Thursday, August 21, 2014

8 Months

Age: 8 months
Milestones: Sitting herself up, pulling herself up to a standing position, crawling, she's awesome at eating now (but only if she's eating bananas or applesauce) and she started saying "Mama" (which is probably just a sound she likes making, but I'm pretending she knows who I am.)  Also...I gave her her first spanking kind of.  She's been twisting a full 180 whenever I change her diaper, which is equal parts icky and dangerous, so after a few times of trying to get her to turn over, I took a deep breath and just did a light swat at the side of her thigh.  She completely froze and then slowly turned to look at me like, "Did that just happen?"  And I froze and looked at her like, "...sorry I'm new at this." I'm going to need to work on that.
My Favorites: She's been giving me hugs!!! She stands while holding my fingers, gives me a little impish grin, lets go, spreads her arms wide and as she's falling forward, flings them around my neck.  It is SO cute, especially when it's accompanied by her saying, "mamamamamamamama" against my face.  I melt. 
Her Favorites: Standing while holding onto the ottoman, reading books, and listening to me sing Frozen in the car.  Seriously, I can only listen to NPR for so long before she starts crying, but the second I turn on that CD and start singing she's silent for the rest of the ride.  It's awesome and the PERFECT excuse to rock out to Disney, not that I need one.
Surprises: I totally got to see her fight-or-flight instincts this morning.  She was sitting on the floor and Raven came around the corner, which completely startled Jenna. She turned around with this terrified look on her face and started crawling away SO fast.  It was absolutely hilarious.  I think I was doubled over laughing for a full two minutes.
Other Notable Moments: I had to call the doctor so many different times this month.  Once, Jenna had a stomach bug and was projectile vomiting every 15 minutes.  That was scary.  And then a week later she had a fever randomly for a few days.  And then a week after THAT, we found out that she's allergic to eggs, which was terrifying.  I was eating a hard boiled egg and she kept reaching for it so I started feeding it to her, and then almost immediately she started getting these enormous red hives on her face.  I was in a complete panic, but thankfully the hives were the only reaction she had.  Guess I need to start finding recipes for egg-less cupcakes, brownies, cookies, etc!
Looking Forward To: When she can walk!  I can't wait to see her toddling around!

This child is 8 months old and has already been to three different zoos.  Future animal lover, folks.
Baby's first movie: Babe!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

My Baby is Not Extraordinary

I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself.  Anyone who has been on Facebook or in the blogosphere in the last year has doubtless noticed the slew of faux-controversial titles while the body of the blog is actually sneakily expressing the opposite sentiment of that title....i.e. My Wedding Was the Worst Day of My Life (subtext: because each day of marriage gets better and better)   OR   Teachers Today Don't Know What They're Doing (subtext: they don't know how much they inspire the children of America)  OR  I Hate My Wife (subtext: I hate how much she makes me love her ::winky face winky face heart heart kissy face::) know what I'm talking about.  These bloggers were really listening when their 4th grade teachers taught them about starting their essays with an attention grabber.  In all honesty, I usually can't help but roll my eyes a little at these.   Don't trick me into reading your sentimental notions when I'm wanting to be incensed by something shocking, controversial, or ignorant!


This is not my typical blog post.  I've mainly been using my blog to record events that happened during pregnancy and my child's life so I don't forget.  Dates, facts, anecdotes, pictures.  But today I'm going to record some feelings I've been having as a mom.  I don't keep a diary and it's my blog so....I do what I want.

I mean what I said in my title.  In the grand scheme of the world, my baby is not unusual or extraordinary.  10 fingers, 10 toes, 2 eyes, etc.  I'm sure she'll have teeth eventually.  It took her a while to learn to roll, and she still doesn't quite have it down.  She's pretty close to walking, which is certainly early, but I'm sure she's not the only baby to learn to walk at or around 8 months.  I, myself, learned at only (insert hair flip here) 9 months.  No big deal.  Is she cute?  THE CUTEST!!!!! And yet, other babies are also really cute.

I went to a nearby tourist trap this weekend.  The weather was nice, the company was good, and it was at the coast, so I was definitely game.  AND I did the best and most classic thing that can be done at a tourist trap: I bought some fudge.  I sampled a few, including jalapeño and maple bacon, ended up settling on the safe (but delicious) caramel pecan, and started chatting up the lady behind the counter.  She had a grandbaby just a little younger than Jenna and you could tell, she really loved that baby.  This is a good thing.  Babies are supposed to be loved.  Then, she started asking me if Jenna was crawling yet. Or maybe rolling? I can't quite remember.  Either way, the answer was "Kind of..." And then she dove in with the "Oh really? Because MY grandbaby..." and she starts telling me about how her grandchild started to crawl/roll at 3 months or 4 months or something...I forget. (See? This is why I have to write all of Jenna's life events in a blog.) Anyway, the general framework was this: "My baby started ___________ at ___ months old...isn't that AMAZING? He/She is extraordinary!"  

If you're a mom, this is not new to you.  If you're holding a baby, people want to talk to you about your baby  and THEN they can talk about THEIR baby. Again, this is good.  I love swapping baby stories.  I love hearing them and I love sharing mine.  But I feel like there's a problem when we start bragging on our babies like fudge lady and a million other people and probably even myself sometimes have done.  Because while Person A is talking about how AMAZING and EXTRAORDINARY their baby is, Person B is automatically feeling either defensive, worried, or sad.  Because if Person A has an extraordinary, amazing, and special baby because it could crawl at 4 months, and Person B's baby didn't crawl until 6 months, the subtext is that Baby B is not extraordinary, amazing, or special.

