You have a variety of nicknames in our home! I often wonder what God's special name for you is. I'm sure it's something that perfectly encapsulates the essence of who you are. I can't wait to hear Him speak it one day in heaven. For as much as I think I know you, He knows you through and through in a way I never have or ever will. The same is true for my love for you in comparison to His! Thoughts that blow any mother's mind.
Madeline Jane, you are 6 months old.
I love this stage you are in! Quick to offer us your gummy smile, to stretch your arms out wide and reach for our faces, to hold your head still as we kiss the soft pillows of your cheeks.
You are such a pleasant baby. Always content, happy and full of wonder.
As a 6 month old you are starting to sit up on your own unassisted, you sleep through the night (averaging 12-13 hours straight), and take several naps during the day depending on what we are doing and when we are home. You test out different sounds with your mouth and love to be in a room by yourself with just mommy so that you don't have to compete for my attention or for air time as you talk. You love grabbing your feet, sucking on your toes, and grabbing at your car seat canopy (that one makes you crack up when you finally get a hold of it and pull it down over your face). You try to crawl when I put you on your quilt for tummy time, scrunching your little legs underneath and popping that tiny bummy up into the air. The problem is that you can't push up on your hands at the same time yet, so you end up scooting forward in a sort of face plant.
Tonight I realized that your bottom right tooth has pushed through the gums! I paraded you through the house a la "The Lion King" (naked - I was about to put you in the tub) chanting "FIRST TOOTH! FIRST TOOTH!" as you laughed your adorable laugh. Your milestones are no less thrilling than if you were our first baby cutting the very first tooth. I love celebrating every special thing about you.
"Maddie-cakes, Maddie-cakes, baker's man...
Bake me a Maddie as fast as you can!
Roll her, and pat her, and mark her with an "M".
Put her in the oven for Mommy and me!"
- Robbie's version of pat-a-cake, as sung to his baby sister
At your 6 month well visit at the pediatrician, your stats were:
Height: 27 inches - 90th percentile
Weight: 16 lbs 15 oz - 30th percentile
Head circumference: 16.75 inches - 55th percentile
You are narrow and light! You are pushing out of your 3-6 month sized footed pj's in the length and so you've been wearing (swimming in) 6 month sized pj's. I have no idea what the actual size of your feet are, but you fit comfortably in 3-6 month socks and knit booties. You wear size 3 diapers although they're really big in the waist on you. If your diaper tape doesn't overlap in the front, you inevitably leak onto your clothes.
We started solids this past month with you. You are skeptical of everything except oatmeal mixed with apples and formula, which you gobble down. Sometimes I feel bad about how awful the formula must taste (based on its smell) and I'll throw a splash of apple juice in your bowl of cereal too. I'm a pushover like that. For the record, you've tried oatmeal and rice cereals, carrots, peaches, apples, pears, and after a little slap on the hand from the pediatrician for giving you the sweet stuff first, next in line is squash, spinach, peas and green beans. Good luck to us.
You had your first significant illness this month as well. You shared a deep chest cough with your brother and sister, and handled it like a champ. Between that and the teething that we didn't realize was happening, you have proven yet again to be the baby that isn't phased by much, taking even pain in stride.
It's fun to document the little things from month to month, like how big you're getting, the new things you're learning, that still-red-hair, and your developing personality.
However, there's more to your 6 month story than naps, growth charts, and baby food.
There is a really beautiful story about how God is bringing me through sadness and disappointment, and the precious way that He used you in part to accomplish that.
I wondered today if He's letting you stay on the littler side so that I don't miss these days while you're so tiny. I've had a hard time adjusting to the transition of being a mom to 3 little ones. That's just the honest truth, but it's not because of you. I know many moms who would love a baby as easy as you are. I think the Lord knows that I needed a Madeline Jane in my life at this time.
We all have weaknesses that need to be strengthened. Expectations that are unrealistic. Dreams that need to be set aside. Rough edges that the Father won't ignore. Having children makes it impossible to ignore the truth of your life because everything is exposed. I am thankful for inner strength I didn't know I had (in Christ, of course) and disappointed by how I continually miss the mark and fall short. Some days I don't know what to do and can't see myself the way God sees me. But more often than not, I'm realizing that the life God has for me and our family is taking shape not only in the fun, happy moments but in the broken ones too.
At the end of the day, I'm so thankful for the way these days have played out. Even the more challenging ones. I know who I am, more so now than ever before. I know where I tend to be weak, and therefore where Satan tries to get to me first. I have experienced the life changing power of God's Word, and have seen Him almost visibly move in my life when I've begged Him not to forget me and asked Him to use me. I've wondered a thousand times if what I'm doing matters, if it's going to count on the other side of heaven. And I've felt the call over and over again to pour all of myself into being a mother to you, Robbie and Ellie, for the sake of Christ.
I find great fulfillment and satisfaction in staying home to raise you full time.
I cherish the sweet moments that I'm given each day, gifts that I know are so undeserved and marks of the lavish love that the Heavenly Father has for us.
That He knit you together in my womb is a complete miracle.
That He sustains us every day is the ongoing miracle.
That He gives us good gifts when we deserve nothing of the sort is just grace.
I'm relearning all of this.
Trying to see you the way He sees you, Maddie.
Approaching the day with confidence that comes from knowing that He has already moved through it and seen it to its end before it ever began.
Learning to love and forgive and surrender.
Trusting in His faithfulness.
This is a beautiful life we've been given to live, this new life in Christ.
Maddie, you have unwittingly drawn me closer to the Lord than I thought was possible.
Everything about your little life is precious and dear to me.
I'm so glad He gave you to me.
I hope you always know the love of the Father. It surrounds you wherever you go.
Your thankful mommy