Dear Owen,

Yesterday you turned six months old. It completely blows my mind that you have been in our lives for half a year already. It feels both like you just arrived, and have been here forever.

I have loved you since the moment we learned of your existence, but Owen, I’m really starting to like you now. You’re so much fun! You start every morning with smiles and laughter. Your face lights up when you see me or Daddy and that’s enough to make our hearts runneth over with love.

I love watching you discover new things — toys, the dog, a piece of hair wrapped around your finger. This morning you spent 10 minutes intently inspecting a tag on your play mat like it was the most important thing in the world. Oh, to see just a glimpse inside your brain!

Your favorite toys include your toes, blocks, your walker, a set of plastic keys that used to belong to mommy and an alligator teething toy. You shout and babble and wave them around as if to say, “Mama! Look! TOYS!” You’re always talking up a storm, and some may disagree, but we’re pretty sure you already say “Hiiiiii” and “Ooooh-wa!”, which is basically your name. You little genius, you. You won’t roll over yet, much to my chagrin, but you sit unassisted and will reach and grab for anything around you. Including the turkey leg off our Christmas dinner table. Luckily, Daddy caught you in time.

You sleep a consistent 8-10 hours every night before waking and that has been a huge milestone. You also take two solid naps, but usually hold me hostage in my bed with you in order to do so. Right now, however, you are napping peacefully in your crib. It’s only been 20 minutes and you could very well wake up any moment, but this is a giant step!

We go to the pediatrician for your six-month appointment tomorrow, so I don’t know how much you weigh officially, but my guess is more than 25 pounds. You have the biggest, most delicious thighs I have ever seen! You also have the longest eyelashes imaginable and big full lips. You are going to be real trouble around the ladies, Mr. O. Oh man, I’m not ready to think about that.

This week you will have your first taste of rice cereal. Up until now you have been exclusively breastfed. Starting you on solids will be a very bittersweet moment for me. I am so proud of my big, healthy baby boy who is clearly interested in eating, yet sad that these will be your first steps of independence away from me. I know we have many more months of breastfeeding to go, but it will never be entirely the same. I love those quiet moments we spend together — especially when you stop nursing to look up at me and laugh, pat my neck or shove your chubby fingers in my mouth for a nibble.

Since you were born in June, you’ve experienced many first holidays already. Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas already! Each one was fun and special and one day I’ll show you the pictures of you grabbing Daddy’s beer bottle (stop that!) and shoving wrapping paper in your face.

This morning you woke up to your first blizzard; your backyard blanketed by snow. We stood in the window and watched Daddy shovel and I wondered if you realized things looked different outside. I bet you did.

Ah, you are waking now. A 28-minute nap in your crib. Baby steps, baby steps.

I love you, Owen Michael. From the tips of my toes to the top of my head. You are the best thing to happen to us.

I can’t wait to see what the next six months brings us.

Love you forever,