I walked out of that fudge shop feeling affronted.  How DARE she talk about how great HER baby is when MY baby is clearly also great, if not GREATER!?!  ...I had to do some soul searching about that later on.  Who knows?  Maybe fudge lady's grandchild will grow up to win a medal for having the world's strongest arms and she can point back to that crawling three-month old and prove that that child was always extraordinary.  But the numbers say that MOST people will have babies that fall into the solid majority.  Hence, MAJORITY!

Look, I'm not saying Jenna isn't going to grow up to be extraordinary.  She could one day work really hard and become the president, an olympian, a Nobel Prize winner, or the architect who designs and constructs the first suburb on Mars while using all recycled materials.  But right now, she's a baby.  She has been given a normal baby brain.  She didn't come out of the womb speaking multiple languages or tap dancing or cooking soufflé.  She does some things quickly and some things slowly.  She's loved, she's wonderful, she's mine.  And while my husband and I might whisper behind closed doors that she really IS the best baby, newsflash: EVERYBODY feels that way about their babies!!  That doesn't mean they really ARE the best baby!  If you go around trying to convince others that your baby really is the best, you are invariably telling them that their baby is NOT the best.  That's just not nice and nobody wins when you go around poking a bunch of mama bears.

My baby is not extraordinary.  She's a normal baby who learns things at a normal pace and when I talk about her to other mothers, I will tell them about the things she learns to do quickly AND the things she learns to do slowly.  And I will be sure to tell them that their baby is cute and wonderful as well, because guess what?  All babies are.
But really, mine is so cute, right?

Monday, August 4, 2014

7 Months

7 Months

Jenna has been pushing herself up into crawl position...mostly while she sleeps.  When she's awake, she only holds it for a second and then plops down in the ground, flat as a pancake.

Trying to pull herself up to a standing position!!  She ALMOST completely did it by herself once, but lost her balance at the last millisecond.  Still, we should probably start thinking about baby proofing this house!

Eating solids!  Not necessarily happily, but she's doing it.  We had a ROUGH 2+ weeks of feeding her solids every day and her just gagging and spitting everything out.  She got a lot better once she saw Asher eating though, and once we started to let her hold the spoon.
It was rough going for a while.
Interacting with other babies.  In the past, she's mostly just been in her own little world, but it was SO fun seeing her interact with Asher!!  They had little conversations squeaking, yelling, and blowing bubbles at each other.  Stacy and I had SO much fun watching!  The first time it happened, one of us cried...I won't reveal who.

My Favorites
This month, my favorites was just watching Jenna with my siblings, parents, in-laws, nieces & nephews, etc.  It was just really amazing seeing her bond with my family and seeing them interact with her.  We stayed in the basement at my parents' house and when I would walk up the stairs with her in the morning, she would just start giggling because she couldn't wait to play with everyone.  It was just the best.
Slackjaw picture.  Probably resulted in Jenna being slightly dubious of our sanity, but worth it.  Sorry family.  
How she greets people by touching their faces.  It is without a doubt one of the first things she'll do when she sees you.  And she does it if I'm holding her and she's very sleepy...sometimes she'll look up and slowly put her hand on my cheek like, "Thanks Mom."  It kills me.

Her Favorites
Her cousin Asher!!  Actually, all of the family, come to think of it. Tia, Zio, Aunt Bunny, Uncle Tommy, Grandma, Grandpa, and all of the Marcottes had SUCH cute interactions with Jenna.  It was so cute and so heartwarming to watch.

Jacob.  Jenna just LOVES her daddy!! It was tough being away from each other for a week or so, but when Jacob and I would talk on the phone or FaceTime, Jenna would get the BIGGEST smile on her face whenever Jacob would start talking.  Then, he would stop talking and her face would fall...then he would start talking again and she would light up again.  And then, when Jacob picked us up from the airport, the second she saw him she started grinning and squealing and kicking her feet at super high speed!  It was so amazing to see. 

That Sophie giraffe toy!  The big squeaky one.  She LOVES it and smiles like crazy whenever she sees it and giggles whenever it squeaks.  I can't explain it.  It is just a plastic giraffe.

Standing.  It is ALL she wants to do now!!  Standing while holding my fingers, standing while holding onto the couch, standing and "walking" around the room while I hold her's not just A favorite, it is THE favorite right now.

It's really crazy to me that she's kind of learning to roll over, crawl, and walk around the same time...she hadn't really mastered rolling, but started pushing herself into crawl position.  She hadn't even mastered being in crawl position, much less crawling, when she started trying to pull herself up onto things.

Other Notable Moments
Her sinful nature is starting to show!! It's hilarious's probably time to start teaching about sharing...

Her first Fourth of July!!  She loved it.
Well, she was pretty neutral.  But next year she'll love it!

Looking Forward To...
Honestly, I know this is going to COMPLETELY rock my world and change everything I know about being a parent right now, but I'm so excited for her to walk.  I just can't wait to see what she walks towards and what she's curious about.  It's one thing to try and figure out what she's looking at, but it's going to be so cool to take her to the park and just follow her around.