February 7, 2009

PK at Six Months

I've been meaning to write up a post on all of the wonderful things that PK had done at the age of 5 months, and now, next thing I know, she's six months old! So I guess this post will be two months' worth of updates. Here goes:

1. Sitting Up
As of January 26th, 2009, PK was able to sit up on her own. I have to admit that I was starting to have my doubts on whether or not this would ever happen, because she seemed to be more interested in lying down or practicing standing than in actually sitting up. Whenever we tried to get her into a sitting position, she'd always push backward, either to get to a lying position or to a standing position. What can I say...the girl knows what she wants! Still, we tried to prop her up in a sitting position as much as possible. The real breakthrough came around two weeks ago, when we realized that PK was really into remote controls (or anything with buttons, for that matter). Not only that, we realized that if we put her in a sitting position and put the remote in front of her, instead of leaning back, she'd actually lean forward! I found out that PK's tastes weren't just limited to things with buttons. She has a set of cups that she really likes that would also make her lunge forward, as well as her good old buddy, Bear-Pig, her plush blocks, and her plush balls.

Well, that was just the little nudge that she needed to realize that she could sit up on her own. And when she finally did it, she realized that she actually liked it! In the beginning, she'd sit up for just a few short minu
tes at a time. Now, most of her playtime is spent with her sitting in front of me, playing with her various toys. It's great. I think that she enjoys it to, because it opens up a whole new perspective for her.

2. Standing Up
PK has gotten really good at supporting her own body weight in a standing up position. While she can't stand up on her own just yet, I have managed to get her to stand on her own while holding the edge of her crib (with my arms hovering around her waist to catch her when she loses her balance). She has managed to stay in that position for several minutes. That's not an easy task for a little munchkin, especially one standing on a mattress. She has even gotten so bold as to try supporting herself with one hand, and has also tried moving her hands along the railing while trying to stay up. Yesterday the hubby had her standing on the floor, leaning against the glider ottoman in her room. She managed to do that for a whole 15 minutes while banging away on the ottoman with one of her hands.

3. Tummy Time
I was told by all of my mommy friends that at around 5 or 6 months, their babies, who weren't terribly font of tummy time just one day decided that they liked being on their tummies. I waited for that day in anticipation. And waited. And waited. I am still waiting. I have come to the conclusion that PK does NOT like tummy time. Sure, I still try to put her on her tummy, but the first thing she does when I put her on her tummy is to groan or giggle or squeal, and try to roll over. She's successful about 97% of the time. I've tried to entice her to stay on her tummy by putting a favorite toy in front of her, but she'll have none of that. Although I've seen her roll over on both her left and right side, she rolls over on her left side 99% of the time. When she does attempt to roll over on her right, she is unsuccessful the first time, gets annoyed, and proceeds to roll over on her left.

One new skill that she has picked up in the last week is the ability to move her arm out of the way on the side she's rolling over. For example, if she tried rolling over and her arms were up near her head, most of the time, she would successfully roll over onto her back. If, however, her arms were on her sides when she attempted to roll over, they'd get in the way, and she'd wind up getting annoyed that she couldn't roll over and was still on hher tummy. Well, last week, she finally learned how to move her arms out of the way so that she could roll over. It was interesting to watch how this progressed. The first time she did it took a long time. We just stood her watching her squirm and cry while trying to roll over with her arm in the way. And then, she had her eureeka moment when she moved her arm out of the way and rolled over. So we tried it again. Squirm, cry, move arm, roll over. And again. Pretty soon, moving the arm out of the way was just second-nature to her, and away she went. How cool is that?

She still hasn't managed to roll over from her back to her front, though I really think that she can do it. She manages to get her legs up vertically, and swing them from side-to-side with a fair bit of momentum. She can definitely roll onto her side, especially when there's a toy that she really really wants, that's just within reach. That's always fun to watch.

4. Language Development
PK's language development seems to go in waves. I remember when she was 3 or 4 months old, she seemed to be pretty chatty. She tried to make all sorts of different sounds, and I'd even at one point heard a "la" and a "da". At one point, she was making some cool sounds that sounded like random chatter in the morning. That was so much fun to listen to over the monitor! And then it stopped. She went through a bit of a mute phase.

Right after Christmas she really got into buzzing her lips. That lasted for about one week. Then she went through a squealing phase. She loved squealing - she sounded like a little pteradactyl. I loved squealing back at her to see if she's reply. She did reply back, but I don't know if it's because she was talking to me, or just doing her own thing. I think that that phase lasted for 3 weeks, maybe. Then she went through an "ahhhh, brrrrrr" phase. It was freaking hillarious. Unfortunately, I realize that I never got that on video. I guess I was to enthralled with the sound to think of recording it. Silly me.

Now she's gone through a bit of a mute phase again, with the occasional little sound. She is, however, experimenting with a bit of a whimper, which she seems to do when she's a bit subdued, like right before a nap.

I worry sometimes that she isn't very chatty. I always ask other moms in my mommy group about language development with their kids, to see if I should be worrying about PK. The thing that gets me is that PK doesn't often look up at me. She's usually in her own little world of play, and as much as I try to get her attention, she just sits there and does her thing. She'll occasionally look up, say, if I make a funny sound (one that really gets her is when I say "Erthie nerthie nerthie nerthie" in a really dorky voice), if I sing her a familiar song (such as "Old MacDonald" or "The Wheels on the Bus"), or if I wave around a toy that she likes and is interested in playing with. Otherwise, with her head always looking down at her toys, it's hard for her to look at me while I point things out like "ball", "block", "frog", and "cow".

I wonder if this detachment is normal at this age, or if it's the initial stages of something like autism peeking through. Maybe I'm just freaking out prematurely, but I will mention this to PK's pediatrician when I see her next week.

