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SIX MONTHS, Charlie! I can hardly even remember what life was like before you are born, and yet it feels like just yesterday when we were meeting you for the very first time. I simply can’t believe that you are halfway to your first birthday!

These past few weeks with you have been very memorable ones. We are enjoying the slower pace of summer, and I love that I get to spend these long, lazy days with you. We like to spend our playtime reading, singing silly songs, and going for walks in the park. You prefer having all my attention but are still pretty content to hang out in your swing or bassinet while I get things done around the house; you have this funny habit of holding onto the sides of your swing and even your stroller, like you are afraid to let go. It’s pretty cute to watch. When you get bored with the swing, you like to spend your independent time on your play mat. . . until you roll onto your tummy, that is. You seem to have forgotten that you know how to roll to your back, so you frequently roll onto your belly and then wriggle and squirm until I come to help you flip back over. It’s become a bit of a game for you: play on your back for a minute, roll to your belly, then cry until mom comes to play with you for a while before setting you back down on your back. I can’t figure out why you hate your tummy so much!

Charlie and Snuggles Six Months

You are VERY close to reaching quite a few milestones. You aren’t sitting up on your own, although you are getting better at sitting with your arms propping you up. You also seem pretty close to crawling and can wriggle forward and backwards while on your elbows and knees. Long gone are the days when we could leave you on the floor unattended because we just never know where you will end up! One day I watched you as you wriggled across the living room to your swing and started pushing it with your feet. Are you trying to tell me you are ready to help take care of a little brother or sister? You’re going to have to a wait a bit on that one!

You still really enjoy playing with your burp cloths, but you are starting to love your other toys just as much. You really like your dog “Snoopy,” whose crinkly ears fascinate you, and you’ve finally figured out what to do with a rattle. Your favorite toy is your stuffed monkey, “Coco;” we clip him onto your car seat and you snuggle with him when you’re in the stroller or the car. Whenever you see your toys you will grab and reach for them, then immediately pull them to your mouth. EVERYTHING goes into your mouth these days: toys, fingers, and even your toes! Ironically, the only thing you don’t put in your mouth is your teething ring! We still don’t see any signs of teeth, but with the amount of drool that pours from your little mouth we’re sure they aren’t too far off.

4th of July

We celebrated your first Fourth of July with a barbecue at your grandma and grandpa’s house. You didn’t stay up to see the fireworks, but you did experience your first sparklers. I’m pretty sure your daddy wants you to grow up to be a little flame enthusiast just like him. My favorite part of Fourth of July was helping you take your first swim. We weren’t sure how you’d react—you enjoy your baths, but the pool water was a bit chillier than you are used to—but you did great! You didn’t cry at all and seemed very curious about the whole experience. You splashed around a bit, trying to grab at the surface of the pool. It was a fun “first” experience and I think we might have a little water bug on our hands.

Another high point of this month was your first trip to Disneyland. We left the stroller at home and your dad and I took turns wearing you. Your Tía Amanda came along to help out and it was great having her there as a third set of adult hands. You did amazingly well (lasting almost the whole day at the park!) and you loved taking in the colorful, exciting surroundings. Your very first ride was Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and though you seemed a bit scared you didn’t shed a single tear. (Small World was another story. . . . I can’t blame you too much for crying through that one, though; the music does get old after a while.) You met Mickey Mouse in his house, played with Pluto’s whiskers, rode the carousal like a champion horseman, and tried your hand at pulling the sword out of the stone. . . so close, buddy! Visits to Disneyland were such a significant part of my own childhood and I am thankful that I am getting to share this magical place with you; now that we have annual passes, I am looking forward to many exciting Disney adventures as a family.

Charlie at Disneyland

The month brought some not-so-fun memories as well. Three weeks ago I experienced my scariest moment as your mom when I tripped while out on a walk with you. I was wearing you in the wrap and we went face-down onto the pavement, leaving your face pretty scratched up. I have NEVER been so scared as that moment when I realized you had bumped your head, and I still feel horrible about what happened. Though you hardly cried and calmed down right away, we ended up taking a precautionary trip to the pediatrician, marking your first “injury-related doctor’s visit.” She gave you a clean bill of health (and likely laughed at our paranoia cautiousness), but I am definitely being more careful when wearing you these days.

