Saturday, November 28, 2009

Status report: Month 4

Chloe turned four months on Monday. I apologize for the lateness of this update; I've been sick, she's been sick, it was Thanksgiving, and so on. That's been pretty much the word this entire month, actually: I've been sick, she's been sick, and so on. Her first cold was quickly followed by a second, accompanied by a fever and some horrible choking noises that had us calling the doctor just in case. She's been coughing and snorfling ever since. So have I--only I've been a lot more bothered by it than she seems to be. Maybe when you can't blow your own nose you just accept that your breathing is going to sound loud and rumbly.

The big things this month have been sucking, vocalizing, and rolling. Well, that last one maybe not so much, since she did it once and then never again, despite our continual encouragement and occasional nagging. "You don't like being on your tummy? Well, you know how you could get back onto your back? ROLLING."

Everything goes in her mouth now, a change from last month. Her fingers are most often in there, but other things will do--our fingers, our knuckles, Tigger's tail, Ugly Bear's paw, the burp rag (which is especially convenient). She's not teething yet--we think--but I'm planning on pulling out the teething rings anyway because the soft toys are all matted and gross from her saliva. (However, she continues not to take a pacifier well, or long, though she does better than she did. I've decided I don't really care if she never really takes to them.) My hair often gets dried into stiff locks because she grabs it and stuffs it in her mouth. So does anything else within reach that isn't nailed down.

Food is also going into her mouth, in small quantities--rice cereal with milk mixed in. So far she's bewildered and slightly indignant that we keep trying to put this stuff in her mouth, but she may have swallowed a tiny amount accidentally. We're going to keep it up a while, once a day, and see how it goes. I'd hoped to give her a little yam to try on Thanksgiving, but she just wasn't far enough along and we forgot to have a small piece saved out anyway. I did dab a tiny bit of cranberry sauce on my finger before letting her suck it, but I'm not sure it was enough for her to have noticed. Today we tried giving it to her between R.I.N.D.S. units, and she seemed to understand that hey, this stuff is also food. We'll see if the lesson sticks.

We're both scheduling haircuts because it's at risk of a good yank if it gets anywhere close. (Well, that's why I'm doing it. Eric's got some idea that he has to look professional at work.) The grabbing ante has definitely been upped in the past few weeks; she's more interested in it and better at doing it. Board books, not paper books, are definitely the way to go for a while now.

Her bedtime is now where we want it, between about eight-thirty and nine-thirty depending on when her last feeding is. Her napping is not where we want it--it happens only if she naturally falls asleep, usually in the swing, which she's rapidly outgrowing, and not very often--but now that she's sleeping more at night she's not so egregiously overtired at bedtime. She's not sleeping longer at night, though. I get the occasional four-hour stretch, but mostly it's two and three hours now. The books say this can happen during developmental leaps forward, so maybe that's the explanation. Or maybe she's decided that she's been nice enough to me in the past and she's not going to bother anymore.

"Aaaaah" is now her constant communication. Especially at seven on a Saturday morning. She never seems to get tired of it. (Come to that, I only get tired of it at seven on a Saturday morning.) She's done "Hah" a couple of times, and "Gah" once or twice, but mostly it's "Aaaaah. Aaaaah. Aaaaah! Aaaaah..."

She's a very smiley girl. We took her to all-day gaming yesterday (well, it went all day; she didn't) and she passed out free smiles all day. Her smile starts slow and spreads exponentially until her entire face glows. It's the sweetest thing in the world. (Though the increased time between feedings is good too.)

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