8 months has come and gone. At 8 months, E was so, so close to crawling, sitting up on his own, talking, and getting teeth (spoiler alert: in one short month, he's doing it all!). He loves to stand and will lean against any object - coffee table, ottoman, human, bouncer - on his own. His balance is getting better every day - he stands by himself if you support his hips.
For 4 months he's been drooling so much we just knew he had to be teething. But still, at 8 months, no teeth. Just a lot of messy collars and bibs and parents' shirts.
Baby-led weaning has been quite an adventure. E will grab anything nearby and stick it in his mouth. When the anything is edible, he will often chew and swallow it. He does love to hoard food in his cheeks, while continuing to shovel more in. Usually a bath follows dinner, thanks to the astonishing messes meal-times can create when baby boy is in charge. He no longer likes food to be placed in his mouth - he has to take it in his hand and find a way to eat it himself. I love this autonomous little guy!
One of these days I may write a post just on baby-led weaning. It's really been an awesome experience and we haven't bought a single jar of baby food. We're not pureeing anything either, just making sure it's soft enough for him to chew and swallow.
The kid loves balls. One of his favorite toys is the beach ball he got from his weekly Gymboree class - we play 'baby soccer' most weeks and he gets sort of maniacal during the game, bouncing and laughing and sometimes swinging his head back and forth happily. Same thing happens when we play ball with him at home. He's pretty darn good at passing the ball to us, considering he's not even crawling yet.
And his second love is string/cord/rope. We give him toys with strings attached and he ignores the toy part completely. We have to hide the power cords and chargers, because he makes a beeline for them.
Although he's not quite crawling yet, he's definitely mobile. He rolls his way across the room, occasionally switching it up and pivoting 180-360 degrees to get to his destination.
Oh, and of course he's still smiling, laughing, and generally entertaining us 24-7. He's truly the happiest baby I've ever seen. He certainly has his moments of frustration, but 99% of the time Ethan is just joyful and lights up any room. We are so blessed with this delightful kiddo - it definitely makes us want to have another (coming August 2013)!