Monthly Archives: January 2012

Why Does This Baby Look So Smug?

Why, because not five minutes before, she rolled over from her front to her back all by herself. And then fifteen minutes after the photo, she decided it would be a good day to start sitting up on her own, too. No pictures or video of that; I was too busy having a quiet conniption behind her. She was shaky, but she reached for toys with zero concern, even when she started listing. Then she discovered her feet (finally), and fell over trying to pick the right one up.

It’s been a busy week on the developmental front.

We started solids, as noted in the last Owlet update. Rice cereal is the best thing ever, and she eats two tablespoons for lunch and supper, along with a dessert or side of some kind. We tried the avocado, but poor avocado; its crime was that it was not rice cereal. She was very definite about not liking it at this point, so I’ll try again later. Last Monday I gave her a tablespoon of banana “pudding” (which is a fancy name for mashed banana thinned with a bit of boiled and cooled water) and that was much better. She’s been wolfing that down quite happily after her rice. A couple of days ago she finished off the banana I’d bought so I steamed a couple of slices of sweet potato for her. She didn’t think much of it mashed, but chomped away at it when I held a whole slice for her. We can’t mash carrots enough and she won’t take a whole steamed baby carrot, but applesauce is another hit. I’m going to pick up one of the mesh-nets-on-a-handle (LATER: aha, they’re called teething feeders) that someone brilliant invented for babies, so I can put steamed chunks of stuff in there and let her hold it herself. And this week I’ll try a different cereal, too, so it’s not all rice all the time. I’m sure she’d be happy with nothing but rice, but for my peace of mind variety is good.

I figured eating at the table would be a social thing for her, but she’s become quite vocal and adamant about the actual consumption part of it. When we get her in the high chair to sit at table with us, if food does not appear within what she considers an acceptable length of time she gets very squawky, even if I’ve nursed her beforehand. She loves the experience. She holds her hands out toward the spoon and bowl and quivers. She grabs the hand of whoever is feeding her and pulls it towards her open mouth, guiding the spoon in. I tried giving her a spoon of her own to distract her, but she enthusiastically jabs it at her face and came close to gouging her eye a few times, so I stopped that. When the food is all gone she gets quite upset. I’d give her more, but she’s already eating quite a bit and she needs the room for milk. She grabs at anything people eat, and does the same with glasses and mugs. I can’t eat my own meals while nursing her any more, because she constantly pops off and tries to snatch whatever I’ve got. (She managed to throw her hand up and behind her to curl around the rim of the bowl I was holding and land her fingers right in my oatmeal the other day, splat. She kept nursing through the whole thing; didn’t miss a beat.)

For what it’s worth, there has been no difference in her sleeping habits since she started wolfing down cereal and bananas. And this is after her solid meal, nursing for twenty to thirty minutes, and then taking a three-ounce bottle of expressed milk, which is one of her major sleep cues. She still has all-too-brief naps (it’s looking like four thirty-minute naps these days, which is rather problematic for me and accomplishing the stuff I need to do without her, like pumping), and she still wakes up three or more times at night, settling really badly after the last one around four AM (in other words, not really going back to sleep but complaining and whining a lot interspersed with nursing and drowsing).

The few clothes from the 6-9 month box that I pulled have mostly been put back. Yesterday I sorted through the 9-12 months box for onesies and pants that fit. We’ve given up on sleepers and are going solely with two-piece pyjamas now, because the sleeper legs are either too short, or the torso doesn’t fit from shoulder to crotch over the cloth diaper. The good thing is a couple of people gave us two-piece jammies in a 12-month size, and I found a set among the boy’s old clothes, too, so we’re good. There was a nightgown in a box someone passed along to us as well.

This baby is going to slow down, though, thank goodness. Breastfed babies gain approximately one to two pounds a month for the first six months, on average doubling their birth weight by five or six months, so she’s right on track for that, and then a pound a month between six and twelve months, generally tripling their birth weight by one year old. Lengthwise, they grow 1.5 to 2.5 cm per month between birth and six months, then about 1 cm a month between six months and a year. I suspect Owlet has a stretching growth spurt coming up, though, as that’s kind of what happens after babies chub up as she has.

Christmas Glee

The boy has been very, very patient, waiting two whole weeks for the workshop to be cleaned up, a table to be built, and the box of his very, very special Christmas present to finally be opened.

