Happy 11 month birthday, Monica! We can't believe that you turned 11 months old on July 29th, and that in less than a month you will have been in our lives for an entire year!
Summertime with the little Grubster has been great, and July was more of a laid back month, for a few reasons. Let's get down to some details!
We kicked off the month by taking Monica to get her very first pair of sneakers! We went to Stride Rite and had her walking abilities assessed and her feet measured in order to get the right type and size of sneakers for her still-developing feet. The sales ladies were in awe that our 10 month old was wandering around the store like a seasoned toddler. She skipped right past the first two stages of "starter" shoes and went right into a pair of real sneakers! We thought she'd take a few days to get used to having them on her feet - nope! She was running up and down the sidewalk that night, showing off her new shoes to the neighbors.
Now that she has appropriate footwear, Monica has overcome her dislike of the grass, and will happily follow us around the yard to do some light yard work. Her favorite thing is to gather up sticks and twigs so daddy doesn't run them over with the lawn mower. Occasionally, she'll try to jump in and help out with a more difficult task, but that can get a little scary....
Yikes, wrong way, Grubster!!! Point it at the plants, not at your face!!!
Phew! That was a close one! Much better, point the hose AWAY from your face.
Since the doctor cleared her at the 9 month checkup to try all foods (with the exception of honey), Monica has been trying all sorts of new foods this month. She's pretty keen on seafood - she's had crab legs and salmon - and corn on the cob is definitely topping the list as a new favorite.
She actually wanted to catch a turtle for some turtle soup up at the cabin - but it looks like daddy caught her first!
Unfortunately, not all "firsts" in this little one's life are going to be fun and smiles. Monica was running along the deck and tripped and broke her arm on the 14th. We were not even sure it was broken as her stumble itself was like any other. The difference was that she was avoiding putting any weight on the arm and would throw it out of the way when she would fall, instead of catching herself. We waited a full day to see if she would get back to normal, and then made an appointment with the pediatrician for the following morning. The doctor sent us for x-rays and confirmed it was broken, and then sent us for our first - and, dear God, hopefully last! - trip to CHOP to see an arm specialist and get her a cast. Poor baby! It was quite a trying experience for all of us, especially her. Luckily, the cast only has to stay on for a total of four weeks. We can't wait for it to be gone, everything from eating to sleeping to bathing is a big ordeal. But, at least it is pink, and as fashionable as a cast can be.
Luckily, Monica is a real trooper, and she's not letting the cast slow her down. She was right back to running and playing within a day. It was a few days for her to get used to the extra weight on the one side and to regain her balance, but she has been handling it better than we expected.
So, for the most part, we've been keeping things pretty low key for the second half of the month. Since she can't talk and tell us if the cast is getting itchy, or damp, or uncomfortable, we have to be really careful about not getting it wet or too dirty. And the weather has been a little crazy with storms threatening every few days, which has kept us from some of our regular walks. We can't risk getting stuck out in the rain with this thing.
But, not to waste the whole summer, we ordered Monica a special fully submersible cast cover. While it is primarily for bathing - she was getting stinky that first week while it was on order! - it has also enabled Monica to go swimming. Here she is in the pool for the first time:
Look at that happy smile! We definitely have a water baby on our hands, this kid cannot get enough of the pool. We were very cautious about introducing her to the water to make sure that she had a positive experience. She has surprised all of us by willing - and repeatedly - putting her own face directly into the water and then coming up giggling. Even with the cast cover, we are hesitant to fully submerge her upper shoulder for fear of water leakage, but I can tell we'll be starting swimming lessons sooner than later.
So, that's been our month of July. We wrapped up the month by celebrating my birthday. JK and Monica giving me this great new hammock. Monica loves snuggling and swinging with mommy :)