Sunday, January 31, 2010

Growing so big

Chloë weighed 19 lb, 2 oz. at her checkup Friday. This is 95th percentile. She was also 26 inches. This is 50th percentile. "Is this a problem?" I asked the pediatrician.

"Not really," she said. "Once she starts crawling, it'll all even out."

It's a bit surprising that she hasn't rolled from back to front, and that she doesn't laugh much, but otherwise she's doing well. They gave her four shots (three six-months shots plus flu) and pronounced her fit to go on living. (Chloë wasn't too sure about this in the first couple of minutes after her shots. She recovered surprisingly quickly, though, and smiled at the nurse before she left the room.) Since the appointment was at two and it was only three when we got out, and I had left work with a huge to-do list, I took her to work with me.

"Does she sleep well for you?" was the number-one question, which kind of surprised me. But then I went to a Tupperware party recently and two of the women there had had children who didn't sleep through the night until they were two and three years old. These children are still alive, which also kind of surprised me.

"She looks exactly like you!" one of my coworkers exclaimed, then went on to gush about how cute she was, which made me feel good (since everyone likes to hear they're cute). Chloë was her usual smiley self. "Is she always this happy/well-behaved?" was the number-two question, which also made me feel good. I gave her the tour, taking her to see all the people I'd promised to show the baby one day and a few others besides. We ran into my boss on the other side of the building, where I was obviously doing no work, but I think he understood. He's got a daughter of his own. Anyway, after that we went back to my desk and I did a few things (though I couldn't go into the lab with Chloë because no one can go in without a lab coat, and I didn't think I'd be able to find one small enough) until she started to get bored, and then we headed home.

Today we left her at the grandmothers' for a few hours while we went shopping. For a new carseat for her, among other things. Her current one is good up to 22 lb., which means we've got until maybe the end of April at the absolute latest, but we had a good coupon and some money in the budget, so we got a nice convertible one good up to 65 lb. today. Theoretically two would be ideal, so we wouldn't have to transfer it between cars at daycare, but we're not sure the convenience is worth the extra money. At any rate, unless we opt for the convenience we shouldn't have to buy another for quite a while.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Status report: Month 6

Chloë turned six months old this Saturday at Confusion, a science fiction convention in Michigan. She loved the convention--there was neat new scenery! And things to look at! And people to smile at! And kids to dance for her! And minions to acquire! Really--we handed out "Chloe's Minion" badge ribbons.

(Note: my camera decided to be funny and force me to format my memory card, deleting the weeks of pictures I had stored on it. I’m still bitter about this. It's good that it happened over the holidays when everyone else was taking pictures, but I had some I really loved on there. The pictures you see are from our new camcorder, which is good for movies but not so good for stills. But it's better than nothing, grumble grumble.)

Chloë at six months is worlds away from the tiny baby she was when she was born. She's not so tiny, for one thing. Her six-month checkup is Friday but we're figuring she's somewhere between eighteen and twenty pounds. She's perilously close to outgrowing her carseat; we're going to have to go shopping for a new one very soon. She has chubby arms and legs, and feet stuffed to capacity, and thigh rolls, and neck rolls, and cheek pads. This isn't new, but it may soon be gone; she moves a lot more now, kicking and grabbing and sitting and occasionally rolling and doing her level best to figure out how to crawl. She hasn't done it yet, but she's getting close. She pushes herself up on her arms, then sort of heaves back onto her knees, then flops down, then gets her knees under her, but she hasn't figured out how to do it all at once.

She loves to sit unsupported and play with whatever's in front of her, and she loves to stand up. We play the sit/stand game now: I tell her "Give me your hands," then take her hands. (Eventually she'll give them to me of her own accord. Someday.) I say, "Sit," and pull her into a sitting position. I say, "Stand," and she bounces to her feet; I say, "Sit," and relax my grip to let her sit down again, and we repeat. She loves to be jumped, and to fly in the air, and to roll off my stomach onto the bed, and to have her belly kissed and tickled. She still isn't doing a full-fledged laugh, but she giggles, hesitantly, as if she's still learning how to do it, which I suppose she is.

