Dear Nora,

Before I tell you about our whirlwind month (and it was a doozy), I have to take a moment to reflect on how much you’ve changed in just six months. You’ve grown from a tiny sleepy bundle to a mini-person. It is very clear to me this month that you have ideas hatching in that brain of yours. I can see the wheels turning, whether it’s when you’re figuring how to use a toy or when we are talking to you. You react now, to our sounds and actions. You’re no longer content to just rest in our arms. You want to see and do, much more than ever before.

This month, you’ve become much more physically independent. You have been sitting up like a boss since the beginning of the month. You no longer topple forward at all – you use your abdominal muscles to pull yourself up if you start to lean. You still fall backwards, but only if you’re very tired. Now that you can sit up, you are so much more interested in toys. You really like a little box that holds block shapes, because you can dump out the shapes and play with them. You also love anything that makes noise, especially a little red rattle and a Minnesota Roller Girls plastic hand clapper. The second one isn’t technically a baby toy, but you have figured out how to wave it around to make the hands slap against each other.

You’ve also figured out how to pick things up from a surface in front of you. This has good and bad repercussions. The good part is that you can reach for toys that you want. The bad part is that you can’t quite crawl or scoot, so if a toy is just out of your reach, it’s frustrating for you. Before long, I think you’re going to figure out how to wobble and reach for items near you. And then it’s all over. Daddy and I are already feeling behind on babyproofing, because you seem suddenly on the brink of grabbing things we don’t want you to grab.

Daddy has been teaching you this month how to pet the kitties, for instance. Weetzie is grumpy and wants nothing to do with you, but Said actually enjoys it. We just have to figure out how to stop you from trying to eat his fur, and then we’ll be all set. Now that you can pet the cats, you watch them whenever they are near you. I can see your little brain trying to categorize what they are and what you can do with them, while you watch them sleep or move.

The last fun thing you have learned how to do just happened this week. On Tuesday, I came home from work to find you and Daddy in the kitchen. You were in your high chair and Daddy was trying to put away the dishes. But he had stopped and he was growling at you, like a monster. I couldn’t figure out what he was doing. But suddenly, you growled right back at him. It was hilarious! You both sat there, exchanging growls with each other. In between growls, you would laugh. So, I growled at you too. Sure enough, you growled and laughed at me too. Since then, you’ve been growling every day, hoping that we growl back at you. Most of the time we do.

We had a very exciting month of events. The biggest event was that you visited another state. As a family, we visited Madison, WI to visit Laurel, Samwise, and Adam. You handled the trip so well. You didn’t enjoy being trapped in your car seat, but you did have fun in Madison. It was so much fun for me to see you play and interact with Samwise. I am so hopeful that you two will have a good friendship together.

Another big event was that we went to a book reading with Daddy. He has a short story published in an anthology, so we got to listen to him read with a bunch of other authors. It was sort of late at night for you, so we were worried that you would be really grumpy. But, you were excellent! You even napped during the end of the reading, when it was close to your bed time. I hope that this is the type of event that you will get to participate in when you are older, so you can hear your Daddy’s work for yourself.

Our last big event was that Grandpa Lolo came to visit for just one day this week. He extended a layover in Minneapolis, just so that he could spend time with you. The last time you saw him, you were about three or four weeks old. He held you and fed you and changed your diaper, but there wasn’t much interaction. This time was much different. You played with his beard, honked his nose, and tried to take off his glasses. (Not all at the same time). Although it was a really short trip, it was fun to spend time with him.

Nora, I am frankly astounded that we have made it through a half-year of your life. It sounds cheesy, but this goes by so quickly! I still feel like you are a newborn and I am a new mom. But you are growing by leaps and bounds, every day. I am so honored that I get to watch you grow and learn. I love you!