemed so old with her since the only thing I had to compare to was her as smaller baby. But six months seems so tiny with you since the comparison baseline is a giant toddler who talks and runs and has an imagination. And can I be honest? It's wonderful. Carys's babyhood seemed to go in the blink of an eye, and time is flying with you, too...but it's different. You're still my little baby, and I think I'll feel that way about you for a long time. I promise I won't call you "my baby" in front of your high school friends.
I always write these while you're sleeping and I always end with an intense desire to go wake you up to cuddle more.
Oh, well, I know in (checks watch) about an hour you'll wake up to eat and I'll get to cuddle you then.
And I cannot WAIT.
Love you, sweet girl.
P. S. You're adorable.