Monday, September 12, 2011

Letter to (Five Month Old) Graves

Dear Graves,

You are five months old today.  One more month and you'll be half a year.  WHAT?

It's took me this long, but I really found like I've finally found my groove with you.  Cutting the dairy out of my diet has made you a much happier boy.  You 're still a lap baby, though, so you spend lots of time in mine and Papa's arms.  Actually, you don't discriminate and you'll coo and smile at anyone who wants to hold you!  You're loving going to Mother's Day Out two mornings a week and your teachers think you are quite the flirt.

More and more, you are enjoying a little independent time on the floor or on your play mat.  You grab things, bat the toys on your play mat with your feet and chew on all Annie's old (mostly pink) teething toys.  You have started rolling over and you can go both ways.  However, a lot of times you get stuck on your tummy and scream until someone feels sorry for you and comes and flips you. You've recently decided that you don't hate the Bumbo seat after all.  Actually, it makes you feel like a big boy and especially in the nursery, you are so happy to sit in it and look around.

I always think of your sister as the more independent one, because she seems to be our little introvert who likes to do things by herself, at her own time, in her own way.  You, on the other hand, are a social butterfly.  You light up when someone talks to you.  We've discovered that we don't always have to be holding you anymore; sometimes you'll sit happily beside us, but we need to be talking to and interacting with you.  I say this all the time, but I am sort of glad you are that way.  It forces me not to get lost in the business of things and to slow down and focus on you.  It makes both our lives richer!

You are eating cereal and a little baby food, now.  You are pretty picky and Papa said that maybe you just didn't like the store bought food.  I tasted it and it was disgusting.  I made most of your sister's food when she was a baby and I was planning on doing the same, but I guess that sealed the deal. I pureed a big batch of bananas for you today!

You have a new little quirk.  Almost every time you nurse you like to hold onto my shirt.  I think it's a comfort thing for you.  It's really sweet.  I'm not one who really LOVES breastfeeding, but the other night Papa reminded me that you might be our last biological child.  I'm trying to soak in all these special moments with you.  I do love seeing the comfort you take in those moments, how you can go from terribly upset to so calm and peaceful.  I like watching you little eyes get heavy and then start to roll back a little as you drift off to dreamland.

You've also taken an interest in stuffed animals lately.  You have a few "lovies" you really like, but you favorite is a little bright orange lion.  You hold him and play with him and snuggle with him all throughout the day.  The runners up are Sophie the Giraffe, your favorite teething toy and Flopsy, a white bunny that a sweet friend gave Ann Peyton.  Your sister has happily agreed to lend Flopsy to you indefinitely ;)

Your sleep is sort of across the map.  Surprisingly, I'm really okay with that.  Usually I think of myself as very structured and schedule oriented, but I just don't feel like a itty bitty baby needs a strict schedule.  I'm not saying they are bad; your sister put herself on one and THRIVED.  But I think you are thriving without that.  You do have a flexible routine- you take a short nap in the morning and a long one in the afternoon.  This works to my benefit because usually your nap and Annie's coincide at least somewhat. You're still waking up some at night, but we transitioned you into the nursery with Ann Peyton and it's made a good bit of difference.  I think you are more comfortable in there and maybe you sleep longer when you can't smell your food source.  Thankfully, your crying has had no effect on her sleep.  She's like a hibernating bear!  I feel like this works for us right now, and it's only a season.  One thing that is really nice is that when we deviate from your schedule, you seem to take it in stride.

One of Momma's dearest friends has a phrase she often uses about parenting (as well as other aspects of life).  She says that our ultimate goal as parents is to point our children to Christ.  I have always emphatically agreed and acknowledged the manifold truth in such a statement, but this month I had a little revelation.  You see, Graves, the truth is, that's only half of the Gospel inspired love story that our family is trying to write.  Because, more often than not, you (and your sister) point ME to Christ.  Before becoming a parent, I never felt such humility from my own inadequacy.  Consequently, I have never felt such a need for a Savior.  Rarely had I felt such weakness and pleaded for strength the way I have in the last five months.  Consequently, rarely have I felt such a need for a Lord.  Never have I felt the such a burden for right direction and wisdom and consquently never have I wanted more to be guided by the Spirit. Parenting brings me and Papa face to face with the Triune God in way we have never before known.  For that we are immeasurably grateful for you and your sister.

I love you,
Momma (and Papa)

P.S. This month's little diaper set is a 6 mo.  Minnie told me the other day that you didn't even look like a baby to her anymore.  She said you looked like you were fifteen.  While you've definitely lost every last bit of the newborn look, I told her I still think you look like a sweet baby.  But in this month's picture you do look so grown! 

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