Thursday, July 14, 2011

Letter to Z's First Mother...

Here we are at six months! This time has been special, and rewarding, and sometimes hard, but so full of love. We named our strong girl Zoe Savannah, Zoe for a college mentor of Rose's and Savannah for my great-great-grandmother. Because she was so tiny when she came home with us, we nicknamed her “Little Chicken” at first. It was half-descriptive and half a joke about how Rose had been nicknamed Little Turkey (for being so large) when she was brought home by her parents. After a couple of months, we realized how embarrassing that might be as she got older, so we have switched to more conventional nicknames like Sweet Pea, but I made up a song about a little chicken that goes to the tune of “I'm a Little Teapot” and we still sing that one with her in the car.

She's growing at a wonderful rate, right on average for height and weight and progressing beautifully, according to the doctor. She's been getting all her shots and hasn't been sick at all. She eats well, and just started on solids in the past month. She loves, loves, loves bananas. I think they're her favorite. She scrunches her face up and giggles when she gets them! She also seems to be pretty fond of oatmeal, but nothing makes her as happy as a smashed banana.

She has been rolling over for a couple of months now, and really enjoys rolling around on a blanket on the floor and playing with her toys. She always likes to come back to one of us and touch base, but then she rolls away again to explore a monkey or a bear. Her favorite new thing is her feet, of course, since she found them she spends about half her day in touch with her toes. Besides that, she really loves looking at and touching faces. I had to stop wearing hoop earrings because she was snagging them with her fingers, and I've had to start wearing my hair back to keep her from tangling her sticky fingers in it all the time. It's been such fun, watching her figure out how to grab and chew on Rose's chin!

She just got two teeth in at the same time, right around 5 ½ months, so we are both gingerly switching her onto teething toys that are NOT our faces or hands. She handled teething very easily and only had a couple days of mild fussiness as the teeth were breaking through. She can already chew on some soft veggies, like steamed carrots and broccoli, and she adores the occasional pizza crust, or any bread with a tough crust that she can gnaw on with her new teeth.

We just took a family trip down to Austin over Memorial Day. We stayed with my sisters and my nieces and my parents, swimming and eating and sucking on popsicles and swimming some more all weekend long! Zoe's cousins just love her. The youngest cousin is almost 4, and she really loves to help with feeding and changing and getting Zoe dressed. The other two are twins, one loves to sing her lullabies at bedtime and the other likes to hold her. My parents are completely in love with her and enjoy all the funny little sounds she makes and her gorgeous smile. My dad calls her Miss Vannie because that is what he called his great-grandmother who she is named for and he likes to carry her draped over his forearm at night when he helps us put her to bed.

Rose's parents are just wonderful with her, too. They have us over for dinner every week, and they have picked up some baby toys and a high chair so that she can be comfortable at their house. They have a little crib for her to nap in and some clothes for her in case she makes a mess of what she's wearing. Rose's dad loves to carry Zoe around and sing to her in Yiddish. Rose's mom likes to hold her and give her a drink from her sippy cup. Zoe is not a great drinker yet, but she's very enthusiastic about trying and they both get a kick out of it.

Ever since Memorial Day, she and I go swimming almost every day in our neighborhood pool. Rose comes with us on weekends and stays amazed at how easily she took to the water. She loves to hold onto people and play with floating toys, or to float herself, and she especially likes to kick. She knows how to hold her breath and put her face in, and she seems to be trying to work out how to blow bubbles. I have a silly little song about a motorboat that makes her smile every time.

We sing a lot, just playing around the house. I sing her lullabies to put her to bed at night and sing kid songs during the day when we're going on walks or when she's in her jumper while I'm working in the kitchen. She never did like a bouncy seat very much, but she's quite fond of her swing. She lets us know when she's ready to be out of it by kicking and twisting and generally trying to wriggle out from under her seat belt. She definitely figured out early on how to let us know what she likes and what she doesn't. She's not much for lying down and doesn't like to be on her back at all if she can help it. She is totally a side-sleeper, but she really loves to fall asleep on her tummy, laid up on Rose's chest. Her first few months, she slept in a bassinet in our room. Once she started sleeping through the night (about the same time she figured out how to suck her thumb!) and did that consistently for a month or two, we graduated her to the crib in her own room. She is a great sleeper and takes at least one good nap every day, but often two good naps and a long sleep through the night. We're very lucky in that regard!

I don't know how to say it deeply enough, or strongly enough, or meaningfully enough, but thank you. Our daughter is precious, and we love her completely and are thankful every day for her.

1 comment:

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