Happy eight month birthday, Marshall!
This month was another CRAZY one! Last month I said you had kind of slowed down a little with huge developmental leaps, but you certainly made up for it this month. I practically ran out of room on your little milestones board.
- 12/25 First Christmas
- 12/27 "G" sound (we don't document every sound you make, but this one was particularly new and clear)
- 12/29 Sat up in crib on your own
- 12/30 First earthquake!
- 1/5 Crawled AND pushed up to sitting on your own (plus we dropped the crib one level)
- 1/14 Waved in the mirror (but you haven't done it since...)
Now you lift your arms up if we reach to pick you up; you give kisses (hit or miss, but a lot of times we can ask for a kiss with our cheek near you and you'll plant a big, slobbery kiss on us!); you learned your name and respond by looking at us when we call you; and you know who Scout is (we can ask, "Where's Scout?" and you'll look around and stop when you see him).
Talk about a lot of development!
We also enjoyed some fun family adventures this month, including your first swim lesson (technically on the day you turned eight months old, but whatever),
going to the aquarium for the first time, going on the swings for the first time (you LOVE it!),
signing up for classes at My Gym,
and riding in the cart at the store!
It's so much fun to introduce you to new experiences and to watch you discover the world. You love looking at trees and birds when we go outside, and you almost always seem calm and content when we go outside or out to run errands. You're not a huge fan of getting into your car seat, but once you're there you will usually stay pretty calm on the ride. Also, now that you sit in the stroller without the car seat you have a better view of our surroundings on walks and jogs. I still love wearing you in the Ergo because we're close enough so I can chat with you, whereas when you're in the stroller we can't talk much, but I try to mix it up for you.
The other big step this month was FOOD!
It took us a little while to figure out the best way to feed you, because we tried baby-led weaning and it didn't work for us at first, so we switched to purees. I just used the immersion blender to mix up whatever we were eating. Now we've found a nice happy medium where we give you some purees, but we also give you some finger foods to let you feed yourself, such as cooked peas, banana, avocado (sliced with the skin still on so you can grip it), cooked pasta, scrambled eggs, meat, and small pieces of fruits or vegetables that are cooked until soft enough for you.
You seem to really enjoy food, but there are times when you're not particularly excited about being in your high chair, especially when you're done eating. But you still look super cute, even when you're mad.
Some other fun facts:
You've just graduated up to size FOUR diapers! We use Honest Company or Seventh Generation.
You don't have a doctor's appointment this month, so we have no idea how much you weigh or how tall you are, but my extremely scientific measurement method (standing on the scale with you and then standing on the scale without you) says you weigh about 21.6 pounds. Hefty little guy!
Also, I tried to get your traditional giraffe photo, but after about twenty minutes of wrestling with you I decided to let you choose your own pose. (Now I understand why all my friends post month-by-month photos of their babies sitting up instead of lying down.)
You can also pull yourself up onto your knees! (This table almost fell over on you several times, so we took the legs off for now until you are more steady.) You get up there and then seem to realize you aren't ready to get to your feet yet, so you continue crawling.
You also hang out in your Exersaucer for a few minutes at a time, which allows me a few minutes in the kitchen or a chance to run to the bathroom without worrying that you'll eat Scout's food or crawl into his litter box (both things you have attempted in the last half hour).
This month has been a blast because I feel like I can have real conversations with you now. While you don't say any intelligible words, you do babble and chatter quite a bit, showing signs of understanding the flow of conversation, and I am starting to see some signs that you understand some of our words. I've always talked to you throughout the day, but now it seems like maybe you're listening or that at least you enjoy hearing me more. You definitely know Daddy, Scout, Marshall, and Mommy (I'm not convinced of Mommy but Daddy thinks you know it).
Things that make you laugh or smile most: Swings, eating (technically not a smile, but you grunt and clearly indicate that you want more!), seeing Daddy come home, watching us try to get you to learn something new (so watching us clap, wave, try to get you to say words, dance, etc.), crawling toward pretty much anything (you see what you want and smile the whole way there!), looking in the mirror (when you discovered you could crawl to the full-length mirror doors you just about exploded with excitement!), Scout, and being held facing out while walking.
Things you're less than thrilled about: being in your high chair when you're done eating, getting your diaper changed (I'm bummed because diaper changes used to be SO much fun--you used to love them!), Mommy leaving the room (sometimes), naps, getting into your car seat, being bombarded by unfamiliar people when you aren't ready, and being tired.
As for sleep: Eh, we've had much better months. This month felt like a step backwards, but we're assuming things will get back on track eventually. For a while you slept through (7ish to about 5:30), but now you're all over the place, sometimes even waking up multiple times a night. Hopefully it's just because of all these big milestones and you'll be back to sleeping well soon.
You are developing such a personality now, and we are having a wonderful time seeing you grow and show us who you are. Some things I've noticed about you at this young age: You are not one to cuddle. You certainly love being near us and don't mind being held, but you aren't going to snuggle or sit still when you can look around or crawl toward something. I've actually always noticed that you are pretty independent, so I'm curious to see how that trait continues to develop. Also, you're generally a very happy boy. You smile a lot and don't fuss too much, for which we are thankful. You've started showing excitement by panting heavily and squealing, which is hilarious! Oh, and physical bumps/falls (or even shots!) barely phase you--you cry for about five seconds and move right along. What a trooper!
Since we have started taking you to some classes with other kids, we've noticed how you approach new situations with lots of noise and people: You hang back a bit, content to be on your own to look around and take it all in. After five or ten minutes you start to approach people or toys, and within 20-30 minutes you're much more relaxed and enjoying yourself. I usually just sit near you and let you do your thing. It's so much fun to watch you handle new experiences.
Marshall, you are funny, independent, curious, energetic, adventurous, and talkative. We are having so much fun getting to know you and can't wait to see what this month holds for all of us. We love you!