Time for another "dump post" of random milestones in Nora's development. She is currently 8 months old and sometime between my last post (at 7 months old) and now, the following things have happened:
She crawls! This momentous event actually started shortly (as in just days) after my last post, and has evolved from a "stretch for an object until she eventually reaches it," to a belly wriggle, to a combination army crawl / regular crawl. (And it's still evolving every day.) But one thing's for sure...this girl is on the move! She definitely gets where she wants to go, and relatively quickly! Just today I had to make a quick dash to pick her up before she made it right up to the top of the basement staircase. Time to invest in a good baby gate (the one we have is terrible for everyday use) and make sure the house is up to par on baby-proofing. She definitely keeps me on my toes!
She can also push herself back up to a sitting position now, so really, other than pulling herself up to standing (which I'm sure will be part of my next post!), she moves every which way she pleases.
Nora has already voluntarily given up her pacifier, just about a month or so earlier than her brother did as a baby. Neither one of them was ever a big user of it anyway, except at nap and bedtime. Both of them just started to reject it when I would offer it, so I decided not to push it. If she doesn't need it, why force it on her? She is not, however, the rock star sleeper that her brother was (and still is). While she is sleeping through the night (and thank God for that!), she often ends up crying herself to sleep (if she doesn't fall asleep while nursing) rather than lying quietly and contentedly in her crib like her brother did. And if she does wake in the night (or at nap time), it can be tricky to get her back to sleep. There's this odd balance of waiting to see if her crying will subside on its own, versus going in there and sometimes picking her up, other times just stroking her back and soothing her, and other times nursing her, that I'm still trying to figure out. On the nights when she does wake (which I'd say is about 50% of the time), I just dread it because I have no idea what is going to work! It's really just trial and error, I'm afraid.
She's been babbling for quite some time now and I'm not sure when we first heard her say that same first word that Owen said, "dada," but it was a while back. Anyway, it seems like it was a long time before Owen assigned meaning to that term, but I'm fairly certain that Nora actually knows who Dada is now. She starts saying it whenever Ryan walks into the room and even when she hears the garage door open when he comes home at lunch time. So cute!
Another greeting she learned recently was the wave. I don't recall trying to teach her this, so she must have just picked it up on her own, but she'll give me this cute little wrist roll when she sees me from across the room and I just die. Love it!
Nora LOVES her big brother. LOVES him! (And he loves her, too!) I could never have imagined how much they would adore each other at this stage. Both of them simply light up with joy at the sight of one another. And, while there is the occasional incident when I need to intervene, they actually play together pretty well. The other day, I witnessed her tackle him (in a sweet way) and climb all over him. And to Owen's credit, he is super sweet and patient with her when she does that kind of thing. He totally tolerates her pulling his hair and seems to understand that she is doing it as an act of affection, not violence. I just melt whenever they put their little faces right up next to one another (they both initiate this!) as if they are trying to hug and kiss one another. Heart melting!!!
And while I'm at it, here are a couple things going on in Owen's life these days...
He seems to be doing well in preschool and his teacher appears to really enjoy him (which is fortunate!) He also started his very first gymnastics class today at the Y. It went ok — he has A LOT to learn, not the least of which is to pay attention to his teachers! — but I think it will be good for him. He tried peeing while standing for the first time today. (Sorry if that's TMI. This is my life, folks.) Although he led me to believe that this is the way he does it at school, so perhaps he learned that one (by watching the other boys?) on his own.
And something interesting I finally tried this week (I've been meaning to do it for some time) is to organize all his toys into a "toy rotation" plan, where I only leave out some of his toys to play with until he grows tired of those and then I pack those up and bring out some other ones. The idea is to 1.) contain the clutter, 2.) eliminate toy burn-out (getting tired of the same old toys), 3.) create a sense of fun and excitement when the old toys come back out (like getting new toys!), and 4.) create space and opportunity for him to fully enjoy the toys he already has. I used this link to help get me started, but then I kind of just winged it (is that the correct past tense of that phrase? Or is it, "wung it?" LOL!) to make it work for us. We'll see how it goes, but so far, I have to say that he does seem to be getting much better use out of the few toys I left out. And I do mean "few." I was a bit apprehensive at first because, despite what Ryan always says, he really doesn't have that many toys, so I was afraid that only having out a dozen or so playthings at a time would be boring for him. But we've gone downstairs (where I have officially moved all of his toys) every day since doing this and he has played with almost everything that's out — some of it stuff that he hasn't touched in months! It will probably also be a good way to weed out some of the things that he really never plays with (Goodwill, here we come). And other than a minor meltdown when he saw me packing the other 2/3 of his stuff away in Rubbermaid containers (I had planned to do this during naptime, but it wasn't long enough that particular day), he hasn't missed his other toys at all. He's not asked about a single thing that's packed away yet. It's only been about three days now, and I don't know yet how often I will switch things around, but I think we'll just play it by ear and see how he does with what he's got and go from there.
That's it for now. Still haven't looked into the maxed out photo storage issue yet, so I'm sorry to report there will be no photos again this time (which is really too bad because I've got some good ones!) One of these days maybe I'll figure it out.