Friday, November 10, 2006

Little Abbey Update

Enough about politics for awhile, how about a Little Abbey update instead?

Little Abbey's Godmother visited last weekend and took one look at a delighted baby before saying matter of factly that she was teething. What? She pointed out the "teeth buds" already forming on her lower gum. I guess that explains the excessive drooling of late.

Also this past week, I was playing with Little Abbey one afternoon waiting for mom to get home from work and I had to go upstairs to get something. I left Little Abbey lying on her back on a blanket in our living room and when I got back a couple minutes later she was still on the blanket but on her stomach. She was looking around with this "what just happened" look on her face. She officially rolled over from her back to front, a baby milestone and one that I missed. So I was trying to get Little Abbey to repeat the feat later on in mother's presence but she wasn't cooperating. I turner her onto her stomach for some tummy time and went into the kitchen to wash baby bottles. About a minute later my wife squealed and I discovered that Little Abbey had rolled from tummy to back, yet another baby milestone and another one that I missed.

Finally I am able to start leaving her to play while I get housework done in the evenings before my wife gets home and this is truly a blessing. She loves her bouncer and crib with all the dangling toys overhead and miscellaneous toys beside her but she still prefers just lying on a blanket (we have hardwood floors) and playing with a select few toys. Her favorite toys are a stuffed turtle that makes a crinkly noise when touched, a stuffed Piglet that sings "Old MacDonald's Farm" and a rattle. All those might soon be replaced thanks to a stuffed duck sent to her by a doting uncle that is a puppet. When I squeeze the beak together, it quacks out three different songs to whatever beat I keep squeezing too. It never fails to bring out the silent laughter in her.

Other than a few chortles now and then, she hasn't busted a gut laughing yet. I long to hear the sound of her laughter and pray that it isn't anything like Janice from Seinfeld. I play a tickle game with her now and then that amuses her greatly but other than loud squeals and that silent open mouthed giggle, no laughter escapes. It will come in due time and I can't wait.

However, it could be like her talking which might not be a good thing. She talks a blue streak in her babbling tongue quite often during the day and occasionally in the middle of the night. I've managed to perfect being able to sleep while she is talking but I'm not sure I could do the same with her laughter.

When "we" were pregnant, our goal was to breastfeed for at least six months and that is rapidly approaching and is definitely going to be attainable. For awhile, it was touch and go because milk production wasn't keeping up with demand and we were trying to find a substitute that agreed with Little Abbey. Our pediatrician gave us the okay at our four-month checkup to begin feeding her solid foods and since that time, demand for milk has stayed steady while demand for food has increased. We have developed a routine where she gets fed twice a day (with solid food) and that seems to work well. In the morning she gets rice mush straight up with no added milk. She seems to like it better the thicker it is. In the early evenings, I will feed her either a fruit or a vegetable that has been cooked (if needed) and blended into a thick paste. We alternate fruits and vegetables and feed her the same thing for a week. Carrots were first but definitely not a favorite of hers followed by bananas that she was okay with and homegrown peas from our garden. Currently it is applesauce and that is definitely a big hit. As her grandmother says, she looks like a hungry shark snarfing down her applesauce. She eats about a third of a cup of rice and a third of a cup of whatever I feed her and that seems to prolong the next bottle for awhile. Per the pediatrician's recommendation, we have been trying to get her to drink from a sippy cup of water during solid food meals but she hasn't quite mastered the sipping part. In order to get her used to the idea, I remove the spill proof valve and gently pour some into her mouth. She really likes having some water after her meal.

Two things happen when you start feeding lots of solids to a baby I've discovered. The poop more regularly (and solidly) and good Lord does it smell. Fortunately for me and my gag reflex, her schedule seems to be in the morning at Mrs. Z's house and on the weekends, my wife takes care of it. I'm a lucky man in that respect.

Perhaps one of the most enjoyable developments is Little Abbey's awareness of her surroundings. She is getting pretty good at zeroing in on somebody talking and cranes her neck, arches her back and turns onto her side so that she can see them. I've seen her playing contently away and she will crane her head to one side just to check if we are still around. Gratifying to know she misses us.

All in all, she seems like she is a happy and contented baby. All of us have gotten through this first cycle of colds and are once again healthy. She is growing like crazy and her feet now stick out of her car seat. Unofficially she is close to 27 inches in length and weighs around 16 pounds. Her hair is also really starting to grow now and I know mom is just counting the days until ribbons can be employed. We are currently using 6 to 9 month clothing but it is starting to get too short so soon we are going to have to break out the 9 to 12 month clothing. We went to the store a couple weeks ago and for the first time we actually had to buy some clothes for her. All the rest have been courtesy of others through showers, just getting rid of because they don't need them anymore, or garage sale stuff.

No comments: