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Friday, November 6, 2009

Kessa is 5 months old!

Dear Kessa~

I can't believe you're five months old already. Time has flown so fast, yet it's hard to remember life without you. I'm absolutely loving my time with you. The first few months were hard, I'll admit. For ten days you were on a bilibed and I couldn't hold you. When you cried, it broke my heart. It got to the point where I would pick up your bed and put it on my lap, just so I could hold you when you cried. When you were finally allowed off of it, I couldn't get enough of holding you. You would start off the nights in your bassinet in our room, but when you started to cry, it was so easy to just bring you to bed with me. I loved snuggling with you to sleep. Daddy got really good at sleeping through your nighttime squawks. :)

Nighttime was about the only good sleep you got. You really struggled with naps. It was even harder because I was working full time from home. I desperately needed you to sleep so that I could have time to work. You loved walking and you loved the outdoors, so it was really easy to put you in the wrap and go walk around the track around the playground out front. Usually you were out by the first lap, but I'd keep walking for a few laps to make sure you were asleep. Plus, I got in exercise that way. Then I'd come back in and let you sleep on my chest while I worked. When you were fussy at night (which for a time was almost every night), Daddy would walk you around the track. One step outside and you'd calm right down. It was so common that even some of our neighbors would comment about it. "Saw you out on the track last night with your baby." We put you to sleep like that so often that it got to the point that you had to be held to go to sleep.

You and I went up to Grandma Lovell's for a week to help her can food from her garden. Grandma Lovell and Grandma Grace were fantastic at putting you to sleep. Then they'd go lay you up on our bed and I would have several hours to work before I finally went to bed as well. I had never been able to set you down to sleep before. Between that and a lesson from Daddy's cousin, Laura, on how to swaddle, I soon was putting you down and letting you put yourself to sleep for night time and naps. You've been a champion at sleeping. You typically only wake up once or twice at night and you take 2+ hour naps during the day. Sure, we've had our bad days, but overall, you're doing fantastically.

When you were just 1 month old, you rolled from your belly to your back. We thought it was a fluke, but you did it two more times that night. We even got a video of it. You did it a few more times in the coming days, but when I started working again, it was really hard to take time out of my busy schedule to give you tummy time. Once work was over, tummy time started again and it didn't take more than a couple of days for you to figure out how to roll over again. Yesterday you tried so hard to go from your back to your belly. You would get almost all the way over, but your arm would be in the way. Instead of figuring out how to get it out, you'd just roll back onto your back. By evening you got onto your tummy with your arm under you and you fought to get it out, but struggled a lot. Today I put you on your back, then turned to do something else. When I turned back to you just a few minutes later, you were on your tummy, arms free, having a grand time.

You're starting to get more mobile. You've had to sleep in your crib or bassinet since Conference (when you were 4 months old) because you would move around so much in your sleep (or probably in trying to go to sleep). You've gotten really good about turning in circles. A week or so ago you started pulling your legs up under you and pushing up on them. Your arms aren't strong enough to push up on, though. It won't be long before you start doing mini-pushups, though. I've started bringing out bigger blankets for you to play on and spreading your toys around, just to encourage you to move around. It works sometimes, and other times you're content to just suck on your hands.

You're starting to figure out grabbing. If we put something in your hand, you'll immediately grab it and bring it to your mouth. But you're starting to learn to reach for things to grab them. We've started putting your toys just out of reach to help you learn to move and grab. You haven't quite got it mastered yet, but it's no longer surprising to put you down without a toy, then look back a few minutes later to see you nom-nom-nomming on a toy you've picked up.

You love to "talk." You just jabber away and will often have conversations with Mommy and Daddy. We just wish we knew what you're saying…. You also have a grin the size of the Grand Canyon. When you smile, you smile with your whole body. Your head will move back and forth while the rest of you squirms. Now that your legs are getting stronger, if you're on your back when you smile, you'll push up with your legs and arch your back and almost flip yourself onto your tummy every time you grin. You're even starting to giggle… just a little. Mostly when we play peek-a-boo. You seem to be more reserved when it comes to laughing. You'll give smiles out as if they are candy, but laughs are special. When you give me a giggle, it makes my entire day.

You're fascinated by lights. You love looking out windows. You have a play gym that has colored lights that you stare at. Often we can calm you down when you're upset by standing near a window for you to look at. You also love looking in the mirror. Sometimes you'll grin at yourself, other times you'll be shy and grin as you bury your face in our shoulders.

You love to stand. You'll only sit (supported) for so long before you freak out and want to be standing. You'll probably be like your Daddy and walk before you crawl. And man, you have the feet for it. By 4 months, you had grown out of your 0-6 month socks. You're now wearing 6-18 month socks. But it's good, because you're also really tall. I mean, at your 4 month check up you were in the 97.72 percentile for height! Just the other day, you outgrew almost all of your onesies overnight! We had to go through and take out all but a few and put them in the too small box, then go through the bag of clothes that we had labeled "way too big and won't fit for ages." Apparently we were wrong on that guess. Your shirts, pants, and dresses still fit you fine, but your torso is simply too long for onesies. I predict you'll have bigger feet than me by the time you're 10 and will be taller than me by junior high.

You love watching the TV. We don't watch TV much, but you watched BYU lose miserably to Florida State. You watched General Conference. You'll watch Daddy and I play Mario Kart and recently you've started watching Baby Signing Time. With all of them, you'll only watch for about 15 minutes before you get bored and go on to something else, but for those 15 minutes, you are absolutely fascinated.

You love books already. We will read to you before bedtime (though not nearly as often as we should) and you love looking at the pages. I can't wait until you're old enough to really understand books and love to read.

Kessa, Daddy and I love you so much. We have so much fun with you. We love seeing you grin at us first thing in the morning. We love watching you learn new things. We can't wait to see more of your personality as it develops, and we really can't wait for you to start growing hair so we can figure out what color it actually is.

Love, Mommy

Photos courtesy of MegRuth Photography

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