It’s Anna’s five month birthday today-and I’m feeling a little weepy about it. Last Christmas I remember thinking- “A year from now we’ll have a five month old, smiley baby with us.” And now, here we are. A whole year has passed, and she’s even more beautiful and perfect than we’d ever have imagined. But, don’t all new parents say that?
Anna wakes up most mornings at 7:00am, happy and talkative. Rarely does she cry from her crib unless we ignore her too long in favor of our sleep. Both of us love to go in her room and greet her because she offers huge face grins that light up your heart and make the cold, early morning turn warm and wonderful. She usually sleeps from 7:00pm to 7:00am, with one ‘dream feed’ at 10:00pm. I love our 10:00pm feed and while it’s probably time to start phasing it out, I’m enjoying it too much to let go quite yet. At that hour she’s snugly and peaceful. I love laying in bed with her, the lights low and soft. Jonathan often lays with us, reflecting over the day, and touching her soft hair. (Let’s be honest: other nights he falls asleep on us and I peruse Facebook on my phone.) The last two mornings she has woken at 5:00am and wants to eat. Against all the co-sleeping warnings, I will let her stay in bed with us for the remaining 90 minutes until it’s time to officially get up. I like waking up to her sweet face pressed against mine. They are moments we can’t pass up, because they are moments we’ll never get back.
Our days consist of a somewhat stable pattern- eat, awake for 90 minutes or so, and back down for a nap. I would like her to be taking 1 1/2 to 2 hour naps but she prefers little 45-60 minute naps instead. I’ve tried all sorts of things to help her sleep longer but usually she wins. And, you know what? She’s a happy baby when she’s awake so I really can’t insist she needs more sleep. When she’s awake I love putting her in her Bumbo seat to watch me clean up or cook. Sometimes I’ll have her bounce in her Johnny Jump Up while I blowdry my hair. She also loves her little playmat with dangling animals. About a month ago she finally began grabbing them. Over the last few days her animals seem less interesting. Instead, she’s favoring a new trick…rolling over from back to tummy. We are, of course, so proud of her new move but also very, very frightened for her new found independence. I’m going to blink and be handing her the keys to our car.
A few weeks ago Anna started eating rice cereal. She loves it, although part of the interest may be the colorful spoons. She likes “helping” feed herself, and making quite the mess while doing so. I’ve started making and stockpiling some baby food. I started with a banana puree because we had a bunch that were ready to go bad. She’s not ready for bananas yet, but they are waiting for her in the freezer. Maybe in January she’ll get her first taste.
We continue to marvel at how fast our newborn has turned into a 16 pound infant who babbles and grabs her legs and our hair, who recognizes Daddy with excitement, who loves looking in the mirror, and who takes in the world with wonder and joy. She is the most lovely distraction, and a gift we treasure every day.