Dear Denali: Seven Months

by LeeAnne on December 23, 2014


The wave. It’s your new favorite thing. The first time you waved at me, I had just dropped you off at Grandma and Grandpa’s, so I could join your dad for his work holiday party. Grandpa was holding you on the porch. He waved goodbye as I backed out of the driveway—and you did, too! Except it was backward, the palm of your hand facing you, slowly opening and closing. It was so precious; my heart melted. Soon, you started waving at the cats whenever they entered the room. And once, when I gave you your dolly, you held her above yourself with one hand and waved at her with the other. Sometimes, I catch you practicing: You’ll be laying on your back with your hands up in front of your face, opening and closing your fist and turning your wrist.

Another new favorite: music class. Mommy’s friend, Kate, suggested we try a free Music Together class, with Kate and her two-month-old, Clarice. That 45 minutes ended up being the highlight of your life so far. You had a huge smile on your face as the group sat in a circle, singing and clapping to music. We played with drumsticks and egg-shaped shakers. We dance around in a circle. At one point, the teacher dumped out a bin of various instruments. I gave you a small tambourine and a bongo drum, and you were delighted. You happily shook the tambourine in one hand while slapping the drum with the other. You loved watching all the other kids in the class (mostly 9–12 month range). I knew I had to sign you up for the rest of the session. Maybe it was because we were at Music Together earlier in the day, but you got the biggest smile when you heard someone hammering a new display at Crate & Barrel. Maybe you thought it was music?

Lately, you are not a big fan of having anything on your feet. You constantly tug at your socks (one style, which you wear often, stays on) and kick off your shoes almost immediately. When I was trying to take your six-month photos, you’d have one shoe off before I could focus my camera. You also really hate it when the book you’re “reading” closes. Until you figured out how to open them on your own—which took a few days—you’d be happily playing with a book and then start wailing in frustration.

We retired your play mat. I needed to clear out the living room for a Christmas party, and you had nearly outgrown it anyway. These days, you’ll sit in the middle of the living room for a good 45 minutes, often preoccupied with rollie owl or your Taggies blanket. (You are obsessed with tags—on your bib, on your clothes, on your toys. You crinkle them in your hands and suck on them.) Eventually, you’ll get tired of sitting and fall over. Then, you enjoy rolling over to the hard tile and slapping it. Or rolling over to an object and licking it—like the leg of a chair. Or a wastebasket. One day, I could tell you were about to spit up. I kind of dove onto the carpet in front of you and stuck out my hand—and I caught it! Haha. It was impressive and also gross. The things moms do to prevent more carpet cleaning…

Your personality is starting to come into focus, and you’re clearly a playful and social little girl. When you’re excited to see someone, you kick all of your limbs. You do this every time I carry you into the office to say “hi” to Daddy on his telecommuting days. A big smile, and flail, flail, flail! One evening, you made your dad laugh so hard, he spit out his drink. He said to you, “You still have your jacket on,” and you immediately went, “HA-HA!” It was pretty funny. We have our favorite photos of you on a stream that our Apple TV uses as a slideshow screen saver. You often watch it, but lately, you make excited shouts and squeals when the photos change. I don’t know if you realize the photos are of you, or if you think there are a bunch of babies on our TV, hanging out with your family and your toys. And, you’re more aware of and excited about the cats. In fact, I think you know their names. I was saying words to you—Mama, Papa, hi, bottle, Pepper—and when I got to Pepper, your eyes widened and you started looking around the room for our cat, Pepper.

Despite all the fun and silliness, you’re also getting more fussy and drooly lately, and it might be teething related. We’ve started giving you your Binky again at nap times and nighttime, and it seems to be helping. You fall asleep faster and sleep longer with it. We upgraded your hospital Soothies to Super Soothies, which are much thicker and stronger. You like to pull them out and chew on the sides.

You had your first Thanksgiving! You wore a pretty dress and sat at the table in your high chair. Your bib had a turkey on it and said “I’m stuffed!” You had meat for the first time: Grandma bought a jar of turkey and butternut squash baby food. You liked it a lot; you didn’t even make a “first-taste” face. Later in the evening, your second cousins Tyler and Marieke were making you laugh for a good half hour. They’d give you a toy, you’d drop it (purposefully) on the floor, and they’d scramble to get it. As soon as they’d move, you’d bust up laughing. It was ridiculously cute.

Some firsts this month… You tried your first fruit: apples. You did not enjoy them and made the worst face of any new taste—even a gagging sound! Haha. A few spoonfuls later, you started clamping your mouth shut. Your second fruit, prunes, was better, although you stuck out your tongue between bites. Maybe because of the tartness? Veggies are the clear favorite thus far. You sat in your first restaurant high chair, at The Habit, with the Carson clan. You did great! You played with your toys and were content until you got tired. (After I moved you to my lap, you suddenly threw your head down onto my arms, which were resting on the table, and fell asleep! You were slumped over my arms, face down, with your arms splayed out. We cracked up and took a bunch of photos. Silly girl!) I bought you your first battery-operated toy: a set of plastic keys. The clicker plays real recorded sounds, like a car horn, a door closing, an engine starting, etc. When you first held it, you unknowingly hit the button for the car engine sound. It made the noise and you opened your eyes wide in shock. For several days, you’d suck on the clicker (rather than the teething keys!) and it would emit a continuous string of sounds.

This month, you started weekly visits with Grandma and Grandpa. They are helping Mommy get some freelance writing done without distraction. They enjoy having you, and you really enjoy your time with them. I am so grateful for their help. Later in the day, I join you all for dinner and the weekly Carson “craft night.” In other news, we got a new car! We traded in one of our Honda Civics for a family-friendly Honda CRV. It’s much easier to get you in and out of the car, and we have more storage space, so we can actually put something else in the trunk with the stroller! And, lastly, we found out that Auntie Lindsey and Uncle Brett are expecting a girl. Yay! I hope you two will be best buds.

Month 7 Stats
Clothes: 9 months, 9–12 months
Diapers: Size 3
Food: 4–5 six- or seven-ounce bottles per day. Has tried oat cereal, peas, carrots, apples, prunes, bananas, and a Thanksgiving blend of butternut squash and turkey.
Likes: Waving, sucking on tags, rollie owl, Christmas lights.
Dislikes: Apples.

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