Half a year? Honestly? Six months, already?
Well, in truth, February 25 feels like it was about three lifetimes ago. And of that six months, she’s only been at home for three and a half, so I suppose it’s understandable that I feel a little confused as to how we got here.
But here, indeed, we are. Six months old, my sweet Ellie Bear.
She is really a very happy baby, very much of the time. Her smiles have gone from few and fleeting to freely shared with all. So sweet, watching her face light up when she sees me or M or Daniel or Becca. Even better, she’s really starting to laugh. Again, like smiling, I first thought I heard her chuckle about six weeks ago. But it was so brief (just a single “heh”) and so infrequent, I wasn’t even completely sure that’s what it was. But now, with a little hard work and some silly faces, you can actually draw out some real giggles. She’s also pretty talkative, sometimes a sweet “aaahhh,” sometimes a gutteral growl. But you can always tell if it’s a happy sound or a grumpy one.
With the help of twice-weekly physical therapy (one through the hospital and one at home through Early Intervention), she’s making really nice strides in strength and motor skills. She’s reaching and grabbing more (especially her lovey or anything fabric), holding her head much more steady, and I’ve noticed a lot more strength in her core and legs. I feel like, now, I can look at her and say “yes, she’s going to sit on her own at some point.” It won’t be next week, but she’ll get there. For that, I am very glad.
She has been, all told, a very good sleeper. She’s been consistently sleeping through the night since about four months. Well, sometimes I think she’s awake, but she’s quiet and/or happy and doesn’t require anything from us to go back to sleep. So, close enough. I’ve been playing pretty fast and loose with her daytime sleep, often getting just catnaps in the morning and then a good long nap in the afternoon. It had been working well until a few days ago, and now I think I’m starting to pay the price for the lack of morning sleep. She’s having a harder time settling for that long afternoon nap, and then totally falls apart by bedtime. Bedtime itself is, usually, pretty good. We got into the habit of doing a bath every other night instead of every night, mostly because she screamed bloody murder every time. But now that we’ve got her nasty recurring diaper rash under control, she’s much happier in the tub. Go figure.
She has teeth. OH MY GOD does she have teeth. Four so far, with at least two more clearly visible that will probably be through in the next week or two. For the record, Daniel got his first tooth on his six-month birthday, and Rebecca didn’t get one for another two months after that. RI-GOD-DAMN-DICULOUS, especially for a baby who doesn’t eat.
Oh, right. The eating/feeding thing. It blows. The “practice” with the bottle is going absolutely nowhere. She used to sometimes try to chew on it, but now she just screws up her face and turns away. I’ll talk to our speech pathologist soon (she’s the one guiding our feeding therapy stuff) and we will probably just go for purees on a spoon in the near future, but no idea how that’ll go. In the meantime, the g-tube feeding stuff is going fine and is relatively easy and portable. But, yeah. No noticeable progress there, and the gag reflex is as bad as it ever was.
That said, she’s growing just fine. Well, sorta. She’s packing on the pounds like nobody’s business (15lb7oz/44th percentile at her checkup this morning), but is still pretty short (24″, which was probably generous, around the 5th percentile). We’re working with a nutritionist to gradually tweak her formula intake to try to even those two things out.
She has been really great this summer, tolerating a lot of being dragged around with relative ease. The time has clearly come for me to get serious about planning and respecting her naps, but all in all she has done amazingly well between the endless doctor’s appointments and following along with the big kids and their activities. While she might not be THE most easygoing baby in the world (see: stroller and carseat aversion that, while improved, is not gone), she really has been great. One of the things I’m looking forward to about the big kids going back to school is the chance to actually focus on her a little more, instead of just dragging her to gymnastics.
There you have it, snapshot of my little girl at half a year old. Time has alternately flown and dragged, but mostly flown. I know I’m going to blink and she’ll be a year old, and two, and four, and eighteen. Unbelievable.