Saturday, December 6, 2008

Haley's Six Month Scoop

More interested in the spoon than the contents thereof.

Haley had her six month check-up last week. She weighed 15 pounds, 7 ounces and was 28 inches long.

What can Haley do? I had a hard time answering that question at the doctor’s office. She seems to have plateaued a bit, or maybe the changes are subtle. Anyway, she can now tripod sit (something I hadn’t tried with her until we got pictures taken last month) but continues to enjoy her skydiving position above any other. She rolls and scoots around,very motivated by seeing something to get into (not crawling yet--I have no idea sometimes how she got from one place to the other). She babbles and experiments with many sounds. I really couldn’t say if any of those sounds are new, though Casey and I noticed her trying to whistle the other night. She almost had it.

A couple weekends ago, Haley had her first taste of “real” food. You can tell we’re New Mexicans, because it was refried beans. Since then, she has also tried mashed potatoes and avocado, but avocado is the only food she’s actually “eaten” so far. I could just as well skip this introduction-to-people-food phase. It takes so long for babies to finish off even a teaspoon of watery mush in the beginning. It’s interesting to think that Ruby was already feeding herself Cheerios by this age, yet Haley doesn’t seem to be ready even for basics.

This brings up something I think is a little ironic, at least in our family. Many people say that when you have children close together, they are forced to grow up faster. This has not been our experience so far. If anything, I am less into pushing a child to do something for which she is not ready, because it makes it that much more work for me. Food, walking, potty training—these are all things that we can try to force on our children, yet I find myself perfectly fine with a child who is close to 4 and usually doesn’t recognize letters or numbers, one that’s nearly 2 ½ and not yet potty trained and a six month old who may or may not be eating much in the way of solids by Christmas. What does it matter? They’ll do it when they’re ready. (And in my limited experience, these things are much easier when they’re ready anyway.)

I want to take this opportunity to share a little about what kind of an infant Haley is, most especially since she seems to be changing. So I want to record now, while I can remember, the little ways that God has been so gracious to us with this third baby.

Haley is—by far—the most contented baby we’ve had. She makes Claire’s babyhood seem like a screaming fest (which, actually it sometimes was, until we discovered she was lactose intollerant--poor girl!). If she is fed, changed and rested, she is a happy baby. And speaking of rest, she’s a great sleeper. (Though she’s only going about six hours at night right now) She may fuss (not really worth being called “crying,” it’s so minimal) a moment or two, flip on her tummy, find her thumb and we don’t hear from her again for an hour or two—sometimes three. When she wakes, she often plays awhile before she cries. I’m sure we have no idea how long she goes sometimes. This evening, I had her lying next to me and she contented herself for over an hour babbling and playing with her toes. She’s happy to just be where the action is. She doesn’t complain when I don’t feed her right away, either. Just a whimper now and then as she gets to her threshold for hunger. Most days, if she gets to crying, it breaks my heart; it's so sweet and seldom.

A toothy grin is readily on her lips, and even when she’s upset, we can get her to smile. She is easily comforted most of the time, and will occupy herself or be occupied with the simplest of things. Though she started out as somewhat of a “song-and-dance” girl (and still is when she’s tired and we can’t put her in her bed yet--“song-and-dance” like Ruby was; wanting to not only be held all the time, but walked around, bounced, talked to, stimulated in some way) she has become less and less difficult and more of a blessing as each day passes. So far, she’s the only child we’ve had who willingly sits still on my lap for more than a few minutes.

Of course, there are exceptions: she can be crabby and has needy days now and then. But overall, she is the best baby we could have hoped to get for our third. We are well aware that God did not have to do things this way, and her contentedness may not be very long-lived at that, which is why I thought I should record these things now. We thank God for His tremendous mercy in giving us such a delightful, cheerful baby!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Merry Christmas from the Cowarts

A friend of ours sent this to us the other night. I laughed so hard, I cried the first time I watched it. Casey has since made a couple for/with co-workers, which I enjoyed watching, since I have only met one of them. (Nice to see the faces that go with the names I hear so often.)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving with the Fam

Cousins Claire, Savannah, Lydia and Ruby watch a movie on the balcony. Can you tell Ruby is not feeling great?
Close enough?
Caiden (8 months) and Haley (six months) get to know each other.
Gram and Haley
We just said goodbye to my family on Sunday, after a wonderful extended weekend of time together. Our new home was able to house 12 people somewhat comfortably (I hope--am I wrong sisters?) and each family unit had its own space--however cramped. We had the girls in our bedroom with us, Haley in the playpen in our closet (yes, our closet. We're not terrible parents, are we?) one sister's family in the girls' room, and another sister's family in the guest room. That left the entire downstairs free for late-night chats or gaming to go on without disturbing sleepers.

That being said, there wasn't a lot of sleeping going on, which is how it is when my family gets together. By the end of our time, we usually walk around like zombies. Ruby had picked up a cold at Haley's well-check last week (despite sanitizing our hands several times while we were in there) and has been passing it to the rest of us since then.

Right now, I am resting in bed while the girls nap. I am determined to get better before Casey leaves to visit his brother in a few days. We're always a little sad when he leaves, and I don't want to make it any more of a bummer by being under the weather. We try to do fun things while he's gone so the girls and I can have something to look forward to, but there's a limit to what we'll be doing if we're still as sick as we are right now. It's also imperative that Casey NOT get this cold. Would we ever be forgiven for bringing sickness into a family with three under three?

How thankful I am for my excellent guests who left the house in such great order. On Sunday afternoon, when I began to lose steam and realized I was actually getting this cold, the house was in better shape than it usually is by Monday night (after I've attempted to catch up from the weekend). This has contributed to my ability this week to take it easy, yet keep up on clutter, laundry and dishes. It really helps to not start out behind!

This Thanksgiving went really well, and I look forward to Christmas when we won't be missing any siblings. Perhaps we can plan a few activities so that our time together includes more personal relationship-building opportunities. With a group so large (15 adults, 8 children so far), it's pretty easy to get to the end of our time and discover that we haven't had a good one-on-one conversation with anyone. Even this past weekend, my sister and I had to make a date to talk that last night--starting after midnight! Does anyone else run into this kind of problem during the holidays, or is it a big family thing? I'd love to hear ideas on how others deal with this sort of situation. Our family is only growing larger by the year, and our lost-in-the-mob-ness will surely only get worse if we don't implement a good plan!