Off the Charts

After my last post, it’s time to return to the main subject of this blog: Elena. She is growing and developing at such a rapid pace that it’s hard to keep up with her. We’re travelling to New York for the Thanksgiving Day Parade. While there we’ll see both sides of the family, and Elena has a host of new tricks to show them.

Just recently we started to see signs of real crawling, but every day it becomes a more established form of movement for Elena. She still shows a strong dominance from the right leg, which she always used as the drive leg for her army crawl. Now she kneels on her left leg and plants her right foot on the floor, pushing off on it to move forward.

She’s also much more comfortable pulling herself up into a standing position against any convenient object of the right size. If I’m sitting on the floor, she’ll crawl onto my lap and then pull up using my shoulders so that we’re face-to-face. Our dining table is currently full of Christmas package preparation, so we’ve been eating on the couch. Elena always wants to know what’s going on, so she’ll pull herself up and then use her extremely long arms to try to grab some dinner. Her opinion seems to be that if we’re eating, she should be eating too.

Her final new skill, the one designed to elicit the greatest response, is waving hello or goodbye. Elena frequently shakes her hands all around, but usually it just looks like she’s a football ref saying “Touchdown!” Now she’ll hold her hand in front of herself while opening and shutting it, frequently when she sees someone else doing the same. She doesn’t do it all the time, but with a little bit of prompting she’ll usually get into it.

Last Friday we took Elena to the doctor for her nine month appointment. She currently stands 29.3 inches tall, and weighs 24 lbs, 9 oz. Her weight and height are still fairly proportional to each other: she’s at the 95th percentile for height, and off-the-charts for weight. The doctor said that it’s commong for infants to thin out a little bit as they become more mobile with crawling and walking and use more energy.

Everything else at the doctor’s appointment went very smoothly. Elena didn’t fuss at all, except for one little yelp when she got her flu shots. She got one in each leg, for the seasonal and swine flus, and didn’t cry at all after the second one. She was pretty sleepy by the end of the appointment, and went right down for a nap when we got home. Jenny mentioned to the doctor that it seems like Elena’s been sleeping a lot, especially during the day. The doctor said that as long as it doesn’t affect her nighttime sleep, it’s fine for her to take whatever naps she wants. She has a lot of development happening, both mentally and physically, and needs sleep to assist those processes.

As the doctor examined Elena she commented on her good temperament. She said that it’s very unusual for a baby to be so good-natured, even while being poked and prodded. Elena wiggled a little bit while the doctor shone the light in her nose and ear, but didn’t complain. Mostly she wanted to smile and talk to the doctor and get lots of attention.

We hope that she maintains her sunny temperament this week in New York City, because it will certainly be a new and different experience, with lots of time outside in the cold. But Elena loves to experience new things, and she’ll have lots of relatives to help care for her, so we’re hoping for the best.

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