Monday, June 2, 2014

Seven months old

Dear Annika,

Today you are seven months old. Closer to a year than to birth. Let's not discuss it.

It feels like a lot has changed this past month in terms of your skills, your disposition, and the way you spend your time. By now you are a master sitter and can sit unsupported indefinitely (though we still put a pillow behind you to accommodate the occasional crash). As a result, you spend most of your play time sitting or playing on your belly (you will often get yourself from sitting to prone-on-the-belly on purpose by leaning forward as far as you can and then kind of toppling off your butt). If we lay you on your back, you immediately flip to your belly and start thrashing. While you aren't mobile in any true sense of the word, you are working hard on getting up on your knees, and are getting closer every day, and you've nailed the roll/thrash/pivot combo that sometimes allows you wiggle toward items of interest, particularly phones and electronics. You continue to love toys of all types, and one of your very favorites is Sophie the Giraffe. I don't know what it is about what is essentially a $20 rubber dog toy, but you love that thing, and will grab it and bang it against another toy or a floor/table repeatedly to make it squeak.

This month it also feels like you've become a lot less sensitive to overstimulation. Until just after you turned six months, you would get cranky or cry if you were overstimulated, particularly when you were tired, when you very much wanted to be left alone. It was all normal baby stuff, but this month you've turned a corner and while you're still a generally sensitive little person, you're more easily able to roll with the punches and we don't worry about taking you out in the evenings, taking you to loud or crowded places, or people getting in your face too much the way we did before. It's very refreshing. You remain generally mellow and cheerful, though you've started indicating that you enjoy a change of pace--you don't want to just sit around the living room all day when you know that you could be out! And about! Seeing new things! And taking it all in.

You are not a specifically loud baby, but you have mastered the ability to vocalize quite a range of noises. We hear all sorts of consonant babble, squawks, and shrieks, particularly when you are displeased with something. You're also very interested in hand gestures, and you watch us very intently whenever we clap our hands or wave, though you haven't yet attempted to do those things on your own. You love peekaboo especially, and cannot get enough of it. You laugh easily and heartily, particularly when you're playing with your brother, whom you continue to adore. I am still amazed by how well the two of you play together already--there's so much more interaction than I was expecting at such a young age, and you both laugh hysterically when you play together, and clearly love each other so much already, which is basically the best thing ever.

This month you've also started eating FOOD! In earnest! And you LOVE it! We skipped cereal and purees entirely and started right in on table food, and you are in heaven. We have fed you everything from fruit and veggies to meat to cheese to peanut butter, and you love it all. We have literally not found a single food item that you don't like, but particular favorites seem to be eggs (scrambled or fried), broccoli, pickles, peanut butter, pasta, and fruit of all kinds. You just love to eat, and you're surprisingly good at it--I'm always amazed at how much you actually ingest when you feed yourself. The self-feeding has advanced your fine motor skills, too, and by now you're very good at grabbing and maneuvering small items. I also handed you a straw cup of water the other day, figuring you would enjoy playing with it but that it would be a few months before you figured out the mechanics--and two minutes later I heard slurping and saw your mouth (and shirt) full of water. You are just very motivated to get consumable items in your mouth, and it is fantastic. You've also gotten two teeth this month (the bottom middles), so that will only further your quest to consume as much solid food as possible. You had a couple fussy days with each tooth, but nothing too awful, so we are grateful for that.

In addition to solid foods, you continue to eat plenty of formula, usually 32-35 ounces in a day, give or take a few. You remain quite chunky, according to my home measurements, which put you at around 20.5 pounds and 29 inches long, which is 94th percentile for weight and off the charts for height. You are still in size 6-12 month clothing, and I think we have another couple months of that before you grow into size 12-18. You've also settled into a good sleeping routine that I wouldn't mind seeing continue for awhile--you generally sleep from about 8:30 p.m. to 7:30 or 8 a.m., then take about a three-hour nap in the middle of the day, with an awake chunk of about 4-5 hours before the nap and 5-6 hours after the nap. You've also learned how to turn on your mobile yourself (by banging your hand repeatedly against the base until you bump the button), so often when you wake up you will turn on your mobile and hang out peacefully in your crib, watching it. (This almost makes up for that one time when you turned it on at 3 a.m. and scared us half to death.)

Generally it's just starting to feel like you are more and more of a person, and not so much a newborn anymore. You do so many big girl things: sitting! Eating! Playing interactively! You just have such a personality, and it is so very delightful. It fits in so perfectly with our family dynamic, and you just fit in so perfectly with our family. We are so lucky to have you.


1 comment:

  1. MAN do you make some cute kids. Her face never fails to make me smile!