We've slowly added more foods to her diet. She tried peas and hates them, tried meats and was ambivalent about them. The current list: rice, oats, sweet potatoes, carrots, corn, green beans, peas, apples, bananas, cherries, peaches, pears, turkey, and beef. We bought some wheat cereal but will wait to offer it until we talk to the doctor about exactly how this transition to solids is supposed to work. That and blueberries, pineapple, potatoes, squash, barley, and maybe rye are next on our list. Also juice and sippy cups.

Her hair is medium brown with golden glints now, subtly different from the dark brown she was born with. Her mohawk remains; her birth hair has been slowly falling out as the new stuff grows in, so she has fine stubble on the sides of her head, but the mohawk is still original. My little cassowary. I'll miss it when it's gone.

She sleeps from nine until four or five now, and goes to bed very easily (except for a few nights there). She does not, however, go down for naps unless she's absolutely exhausted. She'll sleep in the car sometimes, or occasionally in her swing (which she's also outgrowing), but put her down and she screams and screams until we pick her up again. She's definitely a people person.

Sometimes she's very talkative, and we're hearing consonants now--"da" and "gah" and, recently, "umwa." We think it's the sound we make when we kiss her. She talks herself to sleep, and sometimes during the day she'll babble, adding the occasional raspberry. Sometimes she just smiles and drools. At Confusion she and I were in the hotel room for half an hour or so, waiting for Eric, and we just hung out: she clutching a toy, me reading a book, the both of us lying on the bed and smiling at each other. I loved it. I love six months.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Good help is so hard to find

Chloë has a pretty steady bedtime routine now: an ounce or two of solids, a bath if she's getting one, then nursing, pajamas, and bed. We turn on her "Sleep Sheep" and give her her stuffed puppy, and she lies in the crib singing to herself until she falls asleep. We had some struggles getting her to this point, but it's been pretty comfortable for the past couple of weeks.

Until two nights ago, when we put her down and she screamed and screamed. "Let's wait a few minutes," Eric said after it had gone on a few minutes and she hadn't wound down. Then, not long after, "No, this sounds like something's wrong." So we went in and picked her up and checked her and the crib. Nothing seemed to be wrong. So we held her until she was calm and put her back down, and after a few more whimpers she settled down to sleep. (And slept until 6:30. I was so happy.)

Last night when I came home from work, she was in her exersaucer. I crouched down to say hello, and she grinned and bounced. "I'm going to go put my coat away, and then I'll be right back," I told her, and started up the staircase.

She roared her displeasure, which hasn't happened before, and didn't stop until I came back down and picked her up. "I told you I would be right back," I said, but she was unamused. At bedtime there was much screaming again. I went in and checked on her, and held her until she was quiet, and when I put her back down she started screaming again. She cried herself to sleep about ten minutes later. I'm wondering if Miss Overlord is discovering separation anxiety. It's a little early, but perhaps she doesn't realize that Eric and I are eminently replaceable; she has plenty of minions she could promote to trusted lieutenant if necessary. Maybe she just doesn't want to go to the trouble of conducting the interviews.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Meat and greet

Last night Chloë had her first taste of turkey. "What does she think?" I called from the kitchen.

"I don't know," Eric said. "I don't think she knows either." I came into the dining room. Chloë had a peculiar look on her face. "It's not the outright rejection that the green beans got, but she's not eager for it either."

He spooned a little more into her mouth. She rolled it around, looking dubious. "It's even more ambivalent than her reaction to the beef," he said. He stopped spooning, and she darted her head forward, grabbing his wrist; but when he offered more turkey she screwed up her face in perplexity.

I got a whiff of the turkey and muttered, "Cat food," to Eric, and he muttered back, "Stop it." But Chloë seemed to share my opinion: she likes the act of eating, but she didn't like having the turkey actually in her mouth. She didn't reject it, but she didn’t seem to know what to make of it. I've been a vegetarian so long that in some ways I don't really think of meat as food anymore. Maybe since she didn't get any in utero, she wasn't prepared to accept it as food either and was wondering why we were offering her this weird non-food item at mealtime.

