Friday, December 16, 2016

Letter to (Six Month Old) Sarah Lamar

Dear Sarah Lamar,

It's been such a fun month with you. I cannot, CANNOT, believe that you are halfway to a year!

We've been doing some fun things- we took another road trip and we've decorated for Christmas.  And look, sometimes you just need to take your very attached five month old to the dressy holiday work party at the fancy restaurant.I was so, so thankful to have you in my arms instead of in my belly like at last year's party- it was amazing to eat rich, spicy food and not barf or have excruciating heartburn and, while it was fun last year, I sure loved having my party girl on my hip better!

Something I realized recently is that one of the hardest things for me used to be prioritizing needs and I still struggle with it but it certainly is one thing that's gotten better.The other day I was trying to do some housework while the big kids were eating lunch and you were settled. Right in the middle of this Annie decided she wanted to make more instant potatoes. Not hard, clearly, but she needed a little guidance. Then you spit up all over your playmat and Graves had to go to timeout for running away from me and hiding something behind his back. Just normal life with three kids. I wiped you off, stuck the paci right back in your mouth, left you in the pool of spit up, and finished helping Annie with the measurements (which she had already misread but found a logical way to compensate) and got the potatoes boiling. Then I gave you a real bath (or as real as it gets for you- our days with infant tubs and that kind of apparatus are gone and we "bath" you as Graves says in the sink). Graves went to time out and stayed there the duration of both tasks, which was actually hardly any time at all and we had a discussion while I redressed you and scrubbed the play mat. You were happier having thrown up and nursed yourself to sleep and Annie and Graves had full tummies too and played nicely for a bit while I sat down and tried not to accomplish anything for just a few minutes. I served Annie the potatoes, put up the extras, and washed out the pot we had cooked in and another dish and polished the hardwoods our bedroom and the study. As I was taking out some recycling Annie said "I thought cooking those potatoes together was fun, didn't you?". I'm not sure I can say so truthfully, but I thought it was manageable which is a long way from where I was just a couple of years ago.

I realized that, in these updates, I often talk about your personality and likes and dislikes and such and talk about physical things less so. So with that said, you wear a size one shoe, a size two diaper, and a pretty wide range of clothing but I'd say falls on average right at a 6 mo. in play clothes while leaning toward the higher end of your range in footie pajamas due to your height and leaning toward the lower edge of the parameter in church clothes due to your momma's preference for some of your itty bitty things and the generous nature of bishops and such.  

 Speaking of clothes, it's been SO much fun to break out your Winter stuff. Now that  it's sweater weather,when we got to church you wear my thirty year old Feltman sweater over my thirty year old Feltman dress. I'm afraid I'm about to have to SLOWLY phase out the three little dresses you have been wearing since you started going to church.  I can't even put words to how much I've loved putting you in them. They still fit (they are getting a little short) but they kinda have a newborn/tiny baby vibe to them. And they're paper thin and I'm not sure how appropriate they are now that it's truly Winter. I put you in another one of my old dresses and I liked it more than I thought I would (I typically avoid collars, especially for infants) but the whole thing- down to the sweater and mary janes- looked a bit too mature. Almost toddlerish. I told Minnie that, especially in the sweater, you looked like she was ready for nursery school. SOB. And it was a little casual compared to your usual Sunday stuff.Fortunately, next up are some tatted dresses that I hand wash in my biggest mixing bowl. The excitement over that is inexplicable, too.

 I also put you in a little janejane style romper with an undershirt and you looked so grown up- this was a signature look for toddler Annie and some red striped Christmas jammies Annie wore at TWENTY months.

The other day Annie said "wow, I love Sallie's little outfit today". I asked her why and she said the pink and the flowers. Annie is clearly not a girly girl, so this sort of thing always takes me by surprise. Secretly, I think of Annie every time I put you in these particular jammies because they remind me of how she wanted to name you "Daisy". Secretly, I hate that it didn't stick as a nickname. And secretly, I call you by it occasionally, especially when you wear floral things. Annie was also SO excited to see you in some steggie jams and an old dino paci of Graves's that happened to coordinate. It was fun to see your big sister take an interest in you (I saved the pjs with the hope of exactly that, ha!).

And Graves realized that these paci clips (that I had forgotten we owned) attach the same way as his suspenders and he put then on you and said "Look! Sallie has on her church overalls!".

Lastly- and then I'll move on from the clothing discussion- it felt really, really special when I put you in some New York City footies that I bought your big brother before he was even born, mostly as a present to your papa- a tangible gift to tell him that his dreams of city life were becoming my dreams at the same time as my dreams of motherhood were becoming a reality. It blows my mind all that's happened since Graves wore them half a decade ago. Even though you won't remember it, I can't wait wait for April when I get to show one of my favorite people in the world one of my favorite places in the world for the first time 

 I wouldn't say that you're a BAD sleeper but you don't seem to require much sleep. I'm bad about knowing what's average and I'm kind of bad at even keeping up with what you do (and it varies ALOT day to day). I will say that when you nap more than an hour at a time we accomplish a ton and feel like we've had a day off (and also rush to check your breathing if you don't fuss for your paci a couple of times). 

