Meghan is now nine months old and is so freakin' functional! She crawls like a champ, pulls up into a standing position on anything and everything she can, and even can scale an entire staircase (with me behind her, of course)! She also is starting to understand us, or maybe I should say she's starting to show she understands us, because it's quite possible she's known what's going on far longer than she's let on. It's so amazingly gratifying to say something and get an appropriate reaction from her. For example, she learned how to clap her hands sometime last week, and so if you clap your hands for her or say, "Clap clap clap!", she'll usually show off her skill. It often makes me feel like I'm just teaching her dog tricks or something, but it's still amazing to get the right reaction instead of being ignored or just getting stared at, and I know we're well on the way to more complex skills and actual verbal responses, OMG!
And along those lines, Meghan's definitely starting to develop language. She also recently learned how to wave "hi" and "bye," and these are often accompanied by a high-pitched "HAAAA-AAAAAAA!" or "BAAAAA-AAAAAAA!" And I could swear that on a couple of occasions, she said, "Bap bap bap!" in response to our urging her to "clap clap clap!" But I've decided that her first word is "Brie" (our cat's name), because it's more interesting than just "hi" and "bye," and I've been more positive about her use of that word than about whether "bap bap bap" was really "clap clap clap" or not. She started saying "Brie" a couple of days ago, especially in the morning, when we're all in bed together and she looks up and sees the cat hanging out in the middle of the bed. Meghan adores Brie, and so when she sees her, she gets really excited and goes, "Brweeeeeeee!" She's called some other things "Brweeeeeeee" as well, but the term is directed most often at the kitty, so I'm pretty sure Meghan is getting it.
And little Miss Brweeeeeeee is a very tolerant kitty, because Meghan follows her everywhere and Brie takes it like a champ. In general, Brie is a sweetheart (she never ever scratches, and she bites only when she gets so excited and full of love that she doesn't know what else to do), but she is skittish and runs away when most people approach her. However, she seems to enjoy playing what I think is a game of "chicken" with Meghan, wherein Meghan will rush towards her and Brie will wait until the very last minute to move a few feet away. They play this game in our main hallway, and this is why Meghan has had a lot of practice going up our stairs: Brie will go up a few steps and Meghan will follow her, and then Brie will go up a few more steps and Meghan will follow her, and so on.
Let's see, other Meghan news... She has her music-play class once a week, and I'm thinking of enrolling her in some sort of baby gymnastics/movement class as well, just because she's such a physical child, and I want to give her opportunities to crawl and climb and stuff in a more encouraging environment than our house. It's also good for us to have as many chances as possible to get out of the house and interact with others. Meghan seems to enjoy it, and so do I. We also joined a playgroup, although it doesn't seem to meet very regularly yet, but hopefully that will change, especially now that she's getting old enough to appreciate her encounters with other kids.
Most importantly, MEGHAN IS SLEEPING. She's still giving me a consistent 6-8+ hours a night, and on the days she wakes up in fewer than 6 hours, I just pick her up for a moment, put her back down, and she goes back to sleep (after maybe a minute of complaining, if that). Of course, I often end up doing stuff like reading books or my flist during a big chunk of that time, but it's nice to know that I can get a lot of sleep if I want to -- and there have been times I've taken advantage of it. And now that I'm confident that she knows how to get back down from a standing position, I often take her back to her crib if she's up earlier than I want to wake up, and she plays for a while before falling back asleep on her own. (I needed to know she could get down on her own because I don't want her to fall if she decides to stand up after I leave her alone -- which she often does.) Her napping is still sort of assy, but I guess you can't have everything. And because, especially in the mornings, she's good about playing with her toys without help from me and without wandering too far away, I can often sit on the couch and do my own thang while she plays.
Her eating has also improved a lot. She still has no teeth, but since she firmly rejects baby food most of the time, we just give her chunks of whatever we're eating, and she manages to gum it successfully. And that makes her very self-sufficient and independent (in fact, she often rejects food when we try to give it to her, but she'll eat the very same piece of food if we allow her to pick it up herself), which means that I can just put a bunch of food on her tray and let her have at it while I eat my own food or do something else. It's so amazing to think of how helpless she was just a few short months ago!
I do sort of miss the days when she was so little and fragile, but I love her even more the way she is -- my little willful, determined, persistent, stubborn, assertive child! I grew up hearing tons of stories about the way I was as a baby, and for some reason, I had expected her to be a little me, but she's turned out to be a person of her own, someone completely different, and I love her for that. It makes her difficult to manage (I apparently was very easy to entertain -- just put books in front of me and I would flip through the pages for hours, without destroying, tearing, or eating them -- whereas Meghan's attention is extremely short lived, and she wants to grab/chew/tear/crumple/pull everything in sight), but it doesn't matter; I appreciate her for being such a unique little character even at such an early age.
