Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Another new tooth for Lucy

Yesterday, Lucy cut a new tooth while we were at the grocery store. That makes five now.

She had been cranky for a few days, and had been eating and sleeping more than usual. In my great maternal wisdom, I had credited her recent attempts to sit from crawling with the deficit in her energy levels. For many days now, she has been fully extending her back legs from a crawling position. Her feet are flat on the floor and her arms remain on the floor (so it's sort of a downward-facing dog on forearms). Unfortunately, she has not mastered the backing-up into a seated position part yet - so there have been many horrific face plants lately. It doesn't help that we have no carpeted surfaces. I try to keep her on the rug in the living room, but these days she goes whereever she wants. I have to keep her Robeez on all the time now, to ensure that she has enough traction for these manoeuvers.
At any rate... I took her out with me to fetch a few items from the grocery store, giving Greg and Becca a chance to enjoy the snow. Lucy was madly chomping on her vibro-teether. Suddenly, I saw blood on her lips. She opened her mouth, and I saw blood on her tongue. I'll admit to a moment of panic. My first thought was to check the tooth I knew she was labouring on. Nothing. That's when my heart truly began to pound. Could she have gotten something inappropriate into her mouth when I was looking elsewhere? Could she have bitten herself? I finally managed to convince her to keep her mouth open long enough for me to run a finger around. That's when I discovered that she had cut a completely different tooth than expected. This new tooth is on the same side as the one I was anticipating, but on the top instead of the bottom. When I found it, it had just pierced the gum and there was still blood around the edges.
I am beginning to notice that Lucy is expressing frustration when her explorations are curtailed. She is an incredibly curious baby, and like most babies her age, she is very interested in completely inappropriate objects (and locales). She would like nothing better than to get into Rebecca's room. Sometimes she does (because she's fast, and we're busy). Sometimes we shut the door. This annoys her to no end. She also expresses frustration via various wails and cries, when I take an object off the floor that she had clearly been heading towards. Her second favourite place to attempt to enter is the vestibule. Lucy is obsessed with shoes. She wants to go after any and all shoes, and puts them in her mouth. This is a challenge lately because (as I said above), she is almost perpetually in her Robeez. Sometimes she decides to gnaw on them in the middle of a meal - even when her face is covered in sweet potato purée. Sometimes she decides that one of the other Moms at Fitmom has more attractive sneakers than I do, and she attacks them. The worst scenario - as you may have already imagined - is when Rebecca's shoes are accessible to Lucy.
At this time, neither Lucy nor Rebecca seem to be experiencing the upsides of having a sibling. Rebecca screams whenever Lucy starts crawling towards her or some object (any object really) with ear-shattering exclamations like "HELP! Lucy crawlin'!!!". Rebecca is also inclined to try to change Lucy's direction by means of physical intervention. Lucy, who is obsessed with Rebecca, is heartbroken when Rebecca shuts her bedroom door in her face. Also, both girls seem to be more insistent about having my attention lately - but in order for me to spend time with them that does not involve trauma for either party - I have to separate them! This makes life a lot more complicated. It is very hard to achieve this. Obviously - Lucy's nap times help, and I have staggered their bedtimes a bit (they were previously synchronous), but it is difficult!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rebecca's parenting input

Lucy's speedy crawling lifestyle has been the cause of no little distress for Rebecca. Becca is learning the hard way that if she leaves things on the ground, they are liable to be attacked by her baby sister, and covered in drool (or something worse). Lucy doesn't care that the item might be Rebecca's sock, Rebecca's shoe or Rebecca's favourite blanket. Consequently, Rebecca keeps asking me to clean her things after Lucy has been at them, or even just near them. Other than shrieking, Becca's latest coping strategy has been to suggest to me in no uncertain terms, that Lucy requires a nap or a snooze. I suppose this would effectively eliminate the problem, but keeping Lucy perpetually unconscious is just not viable.
Today, Rebecca made me sit at her place at the dining room table, so she could serve me "pretend bread" and make me drink fake milk out of a plastic bowl. It is fun to play along. Most of her imaginative play has been solo to date, and it is nice to see her branching out. She also accesorized me when I was trying on some old evening wear - I was told to wear a silver plastic crown in my hair, and a Hawaiian floral lei on my arm. The effect was certainly eye-catching.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lucy and I

If only Lucy had been looking at me instead of Rebecca!

