Plum at 10 months

Goes from horizontal to sitting up on her own! It is shocking and amazing to look down and see my baby sitting up when she wasn’t just a moment before.

Still rolls most places, but now combines rolling with army crawling. I love how much she hurries when she sees something she wants.

Claps all the time, even on command; loves songs that have clapping integrated like “If you’re happy and you know it.” She also does other gestures as part of that song: claps her feet and puts arms up overhead for “hooray.”

Waves, sometimes belatedly, but fairly consistently when asked whether she’d like to say bye-bye

Loves to repeat consonant sounds over and over: ba, ba, ba, na, na, na, da, da, da

Answers most things we say with one emphatic, “Da.”

Sometimes adds a “t” sound on the end of da, like “dat.”

Has two bottom teeth, and doesn’t mind when we brush them

Expert at pincer grasping everything, even slippery foods and tiny pieces of leaves and pet fur, which she then eats

Still eats everything. New this month: chicken noodle soup, turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing.

Often holds a piece of food up high out to one side and looks at it, then brings it to her mouth with a flourish

Laughs delightedly and often. Grins hugely when she sees family members, especially the pets.

Loves to interact with all people (at the fabric store, grocery store, etc.) and especially loves other babies.

I hold my phone as if to take a photo and she turns on the cheese immediately.

Can turn board book pages if I first lift the page up and then ask if she’d like to turn the page.

I have a podcast!

If you’re like me, you’re alternately watching Twitter, the TV, and the chocolate chip cookies you’re baking to combat your anxiety (ahem). Let me offer you what I hope is a fun alternative to election coverage: my new podcast.

Called Friendlier, it’s a collaboration with my dear friend, Sarah. Every episode, we’ll catch up on life lately, talk about what we’re reading and eating, and chat about something specific. In our first episode—released today!—that something is our college experiences.

We’ll release new episodes every other Tuesday. You can listen on our website, on iTunes, and soon on Stitcher (we hope). If you like what you hear, please subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts, and either way, we want to hear what you think!friendlierlogoitunes

Plum at nine months

She met (and was held by!!) President Obama this month. Pretty much the most incredible day ever.

Loves all food. Lentils, cheese, lasagna, bread, et cetera. She is also getting really good at picking food up on her own and tries out the pincer grasp more and more.

Still happy foot claps for food and other exciting things.

Rolls all over and changes directions fast by pushing with her feet while on her belly.

Hangs out a lot on her side in sort of a lounging pose with her top leg bent and the sole of that foot on the floor (looks a little like Burt Reynolds in a certain centerfold photo).

Sometimes gets up on knees and elbows and rocks back and forth (go, baby, go).

Sits much more steadily in her high chair and in our laps, but doesn’t sit up on her own from lying down yet.

Claps more and has waved a few times.

Conversational and quick to giggle. Mimics many sounds and even convincingly repeated “Obama” once.

Has two bottom teeth.

Loves to pull the dog’s fur and try to eat it.

No longer has a dream feed (one last feed after she goes to bed, usually while she is pretty sleepy). We are sad to not see her after she goes to bed, but she doesn’t seem to miss it.

Plum at eight months

Her tongue is out all. the. time. She likes to stick it out and grin or talk.

Loves to look in mirrors. Sticks her tongue out and grins or squeals when she sees herself in the car mirror. 

New food of note: prunes. We introduced them because this baby loves cheese and eggs, but her digestive system needed some help with these heavier items, and luckily she loves the prunes, too. 

Eats and loves most things, including peanut butter, black beans, and sardines. Does a happy foot clap for most foods. 

Started refusing her third nap some days and lasts pretty well from 2:30 or 3 until bedtime between 6:30 and 7 pm. 

Inexpertly and sometimes a little desperately claps, which seems like a logical extension of her love of holding her own hands. 

Blows raspberries all the time, especially while rolling around in bed and refusing the third nap. She also contributed an impeccably timed raspberry to a conversation about one of the candidates in the upcoming presidential election.

Laughs much more readily.

Leans toward us to be taken out of her car seat. 

Deliberately rolls with even more purpose, including off the changing pad, which she didn’t used to be able to do, and over to the Roomba, which she turned on. 

Has one tooth (lower left front). 

Chatty as ever.

On her back, pushes with her feet to lift her hips into sort of a baby bridge pose. On her tummy, uses her feet as leverage to change directions while rolling.

Why I am glad we hired a doula

I wrote this list for a friend the other day, and I thought others might benefit from reading it. Our doula was wonderful, and I have no regrets about hiring her.

1) Being able to contact her (an extremely knowledgeable source for all things pregnancy and childbirth related) whenever. I know Andrew texted with her a lot when I was in early labor and she helped him to understand what kind of progress I was probably making.

2) The prenatal meetings. I honestly was stressed out about scheduling these at the time because it just felt like more to do, but in retrospect they were great. We had two and I liked getting to know her and having her reassure us that things were normal and help us think of things we hadn’t considered.

3) The help she gave us to think through our birth plan.

4) That she came to our house to be with me while Andrew went to the grocery store and installed the car seat so that I wouldn’t labor alone and helped us decide when we should go to the birth center. Again her vast experience of birth came into play here.

5) The position and comfort measure suggestions she made during labor (more of us using her knowledge!). She also made sure I stayed hydrated and nourished. And I think she cleaned out my puke bucket.

6) Having her help breastfeeding after Plum was born.

7) The postnatal visit. She brought curry and it was really awesome to have someone a little bit emotionally removed from the birth who could help us remember things and process and also reassure us that things were normal (like the baby refusing to sleep anywhere but on us)

8) The very positive feelings that I have about Plum’s birth. I can’t 100 percent credit the doula with this, but there is evidence that continuous labor support makes a birthing woman less likely to have negative feelings about childbirth.

Plum at seven months

Rolls everywhere! Onto all surfaces. She’s able to change directions by twisting her torso, so she can sort of roll toward things. It doesn’t always work and sometimes she ends up exactly in the opposite place as where she wanted to be, but since there are now toys all over the floor she generally just goes with it and grabs whatever is closest.

She’s eaten so many foods: bananas (chunks), apples, pears, squash, lentils (mashed up, not puréed), oatmeal, barley, and more. She still loves to feed herself with the spoon, and is learning to pick things up. Also enjoys drinking water from a small open cup or slurping it from a straw if we hold a finger over the other end.

New noises include more consonant sounds (ka, ya), squeaking, shrieking, purposeful smacking, and lots of talking with her hand or something else in her mouth.

No teeth yet, but evidence of one or two on the bottom very close to popping up.

Wants to touch the cats and dog so badly! The cats cleverly stay just out of reach. The dog is less clever, so we either watch them closely or keep dog and Plum separate.

Enjoys: books (the Global Babies series is tops), her dad’s return from work, being naked, other babies—especially my young nannying charge, eating