Monday, May 29, 2006

Rebecca looks like her Daddy.
Rebecca isn't camera shy!

Becca update - expanding the palate, teething continues and rolling into corners

It's been a few weeks since the last post. Here's what's new:
Becca continues to eat solids. She doesn't seem to have reacted badly to the rice cereal, but seems to have lost interest in it recently. It might be because of the teething. It's gotten worse lately. Sometimes, even if she's obviously quite hungry, the pain in her gums will make her stop eating. There has been quite a bit of drool and gnawing lately, and today was the grumpiest day so far. I am trying cuddle therapy, frozen cloths and teething rings. I hope a tooth shows up soon. After all, it's been almost 6 weeks of teething now, and nothing has appeared. I am fully aware that it is a lengthy process, but it seems unfair for Rebecca to endure the pain and have nothing to show for it.
Rebecca is now eating breakfast in her new high chair. Every part of it is washable! This is a good thing considering that feeding cereal to Rebecca is truly messy. For starters, the cereal that Becca eats must have a fairly liquid texture, and it must also journey to her snapping turtle maw on a very tiny, shallow spoon. I'm sure you can imagine what transpires. Her flailing arms knocks the contents everywhere. Actually, one of the biggest challenges of feeding Becca is the battle of wills to see who will control the spoon. She likes to grab it and jam it deep into her mouth. Once, I had to pull so hard to maintain my grip of it that the high chair rolled forward. With all the teething, Rebecca always has her fingers in her mouth. She doesn't understand the perils of this and more than once has activated her own gag reflex.
At any rate, today's adventure was trying out barley cereal for the first time. I will try barley exclusively for this week, so I can judge her reaction to it. The barley is an unappealing grey colour, and is not as tasty as the rice (yes, I taste them - why not?). Next will be oats.
Rebecca now rolls over on a daily basis. She can sit fairly well with assistance, and sometimes without assistance, but can not sit up on her own from a prone position. What is especially interesting is that she now rolls with a purpose. If there is a toy on the edge of the blanket that she wants, she will rolls to get it. She also pulls herself forward on her belly, or rotates on her belly, to point herself where she wants to go.
A new trick is rolling into the corner of her crib so that her head is in the corner, and she is on her belly. Then, she cries until I come and flip her over. She never stays put in the crib anymore. In fact, she clearly prefers to sleep on her belly. I debated flipping her back to her back when I first discovered this, but frankly, she just goes back to her preferred position, and now that her upper body strength and control is substantial, I am not as concerned about SIDS.
We are in the process of shifting Becca's bedtime. Her wakeup time is now approximately 8am, and bedtime is supposed to be 8:30PM. It is difficult to make this work because she seems to be a night owl, however, 11PM just isn't a great bedtime. 8:30PM at least, seemed to correspond to a time when she naturally would be sleepy and (previously) in need of a nap. It is working out so-so... the big problem is that the teething is throwing off her feeding and sleeping, so often, things are messed up on a grand scale. However, I feel confident that sticking to a routine will ultimately be more of a help than a hindrance for our daughter.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Starting solids

On Friday, Rebecca had her first taste of something other than formula, breast milk, mint-flavoured medicine, or banana-flavoured medicine. She had very watery rice cereal! It's been a few days of cereal now, and she seems to really enjoy eating it. So far, no problems with digestion, and she eagerly gobbles it up. In fact, I have to struggle for control of the spoon. I think she would like to feed herself, but obviously, that isn't an option at this point.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Rolling over!!!

Today Becca rolled over from back to front and from front to back, and back to front again. She appeared shocled by her first successful roll and then was delightfully repeating the process.
Next developmental milestone: Sitting up unassisted

Monday, May 1, 2006

I know I'm cute!!!
Why sleep in the middle of the bed, covered by warm blankets, when you can work yourself into the corner and kick all the blankets off?!
When I was placed here at bedtime, I was perpendicular to my current position.
I am physically capable of rolling over, but I choose not to!

Toes and nearly rolling over

I was convinced that Rebecca might roll over while we were in Halifax. She came very close, but didn't seem motivated to make the extra effort. It was strange because she spent a lot of her time attempting the rolls, and then seemed to lose interest. Her attention is now firmly centered on her toes, which she regularly chews on (unless she accidentally pulls her sock off instead). All this rolling (be it attempts or toe chewing) has resulted in some bald spot on the back of her head. It looks very odd because none of the hair at the front has been lost. Rebecca has also become adept at joyful squealing (although stubbornly refuses to display it since returning to Ottawa), and removing her shoes. Her finger sucking is sometimes thumb-only, but since teething has begun, it often involves multiple fingers or two hands. She will also suck a finger while also sucking on a bottle, but at that point I've noticed that she is no longer drinking, but is gumming the rubber nipple (presumably for relief from teething).

