Dear Dahlia, Month 8

Dearest Dahlia,

You are officially a mobile baby! This month you were busy learning how to get around. There were far too many important things for you to see and do for you to remain stationary for too long. Here are the landmark dates:
– The week of 11-12-07 you began crawling
– On 11-20-07, you started sitting up on your own
The crawling began as more of a slow process, but you learned how to sit up on your own practically overnight! I never got that leash and harness I was hoping to use once you became mobile, so my job description expanded fairly quickly. Sitting down to get something done is not possible unless I confine you to your Exersaucer. While you still like the stationary toy, it definitely doesn’t entertain you nearly as long as it used to. I mean, c’mon, standing still is so much more boring that crawling around! It has been fun to see you discover the old toys in a new way, though. You now enjoy looking at yourself in the mirror on the tray, and regularly grin and chuckle at your reflection. You are figuring out how to manipulate some other toys in a new way too, as you get more fine motor control with your hands. My favorite is when you start throwing your weight forward and backward and get the the saucer rocking like one of those seated toys on springs at the playground!

Now that you are crawling, a new world has opened up to you. That world is mostly composed of carpet lint, old forgotten crumbs, dog hair, dog bones, electrical outlets, the exciting contents of low shelves, and, as always, various choking hazards. I am getting very good at reading your body language to see when you have stopped to pick up something and put it in your mouth. I am also getting good at sweeping things out of your mouth when I don’t pick up on your body language fast enough. It seems like I can never vacuum frequently enough, and even when I do, you find random things that we accidentally drop.

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The eating is going well. I have continued making purees for you, and you are now eating a good variety of finger foods too. Some new foods that you encountered this month are: small pieces of tofu, pieces of seaweed (I know it sounds weird, but they are both safe finger foods that you can manage to pick up; they are full of great nutrients and help develop your taste for different things), kiwifruit, sugar-free cheerio-type oatie-Os, white potatoes, tomato, and plenty more. Most foods you love, but no matter what it is, when you get the first taste of it, you always have a kind of sour look on your face. Then you generally swallow and open your mouth to beg for more. You are drinking more water too, and I just got you a new sippy cup that is smaller and has handles. You figured out how to drink from it, and you love to chew on the spout too!

We took you to the Baby Sign Language class this month. We had fun learning a few songs to sign with you. We are trying to teach you a few signs to begin with, like “eat”, “more”, “all done” and “hi/bye”. You haven’t done much except wave hi/bye, and we aren’t sure how intentional about that you are. However, you seem to know what “more” and “eat” mean. Last night, when I asked you if you wanted more potatoes, you brightened up, looked at me, and opened your mouth two times in a row. That was great to see your comprehension!

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We also went apple picking and to a corn maze this month. It was a nice chilly day, and you enjoyed being outside in the Ergo. You taste tested the apples for us, and it was cute to see you begging to suck on them. This month marked your first Thanksgiving too! You didn’t eat anything too exciting, just some cheerios and a green bean, but you enjoyed being around so much of our family. You are getting so good at sitting in a high chair and amusing yourself, it has become a lot easier to have you join family meals. It is also much more fun going out to eat together. In general, you are just wonderfully easy going and content. For instance, I took you to the auto shop yesterday so we could get some new tires on the car, and after 1 1/2 hours there, you weren’t cranky! Far from it, actually, you were amusing the other cranky customers in the waiting room with your grins. squeals and waves.

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People are always asking how you and the dog get along. Most people are concerned (especially if they know Dina is a pit bull). Some are just curious. Dina has always been good with children and babies, and has been in a house with babies before, so I wasn’t too concerned. However, I didn’t want to leave anything to chance since dogs can, even accidentally, seriously harm children. I took a lot of practical steps to get Dina used to the idea that you were good to have around and harmless. I’m so glad to see that you both love each other in your own way. Most interesting is the way you have found to communicate! We knew Dina would inevitably want to lick you. A lot. Initially we made sure we interrupted before you got overwhelmed, but now you have learned that if you want her to stop, you just turn your head away (like when I wipe your face with a washcloth). This is incredible to me because you are essentially talking to her in dog language, and also, she listens to you!! In turn, if she doesn’t want to have you pulling her ears and chewing on her tail, she just walks away. I have to tell you, though, that isn’t too often. She usually prefers to hang around because your presence usually indicates good things for her, and she doesn’t really care about the pulling and chewing and general man-handling. It is so funny to see the dog hang around when you are “working” the kitchen. Even at this young age, you have the decided advantage at food gathering in the kitchen. First of all, you have hands, but most importantly, you have the blessing of the ultimate food givers (Mom and Dad). You crawl around, pulling down bags of granola, or boxes of pasta, and Dina is all like, “I could eat that for you...”

Well, I had originally written how I was so sure you were just about to get a tooth. I mean, really sure this time, not like the other 4 months I had been predicting it! Well, since this letter is a few days late (surprise, surprise!), I can instead announce that you officially HAVE a tooth! Two, even! Your left lower incisor made its appearance 12-1-07, and the lower right incisor followed not far behind on the next day! They are sharp little things, and your bite has become a lot more dangerous lately, but Daddy and I are excited about this new development in your life. Every day I see changes in you, and it is so wonderful to watch you develop into a little girl!

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Love,
Mommy

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2 thoughts on “Dear Dahlia, Month 8

  1. In the apple sucking picture, you’re wearing a yellow jacket. Is that the Peru jacket! I still use mine as a rain coat! 🙂

    Congrats on your lovely little one!

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