8 months and a week, if we’re being honest. I’m a bit behind. But just like that, a big girl.
I was looking at the pictures I took from this month of Beck, and I realized that the pretty quilt my mom made needs some adjustments to keep being the backdrop for our little photoshoots – Beck can sit up now! This month marks the first time that I was able to photograph her sitting, because it is the first time that she’s been able to do so for more than 5 seconds. In the last few weeks, her little body has caught up with her big head and we have a full-on sitting up big girl. But she’s still a baby, so work with me on that.
As I say every month, I can’t believe how the year is flying, but I think that’s to be expected. This month has been marked with lots more communication from Beck even though she doesn’t say any true words yet. Sometimes when she is playing by herself she’ll just be chattering quietly to herself in the sweetest little voice, I just die. Her babbles have lots of consonants and are starting to sound like sentences, and if you respond to her in words or similar babbles she just grins like it’s the best thing in the world, which of course it is. Beck has also started to shriek when she wants more food (feed me faster, peasant!), which is cute mostly but also annoying because no one really likes to be yelled at.
Beck has been sick twice this month, which is so sad to watch, but we also consider ourselves really lucky that this is the first time she’s been sick. About a month ago she had a cold, and that was pitiful enough: a high fever all at once, choking when she was nursing, just absolutely baffled that she couldn’t breath through her nose, and screaming when we used the Nose Freida, which, um, gross. But effective! But gross. I laugh at myself now (oh, sweet one-month-ago Mama), because I’m definitely that person who took her baby to the doctor for a cold, and they were all….maybe Tylenol? And then she got better practically overnight BUT her eye started weeping and didn’t stop for a week after THAT, so we had to take her back in for eye drops because the dang thing got infected and that was just pitiful. You know what, though? I found that I kind of love sick visits because it means we get an updated weight on her, which is silly but true. Homegirl now weighs 15.5 pounds, up a whole pound from the month prior. A pound in a month!
Which brings me to my next topic: food. Beck still nurses every 3 or 4 hours when we are together (and has pumped milk but a little less when I work), and eats about 1/2 cup, sometimes more, of solid food in between THAT, so we’re looking at her eating or having a snack every 90 minutes unless she’s napping, which kind of fills up the day. I’m going to write a whole big thang on what I’ve been feeding her and baby food and all that, but basically she eats all the time and I cook for her all the time and that’s what we do when we’re home together, which is lovely because she grins SO big when she gets solid food.
Even though I do soft solids with a spoon to be sure Beck actually gets a lot of food (because she’s pretty small and we want her to gain enough weight), we’re starting to let her have some snacks on her own to practice motor skills. Cheerios and bigger teething crackers are our go-tos, and she loves both because she gets to do it herself. She’s started grabbing for the spoon on occasion, and it’s so stinking cute to watch this little independent streak come out of her.
The busy independent stuff makes it all the more sweet when Beck gets snuggly, which she rarely does anymore. Since we’ve tried to put her down at good intervals for naps, we don’t get a lot of head flopping and falling asleep while nursing, she does that on her own most times. But when we do keep her up too long or she gets super tired after lots of playing, having her little (enormous) head on our shoulders is just the BEST.
We’ve had really good luck so far taking her most places that we go, concerts, restaurants, breweries, etc, and while some adjustments definitely have to be made (she is better with a 7pm bedtime, so we try to not to keep her out too late most nights), we really think that her experiencing things out in the world is good for all three of us. Mainly me and Jay because baby toys are so boring. Do you know how fast I can fit the blocks into the right shape? So fast. Toys are actually something we struggle with; we don’t want to clutter up our house but we also want Beck to be stimulated and not bored. Should we buy her more stuff? Let her have at the Tupperware cabinet? Now that she’s awake more during the day I definitely think she gets bored, which is another benefit to taking her out in public on errands or for activities – there’s so much to look at! Watching her see new things is the absolute cutest, you can just SEE the wheels turning and the schema developing, and we just love it.
As for us, we think Beck is the most wonderful, fun, and cutest baby on the planet, clearly. We’re pulled in so many directions all day, and we know balance will always be a struggle, so we try to soak up all the time we do have with her, celebrate her fun growth, and keep worrying about her dying in her sleep to a minimum. It’s a dance, that last part especially. We’re definitely those parents who think that every stage is better than the last, and with each month and each new skill we just have so much fun with her.
It’s that grin, right? It’s definitely the grin.