Halle 3 1/2 months-5 1/2 month

Feb 2004—Hallemander is now 3 1/2 months old. She is about 15 libs and 24 inches long.  She is at such a darling age!  Her little grins are the best thing in the world.  She has a tummy-time gym that can entertain her for hours.  It plays little songs and flashes lights.  Rusty and I joke that she thinks the little toys hanging from the gym are her brothers and sisters.  She coos and screams and flails her little arms and legs.  We just watch her and laugh.  I swear we could sit there for hours. 
She wakes up in the morning quite predictable at 8:30.  Sometimes she surprises us with a 7:30 yelp, but she likes her sleep.  Rusty goes and gets her and changes her diaper.  After her morning nursing we sit in the bed an play.  She is so happy and talks and smiles and her newest trick is blowing bubbles with her mouth, usually dropping a big drool bomb on whoever happens to be holding her.  She and Rusty have morning tummy-time where she lays on his chest and tries to keep her heard up.  She gets frustrated pretty easily, much preferring to be on her back.
Our Babykins is just learning to grab at things.  We have some rings that hang from her car seat that she will grab at.  It is so funny to watch her try and work her fingers.  Most of the time she just scratches at things as her fingers open and close frantically trying to get the object.  But, when she does get the rings, she tries to shove them all in her mouth at once.  Sometimes she doesn’t realize she has them in her hands and she will smack herself in the head.  Her Daddy holds the rings above her head and tries to go “fishing for a Hallemander.” He lowers the ring toward her mouth and she starts chomping at it.  It is hysterical! He also loves to lay her on our bed and the jump up and down so she bounces around.  She thinks that is pretty funny.
One thing Halle and I do together is go swimming at Sports Academy. I started taking her when she was 2 months old. We practice kicking, back floating, and going under the water.  She usually does really well and enjoys her time in the water.  Sometimes when we go under she gets a lung full of water and lets me know in no uncertain terms that she does not appreciate that.  I teach the Parent-Tot class and hopefully by summer she will be doing well enough to be my demonstrator. 
Halle is usually an absolute delight, but she HATES crowds.  On Valentines Day our stake hosted a dinner and a dance.  As soon as we got in a large ground of people she started bawling her head off.  We finally go her calmed down and then the lights went out and the music started.  She totally lost all control.  I though she was going to be hoarse from screaming so loud.  It took over an hour to calm her down once we got home. Then we decided to try our luck again.  Ashley and Dustin were having their wedding dinner in SLC.  Rusty couldn’t go, but I decided Halle and I would have an adventure.  Adventure it was, but not the fun kind I had hoped.  Again, as soon as we got in a big crowd she went nuts.  This time she got a rash on her chest from crying so hard.  Luckily Grandpa Banks came to the rescue.  He took her out while I enjoyed my dinner.  But, we could still hear her screams echoing thought the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. 
April 2004—Halle is now 5 1/2 months old.  Her nickname of late is “baby bear” But, bear can be attached to a number of adjectives—sad bear, coo bear, stinky bear, tired bear, scream bear, etc.  She is a screamer!  Happy, sad, whatever—she can hit notes that opera sopranos only dream of.  As a result, Mommy take a lot of Tylenol. (ha ha) It’s fun to see her little personality developing.  She is so vocal—she loves to coo and scream.  She has perfected her grabbing skills and will reach for anything in sight.  She particularly likes markers.  I have no idea why.  Maybe she’s drawn to the colors.  But, if she is crying and you put a marker in front of her she will immediately be quiet and start chewing in the marker.  She also loves the rings that hand from her car seat.  They are just the right size to stuff in her mouth.
Another big milestone for Halle is the introduction of solid food.  She loves to taste anything, so we decided to start her on rice cereal about two weeks ago.  She wasn’t a big fan of the cereal by itself, but mixed with bananas she LOVES it!  She also loves applesauce and carrots.  She is a messy little eater, but it’s so cute to watch her discover new textures and testes.  She only eats about 3 tbs/day and half of that ends up on her face and clothes. 
She is still a little swimmer.  Now, when I put her under the water she scrunches he eyes shut tight.  It is adorable to watch.  She comes with me to Parent-Tot and loves the interaction with the other kids.  It’s pretty funny to watch when she splashes herself and gets so confused.  The other day at swimming she swallowed lot of water in the pool.  As I was getting her ready after swimming she was eating her bottle.  After she had eaten about 6 oz, she let out a big burp and all the pool water and all the formula came gushing out.  It was pretty gross.  But the funniest part was that she did not mind al all.  She just sat there calm as could be while I mopped her up. 
Hale loves her bumper pads.  When she sleeps she squishes her face up against them.  I don’t know how she breathes, but somehow she manages.  She also love to cuddle her blanket.  As soon as we put her down she immediately grabs the blanket, shoves it in her moth and squishes her face against the bumper pads and goes to sleep.  It’s so cute.  She loves her bumpers so much that when we go down to visit the Grandparents we have to take them with us or she can’t sleep. 

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