PK turned 10 months old last Saturday. She's beginning to look more and more like a toddler, and less and less like a baby. Last night I was looking at her newborn photos, and can't believe how much she has changed. While some of her basic facial features have remained unchanged, she is no longer that little squirrel-like creature whom we met just 10 short months ago. And she's certainly quite a bit larger too! I took her to her 10-month checkup last week, and she's now 73 cm long and weighs in at 7.950 kg. When she was born, she was 52 cm long, and weighed in a ~3.2 kg . Her eyes are now hazel and her hair is a light brown (sometimes reddish, sometimes blondish). When she was born, they were a dark grey color.
As of today, here is a summary of PK's accomplishments:
1. Standing and Walking
PK can stand on her own for several seconds, and has even taken a few solo steps. Her personal best was 6 steps, which she took yesterday. She has gotten really good at standing up on her own from sitting, which she usually does by using my legs (when I'm sitting on the floor beside her) to hold on to while she straightens her legs, and subsequently lifts her upper body. She also pulls herself to standing from sitting in her crib, which she does by using her upper body to pull herself up enough to be able to finish the maneouver by pushing up with her legs.
Last Sunday, PK even managed to sit up in her crib from a lying down position. She almost did it a second time, but then just ended up rolling onto her tummy. She'd managed to sit up by getting onto her side, pushing herself up with her arm, and then swinging her legs so that her body was L-shaped. It was very cool to watch. I don't think she quite realized what she had accomplished, because she has shown no interest in repeating this. Hopefully she does it again soon (I know, be careful what you wish for).
PK's favorite thing in the world is standing and walking around, either with my help, or by cruising. When she's not standing, she's trying to get to standing. And when she can't stand up on her own she gets very upset and makes a huge fuss. I try to encourage her to stand up on her own as much as possible, especially since I know her crying is just her being prissy (I know this because as soon as she stands up, she stops crying). Regardless of her method of walking, she is FAST. I'd better watch out when she learns to walk on her own, because I can see that I'll have trouble keeping up with her. I'm already having a hard time as it is, and am experiencing some serious lower-back pain from having to bend over so much to help her walk. The good news is that she has gotten really good at walking while holding one of my hands, so I can usually get away with standing up straight a lot of the time now.
PK is getting chattier by the day. She's currently saying "da-da-da" (her favorite, by far), "ba-ba-ba", "ta-ta-ta", and "va-va-va". There are also a few variations of these, and sometimes she even manages to put together a sentence of baby babble. While she doesn't quite do the motorboat thing as much as she used to before, she does sometimes buzz her lips either when she's focusing on something (like standing up from sitting). She doesn't really say "ma-ma-ma" all that much, and hearing her say it is as elusive as catching a glimpse of the Loch Ness Monster (okay, I exaggerate, but really, it is rare).
These days, we are often woken up by PK chatting away over the monitor. This can go on for 10 to 30 minutes, and is just a lovely way to wake up. Unfortunately, if we leave her in her crib for too long, the lovely babble turns to crying, which happens more often than I care to admit.
We are aggressively trying to move from puréed/mashed foods to chunkier foods. Part of the motivation stems from the fact that preparing PK's food is very time-consuming. The other part of the motivation is that we're going away in a week, and it would be a hell of a lot easier if we could just feed her whatever we're eating (in smaller pieces, of course). We'll bring along some applesauce and formula anyway, but I'm hoping that she'll take to most of what we're eating.
I've now resorted to preparing her foods every two weeks rather than every week, and after we run out of home-made food, I usually whip out the frozen food (I refuse to buy non-fruit in jars - gross). We buy a brand called Sweet Pea. The ingredients are good (no perservatives or weird crap), and it tastes pretty damn good! The nice thing is that the food comes in little cubes, so you can control the portions. I sometimes even mix a cube or two of food with her home-made food.
Getting PK to eat chunkier food has been a bit of a challenge, because she still only has two teeth, and is just starting to master gum-chewing. Still, I think we're making good progress. I'm trying to ease her into it by making sure that her pieces of food aren't too big, and that they're mixed in with puréed food. This way, she is more inclined to swallow her chunkier food - you won't believe how much "chewed" food she can store up in her mouth before having to swallow.
Speaking of food, I've finally gotten PK to eat Cheerios. She really likes them. We buy a gluten-free type (just by fluke - I could care less about gluten-free foods) which is made of corn and rice. Now that she's used to chunkier foods, having the Cheerios in her mouth isn't such a foreign concept. She's also slowly learning how to put them into her mouth herself. Her pincer grasp still needs work, but it's definitely getting there. Most of the time, the Cheerios end up on the floor, and I have to feed them to her myself, but I still encourage her to try to feed herself. She also takes to rice cakes, which she can somewhat feed to herself. And we've also given her a teething biscuit or two. I swore that I'd never give her teething biscuits, but there are some advantages to giving them. First of all, it shuts her up. Secondly, she works on feeding herself (drops it less frequently than her rice cakes or Cheerios). Lastly, it develops her chewing. I don't give her these biscuits too often, however. She gets enough sugar in her diet as it is with all the fruit and yogurt that she eats every day.
Looks like PK's gentle babble has turned into crying, so it's time for me to sign off.