The other day, you took THREE good naps (plus a bonus one in the Tula), which I hear is pretty normal for a baby her age (I honestly can't remember with Graves; Annie was basically catatonic she slept so much as an infant). It ain't your normal, though. (And so what if only one of those naps wasn't in someone's arms/on someone's chest?) Well, you were WIDE AWAKE at eleven pm.  I think you'll be able to hold your own at the night parties once we move you out of out room now at six months, per the AAP's recommendation (HAHAHA, NOT- have I mentioned that you're rotten?)

You LOVE being on your tummy- to sleep and to play. Sometimes I'll think that you've got to be tired from holding your head up and I'll turn you over on your back and you'll flip right back to your tummy.

You've also gotten super interested in your little toys this month. For the sake of Voluntary Simplicity, they pretty much all fit in this box labeled "Baby Things" on the dresser in the kids' room plus the few that go with your playmat and one or two for the car and diaper bag. You've caught on to the minimalist lifestyle, I guess, and just recently decided your own little long fingers are your  favorite thing to gaze at and manipulate.

You also watched your first feature length film. You didn't make it all the way through and I only feel a teensy bit of guilt about the whole thing. Annie was probably five by the time she saw a real movie because I had some extreme screen convictions at that point in my motherhood. And then God totally took me down a peg because Graves was near about five by the time he could sit still for more than half an hour (despite my ironically basically begging him to do so). And now you are frightening obsessed with screens, so there's that.

I know some people have "no food in bed" rules and I know some people have "no babies in bed" rules. We don't play by any of those rules. In fact, we were so brave we gave you a MumMum bib-free, in the bed, while you watched TV with us. Ha!

Speaking of which, you've tried baby food a few times. By the second time, I had already passed off the task to Graves. I was doing dishes and I heard him say "Too cold for you, Babes?" And then he blew in it to warm it up (which I guess does have a warming effect as well as a cooling one). So sweet!

You are such a funny girl- I honestly think you prefer a roadtrip to a day at home. Just hanging around the house doesn't seem like it interests you as much.  I'm a little scared for when you become bored AND mobile. For example, the day after Thanksgiving you had such a tough morning, mainly because you had a bad cold and I thought you might be getting a tooth and your mean momma wanted to put you in a soft, warm bed and let you get some rest instead of carting you all over and passing you around to people and not letting you get a good nap all day like the day before, which seemed to be the magic medicine for our ridiculous girl. 

I wouldn't change a thing in the world about you (and I know much of your disposition and many of your habits may well be the results of my parenting and our lifestyle) but I know Papa is SO ready for me to stop saying that you're an easy baby. You are a very, very flexible baby but at  six months, you're not an easybaby. Not super hard, but not easy. I describe Annie as complex but predictable. I describe Graves as the opposite. Like Graves, you are hard for me to predict. Hard to nail down. Flexible and easy going but also in need of a lot of attention and affection. I'm honestly glad you two demand it- because like with Graves, I know I'll look back on yopur babyhood and know I wasn't too distracted by less important matters (I simply had less distractions with Annie). And this time I have a perspective I didn't with him- knowing that this time will bring happy memories and the confidence that I immersed myself as much as I could in this season.

Papa has finally figured out how to work with you in the kitchen (his favorite place). A few weeks back, I walked in and you were laying on the counter on your tummy playing. You loved it up close to the action. Then he started putting you in the Tula when he cooks. It doesn't work as well for me because my arms aren't as long, but it seems to be the perfect solution to most of the problems you two have!

I certainly don't want time to move any faster, but I won't be sad when you start sitting up. You yourself are so ready. And since we moved you out of your infant seat into a convertible carseat, I realized I didn't have the carrier option anymore. However, then I realized that even if your eight year old infant seat is a brittle piece of crap but your baby can't sit unassisted, you can still use it as a seat, just not in the car. I mean, you are the the exact opposite of a container baby and the Tula works in most situations, but YOU CAN'T SIT UP. And sometimes I'm in situations where I want to sit without you.

This month, we found a picture of Sarah Lydia Mayfield- Bump- my grandmother who you are named for and we could see such a stong resemblance. You are as spunky and as round and as vivacious as your namesake. It's one of my greatest hopes that you'll be as joyful and as kind and as brave. I can't wait to watch you grow up!

We love you, Little Sallie Sunshine! 

Momma and Papa

P.S. Your sweatshirt was mine and Cookie's and doesn't really have a size; your pants are 6 mo.


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