We sure love this little girl. How is it possible that she is now 7 months old?
Much to her mama's delight, Clarabelle seems less interested in television than she used to be. We let her watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade and ever since, she might glance at the screen for a little bit if it happens to be on, but she doesn't fight to see it anymore as she now has other, more interesting things to occupy her time, like exploring the house. Clara's most recent discoveries include doorstops (which she likes to flick and hear them go bwuunngggg), the brim of dad's BYU ballcap (if you put in on your own head, she will reach for it until she gets the brim of in her mouth even though the hat is still on your head and then you can watch her little tongue flick out under the brim while she chews and licks at it like a gecko), how to fight being put into her carseat by arching her body (rather than just yelling at us like she used to - she never has had much love for that thing), and how to climb over low objects (like pillows, legs, or computer bags). Judging by the amount of attention she gives when I am holding and singing to her, she appears to like "Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer" better than any other song I sing for her, including "I Love to see the Temple," "Home on the Range," "I am a Child of God," "Clementine," and "Jingle Bells."
Clara had a cold this past week. She is recovering now, but every time she sneezed she ended up with grody snot wads coating her upper lip which she tried to rub away with the back of her hand while I fought with her so that I could get it with a tissue instead. I am not sure which makes her more annoyed - the snot on her lip, me holding her arms down so she doesn't rub it all over her face and into her hair, or me constantly wiping the mess off with tissue when her poor little nose is red and sore. She also still has a not-fun-sounding cough and it woke her up at 5:15 Sunday morning. I went in and rocked her, but she seemed wide awake so I made her a bottle and started feeding her. After just a few sips she started coughing again and then whimpered and cried a sad little wail for a minute before she felt ready for the bottle again. It was the saddest thing. Amazingly, for being a little under the weather, she remains her cheerful and curious self and hasn't been fussing or crying about not feeling good.
Every night for Clara's bath, we undress her in the living room while the tub is filling with water. Then I hold her out in front of me at arm's length while her legs churn like a Kenyan in a marathon and she squeals in delight as I march around the room singing "Naked Baby Parade," which is a song I made up where the lyrics pretty much only consist of the line "Naked Baby Parade!" repeated over and over in a marching rhythm. She parades around the kitchen, legs a-flailing, over to her daddy for a quick kiss, past the mirror so that she can say hi to the naked baby who hangs out there, and then into the warm water of her bubble bath. It is the best parade ever.
Clara's hair is now so long that I will put it into a high ponytail in the back sometimes. That hairdo doesn't last through naps as well as pigtails will, but it is awfully cute on her so I do it every now and then anyway.
Clara can now get from a crawling position into a sitting position all on her own without any trouble. She has started climbing over obstacles that are in her way if they are not too large. Clara has also decided to start exploring the house a lot more and has ventured into the kitchen, the guest bedroom, and the office on her own. Sunday night, Paul and I were sitting in the living room talking while she was playing when she decided to head off down the hallway. Since she has previously been a little tentative about going very far down the hallway and since all the lights were off in the bedrooms and the hallway room, we both got quiet and just watched her little form progress toward the office, her hands slapping on the wood floor as she went. It is funny how something like crawling down a hallway further than she has ever crawled before makes us so proud as parents.
Our seven month old Clara-girl loves to stand. She hasn't figured out how to get to standing position very well yet, although she has accomplished it a couple of times, but what she really likes is for mom or dad to hold her little hands and adjust so that she doesn't lose her balance while she practices standing. She loves "walking"' this way with us following her around as she wobbles here and there.
Clara is not doing so good at church these days. She used to be able to take naps in her carseat or our arms in meetings, but now church goes right through her naptime and she struggles and yelps and wants down, then up, then down, then up the whole time until finally she falls asleep with 10 minutes of church left, which is hard because then she wakes up when we get home and essentially does without her mid-day nap on Sundays. Our meeting time changes to 9:00 a.m. in January though, so hopefully we will have an easier time with her at church in not too long.
Clara seems to be developing a little more preference about what she eats and will not hesitate to push food away now if she doesn't feel like eating or if she doesn't like it. She doesn't have any teeth yet and still no signs of them, so she is just getting the pureed baby foods still in the flavor combos and I try to give her fresh fruit in her mesh food thing to nosh on as often as I can.
Clara wakes up between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m. almost every day and goes to sleep between 7:30 and 9:00 p.m. She naps for an hour and a half each morning, then takes two shorter 30-45 minutes naps in the afternoon, one at 1:00 p.m. and the other at 3:30 or 4:00 p.m.
Clara has discovered a love for jewelry - especially my pearl necklace or dangly earrings - and high heels - which she constantly tries to chew on if I leave them where she can get at them after getting home from work or church.
She still loves "eensy, weensy spider" and is starting to really enjoy "trot, trot to Boston" and any kind of ballroom dancing with mom. Her other new favorite game is to chase or be chased around the house. She giggles her little head off as Paul runs away from me with her while she looks over his shoulder back at me coming after them with fingers wiggling. When I "catch" them, she laughs and then they start "chasing" me. She has also figured out how to "run away" from us herself by crawling as fast as she can while we loudly clomp after her until we grab and tickle her.
We are looking forward to playing Santa for her in just a few days now...