Dear Ophelia, It has been quite a while since I’ve written a blog for you. I wish I had some good excuse but I don’t. However, my explanation is this: I’ve been waiting to write another entry until your birth story was done. Well, it still isn’t. So of course I’ve been putting off writing to you which is totally unfair to you seeing as there is so much going on in your life that needs to be documented.

Today you are 5.5 months and tall as the day is long! Every time I look at you while you’re sleeping I can’t believe how much you look like a toddler already. It’s a bittersweet feeling. You can sit up by yourself for a few minutes until you start squawking to be moved. Tummy time is still the bane of your existence but I still insist on it 4 or 5 times a day. But really you just hate to be put down in general. At 5 months your stranger anxiety came on with full force. With few exceptions, you hate when I hand you over to someone else and equally hate when I walk out of the room. You can be happy chomping on a toy by yourself but as soon as I disappear from sight you burst into hysterics. This pretty much means I can’t get anything done all day (except if I put you in the Ergo, which we both LOVE) so I’ve learned to live with a trashed house I have managed to make some toys for you though. I always have these high hopes that the things I make will encourage your curiosity and stimulate your brain…then the thing goes directly in your mouth. Sigh. If you’re happy, I’m happy. Daddy gets the best smiles and giggles by far. The other night we were winding down before bedtime in our room when your dad came home from work. All he did was walk in the room and you started busting up laughing. Also, you’ve started this HYSTERICAL growling that I’ve managed to catch on video a few times. First you get a very serious look on your face then your jaw drops and out comes a very satanic deep, menacing growl.

We’ve been spending lots of time up at Pine Mountain Lake with Grandma and Grandpa Watts lately. You’ve gone on hikes with us to Carlon Falls, spent the day in Columbia State Historic Park checking out Gold Rush history and spent countless hours splashing around in the lake. You sit in this sweet inflatable froggy and kick all around and squeal up a storm (I’ve started calling you O-squeal-ia lately).

I mean it when I say that my life is so much happier with you in it. I can hardly fit in all the fun things I want to do with you but damn, do I try. I don’t think parenthood makes everyone a better person (lord knows there are some awful parents out there) but having you has certainly made me better. I am more compassionate, more giving, more appreciative and less petty. Being your mother has forced me to do what I’ve always sucked at; live in the moment. You are not the same baby you were yesterday and I know tomorrow you will have changed even more. There’s no time to waste, no reason to look back or wait for what’s next. Some of my happiest moments are lying on the floor with you, kissing your pudgy cheeks or tossing you up over my head and listening to your sweet belly laughs. I’ve never felt that kind of joy before, the kind that isn’t dependent on things falling into place perfectly. It’s pure and simple. I’m happy because you exist.