I can’t tell if it’s the hope of spring, the warmer weather, the brighter evenings—or maybe just the fact that half a year has gone by since we became a family of four—but all of a sudden life with two little girls feels positively light.
I guess it’s no accident. I’ve spent much of these past six months diligently making mental shifts, teaching myself to find joy in the mundanities of motherhood. In-between moments are quickly filled with chores, and I rarely have what I previously considered “necessary downtime,” yet I’ve been finding ways to make it all feel pretty damn wonderful regardless. Audible helps (guys… Becoming and Educated are SO GOOD), but so do kisses between folding tiny undies and quick acro stunts during dinner prep.
Becoming a family of four was a mind screw at first, but half a year makes all the difference. In the grand scheme of things, half a year is hardly any time at all; time has flown. Cora is six months old today, and she’s a total love in every way. Here’s the latest…
Hair update: She’s blonde now? Her hair happily/sadly no longer stands up at the ends. Mostly it lays flat, combed over to the right because that’s the way I like to push it. The new hair coming in is mostly blonde, and her longer tufts are multicolored—dark at the end and light at the root—as though in dire need of a root touch up. She’s also probably going to need a haircut sooner rather than later, because her Hasidic sideburns and mullet situation is not as cute as she is.
She eats food. One of the grand benefits of being a second time mom is that I have already done my research. We did baby led weaning with Ali, and I knew I wanted to do the same with Cora. I started giving Cora tastes of my own food a few weeks ago, letting her suck on paleo pancakes, beef jerky, bacon, and fruit (really whatever I was eating that wasn’t too messy) while snuggled in the carrier. Now that she’s sturdier, she sits in her chair during mealtime where she mostly practices grabbing food and smashing it near her mouth, occasionally surprising herself by swallowing a bit. Her faves so far include sweet potatoes, avocado, bacon, steak, challah, green smoothie, and paleo pancakes.
Related: She’s getting chubby. Her cheeks are becoming especially delicious.
She’s noisy. Cora figured out how to make fart noises with her mouth, whipping her slobber into a frothy frenzy as she makes the types of sounds eight-year-old boys work months to master. She also does lots of “dadadada’s” and “yayayaya’s” which are decidedly more adorable and less gross.
She rolls. Put her on her back and you’ll find her on her stomach. Put her on her stomach and you’ll find her… on her stomach. She only rolls one way, but she does it well and often. (And sometimes she gets tired of being on her stomach and just gives up… see below.)
She sleeps in the girls’ room now. Although Cora briefly slept through the night around eight weeks, that jig was up a week later when she caught her first winter cold. Enter sleep training at five months. I worked myself up for it to be this big deal, but it wasn’t. We follow The Happy Sleeper method, which nicely suits our parenting style—attachment parenting meets firm, reasonable boundaries. SparkNotes: After having a little conversation about sleeping through the night (we talk to Cora like she can understand us because why not), you basically check in every five minutes anytime your baby cries—really cries—between bedtime and 11 hours later… just a quick “it’s time for bed, you can do this, I love you” and gone again. The first night, she fussed a bit, cried for thirty seconds (I counted, sweating and gritting my teeth a little as I waited for it to be over), and then she slept until 7am. The second night, she slept from 7 til 7. And by the third night, I moved her into the girls’ room (previously Ali’s room) and haven’t heard a peep since.
She has her own song. It’s not brilliant or anything, and I don’t know what inspired it or where the tune came from. (I tried to Shazam it because there’s no way I just came up with a melody but Shazam was like I have no idea what you’re singing so maybe I did.) This song ignites a little something in Cora, a smile spreading across her face every time I so much as hum the tune. I like to think it’s because she knows that this song, however imperfect, is something I created especially for her. Second borns don’t only get hand-me-downs.
You are adora-
ble, my little, little girl.
You make me happy…
and even though this song is sappy…
I’m just so glad you’re my little girl.