my dearest ramona bean,

you are so big and so strong and so happy and so curious! you are six months old now and papa and i cannot believe it has already been half a year since you arrived. somedays, it seems like just yesterday we welcomed you into our home, and yet other days we can hardly remember what it was like before you were here. you were meant to be with us.

you make sounds, lots of them: coos and giggles and squeals and squawks and a farting noise with your lips where spit gets on your chin (this one is your favorite) and this suck-in-your-breath-zombie-slash-robot-noise that makes me laugh so hard. it’s really cool hearing you find your own voice. soon, i’ve been told, this will turn into more coherent babbling (oxymoron?) and more syllables. just to be sure, we say “mama” and “papa” a whole lot, hoping you’ll catch on.

you have these giant blue eyes and you will stare people down with them. you’re not trying to scare people, you’re engaging them. but you are so intense about it that i can see people getting a little intimidated about a baby that looks like its peering into their soul. really. i love it. usually, if they stare back, you’ll break out in this ridiculous grin like it was all just one big prank. and those big, blue eyes (that surely come from me — wink, wink) are topped by two amazing, expressive, and undoubtedly-papa’s eyebrows. they’re papa’s because they make this curious scowl that is the spitting image of your father’s brow when either A) he does not have his contacts in or B) he is thinking about something intently and traversed into his own little world. you make this exact same face.

this month (christmas morning, to be exact!) you were able to sit up on your own. this has been a lifesaver for mama, especially when i’m handling both you and max during the week. this new strength has given you a lot more interest in the world around you. for a second there, you were starting to get really annoyed and pissed off that you were stuck on your back and could, pretty much, only roll in one direction and only from your back to your tummy. boring. but now! you can sit and stretch and grab and explore. and if you’re really feeling ambitious you’ll even find a way down from your newly found seat (fall to the side) and start rolling all around! our upstairs is now officially baby-friendly so i let you roll wherever you want. you’re fine until you get stuck under the credenza.

we’ve slowly started to broaden your food horizon. we’d like this phase to be one of exploration for you so we’re not pushing the solids too hard. but we have discovered that you are not a fan of apple sauce but will tolerate sweet potato. i wasn’t sure you were actually eating any of the sweet potato until i changed your diaper today and smelled and saw sweet potato. so yes, now i know you were ingesting some.

every night, when i nurse you to sleep and place you in your cradle at the foot of our bed, there’s a part of me that feels this sense of relief; that finally i get some time to myself, some time with papa. and i do relish this time. but then as i’m getting ready for bed, i cannot wait to be with you again. we’ve started putting you to sleep in a cradle so papa and i can have some snuggle time and actually stretch out in bed. and you are good with this until 10:30 or 11:00. but–and lately it seems this happens as soon as papa and i have climbed under the covers regardless of the time–you seem to know we are there and ready for sleep and let out your first little whimper. and so we wait a little to see if you will go back to sleep, which rarely happens, so we reach down and pull you up in between us and the three of us (sometimes it’s four if otto can sneak his way to the foot of the bed) have a cozy night together.

you are turning into quite the little lady, minka: exactly as i imagined but, at the same time, so much more than i ever could have. i’m so glad you are you.

love, mama


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