Slowly but surely our squirmy little girl is showing more interest in books. She likes turning the pages, and she's crazy about peek-a-boo books like the Spot series. Other favorites are That's Not My Monkey, Babies, Brown Bear Brown Bear, and both of the recordable books we have featuring Grandma's voice. She also loved the Dogs pop-up book she got to read at Nate and Eliza's, so we may buy her another Matthew Van Fleet book when we get home in May. Books with "plots" don't interest her much yet. She likes to be able to manipulate things!
Reading Spot's First Walk with Mommy
Speaking of manipulating things, Sophie's ability to eat finger foods is growing by the day. She's still a pretty messy eater, but more and more of what we give her is actually ending up in her mouth! She hasn't quite mastered her pincer grasp yet, but she has figured out how to bring the food to her mouth with one fist and then shove it in with the other.
Fun with tofu and zucchini
Keegan reports that she also knows how to use drool-covered hands to stick bits of food and get them to her mouth. Favorites remain bananas and yogurt, but grapes and avocado are also on the list. I guess I should admit that she also enjoys the occasional pizza crust. She is getting better at drinking water from a cup and can almost use her sippy cup by herself!
Since Sophie first shakily began crawling at the end of February, she has really taken off! She now crawls around all over the apartment and ends each day with red knees. She can easily go from sitting to crawling and back again and often demonstrates the ability to go from laying down to crawling in her crib at night. Now she is starting to pull up on various pieces of furniture around the apartment.
I was so surprised when I turned around and saw her standing!
She also likes to straighten her legs out into a standing position while she's leaning forward with her hands in my lap. I wouldn't be surprised if walking happens sooner than we thought! All this movement translates to hard times on the changing table, where our wiggly girl rolls around and repeatedly kicks off her pant legs while I'm trying to put them on. Sophie's increased mobility is also hard on the cats, who are learning that they have to work a little harder to avoid grabby baby hands. Chili gives Sophie a wide, wide berth, but Pepper is a little more tolerant. She loves both cats and squeals in delight when she sees them. She particularly likes the sound of Chili's mews and often responds to them.
A fortunate side effect of all this activity is that Sophie has been sleeping really well at night! She usually goes to bed pretty easily around 9:30 and wakes up around 8:30 in the morning. She'll wake up once or twice at night to nurse. Sometimes, if the stars align, she'll sleep well past nine, and Mommy gets a chance to relax a bit and get things done around the apartment! Who knows how long this agreeable sleep pattern will last? We are enjoying it for now.
Sophie's sparkly personality is getting more enjoyable by the day as she becomes more communicative. She has started waving, although I don't think that she quite knows how to use the motion to greet people yet. Mostly, she just likes our happy reactions when she waves. She will "Gimme 5!" sometimes when she is in her highchair and we're playing together. We have decided to introduce some baby sign language to Sophie, and I think she's definitely interested in it. She smiles at me when I make the signs for "milk" and for "water" during meal times, and she thinks that blowing on her food to cool it off (which is also the sign for "hot") is hilarious. She says "mamamamamamama!" when she is upset and wants something - guess that's pretty much what "mama" means to her at this point. I can't wait until she says her first word and uses her first sign!
Another fun development during playtime is that Sophie now really gets a kick out of being tickled. If you get her in the right mood, she will really get a good squeal going. It's a lot of fun.
She also enjoys when I get down on all fours and hide from her behind the ottoman, but it freaks the cats out, so I try to limit the times we play that game.
All in all it is, as everyone says, a wonderful age. We're enjoying parenthood much more now than we did in the early days. Who knows, maybe we'll even do it all again someday....but not any day soon!