Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Five months old

Ess with Zeke (at left) and Larry on Oct. 10, 2006; for some reason, Ess did not want Larry to show his face for this photo. Maybe he is in the gorilla protection program?

Dear Ess,

Once again, you seem to be celebrating your monthly birthday in fine style -- last night was the second night in a row that you slept through the night! You slept for about twelve-and-a-half hours each night, waking up around 7:45. Your astonished parents could not believe it. And while we're sure there are many sleep disruptions to come, we are very excited that you have it in you to sleep for that long.

You've recently started laughing for real, especially when Daddy makes silly faces at you. Earlier this evening, you also laughed quite a bit at Monsieur Duck, the hand puppet your Maine grandparents got you, and which Uncle P has taken on as his alter ego. And you're also really enjoying other people, especially other kids. You've spent some time with L and E lately, and you love watching E, who is two-and-a-half, when she gets her face up close to yours. You are also entranced by Rocky and Jelly, which is really fun to watch. When you're on the floor or in your bouncy seat, you crane your neck to watch them walk around, although you still wince when Jelly barks before dinner time.

You've gotten really good at sitting in your Bumbo seat; you particularly enjoyed it when Mommy took you down to the basement and you sat in it on top of the dryer while she changed the laundry. Being at eye level, in a place where you haven't spent much time, seemed very fascinating to you. (Usage in this manner definitely not approved by the manufacturer.)

You also spend a lot of time in the gym that your Great-Aunt E got you. We've loaded it up with your favorite toys, and you lay on your back and grab at them with fervor. You've started to roll up onto your side a bit while in the gym; we think you'll be quite surprised when you finally roll over all the way and find yourself on your belly. Speaking of which, you are definitely getting stronger in your arms and chest, though tummy time is far from your favorite activity. But you absolutely love it when Daddy holds you over his head and flies you through the house; you grin the whole way.

This month, you had your first day-long babysitter, and you seemed to do really well with her. You also had spectacular performances at your grandfather's shop and your grandmother's office. At both places you were ooh-ed and aah-ed over by lots of people, but you reserved your biggest smiles for your grandparents. Meanwhile, your New Jersey grandparents have been pining away -- this is the longest they have gone without seeing you since you were born. But we will remedy that in a few weeks.

On the whole, you are a sweet, happy baby who smiles with little provocation. When we're holding you facing out and you see something that makes you happy, you react with your whole body, wiggling and kicking as you lean back and smile. You've gotten so much better at going to sleep at night, and just today you stretched out the amount of time between naps quite a bit. In just the past few days, you seem to have grown up quite a bit. It's hard to believe that you've only been here for five months -- you are growing so fast and learning so much. While we are very much looking forward to celebrating our anniversary (number seven!) by going out to dinner alone this weekend, we wouldn't trade you for the world. We love you so incredibly much, sweet girl.

Mom and Dad