Month 7 (5 Adjusted)

Riverbug,

Your Dad and I can’t believe you’re already 7 months old. You’ve survived more vaccinations, started swim lessons, and have become amazingly interactive with your toys, family, and even strangers.

Travel:

You and I run errands and visit friends 2-3 times per week. You’ve become an awesome errand-buddy, charming everyone who says “hi” to you with a giant, gummy smile and a faux-shy turn of your head. You’ve been to Target, several indie children’s stores in the Inland Empire, Walmart, Best Buy, Trader Joe’s (many times!), Clark’s Nutritional Center, Lakeshore Learnng Center, various thrift stores, to visit friends in Fullerton, and of course to the homes of both sets of grandparents, as well as T. Richard and T. Analee’s house! You’ve also been out to sushi and to Olive Garden with friends.

Twice this month, when I’ve been out and about around your bedtime, you’ve fallen asleep while sitting up in my arms. This is truly one of the most adorable, heart-tugging things that you do, I think because it signifies such absolute trust in me. You look completely and utterly angelic when you sleep, with your smooth, glowing skin and enormously long eyelashes on full display.

Verbal/Language:
You’ve been experimenting with your voice extensively and now say “blah, ba, buh, dah, and muh”. You also have a new sound–you make an insanely high pitched squeal that sounds like you’re screaming, but you’re really just making the noise for the fun of it. It’s pretty funny, for the most part. You even decided to make the sound in church, which was hilarious, but definitely too loud to be appropriate! :) The cutest occurrence is when you make the sound to music–it sounds like you’re practicing to be an opera singer.  You love the Celtic Woman CD that Brenda gave you, and got really excited about some children’s World Music CD’s that I introduced to you today. I also discovered the amazing wealth of children’s audio books, stories, and songs that are at our local library–it made me feel so incredibly wealthy to walk out of the library with an enormous stack of audio products without spending a penny.
You LAUGH NOW! It’s impossible to describe the feeling we get when you laugh–it’s utterly disarming and validating all at the same time. Your laugh is hilariously spontaneous, almost as if it’s an involuntary response that surprises even you. Your Dad and I will do just about anything to get you to laugh and keep laughing. :)
You LOVE being sung to, and your current favorite song is your “Small-Girl” song, sung to the tune of “My Girl”. You also like just about any new song that I come up with, and you giggled a bit when I sang you “Defying Gravity” from the musical Wicked. When I trim your nails (still a harrowingly tense experience for me), I make up a new song that you’ve never heard so that you’ll hold still while you try to figure out the new sound.

Eating:

You’ve graduated to “big girl” bottles–SEVEN ounce size!! WHOA! (We use the Dr. Brown’s glass bottles). Your appetite fluctuates throughout the day, though you generally eat between 5 and 7 oz at a sitting. You’ve also gone crazy for baby oatmeal (Earth’s Best Organic, Whole Grain Oatmeal for babies). You practically attack the spoon to get to it. You don’t sit up on your own yet, so I put you in your semi-reclined bouncing chair and you eat from there.

I’ve also stopped pumping milk in preparation for our 3.5 weeks of travel coming up this summer. I knew I didn’t want to pump while traveling–pumping in gross bathrooms or crunched in a car trying to cover up while still keeping the pump upright and the bottles from spilling gets old VERY quickly. And since I know the travel will be a change and therefore a stressor for you, I wanted to make this change well before anything new happened. I tapered off *very* slowly, and I don’t think you really noticed when I switched totally to formula. We’re using “Baby’s Only Organic, Soy, Iron-Fortified Formula.” I like it because it’s corn-free (no corn syrup, unlike virtually all of the other formulas I looked at) and has all organic and non GMO ingredients. It’s also SO easy to just carry the jar of formula and a glass jar of filtered water to mix up an extra bottle while we’re out and about. The only ill-effect I’ve noticed is that you’ve needed an ounce of organic white grape juice, diluted with water, every other day, to avoid overly-thick bowel movements.