Or maybe she just needs to get used to it. I ate plenty of green beans while pregnant and she downright hates those.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A pair of firsts

Chloë had her first sleepover last night, at Mimaw's. Reportedly she screamed for an hour and a half due to gas, delaying her bedtime. Then she slept through the night. She hasn't done that with us yet. I see how it is.

Today she spent a lot of time sitting and playing with her toys (i.e., trying to eat them), and we ended the day with a bath. Getting her undressed, Eric decided to try blowing raspberries on her tummy, and produced a little, hesitant, baby laugh. It's not the belly laugh I was promised by the pediatrician, but it's still a beautiful sound.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Status report: Month 5

These things are getting later and later, but I at least have the excuse of the holidays. (The pictures are also all coming from our photo shoot with Don, plus another shot of his, because the others are on Eric's computer and his CPU fan died, so we can't get to them. This is also why the pictures are so much more awesome than usual.)

Month five was great. Chloë is no longer a newborn; she's a real baby, and a real person. She's pretty easygoing but doesn't like to be alone, or out of our arms very long. She loves eating from a spoon. She likes to grab, she likes to shake rattles, she likes to play. She's a lot more fun than she used to be.

The fifth month ended (technically just before, but like I said, I'm late writing this) with the bang of her first Christmas, when she received loads of toys and clothes and new-to-her relatives (including a brand-new baby cousin), and her first New Year's Eve, which she met as I assume most babies do, asleep in bed. Getting her to sleep better in her crib has been one of the signal accomplishments of the month. We finally started doing the cry-it-out method (which actually involves checking on her every three minutes, then every four, every five, etc.) and while hearing her cry is still heart-rending, she's doing better at getting to sleep at night and even for naps. She still doesn't sleep through the night, but she goes to bed at around 9 and her next feeding is at around 3:30, and that's a lot better than it has been.

Her four-month checkup went excellently; she was 16 lb. 4 oz., about 95th percentile for weight, healthy and normal, and still hates shots. I'm still a little annoyed that she blamed me rather than, say, the nurse who injected her. The trip to Seattle and back showed she's an excellent flier, and patient, and loves people. In fact she just generally seems to love life these days.

Everything still goes in the mouth, and we believe she's just started teething: now when our fingers get pulled into her mouth, they get gnawed instead of sucked. She continues to be very drooly, and her mouth is chapped, so I've been applying Aquaphor (a petrolatum-based lotion) to try to help. She hasn't seemed fussy due to pain, but we bought some baby Orajel, just in case, and there are some teething rings in the fridge.

Rolling never caught on; she did it once more in Seattle, while none of us were watching, and that's been it. "Been there, done that," she says. "Let's move on." Now she likes to "fly" on her tummy--all four limbs lifted off the ground--and try to pull herself up into a sitting position. She's mastered tripoding and moved on to actual sitting. She can't actually pull herself up yet, but if you place her there, she stays (at least for a while). It's amazing. My baby can sit. Her grandfather also taught her the trick of being pulled up to her feet, and now we play the sit/stand game: I take her hands and pull her to a sitting position, then standing, then sitting, then standing. It's the greatest game since the Baby Wiggle Wobble Dance. (Note: every new mother makes up inane songs to sing to her child, right?)

Food has been a big thing this month. Chloë has now had rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, bananas, apples, green beans, carrots, and beef. Also water, in the form of sips from my cup and an ice cube from her Nana. (The kid has four grandmothers and not one wants to be called "Grandmother." They're Mimaw, Omi, Halmoni, and Nana. I guess it cuts down on confusion.) She's lukewarm about water and beef and very down on green beans, but loves everything else.

The colds have continued, but they haven't been as bad as the first one. We've been using saline drops on her to get things loosened up, and she doesn't like it, but she hates having her nose wiped more. You'd think she'd be glad to get the snot off her face and out of her nostrils, but no, her Overlordness wishes to be left alone with her snot, thank you very much. However she can't enforce that wish until she gets her hands on a blaster, so she's out of luck for the time being.

She's expressing her opinion on a lot of things these days; the "Aaaaaah" is still there, but there are some "Baaas" and "Gahhs" and "Ayyyyys" and squeals mixed in. She talks to us, and we talk to her, and I think we're settling in as a family now. It's a very nice feeling.