Your little personality is shining through more each day. You are generally pretty mellow, but you can get feisty when you don’t get your way. You are very curious about the world around you and everyone comments on how alert and active you are. You seem to be a fairly serious kid, but you have been smiling more and more (except when the camera is out!) and it’s surprisingly easy to get you to laugh. Your little giggles are the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard and I will go to the silliest of lengths for the chance to hear them. The morning hours are generally your happiest, while afternoons can get a bit stormy. Regardless of the time of day, you are quite the little cuddle bug and adore being held. Holding you can be challenging at times, though, because you are wiggler! I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an active baby—you are always in motion!

Charlie Six Months

You still don’t babble much, which does have me a bit concerned. However, you’ve started making this funny throaty noise that’s somewhere between a coo and a cry. It sounds very whiney and is not my favorite thing you do, but at least you are working on strengthening those vocal cords. Hopefully the “real” chattering will come soon.

You are starting to show interest in the food that we eat, and you seem especially fascinated by our drinks; when we give you a water bottle to play with, you put it up to your mouth like you know exactly what to do with it. We are waiting to start solid foods with you until you can sit up on your own, but in the meantime you seem to be thriving on mommy’s milk. You eat at least every three hours (sometimes hourly) and will almost always nurse if given the opportunity. It can be hard to nurse you at times because you are such an active eater, but by the end of your feedings you generally fall asleep, even if only for a quick snooze.

Charlie's Smiling Face

Other than those post-feeding catnaps, you’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. You will nap in the baby carrier and sometimes in the car, but you refuse to sleep if there any outside stimuli—you definitely prioritize learning and observing over sleep. On days when we are home, I’ve been working on following your sleep cues and trying to get you down for “real” naps in your crib (almost never works) or bassinet (increases our chances for success); some days you will nap for an hour or more if I swaddle you before putting you down, but those longer naps are the exception rather than the norm.

Fortunately your nighttime routine remains consistent: at 7:00 we read a story and pray, then I swaddle you and nurse you to sleep before putting you down in your bassinet. (I am thankful that you still fit in that thing because you still do NOT like to sleep in your crib.) Your first wakeup is usually a few hours later and corresponds with my own bedtime, so I unswaddle you and bring you into bed with me. We snuggle together and you graze off and on all night. This has become so habitual for you that the second I lie you down in my bed, you roll to your side and open your mouth wide, ready to latch on—even when I’m not in bed with you yet! I never really thought I would do the whole cosleeping thing, but what started as an act of survival (I was willing to try almost anything to get some more sleep) has grown into one of my favorite aspects of parenting: I love falling asleep with you by my side and waking up to your smiley face each morning. Being your mom is truly the best job, and I treasure every amazing moment with you.

Adorable Charlie

Weight: 14.2 pounds (according to our scale at home)

Length: 24.75 inches (also based on our home measurements)

Clothes: Still in 3-month clothing but it’s starting to get a bit snug.

Eye Color: Mostly brown, but you still have touches of blue around the rims. Depending on what you are wearing, they sometimes look green. So maybe we should call them hazel?

Charlie 1/2 Year

Likes: Playing on your play mat, sucking your toes, playing with/sucking on stuffed animals, snuggling with Mommy at night time, flying up in the air with Daddy, being held ALL the time, going for walks in the wrap, grabbing for new things, watching screens (we don’t let you watch TV, but if there is a screen on in a restaurant your eyes are immediately drawn to it), being swaddled (it still shocks me that you like this since you are so active the rest of the time), practicing your standing and sitting, and—your very favorite—eating!

Dislikes: Being put down when you are feeling cuddly or sleepy, doing ANYTHING when you are hungry (pre-feeding diaper changes are a nightmare), and long car rides. You also really hate it when I get up to go to the bathroom during the night, and you cry until I come back to bed, no matter how much Daddy tries to soothe you; sometimes I’m positive that you are afraid of the dark.

Charlie and Blue Bear Six Months

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