Today we went to a July 4th / Birthday party at a neighbor’s house. There were lots of kids there, all a little older than you. So many of the parents mentioned they remembered their children being your age. I want to make sure I write down some of the little day-to-day experiences with you because they are so precious, but also easily forgotten.
Elsa, you are almost 7 months old. I can’t believe how quickly you are growing. Sometimes I look back at old photos of you and am amazed at how much you’ve changed.
At (almost) 7 months, you are a proficient sitter. You can sit upright by yourself for long stretches of time without toppling over. You can reach forward for toys and then sit right back up. This is a great accomplishment! Not too long ago, you would topple over after sitting just a few seconds. It still happens, but not as much. You also roll around front to back and I’m a little terrified because I know you will be mobile soon. Yesterday I sat you down in the middle of the carpet and walked to the kitchen. Seconds later *THUMP!* I found you on the wooden floor under the couch. There were some tears after that happened. I think we were both surprised!
Current favorite toys are a plastic remote control that lights up and plays music, a plush zebra with teething toys attached to the feet, your dad’s baseball cap and sunglasses and a plastic bag with zebra stripes that makes a lot of noise when you crinkle and wave it.
You are a talker and love babbling to me, to your dad, to Ollie and to yourself all day long. That’s ALL DAY LONG. I don’t know what you’re saying, but I know it must be important. And lengthy. I haven’t heard any “real” words yet. You’ve said ma ma ma ma and da da da da, but I don’t think you knew what you were actually saying. I’ve been repeating Ollie’s name to you several times a day in hopes that will be your first real word. Ollie has been your best friend for a while now. You look for him in the morning and he loves sitting next to you while you play with your toys. You like to pet him and grab his ears, tail or snout. Ollie tries his hardest to resist licking your face, but I’ll admit, it happens pretty often.
You are an impatient eater and love your bottle. When you see it, your eyes light up. Recently we started solid foods and you’ve taken to peas, sweet potatoes and oatmeal. Green beans and rice are not your favorites. After a few bites of solids, you tend to get a little bored and look for something else to do. I’ve had fun making you baby food from scratch and hope to continue to give you lots of homemade nutritious food.
You have two teeth on the bottom and did NOT enjoy growing them one bit. I felt so bad for you. You seemed so uncomfortable as they were coming in. It was rough for everyone. You drooled and cried and put everything in your mouth. Now that they are here, you seem to feel a little better. But I’m nervous for the next two.
You love love LOVE being outside. You will sit in your bumbo seat while I work on the garden and watch Ollie run around the yard. I will take you for long walks in the stroller and you watch the world go by or take a snooze. We bought a hiking backpack and went 4 miles just this morning at Lair o’ the Bear. You did great! (As a side note, we chose that hike because we call you our little bear.) I’m so glad you like the outdoors because we do too. It makes things much easier!
Your biggest dislike is having a dirty diaper. Really I don’t blame you on that one. Who would like that?
You are a fantastic, grade A, super awesome, spectacular SLEEPER. You have been for several months in fact. Your dad and I really, really appreciate this about you. Keep it up. Your bedtime routine goes like this: Every other night you get a bath, which you love. You splash and chew on bath toys while I scrub and rinse. You don’t mind getting water on your face at all. Your least favorite part of the bath is getting out. I hand you to your dad who towels you off. Then comes your favorite part…the hair dryer. We’ve been blow drying your hair since your very first bath. I’m sure it seems strange, but you seem to love the warm air. You reach towards the hair dryer and smile. Also, you had so much hair at birth and I didn’t want you to be cold in the winter after your baths. So, it’s a bath time tradition.
On a side note, you still have the longest hair. It is brown on the ends and growing in a pretty reddish blond color at the roots. Everyone compliments you on your full head of hair. It hangs in your eyes, so I’ve been pulling it sideways with a barrette or up into 1 or 2 top ponytails. I thought perhaps it was looking a little shaggy, so I scheduled a haircut for you when you were 6 months old. However, the day before I let some friends and family members talk me out of it – and I’m so glad I cancelled! It’s messy and shaggy and hangs in your eyes, but I couldn’t bear the thought of cutting off the hair that you had at birth. I’m weirdly sentimental about it.
After your bath and blow dry, your dad puts you in your pajamas. This consists of a onesie or footed one-piece and a sleep sack. Until recently, you slept with socks on your hands to keep you from pulling your hair in your sleep. Sometimes your dad plays a song for you on the iPad, either Exitlude by The Killers or Sunday Morning Coming Down by Johnny Cash (on Sundays of course). I make your bottle and dad hands you off to me. We sit in the rocking chair and you eat your last meal of the day. After the last swallow, you usually just sigh, close your eyes and go to sleep. It’s amazing! I’ll hold you for a while and then put you in your crib. Sometimes I stay and read a little to make sure you’re really out.
I love you so much Elsa. I feel so lucky to be part of your life and am having a lot of fun watching you grow and learn new things every day.