Monday, April 16, 2012

Eight Months

She can stand for a long time now, and loooooves to do so.
I got some video of her in this position, wildly
gyrating her pelvis. 
Dancing to some internal music?

Calliope is eight months old today!

It's a great age. She's not yet mobile, which makes life easy, in some ways, though with the new separation anxiety, it means I have to stoop down, hoist her up, and swing her onto my hip each time I want to go to, say, the bathroom, or the kitchen. Or else endure mounting protests, which start with whimpers and escalate to cries... unless she gets distracted.

It's an open question, whether or not she will crawl or go straight to walking. She's not exactly close to either, but she's been standing for a long time now, since five months. She can now do brief periods of holding on with just one hand, a few seconds, and can also stay standing for an awfully long time, probably five minutes? (I'm scared to leave her alone in this position so she only gets to stay standing as long as I'm there to catch her.) There's a lot of leaning on her arms still going on. 

On the crawling front, I've seen her get onto her knees and rock exactly three times in the last week. She's not a giant fan of being on her stomach, given that sitting allows her so much more freedom to use her hands to play, so perhaps that's holding her back. 

It's funny, though, because at five months she looked like she was physically precocious, but now it seems pretty clear she's not, unless she starts walking a lot sooner than I expect. Still, it makes life easier for me so I am fine with it.

She's eating more. More volume, that is. Her milk consumption from the bottle was up to 9-10 ounces a couple of days! (That's 4-5 ounces every four hours while I am at work.) Last week, I started giving her solids for breakfast, all in the hopes that it might positively influence nighttime sleep. I am obsessed, I tell you, with sleep. 

Yogurt is the only food she will take reliably. Last night she tried ground beef, which she seemed to like, but she only had about four grains of it. The previous lunch, she ate two peas. I tried again with avocado, but something in the texture made her gag until she vomited up all her hard-won lunch. Sigh. I also got her to take a little bit of water. She prefers to drink from a glass but that is a messy proposition. Sippy cups seem to be too complex for her, though we did have limited success with a friend's cup, and bottles seem to viewed as slightly unpalatable chew toys.

She found consonants! As of last week some time, we have moved from a liquid stream of just vowels (assuming you count "y," the "sometimes" vowel -- we have had "ay yay yay" for months), we acquired "da" and "ga." Exciting times, over here, at Chez Calliope.

She's starting to be a little more of a diva queen -- she protests vigorously and sometimes even has a little tantrum when I cruelly insist on putting her arms through sleeves. I wonder if it's an object permanence thing -- like, she wonders if she will lose her arms because she can't see them? Dressing her, I feel like I remember having similar issues with sleeves myself, long ago. 

She never complains about going in the crib anymore, however. We are back to only once a night waking and feeding. Phew. It seems that getting her bed late last week totally screwed things up, so I am committing to 100% having her in bed no later than seven for the next month, and preferably 6:30. This takes some focus on my part, because it doesn't leave me much time for nursing/dinner/bath/PJs/nursing again. Last night she refused the bedtime nursing for the first time and was in her crib at 6:15. She woke up an hour later and nursed then without fully waking up. It was funny that she was up for a "middle of the night" feeding while it was still light out.

We traveled to DC over the weekend and she got to bed a little late one night but she had had an extra nap so she was okay. Phew! I was very nervous about this. She was a total rock star, riding the subway, waiting in line for the bus, then riding the bus for three and a half hours, plus a car ride on the other end. She flirted outrageously with the other passengers and played peekaboo between the cracks of the seats. The lack of mobility was no doubt a huge help with bus travel. I brought her infant car seat and she napped there and even played a bit, but otherwise hung out in my lap. Watching videos of herself on my cell phone passed a few minutes, as did eating, getting dressed (I brought her in her PJs on the argument that we would have plenty of time to get her dressed on the bus, and why change her before what has become a daily blowout event. Yes, I just ordered a new kind of diaper to try.) I also brought a fine selection of our finest small toys. But naturally, the camera case was her favorite.  

So we are going to do one more night of a minute and a half of nursing, then go down to one minute of nursing. I'm hoping all goes smoothly and we don't have additional wakings as a result. If so, we will do one minute of nursing for three nights, then thirty seconds of nursing for three nights... and then no more nursing at night.

Talking to my friend Liz, in DC, who we were visiting, was very helpful. She was the one that gave me the Hours by Twelve Weeks book... but I somehow missed that she had done a Ferber type CIO program in concert with it. This explains why it has taken me so much longer than it took her! (Also, her daughter was exclusively formula fed by the time they did it, and formula digests more slowly and I do think it is thus helpful to sleeping through the night).

So, I'm facing some crying. Talking to Liz was helpful. But it made me realize that this is one of those times that a partner would be really helpful. I think doing Cry It Out (CIO) solo is tough. I might ask Auntie Salt Lick to spend a night with me. But it may be anti-climactic. And since I'm thinking that sleeping on the couch might be best while doing CIO... it may not be worth it to have company. 

It was wonderful seeing Liz, in any event. She has a wonderful husband, Jonathan, and a darling daughter Sophie, 18 months. And is 22 weeks pregnant with number two! 

She has way more energy than I remember having while pregnant. Just seeing her made me feel tired. But she was capably chasing after her daughter (and hoisting her up!) and cooking and cleaning and being all around superwoman. She had more energy than I did. (Of course, I seem to be coming down with a cold this morning, so perhaps that has something to do with it.)

Still, seeing her made me realize that I am not ready to be pregnant for a long, long time. Maybe ever? 

Of course, sleep struggles and being with Calliope full time last week might have had something to do with that. I thought I would love it, but I have to admit that I think I enjoy it more when time is more precious. (This makes me feel extremely guilty.) But maybe that was just sleep deprivation. We had a few nights of three wakings each, then two nights of two wakings, before getting back to one. And no matter how early I can manage to get to bed (not that early), getting woken that many times just leaves me feeling crappy all day long. So I think I'm still recovering from that. 

So I'm actually sort of glad to be back at work... I get so much more accomplished!... even though Calliope is still the most fun she's ever been. 

PS My computer has died, sadly, so there will be a dearth of photos until the new one arrives and gets set up. Hopefully that won't be an overwhelming project... but backing up all the photos from the old computer does sound, actually, pretty exhausting. I have backed them up in the past... but I'm not sure how long ago. And then I have to deal with not creating duplicates of everything. Ugh.

I am extremely thankful for a quiet morning at work where I am getting to catch up on things like blogging and diaper orders!


  1. Such a cute, and happy girl! Did Calliope figure out how to get off her "8 months" sticker?!

  2. Great update...I have actually taken a que from you in my effort to wean Elena from her before bed nursing...I have been reducing her sessions by 5 minutes every few days & getting her closer to going to bed without. It's been working well & she's going to bed drowsy rather than sound thank you so much for sharing your sleep-escapades, they have been very helpful to me!