Big changes in feeding

Rebecca is now eating 5-6 oz on average, and while we were away, she even ate 7 oz on one occasion. I am considering trying out cereal once she turns 5 months. I am also going to move on to bigger bottles. I have some 6 and 9 oz bottles right now, but the vast majority are 5 oz. Sometimes, when I use a 5 oz bottle, I can tell she wants to drink more, but by the time I get her the next bottle, she has lost interest. If I present her with 7 oz, she will regularly consume 6 oz. Becca has improved her manual dexterity and control and will now try to hold the bottle herself (or hold with one hand and grasp my finger with the other hand).

The sleep saga continues

Becca slept reasonably well in Halifax. She was sleeping in a playpen, and while she never slept 10 hours without interruptions, she did sleep a total of at least 10 hours at night, with stretches as long as 8 hours, and only one interruption (in general). Considering that she was teething, it's not too bad. In fact, now that we're home, she's back to sleeping through the night (10 hours straight). The oddest thing about the way she slept in Halifax, was that because the crib afforded her so much space, she really moved around at night. No matter what position I placed her in, I could count on finding her in a radically different position in the morning. By some happy chance, the disruption of her naps which was the result of many family visits during the first week of our trip, caused Rebecca to adopt an earlier bedtime (of her own accord), which has created a stable wake-up time of 8am (Otttawa-time). I am quite pleased with this development as it makes life easier for me. A 10pm bedtime beats a midnight bedtime hands down. Of course, ideally I would like to see wake-up at 7am, but this is good for now.

Murphy's Law: If anything can go wrong, it will

Greg and I were late teethers (me about 7.5 months, Greg about 9 months)
Based on what I had read and been told, this meant that Becca should teethe late.
Or... she could start teething while on vacation in Halifax.
And... she could start teething her eye teeth (lower canines), instead of conventional teething (lower incisors first), like some sort of werewolf child.
Poor Becca.
I was in denial at first. I blamed everything - change of location, change of water, change of time zone. But ultimately, I could not deny the mounting evidence.
She displayed every classic symptom of teething:
  1. low-grade fever
  2. rosy cheeks
  3. diaper rash (heretofore unencountered)
  4. pulling on her ears
  5. screaming out of the blue
  6. obvious pain
  7. raised red areas on the gums
  8. gumming of things
  9. excessive drooling
Thank goodness for Tempra, which allowed her to get some reasonable sleep.

First trip on an airplane

After Easter, Rebecca, my Mom and I flew to Halifax to visit with family. It was Becca's first airplane trip! Well, the poor business man who was stuck sitting next to us look nonplussed, and before take-off, I could hear him bemoaning his luck to some friend whom he had called on the cell phone. But, Becca slept through the entire flight. She didn't stir at all. After we landed, several business men (these were numerous since ours was an early morning flight) stopped to congratulate me on what a good flier she was. I felt vindicated.
Actually, while in Halifax, many people made mock offers to purchase Rebecca because they felt she was so cute. The flight home did not cause anyone to make such overtures. She was still teething, and take off was clearly bothering her ears. She howled and cried and everyone turned to watch. In the end, she managed to fall asleep, so she was quiet for probably 80% of the flight (including landing). The biggest problem was that there was another baby in our row, and every time he wailed, it tended to wake up Rebecca and cause her to cry. Having a baby on the plane is awkward. They stay on your lap the entire time, but even Becca is already so long that it is hard to position her in a way that is comfortable (for either of us). The flight attendants were quite friendly and helpful and even offered to heat up bottles for me, and of course, we got to board the airplane first.
On the way to Halifax, I had made the mistake of thinking I could just carry Becca through the airport. She was very heavy. I purchased a relatively inexpensive umbroller for the trip home. The only trouble I encountered was when the Halifax security personnel upended my diaper bag to put it through the x-ray machine, and caused a bottle of milk to leak everywhere. They also patted down Rebecca and ran a wand over her after passing her through the metal detector (neither my Mom nor I underwent such a procedure) - despite the fact that Rebecca did not set off the metal detector. She didn't seem to mind these measures.