The only time Abby's interested in watching tv is when the Teletubbies are on. She'll stop whatever she's doing and zone out. She'll only watch for a few minutes, though, before she's on to something else.
I have a difficult time taking her picture anymore because the second she sees the camera, she gets excited and comes crawling toward it.
The other day, I bought her this toy that plays music and rolls around on the floor. The idea is that she's supposed to chase it while she crawls around. She was scared of it the first few times, but now she's warmed up to it. She won't crawl to it, though. She just watches it do its thing unless it's close enough for her to grab.
Abby climbed into the Bumbo seat herself this morning. She was pretty proud of herself until she wanted to get out and couldn't.
We all enjoyed having John here. Abby had a great time playing with him.
So it turns out what we're going through with Abby's eating habits is pretty normal at her age. With Abby, she's not picky about what she eats, it's how she eats. I dusted off my copy of What to Expect the First Year and sure enough, there was a big section in the ninth month about "fussy eating habits." I haven't read any baby books in a while, so I've been pretty conservative about what I feed her because I just didn't know. It turns out that it's ok to start feeding Abby more table foods, as long as we stay away from highly allergic foods like nuts, honey, and berries. She still eats pretty much anything I give her, as long as she can feed herself. A couple things the book mentioned that I'd been doing is to go ahead and "skip the mush" and let her feed herself, and not to "drown her out." Since she doesn't eat very much when she feeds herself, I've been giving her a bottle of formula afterwards. Apparently, she's drinking too many meals, so she doesn't have an appetite when it comes to solids. Instead of giving her a bottle first thing in the morning, I cut up a banana and she ate more than half of it.
Last night, we took John out to Sawtooth Grill for a goodbye dinner, and the waiter mentioned that they have a small veggie plate for babies he could bring out. It was sliced zucchini, celery, baby carrots, and a package of crackers. Perfect to keep Abby busy. The look on her face when she picked up her first slice was priceless! She looked at it with total disgust until she tried it. It turns out that she really likes zucchini. That was her favorite.
We bought her this big whale while in San Juan Island. For the most part, she really hasn't shown any interest in it. Recently, I found that if I put it between the two of us while we're playing on the floor, she thinks it's fun to climb over it to get to me.
Abby really loves to walk. Whenever I'm on the floor with her, she'll crawl into my lap, put her hand out so I have to grab her to support her, pull herself up, turn around so that she's facing forward, and run in place while I hold her hands until I get moving. If I don't start walking her right away, she gets so upset! We do a lot of laps around the furniture in the basement. She loves it. She's still not really cruising along the furniture for more than a couple of steps. She can go all the way around her LeapFrog table, though. For some reason, corners and going from to another is easy, but going in a straight line is difficult.
For the last week or so, Abby has refused to eat jarred solids, even the ones she loved in the past. She'll only eat solids if she can feed herself, but the only thing she'll eat a significant amount of are her veggie puffs and Cheerios. I've tried cutting up different fruits into bite-size pieces for her, but she'll only eat a small amount. She does like them though. I wasn't expecting her to become so independent, food-wise, so early.
Abby’s grown like crazy this month. This second half is going by even faster than the first! We tried to measure her last night, but she was way too squirmy, so no length this month. She kept twisting to get at the tape measure. It’ll be interesting to see how the nurse does it next month. We did get her weighed: she’s now an even 20lbs! We tried sitting her on the scale again, but she’s too big. She handled it well and sat there without trying to crawl away, but we couldn’t get her whole body on there at once. It kept saying she was only 16.5lbs, so Damon hopped on the scale with her instead.
Abby is such a smart baby! She started really crawling just before her last “birthday,” and she crawls everywhere now. She loves to stand up by herself, and she does it so easily now too. In the beginning, she’d fall pretty quickly, so she didn’t have to worry about how to get down. A few days later, though, she got so good at standing that there were times that she wanted to sit back down, but the floor seemed so far away to her. She’d eventually just let herself fall, or get frustrated and look to one of us to help her. By Thursday or Friday of last week, though, she’d figured out how to slowly bend her knees to get down. She was constantly practicing by doing numerous squats for days.
Abby also loves to walk while we hold her hands. Sometimes, she gets upset that she has to crawl and would rather be walking. She’s not cruising the furniture in the conventional sense yet, though. She can’t walk the length of a piece of furniture yet, but she can turn and move from one piece to another, the coffee table to the couch, for example. She stands one-handed all the time while she reaches around for something else to grab. It won’t be long that she’ll be cruising the length of it, though, because she gets upset that she can’t do it. Once she’s determined to do something, it doesn’t take her long to figure out how to do it.
