Sunday, April 19, 2009

Miss Maisie

Telling secrets with Powe at lunch on Easter. They love each other!

Sidenote: I tend to take the most pictures when we are playing in the morning, when she is either still in her pajamas or in her going-to-the-grocery-store play clothes. This weekend I sent a bunch of these pictures to my mom, who helpfully suggested that, "You know, Emilie, now that it's warm, you could just let her wear those smocked dresses I got her as her every day clothes, just to play in." Point taken. Pictures in her southern-girl wardrobe will be forthcoming... eventually.

Eight Months Old

Hey, guess what? We're still here, and we still have a baby! And she's still the sweetest and funniest baby we know (we're aware that we are biased). She's also eight months old. Eight months old. I can't believe it.

Miss Maisie hasn't been to the doctor since her six-month check-up, so I don't know how much taller she is or how much she weighs. I do know that she wears 12 months or 18 months clothes, and I bought her a pair of pants last week that were size 18-24 months and they fit just fine. I think it's safe to say that she's still enormous. We have already lowered her crib mattress once, but I think the day is coming soon when we will have to lower it again. My estimate is that she is 20 pounds and 30 inches. For awhile it looked like she was just growing longer and had thinned out some, but the addition of solid foods has brought about the return of her round tummy. About that food...

...she loves it. She still takes a bottle easily, but she loves real food. By real food, I just mean baby food. The only table food I've tried to give her was a real banana, cut in tiny pieces. She has mastered the pincer grasp so she really enjoyed being allowed to put the pieces in her mouth herself, but she truly hated the banana. She looked at me like I had poisoned her. When I said, "Yum! It's delicious! Bananas are delicious!," she shook her head vigorously and then gagged. So far, it's the only thing she doesn't like (and weirdly, she likes banana baby food just fine -- just not actual banana).

In addition to banana baby food, she has also eaten: rice cereal, oatmeal, squash, green beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, applesauce, pears, peaches, prunes, and Gerber corn puffs. Green beans are her number one fave, but really she likes it all. She eats twice a day now -- usually breakfast of oatmeal and a fruit, followed by lunch/dinner of a vegetable with a few corn puffs.

When she turned six months old, she was just barely sitting up on her own -- it was precarious. She could stay sitting if you placed her just so, but was still unsteady. Within a week of her six-month birthday, though, she had pretty much mastered it.

As of her seven-month birthday, she still wasn't rolling over from her back to her front. She rolled from her stomach to her back before she was even four months old and has been pretty early with every other milestone, so when she turned seven months and still wasn't rolling the other way, I got worried. I wasn't actually worried, really, but I was thinking about it a lot. She was so close -- she could get all the way on her side and could reach and twist and scoot, but wouldn't go all the way over. I think she had done it once on accident. Within another week or so, though, she was rolling all over the place and these days, she could roll across the house if I let her, effortlessly.

She's also almost ready to crawl. She can go from sitting to crawling position, and can get all the way up on her hands and knees and rock back and forth. Sometimes she accidentally crawls backwards, but I think any day now she'll achieve proper forward crawling. Just this weekend she started army-crawling -- do they call it creeping? -- where she inches forward on her tummy, pulling herself with her arms. The two things that have sufficiently inspired her to do this are Jake's guitar tuner and the cable remote control. This is unsurprising, because what she wants more than anything is whatever adult thing we're using at the moment -- cell phone, keys, remote control, deodorant, brush, whatever.

Now let me tell you about some of Maisie's tricks. The latest and most enjoyable for her is clapping. We had been singing "If You're Happy and You Know It" for awhile, and she could clasp her hands together but couldn't actually clap. Last week she started actually clapping and oh, she is so proud of herself. She starts clapping as soon as I start singing, or if she just wants some attention and praise, or if she gets excited. Lots of clapping.

She's been waving for awhile now, but she's discriminating. She won't wave at strangers, usually, but she is often excited to wave at our friends. Last week we went to a baby yoga class and she wouldn't wave at anyone when we got to class, but she waved bye-bye as we left. She's not shy with stranger, but she is slow to warm up. She stares intently at everyone she sees (nosy!), but it takes a little work to make her smile. She does remember people and is happy to see people she knows, though -- last night she was very excited to see our friends Will, Jean, and Dave. There was immediate and enthusiastic smiling, waving, and clapping.

