Sunday, April 19, 2009

Seven Months Old!

I decided to do Evie's seven month photo shoot and videos one day early so that I'd have a little more time to get everything together and online on her actual 7-month birthday. Taking pictures of her in our black microfiber chair has gotten more difficult in the past couple of months, because it's hard to get a shot of her whole body without getting some of the room in the background (see picture #2). So we started on the chair but ended on the floor. I'm not sure how I'll do it next month...I'm pondering. Here are some of my favorite pictures from yesterday:

And finally a pic of the doggie "sharks" on the floor under the high chair. They are lying down and looking sweet because I'm there. Otherwise they'd be walking around:
...and the promised videos! Video #1 is Evie demonstrating her emerging pincer grasp with "puffs," in a mysterious food group where apples and grains combine to produce food that melts in the mouth and delivers 25 calories for 75 pieces. Puffs are solely responsible for Evie learning the pincer grasp; she adores them.

And her 7 month interview...this has it all...screeching, a dog, scratching, poking, looking out of the window, rocking back and forth, exhaustion and showing off a new skill:

The month 7 rundown:
  • Cloth diapering: Eating solids has changed Evie's poop schedule from once a day to two times a day or more. A diaper sprayer and fleece liners are my friends! For a long time I didn't mind it but it has finally happened...I am sick of doing the diaper laundry. Not complaining, just being honest. We aren't going to stop cloth diapering because I still prefer it/believe in it and we are invested in it (literally).
  • Diapering in general: In the last week or so, changing Evie's diaper has become akin to putting a wriggling worm onto a fishhook. Unfortunate but appropriate analogy.
  • Bottle feeding: We're giving Evie three or four 7 oz. bottles during the day, but often mid-day she will only drink 3-4 oz. of them, and one or two 7 oz. bottles at night, which she always finishes. Now that we're feeding solids we are doing 95% on-demand feeding and then offering her a bottle right before bed, whether she asks for it or not. This is a desperate attempt to find our sleeping-through-the-night groove again, but it is not working. She likes snacking on formula during the day and then eating every 3-5 hours at night. Sigh.
  • Nighttime feedings: J and I still have an understanding that I get feedings between 10 and 3 am and he gets feedings between then and when he leaves for work (6:30). For awhile I was getting to bed earlier (midnight is early for me) but these days I find myself just staying up until she wakes up to eat because it is soooo painful for me to get up and feed her after I've been asleep for only a couple of hours. I am a very, very, very, very grumpy Mommy at 3 am if I went to sleep at midnight. On the other hand, if I have been awake the whole time then I can cuddle and kiss her and appreciate Evie snuggle time at 3 am and then go to bed myself once she's asleep. In the morning I chase away my grumpies with coffee, which is not an option in the first scenario. J helps me catch up on sleep on weekends.
  • Solids: A big hit. You can see in the video above that she is close to being able to self-feed. We may start offering her little cubes of soft sweet potato or banana on her tray. She has the chewing business down cold and rarely gags or coughs on anything. In fact, she prefers thicker textures and is more likely to gag on really runny purees. We usually offer cereal and fruit at breakfast, veg and fruit or yogurt at lunch and veg with protein at dinner. Very rarely does she reject a spoonful, partly because we aren't feeding her solids until she's full. She usually cries when the jar is empty, we distract her with toys or puffs, and then fill her up on formula a little bit later on.
  • Play time: Month seven has been full of head bonks. I've been using b*oppys, blankets, pillows, cushions, mats, towels...everything I can think cushion the hard floors, knobs, door frames, furniture and even the walls so that Evie's head would be protected. But she is a squirmy, wily baby and has managed to bash her head on multiple hard things in her attempts to fling herself from sitting position toward a desired toy, shoe, dog or dangerous object. She survived, and is now much more graceful (relatively speaking, of course). She seems to alternate between ADD and OCD in her playing, depending on how tired she is. When she's very awake she'll pick up a toy and literally pitch it to the side in a few seconds flat, moving on to the next thing. It's as if she's thinking "I've seen this one" When she's tired she'll manipulate and chew on one object for several minutes, seemingly fascinated by its sights, sounds and textures. She loves cause and effect now. Especially the loud thumps she can make when she throws plastic toys to the floor. Before becoming a mother I thought that I would keep plastic toys, toys that use batteries and toys that play electronic music out of my home entirely. I vowed to give my child only organic fabric, wood and other natural materials and let her supply movement and sound herself through imaginative play. Whatever. Evie loves the plastic stuff from China that eats batteries and plays repetitive music. As my mom put it at Christmas, we're all working to keep F*isher P*rice's stock price (actually, M*attel's) from plummeting.
  • Speech: Evie's also more verbal when she's tired. At dinner time we can tell if it will be an early bedtime when she chatters at us nonstop. Sometimes she says "dada" toward J or another male and I'm not quite sure whether she is just babbling or not. Supposedly she should start saying "mama" and "dada" to us fairly soon (according to Baby*center)? That will be amazing.
  • Books: Evie now seems to enjoy, rather than simply tolerate, bedtime stories and the occasional story during play time. She seems to be obsessed with Goodnight Moon, judging from the fact that she will wiggle out of my arms as I'm reading a different bedtime story, lunge over to the book basket and try to pull Goodnight Moon out with both hands. What is it about that book?
  • Naptime: She is napping easily in the morning but usually keeps it short (less than an hour). In the afternoon she fights the nap but then often sleeps over an hour. We don't have set times for naps. I just put her down when she starts showing signs that she's tired (usually rubbing the eyes and yawning, of course) and try to time it so that I feed her a bottle right before the nap. She spits up less that way. We often offer solids soon after she wakes up from naps.
