We've started to teach James some sign language in hopes that he can communicate some things to us even before he says his first word. We are working on "more" and "eat" and "all done." I am thinking about adding milk, please, yes, no, and and thank you. I think they would be the most useful. Oh, and maybe "hurt." That would definitely be useful.
James is growing in leaps and bounds. I'm almost about to get out his 12 month clothes because he outgrowing the 9months ones! He also has learned to blow raspberries and bounce up and down if you hold him upright. Today I saw him try to push himself up on his back legs to propel himself forward without putting his head down like he normally does. I think we are making progress towards crawling!
He also can sit for a few seconds before toppling over, and sometimes he will learn to balance himself and stay upright. We're still working on the sitting, so I ordered a bath seat for him so we can play in the tub without having to hold onto him constantly (don't worry, we won't leave him alone in there!).
One thing I've also noticed is separation anxiety (he cries when either of us leave the room or walk away from him) and stranger anxiety (he doesn't like it when anyone beside Eliot or myself tries to hold him for longer than a few minutes). All totally normal in his development.
I think the most frustrating thing right now is that, even though we "night-weaned" (I no longer feed him between the hours of 7pm and 5am), he still wakes up wanting his pacifier. Which means we have to trudge in there 4-5 times a night to put his pacifier back in. The kicker is that he knows how to put his own pacifier in during the day, but at night when he can't find it, he freaks out. I put 5 or so pacifiers in the crib to up his chances of finding one... it looks like a pacifier cannon exploded in his room and left little paci landmines everywhere. :-) So far he's only found pacifiers once or twice and put them back in. So we're exhausted. Still. 6.5 months later. Sigh.