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Now with pictures
Sunday, January 15, 2012 - 01:59 p.m.

Yesterday I conned Todd into helping me get some belated 6-month portraits of Aerin. Just pretend these were included with the last post.

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6 Months
Friday, January 13, 2012 - 04:53 p.m.

Weight: 17 pounds

Height: 28.5 inches (above the 99th percentile, folks, while Micah holds steady in the 50th)

Head Circumference: 42.5 cm

As of December 21, Aerin is six months old. Today, she's been with us for 206 days. The time is sliding by faster than I can keep up. One minute I was holding a wrinkled, sleepy newborn, the next a happy little roly-poly howler monkey. Some days I feel just completely bewildered by the whole thing.

Round about the middle of December, Aerin sprouted her two bottom teeth. This was followed by several days of misery as they finished cutting through, but now she's back to all smiles. She's also started biting when she nurses. She keeps it up, I guarantee baby's first word will be "SONOFABITCHowowowletgoletgoletgoGETITOFF."

Last Wednesday morning, I decided to try her on some cereal again. Unlike a month ago, this time she practically climbed up out of the seat trying to get to the spoon. Since then, she's been wolfing down two to three solid meals each day. So far we've tried rice, oatmeal, bananas, sweet potatoes, carrots, cinnamon, and prunes. I'm pretty sure she packed on another couple pounds in just the last week. My back says so anyway.

At Christmas and New Year's, Aerin was sitting propped up in corner of the sofa. The next Tuesday, she started sitting up unsupported at daycare. By Saturday, this was happening:

Sitting up LIKE A BOSS

She still doesn't roll over, but she's done with lying down anyway. The play gym is no longer acceptable entertainment. She wants to be UP and DOING. Micah has recently learned several important lessons on putting down treasured items within the baby's reach. And girl can snag an unattended cell phone, remote control, or baby monitor in the blink of an eye.

She's still sleeping through the night. I'm almost afraid to put that out there, but it's true. Since six weeks, she's slept nearly every night from 9:30 until 6 or 7. In the last three days, we've managed to get her down by 8:45 each night; I go in at 7 AM and wake her up. I freely admit this is NOT due to anything we did or didn't do. I'm sure if she was my first baby, I'd be obnoxiously smug about it, but she's not and I know better. She sleeps because she is an awesome baby. Period. I also freely acknowledge it could change at any moment. The baby giveth and she taketh away.

Okay, this one is at 5 months old, but look! Drooly smiles!

Half a year old. Rock on, little girl.

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Christmas Roundup
Sunday, January 8, 2012 - 01:04 p.m.

Aw, crap. It happened again.

I swear I just blinked and POOF there went the entire month of December. I don't even know, man.

So! Christmas!

We made a big deal out of Christmas lights this year. We went out several times just to see decorations around our town. For myself, I am generally opposed to inflatables and other holiday tchotchkes on the lawn, but we sure had fun finding them in other yards. Then one night, we saw a light-up crane. The next weekend, we had to buy one. I'm concerned it may be a gateway to a blow-up reindeer the size of the house, but it was Micah's favorite decoration EVER.

The Beloved Santa Crane

Late one Thursday evening, we made an impromptu trip to see the Galaxy of Lights at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens. Although he seemed underwhelmed at the time, Micah enjoyed it enough to ask about it repeatedly for the several weeks. Of particular interest were all the lighted planes, helicopters, and rockets on the way in.

At the Galaxy of Lights

Then there were the daycare Christmas programs. Aerin tried to eat the jingle bells and succeeded in eating the tissue paper. Micah, despite having loudly practiced every song for weeks on end, refused to sing and instead kept running over to hide next to us.

At daycare

Micah at his Christmas program

This year, we hosted Todd's mother's family for their annual get together, and we hosted Christmas for my parents (my granddad was supposed to come too, but got sick at the last minute). Since we had guests, we decorated a lot this year. And I loved it.

And Christmas Eve...oh, I can't even tell you how special it was. After bathtime, we watched one of my favorite Christmas movies, The Snowman. Micah was actually laughing out loud, he loved it so much. When that was over, we scattered reindeer food in the back yard and carefully selected cookies for Santa. Todd read The Polar Express and I read The Christmas Story and Silent Night. Then all of us sang Silent Night together and we took Micah up to bed. I can't describe what exactly made it so perfect, but it was.

I never expected how much I would enjoy being the parent of a small child at Christmas.

Christmas Eve bedtime story

Christmas Eve bedtime story

Of course, then we spent the next THREE HOURS assembling toys. Another thing I never expected? How much WORK it is being the parent of a small child at Christmas.

All Micah asked for from Santa was a pretty castle (his words) and cars for its parking lot. And Santa delivered.

The castle

Car from Santa

Santa also included an un-asked-for train set. We tried to tell Micah the engine would go around the track on its own, but he wanted to push it.

Train set from Santa

Among a whole list of awesome gifts, there was also the play kitchen from Papa and Melissa. I'm expecting many, many years of play out of this one.


Mr. Rabbit has his breakfast

Oh, and my Aunt Anne sent Aerin a Santa suit. Behold!

Santa Baby

No, Grandpa!

It was strange to be the ones hosting Christmas and putting together toys for Christmas morning, but it was also a lot of fun. Give us a couple of years to recover, and we'll be ready to do it again.

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