I know I sound like a broken record, but, seriously, how do the months fly by so fast?
Due to the winter that just wouldn’t end, B’s six month doctor’s appointment was pushed back. When we finally went last week, she weighed in at 16 pounds and was 25 inches long (Judging from how much my arms ache from hold her and the rate at which she is filling out her footie pajamas, I think she must be more than that). She was a real gem at the appointment, too. And, by that, I mean, she screamed her head off from the time the doctor entered the room until the time we wheeled her out of the office. I’m pretty sure that the med student who was shadowing our pediatrician immediately went to the registrar’s office at Penn to try to get a different residency assignment.
B is a budding foodie and continues to eat almost everything we put in front of her. She even seems to have had a change of heart about green beans, which she hated just a few weeks ago. New foods this month included carrots, peas, pears and squash. We are still doing purees twice a day, but she is definitely interested in feeding herself. So, we introduced a sippy cup and are going to start giving her some finger food over the next few weeks.
She continues to be very vocal, and is starting to put some sounds together. “Ma-ma” and “ba-ba” are in heavy rotation at the moment. It melts my heart when she says the former, even though I know she doesn’t associate it with me just yet. There’s nothing wrong with pretending, right? I’ve pretty much resigned myself to the fact that her first word will be some variation on Tracy, as the dog continues to be her favorite source of entertainment.
So far, she has yet to crawl in the traditional manner, but prefers to do a funny little backward scoot on her belly or on her backside to get where she needs to go. She is super strong, particularly when she is angry. On occasion, she has been able to pull herself up to a standing position by tugging on our clothes and can stand pretty well on her own if she has something to balance on, like the coffee table. Maybe she’ll skip crawling altogether and go right to walking!
Caught in mid-scoot
Unfortunately, the more she is able to move around, the less she tolerates being confined. Strapping her into the car seat, stroller or high chair, getting her to stay still for a diaper change or attempting to cuddle her (unless she is really, really tired) can be an epic battle. I’ve learned that there are a few songs that can calm her down when she gets worked up in these situations: The “Itsy-Bitsy Spider” (with hand motions), “Five in the Bed,” and the theme song to the show The New Girl (in which I replace “It’s Jess!” with “It’s B!”).
Sleep continues to be pretty awesome (I’m sure I’ve jinxed it now). Strangely, she prefers to sleep with her head in one of the corners of the crib (out of sight of the video camera, of course, so we can’t see her) with her hands behind her back. It’s hilarious to see, but I guess she is comfy because she pretty much sleeps straight through from 7:30/8 p.m. to 5/5:30 a.m. I try to leave her in her crib for as long as possible in the morning, but so far, she isn’t the kind of baby who will babble to herself for awhile and fall back to sleep. So, she hangs out with me because I don’t really enjoy listening to her cry in the crib first thing in the morning. She sits in her Bumbo while I get her bottles ready and eat breakfast in the kitchen and then we move to the exersaucer or the floor in the living room while I put my make-up on. She really isn’t a morning person, though, and mostly just whines and wants to be held which makes things a bit challenging (I’m hoping that it’s not obvious that I’m not entirely skilled at putting eye shadow on with one hand just yet). She has consolidated and become more consistent in her daytime sleep as well. On average, she takes two naps per day of 90 minutes to two hours each. This makes it easier to do things with her during the day, since we no longer have to live our lives around an every two hour nap schedule. More often than not, I join her for one or both naps on the weekend, and enjoy the extra sleep and snuggles.
I mentioned previously that B and I like to read together. We tend to stick to board books because she likes to pull on the pages. Regulars in our rotation lately include That’s Not My Snowman, Guess How Much I Love You?, Love is You and Me, and Bubbles, Bubbles. But, the one she gets most excited for lately is the The Three Little Pigs. We have a rhyming version, which features the wolf fantasizing about all of the pork dishes he could make out of the pigs. For example:
“Three little pigs left home one day. They packed their bags and went on their way. Mother Pig said goodbye, bye, bye. But, a wolf saw them and thought—Mmmm. Pork Pie.”
(It’s amazing that my memory for things that really matter is completely shot, but I can now recite many children’s books in full.)
When B is in a really good mood, we do a bit of audience participation, in which I’ll pause and she will say the “Mmmmm” part. It’s adorable.
In terms of toys, she pretty much likes anything that she can bang together to make noise. She likes to dump all of the blocks out of her shape sorter box and drop them back in again. She loves to topple the stacking rings off the peg and watch them roll around the floor. Sometimes she can even get one or two back on to the peg, with help. Lately, she has really taken a liking to the Poppin’ Park Elephant. She likes when the air from the trunk blows in her face. She can press the red button to start it off and likes to watch us chase the balls around the living room.
Our main challenges over the past several weeks have been stranger and separation anxiety. She really doesn’t like hanging out with people she doesn’t know well. And, she can’t stand if I’m out of her sight for even a minute or two. I know it’s just a phase, but I can’t help but be embarrassed when she goes all demon-baby on the kindly, grandmother-types who try to say hello to her in Target, and frustrated when I can’t even leave her in her crib for two minutes while I go to the bathroom. Sometimes, it’s not good enough for her even to see that I’m in the same room with her—she wants me to hold her as much as possible. And, I of course, oblige because the sound of her crying is like nails on a chalkboard for me. If anyone has any strategies for dealing with this kind of behavior (in addition to the “wait it out” approach), I’m all ears!
I left the room. This happened.
We can’t wait for all the fun that springtime will bring! B seems to love the breeze blowing through her hair, so we are looking forward to plenty of time outdoors in the coming weeks. Bring on month number eight!