I tried starting this blog when Claira was first born, but there wasn’t much going on beyond nursing-sleeping-pooping-crying and I was waaaaaay too tired to keep up with it. Now that she is almost 9 months old, we have a basic routine, AND her little personality is developing, I want to share her growth, changes and updates.
Claira has added so much fun to the life Greg & I live. She is becoming a fun little person and we enjoy seeing her grow, change, and become who she is. Her bright blue eyes sparkle at times, and at other times, it is obvious she is feeling various emotions. Greg says she gives an “evil look” and I would have to agree. She is very deliberate in her expressions, and has a look without crying that lets us know she is upset.
She jabbers all the time, and repeats “da-da” most often, along with “na-na”, especially when she is “singing.” She says other little phrases like “blecchh”, but not in any very specific way. She will look at Greg if I ask her where daddy is, or look at Sadie the cat if I ask where Sadie is, etc.
She is also exhibiting the typical jealousy with her big cousins, Emma – 5 and Kyle – 3, with whom she spends much of her afternoons. If her Mamaw Thelma is holding her, she does NOT want either one of them around very much, and is just starting to be able to tolerate them sitting in the same chair with her and her Mamaw. She has started showing her preferences for who she wants to be with and is starting to exhibit the signs of separation anxiety with both Greg & I, and her Mamaw.
She has recently learned to whistle. Emma whistles often, along with her Papaw Joe and her Papa Ron. When Claira gets excited, she purses her lips, moves her hands & feet really fast and breathes in and out rapidly. So, she learned to whistle. She has now learned that she can whistle in response to our whistling and she likes it.
I have started teaching her about face parts. One of her favorite things to do is to grab onto Greg’s short hair and pull him towards her as hard as she can, squealing and laughing the whole time. She will also grab ears, noses, lips, etc. Obviously, we have to start teaching her NOT to pull hair (or anything else), as she has started hurting her bigger cousins in her attempts to “play” with them. She seems to enjoy learning – smiling, watching, really even focusing sometimes.
In her “Baby Animals” book, there is a picture of a black and white kitten, which looks remarkably like our cat, Sadie. She has learned that she can pull Sadie’s hair sometimes without repercussions, but Sadie is also teaching Claira that she will only take so much, and Claira is learning to be “gentle” with other people. When she is reading the book and I point to the picture of the kitten, she takes great notice and will focus her eyes and move her face in closer to the book and stare at that picture. She was saying “ki-ki” (kitty-kitty) at 7 months.
She particularly loves it when I sing “Twinkle, Twinkle” or “You are My Sunshine” which Greg & I both sing to her everyday. We usually put her name into the sunshine song and she just smiles great big when I start singing it to her. She has also started recognizing herself in the mirror. Especially after a bath, when I’ve wrapped her up in her big towel, I will hold her so she can see herself and she looks back and forth between me & the mirror, sometimes pursing her lips and kicking her feet.
She has not yet started crawling. She has rolled everywhere she’s wanted to go, but she is learning how to lift her hips off the ground and is starting to get herself into the crawl-position. She enjoys standing up with help, and once she learns she can crawl and get places quicker, it won’t be long before she learns that standing/walking will work even better.
She has 2 bottom teeth, and the top 2 are about ready to cut through. She really only cries when she is very tired or when her teeth are bothering her. She doesn’t fuss much otherwise. She is starting to self-feed and is trying new foods. She loves her biting biscuits, which help with her teeth, and also the fruit or veggie puffs that she has to pick up with her pincer grasp.
Something she did this past weekend really floored Greg & I. We were at Applebee’s and the waitress gave Claira a balloon which she was immediately fascinated with. I tied it to her high chair and she proceeded to reach hand over hand to pull the balloon down towards her. Whether or not that is appropriate for her age, I think Greg & I are always completely amazed by the ways she changes daily and how much she learns so quickly!
We are excited about spring – about summer coming – about taking her fishing – about pushing her on a swingset – about taking walks with her so she can see nature – about working in my garden with her outside in her playpen – about hearing her say “ma-ma” on a more regular basis – about seeing Claira move into crawling, then standing, then walking. Greg was just telling me the other day how much he misses her baby days, but I have found that I don’t miss them much (yet) because I am having too much fun watching her grow and change and become CLAIRA.
It is very exciting to be able to share my life with someone like Greg, who is a very gentle, caring, loving man. Not to say that we don’t have fights – we were both born under fire signs (NOT that I believe in astrology as much as I believe that the environmental factors at the time of one’s birth do play a role in personality development) and we disagree with each other. But it is also amazing to be living my life with the one person I was meant to be with. And then for us to have been blessed with Claira – it is remarkable and I am grateful.