Aiden Six Months

Oh baby boy. You have stolen my heart. You do the sweetest little things now that I believe are your ways of starting to show us how much you love us or at least show how excited you are to see us. Last month you started holding my arm while I change your diaper. These past couple of weeks, you’ve started going down much easier for sleep, although we’re still working on getting you to fall asleep on your own again. While I wish this would happen soon for all of our sleeps’ sake, it is really sweet how right before you give in, you nuzzle your head on our chest. And you’re either getting more familiar with the routine or we’re just getting the timing better, but you do this almost immediately most times. And now that your arm is out of the swaddle, it feels like a hug. What used to be a tiring and frustrating time for the both of us (I assume this for you given how you’d cry sometimes), it can now be some of the sweetest moments in my day.

In October we moved you rather successfully to your crib for all sleeps, naps and bedtime, and the transition was pretty painless. And just as easily as you fell in love with napping in your swing, you fell out of love with it after napping just a couple days in your crib.  You even slept through the night for the first time on only your second night in the crib. You’ve only done it a handful of times though and we blame teething most of the time. You’ve also started taking at least one long nap about every other day or so. While we love these moments for selfish reasons, we also love them because you wake up so happy and smiley that you obviously love them, too. So now we just have to figure out how to encourage you to do it all the time, even when you act like you don’t want to, because we know you’ll love it once you’ve done it.

We’re having somewhat of a hard time getting you to belly laugh again like your Grandpa Cooney did in October (although your daddy has pretty good success almost every night when he blows strawberries on your belly and neck while changing you for bed), but your big smiles and sighs of elations and giggles fill our lives daily. For instance, as I type at the dining room table after dinner, you are still sitting in your swing trying your best to squeal over and over again and flailing your arms and shooting smiles my way. I just hope you’re not giggling because you take yourself too seriously like your mommy and that it’s just a matter of you not realizing you can do it. Like you’re doing as I type, you’ve always started making new noises in a similar pattern:  you make a new noise, it sometimes surprises you, and then you make it over and over again, one right after the other, until you’ve figured it out. And then it could be days or weeks before you “accidently” make that noise again, until you realize you can make it and then do so all the time. For the longest time, before you really started talking, this process started with the hiccups. Almost always. Now you don’t hiccup as much (you used to several times a day, just like your mommy) so noises show up surprisingly while you’re playing.

Speaking of playing, good grief kid you are excited all the time now when you play. In fact, you’re excited most of the time in general. Which is a delight. You get excited when you see your friends, on your playmat or on your bouncy chair. And nowadays you’re starting to get excited about pretty much any of your toys or when we pick you up. I swear you’ve even reached for me a couple times, too. And your bottle, oh my goodness. I think you get more excited about that now instead of your friends, and that is hard to top.

But it isn’t delightful to see just because you’re adorable. It’s a delight to see because it’s another piece of evidence that you are growing. You recognize things. And then your feet kick and kick and kick. And your flail your arms up and down in almost a flapping motion, like you could fly if you had wings. And then your mouth. Oh sweetheart, this is a new face and it is so new and so different than your others that you almost look like a different kid. Or maybe a better way to describe it is you look more like your own self. You pucker your lips in an “o” shape that could be a cross between a surprised face and a fish face and it is a face all of your own. You are mostly such a happy baby, and lately we’ve even marveled at the fact that we can go a couple days in a row without you ever really crying.

There needs to be a word besides love that describes how I feel about you. Oh we’ve had our doozy of a days these days thanks to teething, feeding, your schedule in the process of changing, your first cold, and mommy just hitting a rut. But in the midst of a crazy travel schedule on top of all of that, you have shined. Our first car ride this go around wasn’t the best, but once we decided to help you sleep in the car and take our time rather than trying to force things, it got easier again like before. And you’ve been at some of your happiest times, too, during these trips. In three weeks you traveled to Indiana to visit friends, Georgia to visit daddy’s work and Illinois for Thanksgiving. You always seemed to like visitors when you were small, but in Indiana and Georgia you met lots of new people and were quite the ham. And your happy times are priceless.

As of the day after Thanksgiving, you are six months old. Happy six months sweet boy. I read somewhere about a parent thinking their child was the biggest display of grace in your life and it so resonated with me. You are by far the biggest display of grace in my life. I definitely have not done anything to be worthy of a gift like you nor do I even come close to being qualified. But you are mine and “I could eat you up, I love you so.”*

Fifth Month

Aiden Week 18

Aiden Week 19

Aiden Week 20

Aiden Week 21

Sixth Month

Aiden Week 22

Aiden Week 23

Aiden Week 24

Aiden Week 25

Aiden Week 26

*Quote from Where The Wild Things Are

I’ve been reading this blog called Young House Love for a couple of years now. I can’t remember which friend introduced me, though, because it seemed like half of the female population at work read it.

