Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Half a year

It's official... we have a half-year-old! Unbelievable. We're having such a blast with Marla. She's such a happy, easy going baby. Jeff and I marvel every day about how much of a real little person she's becoming. (I realize all babies ARE real little people, but you know what I mean.)

The doctor says she's "developing beautifully," which of course we already knew, but is nice to hear nonetheless. Her stats:

Weight - 16 lbs (49%)
Length - 26.5 in (74%)
Head - 43.2 cm (69%)

Here are some updates and pictures of six-month-old Marla Rae.

She can sit up on her own well, but still tumbles now and then. Every once in a while I leave the room and come back to find her sprawled face first over a pile of toys, happily slurping away on whatever object she landed on.

She continues to refuse to roll from her tummy to her back, even though she does the opposite so well. I'm ready to accept that it may never happen.

For her, no number of fancy, colorful, noisy, educational toys can live up to a set of real keys and an expensive cell phone. If you come up with a suitable replacement, let me know.

She’s eating solids and loves it! So far we’ve had rice cereal, sweet potatoes, and green beans. I’m going to start making some baby food so her palette can be expanded beyond the choices offered by Gerber. Here she is sporting a rice cereal goatee.

Gnawing on some frozen watermelon in a mesh feeder. Yum!

She tried a sippy cup for the first time. Since I never feed her bottles, I had no idea she’d be capable of holding it on her own, but she was a total star. What else is she doing without me knowing it?? Probably composing music or advising the president on foreign policy or something like that.

Still no teeth, but a lot of gumming up everything in sight. The remote control. Her shirt. The dog. My knee. You name it, this kid has chewed on it. Case in point: sucking on her newborn cousin's head.

She discovered consonants! All of her loud, screechy aaaaahhhhhhs, eeeeeeeees, and oooooohhhhhs have been replaced with a constant stream of “babababa,” “papapapa,” and my personal favorite, “mamamamama.”

She hates napping and avoids it whenever possible. However, she consistently falls asleep in the car, most often with a toy stuffed in her mouth. Seriously, check out those cheeks! I swear she's storing acorns in there.

She got more shots at her six month appointment. She only cried for two of the three pokes, and was smiling at the nurse within seconds afterwards. Must be all the extra padding on the thighs. :)

Happy half birthday, Marla! I can't wait for the next six months!

Swimming lessons

Since I'm no longer home with Marla during the day, I decided to enroll her in swimming lessons at the YMCA so we'd have an evening activity together. We've been going for several weeks now and she loves it! The class is for children 3-36 months, but Marla's the only one under two years old. So while the other kids blow bubbles and learn to paddle and kick, Marla spends most of the time trying to eat the kickboards and floaty toys.

The good news is that she likes the water and seems to be getting more and more comfortable in it. In fact, yesterday we actually submerged her completely to see how she'd react. She came up sputtering a bit, but didn't cry. Success! Here are some pictures of our little fish.

All geared up for her first lesson:

Betsy wishing her luck:

"Mom! This is SO MUCH FUN!"

Sunday, June 12, 2011

She sits!

Marla has been sitting with support for a while now, but recently I've noticed that she balances on her own really well, which makes my efforts to keep her upright seem less like support and more like hovering. I now let her sit on her own and she's been doing a great job. Yet another milestone on the books. Seriously, Marla, I need a break. Just stay the same for a week or two, PLEASE??!!

Sitting pretty:

Now that she can lean forward like this, the bouncy seat has kind of lost its appeal. This may not be the safest situation:

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Five months (oh, and the best baby ever)

Somebody's uber-excited about being five months old!

Marla is growing so big, so fast. She can *almost* sit up on her own, and is becoming more and more interested in toys, books, and anything else she can grab onto. She now experiments with many different noises, though almost all of them are still of the loud, shrieking variety. She LOVES to stand up and bounce, which means my upper body strength is vastly improved from before.

In other news, she caught her first cold last week. Now, I've listened to friends and relatives with babies complain about their kids getting sick for years without really understanding what the big deal was. It turns out the big deal is that you don't know what's wrong, so you assume the worst is wrong, which is only confirmed by your child's behavior and, of course, the Internet. Then you call the doctor and they make you feel like an idiot for calling or even worrying, assuring you that everything's fine, then going on to say that if your baby shows any more symptoms, bring her to the emergency room immediately. Then your baby shows more symptoms, but you're afraid to bring her in because the doctor will think you're an idiot for bringing her in. So I'm sorry to all the first-time moms that I rolled my eyes at before (behind your back, of course), because I now get it.

Marla wasn't really sick, per se, but did have a stuffy nose and fever for about a day. Really not too bad in the scheme of things, but still a pretty big deal for me (see above description of The Big Deal). Can I be done with the sick kid thing now?? At least until she's 15 or so?

Here's my baby on the day she was sick. As you can see, she still managed to smile through it all!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


We had Marla baptized on May 15. For once, it was a beautiful day in Wisconsin (thank you, God)! Here's the lady of the hour in her baptism outfit. The dress was made by my great-grandma for my mom. Both she and I wore it for our baptisms. I'm so happy we had a girl that this can be passed down to!

The necklace was a gift from my sister, Alisa, and her fiance, Jim. They're Marla's godparents. It's engraved with her name and I absolutely love it! (She does too.)

Pictures weren't allowed during the service, but afterward we got some shots with extended family. BTW, it will forever annoy me that we're all looking different directions in these pictures. Why doesn't everybody know to always look at MY camera??

The godparents. I love that Alisa and Marla have the same expression here.

See how I'm looking at the RIGHT camera? Darn you, familial paparazzi.

Grandma Pam and Grandpa Sonny. I can't believe how big Marla looks here.

This one cracks me up. Marla looks like she's got a bright idea.

She seems to always be grabbing Grandpa Dave's beard in pictures. This reminds me of how I always used to yank on my grandpa's beard when I was younger. I sense a pattern emerging here...

Grandma Kelly and Grandpa Todd. (Have I mentioned that she has a lot of grandparents?)

This is our pastor, Mark. He and his wife are former Oles, which makes them super cool by default. Beyond that, though, he's a great pastor and person.

It was a great day. God bless you, Marla Rae. We love you so much.