Thursday, June 29, 2006

New trick and a legitimate feeding success story

Rebecca's new trick is removing wipes from the wipe dispenser. She displayed this ability during clean-up of a macro poo, and then attempted to eat the wipe. I must start shackling her to the change table - it's the only way.
In marked contrast to yesterday, I had a day 2 feeding experience that actually worked. Sweet potato! She devoured an entire serving. It was like carrots all over again. Must be simply that orange fleshed foods agree with her.
We have definitely embarked on teething of the upper incisors. No rest for the wicked.

Ho ho ho: Green Vomit

It appears that my assessment of Rebecca's liking for green peas was extremely premature.

I was attempting day 2 of green peas when Rebecca made a mild yucky face. Undeterred, I continued to offer her spoonfuls, which she ate (if not with gusto). I was reflecting on how cute she looked in her white romper and how nice it was that there was something else she might consent to consume.
Suddenly, she paused. Her face turned a little red. Then...
Torrents of white and green vomit erupted from her mouth in a gushing stream that had to be seen to be believed. This first onslaught was followed by a second and equally revolting geiser of what I can only assume was a vile combination of formula, oatmeal from breakfast, applesauce from breakfast and undisgested green pea purée.
Understandably, I was quite distressed by this event. Rebecca, on the other hand, happily laughed and jabbered at me, as I began to mop up the floor.
There was vomit on the floor, on her clothes, on her hands, in every nook and cranny of the highchair, and most unfortunate of all (because the high chair was in a reclined position), down the back of her diaper.
We then had an impromptu bathtime, after which she had a nap.
I disassembled the highchair to find all the pockets of liquid. It was as though I was on some sort of foul easter egg hunt.
It will be a long time before we try the green peas again.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

New surroundings and baby bum momentum

We have moved to our new house, and so far Becca seems to be adapting rather well. The first few nights were a little hairy, but now things appear to be improving. Her new room is significantly larger than the last one, which is wonderful because things don't feel so cramped and I can actually spread a blanket on the floor for her to play on.
Naturally, we are still in the unpacking process. I am scrambling to get things sorted because I anticipate that our pudgy pumpkin will be on the move soon. There is a lot of childproofing to be done!
She has started to make pre-crawling moves. AAAAHHH!
This behaviour began a few days before our move day, and followed swiftly on the heels of a new habit of sleeping on her knees with her butt in the air. She is in a crawling position (that is to say - on her hands and knees with her body off the floor), and begins to rock back and forth. There is so much power in the movement, that you could almost be convinced she might suddenly launch herself forward into the air like a rolly polly rocketship.
I have to keep my eye on her all the time. She is a monkey! She wants everything and wants to go everywhere.

Scale of food preferences (so far)...

From most liked to least liked (based on facial expressions and willingness to consume):

1. Carrots
2. Rice cereal
3. Oatmeal cereal
4. Green peas
5. Barley cereal
6. Apples (Ida Red variety)
7. Banana
8. Kiwi

All fruit and vegetables are puréed. Rebecca is willing to happily consume apples if they are mixed with carrots.
Is there a pattern here? None that I can discern.
I do worry that the natural variation in carrot flavour might make the carrot phenomenon difficult to reproduce. We shall see!
Next up: sweet potatoes!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Apples: Rejection

I guess I better start investing in the carrot industry.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Tooth #2 and Bababababa

The next tooth is just peeking through the gum today. Hopefully there will be an improvement in Rebecca's drooling and mood, but I have been told that the teeth come in quick succession. To clarify, tooth #1 isn't even all the way out yet. It's a slow process. Ugh.
In new news, as of last night, Rebecca has been making repeat sounds , such as "bababababa", "ninindindin", "mamamamama" and other random word-part sounds. It makes it all the more distressing when she cries because it sounds like she is trying to say something.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Becca's "yucky" face

So.. kiwis were not a hit.
In fact, Greg and I had the opportunity to witness Rebecca's "yucky" face for the first time. It's hard to keep a straight face when she's that cute, but I try to respect her expression of feelings.
I guess this means I will be having kiwi shakes with my breakfast.
Later in the day, Rebecca tried to steal the apple I was eating. Maybe because I was eating it? Maybe because it made a crunchy sound? Who knows? She is quite persistent. I guess I will have to make apple mush next.
Things have been a little rough in the past week. Rebecca went through her 6 month growth spurt, which was manifested by a marked increase in food consumption and grouchiness. At the same time, teething pain has increased (I think she is working on the second tooth), and much cuddle therapy has been in order (that part would be better if she wasn't obviously suffering). For the first time ever, Becca has appeared to give a damn about her teething snail. She gnawed on it for a good half hour the other night, despite a previous disdain for it. She continues to favour the hard body over the soft shell (the opposite of what was intended, I am sure).
Mad-eye Maddy parenting tip for 6 month olds: CONSTANT VIGILANCE!!! Seriously. I'm starting to share one of Rebecca's afternoon naptimes, because she is such an energy sapper.

Monday, June 19, 2006

As you can see, carrots make Rebecca happy. Note her grip on the spoon. She isn't the most refined of diners, but she is enjoying expanding her palate.

