Dear Sweet Cora,
You are halfway to your 1st birthday! It's winter now, which means that just one more season stands between us and your summer celebration. I can't believe it. You have stolen our hearts, little girl. You have a truly delightful personality and you absolutely melt your daddy and me with your sparkly eyes, precious smiles, and sweet cooing. Back during the first couple months of your life, when you struggled more with tummy issues and trouble sleeping, I remember feeling positive that you were a happy baby. I really believed that if you weren't uncomfortable anymore and if you were well-rested we would discover a sweet, joyful little person. Mother's intuition I guess, because that is exactly who you are. You sparkle. Your smiles and giggles are like some sort of drug, and we are totally addicted.
This month you conquered the belly to back roll a time or two, but you still don't have a whole lot of interest in rolling either way. You have gotten pretty good at getting your paci back in your mouth, which is incredibly helpful, so thank you for that. Hanging out on your tummy still isn't your favorite, but you are a champ at sitting. You can lean your little chest all the way forward to the ground as you attempt to reach things, and then pull yourself back up to sitting. You love the freedom that comes with being up like that, on your own. You also jabber a ton, in your darling, girlie voice.
Your biggest developments in the past month have been in the sleeping and eating departments. In regard to sleep, we spent the better part of the past month weaning you off of the swaddle. We waited until after Christmas, so you could still have the comfort of the familiar as we traveled and had unpredictable schedules; but as soon as the holiday was over, I stopped swaddling you for naps. We did that on and off for two weeks, and then we got rid of it at nighttime, too. Your naps were shorter for a while, and the first couple of nights I had to get up a ton to give you your paci back, but overall it was a smooth transition. Now, you are sleeping better than ever! The last few weeks of being swaddled you would wiggle your wait out at 4 or 5 in the morning and then be unable to fall back to sleep without being fed. The past several mornings I have heard you wake at that time, roll around and talk to yourself for 20-30 minutes, and then fall back asleep until somewhere between 7:30-8:00. Glory. Please continue this awesomeness! You've also started falling into a slightly more predictable nap pattern. Right now you generally nap around 9:00, 11:30/12:00, and 2:30/3:00. Usually two of the naps are between 40-60 minutes and one is closer to an hour and a half.
You started eating solids in the past month. You've had rice cereal, oatmeal, acorn and butternut squash, and sweet potatoes. We'll add in carrots once I get a minute to make them, and then start introducing you to the green veggies. Right now you nurse when you get up, between 7:30-8:00, and then eat some oatmeal & squash when Liam & I have breakfast. Then, you nurse again around 11:00 and have more veggies while we eat lunch. You nurse about 2:00, and then again at 5:00; and then I give you oatmeal as we are finishing our dinner. You take a bottle around 7:00 as you fall asleep, and then I dreamfeed you between 10:00-10:30. Apparently you need to eat a lot, because you are growing like crazy, little one. At your 6 month appt. yesterday you weighed 16 lbs, 14 oz (70th percentile), you were 27 in. (90th percentile), and your cute head was in the 95th percentile! Big girl!
You are so smiley and giggly and squishy, our little one. I can't squeeze you often enough.
You had a great first Christmas, baby girl. We celebrated early with Grammie and Papa at the farm, where you got lots of snuggly clothes and little rolling leopard that you love. The day before Christmas Eve we loaded up and drove to St. Louis so you could meet (literally) dozens of family members. You and your brother were AMAZING travelers and we had such a great time, even though we were there less than 24 hours. Your bubba loved posing with you for this pic on our hotel room bed before our big family dinner. You two are the cutest.
Liam and Daddy shared one bed, and you started out sleeping in your pack-n-play, but moved up to the bed with me when Liam's coughing kept waking you up. Daddy and I didn't get much sleep that night, but all in all, it was a better experience than we had anticipated. On Christmas Eve we drove back home, got a little rest, and then went to the Christmas Eve service at church. You did wonderfully and loved the music and watching your brother dance around, of course.
Christmas day we woke up at home and let you and Liam open a few gifts before heading over to Nana & Grandad's. Liam picked out a gift for you - a "baby" (gloworm) just like his (but pink, instead of blue). You were enamored with it and I look forward to the day we hear you listening to the little lullabyes over and over as you try to fall asleep, just like he does now.
At Grandad and Nana's you received lots of precious clothes for this spring, but I think your favorite gift that afternoon was your baby doll from aunt Abbie. You love holding her and chewing on her little arms and legs. I can't wait until you are big enough to play with your dolls!
You also got this super cute little hat ... precious bunny girl.
We all enjoyed having Daddy home so much over Christmas, and we tried to make the most of our time by doing lots of fun family things. One of our favorites was taking you kiddos to the kids' area at our local art museum, Crystal Bridges. There were tons of fun things for him to do, and you were perfectly content to play with the colorful blocks.
Finally, here are you adorable 6 month pictures. Actually, they are really 6.5 month pictures, but I don't think that matters all that much. It just means you are two weeks cuter than you were when I should have taken them!
I love that you are showing off your pearly whites in this one. Such darling little teeth!
We all love you so much, sweet one. We didn't realize it was possible to cram anymore laughter and joy into our home, but you have done it. You are adored and treasured always.