Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Teething and the world of sensation

So, we are fairly certain that Rebecca is teething again. Poor little thing. It's horrible to see her so unhappy. And with these first molars, most of the teething rings don't go in far enough - so it's teething biscuits (thank-you Mom).
As the day of my return to the workplace fast approaches, I have been reflecting on how my life will be different. Perhaps it seems like an odd thing to say, but I will miss all the sensations that I have access to here at home with Rebecca. For example, I can go outside virtually whenever I please and smell the fresh air. I can wear comfy clothing and sing silly songs to the baby. I can cuddle with Rebecca multiple times in a day for as long as she is interested. I can change the temperature of my environment. I can play music. I can eat whatever appeals to me from the fridge. I can crawl on the floor with the baby. I can be loud or quiet. I can have a midday nap. I can be aware of the time of day and the season. Each day begins when it begins, and ends when it ends, and I don't have to try to make them all the same. Some are good, some are bad, but we always get to laugh - every single day. And of course, I get to marvel at how Rebecca is changing, and I get to be part of her day. No problem seems insurmountable, and I go to sleep at night knowing that I am making a big important difference to her life.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Happy pigtails girl! (NB - pigtails on top of head because the hair on the sides is still too short).
Why is Mommy interrupting my viewing of Miss Piggy?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Baby Mum Mums

Kudos to my uncle who recommended Baby Mum Mums to me. This post is my tribute to the snack that Rebecca adores.

What are they?
They are rice rusks.

What is a rusk? (frankly, I didn't know until I looked it up)
Rusk = (1) A light, soft-textured sweetened biscuit; (2) Sweet raised bread dried and browned in an oven.

I became afraid of giving Rebecca cookies after some nasty gagging instances. Most baby cookies dissolve and then break into large chunks. Not so the baby mum mum. Baby mum mums have the melt-in-your-mouth quality of a communion wafer, but unlike said wafer, taste sweet and nothing like cardboard (I suppose the downside is that baby mum mums are not blessed).

At any rate, I lay a sizeable piece on my hand (with a flat hand in the manner of feeding a horse), and she picks it up with her index and thumb. Then, she actually crunches it (which is incredibly cute). The best part is, I am encouraging her to master chewing, but I am not stressing over the risk of choking.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Golly googly dog dog

That's the best approximation of the sounds Rebecca has been making lately.
Just in the past week, the variety of words sounds she produces has drastically increased. Who knows the reason why. It's pretty funny to listen to, and sounds more like real language. Right now, language would be nice, but it's fairly easy to determine her mood from intonations and behaviour anyway.
Rebecca has also begun to shake her head back in forth (à la "no"), but it doesn't seem to mean "no". I have no idea what it means. The mystery continues!
Rebecca has repeated her walking feat - again, only a few steps, but doesn't appear to be overly anxious to ramp things up. Fine by me!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Tiny steps

Rebecca walked on the weekend. Just three little steps, but she did it. It's amazing, not too surprising, and yet to be repeated.
We went to our last Fitmom and Baby class today. The timing is ideal, because it became obvious to me during the class that Rebecca is just too mobile to allow me to get my hour of exercise. I spent a lot of time chasing after her so that she didn't claw out the eyes of the other babies.
Because they can't all be pictures of Becca concentrating
If you go out in the woods today...
Child labour: Start early! Here, Rebecca demonstrates the swivel action of the Swiffer.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The most common question

These days, I hear a lot of questions about my feelings on returning to work (naturally). The big day - December 11th, is fast approaching, even though it might seem otherwise.
I think my feelings are pretty typical - completely divided!
Of course, I am happy about the prospect of engaging in the grown-up world and reconnecting with my career. I am excited by the idea of new projects and challenges, and looking forward to seeing my coworkers again. I am curious about the latest development in the workplace and in my field.
But, I know this all means leaving my Rebecca behind. Happily, I will be leaving her with her Daddy, so I won't have to worry about her being loved and cuddled enough during the day. Nevertheless, now I worry that I won't make the best use of the time I have left, or that I've wasted the time I've had. I worry that it will be unbearably painful to be separated from her, and that my work life will not be able to make it endurable, or that I won't be able to perform well in my career because I'd rather be elsewhere. I worry that she won't be as close to me, and that I will miss out on lots of important moments. Of course I will miss some important moments - it would be illogical to believe otherwise. But at least my spouse will be there to witness them and relate them to me.
I guess this is maybe a little taste of what Greg sometimes feels like right now. I am sure that it is just as hard to be a working daddy as to be a working mommy, but I'm not convinced men always get credit for the emotional toll it must make on them.
At least my return to work is just before Christmas, so I have a more gentle return to the working world, and I can look forward to some special days with Becca.