Because I cannot resist a good, sparkly trainwreck, I finally made it out to see Twilight a couple of weeks ago with spicedogs and shantih, and it was spectacularly awful -- everything I was hoping it would be and so much more! I don't understand how a movie with such lovely cinematography and enormous hype could have such shoddy production values, but that made it even more awesome. I'm referring to more than just the bad special effects for things like Edward's speed (which was literally just sped-up footage like when you press fast-forward on a videotape, but without the diagonal static lines); I mean, the editing itself was absurd. I can't think of anything specific to offer as evidence, but the overall impression was that this was some high school senior project for a film class or something -- like Dawson's Steven Spielberg wannabe project on Dawson's Creek. The editing was just really awkward, with close-up shots that were held too long, for example. And there were moments of hilarity that I couldn't even classify as intentional or not, just because they were so freakin' WEIRD. For example, at one point, Bella is sitting in a diner with her dad talking about...I don't remember, but probably something along the lines of why she isn't dating any of the other guys at school or something, and then there are those guys -- Mike Newton et al., people who are her friends --- right outside the window wiggling their butts at Bella and making whooping noises. It was totally random and absurd and surreal, and I cracked up, but I honestly have no clue whether the director/editor/producer-type folks were trying to be funny or not. The same goes for a scene where Charlie and Billy Black (who's in a wheelchair) start play-fighting in the background while Bella's talking to Jacob; the play-fighting was just strange and distracting and really really random!
The sparkle effect was pretty lame; I was hoping Edward would look like a human disco ball or something, because that would have been funnier. But the lack of funny brought on by sparkle motion was more than made up for by Edward yelling out, "THIS IS THE SKIN OF A KILLER!" after Bella's all, "OMG YOU'RE SO BEAUTIFUL!" You could tell both RPattz and KStew thought the whole thing was ridiculous.
Oh, and EMMETT WAS AWESOME! He totally was Growing Up Cullen!Emmett, and it was glorious when he rode standing on the back of the Jeep -- and then slammed down on Edward and Bella's getaway car (I think it was her truck, maybe? Or one of the Cullenmobiles?) to provide extra security when they were escaping from James. TOTAL MEATHEAD! Jasper was also awesome as well, because his hair was ridiculous and he looked dazed the whole time.
Now, I do have to say that RPattz did an awesome job of "dazzling" (even despite the gaping lack of the term in the movie script, booooo). I still think the concept is absurd, but he managed to pull it off by shooting these big, charming smiles at Jessica and Angela when he was taking Bella into the Italian restaurant (with the waitress with weird outerspace hair, WTF?).
What else, what else.... More shoddy production values when the would-be rapists encircled Bella; it was like watching a scene from a high school play in which the actors don't have specific, scripted lines to say, so they just mutter random crap. Oh, yes, VAMPIRE BASEBALL!!! HAHAHAHA, vampire baseball was hilarious and silly and montagey and set to Muse's "Supermassive Black Hole" (oh, SMeyer, you fangirl you...).
But one of the absolute best parts came during the credits, when people in the audience started shouting out for their "team" as the particular character was displayed on the screen. Edward and Jacob both got big whoops from parts of the (fairly small) audience, so when Eric (HAHAHA, Eric, ridiculously flamboyantly uncanonly gay and yet with Angela) came out, I decided to be silly and let out a big "WOOHOO!", thereby starting my very own Team Eric. Then everyone else started doing it for all the other characters, like the biology teacher, which was funny, too.
Oh, and yes, I did wear sparkle lotion. :) The only unfortunate part was that we arrived too late to see the new HBP trailer, but that's OK; I'm sure I can look it up on the Internet at some point. Overall, it was good times; the three of us kept laughing at all the weird, awful, random shit that went down in this movie (AHAHAH YES, LIKE THE OLD-TIMEY VAMPIRE MONTAGES, I FORGOT ABOUT THOSE!). GLORIOUS.
In other news, I got a permanent account here on LJ, so go me for spending even more than the zero dollars I had allocated at the start of this whole fandom adventure. Now I have 195 icon spaces and need to fill them! Any suggestions for stuff I might like (or any icons you want to make for me *bats eyelashes*) are greatly appreciated. I especially want funny icons in the following fandoms: Harry Potter, anti-Twilight, The Office, and Homestar Runner. But I also would love recommendations to anything that is purty or reminds you of me and/or anything I would like. :)
I'm gonna stop here before this post gets too unwieldy. I've got other shit I wanted to mention, but I'll save it for later -- it's seriously just random crap anyway. But I did want to say that to anyone who gave me their address for a holiday card, I haven't forgotten you! I just...haven't printed or sent my cards yet. Procrastinators unite...tomorrow!
But here is some holiday cheer, in picture form:
Yes, that is a Santa suit Meghan is wearing.
Happy holidays, y'all!