I'm not sure if it's the change of season, or the approaching half year milestone that Iris will reach in less than a month now, but I have been feeling rather reflective of late.
As I look back at the last 5 months it really seems that we're a world away from those first apprehensive weeks of parenthood, with its gush of hormones and first ravages of sleeplessness.
Firmly out of the newborn and young baby stage, Iris now seems to me like a proper little person, morphing more into herself every day. I feel like I'm witnessing a da Vinci process, with my milk working as the metaphorical chisel, chipping away at her pre-formed self.
And it really is such an amazing process with new expressions, noises and movements emerging every day.
I think what I find most incredible is the shift from the pure, unconditional love and need of a mother and baby, to a more mutual emotional balance borne of actually knowing one another. I suppose this is a round-about way of saying that it feels like a relationship now, but one that is more rewarding and touching than I could ever have imagined.
And while we have been keeping each other busy recently - a week in Norfolk, baby cinema, trips to town and visits with Iris' many cousins, not to mention a heavy cold (Iris) and renewed sleeplessness (me) - the best moments have really been when we have just been hanging out together.
Just the simplest of things have become invaluable - a smile, a giggle, a cuddle - I don't think I can describe how happy it makes me, and how privileged I feel to be nurturing this new person.
Me and my girl, my girl and me - sigh. Right, I'll now climb off my chocolate box and give my rose-tinted sunnies a rest!