On December 29th, you turned seven months old.
There are a few reasons why your letter is late this month, the most noteworthy being that you managed to get the whole house sick as a dog. Why in the world the phrase "sick as a dog" exists is beyond me, as Cooper is the only member of the family who managed to sidestep this illness.
The photo above is from November 29th, 2008 - your six month birthday. It was taken at your very first Virginia Tech football game. It was a wee bit cold out that day, though it didn't seem to phase you.
The changes from last month to this one are pretty big ones indeed.
For starters, you are now eating real foods. So far you have tried rice cereal, carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, apples and pears.
As you can see, you don't really open your mouth up big time for any of them yet, which may be in part because your Dad was feeding you, which was new! and strange! at the time of the photo, but you do enjoy the apples and pears as noted by the kicking of feet whenever you eat them. Your favorite of the veggies was squash, I believe, with the sweet potatoes a close second.
My blog-friend Brianne welcomed me to the world of stinky-poo when she realized that you were passing the six month mark, and boy is she correct! Shewee doesn't even begin to describe the odors that waft from your full diapers these days.
Speaking of, you are now starting to practice your consonants. You string them together and practice talking to your toys, your dog, and your parents. One of your favorites is a shhhehhwhwhshshehw sound that you tend to make whenever we change your diaper. The day is soon approaching when you will be informing us that you are shewee and need a change.
The other sounds you have accomplished include bfff bfff bfff bfff, which is usually accompanied by fffp, fffp, fffp fffp. Also on the list are guh guh guh guh and the ever popular dah dah dah dah.
In addition to the consonants, you have been practicing your grunting. Um, yeah. You grunt when you sit, you grunt when you lie down, you grunt when you talk on the web cam...we're considering Gruntilda for your new nickname.
Oh, jeepers, lighten up a bit. I promise we'll only use it if you continue to grunt, Miss Stoic. Yes, indeedy, you still have your Very Serious moments. They are especially prevalent when encountering new things and people.
Luckily, you also have many silly moments. This month you have been known to belly-laugh just a bit. You laughed at a piglet dancing at Pop-Pop and Grammie's house over Thanksgiving and you have continued it this month. You really love people's faces and even more so if they are wearing glasses. You have figured out that your Dad wears them, and therefore anyone else who has them appeals to you more than usual.
That list of people would include your great Granny (geat Ganny!), who just can't stand it when you laugh for her. Nope, she doesn't like it one bit. Nor does your Guga, as evidenced by the photo. I think all three of you were laughing so hard your had tears in your eyes.
One of your favorite sounds these days is a kissy sound. You absolutely love to hear it. You enjoy receiving kisses, but more importantly you enjoy "giving" them.
Right now your kiss giving ability is lacking somewhat as you seem to believe that it requires you to open your mouth and either slobber on the recipient or lick their face with your tongue.
We're definitely going to have to work on that.
With me, you squeal with joy when my face gets close to yours. I have to provide the kissy sounds, what with your mouth being open. Then you usually move your head so that my chin is in your mouth, then you promptly chomp down on it.
The reason you are apt to chew on me is that your teeth, they are so playing the diva. Apparently they are waiting to make their grand entrance and we haven't provided a fabulous enough event thus far.
You will do anything and everything to make your gums feel better, including this:
Oh, yes. That play mat might as well be corn on the cob the way you chomp up and down on the bars. Grab and chomp!
Speaking of grabbing, you have become very good at manipulating things within your grasp. This was made very evident by your manipulation of pillows and toys in your crib:
This photo is a re-creation of your exploits one evening. You were in bed, putting yourself to sleep. Via the monitor we could hear you moving and making a few noises, but you soon went off to sleep. A little later I peeked in to see how you were, and lo and behold I found you in the position shown above. Well, except that you were on your tummy, with your head facing to the left and the pillow and toys were right up against your body.
Why did you do this? Well, it seems that you were soothing yourself. You see, lately a favorite of yours is to snuggle with me like that if we are in a bed together. And by snuggle, I mean embed yourself in my side. You roll over until you are touching me, and then roll over one.more.time so that you are as absolutely close to me as you can be. Sometimes you even giggle about it. It is as if you are saying "Remember when we were this close all of the time? Wasn't that the greatest?"
Once you are securely planted in my ribs, you commence flapping your arm up and down, occasionally smacking me in the face. Thankfully, the flapping/smacking has been contained and you are now capable of gently reaching up to feel for me.
In fact, you feel for me whenever you are sleepy these days. When feeding you at night, you reach up with your free hand and feel my face and occasionally my chest. For some insane reason I imagine you thinking theese ees mine and theese ees mine...why you have that accent is beyond me, but like I said: insane. Perhaps I would not be so much so if, ahem, you would sleep through the night. No takers on that one just yet? Perhaps next month, then.
Another movement you tend to perform is that of woe is me, I have no hair. I kid, though only partly. When falling asleep, you'll reach your hand behind your head and with an open palm slowly go from your neck up and over to your forehead. Then you close your hand up and rub your eye like you are crying. Hence, woe is me, I have no hair.
All in good time.
Say, a couple of years or so.
What? Good things come to those who wait.
Or something like that.
I know - I should take my own advice re: sleeping.
Speaking of waiting, your lones, Cooperchew doggy, is so desperate to play with you that I can't believe that he hasn't exploded yet. Oh, how he wants to tussle with you and poke you with his shoe. I think it is just around the corner. You are making your way towards crawling, although the constant hands in the mouth is holding you back a bit.
Once you master it, you will absolutely be playing with Cooper. You already watch him intently, look for him whenever you hear him, and in general you enjoy animals. You loved the fish at the zoo, and you stared at the ducks here by the house when Papa Jim showed them to you.
I am fairly certain that if we had placed you on the ground, it would have been fine with you if the ducks had come over to see what you were all about. You are exceptionally curious and as all children, you love to explore and discover new things.
I can't wait until you are mobile so that you can expand your world by leaps and bounds. Yes, I am aware that I will be even more exhausted than I am now, but watching you see the world for the first time allows me to appreciate things that I usually ignore or overlook. It is good fun to watch you figure things out, and I apologize for saying so, but it is even fun when you find that you don't like/enjoy/want something as well:
I look forward to learning more of your likes and dislikes as well as your personality in the months and years to come.