6 months

Dear Julien,

You turned 6 months yesterday amid little fanfare – you’ve been very ill and we’re all still recovering from a week’s worth of no sleep and worrying about you. You caught RSV and developed pneumonia as a secondary infection last week and spent two days in the hospital on breathing treatments to keep your airways open and oxygen to keep your blood-oxygen levels up. Now that the worst has passed and you’re on the road to recovery, I’ve had a little time to focus on how far you’ve come in just half a year.

Julien taking a breathing treatment

You can sit unsupported now, for a very long time before keeling over either to the side, or backwards, so it’s still a good idea for us to put pillows around you to guard against falls, but otherwise you’re very comfortable sitting and playing with your toys. You especially like sitting in the bassinet part of the playpen, up at our level so you can see us, turning over the critters from your playmat and chewing on play-links.

You can’t quite crawl yet, but you’re still working on it. You’re getting very comfortable being up on all fours and rocking in place there. It’s just a matter of getting propulsion figured out and you’ll be off and running, which means … it’s time to childproof for a baby and a three year old, instead of just a three year old.

You can pass things from one hand to the other. Yesterday we snuck out for lunch for a little while and you grabbed a small apple off of my plate. Solemnly you passed it into your other hand, and then back, trying to lift the fruit to your mouth to gum on it.

You are babbling in consonants now, “dadadadada” is a common combination in your speech these days along with “gagaga” and you’re starting to go “mumumumum” though of course you’re not ready to attach either combination to one of us yet. It’s just fun to hear you babytalking and to talk right back at you.

Your favorite games are trading raspberries, getting lots of smoochies on your cheeks and watching me clap. You also think that tickling is the best thing ever. You still enjoy your bath, but have had a little bit of trauma lately about getting your face wet, mostly because of your big brother jumping into the tub with you and splashing you in the face.

You’re starting to really enjoy playing with Victor now, your face lights up when you see him, though sometimes his exuberance and loud voice scare you and you retreat, burying your face into my shoulder. The other day you guys spent some time batting a toy back and forth and it just made me smile so big to think that in a year or so, maybe sooner, you will be able to play with each other.

You got your first real tastes of solid food this weekend: I mushed up a banana and you had a couple of spoonfuls. You seemed to like the banana quite well, so this week we’ll try pureed carrot and if that goes over well, some peaches or pears next week and then sweet potatoes the week after that. Regardless of what you eat or whether or not you eat anything at all, you like sitting up in your highchair with us at the table and banging on the table or your tray with your plastic teething spoon. Mealtimes are about to get a lot more interesting and a lot messier!

Despite the fact that you were so sick, you gained quite a bit of weight since your last well-baby checkup. You put on half a pound to land at 18lbs 1oz just a few days before you turned 6 months old. You lost a little bit of weight to dehydration and poor appetite after you came home from the hospital, but I’m sure you’ll bounce right back. I checked Victor’s growth stats for 6 months since we had your weight for 6 months now, without a two week gap and sure enough, you’re pacing him, pound for pound, and nearly inch for inch, same growth curve. It’s just that your ratio is a bit more inclined towards the weight side and his was more inclined towards the height side, which is why you’re a chubby baby and Vic was always a stringbean. Either way, you are and were, both absolutely adorable babies.

Your sunshiney demeanor continues, even while sick in the hospital, you were trying to smile when you weren’t too tired and your laughter soon returned once you were able to breathe properly.

It’s so good to hear you laughing again.

Love, Mommy

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