I called my sister in the morning because I still felt awful and was scared. I knew that my niece had a nasty flu a week or so earlier and wanted to see how long her symptoms lasted. For some reason the throwing up is always in the middle of the night. I didn't throw up again but still didn't feel quite right. I was probably dehydrated. When Michelle and I had our morning nap I felt a million times better. Being on no sleep didn't help. I just took it easy the rest of the day and didn't eat much. Even with the birthday cake (homemade chocolate cake is pretty hard to resist and normally I'd have a huge piece!) I only had half a piece.
My Dad is always excited to see his youngest granddaughter and Michelle is happy to see him too. She loves when he lifts her up in the air. My parents feel so blessed to have seven grandchildren. They really thought (as I certainly did!) that Reggie would be the last one since my brother Chris and I were certain we weren't having children and May and Mike weren't planning on any more. Michelle was definitely the biggest and best surprise of my life. It's nice to visit with family and have several extra pairs of arms to hold her. She would reach for my Dad, then my Mom, then back to me. She was enjoying all the attention.
Auntie May, Uncle Chris and Auntie Barb all had turns holding her too. Everyone commented on how good she was. She had been an angel on the drive over too. Some days I really can't complain. Then other days she's a little monster. You just never know how it's going to go. It was a relief to have her go easy on me on a day when I wasn't feeling 100% though. In the morning I felt so rough I almost thought I should just stay home but I didn't want to miss the celebration. My sister suggested I just eat very little. She also reminded me that at least at my Mom's there would be other people to hold Michelle. Trying to carry her when I felt weak and dizzy was the biggest challenge of being ill. Whatever the bug was it seemed to work its way out of my system thankfully. I just hope it wasn't anything anyone else could catch. If we all stayed home when someone was sick we'd probably never see each other though. Dad had a bit of a cough. James had a cold. With a big family chances are someone will have something at any given time.
Michelle is officially 8 months old now. I'm seeing changes already. She's sleeping a little better. She's pooping up a storm so she must be getting enough to eat. She has four meals a day -- cereal for breakfast, meat and veggies or fruit for lunch, meat and fruit for dinner, and oatmeal in the evening. I had heard that you can start babies on finger foods at 8 months so I thought I'd try giving her a couple of Cheerios to see what she would do. It was good practice for her fine motor skills picking up the little Os with her thumb and forefinger but after 15 minutes of playing with the cereal it was clear that they would never make it into her mouth. It's ironic when she puts EVERYTHING in her mouth that she wouldn't put food in. My Mom said that she's not used to having anything that small which is true and I guess it's a blessing if she's cautious about putting small items in her mouth. I finally put one of the Cheerios in her mouth for her. She screwed up her face like "What on Earth is this?" and started to gag. That was enough for me. I'm going to wait until she's 9 months old to try finger foods again. I'm certainly not going to push if she's not ready. She's eating the baby food pretty well (the few things that she likes at least -- cereal, sweet potatoes with turkey and pears being her favourites) and seems healthy. She's nursing every 3 hours through the day now and every 2-3 hours through the night.
They say that "a little knowledge" is dangerous. When it comes to babies, "a little mobility" is even more dangerous. Now that Michelle can move around, it's very scary. She pulls herself along like a caterpillar. I keep the cellar door closed now (it used to be open all the time so the cat could come and go from her litter box. Now she has to cry at the door) just in case because Michelle can move surprisingly fast. Now I even have to worry about her standing and falling when I turn my head for a second. She was playing nicely in the living room on the blanket with her toys, or so I thought. I went into the kitchen for a second and when I looked back, to my shock, MICHELLE WAS STANDING! ON HER OWN! She had pulled herself up for the first time on her own and was standing holding onto the ottoman. I raced over to her but it was too late. Thank God I had pillows propped against the TV stand or she would have whacked her head against the glass doors as she fell. The problem is it would take 100,000 pillows to block every hard surface on the main floor. I told my Mom and she just laughed. "That's why all of my kids had trips to the hospital for stitches. You can't prevent accidents from ever happening." Today she's pulling up on her own, next thing I know she'll be standing alone then taking her first wobbly steps and I'll have my heart in my throat the whole time. I don't want her to get hurt. But I do want her to learn and grow. She has been having fun exploring the living room. She pulled half the DVDs off the bottom shelf. I figured it wasn't doing any harm other than she was chewing on a couple of the boxes. I put the kids movies on the bottom shelf because I thought that would end up happening. At least it entertains her for a bit. I've tried to remove anything that can really hurt her other than of course the hardwood floor itself and the furniture.
Now that I'm a mother myself I appreciate my parents more and feel closer to my family than ever before. Though I'm a single Mom it's nice to know that I'm not alone and that I have their love and support. Time is going by so fast. I can't believe we've already celebrated Michelle's first Christmas and Easter. Her First Birthday will be just around the corner. I can't imagine what she'll be doing by then. Hopefully she doesn't get into too much trouble along the way...