Wow, Mateo, you're six months old today. How did that happen? You were just an itty bitty guy and now you have exploded into full-grown baby mode. It is amazing to me that you have grown so much in these six months, and that time has passed so quickly. Of course, in many ways, I feel like you have been a part of my life forever -- so in that sense six months seems like so few. I find it hard to believe that in another six months you will be a year old... but that's the way it works, I suppose.
Last night, I went through some pictures from your first days. Everything since your birth forward has been so magical for me, I wanted to relive it all a bit. Driving home from work yesterday, I was also thinking about humility, and how nothing in my life has been as humbling (in a good way) as the experience of being your mother. Thinking about and caring for another being day in day out is an oddly efficient way to learn more about one's self. I have changed a lot since I've met you -- it might not show on the outside, but I can feel on the inside that I am not the same person. Though things have at times been very difficult, I think most all of these changes have been for the better. Now, I just appreciate that even hard times are part of the human experience and that there is something to be learned from everything. The last few months haves made me a much stronger person, and I hope that these lessons that I have learned will help me be a better mama to you.
Before leaving Paris, I had a conversation with your dad about attitude. I told him that going into things and thinking you are going to make the most of them is sometimes half the battle. This has been my mindset since we left France, and I think it has paid off. I am still as happy as I was in France, even though my living situation is a little precarious. I am proud of myself for remaining positive and being able to laugh through the hard times. Of course, you make that pretty easy. Why, just yesterday you shook your head at your grandmother and me when we were singing an enthusiastic version of "Old MacDonald." Clearly, you weren't impressed, and we were dying of laughter at your vigorous rejection of our song. You make me smile and laugh so many times per day, and I often get tears in my eyes when I think about how lucky I am to have you here. You are the light of my life.
Yesterday you had your six month check up, and you are right on target for most things. You weigh just under 19 lbs and are about 28 inches long, which puts you up in the 75th and 85th percentile respectively. I told grandma and grandpa that they need to stop calling you chunky, because you're clearly much taller than you are wide. I think you're just fooling everybody because of your superman cheeks. Don't do anything to those just yet -- they're almost mindbendingly cute.
You also got your shots yesterday and were so brave. You cried a bit but as soon as I scooped you up, you just looked around the room with tears in your eyes, and the scariness of the shots was over almost before at had even started. You were a real love at the doctor's and you even made a new girlfriend on the way out.
The doctor also said that I need to get you to learn to sleep on your own, so I went out and bought a copy of Aimee's recommended book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. The set up discussed in that book for quality sleeping seems a little rigid by my taste, but I decided to put it to the test yesterday and today, anyway. So far, so good. I never believed in crying it out when you were just a wee thing, but I have given it a go for the last five times I have put you down, and it has worked every time. Maybe you are old enough so that you can manage this better -- I don't know. Our previous attempts were unsuccessful. Yesterday, I put you down and you cried for five minutes and then put in a good hour-long nap. Nightime had you crying for 15 but then you slept from 8:30 pm until 5:30 am, uninterrupted. This morning, you didn't even cry for a full three minutes before you were out like a light. I am crossing my fingers that the week-long turnaround for you to learn to sleep on your own holds true, and that maybe your added sleepiness from the shots will help us with this transition.
This month is going to be very busy for the two of us. These last two weeks have been crazy, as I have been working so many hours and have had so little free time. You soak up all of my attention when I am at home, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
The other day, we set up the Christmas tree and I am told you were very interested in how Grandpa put up the lights. You have also taken a keen interest in the ornaments, which you like to bat at and make fall off the branches. That sure is neat. Fortunately, you're not really walking or crawling yet, as we would probably have to nail the tree into the wall so as to keep you from tipping it over.
You also went to see carolers at the nursing home where your Great Grandma lives, and word has it that you were fascinated by the singing. One of the residents -- they all know you well by now -- got tears in her eyes when she saw you. She has had a stroke and can't really speak or move, but she always has a smile for you. The day you went to hear the caroling, she said "Hello," to you, which is really quite amazing. You bring happiness everywhere you go.
We have started feeding you "real" food now that the doctor says it's a go. This is so much fun, and you seem to enjoy it too. A friend of your grandparents is lending us a high chair, and I have to say -- it is amazing to me that you are old enough and big enough to be in a high chair. You like to feed yourself and you are pretty funny about the cereal. I think you like the act of eating but not the cereal itself. We are going to try more fun things progressively in the coming months, I can't wait until we discover something you really love.
At Christmas, your aunts and uncles, baby cousin, and great-grandma are going to pack into this house, where we will all live like sardines. I am going to continue working some, but mainly I want to spend as much time with our family as possible. We are blessed to be able to spend your first Christmas with people we love. I can't wait!