5. Favorite Toys
Some of PK's favorite toys these days are removes, phones, watches (the watch thing started just last week), rings (she LOVES my engagement ring - again, started liking that last week), and hair. She'll grab at my hair any chance she gets. Last week at swimming, class was running 15 minutes late. The hubby took her last week, and was standing around with her by the pool while waiting for class to start. While she was quite calm while waiting for class (THAT was a pleasant surprise), she did distract herself by a) watching people in the pool and b) yanking at the hubby's chest hair. This makes me think of the early weeks of PK's life when she was exclusively breast-feeding and would get her hand up the sleeve in the hubby's T-shirt and yank on his armpit hair in an attempt to get some attention. Crafty little thing!

PK also loves her Exer-Saucer that my sis and her hubby gave her for Christmas. It has taken her a month or so to really warm up to it and play with ALL of the toys on there. In the beginning, she had one or two toys that she liked to play with. Now, however, she just loves everything, and even rotates herself while in her seat to play with different toys. Very cool to watch!

She's also a big fan of her Baby Einstein piano which she got for Christmas. We keep that on her high chair, along with a little spin toy which seems to amuse her. She's really gotten into the piano lately. I think she has realized that banging on the keys makes noise. Now, she bangs on them with such conviction!

Another favorite of hers is Chiquita Banana. Chiquita is a plush banana with colorful crinkle peels and mirrored rattle feet. We hang Chiquita on the slats of the blinds in her room. She is strategically placed right beside her changepad so that PK is distracted while we change her. The main reason why we placed her was to encourage development of her right arm. We figured that having a toy to her right as we changed her would entice her to use her right arm a little more. It definitely helped. While Chiquita has always been a source of amusement for PK, she has REALLY taken to her little banana and just about rolls off the changepad to play with Chiquita. Fortunately for us, PK only makes it onto her side (see above), so poopy diaper changes aren't as nightmare-ish as they could be!

6. Sleep
PK is still not that much of a napper, but she still averages 8-10 hours of uninterrupted sleep (no feedings while sleepy, no wake-ups, nothing) every night. I'd rather have that, than have her nap more through the day. Her best naps still seem to be in the stroller. I guess she likes the bumpy ride! I will, however, on occasion, get a good nap from her at home. I try to keep home naptime consistent every day - not in terms of timing, but more in terms of having a naptime routine going.

I can usually tell she's tired because she starts rubbing her eyes incessantly. Sometimes she'll even be a bit lethargic (the other day she was sitting pretty limply on her high chair). When I start getting the nap cues from her, I change her diaper, put her into her naptime grobag (yes, we have a "special" naptime one), put her into her crib, and sit beside her crib on an exercise ball while I read to her. She always looks over at me while I read, so I always have the book's pages turned to her so that she can see the pictures. One minute, she's wide-awake. The next, her eyes just close, and she's fast asleep. I could sit there for hours, watching her, but then I wouldn't have any time to myself, would I?

If I'm lucky, she'll nap for one hour. If I'm REALLY lucky, she'll nap for 2 hours (that has happened on occasion - it happens for sure in the stroller, but hardly ever at home). The amount of time she naps is usually a function of how tired she is, how wet her diaper is, and how close it is to her next bottle. The first and third factors seem to be most important. All of that standing practice and sitting tires her out, so sometimes, no matter how close to her bottle she is, if she's pooped, she'll just sleep and sleep and sleep. Other times, if she's tired but not THAT tired, she'll naturally wake up when it's time for her next bottle. So it's really a matter of timing it just perfectly. I especially try to get to the timing just right when we go for walks, to make sure that I don't deprive her of playtime. I don't want to go out for a walk with her if she's just woken up from a nap, since I know that more often than not, she'll fall asleep in the stroller.

When she does nap at home, I try to get a workout in, usually for her afternoon nap. During her morning nap, I use the time to drag my ass out of bed, brush my teeth, and look presentable before she starts screaming for her next bottle.

7. Hands
I've been really impressed by how good PK has gotten with her hands. Maybe part of it has to do with all of that practice that the hubby did with her way back at 4 months on getting her to use her right hand (she used to only want to do things with her left). She's got a set of colored cups that fit one inside the other, and she LOVES pulling them out. You can tell that her hand use is still a bit awkward, but she definitely has a decent grip on those cups. One really cool thing that she does with her hands is object transfer. She's been doing that for a few months now - probably since month 4 or so - and she's definitely gotten pretty good at it.

PK has 3 plush balls that she likes to play with, though, since they're plush, she likes to grab them by pinching the fabric (no, she isn't doing the pincer grip just yet), or by grabbing the tags. She is slowly discovering that the roll, and on occasion has even swatted them away.

A while back, I bought PK a set of percussion instruments, and every day I take them out and let her play with them. I have to be careful because I don't know if the finish on the wood is baby-friendly, so I have to yank them out of her hands if she puts them to her mouth. She especially likes putting her maracas into her mouth to lick them like a lollipop! She's still not THAT much into the instruments, but she does manage to keep a bit of attention on them. It's getting better with time, so I just need to be patient. She has a little tambourine which, most of the time, she grabs and tosses. Sometimes, however, if I put it in front of her, she'll bang on it with her left hand. She can bang on stuff with her right, but her preference does seem to be her left (I'll have to ask the pediatrician about this next week). She also shakes around her sleigh bells for a bit before tossing them, and ditto with her maracas. While I've tried getting her to hold both sleigh bells or both maracas (one in each hand, of course), she'll do that very briefly before tossing one of them and grabbing at the other with both hands. I guess we'll have to work on that one.

I guess we've had an eventful couple of months, haven't we?

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