Saturday, May 03, 2008

Evvy at 7 - no- make that 8 months!

Check out this month's selection of photos (from March and April)

It's amazing to watch a personality grow from the tiny seed of a single smile to the tender but vibrant green of the first sprigs of spirit. Evvy is becoming more of a little individual every day. She has a dozen different smiles, each for a different occasion, my favourite being the little squinty ones she does when I blow raspberries on her tummy - the ones where I can glimpse her two sharp teeth, which started emerging around 7 months.

Evvy loves to entertain and to be entertained. She knows when we're being silly and loves to laugh at us, and herself. Peekaboo is popular these days and she has started "feeding" us things. She is constantly working her charms on random people out on our errands. I got a great deal on some wool rugs, thanks to her little gummy smile and happy squeaks, which knocked the socks off the owner of a carpet store. Glad to see her talents are already paying off!

Evvy still loves her jolly jumper. She is pretty wild in it now, and I've had to pad the door frames to prevent collisions. Sitting up is no problem for her, although she does still occasionally fall backwards and bonk her head, so I usually try to make sure she's sitting with her back to something soft.

She has been getting up on her hands and knees since about 7 months, but has only figured out how to scoot backwards. She's trying like crazy to locomote. I can see her little brain working, "I KNOW this is possible! Now how the heck does it work?!" Sometimes she gets frustrated from all the effort, especially when she ends up FURTHER from her toys than when she started. I know she'll get the hang of it soon and am only glad that it hasn't been in the last month, because of all the unpacking going on.

Evvy comes complete with some very adorable quirks. Sometime in the last 2 months, she has started doing "barnacle hands". When she wants something, or is interested in something, her little fingers start grasping, like the feathery appendages that barnacles use to feed. As well, ever since I remember, she has had a characteristic "poo face" that signals the final stages of digestion. Her little mouth becomes pursed into a flat line and stretches from ear to ear, while her eyebrows knit furiously. Kind of gross, I know, but SOOOO CUTE! Also, she has started making a little wide-eyed "Oh!" face like a startled orangutan when she wants to be silly.

She still loves exploring objects with her hands and has remarkable manual dexterity, turning things around and examining them from all angles. Shaking and banging objects together is also loads of fun, especially if they rattle. She can manipulate objects as small as a Rice Krispy, but, ironically, refuses to feed herself any edible small food particles and will only stick non-edible objects in her own mouth. Hmmm... not sure of the evolutionary advantage here...

Feeding became a bit of a power struggle during month 6-7. She would flat out refuse to eat more than 5 bites at a meal. The carrying on that ensued - I tell you!!! I finally figured out that what she wants is VARIETY! She likes to taste a little bit of this and a little bit of that during a meal and will refuse to eat 3 spoonfuls of the same substance in a row, so I put 3 or 4 blobs in the bowl and alternate. She likes most veggies now, except green beans (but honestly, the pureed ones are pretty gross!) Bananas, pears and peaches are a hit for dessert. Mashed Banavocado (exactly what it sounds like) is also a treat. Never tried it? You're missing out!

She is now eating 3 meals a day plus about 20 ounces of formula and a couple of little snacks, including organic rice crisps, gouda cheese, freeze-dried fruit and baby mum-mums. I am trying to vary her diet and have introduced yogurt, mashed foods and some finger foods. She's still not doing well with the mashed stuff and usually gags on it, but I'm continuing to offer it from time to time. She is now drinking up to 7 ounces of a bottle at a time, but only before naps and bedtime.

Sleeping is, well, not terrible. Except when she was teething, which involved frequent night wakings, tummy trouble, pain and vomiting (can't wait 'til those upper incisors poke through...) These days she goes down at 8pm. Peter gives her a "dream feed" at around 10:30 and then she generally sleeps until between 3 and 4am, when she will take a whole bottle. At 6am she's restless and hard to settle, but still drowsy and not hungry. I often bring her into bed with us where I can sometimes coax her into sleeping for another hour or so. I know that I could probably eliminate that 3-4am feed, and would really like to, but need to marshal my nerves before embarking on this last stage of sleep training.

My favourite moments with Evvy are when she is all snuggly after waking from a long nap. I am greeted by a beaming grin and two little reaching arms (complete with barnacle hands), inviting me to pick her up.
She loves to hold her special blanket and burrow her nose into my neck, making happy little "hmmmm" sounds.
We open her curtains together to look outside and I tell her about the weather, the birds and what's growing in the garden. She listens and looks at me, then presses her hands against the window and looks out.
These moments I say a little prayer of thanks because I could not imagine life without her. These moments, I breathe in the delicious smell of her fuzzy little head and hope that the incredible bond we share will weather the test of teenagehood!
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