Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wrap her up

Chloe went to bed without nursing for the first time last night. (I mean, no bottle either.) She got her bath and dried and dressed, and we settled down in the chair, but she resisted being laid down on my lap and pointed at the bookshelf instead. So we read a few stories. Then she pointed at her crib, so we brushed her teeth and I set her down to sleep.

She didn't lay right down, but that seemed to be because I didn't offer her the correct blanket at first. She's gotten more particular about her bedding lately. She went right to sleep, and when I checked on her later she had her arms wrapped around one blanket, her pillow under her torso, and a second blanket wedged under her legs. She's definitely her daddy's daughter. This is why there are three blankets in the crib.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Does a body good

Extreme nursing is getting ridiculous. Recently Chloë wanted to nurse, so we went up to the glider and I settled her on the Boppy. She stayed in place for about 1.3 microseconds, then started wriggling and pushing her butt up into the air, head digging down into the chair, feet scrabbling against the Boppy and my arm. I sighed and read my book.

In a few minutes she came up for air. I helped her get upright, and watched as milk ran out both her nostrils toward her mouth. One of my lactation consultants called the stuff "liquid gold." I don't think Chloë values the stuff as much as some.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Status report: Month 13

Well, this month's status report is just going to have to be mostly pictureless. We can't find the camera. I know we had it a couple of weeks ago, when we went to Eric's dad's pool party and took pictures of Chloe swimming, but it's disappeared.

So this month was all about alternative modes of travel. Swimming! Riding! Walking! Tumbling off the couch onto mama's soft unprotected belly! I guess "swimming" is misleading. Eric's dad has a big pool, five feet deep or so, and I got in and held Chloe in the water. At first we had a swimsuit-with-built-in-life-vest on her, but it was a little too big and she sank through it (and got her face dunked when I tried to see if it would support her), so after that she wore her blue leopard-print bikini and I held her while we sloshed around or played ring-around-the-rosy with her three-year-old cousin. She loved it. I want to take her to the beach, but it's getting cooler so it probably won't be for actual swimming this year.

She's learned about the joys of piggy-back rides and shoulder rides--the former when she was climbing on my back anyway and I took her for a ride, the latter when she saw her cousin on my shoulders and wanted to try. She gets the biggest grin on her face. I can't wait to take her on a roller coaster.

And in just the last few days she's turned the corner from just trying out this "walking" thing as a novelty to using it to get around. She tumbles more now than she did when she was first trying to walk, but she doesn't mind, just switches to crawling or gets up and tries again. We're going to have to go shoe shopping soon. She has wide feet, as apparently Eric did as a baby, so it's going to be a little complicated, but Eric's mom has plenty of good information for us.

Her constant "da da da da" has been slightly adulterated by the occasional "na" and "ba" and "uh," but she still doesn’t have any words. She's going to have to come up with some soon, though. We're still doing well on her gestures--pointing, patting, grabbing, nodding--but there are times when she points and says "da da da!" and we don't know what she wants. And I'm doing better on the "what do you want?" and "say 'up'," even though I know perfectly well she wants me to pick her up.

She goes to the door or the windows sometimes and gestures outside, meaning she wants to go out. She's loving her raspberries, and the pears that are ripening and just her size (because I didn't prune them enough). She likes sitting in the grass while I'm getting herbs from the garden. She loves walks, and will point at the stroller to say, "Take me somewhere in the fresh air!" Now that it's cooling down we're more willing to accede, since we're the ones who do the actual walking. If she's got the hang of it, maybe she can push me next time.

She's in 18-month clothes, mainly because the 12-month shirts ride up over her belly and the sleeves and legs are too tight. She likes rubbing her belly. Then, when we're changing her diaper, she likes rubbing further down. We're okay with this as long as she waits until we've cleaned her up.

Meals continue to be great. She's pretty good with a spoon, and loves spearing things with her fork, though she's not terribly patient about it; sooner or later--usually sooner--she gives up and just uses her fingers. Relatedly, she's learnd about real hand-washing, too.

Weaning is going okay. She still points and pants when she wants milk, and yanks at my neckline, but I'm working on giving her bottles and Eric says she now prefers the whole cow's milk to the frozen breastmilk during the day. There are still a few packages left in the freezer that we might as well use up, but I've given up pumping finally (hallelujah!) and this should all be coming to an end pretty quickly. Half the time when she pulls my shirt up it's to blow raspberries on my stomach anyway.

Discipline is not going so great, mainly because she's into everything and there are so many "no"s in her day. We're trying to figure out what kind of discipline works. My particular problem is the toilet paper. She only messes with it when I'm using the toilet, so I can't pick her up and put her in another room, which I've done with other things, and my hands aren't big enough simply to cover it.

