Let's see... what's new around here?
Movement: After using the commando-style belly-to-the-ground crawl for a while, she switched to a belly-up weirdly lopsided style. She uses both hands, her left foot, and her right knee, with the right lower leg sort of tucked under her sideways. It looks awkward but she can go very fast, especially on the hardwood where the right knee slides.
For a while there she was crawling around and pulling up on drawers, occasionally accidentally pulling them open but not really trying to. Now she's deliberately getting into drawers and cabinets, so we're installing latches on things (all the really dangerous stuff is up in high cabinets, but there are still things at ground level that she shouldn't get into). We'd been putting it off because I, as an adult, can manage to open the safety latches about half the times I try, so I was not looking forward to having to try. But the screw-installed magnetic locks are actually pretty convenient once brooksmoses has been set loose upon them, so those are okay. (Apparently tricky to install on our drawers, though. Yay for clever handy brooksmoses!)
She can pull up to standing on just about anything, including flat walls (usually the mostly-glass door to the backyard, so she can look out and watch the chickens). She can cruise from handhold to handhold, although if she's going more than a step or two she usually drops and crawls instead. She can walk as far as you want if a grownup is holding her hands. She has managed unsupported standing for a second or so a few times. She's getting better at bending down to pick up a toy and standing back up without dropping it.
Teeth: About two weeks ago, the top two front teeth came in. They brought with them the adjacent two lateral incisors, which we weren't expecting, so now she has more teeth on top than on the bottom. I have some suspicions about the lower lateral incisors, though -- they ought to be next, and I think they might be soon. Chompy baby is chompy.
Opinions: Morgan has firm opinions about hats (evil), socks (for chewing, not for wearing), and the changing table (on fire; don't touch it!). She also has firm opinions about new people (awesome!), new places (interesting), and people who talk to her (double awesome!). The comment we get the most when we are out with her is "So happy!" It's true, she is a very cheerful baby. We are extremely lucky.
Today we took her to the post office to get her passport, and she charmed everyone in line with us, except for the seven-month-old, who was suspicious. But his parents thought she was great.
Activities: Morgan likes getting out and doing things. Any things; she's not picky. We've started going to the park fairly regularly, where she enjoys swinging, playing in the sand, eating the sand, finding little rocks and sticks in the sand which she would like to eat if only I didn't keep taking them away, pounding on the play structure, and watching other kids and/or their parents.
She has just recently begun to show some interest in looking at the pages of books, rather than exclusively stealing them to chew on. Yay!
Right now she is very interested in balls and other things that roll. This stacking toy from her abuelo is about three of her favorites; she'll always pick some part of it when she's pulling toys off the shelf. Other favorites: buckets, stuffed animals (especially Pink Bear and Moose, but she's gotten fond of Dudley lately too), and wooden stacking rings. She's not anywhere near stacking them yet, but she loves chewing on them.
Clothes: I just washed the next batch of gifts and hand-me-downs. The new stuff in circulation is mostly 12 month sized (!). All the pants are getting short; she has clearly got andres_s_p_b's legs. I bought her one more pair so she's set for right now, but I'm not sure whether I should bother buying pants in the next size since the weather's warming up. Just onesies may be better for summer.
Sleep: It's fun to create little theories about what, if anything, affects her nap schedule. I can test my hypotheses, assure myself that they're true, and then create a whole new set of hypotheses the next week! Right now we appear to be looking at either a nap at 11:00 and a nap at 4:00, or a nap at 2:00 and a nap right before dinner, depending on... wake up time? busyness of morning? a coin flip? This week Morgan and I have been covering the dog's morning walks, which means she gets a little walking nap around 8:30 and seems to encourage the 11:00/4:00 pattern, with the 11:00 sometimes edging closer to 12:00. This week she's been waking up a little before 7:00, although last week she was mostly sleeping past 8:00. If I knew what controlled that I'd bottle it. Or at least plan which nights I stay up late better.
Communication: She's still in the repetitive phase of babbling, but she's getting more and more expression and animation into her strings of syllables. Her favorite syllable is "da". At FOGcon, she figured out how to clap, and is fairly likely to imitate clapping. She's not imitating other gestures with any predictability yet. Ever so often we think she might be trying to sign "milk", but it doesn't seem to be associated with hunger so I think she is still just figuring out how her hands work.
Food: Morgan is strongly in favor of solid food. All the food belongs in front of her now. Now, now, now! None of this "playing with a toy" business at a restaurant, good god, parents, don't you know they serve food here? Food! Give it to me! Give it -- thank you, that's much better.
Hey what's that you're eating? It looks different. Gimme some of that, too.
And the other thing.
She particularly likes bread, spinach, hummus and other beans, and guacamole, but she is up for basically everything. Very spicy sauces are a bit much for her, but if it's not too spicy for me she is game to try it. She has a very good pincer grip and can get tiny things like grains of rice into her mouth, though she prefers the "fistful" method when possible.
She likes water a lot but hasn't figured out cups yet.
Separation anxiety: The realization that she can crawl away and leave mama to explore brought with it the horrible revelation that mama can also leave her. It's particularly bad if I am trying to have someone else watch her while I get things done around the house. I am told that she settles down fairly quickly if I leave but if I keep popping in and out of view she's upset until I hold her. She is also terrifically offended if anyone gets home from work and tries to go put things away or take their shoes off before snuggling the baby. YOU ARE HOME IT IS SNUGGLING TIME!
And that is how things are here at eight months!