Carrots!

Rebecca has embarked on the interesting solid food journey. I decided to start with carrots, despite earlier notions to begin with bananas.
Becca loves carrots. It doesn't matter what kind of day she has had, she always has room for her carrots (lovingly prepared by yours truly with the use of my delightful blender). It's been four days of carrots so far, and there does not appear to be any adverse reaction. It's also a more cheery colour than barley, and the consistency makes it easier to clean up.
Unlike banana purée, I can freeze the carrot food in portion sizes and keep it for three months. Bananas last about one day in the fridge. A whole banana freezes well, but the mush... is a different story.
Tomorrow is kiwi!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Chop-chop

I forgot to mention in my last post, that I have shorn several inches off my hair. I grew tired of Rebecca pulling out fistfuls. According to my hairdresser, it is one of the most common reason a woman with long hair will have it cut short.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Six month checkup and the Cinderella story continues

I took Rebecca in for her six month checkup today. She weighs 18 lbs, and is 2'4". Becca boo is bigger than average - no surprise. She is now only 1lb lighter than my youngest cousin who is 2.5 years of age. This marked the final round of the diptheria/tetanus/pertussis/polio/pneumo/fluB shots. She tolerated things fairly well, and didn't seem to blame me for the suffering. The more intelligent she gets, the more challenging it is to interact with her. She figures things out - it's eerie. Last week, my sister was over for dinner. There is a star which I hung from the handle of our fancy dish-containing cupboard. Rebecca decided that she wanted the star. I took it away. She tried to get it back. I took it off the door knob of the cupboard, and threw it inside. I closed the door of the cupboard. Rebecca then proceeded to open the door of the cupboard to get at the star. There was a time when hiding the star in the cupboard would have made it vanish from Rebecca's universe. Clearly, this is no longer the case. Ultimately, I had to take her away from the cupboard. In a similar vein, Rebecca now understands that the second shot of vaccine is coming when she sees the needle, and she realizes that it is going to hurt just as much. And now, she has the strength to reinforce her protests with kicking. Even keeping her hands away from ... well, everything, was challenging. I successfully intercepted her attempt to remove the glasses and stethescope of our lovely GP. They thought Rebecca was very social and curious for her age. Uh oh... how do I properly stimulate a very social person?!?! I haven't the foggiest.
After reading in a magazine that it is important that children have toys of the proper developmental stage, I rushed out to the mall and acquired yet another toy for Rebecca. Apparently for 6 month olds, you want things that: can be stacked, are in primary colours, simulate objects that babies see their parents using (for imitative play), display cause and effect (i.e. you touch it and it makes a noise or what have you). Anyhow, I returned how with a baby bongo drum that lights up and make sounds when you hit it. I like to play with it when Rebecca takes a nap.
It is difficult not to buy into the intellectual stimulation hype that surrounds baby toys. There are so many "developmental" toys out there, most of which, while they do not directly promise to promote precocious mental growth, insinuate or suggest that they do (despite a derth of evidence that any toys can do so). No one wants their babies to be "left behind", nor do they want to be responsible for stifling a potential budding genius.
Whatever. I prefer not to encourage the exploitation of whatever low level insecurities I might be harbouring. Parents (for the most part) want to give the best to their children. Clearly, parental perfection is not achievable, and I'm not going to pour the contents of my savings account into the pockets of some toy manufacturer to try to convince myself otherwise.
This is why Baby Einstein rakes in the cash. Clearly, it isn't all "nature", but I think there are limitations on what "nurture" can do.
No more quotations marks for the rest of this post.
Next vaccinations aren't until 12 months of age (gasp!), but there is a 9 month checkup in September (gas!). My time in this mystical fantasy world is slipping through my fingers. O.k., not everything is giggly butterflies and smiling hearts, but mat leave it is like being a castaway on a different planet (one that is eerily similar to your home planet). The clock it ticking, halfway to pumpkin time. So I'm going to make the most of it while it lasts!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The death of the old social life... does a new one rise to take its place?

There were lots of things I was told before I had the baby. One of those things was that my social life would be forever changed. That seemed obvious. They said we would spend more time with other couples who had babies - clearly that has not occurred. Before we got married, I was also told that getting married would result in more time spent with other married couples. This is simply not true.
But I realized something last night at 3am when I was tending to my crying baby. Greg and I aren't Friday nigh or Saturday night people anymore. We used to regularly socialize with friends on evenings during the weekend. Things don't get started until at least 7:30pm and go into the wee hours of the morning. But now - we put Rebecca to bed at 8:30pm, and we don't get to sleep in. Going to something that starts 7:30pm or later is just too late for us (on top of the fact that something it can take a good chunk of time to assemble Becca's gear for going somewhere). For special occasions, we are willing to disrupt her sleep, but hauling her over regularly to someone else's home where people will be noisy and animated when she needs to be settling down, just isn't good for her. It's a little different taking her to grandparents homes - because they understand when we duck out early. Then again, anything we do with them starts in the afternoon. You can't duck out early if you just got there - what would be the point? The alternative is one of us going off to socialize and leaving the other plus baby behind, but clearly, that isn't too appealing.
Our social life has been morphing before our eyes but we've been too tired and busy to notice. Because most of the members of our social circle do not have children, they still get to socialize in the late night way. We're the odd ones out. When you've been friends for people for decades, you don't worry about them disappearing from your life, but you do wonder what the new social life will look like. I suppose it's the way the cookie crumbles. You do wonder if others can really understand why you keep opting out of things (hopefully yes).
Of course, it is possible for us to socialize at night if people come to our house, but as we are in the midst of preparing to move, we don't have the greatest locale for entertaining. Besides, all our friends with huge brand spanking new houses and no anklebiters like to host things.
Having a young baby means every day is different. My life is all about flexibility and change. Making promises about the timing of stuff or being reliable is really challenging. Rebecca always comes first - it's the way it should be, but it doesn't mean I think other pursuits or people are second fiddle. My time is accounted for in more ways than when I did not have the baby and was working. When I have spare time, I feel the weight of opportunity cost more than ever before. My top choices is often sleep or spending time with Greg.