There are already plans to build a Lego train station, and to take Lego minifigs on a ride in the gondola car. He’s being very careful, very responsible, and couldn’t be prouder of his very grown up gift. He did let go for a second to throw back his head and wildly yell, “Thank you, Santa!”, though.

Owlet: Five Months Old – A Quick Addendum

In celebration of her fifth month under the sun, and in defence of our own food and beverages, all of which have become fair game in her eyes, today at lunch I gave Owlet a taste of organic rice cereal. The verdict? MOAR RIZE SEREUL PLZ. We started with a heaping teaspoon, which she polished off pretty quickly, and she then started to get worked up when there wasn’t any more, so I made the same amount again for a total of one tablespoon. She ate twice that at supper and got annoyed when it was gone, too.

I was a bit taken aback at how dexterously her lips and tongue pulled the cereal off the spoon and worked it further back into her mouth to be swallowed. She didn’t push it out at all; in fact, she ate so neatly that I am almost suspicious that we’re being set up for something. She did a decent job of grabbing my hand and guiding it and the spoon toward her mouth, too. Six months is the recommended age these days for serious eating of solids, in order to supply the additional nutrition required at that point beyond what is obtained from breastmilk, but a mum has to watch for her baby’s readiness in other ways as well, and I think I hit this one right on the money. Food isn’t going to replace milk, and it’s probably not going to add a heck of a lot nutritionally just yet, but she’s exploring flavours and textures and the social act of eating, and that seems to be what she’s wanting and what she’s ready for. Next up: avocado in a few days.

In other milestone news, Owlet still doesn’t roll (though she’s come close while on her back, craning her head around to see something), her babbling isn’t super defined (it’s mostly murmured N/M, B, and V sounds with lots of vowels), and has only today started to experiment with vague raspberry sounds. But she has crazy good trunk and head control, will always choose to stand in someone’s lap rather than sit, calmly turns pages in her cloth and board books, and will “walk” across the floor to someone with deliberate steps forward while someone steadies her lightly under her arms. She can sort of tripod sit before listing too far one way or another, but does decently in a corner of the chesterfield and really well in her high chair and exersaucer. She does awesome baby crunches when on her back or semi-reclined. Four hours seems to be the max stretch of sleep at night, but it’s still closer to waking every two hours. It’s been hard to judge recently, since her sleep schedule both at night and daytime naps went right out the window while she’s been sick these past couple of weeks.

2011 In Photographs (And Some Words)

January 2011:

First loose tooth:

Starting cello:

The new spinning wheel:

February 2011:

The new spinning wheel, finished:

The boy’s first ever self-directed school project with no teacher input: He planned, designed, and executed a three-dimensional model of a penguin.

March 2011:

Oh hey, by the way, we’re going to have a baby around the end of July:

This is what 1.5 km of Polworth singles plied into a two-ply yarn look like:

April 2011:

We planted a crabapple tree:

Spring sprung in our backyard:

May 2011:

The crabapple actually bloomed, bless it:

Book reports:

HRH made his stage debut as bassist with the band known as Invisible:

June 2011:

The boy’s last day of kindergarten:

Sparky’s visits La Ronde, our local Six Flags amusement park, for the first time:

The boy’s first cello recital:

At which I also played, of course, and loved what I did:

Six years old!

July 2011:

We buy the boy his very own cello:

Eight months pregnant made playing in the Canada Day concert a challenge to say the least, but it all worked, even though I looked like a poster child for How To Not Play The Cello:

I knit my first real lace project that involved more than one line of pattern, a cap for Owlet:

August 2011:

We had the baby!

Who wore the lace cap:

September 2011:

The first day of Grade One:

Owlet had a tongue tie clipped after five weeks, which made nursing so much better:

October 2011:

Owlet with her owlet:

Owlet greeeeew:


November 2011:

Cute baby was cute:

December 2011:

Someone was a walking cliche for his sixth Christmas. Suggestions on FaceBook for snappy comebacks when people sang the song at him were, “You should see the other guy,” or “But the puck went in, so it was worth it,” courtesy of Rob:

We tested the “babies get bonuses to cute when dressed in overalls” theory:

We decorated the tree:

Owlet received a delicious Lamaze toy for Christmas from Nana and Grandad:

And a very, very special commemorative dish made by Birdsall-Worthington Pottery in Mahone Bay, a partner to the plate Aunt Wilma gave to Sparky when he was born (Sparky’s has a family of three ducks on it, Owlet’s has four):

You know what else happened in 2011? HRH finished the existing attic to give us both an office space. We’re finally assembling pictures from that odyssey; stay tuned!

