03 November, 2016

Merit at Six Months

Our Mer-Bear has two teeth, crawls way too fast, likes sweet potatoes and squash (does NOT like pumpkin), enjoys sucking on apple slices and my hair. She is quick to smile and to forgive Will when he occasionally bites her ;). She has slept from about 9:30-6:00 three times in the last week! She is expressive, she loves to babble and laugh.

She has a special relationship with each of us. 

I assign Gage "Special Merit Time" almost every afternoon when she is happy. He holds her and talks with her, or lies her on the ground and plays beside her. He can make her laugh better than any of us.

Kjel is Merit's fiercest protector. Kjel has a mother heart. She sometimes gets her feelings hurt when her "helping" is a little too much. She will gasp and run to pick Merit up and take her away from a  toy that she deems too dangerous, or if Merit starts to cry she will jump up from whatever she is doing and scream, "EMERGENCY, EMERGENCY!" It always makes me laugh and panic at the same time. Kjel answers, "I would love to," when I ask her to get a diaper and wipes. She loves helping me put Merit's arms in her jammies, or wrapping her up in a blanket. Kjel loves to make crawling obstacle courses for Merit out of blankets and pillows. I've tried to explain the suffocation hazard, but Kjel doesn't get it and gets truly hurt if I don't let her build them and then put Merit in them. So I supervise closely, and Merit tolerates all that love. In less than two years these girls will be roommates! I LOVE being a mother. 

Will often says, "Oooooh, Me-t so coot! Me-t have mingers? (fingers) Me-t have coot foot?" It's adorable. He loves to stroke her head and kiss her. He'll often reach for her and say, "MINE ME'T!" Every now and then, we don't know why, he will be playing nicely with her and then randomly bite her finger or toe really hard! It's totally unpredictable and a little bit disturbing. He runs and hides when he does it, so we know he feels ashamed. We always get him and have him hug and kiss her, and say, "Will, she loves you! Merit needs you to be kind." Maybe it's working. Maybe not. I think I can guarantee that he won't still be biting as a teenager. But who knows. Will, when you read this as a young man and wonder if you were the forgotten, messed up third child, just remember that I often tell Daddy that you are my favorite. ;)

 Steven is the man with the food. I nurse, he spoon feeds the gloppy baby food. It's good for all three of us. When she hears his voice, she looks up like a little meerkat until she finds him and then she grins a soppy, lovestruck smile. Sometimes I get home from a meeting, and Steve has her propped under his arm like a football as he's getting things done or playing with the other kids. She loves it there! Totally parallel to the ceiling and floor, she rides along with her daddy, smiling and drooling.

Oh Merit, my sweet love. Every day you and I have a moment. Sometimes that moment is really short, because I have many to care for. But there has not been one day that I haven't looked into your eyes and prayed out loud, thanking Heavenly Father for allowing me to be your mother. You are a valiant, good, sweet soul. I am absolutely in love with you. I will always, always love you. I would do anything for you - I will do everything I can for you.

You have a large family that thinks you are perfect. You can do no wrong, even when you spit up in our mouths, poop three day's worth of sweet potatoes on the new carpet (just pour water on the stain, then pick it up with a paper towel by blotting it, repeat with lots more water and lots more paper towels and it'll clean it right up), and wake up every hour and a half wailing. Those nights are not my favorite, but they are still wonderful. There is nothing I'd rather do than make your life sweet.

Steven and I pray for Merit every night. We pray that we will be able to give her the care and attention she needs, and that we won't let this time go by too fast. I always add in a special request, that I'll be able to be alert enough to really meet her needs during the night.

At church, I nurse her for most of the first hour, Steven carries her around in the Ergo the second hour , and I try to console her during the third hour. We are all sleepy by the time we come home. Often, she falls asleep in the car, and the kids and I take a little drive around the neighborhood.

She has sensitive skin, like the rest of the kids (sorry guys). Fortunately for her, I have finally learned how to take care of sensitive baby skin! No soap and coconut oil. She smells tropical :).

Sometimes when the bathtub just seems too gross to put a perfect baby in, I bathe her in the sink. But I'm OCD about bacteria, so I use my incredibly strong forearms to get her wet and clean without actually touching the sink. It is a major work-out. She LOVES water and getting wet. I LOVE wrapping up a clean baby in a clean towel. It is a true joy.

Haha. Steve did that after he saw the picture of Merit and I below:

I love this girl so much. She is loved by many. I have a friend who has eight children. She says that she wishes she had eight, and all an only child. Ha! I have half of that, and wish the same thing. I wish I had more to give on the days that I'm tired. I wonder what my kids miss out on because I have three others to tend to. But, in consolation, my friend also says that by having children, we are giving ours siblings, and their siblings give them more than we could. I believe that to be true. 

Holding Merit during family prayer

Making pumpkin bread together :)

My heart is bursting! Merit, you are loved so much by so many! Happy six months!

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