Here's the highlight reel:
Here Maddie is right before turning 5 months old, getting fitted for her helmet to fight the dreaded brachycephaly, and all that implies. Her Mom and I were pretty upset and nervous about things at first; constantly worrying about the decision we had made to do this and what the effects of it would be, not to mention how she would handle having to wear a helmet pretty much all day and night. We did a lot of praying that we had made the right move.
Helmet? What helmet?
Maddie has at least another month to go in the helmet, and outside of a few minor adjustments needing to be made here and there has been doing great. Even the people who look at her, a girl baby, wearing girl baby clothes, with a helmet that has a bow affixed to it in one of a variety of colors and STILL think she's a boy don't even bother me. What a little trooper.Along with that, over the course of the last week, Maddie's first tooth has begun to make her presence known.
Tonight was actually our first real hardcore bout with teething. There's something about baby crying due to teething that's different than baby crying due to being hungry, or being over-tired, or anything of that nature. It's specific type of cry that's just unique in its own way. Something along the lines of, "OUCH MOM AND DAD THERE'S A FREAKING TOOTH POKING THROUGH MY GUMS AND IT HURTS AND WHY AREN'T EITHER OF YOU DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT I HATE YOU" kind of crying.
We've also fought through a couple of bouts of diaper rashes along with a nasty infection "down there" but have made it through them with flying colors. I'll spare you pictures of that. But did you know a dab of Maalox works wonders clearing up diaper rashes? We didn't either. But it does.
In the last month, we've began the transition over to solid foods. Here were are enjoying some bananas, mashed with oatmeal. This oatmeal has bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S!
Maddie also had quite the busy baseball season, appearing in 9 games on the year and finishing with a respectable record of 6-3. Here she is with our friend Fred, who is the greatest usher in the history of ushering. Is ushering really an verb? The correct answer to that is yes, because this is my blog.
One thing we quickly discovered with Maddie was that this kid LOVES being outdoors. So it's a good thing we don't play our home games in some domed, artificial lighting Tropicana Field looking crap stadium.
Anyway...a few things I've learned in the first 6 months of Maddie's life. Or more precisely, things I am continuing to learn in the first 6 months of her life.
- Be patient with her: She's a baby, you fool.
- Talk to your baby all the time. And we do. All. The. Time. About pretty much anything. From asking her how much she enjoys the toy she's playing with, to telling her what her poop looks like. Just the other day, I started telling Maddie about sabermetrics and why the designated hitter is necessary in baseball. She's going to have quite the interesting group of friends when she gets older.
- You're going to worry about some weird things. Like the fact that she hasn't pooped enough. Or that she's pooped too much. Or is she eating enough? Or why hasn't she started crawling yet? And are we doing enough tummy time? Or what's going on with her hearing in one ear? Or why does she keep spitting up?
- Babies, man. Babies. Which leads me into my next point....
- It's a fact of life that sometimes babies are going to cry, and sometimes you're not going to be able to do a thing about it. Except for maybe, you know, also cry.
- Go with your gut. That's how you learn what it takes to be a parent.
Above all else, this has been the most fun we've had in our lives. Through it all crying, the times up late at night (which there haven't been many of thankfully because this kid sleeps like a champ), the frustrations, the scary trips to specialists.....they're all worth it just to see that smile and hear that laugh.
I'm sure I'll say a lot of these same things again when you turn one in another 6 months from now (oh my God). Thank you Madeline Kara, our little baby girl, for coming in to our lives. It's crazy to think that a little more than 6 months ago, I was trying to imagine what life would be like with this new little person taking up a huge part of it.
I can't imagine what life would be like without it.