Friday, June 9, 2006

First Tooth!

The first tooth has finally emerged! Rebecca's front right (her right) lower central incisor has poked through (although it is not all the way "up" yet).
This may explain her strange behaviour this week - very fussy and cranky, low on appetite, and high on sleep. The other lower central incisor looks as though it will appear any day now... we shall see.
Becca and the butterfly #1
Becca and the butterfly #2
Baby skin is (supposedly) five times thinner than our own, so it's critical that they be well protected from the sun.
Rebecca is ready for summer!

Interacting with nature

On Tuesday, I took Rebecca to see her paternal grandparents, who have a lovely home in Cascades, QC. It was a hot and sunny day, and we were enjoying the breeze on the balcony/patio, when I spied a large butterfly. I took several pictures before it flew away. The beating of its wings while it perched on the flowers, captivated Rebecca. Later, good fortune turned our way, and another giant butterfly entered the gazebo and landed on the mesh wall. My father-in-law was able to take some fantastic pictures of Becca gazing at the butterfly.

The playgroup experience

Yesterday Rebecca and I tried out a free playgroup run by the community centre. Unfortunately, perhaps due to the fact that it is summer, there were only two other children there. One was 5 or 6 years of age, and the other was 10 or 11 months of age. We stayed for about 45 minutes, and most of the time, Rebecca played with toys. There was a snack time and story time, but Rebecca couldn't eat the snack, and seemed disinterested in the story. She did enjoy hearing singing by the friendly and personable lady who was running the playgroup. While Rebecca clearly enjoyed observing the other children at play, she wasn't motivated to interact with them. Perhaps there were too many new things for her to confront at the same time. Maybe Becca is just too young for a playgroup, and I should focus on having her interact with familiar children like her cousins or the children of family friends. Besides, I was bored out of my skull. I realized I would find it torturous when my first watch check occured only twelve minutes after arriving.
Some day care facilities share the same building that houses the playgroup. When I was changing Rebecca at the change station, there was an elaborate cubby system for the diapers of day care babies. Each cubby contained specific diapers and supplies and was labeled with a piece of masking tape upon which the child's name was written in marker. I found it amusing that one of the children was name after an obscure video game character (Yunalesca), from one of my favourite game series (Final Fantasy). Of course - I was the one to recognize the name, so what does that say about me?

Thursday, June 1, 2006

The Stars and Strollers Experience

Today I finally decided to try out "Stars and Strollers". It is a programme whereby parents can attend movies with baby in tow. The lights are dimmed, the sound is lowered, and "appropriate" movies are shown (by appropriate, I mean, not too noisy, loud, or interesting). The reason I waited so long to investigate, is because in general, the movie offerings are so poor that it didn't seem worthwhile. But today they were playing the DaVinci Code, so I gave it a whirl. The showings are always on Thursday afternoons at 1PM. This suits me just fine - hottest part of the day, and I'm in A/C comfort. Also, the cinema is dead (beyond the baby-toting mamas - and one or two dads), and the prices are matinee rate. The staff are courteous and helpful! (I have never had this occur at the theatre before!). A diaper change area is set up just outside the theatre. It is big enough for multiple babies, and provides hand sanitizer, wipes and diapers in a wide variety of sizes. There is also a stroller parking zone (they can't be left in the aisles because it constitutes a fire hazard). Some Moms seemed upset about that because they planned on letting their babies sleep in the strollers. Rebecca was very interested in all the babies around her. In fact, it was such a big distraction, that I had a very hard time getting her to eat or sit still. In the middle of the film, she managed to sleep, but there were a few occasions where I had to walk her out, or over to the side. That's o.k. because at any given moment during the movie, there were babies on the floor, on the side, at the change area, sleeping, feeding or bawling. When Rebecca cried, no one turned to give us the stare (the stare that people without babies all aim at you when your baby makes a peep in a public place). I think that this particular choice of film was not the best initiation for Becca. At 2.5 hours, the movie was too long for her to endure. So as far as a return to stars and strollers is concerned, I will have to investigate the selections a little more closely before making a decision.