Friday, October 13, 2006

Lucky Little Abbey and 13 Things To Update You On

Are you sure your daughter isn't of Amazonian origin the doctor asked in my mind when he told us that are daughter at 26 inches in length, was off their height charts for her age. Since their charts only go up to the 95th percentile, he wrote her down at 95th plus percentile. Her weight at 14 pounds 2 ounces is only in the 70th percentile so I guess as an Amazonian, she is skinny.

We have successfully made it through our four month vaccinations and checkup and I felt it time for another update to my general reading audience. The vaccinations occurred on Tuesday and as of my writing this on Thursday, she is still suffering from a low-grade fever and general malaise. It always sucks to take a perfectly happy baby into the county health office and end up with a baby you don't recognize for two to three days afterwards. In between doses of Tylenol when it is working, she is herself, but then the pain kicks in and it is hard to console her. I get by telling myself that it is temporary and it seems like after the shots have worked their course, a large transformation takes place and what emerges was even more beautiful than the one before.

We schedule her checkup the day after her shots so that should a reaction occur, we already have an appointment. Fortunately she has had no adverse reaction other than the fever either time. The checkup went well although Little Abbey cried the entire time she wasn't in our arms. She was declared a healthy baby other than the cold she has been suffering through for the last week and we were given a whole laundry list of things to do in the next couple months starting immediately. They are:

1. Start feeding her pureed vegetables and fruits along with her rice cereal via spoon. No bottle mixes of milk and cereal are allowed. We should also use a sippee cup of water during her solid food intake.
2. Keep reading to her especially books with bright colorful pictures as her eyesight is remarkably better now.
3. Remove her from the exer-saucer until she is able to crawl and sit on her own. The doctor said that a baby who spends time in an exer-saucer gets used to sitting up all the time and won't lie down as well for naps. I don't know if we will go cold turkey but we may limit her time in the exer-saucer to fifteen minutes or less a day.
4. At this stage of her development, we should be at her maximum for amount of milk needed to grow. She will require increasing amounts of nutrients but those should come from increasing amounts of solid foods while her milk consumption stays the same.

Most of the rest of the things we talked about were things that we already do or she has already done. Some of those are:

5. Little Abbey is a babbler and talks a lot, even to herself while in the crib or up in the bedroom after a nap. I'll walk in and she will be babbling away. At this stage she has already discovered that by moving her mouth and tongue she can make different sounds and according to the doctor she will soon be in the mimic stage where she watches our mouth movements and sounds and tries to copy them. I'm not someone who curses so watching what I say shouldn't be too big of an issue.
6. Soon she should be able to roll from her front to her back. Little Abbey has shown little inclination to do this but she is fairly close to rolling from her back to her side. She gets her feet underneath her and can lift her entire but in the air causing her to scoot backwards a little bit. She even twists her hips but her upper torso has yet learned to twist with the hips to roll over. I have a feeling it won't be too much longer.
7. She is doing well with her tummy time as long as a good television program is on that keeps her attention. Her neck muscles are really strengthening now and it is becoming hard to feed her or wipe her face because of the moving target thing.
8. She has gotten to where she prefers to be sitting propped up or laying down by herself over being held. This allows us more time to get other things done but already I miss the days of holding her in my arms while she slept for hours. Now if I get the chance to hold her while she sleeps, I need to prop my arms up on something less after fifteen minutes they disconnect from my shoulders due to her weight.
9. She loves her rice porridge. We tried thinning it down with breast milk at first like the books says but she didn't like it that way. If we leave it thick like an applesauce, she just loves it and cries out if we are too slow in feeding her more. She will eat about a half cup of rice porridge once a day and seems to look forward to it.
10. Already since we started the porridge, she had developed a new fascination with watching us eat. With her in a high chair at home or in her car seat when out in a restaurant, we now have about a half hour of relaxation before she will get bored. Much better than a couple months ago when I would shovel my food in as fast as possible so that I could take over entertaining Little Abbey while my wife ate.
11. Although some of her motions are still reflex, she has good enough control now to grab objects and insert them into her mouth. She sucks on everything in site from her own clothes, to whatever toy that might be lying nearby. When I put her in the crib with all her various toys arranged, I'll wind up the mobile and five minutes later when it runs down, the crib will be completely rearranged.
12. Since starting solid foods, you no longer have to feel the outside of the diaper to tell when she might have a poopy diaper. Smell is quite enough if you are within a ten-foot radius of her, sometimes more.
13. And since it is Friday the 13th, I thought it appropriate to add one final thought. I feel like I am the luckiest father in the world to have brought forth a child into this world like Little Abbey. I wouldn't trade her for the world.

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