Lucy & Me

Classic Rebecca

O.k., this is an older one - but I just got a hold of it today so... enjoy!

The passage of time

November 10th - Rebecca is 1 month away from being 3
Rebecca has developed a particular interest in her privates. This is perfectly normal and healthy for her age and yet can have (and has had) some spectacularly messy side effects when combined with potty training. Rebecca is so keen to observe herself, that she "grasps and raises" (I don't know how else to describe it), with her hands when sitting on the toilet. When it comes time to pee, this inevitably causes a fountain-like spray. Good times.

November 11th - I turn 32.
I always make a practice of observing Remembrance Day, and I have been taking Rebecca with me from the time she was born. The last time was pouring rain, and freezing cold, but Rebecca was snug in the baby backpack. This time, it was only 2 degrees or so, with a little bit of snow, but no rain. Rebecca was in her comfy snowsuit and experienced the ceremony with my father and I. Greg, being sick, stayed home with Lucy. I fully intend to take Lucy next year, when she is a more suitable age. Rebecca by contrast, was nearly 1 the first time we went with her and therefore, much easier to manage. While it's important for me to make this a part of my children's lives, I also want to be respectful of the solemnity of the occasion. Rebecca was extremely well-behaved. She particularly enjoyed the music (no big surprise), and alternated between being held by Grandpa and Mommy. I was very happy that the 3 of us attended the ceremony together. Becca appreciated the airplanes, made comments about the poppies, and assured me that the 21 gun salute was in fact a noise made by clocks. I don't expect her to understand what's going on, or the purpose of the day at this point. All I am hoping to do right now, is to show her that it is something that we participate in as a family, and to create an awareness of it in her. Then, over time, she will bring her questions to me and I can explain in greater detail. I know that she understands the concepts of conflict and fighting, however, the concepts of nations, death and large-scale destruction are still outside of her world-view (too bad it won't be that way forever). She is beginning to understand aspects of death - like the idea that a body can be broken and not fixed, but the totality of it escapes her. Despite these grim musings, I enjoyed a fabulous day with my husband and my daughters - I let Rebecca crawl into my bed in the morning and we had a great cuddle, Lucy barfed on me and was also cute and cuddly, we went out for lunch, and we got our flu shots. Greg and I watched Battlestar Galatica way too late into the night while eating ice cream with hot fudge sauce. All in all, he was very sweet and attentive even though he was suffering from some freakish virus. It was perfect.

November 12th - Lucy turns 7 months old
Lucy started crawling several days ago, but has now reached a state of high mobility at seemingly impossible speeds.. Nothing on the floor is safe - including your feet. She has a penchant for shoes in particular. Nowhere was the change in her locomotion more evident than in today's (Nov 13) Fitmom class. She usually just rolls around on our mat, grabbing toys and chewing them. This time she left our mat, and went to someone else's. She pursued another crawling baby in order to chew on his Robeez (while they were still on his feet). She attacked my sneakers while I was doing butterfly crunches, and she rolled my water bottle across the floor. The downside is, now when she barfs (still quite often), it falls on the floor in front of her, and then she puts her hands in it and spreads it around (as though she was fingerpainting).

This week's trauma: Vaccinations

Apparently Rebecca knows what a needle is for.

The family trundled off together to get our flu shot for the year.  I was going to have to take a pass due to a cold w/fever.  Rebecca had no such luck.

She has fun reading books and intimidating a little 3 year old girl in the waiting room, and then it's our turn.  We proceed through the waiting room door, a couple paces down a hall and into the examination room where we'll be getting our shots.

Rebecca sees the needles laid out, does a quick about face saying "Oh no... Go home okay."  She lets herself back out into the waiting room and starts moaning, much to the amusement of everyone including the receptionists, who see me chase her down.  I carry her back into the injection room of terror, and she starts squirming and crying, working herself into a mini frenzy.

The nurse tries to tell me how I need to hold her just this way, while I struggle to pin her legs in my lap and grab her arms in mine.  We peel her shirt off and I grab her forearms.  The injection is done as quickly as it can be typed.  Rebecca then takes exception to the bandaid put on her upper arm, and I struggle to put her shirt back on.  She pulls her arm out through the neck of her shirt and rips off the bandaid.  I give up on it at that point, time to get out of the room to let Mom and Lucy get their shots in peace.  Rebecca's been wailing the whole time.  A constant chorus of "Oh no, Go home now ok, no more stickers (bandaid)" etc etc.

