For a while I thought I wasn't going to handle Adriana growing older well at all. For most of September, she no longer seemed to be the pleasant baby she had once been. She was always cranky, even when we were both well-rested, and that wasn't very often, as she was waking every hour or two all night long. I missed the easy baby she'd been a couple of months ago--the one who didn't fuss all the time and wasn't always getting into things. And then, after we had spent almost three weeks looking at the tooth just below her gums and begging it to pop through soon, we woke up one morning to discover that she had four teeth instead of three, and that we had our (mostly) happy baby back. She still is getting into everything, but that's easier to cope with when she is clearly so delighted with the world she's exploring.
She is happy, energetic, and curious, and she seems to know what she wants. Long days out and about in a carrier are no longer satisfactory for her, because she would rather get down and play. She wants to explore everything, and it's fun to watch her try to work things out: when she discovered that she couldn't open the kitchen cabinets after I taped them shut, she promptly tried opening them from the other side. Once the real cabinet latches went on and she could open the doors a crack, she spent some time tugging at the doors and staring in through the small opening. She raises her arms when she wants to be picked up, and pushes away when she wants to be put down. The pushing away can be frustrating--she rolls away from me during diaper changes (toward the wall when she's on the changing table, fortunately), but usually giving her a toy (or the tube of rash cream if that's the only thing within my reach) can keep her still long enough to snap on the fresh diaper.
She is a little shy sometimes. When we go to a new place or she sees new people, she clings to me a little bit more. It takes awhile for her to be willing to crawl around and explore, and she is quieter that she is when it is just us at home. Eventually, though, her curiosity wins out and she crawls around, getting into things and babbling to herself. She looks up intermittently to find me and smile, and then goes back to playing--unless I am not looking at her, in which case she fusses until she has my attention, and then continues on with what she was doing.
She pulled up once just after she turned eight months old. Brian was sitting right beside her, but I missed it, as I thought the excited voice he was using to get my attention was part of whatever game the two of them were playing. Then last Tuesday I set her on the floor after nursing her in the armchair and she grabbed the edge of the chair and pulled right back up to let me know she wasn't actually finished eating yet. It took me a moment to register what she was doing, but then I applauded her. She mimicked me and, having let go of the chair to do so, immediately fell. We keep trying to trick her into doing that again (what can I say? It was cute), but now she knows she needs to hold on, and will just clap one hand against whatever she is pulling up on. Now she pulls up at will, using my jeans so she can let me know that she would like to be picked up, or using the bookcases, so that she can clear all shelves within her reach of books and CDs.
She still isn't much for solid foods, but she seems to actually be eating some of the banana I give her (as opposed to just mashing it around), and occasionally lets me spoon feed her a few bites of cereal or pureed pears. Sleeping is going better than it was when we were awaiting the fourth tooth, but she is by no means sleeping through the night. I usually feel reasonably well rested though, since cosleeping means I don't really have to get up with her, and because Brian gets up with her in the morning when she awakes between 6:30 and 7:00 and I get to sleep in until 8.
Her very favorite thing is blowing raspberries. At this point I don't think it's physically possible for her not to blow raspberries if someone near her does it. If she is warming up to cry, sometimes I give her a Bronx cheer and she replies in kind, ending the bout of fussing. If I wake her up taking her out of her car seat she will start blowing raspberries before she has even opened her eyes. When I sing "The Marvelous Toy" to her, she wants to make the noises, too, but lacking the coordination to make the noises "zip," "bop," or "whrrr," she just blows raspberries.
Right now I really enjoy the fact that we can play together now. She loves peekaboo and games of chase. "I'm going to get you," I say, and she crawls away as fast as she can--which isn't all that fast, especially because every few feet she turns to see if I'm still chasing her and has to stop, sit, turn, and then get up and crawl again--shrieking with laughter. Or I crook my index finger and whisper "tickle bug's coming," and she giggles and wiggles as I get closer and closer before I tickle her. She laughs when I sing her the boa constrictor song and help her touch her toes, knees, belly, neck, and head. Best of all is just lying on the floor while she climbs back and forth over me. I sing to her while she clambers about. and she squeals and we are both very happy.