YHL is like The Godfather of DIY blogs. They chronicle their journey of renovating their home (they’re now in their second) and doing just about all of it on their own and on a budget. It is so inspiring, which could get me into trouble because I do not have an ounce of handy in my body and have to remind myself often.

And that is why we bought a move in ready home. For everyone’s safety and sanity.

But the blog isn’t just on home projects. There is also plenty about their pooch and their adorable little girl, too, as well as some creative project ideas. Seriously, they’re handy and creative.

One of the projects I’ve loved since the first time I saw it was their weekly photo project of their little girl. I knew this was one thing I wanted to do someday. And someday has arrived! We’re a bit (ok it could be mostly me) obsessed with taking photos of our little man, so I’ll use any excuse to take even more.

But honestly, I am so glad we are doing it because he changes so much some weeks! I look forward to our date each Wednesday, to see what kind of faces we’ll capture that week and then to see how the final photo turns out in the end. Like YHL did at their daughter’s first birthday, I also look forward to Aiden’s first birthday and all 52 photos being on display and showing off his growth and adorable personality… and to doing it for each birthday after. Just kidding. Kind of. Maybe. I might have a problem. My brother commented on Week 13 on facebook “I just feel sorry for Aiden when the little circle starts saying ’1,345 Weeks’” to which I replied, “Uncle Ahron, don’t be silly… we switch to months after he’s a year old.” Another great idea from YHL.

Anyway, back to the project. It seems like YHL is great about thoroughly thinking things through before tackling something, so I appreciate how they put that thought process into words on their blog. It’s great for people like me, who are not great at thinking things through, so we can avoid making a mistake or so we don’t catch ourselves halfway through saying “gosh, why didn’t I think of that before!”

With this photo project, they had holidays and life events in mind when planning out each week’s shoot.  The holidays are pretty easy to spot in their photos (I love how they changed the circle when appropriate, too, which is why I did a star for The Fourth and hope to do a pumpkin for Halloween), but what I love is Week 30. What a way to remember a significant moment in their life! And it was because of this photo that I even thought to do Aiden’s Week 10 the way I did. And so far it’s my favorite. It’s not my favorite specifically of Aiden, but it’s my favorite week because it was such a big week for us. And the look on Jeff’s face when he saw the setup was priceless, too.

So thanks to YHL for all their inspiration and for giving me a gift. I doubt I would have thought to even chronicle Aiden’s growth, much less in such a fun and creative way, if they kept all their good ideas to themselves. I am confident these 52 photos will be among my most prized possessions.

Well we are at three and a half months. We have surpassed the 100 day mark. Each day Aiden smiles more and more. And each day brings more anticipation for what new thing he will do next.

Sunday is the most interested he has ever been in touching and feeling a toy. And yesterday he grunted at the kitty hanging from his play mat for minutes on end in what, I assume, was an attempt to make it play music. I’m going to have to break the kid’s heart by telling him that no, he does not have The Force, and that he is actually going to have to reach up there and spin the ball in the kitty’s paws in order for the music to play. Bless his little heart.

But it is so neat to see him starting to associate things and put them together. It seems he’s also starting to realize that he has things (his arms and hands) that can bring things (our hands and fingers) to his mouth so he can chew. At this point it is all random, but it is exciting to watch him discover and to see things starting to click for him.

I love that what can be the simplest things to us bring him such happiness, like seeing “the baby” in the mirror. Sometimes “the mommy” is in the mirror, too. If I had to pick one favorite activity to do with him these days, it would be lying with him on the floor looking in the mirror. He definitely smiles the most during this type of play, and his joy is so contagious. And while I know it will be a long time before he puts it together that the baby in the mirror is actually him, I swear he is on to the mommy in the mirror. There are times when he grins and grins at the mommy and then he looks at me and back at the mirror as if to say “How are you lying beside me and up there in that mirror?”

And do you know what makes a mommy smile? Any of these adorable moments caught on camera, both still and video. I took Aiden’s three-month photos just a couple of days after he turned three months, but I’ve been sitting on them because we sent several to the grandparents for Grandparents’ Day. Now that they’ve all received their gifts, it’s no longer a surprise, and so I am excited to let these out! I can not believe how much he has grown already, and the three-month picture of him in the basket compared to his newborn picture really shows it off. Also, there are many more three-month photos (of course) over at Portray Photo if you just can’t get enough of this cutey! It’s worth the trek over alone just for the extra Mickey photos…

Newborn

Three Months

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