Dear Charlie Bear,
What a 6 months this has been. Watching you grow has been one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. You are beginning to really show your own little personality. The smiles you give us are wide mouth grins that spread from ear to ear. And your big blue eyes (they haven't changed yet, so we don't think they will) just sparkle all of the time. You are a happy baby given the fact that you are still spitting up all of the time. By this point, it's old hat for you...and for us. :) The other day, your Daddy was talking with you while you were laying in the crib. You flashed him one of those giant smiles of yours and just kept smiling as formula and carrots oozed out of your mouth! No big deal. :) Sometimes you're not so happy about it, but those times are becoming more and more rare. Your Daddy and I hope that this will end for you very soon.
Though you are still growing, the weight gain process has been slower for you. So at 4 1/2 months, we decided to start you and Liv on baby food. I have been pureeing and stockpiling your food for a couple months now, and I am loving it! So far, you have tried and enjoyed peas, green beans, corn, carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, apples, bananas (a particular favorite), pears, peaches, and cantaloupe. We tried the broccoli, and though you liked the taste, your body didn't quite agree with it. We'll try that again in a month or so.
Your hair is starting to grow in again, but it's still not as much as when you were born. The color has changed too. You are now a blond. It's hard to tell how blond, but there is a definite towhead possibility. You are still slender and long.
You have learned a lot since my last letter at 3 months. You can now grab hold of toys and have been trying to get them into your mouth for a few weeks now. This includes your pacifier. Very soon you will be able to take the pacy out and put it in without any problem. We sometimes put you in the bouncy seat to feed you, and you have also discovered the butterfly that plays music when you pull on it. You'll pull it over, and over, and over. Daddy even made up some lyrics to go with song. We'll sing it for you when you're older if you don't remember the words...we sing it over, and over, and over! Though you can definitely roll from your tummy to your back, you are spending more time on your tummy now. Playing that way doesn't seem to bother you. We put you in the Bumbo and the Exersaucer when we need our hands free and you love both of those.
You are no longer using your
Your Daddy blessed you and Liv in March. Family came in from out of town for the event, and it was lovely. You are a special spirit, Charlie. We are blessed to have you in our family.
You fill your Daddy and I with so much joy and love. We can't imagine life without you now. Though it can get tiring keeping up with all of the spitting up, I can honestly say that taking care of you and your sister is the most fullfilling and enjoyable thing I have ever done. I love you Bear!
Dear Liv Pie,
What fun you have been these past 6 months! I can't believe how you have grown. Everything about you is cute and chewable! :) You are truly as sweet as your nickname, "Peach." Your little legs, arms, cheeks, tummy and even feet are adorably plump. Your hair is getting longer...longer, not long. And you have these funny little strands of hair on the left side of your head that seem to be anxious to grow faster than the rest of your hair. I love it! Your eye color has started to change and is currently some kind of grayish-brownish-blue. Your Daddy and I are excited to see what color they will end up being. No matter what, they we be beautiful.
These past three months you have been very busy. You are grabbing things and putting them in your mouth. Our door jumper is your new favorite thing, and I really think you could jump for hours on end if I let you.
Your personality is so lovely, Liv. Smiles and babbles occur almost constantly. Except for those moments when you get very serious and seem to take everything in. But invariably you will crack one of those wide-mouthed, cock-eyed smiles of yours that just melt my heart. I love to hear you giggle. Lately we have been playing a little game where I kiss you repeatedly under your chin. You just laugh and laugh. What a wonderful thing it is to hear you laugh. Every morning you great me with a smile. Never once have I walked into your room in the morning to find you crying. Don't get me wrong, you definitely let me know you're awake. But you yell just enough to let me know you're awake, and then you are all smiles.
Livy, you are a champion sleeper. You were done with swaddling rather quickly and have found out how to soothe yourself to sleep. It seems that you are officially a thumb-sucker, which comes in handy for naps and at night. Right now you like to roll onto your right side, grab the bumper and pull on it till you fall asleep. You are noisy in the process. It seems that you have to talk out the rest of your energy before you drift off. It's super cute. Sleeping through the night is no longer a problem. We put you down around 8:00pm and both you and Charlie sleep till at least 7:30am. You've been doing this since the day you turned 4 months, and Daddy and I couldn't be happier!
A couple weeks after you started sleeping through the night, we started you and Charlie on baby food. I make your baby food myself and I love to do it! It's so exciting to be able to feed you foods like cantaloupe and spinach. Typically I wouldn't be able to do that if I fed you pre-made food. You have loved everything I have made, with spinach being your least favorite. :) But you eat it!
We had your baby blessing in March and it was wonderful. One part stuck out and continues to run through my mind. In your blessing, it was revealed that you have a loving spirit. This is so true. We can see it already. I think that you will have a lot to teach us in the regard.
You have given us so much joy already. I can't even imagine how much more you will give us as you grow. Watching you learn and develop is such a wonderful gift for me. You are my sweet girl and I love you more than I can express through words. I love you Livy-Lou.
To Both of You:
We have started to introduce a bedtime routine in anticipation of the day (sometime soon) when you won't be so easy to put to sleep. Right now we can lay you and Liv in the crib and you can pretty much put yourself to sleep. Most of the time anyway. ;) But once you start being able to move around, you will most likely be more interested in exploring than sleeping, so we've started our routine a night. If it's bath night, we do that first. Then we have a bottle, read a book, and sing a Primary hymn or two as we tuck you in. We seem to rotate between "I am a Child of God," "I Love to See the Temple," and "Families Can Be Together Forever."
Now that the weather is warm, we have been out and about as much as possible. We still haven't made it to the pool yet, but I can't wait to get you in the water! Gram and I tried to take you to her apartment pool, but when we got there it was green from having just been cleaned. Yuck! We weren't about to swim in that.
That is the final thing I'd like to share with you both. Within your first 5 months of life, you have lost both of your biological Grandfathers. Gpa passed away on May 4, 2009. We will try to make them a part of your life as much as possible. We want you to know that we loved your Grandpas so much, but more importantly, they loved you. They held you and loved you. We sing "Families Can be Together Forever" and "I Love to See the Temple" to you because they share important truths. You will be able to be with your Grandpas again. And they will be able to hold you and love you...and you will be able to love them.
Charlie and Livy, you are the most perfect blessings we could have received. You have given us love and healing when we needed it most. I hope and pray that your Daddy and I can do the same for you as you go throughout your life.
I love you.
P.S. Here are a few videos we've taken lately. Sorry Charlie! These are mostly of Livy, but you'll have a day when it will mostly be you. It all evens out in the end. :)