Owlet: Five Months Old!

This is the post I’ve been trying to publish for two weeks now. I’ve been adding things to it, so I’m just calling it her five-month post, as she officially hits that age in four days anyway.

Owlet has outgrown the Moses basket. I retired it the day after Christmas, taking it out of the crib and laying her cushy blanket there instead. She really should have been out of it before, as she was just barely fitting in it for her naps, but she looked so cosy.

Important milestone in our house: Owlet turned her first book pages this past month! And it was the Squishy Turtle cloth book that Sparky loved and first turned, too.

Big development: I actually managed to get out of bed after putting her down to sleep for the night, halfway through December. Her habit was to wake up and scream when I crept out of bed, so I was effectively stuck there with her from about seven at night till seven in the morning, even once we began using the sidecar crib; she’s a really light sleeper. This has stuck HRH with all the house and family-related stuff at night. But one night I managed to slip away, and for the first time in months I had time to myself in the evening. Of course, I discovered that the sound of feet on the stairs woke her up, so for a week I was stuck in the basement at night… but at least I was out of the bedroom! We rearranged the bedroom so her mini crib wasn’t right against the wall under the stairs, and she doesn’t react as much to the feet on the staircase any more. We’ve come a long way from the wee birdie who would only sleep in someone’s arms, and we’ve worked really hard for this.

Her lower incisors are bothering her. We can feel them right under the gum, but that’s no guarantee that they’ll will break through any time soon. We have the red cheeks indicative of increased blood flow off and on, and the chewing of fingers at that spot happening.

She rolled from her back to her front on the bed halfway through December! But then she started to cry in frustration because her arm was stuck under her. It was partially a result of how soft the bed was, and therefore somewhat of a surprise to her. She’s come close to rolling over on the floor, but again, her arm was in the way, stopping her. The other morning she managed to balance in the tripod sitting position for a few moments before she started slumping a bit too far forward. In the bath, when HRH holds her in the deep water, she often makes froggy-style kicks with her legs.

She has mastered holding her soother, putting it in and taking it out of her mouth. In fact, she has taken it out and offered it to HRH, who has thanked her nicely but passed on the experience. She smiled and put it back in her own mouth.

She’s in 6-month size clothes. I have no idea how that happened. She seems to have jumped over most of her 3-6 month stuff somehow. I don’t know; maybe the 0-3 months clothes we had were on the large side and the 6-month stuff is on the small side? I know the cloth diapers add a bit of bulk, but honestly. It’s mostly the length that’s the issue. And I tried to put a pair of 0-6 month Mary Jane shoes on her for the first time at Christmas and was frustrated to discover that they didn’t fit her feet at all.

She can say something that sounds very much like hi (or, rather, “Ha-ai!”), which is what we say to her all the time, and she has started sporadically returning waves. We have achieved big, sloppy, open-mouth baby kisses on a cheek, too, and it’s fun to exchange them slowly and carefully for about five minutes at a time.

The poor wee thing is currently in the throes of her first awful cold/flu thing, and she’s miserable. She was her usual cheerful self through the first seven days when it was a head cold, but yesterday it moved down into her chest and now she’s a sad, wheezy, hoarse baby who sounds just pitiful when she cries. She’s taking two naps morning and afternoon, one in her crib, one on someone (usually me), and clinging a lot.

She ate her first solid food between Christmas and New Year’s. She was on my lap, whacking around with her hands while I ate breakfast, and she grabbed a piece of pancake and brought it to her mouth, where she eagerly gummed it. It started falling apart quite soon afterwards, so I had to kind of cup it in my hand for her while she went to town on it. (This photo is an iPhone shot taken by Sparky.)

Something not as pleasant that happened this past month was both of us received some backhanded (and also some pretty direct) comments regarding not keeping up with stuff involving other people. I’m pretty darn annoyed that people are demanding more time and energy from us than we can supply when they know perfectly well that we have a baby in the house on top of the regular stuff that exhausts us, especially when everyone has been warned that we’d be operating at sub-efficient levels for at least six months. For us, the order of energy to commitments has always been family, home, self, then everything else if there’s energy or money left over. The people making remarks are in different life situations, so their context is different, but it doesn’t mitigate the pique. At least we’re grateful that most people with families and houses to take care of understand where we’re coming from.