Thursday, September 20, 2012

Shepherd :: Seven Months

Dear Shepherd,

Your seventh month was a fun one for us. It started out with our first day in our new home in a new city and state (and time zone) for you to adjust to, and it has been a wonderful transition for all of us to be back in Nebraska.

This month has seen "capital M" Milestones, things like sprouting two new teeth (which actually started last month) and crawling. You are no longer scooting; for about a week, you've been a hands-and-knees mover and shaker. One of the funniest things about you crawling is how determined you are to get to where you want to go, especially if you are upset. This pairs well with something else we've noticed this month: you have become increasingly dependent on and clingy to me. If I leave the room for a second, even to go in to the next room, you will cry as soon as you realize I'm not there, even if someone else is in the room. This is difficult for your dad, because you are often reaching for and looking at me, crying, when he holds you. If you see me, and you want to be held, you will cry and cry unless I pick you up, even if someone else is holding you. If I leave the room, though, you stop crying and seem to "forget." One thing I want to remember is seeing you crawl, tears streaming down your face, from the dining room to the kitchen where I was cleaning dishes. You look so small and helpless there, but as I watched you move yourself, I saw just how independent you are and will continue to become.

You have become much more interested in books, stuffed toys and everything else in your little world. Your favorite book is the animal book from Birdie because it makes crunchy sounds, and your favorite things to play with are your football, Baby Sophie and anything you aren't supposed to have. We have to have eagle eyes when you're on the floor because you like to climb everything. You easily go from kneeling to pulling up on anything; you want to scale the couches and climb to the top of the jumper.

You seem to understand "no" and "baby" and your name. You babble a lot, and you can parrot what I am saying when you want to. You melt my heart when you repeat "mama" to me after I've asked you to say it. You understand gentle words and smile when you hear them, and you are sensitive, too; when you are spoken to sternly you will cry real tears. Sometimes when your dad is joking, he uses loud noises, and it scares you because you think something is wrong, and then both dad and I feel bad for scaring you.

I think you are a strong-willed little guy already. Your temper is a force when you are upset, mostly when you are hungry or aren't being picked up as soon as you like. You seem to get upset when you can't nurse immediately and when food is taken away from you.

One hallmark of this month has been your foray into solid foods. We began at the beginning of the month with baby-led weaning, and we have enjoyed watching you eat real food from the get-go. You began eating dinners, and you now eat solid food at both lunch and dinner. Your first food was avocado, and in the last month, you have had several types of food including apple, pear, squash, zucchini, broccoli, cheese, cottage cheese, beef, mashed potato, sweet potato, greek and regular yogurt, carrots, rice cake, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, bell pepper, tomato, waffle, tortilla, spinach, beans and pasta. The only things you have seemed to truly dislike are pasta and, at first, cottage cheese. You have since taken the cottage cheese, but you will leave pasta on your plate most of the time. We tried raw tomato one time, you may have had a small reaction to it. Your Birdie is allergic to raw tomatoes, so we plan to stay away from tomatoes for a while. I like baby-led weaning because you try a variety of tastes and textures and can self-regulate how you eat. The downside of baby-led weaning has been how messy it is, especially with sauces and yogurts.  I really wish we had a dishwasher most nights! Baby-led weaning has not replaced nursing for you; you still nurse 5-6 times a day despite becoming fussy during your late morning/early afternoon feedings. This is perplexing to me, but we are hopefully figuring it out.

Your sleeping habits continue to amaze me. You sleep from 7 p.m. to 6:30-7 a.m. and take two (occasionally three) naps in the day. Your morning nap is from 9:30 to 11:30 and your afternoon nap is from 1:30 to 3:30. You are a creature of habit and thrive on a predictable schedule. I am thankful for this, as it helps us identify if something isn't going well what needs to happen. We also lowered your crib because you figured out how to pull yourself up.

I think you are so funny, little man. You shake your head like you're saying "no" all of the time, and it just cracks us up. When you're doing it we ask you "yes" or "no" questions to see what you say. You're like our adorable little magic 8 ball. You are learning how to give kisses and love to hold on to people who hold you. You can be such a love, and it makes me so happy when you want to cuddle. The moments are rare, but when you fall asleep in my arms, I treasure it. It's amazing how quickly our time has passed.

Your little birthmark on your stomach has almost completely faded, and your hair is definitely coming in. We thought you would be our bald Benjamin Button forever, but, I guess not! You are still sucking on your fingers a lot and will occasionally switch hands and suck on your thumb. Your fingers will pacify you immediately when you are crying, which is helpful, but I'm worried your teeth are going to be crooked because you suck your fingers so much.

This month was the first month since you were 12 weeks old that I have stayed at home with you. It has been such a privilege to be able to do so, and I've really enjoyed it. I am thankful for that gift!

Neat things this month:

  • You went to your Nana and Papa's house for the first time;
  • You went to your first two Husker games: the season opener against Southern Miss and the second home game against Arkansas State. We hope you will be a Husker one day, but of course, we will be proud of you no matter what!
  • You met some of our friends from childhood and college;
  • You met your Great Grandparents on the Pfanstiel side (Grandpa Great and Grandma Great) and your great-aunts Shelley and Alison and cousin Maggie. You are the first great-grandchild for Grandma and Grandpa Great, and they were very excited to meet you.
  • Your cousin Kennedy was born today, which means you two are exactly seven months apart. Two little cousins born on the cusp of changing seasons... a spring baby and a fall baby!
We have loved this month and the newness it's brought to our family and the familiarity we find in getting to know you better. I love how you know us and we truly are building a relationship. I look back on pictures of when you were a newborn and just can't believe it. I feel like my heart has always known you. We love you so much, little one, and praise Jesus for the joy of raising you to love him. 

Mama and Daddy

At Seven Months:
Height: 28 inches (80th percentile)
Weight: 16 pounds 6 ounces (16th percentile)
Head circumference:
You are wearing size 6, 6, 9 and 6-12 month clothes. Almost all of your jammies need to be replaced because they are too small in the legs and feet.
You are wearing size three diapers; you switched at 6.5 months.
You have brown/green/hazel eyes.

Some nicknames we have for you this month:
Shepì Pepì
Jacques Pepin
Pepsi (Pepsi Cola, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Maxx (when you're hyper), Caffeine free Pepsi (when you're tired/asleep)
Prince Caspian 
Chef Pepi
Tiny Chef
Mr. Pepin
Baby love

I am writing letters and taking photos of Shepherd on (or near) the 20th of every month.  

No comments: