It's been a while and there's much to report: SteelyKid will be eleven months on July 7th and has been very busy.
We have major gross motor skills developments. She's gone from unsuccessfully trying to crawl forward (she could go backwards and then push off against something she'd fetched up against for a couple of inches), to a modified crawl that is very speedy: she tucks her left leg under and pushes with her right foot, sliding on the left leg. She will sometimes, now, start out in a classic hands-and-knees crawling position, or up on her hands and feet, and then abandon it after a few moments as not as fast.
She now easily and routinely pulls herself into a standing position on furniture, us, even flat surfaces without protusions. She can walk holding on to furniture quite quickly. When she first started doing this, she would let go, wave her hands in the air, and stand on her own for up to ten seconds. She's stopped doing this recently, perhaps because she's working on the walking more.
She's discovered the stairs, though ours are wood and so slippery. She can go up the one step from the library to the rest of the house as long as she's not wearing the tighter of her leggings, but has only made it up two or three of the main stairs (under close supervision, of course).
Oddly, pulling herself into a sitting position from flat on her back is still hard, as is rolling from lying on her stomach to lying on her back. However, she can do the reverse and now sleeps in the frog position. To get up from lying down in either position, she's likely to go to her hands and knees and then sit.
(Speaking of sleeping, she is now sleeping "through the night," in the term-of-art sense meaning "five hours at a time." I'm going to see if we can gradually eliminate her 2 a.m.-ish feeding, as she's been waking up not that hungry. I'm hopeful that sleeping on her stomach will also help her sleep through the more mild cases of gas that she gets, and reduce my own sleep deprivation thereby. Wow, I can't wait until her digestive system matures . . . )
Besides the usual excitment from her mobility—pulling things off tables, heading for the drapes, seeking out the dog's toys—she also does things like eating furniture. She took the top few layers off a wood restaurant table, leaning forward, when we weren't paying attention—I swear I didn't think she could do that much damage—and has done the same to her crib railing. This past weekend Chad's parents brought out some old wood building blocks, but they were pine and she was scraping the tops off those too, so away they went until she wants to build not just chew.
(No further teeth have broken through since last time, eight by eight months, though I suspect some are working their way up on the bottom.)
On May 18, she was 20 pounds even (just under the 75th percentile), 28.75 inches long (75-90th percentile), and had a head circumference of 45.7 cm (90th percentile). So she is a great big strong baby. She's also got thicker and longer hair, though not that much more so. I have a bunch of picture and video links at the end.
In social developments, she went through a very cute period, early in these months, where Chad was the funniest thing in the world: all he had to do was walk in the room and show his face and she would laugh and laugh. She's learned to wave at people, and will do so at length and pretty much at anyone. She waves by bending her wrist up and down, and I find it really hard to wave back like I usually do instead of imitating her. (It's also really hard not to wave back at her, period. Sullen teenagers and tough-looking young men have been known to do so, somewhat sheepishly.) The start of the waving coincided with her getting dubious about strangers near her, so was kind of counterproductive, but I think it's possible she might be coming out of that phase already: at Chad's old high school's graduation, she was reaching out and touching nearby people, and after a little bit of warming up to his relatives who she hasn't seen for a while, would be held by them quite happily.
In terms of toys and playing, she's discovered that water splashes, which has added a whole new level to her baths. Her daycare has a swimming pool and she loved dabbling her feet, so we'll be getting her all the equipment she needs to go in the pool and I'm sure that will be a great hit.
All her toys must be shut: shape sorter boxes, pop-up animals, books, everything. Even if she'd like the stuff that's inside. She also puts stuff into her shape sorters now, though does better with the one that doesn't require her to rotate the shape a particular way. She tries really hard to get them out through the holes too, but hasn't quite grasped yet that her fingers make the shapes too big to come out.
One of her favorite games is "hold my toy". She holds out a toy (sock, piece of grass, etc.) and grins. You take the toy and she grins. Then she holds her hand back out, you give her back the toy, and she grins. Best game ever. Other good games are taking off her socks; throwing things on the floor; putting one toy inside another and shaking it to make a rattling noise; and banging on things. She is still a rollercoaster baby, and has learned to put herself upside-down by flopping across our laps on her back.
She loves to watch things: people, the bird feeder, the dog, whatever she can. When we're out and about she has to be quite tired before she'll demand attention and toys, because observing the outside world is so fascinating. I like to think that she's a scientist in the making.
While she picks up everything she can see, only big things go in her mouth; very small things that she has to pick up thumb-and-forefinger do not, just get examined closely. This may have something to do with having given her a puffy-grain finger food, which she bit off a little piece of and then gagged when it hit her tongue. So we're going slowly on actual solid foods, starting with these things like Rice Krispies that are made mushy before mixing with fruits or veggies. These are not really her favorites, so we also have some fruits that are chunkier and we'll see about those. (I'm going to be taking to her pediatrician soon about the standard 12-month food guidelines and whether and how we should really be shooting for them; I was so relieved that her 9-month visit didn't include any shots that it went right out of my mind. Oh, yeah, and I weaned her early in this period, and am very grateful to be able to eat again.)
She has a fine range of vocal sounds now, including some that I'm sure I can't make, and repeats "ma" and "ba," but not associated with anything that she can tell yet. (It's possible that "ma" might sometimes mean "I want something," but it's hard to say.) And if you ask her a question and nod "yes," she will nod back—but she can only nod down so far, not up, so it looks silly. And cute, of course.
Further documentation of the cute, for those who don't follow Chad's blog: all his SteelyKid pictures and videos since last post. A couple of the videos were previously posted here.
(This post was drafted piecemeal over quite a while. Today's development: a diagnosis of Coxsackie virus, a.k.a. hand-foot-and-mouth disease. Umm, well, she's had it since at least Saturday night, so maybe her time out of daycare (and our time out of work) will be shorter?)