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Not-so-new momma.

Dear baby girl,

I’ve been at this gig for over half a year now, so I feel like I can’t pull the “I’m new at this” excuse quite as much as I did before. It took a while to get to the point where I was like “I’ve got this” (and some days I still wonder!), but I’ve got to admit, I’m starting to feel like I know what I’m doing. You’re probably glad to hear that!

Being your momma is both the best and most challenging job I’ve ever had – no matter what each day brings, all of it is worth the joy of seeing you grow and thrive. Six months is a big milestone, and I am loving this stage. Every age has been fun: from tiny, snuggly newborn to chatty and newly mobile baby to 6 months and ready to be on the move, it has been an adventure to see you grow.

Here are some of the highlights of life lately:

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Sitting up like a big girl and enjoying the fresh air

Baby on the move. One of your favorite activities is to roll over, back and forth, every which way imaginable. I have found you in every corner and position in your crib, and you always manage to roll off of the giant blanket we have spread across the living room floor. Once you figure out crawling, we’re in trouble! I can tell you’re already starting to work on it, as you’re bringing your legs underneath you and are getting up on your knees.

Sitting up. You’re not quite sitting up on your own yet, but with practice we are getting closer. I think it will be just a matter of weeks until you’ll be sitting up by yourself like a big girl. You like practicing in your bumbo chair and with a little assistance from me or your daddy.

Eating solids. We haven’t given you solid food yet, as we want to wait until you are sitting up on your own. When we took you to your six-month checkup last week, your doctor said he agreed and encouraged us to feed you solids when we think you’re ready. For now you are still only eating breastmilk and seem perfectly content continuing to do so. I am excited to try solid foods but want to wait until I know you are ready.

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Enjoying a babywearing walk!

Big girl. You’ve more than doubled your birth weight and now tip the scales at a whopping 13.5 lbs. You’re in the 7th percentile for weight and 69th percentile for height at 26.5 inches long. You’re a healthy, tall and skinny baby girl!

Sleeping soundly. It was a rough past couple months of waking up more frequently than what we were used to (which was still only 1-2 times a night) after going swaddle free, but all of a sudden this week you started sleeping through the night again with stretches of 8 to almost 11 hours. I am enjoying this while it lasts!

Walking it out. One of your favorite things to do lately is be outside. The increase of sleep this week has also brought with it an increase in fussiness (I think we’ve hit a growth spurt!), but what has calmed you down the most is going outside and exploring. You especially love babywearing walks with Momma as we walk around the neighborhood. Tonight you met a few neighbor doggies, and you were just fascinated by them!

The best part of this age is being able to interact with you and see your personality shine. You are becoming one strong and determined baby girl, just like your momma. 🙂 It has been an amazing six months – time has gone so fast! I look forward to celebrating many more milestones and seeing you continue to grow and change each day.

With love,

Momma

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New mom nursing.

Dear baby girl,

One of my favorite times of the day is the quiet stillness of the night when I am alone with you, feeding you and putting you to sleep.

Whether it is at the end of the day or even in the wee hours of the morning, I find so much peace in the moments when you are wrapped perfectly in my arms. Even if I have a lot on my mind, or even if I am completely exhausted, I just look down at you and my heart smiles. With you I find rest and peace; the cares of the world float away for a few moments as my heart is filled with thankfulness for you.

Nursing is not something you can really prepare for when you are pregnant, and no one tells you how hard it is. It takes time, patience and the support and knowledge of others to get you through. My biggest support has been our local La Leche League group, as they have been able to answer my tough questions and provide support when I needed it.

It took a couple months to really figure things out, but I am so glad I stuck with it. Even currently, when things are difficult – whether you are teething or distracted by the world around you – I know it is just a phase and we’ll get through it. These harder times are far outweighed by the others we share, the moments when you and I are the only two people in the world.

The moments when all I hear are your soft breaths as you eat.

The moments when you reach up towards me, wanting to touch my neck and face, as though you are memorizing the details of your momma.

The moments when you pause, stop eating, slowly look up at me and smile. Though it can be frustrating (and painful), I can’t help but smile back at you.

The moments when your hands draw near to your face, your tiny fingers covering your eyes. I slowly study your wrist rolls, where your hand and arm meet together in a small roll and don’t quite form a wrist yet. It is literally the most adorable thing ever.

The moments when you close your eyes and I study your perfect little features: your long eyelashes resting against the tops of your cheeks, your tiny nose pressed against me, your chin slowly drawing up and down.

The moments when you hum softly as you eat, making your own music.

The moments when you fall asleep in my arms, your pursed lips still sucking the air after you’ve stopped eating. I watch you as you fall asleep, your beautiful face completely at rest; your small frame pressed against me. I could watch you and hold you like this forever.

There is something beautiful about these moments, and I will forever cherish them. I know that these days are numbered, and I am thankful to be able to share these moments with you.

I treasure what you and I share together and will carry these moments with me always.

With love,

Momma

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My first Mother’s Day.

Dear baby girl,

It’s my first Mother’s Day today, and my heart is full. I feel blessed to be celebrating this day, and I couldn’t be more thankful or proud to be your momma.

Just one year ago – on Mother’s Day – is when we announced to the world that we were expecting your arrival. We made it “Facebook official” as they say, by posting the picture below.

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Needless to say, we were pretty ecstatic to be sharing the big news with everyone. I remember last year’s weather was pretty similar to today, with storms and tornadoes on the horizon. The weather is somewhat symbolic of our life’s journey at that time and now, as we were just coming out of and are now going through some storms in life. Your daddy and I have been through some hard times together, but no matter what curveballs we get thrown at us, we always seem to make it out on the other side stronger. Without each other, and without our faith, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

I am incredibly thankful that no matter what challenges I experience, I have your daddy and you alongside me to carry me through. And today, as I celebrate Mother’s Day, I am so thankful for my mom (your gammie), as well as the love and support of the rest of our family. It is the depth of our love for one another that blesses me the most. It is my hope and my goal for you to know and understand the love that I have for you. And, that the love we have for one another is just a glimpse of the unconditional love that God has for us as His children.

No matter what curveballs life will throw your way, sweet baby girl, know that I will be here to carry you through. As your mother, it is my joy to protect you and be here for you through it all.

With love,

Momma