Dinah At Eight Months Old

My Little Boop,

It’s been another month jam-packed with exhaustion, milestones and delight. How can so much happen to one tiny person in just a single month? I’m continually in awe of your sweet nature and beautiful spirit. Even when you’ve barely slept all day – kept awake by noisy siblings with busy schedules that keep us on the move – you remain smiley and happy and determined not to let it get you down.

You turned seven months old on Thanksgiving and enjoyed celebrating the day by taking naps in the stroller as we walked you around the neighborhood. And just a couple days later, you experienced snow for the first time. Not just a little dusting either, but a good four inches of the kind of snow that’s perfect for making snowmen and snow forts. Daddy bundled you up and brought you outside briefly to see what we had built with your siblings and to feel the snowflakes on your cheeks and fingertips. You really weren’t sure what to make of it all.

About two weeks ago, Dinah, you finally mastered sitting up on your own. Well, perhaps not mastered. But you can sustain a sitting position without immediately keeling over. Sometimes you still bobble a bit or resort to a tripod pose or hanging onto a nearby object. And occasionally you do still topple over. But you are quite proud of your new skill and the new opportunities it provides you. Now you can see into your basket of toys! Use both hands to bang things together! Within a day or two of learning to sit up, you started grabbing onto things like the side of your crib to pull yourself up on your knees. It will only be a short time until you’re pulling up on your feet, standing and beginning to cruise.

Dinah wearing a pink, hooded sweater and striped pants, sitting up with a big smile and long eyelashes.
Dinah in her crib, hands on the rail and pulled up tall on her knees.

The next big milestone was learning to drink from a weighted straw cup! Daddy and I are particularly excited about this one, because it means I can leave you with him and go someplace for longer than an hour and he will have a way to feed you if you’re hungry. Truly, this one is life-changing for us. You’re still mostly just playing with the cup – sucking up the milk and letting it dribble out of your mouth – but the possibility is there if you’re truly hungry enough for you to figure out how to drink it.

Dinah in her high chair, holding a straw cup and drinking from it with milk dribbling down her chin.

Only a day after figuring out the straw cup, yet another milestone hit. Your first tooth arrived! Yes, the first tiny, perfect pearl razor blade is here. Ellie said we should have a party to celebrate and I responded that we should have a funeral for my nipples. It’s the same tooth that Eleanor lost just two days ago, so she’s convinced that the tooth fairy took her tooth and went straight to your bed to put it in your mouth. An adorable explanation that makes perfect sense! Good thing she’s got three more wiggly ones, because I suspect you’ll be cutting the next tooth very soon.

All these new milestones and experiences mean lots of rewiring of that brilliant brain of yours so, of course, sleep as been abysmal. For a good two weeks we could hardly ever set you down without you immediately waking and crying with dismay. It doesn’t help that you’ve been a bit congested. Your best sleep is in the car seat these days. Within minutes of driving, you’ll fall fast asleep. In fact, as I write this, I’m sitting in a parking lot of a park, typing away on my laptop as you sleep contentedly in your bucket seat. Sometimes, if I time it right, I can just carry you in your seat up to the bedroom and you’ll sleep there for an hour or even two. You definitely prove the old adage that “sleep begets sleep.” The better you nap, the better you sleep at night. Fortunately, the past couple nights have seen a return of your ability to be soothed at night. You still wake every two or three hours, but it’s for a brief nurse or pat and then we’re able to set you back in your crib to sleep. Perhaps it’s because of that tooth having broken through. Whatever the reason, I’ll take it!

Dinah asleep in her car seat, hands on her chest and tummy, a white bow headband on her head.

Your eyes are rapidly changing color. I can never seem to get a photo that does them justice. They’re a mix of gray and a golden brown. Quite unique – I don’t think I’ve ever seen eyes quite this color before.

You’ve been smiling more this month. I even finally got another laugh out of you, the first since you were four months old. It was again by blowing on your neck, resulting in a grunty chuckle.

Dinah smiling, peeking out from underneath a toddler climbing cube.

When I put you on the changing table, you know it’s peekaboo time. Still your favorite game! You grab the closest thing you can – your pants, a burp rag, anything – and pull it over your face. I say, “Where’s Dinah?” and you snatch the cloth off your face with a big smile when I say, “Peekaboo! There she is!”

I’ve been trying to teach you to clap your hands. So far, the closest we’re getting to success is you grabbing your feet and clapping them together, or banging two objects together. It’s a work in progress.

Dinah wearing a blue denim-look top with embroidered flowers and red and white gingham collar and sleeves and black tights. She's sitting up, holding a baby shoe in each hand to clap together and smiling.

You’re showing a little more interest in food. You allow me to put a tiny bit of puree in your mouth now, although you still immediately spit it back out. You’ll stick your fingers in food we plop on your tray or pick up bits of finger foods like banana or avocado and consider bringing them near your mouth. Mostly, you like to fingerpaint with it all and only microscopic amounts are actually making it into your stomach.

It seems like I just pulled out all the six month sized clothes for you, but you’re already close to outgrowing them and I’ve had to start supplementing with nine month sized items. You didn’t even get a chance to wear many of the onesies and outfits. I’m simultaneously mourning how quickly it’s all going by and loving finally purging the garage of huge tubs of baby clothes that we have literally been storing for eight years now.

Dinah asleep, her right eye still halfway open.
Sleeping with one eye open. Adorable yet creepy.

Dinah-Boop, I am so excited about this coming month with you. I’m sure there will be plenty more thrilling milestones, but also your first Christmas, your first road trip, your first visit to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, and the welcoming of a new year. My heart weeps a bit at how rapidly we’re already approaching your first birthday, but you make every new day so much fun that I can’t be too sad. You sure are wonderful, Little Boop.

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