**I have not been very good about keeping up with Brianna’s baby book. It’s a source of great mommy guilt for me. So I decided to try my hand at writing her letters instead. We’ll see how this works out.

Dear Brianna,

The month of March was such a time of changes for you. On February 22nd you were four months old! Watching you grow in March, your fifth month of life, was both amazing and bittersweet.

When you saw the doctor (who’s a bit of a putz) for your 4 month appt, we got the okay to start solids. We waited a few weeks and then tried rice cereal first. It was not a success! You did some blowing of raspberries and a lot of cooing and smiling while we tried to feed you. But we tried again and the second time was even less successful! You screamed and broke out in hives around your mouth. Turns out you’re allergic to soy!

So we tried bananas. Three days later, sweet potatos. No joy. You wanted nothing to do with any solid foods. We stopped trying- no need to rush. You’re already growing so fast! Not only did you have no interest in ‘real food’, but you continued to refuse to take either a bottle or sippy cup. As your daddy says, you’re a “straight from the tap” kind of girl. Which isn’t the worst thing ever, but it makes it hard for your mama to catch a break for more than an hour or two.

In March you discovered rolling. Oh did you discover rolling. You rolled around the living room, you rolled during diaper changes, and you even rolled in your sleep. There were some bad nights of you waking screaming (and me shooting straight up in bed) because you’d rolled yourself to the side of the crib and gotten your legs, or an arm, stuck out the side. I have to admit that I did chuckle at the sight of you with your legs sticking straight out the side of the crib. There were a few scary moments. Once you got your head wedged under the bumper pads (which were immediately removed at 3am) and another night you wrapped the blanket around your head (so you went without until you got the rolling under control). Who knew sleeping could be so dangerous?

As you rolled around the house, you explored things, which is only natural since you’re one of the nosiest, most curious babies I’ve ever seen. You explored everything. Mostly with your mouth. You put your mouth on anything you could reach (including your own toes when you discovered you had feet). Nothing was safe from you- including the cats’ ears. You rolled with single-minded determination to get to the cats anytime they came within eyesight. Unfortunately, they’re too savvy for you and would let you get within arm’s reach- when you’d immediately begin giggling- and they’d calmly get up and walk over you and out of the room. Trish views you as just one more person she can suck attention from- she is willing to let you grab at her and rubs her head against you when you’re both sitting on my lap. Oliver, on the other hand, seems to see you as the evil interloper who has usurped his position as “the baby.” But for all his disdain, he is the first to run to you when you cry.

And you and the month of March rolled on…

During this month you also began what we call your “fake cough.” It sounded something like a cough that people make when they swallowed wrong. You used it to get attention, to show displeasure, to show you were happy. This was in addition to all of your other talking. Yeah, you “talked.” You carried on conversations with me, your daddy, the cats, your toys, and occasionally your toes. You would wake up talking. You’d talk early in the morning and in the middle of the night. You talked during diaper changes, during breastfeeding (you’d be nursing away and humming around the nipple), and while your daddy gave you your bath. God help us when you actually start to form words!

We took you on your first “vacation” during March. We went to Baltimore for a romance reader’s conference, Celebrate Romance. You were quite a hit and got carried around by some well known authors such as Eloisa James, Judi McCoy, and others.

Some of your favorite things: Bathtime, music of any kind but right now you especially love Laurie Berkner and the songs on the Noggin Channel, the jumperoo, your favorite toys are your mirror, a rubber duckie, teething rings and link-a-doos, and a brightly colored cloth butterfly type toy. You’re fairly easy to distract and will play with just about anything.

People say you are a beautiful baby. Invariably, they will comment on your eyes, which are a striking light blue with a dark outer ring. But I think you shine because of your flirtatious, charming personality.

Some days, your daddy and I look at you in wonder. You’re such a gorgeous, happy, curious baby. How did we ever make something so magical? There are times, when you’re nursing, that you’ll pull away and look up at me with the most enchanting, wide, milky smile- so full of love and incredibly happy that I’m your mommy. That smile grabs my heart and clenches a fist around it. I want to freeze those moments and engrave them on my memory. How fast you’re growing. Each and every memory is so very precious- especially knowing they won’t last forever and that you’ll just keep growing. You can’t remain a baby forever and I wouldn’t wish you too (I’ll need to remind myself of that when you’re a teenager, I’m sure) But I do wish to be able to hold each special image forever- just as bright and clear as if it just happened. I love you, baby girl, and bless the day that God decided to change my life plan and send you to me.

Love,

Your Mommy

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