I am now finally beginning to understand why other bloggers stop doing these updates after awhile (and I don't even have a second kid as an excuse!)--it's like every time I blink, she's another month old already.
But here she is at 7 months (well, 7 months and a couple days, at least as far as when these pictures were taken)...
Weight: about 16 lbs.
Height: about 26.5"
Clothing Size: She is officially at the awkward stage where almost all the 3-6 month clothes are too snug, and almost all the 6-9 month clothes drown her.
Diaper Size: just starting to phase out of the Size 2's.
- Can army-crawl anywhere her heart desires
- Can hold the "plank" position for longer than I can, basically (and pretty much does a downward-facing dog in her attempts to figure out "normal" crawling)
- Looks for/goes after a dropped or out-of-reach toy
- Can go from a sitting position to a crawling position
- Is starting to try and push herself up to a standing position when held in someone's lap or against a firm surface
- Has started eating some finger foods, like small bits of bread and crackers
- Says "dada" and "mama"
- Chews on her toes (although I think she might have been doing this at 6 months and I just forgot to mention it)
- Can easily get past the "barriers" of cushions and blankets we put out to reach the computer cord (the most coveted "toy" of all)
We found out at Raven's doctor appointment a few weeks ago that she's actually slimmed down a bit--she used to be about 50th percentile for weight, and now she's only about the 25th or so. Her hair is now so long that it only fuzzes up with real effort (and if it's pretty clean), and although it's still a golden brown color, it does seem to be getting darker by the day. Her eyelashes too, which have been on the long side for awhile now, are also starting to get a bit more darker and more noticeable. But she's still got the most perfectly chubby cheeks that just don't quit, which are absolutely made for kissing.
What I Love About This Stage
Play time is a two-way street now; not only does Raven now interact with whatever we're trying to do with her, but she also often initiates play, such as slowly putting her fingers near my mouth so I can "eat" them. She also loves being tossed up in the air and splashing in the bath, and her excited babbling every time she sees her daddy after he's been gone awhile is just about the cutest thing you'll ever see (she also excitedly kicks her legs and arms out, as if letting her enthusiasm permeate every part of her little being).
I also love that she's on a pretty fixed schedule, which means that we can count on putting her down for bed around 6:30 - 7:30 without any worries, knowing that she'll sleep until at least 6 AM (when I go in to kiss her goodbye before work), or sometimes even later (like 8 or 8:30, whenever I don't go in and wake her up on my way out). We also had a bit of a hard time getting her to eat enough several weeks ago, but she seems to be over that hurdle now, which makes feeding times a lot easier (especially since she can now finally put down a jar of baby food in one sitting, whereas before we'd have to feed it to her over 3-4 feedings).
She's still quite an easygoing, happy baby (especially after enjoying a good nap), and each day brings more adventure and discovery and laughter at her little antics. I'm especially loving the vast range of facial expressions she is developing, which often make us laugh out loud.
Over the past month or so, she seems to have developed a bit of separation anxiety, which means she often starts fussing whenever we put her down on the floor to play (which she used to never do before for us). Usually we'll just sit down by her on the floor and play with her for a minute before getting up again, and often that will work to stop the fussing, but not always. She especially seems to do it a lot more with me, which kind of makes me wonder (in my Mom Guilt way) if it's because I leave her most mornings to go to work and then don't reappear again for 9 hours.
Her constipation has gotten a little better since we've been trying harder to be more consistent about feeding her solids every day (although we're definitely not perfect at that still). And lately, either because of all the constipation or because she ate something her body couldn't tolerate yet, she'd developed bleeding little cracks on her bum, which are just the saddest. Luckily, she's a total champ when it comes to pain, but I still feel really bad that she has to deal with those.
Things I Don't Want to Forget:
- The first time she figured out how to splash in her little bathtub (we haven't graduated her to the big tub yet)--she did it once, then got so excited and did it again so hard that I pretty much got drenched.
- Her laughing at me every time I make a popping sound with my mouth to get her attention
- The way she kind of ducks her head and almost tried to hold in her laughs rather than just letting them out full-force
- How she smiles every time I try and get her to repeat "mama" back to me (after she's just been saying "dada" or something else)
- The day when she kept saying "mama" over and over again and Matt said "dada" to her, and she just laughed and said "mama" all the more emphatically
- Reading the Dr. Seuss Alphabet Book to her and hearing her laugh every time I do the "B" page (although she loves the whole book and listens with fascination to the rhythm of the rhyme and meter)
- The amazement Matt and I still feel at her obsession with the movie Frozen. If she's being particularly fussy and we have to do something else (like prepare dinner), that movie does wonders---she doesn't sit still for too long with any other movie, but she'll sure stay put and sit and watch that one for pretty much the whole duration.
- The way she loves to scratch my arms and upper chest (ouch!) with her razor-sharp little nails
- How sometimes I wonder if she really understands what we're saying--I'll say, "Mama's hair is not for pulling," and she'll almost always drop my hair (and pretty gently, too). Or when we say, "Where's Dad?", she'll almost always start looking around and smiling when she finds him.
- The fact that she's finally ticklish and giggles adorably when we tickle her under her arms or on her sides. We've got to get a video of it soon.
Other Notes (Mostly for Myself):
I always think on our walks outside in the stroller that she'll do what she does in the house and get all excited about all that there is to see. But nature seems to have the opposite effect on her; it totally calms her down. During the tricky hours between about 4:30 and 6:00 (when she's fighting the nap that's started to become "optional"), I often will take her out on a walk to calm her down. She loves being outdoors.
Another unusual thing that's been going on is that she used to love the carseat (probably because it always meant a change of scene), but now that she's super mobile and can get around wherever she wants almost, she's starting to resent being put in the carseat sometimes (especially if she's the least bit tired/hungry/cranky). If we're good about bringing a couple toys for her to play with during that time, it's usually a little better.
She also has developed a fear of loud noises, which she actually didn't mind or even liked before, like the the sound of the blender or the vacuum. This morning, for instance, when I had her in my arms while making a breakfast smoothie, she buried her face against me every time I turned the blender on. It was both endearing and totally sad.
I also have a sneaking suspicion based on the rate that she's going that Raven will be walking by about 9 months old...Oh, and we're totally terrified to put up a Christmas tree because we're sure we'll be having to pull her away from it every two seconds. Maybe we'll have to create a blockade out of bins or something...