Thursday, January 31, 2008

More language skills

(2/24/08) I wrote this about three weeks ago but was interupted before I could finish and press "publish."

(1/31/08): Monday Gavin decided to surprise me by saying "ba ba ba ba" - until then I had not heard him repeat the same syllable (besides "eeeeeeeeeeeee") over and over. It's also fun to say something slowly to him when he's really paying attention and watch his mouth slowly contort as if he is trying to copy what we're doing. I'm pretty sure he said "hey" today, but I'm sure he didn't know that it actually means something. Consonants I think I've heard in the babbling: b, f, g, h, w.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Sixth Month

2008 01 18_1167

It's hard to believe that Gavin will be six months old in a week and a half. Such a short time ago he was still in my belly! Here are a few interesting recent developments:

Sitting! Gavin is now sitting up by himself easily and able to reach for something and not immediately topple over. I think the first real independent sitting began about two weeks ago. Today he sat on the floor during church and untied and played with his shoelaces.

Curiosity!!!!! Gavin wants to explore everything in sight. He will spy something interesting on a shelf or the table and reach and lean towards it. I generally will walk or move him in whatever direction the object of interest lies, and he grabs it and plays with it (usually including putting it in his mouth to see if it's good for chewing) for a while. (This does not apply when the objects of interest are knives, houseplants, eyeglasses, or other such potentially dangerous things.) Gavin does not want to face inward while being held since there is just so much to see and be a part of! He particularly loves cups and water bottles, and he is fascinated with anything that plays music. He loves to play with our faces. Last week he thoroughly enjoyed dropping a book on the ground while sitting on my lap and then lunging toward where it had gone, sometimes picking it up and beginning the process again.

Still no teeth! Although there has been much gnawing, chewing, crying, wakeful sleep, missed naps, and general fussiness and irritability for about three months now, Gavin still have no teeth. I had a dream about a month ago that seven of his teeth came in all at once, and then I understood why he had been so irritated about it. (And then I woke up.) I took Gavin to the doctor last week to make sure that all this irritability isn't because of something that's actually wrong with him (like an ear infection), and he's fine. The doctor did say that sometimes babies get really cranky when they are nearing major developmental milestones but not quite there yet. That could definitely be part of the problem, since Gavin can't yet crawl or otherwise get himself to all of the things he's interested in and he is so curious. But, I'm sure the teeth (or lack thereof) are part of the problem, too, since often when he is particularly irritable he likes to rub something (like the blunt end of a rubber spatula or our thumb knuckles) back and forth across his gums.

Signs - We have started using two basic first baby signs - "milk" and "more" (when he begins solids, we'll add "eat"). Every time we say the word, we do the sign with our hands. We started about a week and a half ago. I think he is recognizing "milk" (probably a combination of the sign and the spoken word), since when I ask him if he wants some milk and do the sign (when he's hungry), he begins reaching for me and doing the I-am-hungry-please-feed-me-now sound (not really a cry). Before we started using the sign, I almost never used the word "milk" (just "hungry" or "eat"). It's a little harder to incorporate "more" sometimes, because it's a two-handed sign and often one of my hands is occupied with holding Gavin!

Vocalization - Gavin is much more vocal than he was a month ago. He says lots of vowel combinations and sometimes throws in random consonant-like sounds - maybe a "b" or a "g" or something not very recognizable. He has learned to do some screaming, mostly happy and just for the fun of it. Tonight he was laughing quite a bit while Chad blew on his neck, but his laugh is not at all what I expected. It's almost inaudible sometimes and is rarely more than a "k-k-k-k-k" sound from the back of his throat, but just in case we were wondering if he's really laughing, he'll sometimes do the hiccup-like sound at the end. And of course, there's that big open-mouthed smile at the same time that helps.

I'm sure there are other things I'm not thinking about - hopefully I'll remember to jot them down here when I notice them next! We are enjoying watching Gavin grow and getting to know his little personality. Even though there have been a few rough days recently, I am so glad and thankful for our little boy.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Finally - an update

Gavin is starting to expand his self-awareness. Whereas up until a couple of weeks ago he seemed to consist of a mouth and hands, he now realizes that he has feet and ears as well. The feet one, in particular, amazes me. He must know that they belong to him, because he is fascinated by them and tries to grab them regardless of whether they are bare or in socks or shoes. He also is becoming more and more fascinated by his reflection in the mirror. Usually, this manifests as a desire to head-butt the baby in the mirror, which may or may not indicate a budding intelligence.

We are really hoping he gets some of his teeth in soon. He has been teething for over 2 months now (lots of drool and chewing on everything) but hasn't cut any of his teeth. This leads to many fussy days, and it is particularly frustrating for Michelle, who doesn't get any real break from his fussiness. We would all be glad of some teeth.

Gavin has also started sitting recently. We still have to be vigilant, lest he tip over sideways, but he will sit for a fair amount of time if he has something in front of him to keep his attention. When he was laying on my lap last night, he tried to do a sit up. He was unsuccessful, but it was impressive nonetheless. Michelle says that he would have a six-pack but for the layer of baby fat on his tummy.

Let's see, what else is new lately... Gavin is becoming much more vocal, and will yell without a compelling reason to do so. The first couple of times he did it, i wondered what was wrong, but he was just testing out his vocal chords. He's getting slightly easier to amuse, but i have yet to get a full laugh out of him. Amy did it once, and i can get him to have a very large smile, but when i get him to laugh, it sounds more like a forced cough, like he can't fully relax into the laugh. His generally stoic nature definitely reminds me of me.