At eight months, Johnnie is really becoming her own person. She's now letting us know that she understands some things we say; over the weekend we were reading the Very Hungry Caterpillar, and when I asked her to point to the little egg on the leaf she stuck out her tiny, chubby pointer finger and pointed right to it. I was overcome with glee. Ez was almost teary-eyed. It was my proudest life moment; I've been pointing to that darn egg for the past eight months! Payoff was so sweet, and now I'm paying extra attention to the things I'm pointing out in books and in the world.
She is also pointing at noses now, if you catch her in a particularly attentive mood. She'll usually pull her soggy finger out of her mouth and swipe it right across your nose.
Along with these fun new cognitive developments, she's also developing some strong personality traits and preferences. For example, if you try to change her diaper while she's busy playing, she'll let you know she's not at all pleased. Clearly we are at the stage when the need for clever parenting approaches really begins. She has several toys that she'll play with for extended periods, but the TV remote and a bottle of travel shampoo (which she plays with in the bathtub) are the most special treasures she guards with all her might.
Feeding: We've broken the 20 lb. mark now, with no signs of slowing down. We're still doing five (sometimes six) nursing sessions a day, as well as eating two small meals of fruits and vegetables. This month we started supplementing one bottle a day with formula, so that I could freeze an extra bottle of breastmilk in anticipation of my upcoming trip to Korea.
Weaning: I'm so proud and thankful that we've made it to eight months with breastfeeding so far. Interrupting my work day three times to pump every day is wearing me (and my patient coworkers) down a little more each day, but we soldier on because I know Johnnie loves it and is thriving. (And, admittedly, I'm too afraid of plugged ducts to cut back on my pumping sessions.) I'm taking more day-trips to DC lately, and finding times and spaces to pump is a real balancing act. Ez said last night he knows I am worn out and looking forward to weaning, but he knows that I'll miss it too... which is very true. I'm puzzling and praying over how to proceed, so for now we're just going one day at a time and try to follow Johnnie's lead.
Sleeping: For the past month, she slept through the night (8:30pm to 6am) nearly every night. HALLELUJAH! What a difference sleep makes! The past three nights we've been up at 4:30am and she's been ravenous, so we might be hitting another growth spurt. Soon we will be sharing clothes.
Other milestones: Still no teeth. No signs of any desire to crawl, though she scoots around and rolls to her desired destinations. She's starting to be able to muscle herself up to a sitting position, and occasionally trying (unsuccessfully as yet) to pull herself to stand on various objects. Her balance on her feet is hilariously terrible, and when we practice walking she takes one tiny step with her left foot followed by one GIANT step with her right, so we go around in circles.
So, here we are, eight months in... still in disbelief that we are even parents, though we love her ever so.