Saturday, December 19, 2009

Annalise at seven months

Right after Thanksgiving, Annie had a growth spurt, and there were a couple long days and nights of lots of nursing and crankiness. But then I got my happy baby back and I was glad. She's such a sweet little baby, and for the first time, I'm becoming alarmed that this is going by too quickly. She's over halfway to a year!

She's still not crawling, but she's becoming a proficient scooter. She gets on all fours, then propels herself from her knees, landing on her belly, then repeats, leaving a trail of slobber as she goes. It's very awkward, but it gets her there. She's my fat little inchworm. She loves to go after cords and shoes. I see that just now she's figured out how to go from all fours to sitting. That's new.

She sleeps a LOT. She typically takes one long nap midmorning, another long nap around noon, then a third late-afternoon nap, and maybe even a fourth that might just turn into being down for the night if it goes long enough. Then she'll of course wake up just for a feeding at 10 or 11, and then again very early in the morning. Sometimes I don't get her out of bed for the day until 9, and by then she's been in bed for 15 hours! Still, after just an hour of being bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, she's ready for her morning nap and the process starts all over again. I keep thinking maybe she ought to have a real schedule by now, but I'm already interfering enough with the one she's making up as she goes along. By that, I mean I interrupt her morning nap often, because that's when we go out. That's the best time of day to get Delaney out of the house. We go to Tot Gym or Storytime at the libray, or a playdate, or even just to Target. And if big sis goes, little sis has to too. I say, "Sorry, kiddo, I guess this is the plight of a younger sibling." She picks up where she left off once we get home. So that's our version of a schedule, and it's what works.

When she's tired, she rubs at her eyes and hair. Sometimes while she's nursing, she'll run her hands back and forth through her hair, and I have to agree with her that fuzzy baby hair feels nice to the touch, and that must be a comforting thing to do to get ready for sleep. If I go into her room while she's sleeping, I find her on her belly with her little lovey (one of those little fleece blankets with an animal head -- creepy when I put it that way, huh?) under her cheek. She should be the spokesperson for Snuggle fabric softener!

This month, she got the hang of a sippy cup with the no-spill valve in. I give her water in it, and sometimes water with a little bit of apple juice in it.

We did start solids last month -- some cereal, fruit and veggies -- only about a tablespoon a day total. Then I decided to take a week off from those because she was having tummy troubles and problems pooping. The day before she turned seven months, we started them again -- just a little bit, though. She doesn't even seem to like them yet.

We're still working on the signing. She hasn't signed back to me yet, but I think that's only a matter of time. I can tell she understands. One day, she was in her Exersaucer jumping up and down. I saw an opportunity, and I turned to her, smiled real big, and signed while saying, "Jump! Jump!" Then she paused and just looked at me. "Do it again!" I said, as I signed "again/more." She had this a-ha! look on her face, began jumping again, and I started signing and saying it. Ever since, it's been a game to her. She enjoys getting my attention by jumping, and I always reinforce the sign. A baby's first sign is often something more interesting than just everyday things like "milk", "eat", "drink", etc. My sister-in-law Kathy told me that her youngest, Natalie's, first sign was "play." That was because Kathy would say to her when she was done eating in her high chair, "Do you want to go play now?" instead of "All done." A friend lent me a signing video made by a doctor who is pretty much a pioneer in baby signing. He says to be on the look-out for "chance mutual gaze." That's when the baby notices something, you notice the baby noticing, and then you look at each other. That's a golden opportunity to introduce a sign for something that's interesting to him or her. It also means you'd better be on top of your signing vocabulary for when that moment comes!

She had her first cold this month, and it wasn't too bad. Just a lot of runny nose and some coughing. It might have disturbed her sleep maybe once.

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