She learned about piggy banks earlier in the month. She has two gold piggy banks on the top of her bookshelf, and one had ten gold dollars in it. I had taken to calling them "Loud Pig" and "Silent Pig" and gave them voices to suit. One day she got curious about what was inside Loud Pig, so we opened her up and looked, and I showed her how to put money into the slot. She thought that was pretty cool, so we got some more coins from Eric's change jar and practiced. I shout "No!" and take everything away whenever she starts a coin toward her mouth, and so far she hasn't swallowed one. Putting Money In now rivals Turning Pages Fast as her favorite in-her-room activity.

She likes brushing her teeth now. At night, after nursing and pajamas, I sit with her on the toilet seat and Eric hands her one toothbrush and uses another. He brushes her teeth, and she--sort of--brushes his. In the mornings she points at the toothbrush longingly, but I've been saving it as a treat for the evenings. The dentist recommended we use floss between her bottom middle teeth, and we got some of those plastic holders with about an inch of floss, and those turn out to work really well.

Bathtime has gotten slightly stressful again. Now that she's confident about being on her feet, she loves to stand during her bath. This would be okay if she weren't likely to fall over and hurt herself (she did this a few weeks ago and had a dark bruise on her cheek, and I felt awful). So we're trying to get her to sit down. After a couple of attempts to forcibly sit her down, which didn't work, we've started being very active and playing when she's sitting, and removing the toys and being silent and still when she's standing. This would work better if the bathtub itself weren't such a great toy. She pulls on the knob that turns on the shower, and tries to gnaw on the frog-covered plastic spigot cover, and stomps, and splashes, and draws her fingers along the smooth tile. Last night she was stomping, which I admit did make a neat noise, and puffed out her cheeks and said "Da! Da! Da!" impressively. She looked like a very fat Asian policeman puffed up with her own importance, and I put my head down so she wouldn't see me laughing.

She's doing well in Daddy Daycare. She regularly goes into Eric's arms for a bedtime hug, which she didn't before. Now when I leave in the morning she's usually okay--she just waves--and when he leaves she cries. I have mixed feelings about this, but it's good for her to be attached to her daddy too. She responds better to him than to me when it comes to settling her down for sleep, but that's always been the case.

She seems older than she did a month ago, but in ways less easy to define. I'm guessing that's going to be the case from here on in--except for things like learning to talk. She's more confident, more sure of us, attempting to communicate more, attempting to control us more. She's still fascinated by every little thing, still enjoying motion and new places and new faces--she came with me to a doctor's appointment yesterday and charmed the nurse and an elderly patient with her grins. She's still adorable, still wonderful. And still growing.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

She goes to 11

We've been keeping track of Chloe's number of steps in a row. Previously the record was eight, but now she's up to 11. They're such tiny, cautious steps, and more often than not she decides she's done, rather than falling, and goes down on her knees of her own volition. Evidently our overlord is not a big risk-taker.

(Our thirteen-month-old overlord. Once somebody whose name starts with an E retrieves the camera from his car, I can write this month's status update.)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Money wise

"A penny saved is a penny earned. And a penny earned is a penny more for my ultra-powerful death ray. Sponsors of the death ray will not be fried to a crisp. Donate today!"

Monday, August 16, 2010

Raspberry queen

I think I've mentioned that when the raspberries were ripe Chloë and I would go out and eat them. If not, well, we did, to the point where anytime we passed the raspberry patch she would point and expect to be fed. The first harvest passed, but the second is now beginning. The golden raspberries don't seem to be coming up with a second round, but the red ones are, and they're plump and firm and huge and flavorful and in all ways wonderful. So Chloë expects to be fed again.

This afternoon she was sleeping when I got home from work, so I went out and picked a small bowlful. She was too hungry to wait for dinner, so she ate most of them while we cooked. She'd snatch one from my fingers, shove it immediately into her mouth so as not to waste a drop or a drupelet, and quietly, happily chew until it was gone, when she'd screech to demand another one.

Dinner was fried rice, and she started out with fork and spoon. Then she decided it was too hard and used her hands. Before long she pulled her bib off, her sign that she's done, so I went for the usual wet paper towel while Eric did damage control on the rice down her front and on her arms and thighs. She flapped at us a couple of times, but allowed our ministrations.

