So here we are at month number six, half a year...wow. Six months of photo shoots, six months of stickers, and six months of a whole lot of fun with sweet little Avery here. As you can see from the pics, our photo shoots get more and more fun each month as her personality just keeps growing and her smiles are now paired with laughs and babbles. Long gone are the days of her tipping over in the chair like in month one, this was this first month that Avery was able to sit all by herself in the chair, which she seemed pretty darn happy about.
|"Ha ha! I'm 6 months old!"|
|6 Month Stats|
As with every month, there are usually some highlights of the photo shoot. This month, we had several. The first is that she loved playing with her toes. Since she was "Miss All Grown Up" and sitting up during the pics, her feet were what she often grabbed to keep herself entertained (and balanced). Love those toes!
Other highlights include....
|Chewing on her hands.|
Another funny thing she did was taking breaks from sitting up by "relaxing back" in the chair and then popping back forward again. She did this several times in a row, silly girl!
|"Just taking a break guys."|
|"Don't worry, I'm back!"|
|Showing off her sitting up skills.|
Teething: Last month I mentioned that she was cutting two teeth and although it was a struggle to get a pic then, it was much easier this month, which you can see below. I'd love to post more about some alternative teething remedies we've been using other than her amber teething necklace, but until I find time to do that in my schedule, I've got to tell you that my must-have item is Hyland's Homeopathic Teething Tablets...couldn't live without these things!
|"See my little pearly whites?"|
Daddy's Birthday: Also this month we celebrated Brandon's 32nd birthday, his first with Avery here, so that was a lot of fun. Here are some photos of the birthday celebration. We got the party started the weekend before his birthday at his parents house, with the usual cake, candles, and presents.
|First "family" birthday shot.|
|"Hey guys, it's my dad's birthday!"|
|"Yep, he's pretty cool."|
|"No smiles for you mom...it's not your birthday."|
|Brandon's "green" birthday wrapping and decor.|
Oh yeah, it doesn't hurt to have this little cutie help me celebrate as well!
For one of my presents to him, I made this picture-collage from an idea I found on Pinterest (oh Pinterest how I love you!). After seeing the idea online, all I did was pick up some big letters from a local craft store, took Avery's pictures holding..and eating them, and then had them printed and I put them into this frame. I was really happy with how it turned out and Brandon loved it too! I thought it would be fun to re-take this picture again each year and see how she changes.
|Brandon's b-day present from Avery and I.|
|You can bet there was some good |
gluten-free, vegan Mongolian BBQ food!
|The birthday crew after dinner.|
Although the word "weaning" may make you think I'm stopping breastfeeding, I'm not. I continue to nurse her just as often as I always would, just now I offer her some form of solid food at least once or twice a day while I'm eating my meals. Towards the end of month 5, Avery really started showing an interest in the food I was eating and would crawl towards it, reach towards it, and even try to grab it from me. This along with many other signs that baby-led solids talks about, lead me to believe she was ready to try some solid food.
Now you may be asking, where are the jars of baby food? Where's the purees or mashed veggies? Well, a unique aspect of baby-led solids is that there is no "baby food". You start out by giving babies, real food from day one, such as a stick of apple, slices of a banana, a stalk of broccoli, etc. And you don't chop it into ten million little pieces. The key is to actually give them the larger chunks of food so they can get practice with their fine motor skills of holding the food and bringing it to their mouth, a task that is difficult to do with finely chopped food.
Now this approach may not be for everyone, I know some people may not feel comfortable with it...it does look a bit odd to see a baby just gnawing away at a broccoli floret, but so far it's working for us. It really is just fun and stress-free, because she continues to get all the nutrition she needs from breast milk, so I don't have to make sure she eats a certain amount. She hardly eats any at this point, and mainly just chews on the food...and gets messy. Also, since she usually eats similar things to what we're having, I don't have to mess with buying jars of baby food or preparing special, homemade purees.
|Banana quarter...I leave the peel on one side to |
give her something to grip and usually that's what she
ends up chewing on.
As of now, she only eats organic fruits and vegetables, some cooked, some raw. I'm sure in the next couple of months I will continue adding some new foods to her "plate", but one thing that won't be on there for awhile will be gluten of any form. With my history of food sensitivities, especially to gluten, I feel it's best to wait until Avery is at least one or two before I even try letting her have any form of gluten. For now, it's super easy to avoid it since I'm gluten-free too and all the meals I cook are obviously gluten-free. Other things that will NEVER be on her plate are animal products of any kind...milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs, meat, you name it...this vegan baby won't be touching or eating it.
As I said before, I will post more details about this approach and how I'm making it work with Avery in the near future, but if you can't wait until then, here is an awesome blog I've been using to learn more applying this approach, and here's the book that got it all started for me: Baby-Led Weaning: Helping Your Baby to Love Good Food by Gill Rapley. Now on to some fun pictures of Avery's first "adventures with solid food"...
|Stick of pear.|
|Some cooked broccoli (with curry) and apple slices...|
interesting combo right?
|Broccoli seems to be her favorite right now since it is the |
easiest for her to hold and it can be flavored lots of
5K Race: Another fun thing we did this month was to do a 5K road race...which we walked. Now this is not just any old race, this is a race my mom and I have done for 3 years in a row now, and so it was only fitting that we do it again this year with Avery. So we broke out the stroller and headed off to the race.
|"I'm ready to race guys!"|
|Our racing crew...with one extra this year!|
|"Hey grandpa! I think I like cross country!"|
|"Just give me a purse to play with and I'll be good."|
|Spending some more time with "Coach Grandpa" |
and Grandma after the meet.
Growing, Growing, Gone: Well, after 6 months, we've finally done it. We've filled an entire storage tub full of all the clothes Avery has outgrown. I bought the container around 4 months when the "too small clothes" started bursting out of drawers and it took me about 2 more months to fill it up, but now...it is officially full! Before sending it on down to storage in my basement, we took a few last "farewell" pictures. All I can say is, boy do babies grow fast!
|"Oh yeah, I'm a big girl now!"|
|"Uh wait mom, I like this one!"|
|A comparison of how she is now, next to a "newborn" size |
onesie...it looks so tiny!
|"Big A" the crawler.|
|All kinds of new things have caught her attention,|
like the cable box and DVD player.
|And vents...and cords...time to baby-proof this green house!|
|One of her many facial expressions.|
|Warmly waiting with grandpa while we got the pumpkin |
ready for her.
|Thinking about it....|
|"Bam! I'm in a pumpkin!"|
So there you have it, an update on my little six-month old pumpkin baby. Whew...that was quite a busy month and it's not over yet! Look for some more Halloween pictures to come soon...