Saturday, September 13, 2008

The sun just came out.

The hurricane totally missed us. It was overcast and a little windy today, but we didn't get any rain at all. The sun just came out and brightened up the whole living room. So I guess that's that. Houston got hammered, from what I hear.

Anyway, we just had a relaxing day. Carter's been napping well this week, and that makes bedtime SO much easier. He naps best when he's physically on me, and I find that I really don't mind at all. It's actually nice to get a few hours of cuddle time with him every day, and once he's asleep I can surf the web and check email, or just nap right along with him. Having a little time away from him a few days a week has really allowed me to relax and enjoy the days I spend with him even more.

He's been a little more relaxed lately -- he'd been going through a phase where he needed to be held or entertained pretty much constantly (completely developmentally normal, according to my favorite book The Wonder Weeks). It was pretty exhausting, but now he will play quietly by himself some. He also seems content to sit in my lap and play with a toy, or study his hands, or babble about whatever is on his mind.

Here he is hanging out on the couch. I don't know what it is about this picture, but I love it. I think it's something about the way he's got his leg up in the air!

He's starting squealing loudly when he's happy (or tickled), and it completely freaks the cats out. Lucy will rush over to him with a look of concern and sniff his face, even circle him carefully, as if she's looking for whatever is hurting him. It's very sweet! And he just grins and squeals at her, which freaks her out even more. He's awakened me the last few mornings with his babbling. I would really like to sleep a bit longer, but by 7:30 he's making lots of noise and playing with my nose and hair, and I pretty much have to respond to that. :-P

Carter really likes being outside all of the sudden. If he's crying and nothing else works, taking him out on the deck will always do the trick. The nanny has noticed this as well, and Doug has even braved the mosquitoes at dusk to sit on the deck with him. And since the weather is finally approaching tolerable at certain times of day, I decided to go ahead and get a jogging stroller. I want to start walking with him a few days a week. I really need the exercise, and I think he will like it. We went for a test walk to the mailbox, and he seemed to find it interesting, despite being very hot:

It has speakers built into the canopy so you can plug in an mp3 player and play music for your child. Isn't that wild? I'm just excited about having a cupholder for a water bottle and a place to stash my phone and keys while walking.

In general, Carter seems to be much more aware of the world around him these days. He studies things closely, like his toys, his hands and feet, and our faces and hands. He's suddenly much more adept at using his hands than he used to be; he reaches for things instead of just blindly grabbing for them, for example. He doesn't seem to have the pincer grasp down yet, but he's getting there. He has started playing with things using his feet lately, which is really cute. We have a Taggie soccer ball, and he really likes kicking it while you dangle it over him. He also seems to be watching me a lot more lately. When I am across the room, his eyes are locked on me, and when I'm out of his view, he will sometimes get upset.

He's getting better at sitting all the time. He will now sit upright for a few seconds at a time, something you can see in this photo:

That was taken when we went out to lunch today, once it was clear the weather was going to be fine. I've been trying to put him in restaurant high chairs when we go out, but he doesn't seem to like them much. After just a few minutes, he'll cry and I end up holding him anyway. So today I tried something new. We sat in a booth, and I just sat him next to me, with the diaper bag on the other side of him for some extra support. (As you can see above.) And it seemed to work. We had a fairly leisurely lunch, and he was happy the entire time! It was one of those restaurants with lots of interesting objects hanging from the walls and ceiling, and he spent the entire time staring around.

I think he might feel a bit exposed in a high chair. His preference is to be close to me in new situations, and sitting next to me in the booth seems to provide him the security he needs. I'm sure that will only work for a little while -- when he gets mobile, he won't be content to just sit quietly next to me. But maybe by then he won't mind a high chair as much!

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