Dear Denali: Six Months

by LeeAnne on November 23, 2014


You are on a roll! Literally. For a several weeks, you’ve been playing on your play mat in the doorway of the bathroom while I shower. One recent morning, I noticed you rolling off the mat and out of my view. I kept opening the shower door to check on you, and by the time I was finished, you were under my bed, stopped by the bins of wrapping paper underneath. Later that night, you rolled across the living room until you ran into the coffee table. And several days after that, you began getting frustrated by roadblocks, starting to fuss and cry when your roll was cut short. You are a woman on a mission. (And you now go in the Pack-and-Play when I shower.)

Mommy and Daddy bought you a jumper that hangs in a doorway. The first time in it, you were hesitant and a little afraid. At one point, you turned away from us and immediately started wailing. You thought we left you in the contraption! Since then, you seem to like it a little bit more but not a lot. You will push off with your toes and go slowly in a circle, but you haven’t done any jumping yet. Something else you’re not sure about: bubbles. I’ve been putting you in your Bumbo seat and blowing bubbles up above your head so they fall gently around you. You just stare at them. No smiles for the bubbles. Rattles, however, you totally get. You love rattles these days. You’ve started knocking on the wall at your changing table, with a little fist and everything. And you often flip over and grab at the clothes and other things on the changing table while I’m trying to change your diaper. So squirmy! Your fine motor skills have improved drastically. You will use your pointer finger and thumb to pinch at the antenna on your ladybug rattle. You looooove peek-a-boo.

You can basically feed yourself now. I sit you on my lap, with your back to me and looking out. You hold your bottle yourself, with just an occasional nudge from me (especially when the cats enter the room; you whip around to look at them and lose the bottle and your balance). Speaking of food… You tried solids for the first time at 5 ½ months! I put you in the Bumbo seat on a dining room chair. You wore one of the bibs that your Great Auntie Nette embroidered for you, and used an engraved keepsake spoon I bought you. We started with rice cereal. You were eager and curious about it all, but the moment the cereal hit your lips, you grimaced. You sucked the cereal off your lips but then grimaced again for the second and subsequent spoon deliveries. You seem to like the food but not the sensation of a spoon in your mouth. But you never cried or fussed. You ate maybe a teaspoon, haha. Since then, we’ve tried squash, green beans, and sweet potatoes. Your reaction to sweet potatoes was hilarious: open-mouthed shock and awe. You now have a real high chair (it’s dark wood with a woodland creatures seat cushion) and you eagerly open your mouth in anticipation of the spoon, although your tongue still sometimes gets in the way. You’re not sure what to do with it.

These days, you’re sitting up well enough to take baths in the kitchen sink without the Puj tub insert. You love to splash the water. By the end, I am drenched and the kitchen is flooded. Your hair is long enough now for bed head, LOL. It is a lot easier to cut your fingernails these days. You are really curious about what I’m doing and hold still. Your toenails on the other hand… harder.

I was watching The Voice one evening, with you playing on the floor, and you started “singing along.” You tried to out-volume the performers with very loud screaming and screetching. It was hilarious. Sometimes, when driving around in my car, it sounds like I have a flock of parrots in the backseat. You’re definitely in a squawking stage. You make it hard to listen to podcasts! And then one night, while all three of us were in the car, you were babbling away in the backseat and said “Yeah!” as clear as day. Your dad and I thought that was very cool. First word? LOL.

Lately, you’ve been sucking in your bottom lip a lot. It gives you a turtle-like face. Such a crack up. And you’ve had red bags under your eyes lately, which concerns me a little. My research suggests it’s probably just that you’re tired, or you could have allergies. You DO sneeze a lot. I hope you’re not allergic to cats!

You’re suddenly afraid of loud noises. My hairdryer, which didn’t used to bother you, now makes you cry. I have to talk you through it (“It’s OK!”) and turn it your way occasionally, so you can feel the air. This keeps you calm-ish. In public restrooms, when someone flushes a toilet, you get the most frightened look on your face. Your lip starts quivering and then you start wailing with real flowing tears. It’s the saddest little thing. Otherwise, you are so patient. Everyone tells me this. You are happy and calm, can go with the flow, and can be distracted from grumpiness pretty easily. I am grateful for this.

Some firsts this month… You had your first night away from Mommy and Daddy, when we celebrated our anniversary in San Francisco. You stayed with Grandma and Grandpa and had a great time. You slept through the night in their grandkids room, no problem. You went on a walk and had your first turn on the swings at the park. Grandma sent me the video, and it’s so cute. You are so series when it comes to new experiences. You had your first Halloween! Mommy and Daddy took you to a pumpkin patch, but you were not impressed. You wouldn’t smile. But you did like the goats in the petting zoo and the horses pulling the horse-drawn carriage. I made you a Halloween costume with a onesie and felt to look like you were a piece of sushi, and we went to Grandma and Grandpa’s. You trick-or-treated there and at one house across the street. Thanks for the candy – it was good. ;)

I’ll end with a funny story. We took family photos for Christmas cards in mid-November. I had purchased an outfit for you months ago, when the holiday stuff first hit stores. Everything fit fine except the shoes; they were too big. I had to make some adjustments to your outfit anyway, though, to coordinate with Mommy’s and Daddy’s. So I swapped out your sparkling white sweater for a silver one, and your too-big silver glitter Mary Janes for black patent-leather ones. One thing I almost forgot until I was buying your shoes was tights! Of course! Little girls wear tights with their dresses. I was just going to put your shoes on bare legs. What a noob mom move. I happened to see white tights with little silver glitter bows at the register at Carter’s, and they turned out perfect! So you ended up wearing only original piece: The maroon lace dress with satin ribbon. Sigh…

Month 6 Stats
Weight: 17 pounds, 11 ounces (78th percentile)
Height: 26.75 inches (82nd percentile)
Clothes: 6–9 months, 9 months
Diapers: Size 3
Food: 5 six- or seven-ounce bottles per day. Has tried rice cereal, squash, green beans, and sweet potatoes
Likes: Peek-a-boo, rattles, solid food, splashing bath water
Dislikes: Doorway jumper, bubbles, me wiping her face after eating

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