Tuesday, September 9, 2008

the first half

Dear Alice,

There is going to come a time when you will be measuring things in "halfs" - as in, please give me a half of your sandwich and I am 4 and a half years old. September third m
arked your first half, your first six months here with us. And while I don't expect you to be asking for half of my sandwich yet, I know its coming - and the way these first 6 months flew by, I suspect that the time for sandwich rationing will come far more swiftly than I anticipate.

In your first half you have traveled far more than even most adult people. We recently returned from a road trip to San Francisco to visit your great Uncle D and Aunt S. To say that they were smitten with you is an understatement. I believe the exact words were, "You're going to have to leave the baby." From San Francisco we traveled to Utah to see your Grammy and Grampy C. We had a great time, even with all the driving - and seriously, you are the BEST traveler of anyone I know.

Just one day into your sixth month, you began to do some kind of face-plant crawling maneuver. I don't know what else to call it, really, because you get from one end of the floor to the other by using your face to leverage the rest of your body. This is not something that I'd recommend as a great mode of transport, but so far its working for you. I may need to invest in some headbands or something to spare you the inevitable forehead callous.

You also started eating solid food this month. Your first taste of rice cereal was a little strange, I think, but after a few days you must have decided that it was okay beca
use we haven't stopped since. So far you've eaten squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, and green beans. When you get to the point in life when you can actually condemn me for feeding you all those vegies first, and not starting with the far-more-palatable bananas and applesauce, know that your grammy C has been sticking up for you. I'm convinced if I didn't keep a wary eye out, she'd be feeding you dutch apple dessert and peach cobbler behind my back. She did give you a small taste of CHOCOLATE (in the form of a tiny bit of her chocolate shake) last week. Daddy says that its very appropriate, considering that this is the woman who will give you the best chocolate chip cookies you'll ever eat (though he says mine are a close second).

Alice, your smile lights up a room. This hasn't changed since the first
time we saw that full-face grin months ago - but you're just such a smiley girl, it needs to be said. You smile when you make a new noise. You smile when you think we're being funny. You smile when you first wake up from a nap. You smile when you see our cats. You smile when you hear a familiar song. You smile when you're in the bath. In short, you are a very happy girl.

I wish I could adequately capture the true essence of these first six months - to let you see and smell and taste and hear and feel the joy you have brought us. To give you something to hold on to when the halfs in your life have built up around you - when you are lonely or tired or feeling especially unloved. I'd like to say that such moments will never happen to you, but to do so would be both unwise and dishonest. So know that you are going to feel, at times, only half full - only half understood - only half found. Maybe when your life is half over and your daddy and momma are gone, maybe you will feel like some part of you - some half - is also gone. In these moments, please remember: your daddy sang songs and played the guitar for you; your momma read you books about ducks and hippos; when you were in your car seat you inexplicably smelled like beef vegetable soup and sometimes both your momma and daddy could be found sticking their noses in there and breathing as deep as a person can breathe; there wasn't a moment when you were out in public when someone didn't come by to say hello to you (the ladies at the grocery store deli counter, the fabric ladies at Joann's, the cashier at the bookstore, the person walking her dog outside our house, the waiter at the restaurant - just to name a few). Little Alice, you are undoubtedly unabashedly unmeasurably loved - not by half, not by a quarter, not by any less than everything we hold dear. Happy first half, baby.



Shelly Overlook said...

Could I nibble her cheeks for just a few moments?

Amanda said...

Love the headband shots - what a beauty!

Kristi said...

She is just so precious and squishy. I love the squishy!

Chip said...

And to think that Alice was almost named Olivia,.. Had we gone with Olivia, by adding a headband to the leg warmers that she already wears, people might think we are trying to bring back the 80's ourselves.


I love you both, and I'll be home soon

Whimsy said...

So you might be right about the unfortunate combination of leg warmers and headbands, but I contend that we did NOT almost name her Olivia. It was a very early contender, but she was always Alice in my heart.

artemisia said...

I loved this post!

I love the picture with the little winter hat. And the last picture with her crazy smile.


Pickles and Dimes said...

Oh my, that second photo is SO ADORABLE. I love that hat and her cute little cheeks!

This was such a great post.

Alice said...


i just met my friend's 7 month old for the first time, and also announced that i was keeping HER. alice looks highly keepable as well :-)

Susie Q said...

What a beautuful ode to your daughter and what a BEAUTIFUL baby. I find myself wanting to chew on her chubby cheeks....lol. It is obvious she is much loved.

wandering nana said...

I knew there was another reason I liked ya'll. I was born in Logan... "D

Swistle said...

I LOVE her expressions! And I love the red flower headband!

stacie d said...

I must say, I almost took her home with me when I left! It was hard to say goodbye to that precious little angel! You guys are lucky to never have to!

But it's not really goodbye, just see ya later! Hopefully soon!

Love you all!

tearese said...

Headband and stem-hat= too cute!
I love how you wrote this too.

Kathy said...

She's adorable. Love the cheeks!