Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Another Little Abbey Update

I haven't done a Little Abbey update in awhile so here it is in no particular order:

1. She has really begun to develop the gift of gab and entertains herself with her talking. If I leave her temporarily in another room to take drying contacts out of my eyes or to change into more comfortable clothes, I can hear her squeals and coos. Last night after feeding her a bottle at 3:30, (she hasn't quite adapted to the time change) she talked to herself for about 15 minutes before falling asleep again. Makes going to sleep myself a little more difficult when I have a baby monitor right next to my bed.

2. She is permanently a client of Mrs. Z. If you recall, Mrs. Z just took her on a temporary basis until her promised baby client is born and the mother's maternity leave was over. That would be Monday of next week. Mrs. Z said that Little Abbey is such a good and easy baby to take care of, she wants to keep looking after her. I don't know how she does it but she does a good job and we couldn't be happier to hear the news.

3. We've been supplementing Little Abbey's diet with solid foods for a month now and everything is going great. She loves her rice the best and gets impatient when you don't feed it to her fast enough which means I really have to shovel it in. I surprised mom by grinding up carrots and feeding her once only to learn that you should really cook the carrots first. I found all the carrots later in the diaper. Once I gave her some cooked carrots, she liked them all right but not like the rice. Next we fed her bananas, which is where I learn that if you blend up bananas, the next day they will resemble a black sludge. Always use fresh bananas. The following week was peas, which were again greeted with luke warm enthusiasm. Last night I gave her a piece of a pancit noodle that she liked because I had to stop eating and feed her some rice before resuming my meal.

4. We tried supplementing Little Abbey's milk with soymilk since we determined earlier that she might be lactose intolerant. She seemed to not mind those and so a few weeks ago, we gave her a bottle of pure soymilk while out at a restaurant 60 miles from home. Later when we got home and she had another bottle of breast milk, she threw up all over me while I was holding her. I took a shower while my wife gave Little Abbey a bath. My wife then attempted to feed her some more breast milk only to have Little Abbey throw up all over her so she took a shower while I cleaned up Little Abbey, floor and couch. (Thank god for leather furniture and hardwood floors!) We marked it off as a product of having a cold, which Little Abbey did at the time. This past Sunday however, we fed her another bottle of pure soymilk before going to church. I took Little Abbey down to the basement before the service started to change a diaper and ended up holding a puking baby who wasn't in the best of moods. It wasn't pleasant. After the service, my very worried wife came down to rescue me so I could get cleaned up before we went back upstairs and headed home. Needless to say, soymilk is now off the menu for Little Abbey. Instead, we raided the frozen breast milk reserves for the first time.

5. Little Abbey has officially entered into the toy playing stage. She deliberately reaches for toys, plays with them and occasionally can swap them from hand to hand. She will stick every toy as far into her mouth as possible. I brought out the bouncer with overhead toy bar that Little Abbey initially thought was a torture device for her as late as a month ago and now she loves it. She will actually play with her toys until she falls asleep in it. She will play with the blue rattling pig with one hand and stuff the stuffed elephant foot into her mouth with her right hand. If she isn't careful and goes to far, she gags herself. So between her crib that has always been a favorite, the bouncer and a blanket on the floor with a few of her toys, she can be entertained fairly easily.

6. Although she hasn't quite rolled over on her own yet, she is getting real close to getting up on her side. This is in part to her realization that if she hears something, she can turn her head and find the sound. Before, if it was out of direct sight, it was out of mind. So in order to get a better view of something, she will crane her head and push off the floor with her feet, rotating her body until she is very close to being on her side. Part of me wants her to not learn to roll so that she can still remain unattended while on high places like changing tables and beds but another part realizes that if she doesn't learn soon, she is going to retain a flat spot on the back of her still developing skull. We try to give her as much tummy time as possible but she seems to have regressed in this area. Where as before she could go twenty minutes or longer, now that she loves so many toys that are easier grasped when laying on her back, she only goes at most ten minutes on her stomach before getting growly.

7. Little Abbey has developed her identification skills quite a bit in this last month. She knows a pacifier (binky) is for her mouth and when she sees one, she opens her mouth to receive it. She also knows that a bottle of milk deserves the same response. When we are carrying her from one part of the house to another, she is always craning her head to see where we are going. If she hears my voice while her mom is holding her, she is craning her head around to find me. She doesn't do that for my wife much to her chagrin. Daddy's girl I guess. She also loves her turtle that makes noises and helix shaped rattle and will go for one of those first before any other toy.

8. She falls asleep much much easier these days and actually fell asleep while sitting on my wife's lap on evening. Before, she fought sleep thinking that her heavy eyes hurt for another reason causing her to thrash her head and hands around for fifteen or twenty minutes before falling asleep. Now, she just closes her eyes and drifts off. Again, this is huge in the amount of non-baby work I can get done around the house in the evenings.

9. Little Abbey seems to be going through another growth spurt and for the last week and a half, has been waking up once during the night. I usually get the midnight shift since my wife gets up earlier than me to pump her breasts for milk. Little Abbey will suck her bottle down in about five to ten minutes and goes right back to bed so it isn't too bad for me. But is still nice when she sleeps the whole night and I can't wait for that to come back again. She is growing like a weed and is getting really heavy and long. Some of our friends have a son that turned three that is only perhaps six inches taller than Little Abbey.

10. Little Abbey will officially be five months on Wednesday. Because the mother-in-law requires photographic proof that we celebrate the Filipino tradition of monthly birthdays until they are a year old, we celebrated on Sunday and took pictures that we will promptly forward to her on Wednesday. Our evenings as a family are just too short on weekdays to throw the required party to satisfy MIL. Even though Little Abbey is a squealer, I have a feeling that our secret will still be safe.

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