Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ryan: 6 Months

Dear Ryan,

I am sitting here and I don't even know where to start with this letter. Your growth over these last few months has overwhelmed and astounded me. I swear that around four months you stopped looking like a baby and started looking like a little boy (and a handsome little boy at that).

I guess what you look like is a good place to start. You are growing hair, tons of it. You were born with very dark hair like your momma. Around three months all of that fuzzy baby hair started to fall out. I would find it all over your crib, and in its place you started growing thick hair (again, like your momma). Except for the color wasn't mine. Some of the hairs have grown in bright blonde and others have grown in mousey brown. That is all your Daddy. His hair was blonde as a baby, so it will be interesting to see if you keep going blonde or if you stay this very light brown. And your eyes. Oh boy, Daddy and I have spent hours talking about your eyes. The most obvious thing is the color, we have no idea what it is. Some days they are green, some days they are a muddy blue and some days they are gray. (Again this is all your Daddy.) Best we can figure right now is that they are hazel. But brown is not outside the realm of possibility.

And regarding your eyes. You smile with them. In fact, Daddy and I say all the time that when you smile it is with your soul. Your whole face changes shape and you emanate happiness. Pure unadulterated joy. It fills my heart with so much love.

You are shy and cautious and bashful. In the mornings when I take you out of your crib, you snuggle into my shoulder. I bring you to see your Daddy and when he says good morning to you you smile HUGE and turn into me hiding your face and then you look back out at him smile again and then burrow back into me. We do this for as many minutes as Daddy has time to in the morning. You love that man so much.

You enter new surroundings with a bit of hesitation, but it doesn't take you long to warm up. Last month when we took you to North Carolina, each and every new experience was tempered until you were comfortable - whether it was putting your feet in a pool, on the sand or in the ocean - you slowly built up your own confidence with your new surrounding. And then once you felt safe, you opened up and turned into the effervescent little boy we know and love.

You are curious. Always studying how things work, they way they operate. You reach and grab for things and examine them. Your face becomes very concerned and focused. I would love to be able to hear all of your thoughts.

At this point in time, you have mastered the art of sitting upright (while still leaning on your hands) and rolling from your belly to your back. I have tried so many times to coax you from your back to your belly. You come SO close and then lose interest. If it's that far out of your reach, apparently it's not worth your time.

Up until very recently, you had no desire to put weight on your feet or legs. In fact, if you were in a toy and your feet would touch the ground, you'd pull your legs up under your butt so that you just hang there. Daddy and I call this your frog leg. Sissy is still shorter than you and she likes to stand, so we haven't adjusted the heights on a lot of your toys. I actually think this has worked to our advantage because now you have no choice but to plant your feet in order to play. Over the last week you have been standing and holding yourself up on your legs. While I'm so proud of you for this new skill, I will definitely miss watching you go to such great lengths to keep your feet off the ground.

You grab your feet with both hands now, and love to chew on your toes while I'm changing your diaper. I promise it is cuter than it sounds. You laugh often. It's a whole belly laugh punctuated by squeals and screams of delight (there's also some weird gurgling noise in there too). You laugh at random times that surprise me, and then there are times when I know you will laugh. Like when you are in the bathtub and I wash underneath your neck and around your shoulders. You lose it every single time. I love this about you.

You love to blow raspberries. The faces that you make when you are chattering and raspberrying are beyond hysterical. It's like you are in your own little world. While I haven't always appreciated the shower (of spit, plums - which stain by the way, or peas) I do find it comical that you develop these new skills and then become obsessed with employing them.

You are a funny eater. You like all foods, but as you explore the taste and texture of things you make the best faces. Some looks would lead a stranger to believe I was poisoning you, others are looks of sheer surprise. Funny, funny. You still prefer a bottle to a spoon. But if I'm holding a cup, look out. You want that cup. And not to play with, but to drink from. Although it always surprises you when the liquid in the cup hits your mouth. What a character you are.

You love your sister. You let her crawl and climb all over you, grab your ears, grab your face, grab your clothes. Whatever makes her happy is okay with you. I can't tell if this means you will be a patient, laid-back kid in general, or if you are going to have a special kind of tolerance for Reese. Either way, I love that you love her. When you are sitting next to one another, you will reach for her hand and hold it. How you learned how to do this at 4 months old, I have no idea. But it makes my heart explode each and every time.

On July 6th you sprouted your first two teeth. You have been such a good sport with teething. Some drool, some fussiness, maybe even a few wakeful nights. It's hard to tell. I would have never guessed that your teeth were that close to coming in by your behavior though. Your little tooth nuggets are cute beyond cute (but holy moly they are sharp!) I can't believe you are big enough for teeth. It makes you look more like a boy and less like a baby by the day.

Speaking of big, baby boy you are huge. At your official weigh in you were 16 pounds and 29" long! That's in the 97th percentile for your age. Or, as I explained it to your Aunt Vicki, that means at 6 months old, you are nearly half my height. Wowza. I look at you and shake my head. How did you get *this* big? You are long and lean, I swear you outgrow your PJ's by the week. I am thankful that it is summertime, since I can put you in smaller size shorts that fit you in the waist. Come winter, we are in big trouble. You will either look like Steve Erkel with your pants up to your nipples or people will wonder where's the flood?

Your favorite toy is still the exersaucer, but you are learning the wonders of jumping (when you actually let your feet touch the ground). You enjoy riding on your new dinosaur and swatting at the butterflies on your jungle mat (lately you've been grabbing and pulling on the leaves at the very top, when did you get this big??). Peek-a-boo both scares you and makes you laugh hysterically.

I can't believe we are already halfway through your first year of life. When I thought about what being a mommy was going to be like, I never envisioned it was like this. You are so much more fun, more joyful, more amazing than I could have ever imagined. You are the most beautiful boy I've ever laid my eyes on, and you have my whole heart.

I love you little man, don't grow up too fast on me.


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