Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Our baby girl is growing up!

     I fell asleep while feeding Harmony tonight.  I planned on going straight to bed after putting her down at 9:30 but decided it was time to record some thoughts and events in our lives.  I've been thinking lately that I need to be better about recording the day to day triumphs of mom, dad, and baby.  I have a record going of big "firsts", which just includes a date and the event, like "rolled over on such and such date", etc.  But, Harmony's life deserves more than just a date and 3 word description.  I had stopped blogging because it took so much time that it wasn't worth it to me, I figured I post lots of pictures on facebook and that is good enough.  But, I need to write things down.  So, write I will.
     Harmony is 7 1/2 months old and such a joy to be around.  Today was a HUGE first.  She pulled herself up!  She has been working at it for a few days, grabbing hold of things and pulling with her arms, trying her hardest to complete a pull up.  Today she was going after a box on the ottoman and I watched as she again tried to pull herself up, only this time she didn't stop when her chin got to her hands, she kept going and was quickly in a downward dog sort of position with her hands resting on the ottoman and her feet flat on the floor!  I went wild with excitement, cheering her on and clapping.  Seriously, I don't think I've ever been that excited or proud in my life.  Motherhood is amazing.  It's so awesome to get that legitimately excited and happy on such a regular basis as I watch Harmony grow and learn. After she got up once more she got stuck, not knowing how to get down.  I guided her to her knees and then picked her up to comfort her.  After she had calmed down from being scared of being stuck, I placed her on the floor against the couch, standing up.  I let go.  She kept standing.  In fact, she turned and used the ottoman for support instead as she reached for things.  It was so weird to see my baby girl standing up all by herself!  So weird to not have my hands on her, helping her stay up.  She was super proud of herself and rightfully so!
     Harmony seems to just in the last few weeks become so much older.  She's in full out baby mode rather than immobile infant.  I feel like she's outgrown a lot of her infant toys and have felt like she needs new toys to encourage her cognitive development so I have had fun shopping and buying her toys for the first time.  I bought her the classic donut stacking toy, a ball that has a motor and moves around, talking, singing, and lighting up, encouraging her to crawl after it, and a toy laptop since she ALWAYS wants mine.  It's fun seeing her get so excited about a new toy.  Toys R Us has become so much fun to me and I just get so excited thinking about all of the fun she is going to have in the coming years!
     Within the last 2 weeks she has become interested in water.  After eating solids I always take her to the sink to wash her hands and face.  She has learned this ritual and now when I turn the water on she sticks her hand under the faucet by herself.  I have always taken her by the pool and watched the fountains with her and just this past week she became interested in the water.  She LOVED laying on her stomach at the edge of the pool and splashing her hands in the water.  I held tight with two hands because she kept trying to crawl right in.  Two nights ago she started splashing up a storm in the bath for the first time.  She caught on to cause and effect and it was so much fun laughing with her and encouraging her to splash water everywhere.
      She's growing fast.  She was a tall petite baby for the longest time.  At her 6 month check up she was 14 lbs 10 oz.  She was 8 lbs 7 oz. at birth so she hadn't even doubled her birth weight yet.  She was in the 19th percentile for weight.  I was a little concerned about her gaining weight especially after a lot of stress trying to continue nursing her after a breast infection and going through a stressful time of abruptly starting solids and having to start supplementing formula.  Anyway, my worries were soon put to ease because she gained 4 lbs in 5 weeks!  She went from wearing 3-6 month clothes to barely fitting in 9 month clothes.  She wears a lot of 12 months now.  Somehow dressing her in 12 month clothes makes me feel like she's older than she is, as if she's a year old already.  I keep reminding myself that she is going on 8 months and still has a bit before she reaches the year mark.
     I bought her a pool floatie yesterday.  I can not wait for our first swimming experience!  I think it's going to happen soon, it got up to 90 degrees today and the pool water is feeling warmer every day.  I also bought a jogging stroller off of Craigslist a week ago.  We took it for a joy ride on Saturday and she LOVED it.  So much better than being in the infant carrier in a travel system stroller where she is hot and can't see anything.  She was happily underneath a HUGE sun shade and as soon as I started jogging she started squealing and flapping her arms.  We loved getting off of the pavement and hitting the trails.  And that jogging stroller has changed my life!  I can't believe it took me 7 months to get one! I can push it with my pinkie (I tested this) and it easily tackles rocks and dirt and grass.
     Harmony can get anywhere she wants.  She doesn't officially crawl but she's been getting up on her knees and scooting and lunging (like a seal) across the floor for about 2 months now.  She also can maneuver around and through ANYTHING.  You should see her navigate between chair legs and table legs.  She is super observant and super determined.  If she spots something she wants she will book it across the room in the blink of an eye.  We're having to be super careful about things in her reach and making sure nothing ends up on the floor.  It's amazing how many small pieces of plastic and paper appear out of nowhere.  It's definitely forcing me to be a better housekeeper!
     She has been a bit of a late bloomer as far as teething goes.  Just 3 days ago though her first tooth started to poke through her gums!  I can feel the sharp tip which is so weird.  She had been slightly fussy and not sleeping well for a week or two and then came down with a cough and super runny nose. I was utterly exhausted and couldn't figure out what was going on (there were no signs of teeth) but once that tooth poked through it all made sense.  She actually has been handling it really well.  The last two nights she has slept 8 or 9 hours straight which hasn't happened in a while.  It's been super nice to have two nights in a row of not getting up every hour to check on her after a coughing fit or to get her back to sleep after she woke up crying.
     Also, about a month ago she said "a dada dada dada" as she climbed away from me and towards Jackson.  So he wins the first word.  A week after that she started saying "ma ma ma ma" and kind of stopped saying dada.  She only says mama when she's crying or wants picked up or wants my attention.  It sure makes it hard to let her cry for just a few minutes while I finish doing what I'm doing. How can I resist my sweet baby calling my name?
     Harmony is as happy as can be.  I wish I could find words to express how much we love her.  It is incredible to have someone be so excited and happy all the time and to have such an innocent little baby that reminds me daily how amazing life is and all of the details in this world are.  I was shaking the salad dressing bottle at dinner the other night while holding her and she suddenly started cracking up.  She thought it was the funniest thing/sound.  What a great reminder that life and our many experiences, even the small every day moments like shaking a dressing bottle are so interesting and exciting.  My heart is overflowing with love for her and I am amazed at all of the things I didn't understand about parenthood and unconditional love and intense fear for someone's safety and well-being, that I am beginning to understand now, as a mother.  I am so excited for every stage of Harmony's life.  We're going to have so much fun together.  Mom, Dad, and baby love each other lots and find so much fulfillment out of the little every day experiences.  We are so excited to continue watching our baby girl learn and grow!