Then she blew a wet raspberry. She's been doing this, and sometimes it's cute and sometimes it's gross, spittle overflowing down her lip and chin. This time Eric blew one in response, and she blew another one right at him. She was delighted he'd finally figured out how to play along.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The milky way

So I'm terribly conflicted about weaning. We decided to start the process and eliminated the when-mama-gets-home-from-work feeding. That was fine during the week, but then we hit the weekend and I nursed her nearly every time she wanted it. "But she wants me," I said pitifully to Eric when he went to fetch her sippy cup when she wanted to nurse not long after a meal. Away from her, I'm pretty keen on the weaning idea. When I'm with her, it's more complicated. There are certainly reasons to do it. We've successfully passed the one-year mark and Chloë is now drinking whole cow's milk part of the time, so we can do it without any repercussions. And she uses her teeth on and off. And it's kind of annoying to have her clawing at my chest and lifting my shirt anytime she wants a drink, especially in public. And lately she's much more fond of extreme nursing (e.g., wiggling until she's fallen off the pillow, pushing herself to her feet with her butt in the air so she looks like an inchworm, leaning over on me when I'm lying on my back) than simply lying there and drinking. And when she does lie down, she pokes and pinches my arms and sticks her feet in my face. And I'm tired of pumping.

But then it's very sweet that she relies on me for her favorite food. And it's nice to cuddle with her when she does settle down. And it makes her happy. And it's so convenient. And she doesn't always use her teeth. And the new recommendations are to nurse indefinitely if "mutually desired by mother and child" and my friends are mostly the baby-led weaning sort, which makes me feel guilty about forcing it. And I feel terrible when she wants me and I have her father take her away with a bottle (the, uh, one time we've done that). And it's helping with my weight. And I worked so hard to make nursing work and now it does and do I really want to give it up so soon? So. Conflicted.

Chloë also seems to be conflicted, but it doesn't seem to be causing her the angst mine causes me. We nursed this morning, which never takes long anymore. Or not the actual nursing part; she often takes one side, demands to hear a story or three, and then takes the other side. (She loves story time, or maybe I should say turn-the-pages time. Yesterday we were playing on her floor and she pointed to the bookcase, then patted the chair to indicate we needed to sit up there and read.) After the first side, she picked up one of the bottles from the day before and tried drinking from it. I pointed out that it was empty, but this didn't deter her from trying again, then playing with it, then offering it to me. Then she took the second side and we read some stories before going downstairs to fix my lunch and her bottles.

Obviously I shouldn't sweat this; she likes the bottles, she likes both kinds of milk, and there will be plenty of cuddle time without nursing. I guess since she's working on the walking (six tiny steps yesterday! And a full-on lunge between the couch and me, including a big step in between) and we're not worried about the talking, I have to find something to worry about.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I could eat a peach for hours

We have a peach tree in the backyard. We planted it four years ago. The first year it did nothing. The second year, a few peaches sprang up; the squirrels and bugs got most of them but we ate about three small but wonderfully juicy peaches. Last year a late winter freeze killed off all but one blossom, and that peach disappeared sometime during the summer (I was busy gestating, and didn't notice when). This year, we've hit the motherlode. I noticed the plethora of blossoms in the spring and realized I'd have to prune fruits off, since the tree still isn't very big. I did prune, but not enough; most of our peaches are small, closer to apricot size than the peaches you get in the store. But there are a lot of them, and they're beautiful, and they're very nearly ripe.

Chloë and I went out yesterday and picked a couple. At first she was more interested in the leaves. But when I had a dark red peach in my hand, she made her video-game-like "dzuh?" sound, and when I bit into it, she squealed because she didn't have some. I bit the fuzzy skin off and held the peach out to her. She opened her mouth wide, trying to take a bite. She didn't succeed at first, but she scraped off some of the flesh and got some juice, more dribbling down her chin and my hand. Then she got an actual chunk off and started to choke on it, so I discarded that peach and fetched one of the soft peaches we'd bought from the store several days ago. This one was no problem for her. We stood over the sink, juice dripping everywhere, as she plowed through the fruit. She was sad when it was gone. (She didn't eat the whole thing. Part of it was bruised, and I like peaches, too.)

Monday, August 2, 2010

The terrible ones

Chloe has settled right into being one, kicking and screaming. And biting. We knew we were going to have to start up discipline, but not that it was going to start so soon.

A couple of days ago she was doing a lot of hitting, and Eric spoke to her sternly and set her on the floor (we were all on the couch), and she cried and kicked and was unhappy for the thirty seconds or so we let it go on. Last night she started biting my shoulder. I told her no, and tried putting her on the floor, but that didn't work; so I put her in her bouncer for "a real time out." She was extremely unhappy about this, but she didn't do any more biting.

(For now. She's also using her teeth when we nurse, so I'm starting to actively wean. Yesterday that meant making Eric feed her in the afternoon, because when I hand her a bottle she looks at me like I'm crazy.)

And this morning in the bathroom, I was brushing my teeth and Chloe was exploring, as usual. She came upon the toilet paper, which she's messed with before, so I said around my mouthful of toothpaste, "Uh-uh," sternly. She took her hand away. She looked up at me and slapped the toilet paper roll. Then she removed her hand and checked for my reaction.

This should be an interesting year.