  • Bedtime: Bedtime has become a struggle and I think it is due to separation anxiety. She'll seem sleepy and when we put her down with lovey, paci, mobile and white noise she will close her eyes and seem to go to sleep, but then as soon as we step over the threshold of her room, into the hall, she will start crying. The crying intensifies if we ignore her and walk down the stairs. We go back up, flip her back over onto her back (because she won't take the paci if we leave her on her tummy), replace her paci and lovey and rewind the mobile, kiss her forehead and leave once more. On the "worst" nights this is repeated over and over for 45 minutes. We've tried staying in the room, rubbing her back or just standing by the crib as she falls asleep, but that doesn't work. She just gets more alert and starts smiling and giggling at us. Counter-productive. We're just riding this out, hoping it's a phase and it will end fairly soon.
  • Baths: Other than Evie trying to off herself a couple of times by face-planting into the water (don't worry, we were right there to rescue her), baths are just routine these days. She has some bath toys that she loves to chew on, which amuses me because my nephew had some foam books that he loved to chew on at exactly this age. What is it about 7-month-olds and foam?
  • Birthmark: hasn't grown recently and seems to be lightening up, so I'm starting to believe the pediatrician that it will shrink and disappear someday. Not that it really matters, since Evie is perfection.
  • Pacifiers: now she only uses these to get to sleep, while in the car seat, or when she's really upset (we keep one by the changing table since she tends to have meltdowns there frequently...since she often gets changed while very hungry, tired or both).
  • Dogs: Phoebe growled at her for the first time last week. OK, but Phoebe, it was really stupid to stand right next to her when there were plenty of other places for you to stand where she couldn't reach your fur!
  • Swimming: I want to do an "Aqua Baby" class but found out that they fill up really fast at our indoor community center pool, since they only let 8 kids and their parents into each class. I have to call on May 6 as soon as the center opens to try to get on the rolls for the June class. Wish me luck.
  • Playdates: I have three different playgroups/playdates in the works but none of them have happened yet. At this age, playdates are really about mommies making friends; the kids are in parallel play for a few years; but I'm excited to get one or all of them started. I need reasons to get out of the house other than shopping and doctor appointments!
  • Speaking of getting out of the house: We became FOTZ today. Friends of the Zoo. As long as we go at least five times this year we'll get our money's worth. The negatives are that the zoo is a 30 minute drive away, it is not set up well and requires mass amounts of walking and Evie is a little young to appreciate zoos. The bennies are that I will get great exercise pushing a stroller and Evie seems to love animals so far. Plus, now that I've paid for the FOTZ membership it is a "free" activity to get out of the house when I'm feeling stir-crazy.
  • Spitting up: I was planning to be all positive and gung-ho about how Evie's spitting up is getting better and we aren't washing as many bibs and burp cloths lately. Then she spit up all over my chest and shirt after her bedtime bottle tonight, so I'm not quite as enthusiastic about the topic.
  • Crying: when she was younger, her crying had a pathetic quality to is that melted my heart and made me want to run to her and make everything all better. Lately, however, her crying often takes on a distinctly WHINY character that drives me up the wall. I'm not talking about the type of crying that says "I'm hurt" or "I'm hungry" or "I'm exhausted" or "I'm scared." This particular type of crying says "I'm not happy!" It is difficult for me right now because I want to whip out my Love and Logic knowledge and tell her "Mommy can't hear you when you're whining. Please ask in a normal voice." But she's 7 months old! I can't do discipline yet! Apparently whining is one of my "mommy hot-button issues" and I'm going to need to learn how to be patient with it for a few months. When does she do this whiny cry? Whenever she's slightly tired, slightly hungry, slightly bored or slightly overstimulated. This turns out to be pretty frequently. She does it a lot between waking up in the morning and her first nap and between lunch and her afternoon nap. Sometimes she breaks it out while we are eating dinner, too.
  • The Best Stuff: catching her eye across the room and getting a big, brilliant, toothless grin. Cuddling her on my shoulder when she falls asleep during the burp after a 2 am bottle. Entering the room and having her lunge toward me with a squeal of delight. Opening the door of her nursery in the morning and seeing her big eyes smiling at me over the top of the crib bumper. Knowing all of the silly sounds and faces that will make her laugh. Being the last face she sees before she closes her eyes to sleep. Being there to clap and shout "Hooray!" when she accomplishes a small milestone for the first time. Knowing that the best stuff is yet to come.


  1. CUTE pics!

    Goodnight moon-classic!

  2. You think it's tough putting her diaper on now? Wait until she can run away from you- and laugh at you as you chase her!
    Evie is so beautiful! :)

  3. Wow she's getting so big...and I can't believe how light her hair appears to have become! I love the pics with her little hand on her chest...adorable!

  4. She is just so precious! I love the alphabet mat. Very cool.

  5. Loads of Evie Goodness!!! I don't even know where to start with the ooooing and ahhhhing!

    Look at her thinking through the whole crawling thing! I swear, I could see her brain tossing it around, trying to sort it out. Amazing!

    I LOVE all the still pics---so, so beautiful.

    And, she is nearly a pro at feeding herself. Go, Big Girl, Go!

  6. If she likes Puffs, wait til you guys try the Crunchies! LOL

  7. She's so big! I love the second picture... she looks like she's cocking an eyebrow at you, as if to say, "Really, mother? You need THAT many pictures?" Adorable!

  8. She is getting cuter every month. I love the puff video. It's so cute how she uses her other hand to guide the puff hand to her mouth. I am just amazed at how big she is getting. Enjoy the toothless grins. I love a toothless baby smile.

  9. Good Night Moon was my favorite book when I was little!


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