8 Months

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While Luke’s physical growth has naturally slowed down (he’s still getting bigger, but no longer at a growing out of onesies in a week pace), his developmental growth during June and July has been amazing to watch unfold. Not only can he stay seated, now he’s picked up getting himself into a seated position, Army crawling to get to a toy is now darting across the room to follow a person, and he’s actively working on pulling himself up to his knees. Luke is quite vocal and has been piecing together how to communicate with us. A lot of that communication entails patting things (usually one of our backs or the floor) to get attention or to indicate that he wants something. As of the past couple of days he’s also taken a new interest in his hair (see photo above). Another big area where we see daily development is Luke’s interaction with his toys. Some of them take a little more time to figure out (like the cash register that’s probably meant for a kid older than Luke), but we’ve yet to introduce something that he couldn’t eventually figure out. I was floored when he started hitting the correct buttons on the cash register toy and spinning this dial on one of his toy guitars.

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Luke has a healthy appetite and strong desire to try new foods. He and Mike have a dinner ritual where they sit next to each other while Mike shares tiny pieces of food from his plate with Luke. It looks like so far the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree, Luke has tried a few of our dinners that have had a little bit of Franks Red Hot mixed in and loves it (don’t worry, it’s not too spicy if I’ll eat it). In addition to trying new foods, Luke has gotten to eat at new places. My grandmother Mimi has been in town and twice has gone out to brunch with Luke, Tory and myself (Mike tagged along the second time too). Taking Luke to public restaurants with indoor seating has been good practice for our upcoming vacation. We’ve learned a few helpful lessons: start packing smaller spoons in the diaper bag, ask the waitress to bring out Luke’s food (so far it’s been yogurt) before our food arrives, and that his attention span lasts until just before the check comes – so we’ll stick to one course for the time being.

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Taking the 8 Month Trumpet photos was an adventure (much like Month 7). Now that he’s so active, getting similar shots month to month is getting increasingly difficult. I think I took about 30 photos total today, instead of the 70+ from the months where he just laid still next to the trumpet. I just have to stay 3 steps ahead of him and work around whatever Luke decides that he’s going to do. For example in the image above, I got about 3 photos of Luke in that position before he wanted to sit up on his own and touch the trumpet (like in the two photos below). He’s a very ‘busy baby’ and is pretty much only sitting still when we’re watching the street traffic or sleeping haha.

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I did manage to snap a few shots of Luke sitting next to the trumpet like in Month 7. In order to keep him from repeatedly knocking the trumpet over (I don’t want Mike to nix using this silver trumpet which isn’t as nice as the the trumpet I was originally using, but apparently still a much nicer trumpet than the other two brass trumpets that we have), I gave Luke an extra trumpet mouthpiece to play with while he sat. It worked, phew! The only thing I need to make a mental note of for next month is to watch the angle that I take the photo, I think the camera was up higher this month than it was last month.

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The other evening after Luke went to bed I reminisced to Mike about how far we’ve come since Luke was born. How we had to wake up every couple of hours to feed him, how it took 45 minutes to wake him up enough to get him to drink. How we used to try to get him to stay awake for 10 minutes after he was done drinking, just so we’d have a little bit of ‘awake time’ with him before falling back to sleep. Mike was astonished at how quickly he’d developed ‘baby amnesia’ to the zombie-like state that we lived in those first couple of weeks. One of my favorite bloggers to follow frequently says that the age her daughter is currently is the most fun age yet, and now I get it. Each milestone brings a new level of fun and interaction to your relationship with your child, making each month that passes “the most fun age yet”. When you’ve got a newborn snuggled up in your arms you wonder how it could possibly get any better than that moment, then your 3 month old is smiling at you (or gas), then your 5 month old is hysterically laughing with you for a reason neither of you know, then you’ve got an 8 month old whose face lights up when you come in the room and reaches out his arms for you to pick him up for a hug.

Seven Months and Nothing Was Ever the Same Again

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In the span of a week and a half, Luke mastered sitting up, crawling and using his vowels (insert what’s sounding suspiciously like dada here). With those new skills his curiosity for the world around him has heightened. As I write this, he’s occupied examining and scratching every square inch of our new living room carpet, despite his toys being readily available. He’s also babbling to the carpet – it sounds like a very engaging conversation.

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If Luke could will his own teeth to sprout, I think he’d be sporting a full mouth of them by now (he currently has none). Every night at dinner he looks longingly at whatever we’re eating (especially if there’s meat on the plate) and then looks up at us with the biggest sad eyes as if to say, “where’s my plate?”. With the exception of a few things that either need to be a certain temperature per his tastes (peas), or that he flat out doesn’t like (beets), Luke’s a great eater. This morning he wolfed down the bananas and Greek yogurt that I made him, getting fussy if I didn’t have the next spoonful ready for him before he finished swallowing what he already had (with non-banana foods it takes a little longer and there’s no fussy impatience).

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We’re finding a good balance around the house thanks in part to consistent cat napping (usually 3-4 a day) and being able to entertain himself, I’m able to accomplish more for Studio255 and around the house even on days that Mike isn’t around to watch Luke while I work. There are still times/days that I feel overwhelmed (who wouldn’t with a baby, a job, a company to run, and a house to keep up), but more often than not Luke and I are now starting to function as a well-oiled machine. Part of that might have been the recent cleaning spree that I went on, which made things easier to find, easier to just straighten up in passing and overall more calming.

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I knew before I even set up for this month’s trumpet photos that it was time to stop using Mike’s fancy trumpet (thankfully, he’s got 4 trumpets for me to choose from). I pulled one of the older silver trumpets so it would look similar to the one that we used for months 0-6. Since Luke’s sitting up on his own now, I wanted his trumpet photo to feature him sitting up. After I took the first photo (which is also the first photo on this blog post) I decided that the trumpet needed to be more next to Luke instead of behind him. Well, that was the first and last photo that I got of Luke calmly sitting next to the trumpet. The rest of the photos pretty much all look like this:

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and this:

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It’s a good thing I thought to switch out the trumpet! I also tried moving it to the other side of him and in front of him:

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And even shot a few of him laying down – though he no longer just lays there and smiles like he used to (note how far the trumpet has to be away from him to keep him even remotely in the spot that I put him down):

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So I ultimately decided that the Month 7 photo would be what best represented where he is developmentally:

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