Saturday, October 21, 2006

Deep In the Heart of Texas

Dear Peanut,

Last weekend was our first family vacation. Daddy surprised us with a trip to Austin, TX to celebrate our anniversary. We have been home to Mascoutah a few times with you now, but this was our first real vacation with you. And, our first vacation at all in close to two years. The picture above is of you in the rotunda of the impressive Texas Capitol building. Austin is a great city, if only it were closer to St. Louis!

You are such a traveling champ. You handled car rides, airports, flights, security checkpoints - everything - with an ease that still amazes me. I think you handled all the "traveling" bit better than Daddy or I did. You seemed comfortable in two different cribs at two different hotels. You ate a healthy breakfast of mashed bananas out in public with no problem. Let's just say that the weekend made me want to take even more vacations like that with you and Daddy.

You are thisclose to crawling right now. You can lift your fanny up into the air on your knees, and you can lift your head up into the air on your arms. You just can't seem to get the idea that you can do both at the same time. You are, however, a champion scooter. You scoot every which way, and even seem to push toys away from you just so you can scoot towards them some more.

Other than bananas, your diet is quickly expanding. Frozen cubes of sweet potatoes, avocado, carrots, pears, peaches, plums, and green beans fill a drawer in our freezer. Tonight for dinner you had yogurt for the first time - mixed with some fresh peaches. It was like a party arrived in your mouth - you devoured the yogurt. And then nursed from both boobs. And then downed a bottle. You are one hungry little baby. We had been sticking to just one "real" meal a day, but I think we're going to start moving you up to three. You are a growing girl, after all.

Today was the first game of the World Series. You were dressed in your Cardinal outfit all day (looking very much like a boy). You watced the first few innings, then ate (more, again), and went to bed. When you wake up in the morning Daddy and I will have to tell you all about the game.

Today we also had two large, dead trees taken down from our front yard. They guys started last night, and you and I sat on the front step watching. You seemed fascinated by the work - the man climbing high up into the tree, using his chainsaw to cut down the branches, the cut branches falling to the ground with a tremendous crash. We watched as they cut through the base of the first tree - and shouted (well, that was me) "Timber!" as it went down. The force of the crash shook the house, and you just kept on watching. Daddy even came out to check on you, thinking you would have gotten too startled by the fall. But you were cool as a cucumber.

You are now 6 months old. I continue to find myself surprised at how much I love you. I thought that by 6 months, I would be used to the feeling. But the depth of it still takes my breath away. I don't know that I could survive losing you, and yet my thoughts often wander to all the million ways you could get hurt during the day. At times, I'm almost consumed by the idea that something terrible is going to happen, that will cause you to leave me. Is it going to be like this all the time? Or will I become more confident that you're going to be alright? When we first brought you home, I was consumed with thoughts that I would hurt you in some way. That's been replaced by the thought that there is some accident out there, just waiting to happen.

I am not prone to worry - its not really in my nature, and Daddy typically worries enough for the both of us. But since you were born, I worry. This is accompanied by the intense feeling that its my job to protect you. And its exhausting. I love every single moment, but it is exhausting.

You are the very best thing that's ever happened to Daddy and me. Your little giggle - that happens more and more often these days - is a constant reminder of how good we have it. I love you so very much, Ainsley.


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