Coffee shop baby

I met with a friend at Bridgehead today. She has a newborn - under 6 weeks old. It makes it clear to me that Rebecca is entering an awkward and inconvenient stage.
It was hard when Becca was very little because her diaper changes and feedings were required every two hours, so I couldn't go anywhere for long. But, she was easy to transport and didn't weigh too much. Then, when she mastered head control, life was a little easier, and we didn't worry as much about her suffocating in her bed or suffering accidental whip lash or what have you. Changes and feedings spaced out, and poo was a daily or twice daily occurence rather than a constant. When Rebecca mastered rolling over, I stopped worrying about SIDS, and I reduced my checks to see if she had died in her sleep. But, now I began to worry about her mobility on the floor and the change table. When she began to crawl, I began to run after her. When she began to climb and stand and cruise between objects, I entered a time when I really knew what running was (no doubt when she walks, I will laugh at this statement). When she began to vocalize loudly, my reception by strangers upon entering a public place changed too. Isn't she cute became isn't she loud. Now, I have a baby who eat meals at regular meal times, has two major predictable naps (morning and afternoon), is changed a handful of times a day, the only thing she can't do is walk, but she is highly motivated to try, and to explore, and squirm. She doesn't want to be confined, is bored by just sitting strapped in a chair (toys be damned) and is not afraid to express it. In short, she is no longer an easy coffee shop baby.
Where to now?

Becca: Career Options

Rebecca is now 10 months old.

I have to go back to work in 2 months time. Holy crap.

My breakfasts are morphing into bigger versions of what I'm trying to feed her - today - plain whole wheat toast and mushy banana. I am trying to help her overcome a very strong gag reflex, because we can't have purée forever. So far, banana is o.k., but toast crumbs detectable with the naked eye are apparently insufferable.
But... to return to the title topic - Rebecca is exploring career options in dentistry and dermatology. I know, it's a little precocious, but she seems hellbent on sticking her hand in the mouths of others, and touching tongues, teeth and gums. Perhaps her own evolving dentition is to blame. Who's to say? As for dermatology, well... she wants to remove my moles. I am a freckled person - I have many dark freckles and marks and some raised moles on my skin. Rebecca is intrigued by these and attempts to remove them with her little pincers. Needless to say, this is painful, but since she goes after those on my neck and upper chest (when I'm holding her), it is difficult to stop her.
Becca's most recent fascination is crawling under things. Note: she attempts to do so whether said objects are big enough for her to crawl under or not. Her determination is quite winning, and definitely keeps me on my toes. She is now adept at reaching for items which have rolled under things. Still no walking though (thank-you!).

Monday, October 2, 2006

Tooth #8 and scary noises

Rebecca got tooth #8 on the weekend, so next up: first molars.
This age, so I have read, marks the peak of separation anxiety. Rebecca definitely seeks me out in moments of distress, and furthermore, can create moments of distress due to my absence. Most recently, her aversion to certain sounds seems more like fear. I believe I have previously reported her extreme dislike of the vaccuum cleaner noise - well, she is now equally frightened by the blender. I have a relatively new blender (a wonderful shower baby shower gift), so it's not incredibly noisy or anything like that. But somehow, it is distressing to my baby. It'll be after-hours purée-making from now on. She is also somewhat afraid of Lily the frog - a cute little toy who sings numbers, and which previously did not engender any unhappiness in Rebecca. She becomes remarkably wary and clingy when Lily is activated. I don't know why this should be the case. She has many toys which make sounds, but I suppose this is the only one with a human voice which looks like it could be alive.