Have I mentioned how much I love having this child? Today we had a relatively quiet day. Mamas K and E needed to clean up (it was getting pretty unbearable around here) and Monica doesn’t know it, but she needed some down time to work on getting over this cold. Of note:
She is officially pulling herself up on all available surfaces (including this flimsy TV tray … oy), reminding us how much more we need to baby proof.
She had a blast splashing around in one of her birthday presents – a kiddie pool.
It took her a little while to ease in, but once she was in we spent a good hour soaking in the shade.
We rounded off the day with dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant. E and I had one of our first dates here and have been regulars since. This was our first visit with child. The wait staff couldn’t get enough (who can, really?)
“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say, ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”
I love everything Mr. Rogers ever said.
E thinks it is a good idea (and I agree, as good fiancees should) to record all of new the things that Monica has learned or done since she came to live with us. I have to say, for 3 and a half weeks, she has made some awesome gains! Commence the public parental bragging rights:
- She went from pretty much no movement (when we put her down for the first couple of days, she literally just sat where she was and played with what she could reach) to seriously excellent (though unconventional) mobility and is even starting to crawl.
- Monica has tried to pull herself up into standing a number of times, and has generally started to show interest in standing while holding onto us.
- She feeds herself with her fingers (and sometimes with a spoon when we are feeling daring and energetic), and reaches for/picks up/holds her own bottle or sippy cup. This is definitely something she had no idea how to do 3 weeks ago. She would just lunge at things with her open mouth and hope someone would pop it in.
- That girl is willing to try anything – she tries new foods (and then shakes her head “no” if she doesn’t want any more), and has given the old college try to every sippy cup/bottle alternative we’ve given to her (we’re still looking for the right balance between how much comes out and Monica’s ability to hold the thing)
- Her communication skills (my favorite!) just keep on getting better. She has imitated some awesome things – screaming “aahh,” “uh oh,” “na na” (night night) … the list goes on. She says “uh oh” on her own a lot – though hasn’t quite grasped what it means apparently (she’ll just say it whenever there is a silence that needs filling). Monica shakes her head “no,” pushes things away, and turns her head when she doesn’t want something. She reaches, bounces, squeals, and sometimes points when she does want something. She sings – really sings – and it’s adorable. Her favorites are “na na na na … na na na na … hey hey hey, good bye” (she does the “na na nas” and waves), and her own compositions (which I would usually title “da da” or “ba ba”). She talks to her toys and to Sheba – and she has a definite name for Sheba (“da da” in a high-pitched tone).
- Her attachments have definitely strengthened too. She definitely is putting her energy into attaching to E (grrrr), and will lunge toward her if she is in view, no matter who is holding her (i.e. me). That said, she has strengthened her attachments with both of us – she is holding eye contact for much longer, and actively seeks out intimate interactions.
Guh, she’s just so cute! And we had such a fun weekend. Today was family day – we spent the morning inside eating, playing, and napping. Then, of course, we headed out for Chipotle Sunday (Monica only wanted to eat the beans and tomato salsa again, but had a great time waving at the little girl at the next table), and spent the afternoon at the park where E and I got engaged. It was our first time going back since the proposal so that was fun! And the heat wave subsided a bit so it was manageable and even enjoyable. We got ice cream on the way back, and arrived home to find our neighbors in the back yard – so the fun continued. Monica loved the grass, and definitely crawled more in the grass than we have seen her crawl on any other surface! So weird, most kids I meet don’t like how grass feels. She was all over it – crawling on it, picking it, trying to eat it, watching it blow away in the wind, giving it to E and me as presents … adorable. Today in pictures:
How cute are they?
E helping Monica crawl
Seriously, grass is the best.
Watching the grass fly away in the wind.
Sheba had fun too
Perfect way to cool off after an afternoon outside!
I love weekends … even more so with a baby! They feel longer because I wake up earlier, which may seem less than ideal, but it is totally worth waking up to those chubby little cheeks. And we get so much more done with that extra time! It had become kind of the norm for me to leave the weekend feeling like it was totally unproductive, which isn’t a great feeling. At least this weekend, I’m feeling very productive and fulfilled! PLUS we get to play with Monica all day. No one from DCF is calling, and Monica is having a blast. Some highlights:
Crawling practice … Still not quite there yet, but she has the hands part down now. She just crawls out until she runs out of length from her shoulders to her knees, then does the lunge and roll. Progress!
Monica got this great hug from our next-door neighbor while we were having a nice visit.
We took our first trip to the park yesterday. Monica loved the swing, she found it hilarious. We tried to test out the splash pad and the slide (on E’s lap), but neither were a big hit. It was a nice walk and little activity, but there’s not much to do at the playground for a “pre-walker.”
Monica had a blast discovering all of the toys her foster mamas have. And by discovering, I clearly mean removing from the bins and nothing more.
Monica joined us for Chipotle Sunday this week. She enjoyed eating the beans, cheese, and tomato salsa. Not so much the rice and chicken. I’m thinking we’ll pay for that soon …
Not pictured: Fun visit with Aunties M and K, another fun visit with Aunties J and S, and a looong walk (slash nap) around the pond with our awesome neighbors. Weekends are the bomb. Can tomorrow please not be Monday?