My original plan when the school year started was to continue trying to blog at least three times a week so that this beautiful season of our lives could be documented, but I honestly haven't had the time and/or energy to devote to it like I'd originally hoped. But I did at least want to try really hard and keep up with the Raven updates because I know I'd really regret it down the road if I didn't keep up on those.
So here goes:
Weight: about 16 lbs.
Height: 25-26" (guesstimate)
Clothing Size: still 3-6 month sizes, but I wonder if it will last too much longer...
- sits independently
- reaches for toys
- can roll in any direction to get at what she wants (and do "the clock walk" to get the angle right)
- full-on laughing (apparently, Mom and Dad aren't that funny and we need to get a tiny dog in order to make this one happen more...)
- can scoot back while on her back (by arching her back and pushing off her legs)
- makes much more articulate sounds, including strings of da-da-da and ay-ay-ay and variations that sound a lot like "hi" and "glee"
- finally "gets" peek-a-boo and finds it hilarious
- can stand holding onto something (like the couch)
Since she is now exclusively being fed by formula and some solid foods (since my breastmilk stash ran out about a month ago), I think her growth has slightly slowed down, but maybe that's just me being paranoid. (I have her 6-month appointment at the end of the month, so that will tell me for sure.) She's still as roly-poly as ever, but the biggest change in physical appearance has got to be that her fuzz head is pretty much all but disappeared since her hair has gotten so long. It's actually long enough now that we can put it into a mini little faux-hawk, so you'd better believe I'll be getting some pictures of that and posting them very, very soon... (well, once life stops getting in the way of blogging, ha ha). Two things I was sure couldn't get any chubbier were her hands and feet, but apparently I was wrong--she just has these adorable little fat fingers and toes, and it's pretty much awesome.
What I Love About This Stage
There is so much to love, I'm sure I'll forget stuff, but I can probably summarize it in a sentence:
Raven is really learning to "play" now!
She would kind of play before, but now she "gets" when we're trying to make her laugh, peek-a-boo is her new favorite thing, she likes to watch and listen to my hand "eat" her hand, and she is starting to have little "conversations" with us, which get more and more excited the more we try and mimic the sounds she's making. (Speaking of her talking, I'm pretty positive she'll learn to distinguish "daddy" first because not only does she already say "dada" all the time--several times upon him entering the room although experts say babies this age can't distinguish yet--but she also sees him more than she sees me generally because of my work schedule (and I think he might be purposely trying to teach her to say "dada" first in the several hours he has with her each morning...)).
I also think it's fascinating to watch her brain at work; she stares at the light for a really long time with a funny expression on her face if it's turned off--I just know she's trying to figure out why sometimes they're bright and sometimes they're not. She also likes to stop on her stomach between two different surfaces and repeatedly touch the two different textures in front of her with a knitted brow. And even though according to some sources, it's too early to read full stories to her, we've been doing it for months anyway, and she loves to reach out and try and grab the pictures, and repeated sounds with lots of alliteration or rhyming make her laugh or start babbling.
She is busy being a curious baby, and it's so much fun to witness!
One thing I'm having a hard thing with lately is the amount of time I'm not at home with Raven; I've especially been gone a lot the last week because of parent/teacher conferences and all the prep leading up to that. I'm still liking my job and my students this year are pretty wonderful, but I'm very divided still in my feelings about being a working mom--on the one hand, I do feel fulfilled by teaching and love to channel my skills and talents into helping so many kids to learn new things. I like knowing I have the opportunity to be a part of an intellectual community outside my home and that I'm constantly being forced to grow and stretch because of the demands of being a middle school teacher.
On the other hand, I'm saddened that I miss a lot of the little moments that happen each day in Raven's life, including the not-so-little milestones that are going on all the time. Also, I tend to get home right at the most challenging time of the day anyway for caring for any kid (late afternoon/early evening), so I only get to see her most cheerful self (which comes out in the morning or right after her first two naps) on weekends or holidays. I'm sure a part of me will miss work when I'm a stay-at-home mom though, so I'm trying to just enjoy this season of my life while I can since it's not going to last forever.
Another challenge is that Raven has been pretty constipated the past couple weeks, and it appears to be getting worse. We're trying to counteract it by feeding her more things like pears, but I can still tell that she's uncomfortable much more than she used to be, so I'm definitely going to be bringing that up at her next doctor's appointment.
Things I Don't Want to Forget
- How she still wants me to snuggle her to sleep sometimes rather than just wanting to be put right down into bed (kind of a double-edged sword since it means that she's harder to put down to nap, but I know the snuggle stage definitely won't last forever)
- Raven excitedly kicking her legs whenever she gets put into the carseat--she still loves to go out on "adventures," even if it's just to go to the grocery store
- Her putting her fingers next to my mouth hoping I'll pretend to eat them while I'm holding her--like I said earlier, she's starting to really "play" with us, and me pretending to eat her fingers either with my mouth or with my hand (accompanied by loud munching sounds, of course) is apparently hilarious and worth several repeats
- The surprise I felt just this week when I realized how much clearer her babbling was getting--she was no longer making general siren sounds, but she was saying pretty distinguishable sounds, including producing "hi," "dada," and "baby" pretty darn closely to how we say them. She used to only really babble or talk a lot when she was pretty tired or had just woken up for the morning, but now she does it all the time, especially when we talk back to her.
- Her high pain tolerance (once again, kind of a double-edged sword)-- it seriously seems like pain barely phases her, even the shots at the doctor's appointments. She is one tough cookie.
- How hard she laughed when seeing Georgie (the dog that belongs to my brother- and sister-in-law) run around. (See video below.)
Raven goes in and out of a super set schedule, but it's livable-- basically, she goes down for the night around 7:30 usually and sleeps for a solid ten hours until 5:30, where she'll take in a few ounces of formula before going back to bed for another hour and a half to two hours. She usually takes three naps a day--one around 9:30 or 10 a.m. that lasts about an hour, another around 1-2 p.m. that lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, and (if we're lucky) another one around 5 p.m. for about 30-45 minutes.
We've tried out several solids on her, including sweet potatoes, peaches, bananas, rice cereal, squash, green beans, peas, carrots, pears, applesauce, and a pineapple-orange blend thing. She does really well with pretty much all fruit and all the orange vegetables (including squash), and we gave her green beans long enough to make her at least okay with taking them, but she is currently putting up all walls with peas (think pursed lips, spitting it out everywhere, twisting her body away, trying to swat it away with her hand...). We'll keep trying, though. (And we're in desperate need of a proper high chair now since feeding her in the Bumbo has become somewhat of a joke...)
We finally got a crib mattress that fits her crib, so we will be moving her any day now into her own room for the night. I'm feeling surprisingly emotional about it---it's like the weaning thing all over again...
Happy six months, Baby Rave!
(If you want to get technical, these six months were taken at six months and three days...I know, totally unacceptable, right?! Life has been so hectic lately that we've even forgotten to take our pic-of-the-day a couple days now. Whoops!)
Raven's adorable bow courtesy of my sister-in-law, who runs a hair accessory business