Before she got too sick again, though, we were able to sneak in a couple more vaccines, although we're still behind on the recommended schedule. So she went to the pediatrician last Wednesday for her 6-month appointment, and she is now 27 1/2" long (up from 20.1" at birth), 20lbs, and her head circumference is 18" (for those keeping track at home, that's the 95th percentile for length, 95-98th for weight, and her noggin is still off the charts). Josie is continuing to hit her milestones (like standing with assistance, passing toys between her hands), although for some reason the skill she's really excelling at - babbling - wasn't on the list ;)
Also, given my penchant for doing comparison pictures (see: my entire pregnancy), I'm kind of surprised that I haven't been doing comparison pictures for Josie's growth. So here's the closest thing I have:
[Two months, but a slightly better shot to compare her length]
The pediatrician also wanted us to get Josie going on solids, and to be feeding her rice cereal for the added iron. We momentarily freaked out that we were behind on introducing solids, but after Ryan and I had a chance to talk about it more, we realized that we're still fine - for the most part (except for the couple times we gave her an apple or banana within the last few weeks) we're following the World Health Organization and American Academy of Pediatrics's recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months, so since that just happened on January 8, we really can't be that "behind" yet ;) And after doing more research on the rice cereal, we may not go that route either, since rice cereal is really not that nutritious, and the added iron is not that much of an incentive since apparently it's not absorbed very well (~4-10% in the cereal) vs. the iron she can absorb through breastmilk (~50-70%). So this may be another case where we're being given directions based on formula feeding being more of the norm in the U.S. for babies of Josie's age (since we are now officially in the minority: ~44% of babies in the U.S. are still breastfed at 6 months), and is just something we need to keep on top of and make sure we research - since obviously we don't want to deprive her of nutrients that she needs, but we also don't want to follow guidelines that aren't applicable in her situation.
In the meantime, she has now had bananas, apples, pears, sweet potatoes, and multi-grain cereal. She seems to like all of them so far, based on the amount of hassle she's willing to go through to get them in her mouth, and by the amount of crying that ensues when she drops a piece ;)
We're also thinking that introducing solids may be causing her some digestive distress though, since she's gassier again and hasn't been sleeping well at night (which has been going on for weeks though, too, so it may also be a combination of her body getting used to digesting solids as well as all the various illnesses she's had the last few months). In any case, we've been honing our skills of sleeping with a baby on our chests, and we can both apparently sleep with her on us for hours, with our hands clasped around her so she doesn't slip off (Ryan has been able to do this from the start, but this is a new development for me, since I would usually not be able to intentionally fall asleep with her in bed with me or on me - funny what happens when exhaustion sets in). This obviously isn't an ideal situation, but we try to make it as safe as we can - we do the arm "seatbelt" around her, and we do wake up each time she wakes up (and she's not a wiggleworm in her sleep like she is when she's awake), and I still don't appear to move a muscle when I'm asleep with her near me (given the number of times I've woken up with my arm asleep, aching back, etc.).
Josie has also gotten better at standing, and can keep herself upright for a few seconds now without any help. She also appears to like the falling part, as she was rather happily flinging herself into the couch cushions, so I'm not sure how well that will serve her in learning to stand, but it's funny enough in the meantime.
Josie continues to enjoy her new favorite toy: her feet. Diaper changes have gotten even less efficient for me (the master of the slowest diaper changes ever) since as soon as I get her feet in her line of vision, she realizes that she must chew on them (or at least hold on to them) immediately and for long periods of time. I also finally understand the yoga pose "happy baby", as she has done this a few times recently, and does indeed look happy doing so :)
[Plotting her next move]
[Taste-testing her toys]
[When only a thumb won't do...]
[...or when one thumb is not enough]
[Putting her little monkey toes to good use]