This post is coming a little later than my usual monthly baby update. (Essley turned six months old back on June 28th.) I'm continuing to learn a lot as a new parent, and one of these lessons is that as time goes on and you begin to establish routines, the newness becomes your everyday reality and no longer feels so new. Couple this with the fact that the huge, rapid transformations of a newborn are replaced with more gradual changes, and, frankly, there just isn't as much to write about each month. This doesn't mean that exciting (to me) things aren't still happening everyday. I just can't say for sure that I'll continue to post about them every single month.
All that said, June 28th was Essley's 'half birthday,' and that admittedly felt like kind of a big deal to this new parent. I may have even grabbed a cheap tiara on my way out of Target the day before that become an official half birthday crown. And my mom may have even bought Essley a new chair and an outfit and some bath toys to celebrate. I almost put a candle in her avocado puree (yep, she just had her first food aside from mama's milk!), but decided that that was a little excessive. Silly or not, I can't believe my little baby girl is now (over) half way to a year. It's so cliche, and I keep saying that it's so cliche, and then I say it anyway - it's insane how fast your kids grow. It just is.
The big milestones are starting, and as boring as they probably seem to everyone else, they are earth-shatteringly amazing to me. After six solid months of exclusively breastfeeding, Essley ate her first taste of 'solid food' (I pureed an organic avocado). And massive grins were plastered on Robbie's and my faces for a good three hours afterward, because OMG, so cute. It was all over her face and it took a couple of tries before she understood what was happening, but now it's safe to say that she's obsessed with her daily 'big girl food' time. After a week of avocado, we switched to sweet potato. Next up, maybe some mashed banana? (See? I told you - it's the most exciting stuff ever.) She's still rolling over (and still gets very frustrated with the tummy-to-back method), and still having serious giggle fits, and still smiling all. the. time. She sits up now too, and despite lots of awkward tumbling over, this is huge, because she is able to entertain herself and stay occupied for, like, five whole minutes. She's taken a few more road trips with me, and we'll be taking our first mini-vaca as a family (two days up at our favorite lake) later this week. It's important to us that she feels comfortable traveling, and so far, so good. The giggle fits now occur several times a day. She's getting great at recognizing people, and it's also taking her longer to warm up to strangers. No teeth are appearing yet, but all the signs are all there (we call her Drool-ia Roberts and she bites down on her frozen teethers with a vengeance.) She reacts to everything. She is also fascinated by everything. Sleep is still somewhat of a challenge, but we anticipated this because of Robbie's work/tour itinerary, which, when you're trying to involve both parents, doesn't exactly make for a conventionally consistent schedule. So it's not a shock to us that a solid sleep routine hasn't come easy. I'm pretty middle-of-the road in my beliefs on sleep 'training' vs full-on co-sleeping (I put her down drowsy at the same time every night, but there is still lots of nursing to sleep happening and she's almost always in our bed by morning; and she's still not much of a napper), but we're all learning together. The best part of this stage is that she officially has her own little personality, and I love it. And I love her. And everything about her.
Thinking ahead to the second half of her first year is pretty intense. She may be walking! Yikes! And she'll definitely be crawling - and soon! For now though, I'm just going to continue to appreciate the tinier, less significant (at least in the grand scheme) things that happen in the day to day. I used to hate mornings, with a very serious passion. Now when I go to bed, I can't wait for the morning, because I get to wake up to Essley's smile. And that might be the most disgustingly cheesy thing I've ever written here, but it's the truth.
Thanks for letting me share some bits and pieces of this most incredible part of my life. The monthly updates may slip through the cracks as time goes on, but this kid is everything to me, and chances are, you'll continue to hear about her growth and accomplishments now and then along the way.
Last image: Leggings c/o Chaboukie. Moccasins c/o Freshly Picked.