Thursday, August 4, 2011

Nine months, a fortnight, and 50 percent

Something about the weather getting so hot (and stormy too) has caused me to look back on what life was like this time last year. I remember going to the grocery store a lot and as time went on, I would say yes more and more to the offered help out to the car. I walked slowly. I sweated. I had all sorts of icky symptoms that I would have forgotten if it was not for the list I have in my I-phone that I made prior to some of my midwife and OB/ GYN visits. It makes for hilarious reading (in retrospect). At risk of a big fat TMI, my favorite note was "funny vulva" - who knew? I was doing most of the shopping at that time and I "lifted" a lot of big boxes of cat food cans at Sam's Club by not really lifting them so much as pushing them off the shelves until they dropped into my cart. On my last visit as a pregnant lady I gave in and asked a stranger to help me get the boxes into my car. Those days are over. I am back to being the lifter in the family.

And here we are, in the middle of summer, many months later, with a baby, who has the most energy of anyone I have ever met. Boy am I glad Isobel is out of my tummy! And that she came out unscathed. Especially when I think of how scary my pregnancy was, and how scared I was.

Back to Isobel and her milestones. Not sure what to call her, but infant she is not. She is getting to be a really avid crawler. Some of the fun things that she is doing are growling louder than ever before, and giggling and cackling as she crawls around. She also loves to do this thing that is half way between a shout and a drone, and often Susan will join in with her, and they will drone away together. When Susan changes note or key, Isobel will often follow suit. She loves to wave. Often at appropriate moments, like when we say bye-bye, sometimes for no apparent reason and at nothing that we can see in particular.
Her word recognition is pretty interesting. We are pretty sure that she understands mama, bouncy bouncy ( one of her favorite activities ), avocado, banana, some simple commands, and her name. When we encourage her to touch something she usually follows our direction. She has moved on from just chewing at books to opening and closing them over and over and turning the pages.
One of her favorite toys is a large chain of huge hollow colorful beads about the size of a kiwi fruit. They pop together and she can pull them apart. I have no idea what they are called, because we got them loose at a rummage sale. I was not very impressed when I first saw them, but Susan picked a winner and Isobel loves them. She especially loves to blow and call into the hollow end of the beads and make a kind of echoing sound. She will also do this with her empty happy baby cheerios container. After a search online, Susan has found out that they are called F.isher Price Snap Lock B.eads. Wow. We need to buy shares in them.

In our limited space in the apartment she usually hangs out in her room, which is basically a play room and almost completely babyproof (she sleeps with us), and the living room, which is not so baby proof. It has two features that fascinate her. One is the small flight of stairs that go up to our front door. The other is our faux fireplace that has a brick hearth and an iron "curtain" that leads to the very enticing logs and the small pieces of gravel under them. We have on our list to get a barrier for the fireplace, which we don't even use, as our tv is on the mantelpiece and we don't want to melt it. But in the meantime it's watch her like a hawk because she always gravitates towards them. We have covered the hearth with huge cushions, which she just sees as something to climb over.

Isobel loves music, loves to dance to it in rhythm and to do what we call "rock and roll" -which is when she moves backwards and forwards in time to the music and also bounces up and down. We have a drum that she likes to play and she is pretty good at banging it in time also. We have noticed that with almost every new object that she picks up, from a baby doll, to my keys, she likes to put them behind her head, and wave them side to side and back and forth. It's comical. She hasn't done it with the drum yet, which is a good thing.

On the eating front, she still loves watermelon - well, she is actually crazy about it. She also loves peaches and plums. She seems to catch more of the food in her bib than in her mouth but every morning without fail we behold the evidence in her diaper that she is indeed eating food and digesting some of it. She really enjoys going outside - whether it is sitting in a garden chair with one of us, or being pushed in her stroller. She absolutely loves the beach, especially enjoying the sand and the warm breezes. She sits down in the sand and grabs fist fulls of the stuff, and raises them up high and lets the sand fall down her shoulders and her back. She closes and squints her eyes and giggles and cackles.

We went to the pediatrician for what seems like our monthly pilgrimage - our shot schedule is basically one a month until 9 months. She declared her extremely healthy. Physically she is in the 50th percentile. Our doctor does not usually get over-excited about these numbers. She did volunteer them this time however. I have to say, I was very pleased to find that Isobel is by all measurements, average. I am not sure why. I know that she is not average in my estimation. But I wasn't upset that she wasn't higher up on the charts. To me it really doesn't matter. Average is good. She is extremely healthy, happy and apart from some teething troubles, has little to complain about.

The doctor did say that she was advanced in her social development. ( Thank god, she's above average at something !!) She said, "oh, yes, she's not in her own little world anymore - she's very aware of everything that is going on." We thought that was a bit odd, because Isobel has been social and interested since she was about two months old. We have decided that Isobel is an extrovert. She has been a social butterfly for a long time. She loves an audience. If she can't find one, she looks for one. She is social and interested with her little baby friends. Yesterday they were playing a game where they were all drinking out of each others' sippy cups. Well, we thought it was a game. We have had some lovely cuddles in the morning -especially when there have been storms and we are snuggled up together listening to the thunder and watching the lightening.

We are still trying to teach Isobel to be gentle with our black cat, who is featured in the June's Black photos. However, she just does not get it yet, and can't wait to sink both fists into his fur. So we run interference between them because we are sure that one day he will run out of patience.

If you look in the pictures from July of Red you will see Isobel with a baby doll. She really was fascinated by the baby doll at a friend's house. She picked it up and shook it and gave it mouth to mouth resuscitation. She really dominated that doll. Susan decided she needed her own baby doll, so we got her one from BabysRus. We don't think she has dominated it in quite the same way that she did the other baby doll. However she is fascinated with the tiny sippy cup that comes with the dolly.

And that's all the numbers on Isobel for the moment. She is nine months and a fortnight ( and some change, as I have been writing this post for quite some time ) and in the fiftieth percentile. Perfect!
And now for the pictures...

look at my toys!
weighing the odds

washcloth acrobatics

feet up and tongue out!

letting the sand fly!

bucket and spade!