Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dear Daniel, (eight months)

I can't get enough of your smile!
Yesterday you turned EIGHT months old! This has been a huge month for you developmentally. I can't help but notice that each day as you gain independence, you seem to get a little happier and more content with your life. That makes me feel so good, to know you're happy.

You went on your first big trip away from home this month, and met a whole bunch of family members you hadn't met before (and a few you had met before). Everyone loves you very much, and it was so fun to see you interacting with all those new people. You have so much energy, you were wearing everyone out! Papa had to stay home, so on the flights, it was just you and me, kid. You're a patient traveler, though, and most of the other travelers we encountered were understanding when you got a little fussy.

This month, you also got your first two teeth! You've been teething for many months now, and you finally have two cute little bottom front teeth to show for it. The gums never got swollen like so many people said they would. There was just a white dot on your gums on one side one day, then a few days later, I could see and feel both of the teeth right below the gum line. I took a photo when they first barely popped through, but now they're all the way in and so very sharp. You've bitten me once while nursing with these new teeth, and it hurt a lot. Please don't do that anymore, alright? Thank you.

After we got back from the trip, you were used to sleeping with me, so we started sharing a bed again at night. That lasted about a week, before you started rolling all over the place and climbing over Papa and me in the middle of the night. You were obviously trying to learn a large motor skill. We made a bed for you on the floor next to our bed, so you wouldn't fall off the big bed during the night.

A view of your new teeth (and your beautiful eyes,
which are now brown in the center)
And you know what happened? You learned how to crawl! Your Grandpa Jeff came to visit a couple of days after you started scooting around, and he captured some crawling on camera. You've gotten even faster since then, and more intentional about where you're going. When you wake up from your naps now, you make very little sound, and hardly ever cry. You just get out of your bed area and crawl around the room. Often these days, the first sound I hear from the baby monitor when you wake up is the boing boing boing of you happily playing with the springy door stopper. It's so funny!

Papa and I both agree that any inconvenience that comes with your increased mobility is well worth it because it's another way you can let us know what you want. I like that when I'm sitting on the couch reading or crocheting and you want to nurse, you can crawl over to me and pull on my foot to ask to be picked up. When I'm sitting on the floor with you, you often crawl over and up into my lap, to sit there and play. It's really wonderful that you can communicate with us in this way.

Speaking of communication, you've started communicating to us with language much more this month. You started making a mouth smacking sound while looking at me when you want to nurse. You don't make that particular sound any other time, and I'm thrilled to fulfill any requests made in this manner. (I love that you don't always have to cry to communicate anymore!) You have also been pretty consistently saying "Buh" whenever we show you the stuffed bunny you got for Christmas. You also say "Buh" whenever we say other words that start with "B." The most recent communication development is that you say "Puh" when I say "Papa," and you sometimes say it when you see him, too.

Another thing you do by way of verbal communication is that you say a particular "Eh" sound when you want Papa or me to do something again. For example, last night I was kissing you on the face, and every time I would stop, you would say "Eh" and I would do it again, then stop, "Eh," repeat. You do this most of the time in the evenings when we're doing some sort of soothing activity (like when Papa is bouncing you and thumping you on the bum) and whenever we stop, you ask for us to do it again. It's so fun. You're also very effective at telling us when you're tired. These days you start to get very cuddly and want to flop your head on my chest or shoulder.

You don't sign at all yet, but you've started showing an interest in the signs that we are doing. Whenever one of us signs to you, you look at our hands intently, like you're trying to figure it out. The signs we've introduced are: nurse (a sign we made up), more, finished/all done, Momma, Papa, play, food, and toilet/potty.

Since we're on the subject, we've been having even more success with elimination communication (EC) this month. It seems that with the introduction of more solid foods, your elimination patterns have become more predictable and easier to recognize. Papa takes you to the potty after every nap, and you almost always have a pee. A week ago, I finally (after this many months of part-time EC) caught a poop in the toilet. I tried to have you sit on your potty, but you kept trying to stand up since your feet were touching the floor. Instead, I held you over the big toilet and you went there. It was very exciting for Momma. (I don't think anyone ought to get so excited about another person's poop, but I did!) I've come to the conclusion that we should get a little toilet seat insert for you to use when you go on the large toilet.

Now that you're so steady sitting up, and able to crawl around a bit, I've been bringing you into the shower with me some mornings. It's easier to bathe both of us at the same time, and you enjoy playing in the water and with a few toys in the tub while I shower. It's really nice that you can enjoy playing in the shower, because you don't have to be alone (on the floor outside the shower) and I don't have to worry about you getting into anything while crawling around the bathroom.

You're very skilled at passing objects from hand to hand, and turning them all around to experience the object fully. You don't clap your hands, but you do wave them around a lot when you're happy, almost like you want to clap them, but you can't quite figure it out. You have figured out, though, that some objects rattle or jingle when you shake them, so when you pick up a new object, the first thing you do (after putting it in your mouth) is to shake it to see if it makes a sound. You're so smart!

Another new thing you learned how to do this month is to pull yourself up to stand. You do it on the potty and also the coffee table and couch, and various other furniture. You can now get from a seated position to crawling and then back to sitting again, which was a source of great frustration in the first several days of crawling. You would get to crawling around and then want to stop somewhere and not know what to do, so you'd rest your head on the floor and call for me to help you sit up.

The photo is a bit blurry because I was trying to
keep you from falling, you silly kiddo.
Along with all this increased mobility has come the ability to resist getting into the car seat and the stroller. The car seat is the real issue though, since you need to be in it for your safety. As soon as we put you in the car seat, you stand up and arch your back, so you can reach up to the dome light on the ceiling of the car. Even though I've turned off the light, you still remember that sometimes it lights up and you have to touch it a few times before you'll sit down in your seat. 

You really keep getting more and more fun to be around as these months go on, and I just can't even imagine what new things you're going to get into next. I'm delighted to get to experience another month with you. Let's do it!



  1. Sweet letter to Daniel - and the rest of us about his progress! Congrats on catching a poop!!

    (Thanks too, for the tutorial for Blogger you sent via facebook.)

  2. Your little guy is so cute!! What a sweet letter.

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