You’ve also tried some green peas (you thought they were OK but not great) and prunes (you weren’t a big fan). We’re going to try organic avocado this week!

Engaging with your world:

Your “stranger anxiety” is gone, thank goodness! It was so dreadful for the people who love you so much to have you cry when they talked to you. Now you grin at people when they talk to you, and I’ve noticed that you’ll deliberately catch my eye and flash me a giant smile to get a reaction. Also, every time I pick you up, you automatically grasp and hold onto a handful of my hair. It’s adorable–it’s like my hair functions as a balancing tool for you. You don’t generally yank on it or try to pull it out (which is nice!), and sometimes you just rub it between your fingers, as if trying to memorize the texture.

Your Dad and I also no longer believe that you have hearing loss. For a long time, you simply didn’t turn your head to sounds. At ALL. It was quite unnerving, even though, developmentally speaking, babies aren’t expected to turn toward sounds until 8 months old. You’ve started to turn toward any and all interesting sounds now, much to our relief.

New Experiences:

You started swimming lessons last week and will continue once a week until our travels begin. You hated the first 10 minutes of class because the activities involved being on your tummy, which you’ve never particularly enjoyed and have often protested. After that, you seemed to really enjoy the class. The pool is an indoor, salt-water pool with a teensy bit of chlorine. It’s 92 degrees Fahrenheit, so it feels like a wonderfully giant bath. Your Dad went into the pool with you and I took video of the experience. I’m so glad he and I both got to experience your first swim lesson together. My only gripe is that the lesson is too fast-paced for you. It’s nice that the activities change every 3 minutes b/c if you dislike something, it’s over quickly. However, I get the feeling that everything moves past you so quickly that it doesn’t give you a chance to truly absorb what’s going on. Still, it seems like an enriching experience, overall, and it’s a great way to get you accustomed to the water. I hope that you learn to swim before you can ever even remember learning to swim so that it’s never traumatic.

Boundaries:

I try to respect your boundaries as much as possible. One of those major boundaries is sleep. Even though I’ve kept you out past your bedtime a few times, I try to minimize that as much as possible because your sleep is SO important for your health. I read that infants need 18+ hours per day, so I make sure that your nap and bed times are respected. If you don’t get to bed on time, you become so incredibly miserable and distraught that it’s hard for you to fall asleep, even though that’s what you need to do.

When we’re reading books, if you decide that you’ve had enough (start fussing), I immediately switch to another activity. I love that you’re so sure of what you want and good at communicating it, and hope to encourage your communication as much as possible.

Absurdity:

You look exactly like a little gingerbread person or an animated gingerbread cookie when you’re standing up (with our help, of course). It’s hilarious, and I think I’ll dress you like a gingerbread girl for Hallowe’en.

You also look amazingly cute with headbands (aka brain-squeezers) on–I’m trying to put them on you a few times a week in hopes that you’ll get used to them and keep wearing them when you’re old enough to pull them off. :)

I love that you still try to pick up things from pictures in books and that you look so perplexed when you can’t pull the objects off the page.

We can’t wait to experience the East Coast with you this next year, darling girl….Stay healthy and keep flourishing.

Love,

Mom and Dad

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Month 7 (5 Adjusted)

  1. Andrea

    I love your updates cuz!! :) I’m hoping you’ll be able to go to my wedding next year (we’ve decided on 9/4/11 – it is a Sunday, but the next day is Labor day).
    Love you all!
    Andrea

  2. Mircat

    Ooooo. So awesome, cuz. Worst case scenario, only River and I will be able to make it (the hubby may still be finishing up a rotation), but we WILL BE THERE! CANNOT WAIT! :) And let us know ASAP where you’re registered or what your gift preferences are. :)

  3. andrea

    Awe well, I’ll take as many of you as I can get ;) hehe. Yes, I will let you know all the details as soon as I know! :)

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