Saturday, May 29, 2010

Milestones (before I forget...)

I have long been promising to write this, had a goal for her 6 month B-day, and now that her 8 month has come and gone, I figured I had better get on with it before she is 1 and I forget everything... My poor kids, definitely not going to be the ones with the awesome baby books and all that.

Because I am so bad at this, and always say, "of course I will remember the day she learned how to do such-and-such", don't write it down, and then forget, these will be mostly estimations, and lots of things I wanted to write I have since forgotten... but I will do my best. I will also make a goal not to have such a long preamble of excuses next time! Sheesh! At least she made it somewhat easy for me, and usually on her "month-day" or soon thereafter would be when she would reach some big new milestone, so I will just write what I can remember from each month that has past. Her last update of accomplishments was at 4 months, half her life ago! It is amazing reading back on that and seeing how much she has learned since then!

On the day she turned five months, she started sitting up on her own for considerable periods of time.Unfortunately the first time I tried to take a picture, all I got was a blur as she was falling over, having thrown her head back, and landed with a loud thunk! This is the aftermath picture of her crying in her daddy's arms. But she got the sitting thing down pretty quickly.

She also progressed from the spinning around on her tummy, trying to move, to scooting. At first she would get really frustrated and mad (picture below), because her arms were stronger than her legs, and she would go backwards instead of forwards, but eventually she learned how to go forward. She would push up onto her hands and toes in perfect plank position for a push-up, and then lunge forward. It was funny to watch. She quickly progressed to getting up onto her hands and knees and staying there for awhile, rocking back and forth, trying to figure out how to move.

Because moving on her tummy was so frustrating to her, she started to just want to stand up all the time. She had been able to hold her weight in a standing position leaning up against things (picture at left), but now whenever we held out or fingers to her, she would get all excited, grab on and pull up to a stand and even take some steps. She got super good at it really fast, and learned problem-solving techniques, such as if she came forward too far onto her knees, she just pulled one knee up with foot on the ground (like the typical proposal position) and stood up from there. It was so fun to watch her so excited and learning so fast! She decided that crawling was beneath her, and this way of getting around was much more exciting! That meant frustration for parents, as she never wanted to be on the ground anymore, just wanted to be holding onto our fingers and standing up.

On the day again, our two months of teething torture finally ended and her two little bottom teeth popped through! It was a relief as she takes teething pretty hard. Those little white flashes in her smile are something cute! (Look close and you can see the little teeth! Pardon the mess of all her blankets and stuff scattered about in the picture... notice how she is pulling to a stand as I am trying to take the picture?)

She also started to figure out how to pull to a stand on other objects, not just our fingers. It took a little more effort, as the objects did not have perfect handles for her little hands, or move to accommodate her position like we did... but she soon got it down, and was trying on more and more bits of furniture and anything she could find to grab hold of.
I think the looking for objects to pull to a stand with spurred her to work on the crawling thing again. She started getting better and better and about a week into her sixth month was crawling in the traditional style, though rather awkwardly and slowly, still not sure it was a valid way of transporting oneself.

SEVEN MONTHS: At seven months she started getting good at crawling, and thinking it was useful after all, especially to chase after kids at church, or her mommy, or just to go get what she wanted and explore. She even decided to try crawling off the edge of the bed when I had fallen asleep and woke up to a crash and cry... our bed is now on the floor, needless to say.
She also started really cruising along, standing up on anything easily, just barely holding on for a bit of balance and encouragement, but able to let go if she wanted for a bit of actual standing alone! I thought is was pretty cool, and would stand her up, let go of her, and laugh as her smile got bigger and bigger and I counted higher and higher for how long she could stand alone. Then she would get too excited and start wiggling and fall into my arms. But a couple of times, she would take steps toward me instead of just leaning forward to fall! That was pretty exciting.

EIGHT MONTHS:  It is still hard to believe she is that old! My baby really is growing so fast! Her last Dr. appointment has her at 27 1/2 inches long, in the 85th percentile for height for her age, and 60th for weight and 18 lbs., and a HUGE head! Like 95th percentile! it doesn't look big, but all the Doctors would look at her chart and say, "wow, she has a really big head!". It makes me laugh. She is very tall and lean, and looks bigger than many of the 1yr old kids at church. She wears 12-18 month clothes. I am excited to hopefully have a tall child, as I am definitely vertically challenged!
She is just getting better and better at everything right now. Crawls after everything, Loves walking around the house with anyone who will hold her hand (Granddad is her favorite for this), likes to let go and stand on her own, up to a minute, and has taken a few deliberate, slow steps towards me and still stayed standing afterward for a bit. I em excited that she is wanting to walk to soon, but I am also very nervous about chasing after her all the time. . . But maybe now that she is starting to realize crawling is useful after all, she will speed up on that, and give up on walking for a bit... we shall see.
I know I have not focused on her fine motor skills, they are just harder to pinpoint and remember, but she is doing great with that. She loves blowing raspberries, alone or on any object, especially my face... shaking things, taking things in and out of boxes, banging things together, and all those fun things. She is really good at finding her binky and putting it into her mouth, that was her first mastery of handling objects. She has a binky radar and finds that thing in pitch dark and under objects!
She is still not so sure about the eating solid foods from a spoon. I think part of the problem is that she has started the dreaded teething phase again, and just doesn't want to eat in general anyway. She likes to feed herself, but is still gagging on things much more solid than the purees, so it is rough, but it will all come in time.
She also has been getting more and more verbal, loves yelling at and talking to herself in the mirror, blowing raspberries on her reflection, trying to "touch" the other baby, shaking her head back and forth, and in general pretty funny to watch. She lets you know when she is upset, either if you take something from her that she was playing with, or walk away when she wants you, or when she is hungry or tired. She says funny sounds all strung together, like a little alien language of her own. Some of her favorite sounds are NeYAY, NnnDat, MMmDay, and a whole bunch that I for some reason am blanking on right now... she is sleeping, or I would elicit some inspiration from her. I do remember one night she was really hungry and she just kept saying over and over, "NeYAY, NeYAY, Deet! Deet!" and I couldn't help but giggle!
Speaking of nights, she is getting better at sleeping, even with the teething. She was doing so well at 4 months, not needing night feedings, and then the teething and illnesses set in and she started wanting to eat every 4 hours again. Recently she just stopped on of those, and also is wanting me to lay her down before she is asleep. So I hope that continues!
She is just really fun and interactive now, always very alert and interested in people and what is going on. She is very friendly, though if people try to pick her up or come too close before she knows them she gets a little wary and leans closer to me.  She isjust a joy, and I love every day with her!!! Sorry there weren't more pictures of the later stuff, I still need to get them ready... But I hope you could still enjoy the post!