You are six months old now, and you have just as many nicknames as you do months under your belt: Schmos, Owen Schmowen Augustine, Fussy Gus, O-Town Philly Back Again, Owee-Owee-Owee-O, Baby Owen…I could go on. Happy half birthday, Baby Boy!
Your days are filled with firsts. So many firsts. A few weeks ago (11/15/12), you and I were at a Bible study together, and you surprised me by rolling from your back to your belly in an effort to reach another baby’s toy (this does not bode well for sharing, does it?). And you really haven’t stopped rolling since. We call you our roly-poly, and you can go from one end of the living room to the other, usually in hot pursuit of Croc-in-Socks, or your dice that crinkle, or Sophie the Giraffe. You roll up to obstacles like the couch or the rocking chair and you begin to swing your legs and grunt, which makes you appear as though you are going to boulder your way on up. And you probably will in due time.
You are also now the newest foodie of our family. After the great failed rice cereal attempt of last month, you now eagerly reach your mouth for more, much like a baby bird. You sit up straight in your bumbo seat, taking rice cereal mixed with bananas in as fast as I’ll give it to you. Sometimes, halfway through your meal, you get kind of bored, and I sing “This food is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S” over and over again, and you start laughing so hard that food comes out of your mouth and nose and you inevitably hiccup for the next hour. But I can’t stop myself. Your laugh is my favorite. Just yesterday, on your actual six-month birthday, we fed you carrots and potatoes, your first venture away from rice-cereal-dulled eating. While your initial facial response expressed great concern, by the end of the bowl, you were smitten. I love introducing you to new foods. (Don’t tell your doctor, but today I let you teethe on a cold slice of apple, and you looked at me as if to say, “Where has this been all my life?”)
You took your first bath in the actual tub last week at your Grandpa and Grandma Kurtz’s house. Your Grandma and I sat there and laughed at you for twenty mintues, as you excitedly and violently created your own personal water park in there. There was water all over the bathroom floor…and me. You did your “I’m ecstatic” jumping jacks (or snow angels) until you splashed water up your nose and got a little freaked out. Lately, when we give you a bath in your little blue tub, you sit up like a champ and reach your hands towards the running water from the faucet. It amazes me that you’ve learned you like that feeling and move your slippery little body towards it with great purpose. Just tonight, you pulled yourself to standing in that little tub, bonked your face on the faucet, and looked utterly surprised to be standing. Are you planning on walking soon?
This month, we introduced you to the bouncy chair, and while you tentatively swung back and forth at first, you now bounce for a half hour at a time in a rhythm that reminds me of walking on the moon. You love to bounce, and probably someday, you will break that seat in your Tiggeriffic excitement.
You officially have friends now too. Since the day of your birth, Thea Johannsen has been saying “Baby Owen” nonstop. As soon as she walks into church, she starts saying “Baby Owen,” and when she sees you, she inevitably says, “Touch him?” And she does. She gently strokes your hair and smiles. And whenever we go to small group, Simeon Aurand excitedly greets you and begins bringing you toys.
You’re just getting so old. You can sit up, with a close spotter to help you not face plant every few minutes. You are an official lover of peek-a-boo and that one game where you stand in your saucer and I stomp closer and closer to you, clapping my hands, until you’re laughing so hard you’re spasming. It’s like you suddenly get that we’re doing funny things. Whenever I sing “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” you laugh at the same parts…and your face tells me that you’re just waiting for the end where I run my finger up your ever-more-ticklish ribs as the spider, indeed, goes up the spout again. You love zerberts. And funny noises. And when we chew on your hands.
Your dad said it well on your six-month birthday: you are just looking for reasons to smile and laugh.
Things you love: watching cars (and !buses!) go by, your jumpy seat, your saucer, sitting up, the book Smile with all of the baby , pictures in it, carrots, apple slices, rice cereal and banans, sleeping in mom and dad’s bed, splashy baths, Sophie the Giraffe, Bruce, Croc in Socks, your crinkly dice, being sung to (Itsy Bitsy, You are My Sunshine, Ho Ho Ho Hosanna), Peek-A-Boo, rolling, car rides, when people come over to our house, chewing on your feet
Things you hate: being left alone, sleeping all night in your own crib, rolling onto the hardwood floor…with your head, getting a coat put on you, teething, bottles
You truly are my sunshine, Owen.