Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy 8-month day!

Dear Jack,

Happy 8-month day!

Spring is nearly here, and everyone is in a better mood for it. The weather was so beautiful today: as soon as I got you home from daycare, we all went for a walk and had dinner outside. You celebrated turning eight months old by having a french fry! You realized fairly quickly that fried things are pretty awesome. It was a good french fry, too, you know -- a thick cut fry that came with your dad's turkey burger. You loved it. I still feel kind of guilty about letting you have something so unhealthy. If you end up eating nothing but macaroni and cheese until you're 15, perhaps we can all look back on this day as the start of it all.

For the time being, though, you are trying all sorts of stuff! You want to eat everything that even remotely looks like food and we are giving you tastes of it all. Sometimes I have to sneak away to eat my breakfast in peace. Here are a few of the foods you like: hummus, yogurt, kefir, roasted peppers, roasted cauliflower, rice cakes, BEANS, and tomato sauce. I think you get a kick out of sour flavors: you scrunch up your face when the sour part hits, but then you inevitably get all excited and want to have more. Oh, we gave you the drumstick off a roasted chicken, and you had just about the best time of your life (so far). You spent the better part of an hour waving the drumstick around in the air like a tiny infant caveman, banging it on the high chair tray and burbling about in excitement. Part of me was a little sad, because you are no longer a vegetaran... but, well, we eat meat sometimes, and now you do, too.

By the way, every time I give you something new, I hold my breath and look for hives. We've tried all of the major ones so far: dairy, gluten, eggs, peanuts, strawberries, and fish. So far you've tolerated everything. I'm hoping it stays that way.

It's interesting to see how quickly you became interested in food. You were so excited by all of these new edible things that you went on a bit of a nursing strike a few weekends ago. You wouldn't nurse at all during the day and insisted on eating lots and lots of solids to make up for it. I was so worried. I thought you might wean yourself. But I kept pumping to keep my supply up, and after the excitement wore off, you went back to nursing regularly.

You're sleeping much better now. The co-sleeper had become a place where you went to cry until we picked you up. The big crib is all new, and you can see us through its sides. I think the change has been good for you. We didn't do anything differently, but suddenly you started falling asleep on your own. Tonight I put you down in the big crib when you were wide awake, and you put yourself to sleep without a peep. Most of the nights that you've been in the big crib, you've had a good schedule of sleeping in 3-5 hour clips. You will fall asleep at 7pm, and then you're up again at 10 or 11pm, 2 or 3am, and 7am. It is amazing to me that I only have to get up once to nurse you at night. I think the extra sleep has been good for me, Jack. Sometimes the day to day practicalities of being a mother are challenging, but having a little more sleep really helps me tackle things.

Night time has been easier, but, truthfully, I miss you so much. I miss having you between your dad and I, with the top of your head right underneath my chin: the perfect kissable distance away. I usually fall asleep with the monitor right next to my ear, listening to you breath and questioning whether it's better for you to be asleep in your own bed or in ours. It's probably better that you're in your own bed now. I guess you are growing up.

You really are the chattiest baby. I know I keep saying that you are chatty, but it's true. When you get happy and you're face to face with someone you know, it's a constant stream of conversation. Lately you've been all about the back of your tongue. You click and cluck and go "durgh gur gu du duh duh grr ugh rghh" and then you click a bunch more and then you go "durgh dur gu du duh duh... " etc and we just crack up watching you make these funny sounds. You're all about squealing (again). The first time you got into squealing, I think it was a way for you to learn about your own voice. This time around, you squeal when you're happy, and when you want attention. Truthfully, Jack? You're a bit of a ham, and we love you for it.

I thought because you seem to be so verbal, you might like it if we taught you baby signs. We've been doing signs for "food", "more", "diaper change", "up", and "milk". We're not terribly consistant about it, plus your daycare doesn't do signs... but maybe with a little time, you'll see what the hand-waving is all about.

Speaking of trying, you have a new obsession: standing up. You want to pull up on anything that is at your shoulder height or lower. Getting up to your feet is challenging, but I've seen you manage it a few times now. Actually, what you really like to do is kneel. You're pretty stable when you sit up on your knees like that. Oh, also? I just want to say, for the record, you are FAST at that army crawl. You don't have much motivation to learn how to get your belly off the ground, because that army crawl gets you from point A to point B as quickly as anything else could!

Well, Jack, there are so many stories I could tell, but it's getting late and I think I should take advantage of my ability to sleep through this part of the evening.

You're really doing a wonderful job with this growing up thing. Keep going.

Love you always.

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