Dear Izzy...

After you were born, I had fully intended to write you every month and here you are, seven months old! I can hardly believe it. You have grown so much and we are having so much fun being your parents. I love you so so so much!

When you were four months old, we moved away from Brooklyn and spent about five weeks visiting your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in California and Utah before coming to Tennessee. Now we've been in our new house for almost two months! We still don't have very much furniture, but you love rolling around on the new carpet. In the last week or so you have started to get frustrated that you can't crawl, but you have started to rock back and forth on your hands and knees and will launch yourself forward onto your tummy. You're so close! You are sitting up so well and hardly ever fall over after we sit you up now. You've also gotten really close to pushing yourself up to sit on your own a couple times. You crawl all over me and your dad; we're your personal jungle gyms! Instead of a chair we have a blow-up mattress in your room and when you and I are sitting on it you'll pull yourself over to the edge and (on a couple occasions) off the bed if I let you. You are very curious.

At your six month check up, you were in the 95 percentile for your weight (20 lbs), were off the charts for your height (29 inches) and you continue to have an average size head :). You are wearing 12-18 month size clothes and wear a size 4.5-5 shoe! You are a big boy and look and act several months older than you are. But, even with your size you have lost some of your baby chub (oh, you were a yummy, chubby 3-5 month old!). You also got a couple shots and I braced myself for a melt down (for both of us) but you didn't even flinch! I am so amazed at how brave you already are. You still haven't really cried after you bonked your head or done something that I expect to hurt and bring out the tears, you will just look startled and frown a little. You are still very easy to soothe. People comment everywhere we go on what a "good baby" you are, so calm and content to just hang out with mom.

You love water! Both to bathe in and to drink. Bath time is one of your and our favorite times of the day. I take a bath with you usually, in our big tub. It's like your own little swimming pool. You love to splash and swim around (with my help, of course). You started reaching for my water bottle a couple months ago and I would let you chew on the hard, square plastic spigot. One day, several weeks ago to both of our surprise, you got it to work and started slurping up the water! It was game over after that and you've wanted a sip every time you see water in a bottle or glass and you especially love drinking out of a straw (it keeps you entertained when we go out to eat). I finally bought you your own sippy cup with a straw. I'm not sure how much water actually ends up in your stomach, but you sure love to practice!

We have started giving you some solid foods. You've loved everything we've given you: avocado, cucumber, squash, apples, applesauce, sweet potato (and little bits of bread when we're out and you're desperate for entertainment). You are emotionally and dexterously ready, but we wonder if your little gut is prepared to handle it yet. The day after you eat solids it will take you hours and hours to push it back out, making it hard for you to nap at all and a little grumpy. Still, you hardly every cry (only if you are exhausted and hungry at the same time).

You have always been a very vocal baby and would have "conversations" with us as early as seven weeks. A couple weeks ago your repertoire of sounds started to take off. You started saying "Hi" at five months and since then you've added (in order of appearance) "Up", "Poop," "Mama," "Dada," "Buh" (when you hear a bird), and "Isth" (which I think is you trying to say your name). Last night we were at your cousins' house and I swear you were trying to say Adam (Ahum) and Max (Muh, Muh)! One thing I don't love is that you've started yelling at the top of your lungs. Sometimes when you want something, sometimes it seems you do it just to test out your vocal capacity. And it's always, "MA MA MAH MAHHHEEEE!!!" with a screech at the end. Wow! Kid's got pipes!

You have always been interested in interacting with your world, especially the people around you. You make friends where ever we go. Partly because you're such a looker! And partly because once you've gotten someone's attention you'll stare them down and smile at them until they are entranced by your charm. You love to FaceTime and video chat with family far away. And you've just started to become really interested in people your own size (other babies) and will try to talk to them in stores and at church.

It is very easy to get you to smile. When you are playing and you realized we are watching you, you burst into a big grin. You are very ticklish everywhere and love to be tickled. The other day you put my hands on your feet and started to giggle, inviting me to continue to tickle your toes while you laughed and laughed! You already have a sense of potty humor, crack up when we smell for a poopy diaper, with laugh when we even say the word "poop," and have laughed after you burp.

You still love music and have widened your appreciation to artists other than your mama. When you were younger you would cry if I turned on any pop music unless I was singing along. We can still calm you down just by singing primary songs. Your favorite song is "My Heavenly Father Loves Me" and you love songs with hand actions. Speaking of hand actions, you will give us a "high five." I've been teaching you that one since you were a little babe and started to put your hands up to grab at my face and arms when I feed you, which you still do all the time. We both love your meal times.

You are just the sweetest baby and love to snuggle and nuzzle and be kissed and to give monstrous, wet kisses in return. Oh how I love you! Sometimes I think I don't ever want you to grow up! I want you to stay my squishy baby forever! But then I think about all the amazing things you will do when you get older and how many people you will love and help with your sweet, fun personality and I think that I cannot be that selfish to want to keep you all to myself. I LOVE being your mama. Israel, you are loved beyond measure!

xoxo forever,