We beat a hasty retreat, with sympathetic smiles and chuckles from the receptionists and people in the waiting room.

I thank the receptionist on our way out and Rebecca follows it up with a tear filled "Thank you" burying her head in my neck.

"Oh dear, you don't have to say thank you." says the receptionist.

On the way home my wife reminds me that we should be grateful for not just having the opportunity to get vaccinated, but that it's paid for by our health care system.

Sure the flu's not the end of the world (unless you've got a compromized immune system, are old, or very young), but stuff like polio, diphtheria, measles, and whooping cough are no laughing matter.

I had whooping cough when I was quite young, and it was apparently pretty touch and go for a little while.  They had me in an oxygen tent and my parents were scared that I would die.  (If I'm not mistaken I *had* been immunized, but was in the small percentage of people who still contract it) I can't imagine how I'd feel having one of my kids come down with one of those diseases if we hadn't done the immunizations.

Worth a read:

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Rebecca - a little crisper

Jolly Jumper and Trick Or Treating

First, the Jolly Jumper video:

Our little pumpkin:

(So cute she's out of focus in the full sized)
So here's the story:

Over the last couple months Rebecca's been getting scared of Halloween. Decorations at the grocery store resulted in her putting her head in her hands, or blanket over her head saying "Don't be scared, it's ok. Go home now."

That being said, she was quite excited about it, and took every opportunity to mention pumpkins and skeletons and scarecrows.

The night arrives, and she gets bundled up. She is warm, and super cuddly in her outfit. We head out, and the first leg goes well, with only a few requests to be carried, and a few resolute "Don't be scared" statements from Rebecca.

We go around the block where there's one of THOSE houses. You know the ones, bodies hanging from the trees, gravestones, do not cross tape, and spooky lighting.

I was expecting things to go sideways at that point, but Rebecca simply said "Hello scarecrows, hello pumpkins!" and we went up for some trick-or-treating. As we approached she did ask to be picked up, and I obliged, but she was in good spirits. She got her candy and was ok to be put down. As we left, though, we passed the owners' mini-van which had the door open to play a Halloween CD on the stereo. As our intrepid candy beggar passed a mournful shriek emanated from within the familymobile, followed up, in harmony, by an ear piercing wail of terror from Rebecca. (while crying) "Don't be scared. Are you afraid? It's ok. Bye bye scarecrows. Go home now."

All was ok with a good minute of cuddling though, and the trick-or-treating continued.
We get to a house halfway down the next block (we simply circled one block, so we were on our way home at this point) and Rebecca dutifully goes up to the front door. As the screen door opens she pipes up with a cheerful "Trick or treat!". Behind the door is a lady in a scary ghoul mask with a giant wig. Screams and crying ensue. The lady takes off her mask and tries to placate Rebecca. (while crying) "Trick or treat. Happy Halloween. Bye bye. Go home now. Carry me ok?"

I tell you, that was worth the price of admission right there. I got an awesome cuddle out of it to boot. And really, while these are the sorts of scars that never heal, they're also invisible so I can't get in trouble for them.

I can't wait 'till next Halloween.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Lucy's new tooth

On Hallowe'en Lucy finally cut her fourth tooth. She has been a little cranky the last few days as it continues to ease its way out.
We are still exploring the world of mushy vegetables and other solids. So far her preferences look like this:
Rice: yum
Barley: yuck
Oats: super-yum
Carrots: indifference
Squash: super-yum
Peas: acceptable
Wax beans/yellow beans: yuck
Green beans: yum

In the past two days, Lucy has begun to make pre-crawling movements. This consists of rocking back and forth while on her hands and knees. She also sometimes fully extends her back legs so that she is doing a variant of downward-facing dog.
I distinctly remembered Rebecca's pre-crawling stage, so I decided to look at my blog archives.
I was frightened to discover that after having observed pre-crawl motions in Becca, she crawled and sat up within a period of three weeks, and within a month, she was pulling herself to a standing position using her crib, playpen - whatever.

Lastly, on impulse I bought a Jolly Jumper for Lucy. I don't think I've ever seen Lucy have so much fun. And it entertains the rest of us. More later - with pics from Hallowe'en.