Maisie will also throw her hands over her head when I say, "How big is Maisie? So big!," but I think maybe she's tired of that trick. We did it a lot for a week or so, and she LOVED it, so much that if I wasn't paying attention to her at any given moment, she'd throw her hands up in the air and then stare at me like, "WELL? YOUR TURN. SAY IT." The last few days, though, she hasn't really wanted to play and she'll start to clap instead. She also knows where my nose is, I think -- for a few days, every time I'd say, "Where's Mama's nose?," she'd grab my nose. She hasn't felt like doing that today, though.

She does babble a lot and makes lots of sounds -- Dadadada and Mamamama and Nananana and Bababababa and Vavavava and something that sounds like "hey" or "hi" but probably isn't. I just assume it's all noise at this point, although a few times she has said Dada so clearly and appropriately that we've wondered. She definitely knows her name (and all her nicknames, which are many) and she knows who Daddy is and Mama is and Sammy and Fiona. I meant to try to teach her baby sign language, but hadn't really buckled down to do it. One of the only signs I had used more than a few times was the sign for "more," when she was drinking her bottle or eating. I probably hadn't done it for a few weeks, though, and then this weekend she all of a sudden started making the sign for "more" when she was hungry. I don't know if that's what she meant to do or was trying to do, but it's a pretty pointed sign (you can see what the sign looks like here) and that's definitely what she was doing with her hands, and she was definitely showing it to me. She also definitely wanted to eat when she did it. If that is what she was doing, I can't believe that she remembered it! I hadn't done it in ages. If that's what she meant -- and again, I don't know if it is -- but if it is, I suspect she thinks it means "food" and not "more," but who knows? I am definitely going to try more sign language, though, and see if she picks anything (else?) up.

Our usual schedule is up at 7, nap from 9-10:15, nap from between 1-1:30 to 2-3, bedtime routine starting between 6:15 and 6:30 and she's usually asleep around 7 (though that can vary from anywhere between 6:30 and 7:30 depending on how long it takes her to fall asleep). She puts herself to sleep and most of the time does not wake up during the night (or wakes up and puts herself back to sleep). Sometimes she'll wake up at 6 instead of 7 and then our routine is slightly off, but that's okay. I call that Schedule B and it works too. It usually just means that we have an extra third short nap somewhere during the day, which I do not mind!

She wakes up happy and she is ALL over the crib. I still put her to sleep on her back, but she usually winds up curled up on her side now, and she usually plays with her Fisher-Price aquarium as soon as she gets up. She has been able to turn it on and off for months now, but for a couple of weeks it was out of battery. It's kind of a pain to change the batteries, so we just left it alone, until Miss Maisie let us know that she was ready for it to work again. She kicked it over and over again and then when we went to see what the ruckus was, she looked at us, then stared at the aquarium, kicked it once more for good measure, and then looked back at us and smiled. She does not have any trouble communicating what she wants! We promptly changed the batteries and we often hear the aquarium's music start up in the middle of the night or early morning.

Oh! Her teeth. Maisie has six teeth now -- three on the bottom and three on the top. She's had her bottom two front teeth for months (since four months). Her top teeth were funny for awhile -- she cut her left lateral incisor (front side tooth) first, so she was quite the snaggletooth. Her right lateral incisor came next, so she looked like a little vampire. Now she's got one of her central incisors coming through, but it's taking its sweet time. She's also got a head full of hair. Her hair fell out for awhile but has grown back in quickly. We still can't tell what color it will be. It looks light brown, dark blonde, or reddish depending on the light.

I'm sure I'll think of more, but basically, she's a delight. She's happy and easy and sweet, and she loves music, the dogs, and Jake, who makes her absolutely howl with laughter. I can't make her laugh quite as much, but I think she likes me too. She hasn't experienced separation anxiety yet -- she's happy to stay in the nursery at church, and she will let anyone hold her (though she will stare them up and down while they're doing it) -- but she definitely looks at me for approval and reactions now, and she definitely wants me when she isn't feeling well or if she's tired or hungry. Most Saturday mornings I go to the movies for some alone time so Jake and Maisie can have Daddy-Daughter time, and although I LOVE the time by myself (and the chance to see a movie), I am so glad to see her when I get home. I love getting her up from her naps, because she is so happy to see me. She grins and waves and gets so excited she either claps or wiggles, which means then I do the same. :)

I will post a separate post with pictures shortly.