Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Little Abbey Update

I think it is high time for a full-fledged Little Abbey update as always, in no particular order.

1. Feeding her has in ways become easier. Whenever possible, we just let her have what we are eating and also whenever possible, we let her feed herself with her own two hands. This is great because she doesn't whine with impatience if she isn't feeding herself fast enough and it also means that my wife and I can eat together and at a rather leisurely pace. She really likes pasta and has learned to slurp her noodles into her mouth. Macaroni and cheese is a big favorite. When what we are eating can't be prepared via a blender or cutting up into pieces that she can handle and there aren't any leftovers that she can eat, we go back to the standby of mixing cooked rice with the pureed fruit or vegetable of the day and serving her that. If we are feeding her by spoon, she eats until she has enough and then shakes her head side to side when she is full. She also does this with her milk that she only drinks about four times a day at 5.5 oz at a time.

2. Thankfully she still sleeps well throughout the night. On rare occasions she has a bad dream and we need to go in and pacify her so that she can go back to sleep but that is only happening about once every two or three weeks.

3. Her crawling ability is progressing rapidly. She can really move fast if she wants and follows us around the house. She can even get up on her hands and feet (instead of her knees) but doesn't walk this way, probably because she is afraid I would call her monkey girl or something similar. Although she has pulled herself up to a standing position over a half dozen times, she hasn't done it for a couple weeks. I think it is because she can't get sat back down and stands until she falls over from being tired. If we hold her hands, she will pull herself up and walk from one end of the house until the other and at times, tries to let go of our hands and walk on her own. She gets upset it we hang on and upset if we set her down so right now, we are in a no win situation until she walks on her own. She is starting to learn how to shuffle sideways when standing and holding onto something like the couch so I suppose it won't be long before she is furniture cruising.

4. Unfortunately, she has learned about gravity and likes to test it out by dropping things off of her high chair. Fortunately, she values food too much to do this but tosses spoons, sippee cups, empty containers, etc onto the floor. When sitting on the floor, she likes to pick up objects and throw them, watching carefully how they bounce or roll. It's funny but she never can see the action of actual falling because she winces as soon as she lets go anticipating the loud noise of the object hitting the floor. Oddly enough when she is banging two objects together, another favorite activity, she doesn't wince at all.

5. Her stranger anxiety seems to have abated a bit and she seems to only get upset when my parents come over. I think since my dad has a beard and nobody else that we know does, this is the reason. I also think that she is learned to associate faces in a more complex manner. Once with my face covered in drywall dust, she still recognized me. Stocking cap and sunglasses, no problem. Beards however, anxiety problem.

6. Although her favorite toy varies from day to day, I have found that she likes to examine them closer now, spinning them this way and that, putting them on or in another object, and of course, throwing them before retrieving them. I found a simple golf ball with her sitting on the low point of the floor can entertain her for at least a half hour since the ball always comes back. She is even to the point where if the ball rolls under the edge of the couch, she will get down on her stomach and look for it. A not so good development in the toy department is that she become upset if you remove a toy that she is partial too even if it is a lint ball, piece of dirt, etc. It's hers and she lets us know that she is a little bit miffed that we are taking it from her. She will also share toys for a brief few seconds before she grabs them back and toys that she doesn't want she has learned to push or kick them aside. Every so often, I weed out her toy box of the toys that she frequently pushed aside so that I have fewer toys to pick up after she is off to bed.

7. Verbally she is probably a little behind where the pediatricians would like her. She can say mama and dada but she still can't say them discriminately. She babbles quite a bit, especially when well fed and rested but still doesn't try to mimic words. I guess I shouldn't be discouraged because at least she hasn't learned to talk back to me. She does understand some words such as her name and has a general understanding of no or at least the tone of voice that comes with it.

8. My mom taught her a few weeks ago when she had RSV how to wave bye-bye but she still doesn't do that very often. You have to catch her in the right mood.

9. She seems to only take one nap at daycare and one nap in the early evening at home during the weekdays. On weekends, she will take 3 to 4 naps a day. Since we don't have trouble getting to nap on the weekends, I wonder why she doesn't nap more at daycare. I assume it is the distractions but Mrs. Z says otherwise. But as long as she seems well rested and sleeps through the night, I guess I won't be too choosy on this subject.

10. Her weight is probably about 21 pounds and her strength is ten times what it was just a few months ago. It doesn't sound like much but trying to hold her for an hour at church while sitting, standing and kneeling is a full body workout. She really knows how to throw her weight around to her advantage, including moving her high chair backwards from the table. This really makes us earn our keep trying to get her dressed anymore. Ever try to dress a pissed off crocodile? That would be much easier than trying to put on a diaper and jammies on a baby that obviously has other places to be.

11. She has learned about doorknobs and occasionally accidentally opens a cupboard door but still hasn't grasped that she could play with the objects inside. I need to buy one of those locks for the under the sink items because soon she will be able to stand up to reach that handle.

12. She has learned about the values of tools. I've seen her more than once reach out with one toy to press the "30 seconds of music" key on her piano when it has been just out of reach. I'm with her on this one. Who wants to crawl on a hard wooden floor every thirty seconds to get the music to play when a wooden spoon or green rubber ducky will work just as well.

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