Dear sweet Wilder,
Six months have passed since the precious evening you entered the world. I remember wondering before you came if it would be hard to remember the night you were born, if I would confuse it with the night your sister was born. Not a chance. I remember every detail; the tiles I counted on the floor and the ceiling while contractions passed, the rising panic in my chest for those moments your heartbeat dropped so low, the desperate feelings of pushing like my life depended on it because I was so tired of carrying you within and just wanted to see your face, the look of surprise in the nurse and doctor's eyes when they saw how hard I could push. I don't think I really was all that strong; I just wanted you.
Now we've held you for six months and it's the eternity and the "how were we 'us' without you?" and the but-it-was-just-yesterday.
I prayed that laughter would come easily to you and God gave me my desire and more. After your sweet but stoic sister, I wanted to hear baby giggles as often as possible and we do. Everything is a joke to you. Anyone who looks you in the eye gets a huge smile and laugher bubbles over so easily for you. The best jokes are when someone pretends to get bonked on the head and when we pretend to smell your very ticklish toes. You are so ticklish and your laugh sounds like Daddy's.
You can say "hi" and "mama" and today I think you said "hey." We play a game where I bonk your heel to my chin and say, "Hey!" and you laugh. Today you said "hey" on your own.
You've been belly crawling for almost a month. Thankfully you aren't too fast yet, but when I put you down on your back it's only a moment before you've rolled to your belly and, through a combination of helicopter blade style rolling and inch-worming along on your belly you can pretty much make it where you want to go. You can sit on your own and have been slowly working your way to longer and longer periods of time. You've had two teeth since you were four months new. You're doing everything so much faster than your sister, which is hard for me because I just want you to stay my tiny new baby.
Content barely begins to describe you. I take you everywhere with me, including long days of working taking pictures for the real estate company in the city. As long as your belly is full and you get to look at people, you're perfectly happy. You love to sleep in your wraps, close and warm against my heart. I've done entire house or portrait shoots with you strapped to me and you barely make a peep. No one can believe how sweet and content you are.
Because you are so sweet and content, neither can anyone believe that you turn into a vampire baby at night. It's finally, finally gotten better, but up until about two weeks ago you were still waking up every three hours all night long. We tried everything under the sun but you just wanted to nurse and nurse and nurse. It took some time, but now that you've really started solids you're finally sleeping more. We tried rice cereal at 5 months to try to help you sleep, but it seemed to bother your tummy and you started refusing it so we dropped all food for about two weeks. Then on Easter Sunday we tried your first real food, avocado, and you loved every ounce. Since then you've tried banana, butternut squash, blueberries and green beans. Bananas and green beans are your favorite so far.
You love everyone with ease, but your sister lights up your world. I wish I could bottle up the sweetness between you two and keep it forever. She pets you and pats you and calls you "handsome sweet," "little buddy," and "sweet baby boy." She kisses you and asks to hold you or to snuggle you. She gets a little mad when you cry too loudly or try to grab her special blanket, saying, "Wil-DER!" Your little eyes follow everything she does and when she and Bean play together it's so clear that you want to badly to chase them and be big, too. Please don't be big yet.
Last night we were at Caleb's house and Caleb's mom wanted to show me a picture of Caleb's dad when he was a baby and she pulled out Caleb's dad's baby book. My heart instantly sank because I felt so guilty that I haven't filled out a baby book for you. I haven't written the letters or chronicled the memories nearly as well I was able to for your sister. But I opened the book and laughed. Right there, on the first page, was a post-it note written by Caleb's dad when he was in high school. It said, "Mom, Why is this empty??!!" She put another post-it note next to it that said, "Because I was busy holding you, taking you to soccer practice, and spending time with you. Love, Mom."
That is our life right now. Our life is snuggles and dishes, meals and laughter. Our life is family games and dinners with friends. Our life is play dates and house projects. Our life is sleepless nights and afternoon naps. Our life is buttercups in plastic cups and "what is that?" stuck to the coffee table. Our life is toys scattered and put away again and laundry that never ends but is always clean but it never put away. Our life is making you laugh and watching your sister kiss you.