Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy 7-month-day

Dear Jack,

You are 7 months old! This month was a big month for you.

Jack, we are just so proud: you hit a big, big physical milestone. You started to crawl! It happened so suddenly that you took us all by surprise. You would reach and reach for toys, and sometimes, after putting your arms forward, you would accidentally move your body. Then, all of the sudden, you realized what movement meant, and then there was no stopping you. You would grasp and pull and tug, and suddenly your body was going where you wanted it to! Within a few days, you were zooming across the floor. You've started rolling around more, and you'll pick up a toy and play on your side or your front or your back, just rolling around as you please. It is awfully cute to see you entertain yourself.

Your ability to move across the house means that you now have an entire world to explore. Your parents had to spend a whole day fixing up your room so that it would be safe for you to crawl around in. We rearranged some things and put in a new cabinet. We think the room is pretty awesome. I hope you like it. We also had to put away some of your baby things. It made me very, very sad to pack up your exercise mat. From day 1, you loved hanging out on the mat, swatting at toys and picking at the bright fabric. But you've outgrown the mat, and so it is time to move on.

You crawl after everything, now. You are getting so quick. You love to play, and all of the items around you have become potential toys: the tag on the rug, the wooden base of the chair, and many things that you shouldn't be going after, like the dog gate (ouch!) or the wobbly shelf (it's gone!). I simply love watching you crawl. It fills me with such pride and excitement. I can only imagine how transformative the sudden independence is to you.

You are still babbling away. You went through a phase of saying "mamamama" all the time, and it was awfully sweet. You would wake up at night saying "mamamama" and you would wake up in the morning saying "mamamama". Most of the time, though, you just babble away, an endless string of consonants and vowels. We listen.

You are just the chattiest baby. Your babbling is incredibly expressive. It goes up and down and you move your lips and cheeks to make new sounds, and we can often tell what you want. You are always trying to get our attention by making new noises. A few of them are quite funny. You can hit the back of your wrist against your mouth and make the sound "wah-wah-wah-wah". You figured out how to do this quite suddenly, and then it was nonstop for a few days. You also learned how to make a raspberry into a horse lips sound. I find this so funny, and I wish you would do it more often. Sometimes if we start making a sound, you'll imitate us. One of your other new sounds is the happy growl. It all started when your dad would try to cheer you up in the morning (Jack, you should know that you're a bit of a grump when you wake up). He would growl at you when you would cry. This would make you laugh instead of cry. Pretty soon you figured out how to growl right back, and you and your dad would have growling contests. Now we know that the growl is your happy sound.

Speaking of your dad, you just love your dad. You're often fussy around me, but when your dad shows up, it is all happiness. You two are quite the pair. A few days ago, you nestled your head right into your dad's shoulder. He said "Peek-a-boo!", and you popped out with a happy smile and a huge grin. Then you put your head back onto his shoulder, and he said "Peek-a-boo!", and you bounced out to see him again. You two were giggling up a storm. Sometimes you also play peek-a-boo with a blanket or your jacket, and I think it is so cute.

We moved your co-sleeper crib into the nursery. Nobody was sleeping well, and we thought that might help. It was a big change for me, and I'm still not sure what our plan is for the future. You do great sleeping on your own, but I miss having you near us at night. Some nights you are in the nursery, and some nights you are in bed. The sleep situation was really tough for a few weeks, because you would wake up so often (every 20-40 minutes in the early evening, and every hour thereafter). Suddenly, for no apparent reason, you started sleeping again. Now if we bring you into the Big Bed, you will curl up with me and sleep for four hours at a time. I like that. I like having you so close.

I have some sad news, Jack. When you were born, you had two puppy-dogs: Tori and Zane. Zane passed away this week. I want you to know that you and Zane liked each other very much. We are glad that you had a chance to know Zane when you were so little, and we are also glad that you still have Tori to play with. She likes you very much, too. You pull at her fur, sometimes quite hard. She is patient, but I think we'll have to teach you about "Gentle Hands" soon.

You're not too interested in food. I don't want to give you rice cereal, so we've just been doing table food and some smashed up food. You put things in your mouth and make silly faces. It takes some effort, but you can also pick up small chunks from the high chair tray with your index finger and thumb. You think it is a lot of fun. We think you are a lot of fun. So far you, you like avocado and banana, sweet potatoes, bread, and broccoli. You like whole carrots better than smashed up carrots. You must get the broccoli gene from me: I've loved broccoli since before I can remember.

For Valentine's day, your dad and I took you to the aquarium in Mystic. You were very interested in all of the fish, but you were also a bit sick that day. We felt bad that you felt bad and we didn't stay very long. Maybe we'll bring you back soon. By the way, when we were at a restuarant in Mystic for lunch, you choked (actually choked) on a baby puff. Luckily, after about 30 seconds and a finger sweep from your Mama, your gag reflex kicked in and you threw up. We were so, so scared while this was happening. I don't think I'm going to let you have a puff again until you're 18.

Well, Jack, I just wanted to let you know what a fabulous job you are doing with this whole growing thing. We are so proud of you. We can tell you will always be on the go, investigating things and interacting with your world. You are definitely a baby who wants to touch and manipulate whatever you see around you. You are very curious, and very determined. You are social and outgoing, just like your dad.

Jack, you're doing great. I love you, baby.

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