Feedings have become much easier too. Abby is such a good eater! So far, she’ll eat anything I give her. Bananas are still a favorite. Prunes too, although we’ve been too scared to give her any for a while. She also loves to feed herself, and she’s gotten really good at it. Most of it actually gets in her mouth now instead of in and around the high chair. I was watching her eat some veggie puffs today, and noticed she’s developed her “pincer grip”—she can pick up small objects with her thumb and index finger. That’s why she’s not such a messy eater anymore. I try to give her some sort of finger food whenever we eat, so that she feels a part of our meal too. Otherwise, she looks at us like a puppy begging for scraps. She’s really good when we go out to eat too. A few weeks ago, we gave her her first french fry, and she loved it. It kept her well entertained while we ate. She also learned how to hold her own bottle this month. Now, I need to start practicing with the sippy cup again.
The last few days she’s finally back to sleeping through the night, usually from 8-5:30am. How I gave birth to a morning person I’ll never know! The fact that the days are getting shorter has started to help sleep a little longer. She’s usually up as soon as it’s light out, though. We’ve had some difficulty with sleep the past few weeks because I weaned her and she was teething. The first few days of weaning, she would get really bad gas at night that would wake her up crying about once a night. The other nights, she’d wake up screaming because of her teeth. Going on vacation didn’t help either. She’d typically wake up a couple times then. There was one night where she was wide awake from 2-4. There wasn’t anything wrong, she just wanted to play. We finally gave in and let her climb between us in the dark until she wore herself out.
She’s also transitioning from 3 naps to longer ones lately. The past few days, she’s also staying awake longer between naps. Instead of going about 2.5 hours between naps, she’s suddenly going about 3.5 hours. Our first day home from our vacation, her morning nap was over 3.5 hours long! The poor thing was so tired because she didn’t nap well in the car the day before.
Abby’s now been fully weaned to formula. I’ve been having a minor health problem but I needed to wean her first before taking medication. It was tough to let go of that part of our lives. I’ve never been particularly attached to the actual nursing part since I mostly bottle-fed her anyway, but I liked knowing that my body was making her food, and she was healthy and growing well because of the nutrition that I was providing her. I weaned her slowly more for my benefit than hers. She took to formula without any problems, except the gas in the beginning. In the end, we came full circle because I ended up nursing her at night while we were on vacation. I pumped for the last time the day before we left. Yesterday, I returned the rented pump, so I am officially done. I must admit that I will definitely not miss pumping!
Abby is such a happy baby! She gets excited easily, and when she does she shrieks in glee. She’s also very animated. This month, she learned to pucker her lips as if giving an exaggerated kiss. She still gives us open-mouthed kisses, though, and sometimes she bites. Those little teeth of hers are sharp! She also learned how to click her tongue on the roof of her mouth, and she does this constantly now. She also developed a new laugh. It comes from the back of her throat and is deep in tone. The best way I can describe it is she sounds like Herman Munster laughing. Oh, she also will “high-five” you if you put your hand out. John started doing this and she immediately “high-fived” him back. While on vacation, we found the best way to keep her entertained was to give her a pamphlet to destroy.
I’m sure I’m forgetting something. So much has happened this month in Abby’s development that it’s difficult to remember it all. If I remember more, I will come back and update some more.
We're back from San Juan Island. I'll do a trip update later. In a nutshell, we all had a great time, and despite the fact that Abby's been teething again the last few weeks, she handled the trip very well. We never had any major meltdowns. She'd get whiny, usually in the car, but that's about it. I finally managed to take some good tooth shots too.
See that spot next to the tooth on her right? That's her third tooth coming up.
The other day, Rita asked if Abby was walking while I held her hands at all. Sure enough, the first time I tried she walked almost halfway across the room! She'd take a few steps, then look up at my and laugh and start up again. The second time, we made it all the way across the room in 2 commercials! Our family room in the basement is no small room either. Jake, any guesses on how far she went? We started right in front of the couch against the wall and walked to the opposite wall.
Posting for the rest of the month will be sporadic at best. John will be here for the rest of the month, but I'll try to update when I can. Next week, we'll be in SanJuan Island, so you won't hear from me at all. Hopefully, I've posted enough pictures this week to appease the grandparents until then.
"No, Mama, that's not how I want it. It goes like this."
Abby's standing all over the place now. She woke up crying just before midnight last night (she's teething again), and when I went in there she was standing in her crib. She was standing this morning in there this morning too.