Since Carter doesn't have any concept of Christmas or when it is, we went ahead and put one of his presents together: a Radio Flyer wagon that my mom got him. It's so much cooler than those wagons were when I was little! It's all plastic, for one thing, so all the edges are round. The bottom folds up and makes two seats (with seat belts), so it's a lot safer to ride around in than the ones when I was little.
The moment I took it out of the box, Carter was very interested in it. He wanted to pull up on the wagon part, pick up the wheels and chew on them, and so on. When I started putting it together, he actually scooted all the way across the floor to "help". He was so "helpful" that Doug had to hold him for a while, and then he watched me work on it with wide eyes. When it was finally done, we strapped him in and took him for a ride:
LOL, look at that living room! It's been taken over by baby toys!
I pulled him around in it for a while, and he really seemed to like it. Afterwards, he wanted to stand next to it and hold onto it for a while.
He can even pull up on it to standing, if it doesn't roll too far, heh. So I think this is a hit!
Standing is his favorite thing these days. He is learning to pull up on more and
more things, and can stand for a long time. He will occasionally take steps to either side, and will let go with one hand to turn around and look at things behind him. Every now and then, he will let go and stand all by himself for a second. It's almost like he doesn't realize he's doing it.
He's not really crawling, but he gets in the crawling position and rocks quite a bit. His arms are definitely getting stronger. He is also good now at going from his belly to his hands and knees to a sitting position. It's funny that when he's on his back sometimes he'll get frustrated and kick his arms and legs, as if he doesn't remember that he can roll onto his tummy and sit up if he wants. I've never seen him go from his back to sitting (via belly, hand and knees). It's almost like that's one too many steps to think about.
When he eats, he's now starting to swallow food more and more. He will fill his mouth up at dinner and then work on that mouthful for as long as an hour, but he will eventually swallow it all. It's interesting that he's finally learning that food is for eating. Today he had a piece of cheese for the first time, a good sharp Irish cheddar. It was a pretty big piece, at least a cubic inch, and he ate the whole thing! It's amazing how much he can chew without teeth. He's also started nursing more lately, so it may be that he's hitting some sort of growth spurt. It's nice not to have to tie him down in a dark room to nurse him any more. For a while there he was so easily distracted that it was a bit of an ordeal. I sometimes hear people say, "My baby weaned at 8 months", but the fact is that babies almost never wean themselves before a year. That distracted phase can make nursing a bit more challenging, but it passes after a few weeks, and they go right back to the boob. Carter is happily in the "right back" phase, with gusto. ;-)
It seems like he's going through a really fun phase right now. He's intensely curious about everything, and is almost always happy and cheerful. This evening he spent a good half hour squealing and laughing at Doug, who played peek-a-boo with him and made funny faces. He doesn't get as fussy as he did even a couple of weeks ago. I'm going to try to enjoy this while it lasts!
Finally, here is a picture of him riding Herbie, his dino rocker. This was a baby shower gift from my Aunt Pam and Uncle Scott, and Carter has just recently gotten big enough to play on it. He likes to ride on it and stand by it, and will poke at all its various horns with a great deal of fascination. Here is a picture of him riding Herbie tonight:
In other news, it's COLD here! It was 31 degrees at 2:00 this afternoon, and that almost never happens here. I hope everyone out there is staying warm!