Kate's changing and growing so quickly there's no way I can keep track of all the new things she does. But I'll try.
Until now she's been an anti-snuggler. If she has any strength left in her she will use it to make sure her head is up off my shoulder and she will physically push Superman away and wail in protest if he tries to hug her tightly. Yesterday at my work's holiday party she would tuck her head down onto my shoulder in shyness (but when has she ever been shy?) for a few moments. I loved it!
She is so aware of other small children and babies and will try and engage them with everything she's got. She'll crawl to them, 'talk' to them, wave her arms at them, smile at them. The same thing goes for our dogs and cat, or any one else's pets. Her whole body is communicating hi! hello! interact with me please!
She is strong and has a very developed sense of balance. Though she isn't walking yet (she is cruising and standing unassisted) she can stand up by herself in the middle of the floor without using anything to pull up on. Just her massive thighs to take her up from a squatting position on her knees. We've tried to encourage her to take a few steps but she isn't convinced that walking is better than crawling yet. So she'll just be standing in the middle of the floor sometimes, randomly waving her arms and yelling. Silly baby.
She loves climbing and crawling through tight or difficult places. I'm always finding her under the desk behind the computer chair and she sometimes gets stuck under the table, trying to crawl over the table legs. Tonight she climbed on top of a box that was only a little bigger than she was and was very proud to have conquered it. She got down (through a bit of a nose dive) all by herself, too. The camera was in the car or I would have gotten pictures. She looks for challenging things to do and she is so proud of herself when she does something she's never done before. She is SO determined.
Kate has such a sense of humor, too. I'll be doing my thing when I'll hear the baby background noise stop (she's always talking to herself) and so I'll look at her and she's sitting there, waiting for me to notice her. When our eyes meet she giggles happily and then keeps going about her business. I talk with her and she just cracks herself (and me) up! So full of personality, that one!
As far as sleeping goes, I've been playing it by ear, literally! I hear her cry and then do whatever I sense to be the thing to do. Sometimes it means letting her cry for five minutes (she's gone back to sleep a few times) and other times I just know I need to go in to check on her. Sometimes I find a dirty diaper and sometimes I just hold her for a while and return her to the crib and that seems to be all she needed. Tonight she rested her head on my shoulder and patted my arm with her hand! Shocking! Definitely worth the trip in to her room! Other times I nurse. I have let her cry and/or fuss for an hour before, too. It's not a very consistent approach but it seems to work for us. I have been consistent about meal times and wake up and sleep times and she's responded very well to that. We're still working on a predictable nap time, though.
The past few days have been rough due to a pretty awful diaper rash that just wasn't going away completely. The poor girl would cry every time she peed and pooped and just seemed miserable no matter what I tried. It seemed to get better and worse and better again so I took her in to the doctor. Unfortunately we didn't get to see our pediatrician but we did get a prescription for some anti-fungal/corticosteroid cream. Her bottom was so red and raw and this morning she screamed when I cleaned her up after a poopy diaper. It was awful. I wish it didn't have the steroids but the cream is helping SO much. Kate's back to her cheerful little self though the rash isn't gone yet. The doctor said she thought it was allergies (why did she prescribe the anti-fungal cream then!?) but I'm pretty sure it's a yeast infection, poor baby. I've searched various online forums and everything we're experiencing seems to match up to some other cloth diapering people's experiences. I believe the yeast was living in the cloth diapers which is why the rash seemed to improve while she was in disposables but eventually it came back even with her in disposables all the time. I've put the cloth diapers through a yeast-killing regime (I haven't boiled them but I will if I have to!) and she'll be back in cloth as soon as the rash is completely gone. If she is allergic to something in the disposable diapers (although why would it suddenly surface now?) there's nothing nicer on a sensitive bottom than plain old soft cloth.