What, no updates on the developments and tricks of M. in almost a month? I’ve got some serious catching up to do! Here goes.

Right before Christmas, she discovered the volume button on her voice. It was fun to listen to her yell at various volumes around the house just because she could. A little more embarrassing when she continually shrieked with glee at the people behind us at Christmas Eve Mass. At least they had kids too and understood. And they were instigating her by smiling anyway. Don’t they know you never smile at a happy baby?

One of M.’s favorite games is Hide and Seek with her mom. I hold her and S. hides, then pops out and says, “Boo!” After about three times M. is laughing hysterically.

I’ve lost track of how many laughs she has now. There’s a snort, a honk, a giggle, a gasp, and even a wry “I know you’re doing that just to make me laugh” laugh.

The whole grip ‘n grab thing has been perfected over the past month. If she sees something she wants, she gets it. This includes the newspaper or magazine you might be reading, the coffee canister as you fill the pot, or anything else that draws her interest. Sunday, while laying on her back, she reached back and above her head, found her binky laying there, and popped it into her mouth. All without actually seeing it. Pretty impressive! She also likes to grab handfuls of her mom’s hair, which isn’t a game of mutual joy.

If propped up against a cushion or her Boppy, she can sit up for 30-40 minutes at a time, watching the world around her and playing with any toys within reach.

Until the last three nights, she had been sleeping 7-9 hours straight each night. She might wake up once briefly, but putting her binky back into her mouth sent her right back to dreamland. She also wakes up slowly, most mornings. You can hear her getting her bearings, making progressively more noise, and eventually entertaining herself. When we go into her room to get her, her head pops up and she greets us with a big grin. Like her dad, if you give her some time to wake up, she’s cool. We have had three straight nights with wake-ups, though, so there could be some teeth in her near future.

The bathtub is one of her favorite spots. She laughs, coos, splashes, and chews on her rubber ducky while we wash her. At the end of the bath, we sit her up and let her splash for a few minutes. If you don’t want her carefully, she’ll lunge at the duck if it floats away and end up face first in the water. She always laughs when she does this, so I guess the kid is going to be a swimmer.

She’s developed her own little language. There are times, some when she’s interacting with someone else, some when she’s all alone, that she makes noises that definitely sound like someone who’s imitating speech patterns. It’s sweet as hell and impressive at the same time.

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before that she was able to roll from belly to back at a ridiculously early age (Six weeks) then mysteriously stopped doing it four weeks later. She still won’t roll over unless she’s pissed off about something, but when you stick her on her belly, she spazzes out and looks like she’s ready to swim 100 meters. I think this kid is going to skip rolling over and go straight to crawling.

In the realm of Watching Basketball With Daddy, she now gets a look of shock when I yell and looks at S. to see what’s going on. As long as S. claps and smiles at her, she’ll relax and giggle. When Michael Lee hit his three pointer against Kentucky Sunday, and daddy lost his mind, she just stared and grinned at me.

That’s kind of generic and bullet-point, but it should give you an idea of how she’s doing. She’s still super happy most of the time, which makes parenting easy. Also worth noting, for you baby poop fans, that she pooped on the couch while I was typing this. My cell phone rings, I see it says “Home” on the caller ID, so I just go straight to the basement without answering. S. was trying to hold M. in one hand, her dirty diaper in the other, and keep both from getting any more you-know-what smeared on the couch. M. just had a big smile no her face and laughed when she saw me. Silly kid.