Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Status report: Month 16

I really need to update more often. I've got so much to say, and so many pictures to show off. (This would be less of an issue if my new computer were working properly, I suppose.)

Sixteen-month-old Chloë is all about talking and independence. She wants to do things, but she wants to do them in her own time and her own way. Did you know you can bribe a sixteen-month-old with a wipe to lie down for a diaper change? Did you know I have to most days? I think she's a bit more of a challenge this month than last, but we're also proud of how much more of a big girl she's getting to be.

Talking is huge. She's picking up words like litter, except without her propensity for putting them in the garbage can and carefully closing the lid, then applauding herself. She's much more willing to imitate things we say than she used to be. She knows "jacket" now that we've been using it a lot; she can say "Ahh-ee" (Addie) and "Aay" (Rae), or she could at Thanksgiving when we asked her to. (And she can say "Dude" when her mother is exclaiming over something.)

Separation and stranger anxiety seem to be nearly gone. She waves me good-bye in the morning, and comes to greet me at night, but she never asks to be picked up; usually she points at my shoes and says "Djhou!" or my jacket and says "ahh-keh" or just comments "Mom," and goes on with what she's doing. She had a great time with Grandpa and Halmoni when we went to visit, particularly Grandpa--I'm thinking she remembered him from when he visited for her birthday.

She says "kagul," which can mean either cup or the water in it; I keep a glass in the bathroom and when she says it I fill it up and give her a sip. She can't hold it herself and drink, not successfully anyway, though she loves to try. She likes playing with her cup in the bath partly because there, it doesn't matter if the water spills out. She surprises herself occasionally by getting it all in her mouth; she sits there (she's much, much better with the sitting lately) with big eyes after the gulp, and I sing one of my many Chloe-specific adaptations:

"I have a little daughter
Her name is Chloe S
I put her in the bathtub
Because she was a mess

"She drank up all the water
She ate up all the soap
She tried to eat the bathtub
But it wouldn't go down her throat"

She continues to be a good eater, sometimes too good. She loves everything: fruits, vegetables, meats, breads, tiny sips of hot chocolate, whole olives. Even raw dough. We were making egg rolls the other night; Eric and I were at the stove discussing meat:veggie ratios, and Chloë was over by her little table, where we have a bowl of crackers or fruit most of the time and her sippy. (Not so good: she doesn't like water anymore, unless it's out of my glass. But she drinks her half-and-half juice with pleasure.) I turned without knowing why and saw the package of egg roll wrappers in her grip, the wrappers ripped at one corner and one whole one stuffed in her mouth. "No!" I shouted. "Nanana!" she cried around the wrapper, still chewing.

The egg rolls turned out well anyway. They did end up being too late to be dinner, so instead of sampling one, Chloë had tofu with barbecue sauce. Neither Eric nor I would touch it--I don't like barbecue sauce and he doesn't like tofu--but our fusion child scarfed it down and asked for more. She likes artichokes, too, and pasta salad, and pumpkin pie, and green beans in butter. She especially likes anything of the right consistency for her to stab with a fork and successfully bring to her mouth herself. Mealtime is sometimes quite messy, but it's usually a lot of fun.

She's on her way to becoming a one-nap child instead of a two-nap one; she sometimes refuses to sleep in the afternoon and sometimes takes only a very short one. Other days she sleeps practically all day. She's taken to asking (by pointing) for her pillow and blanket from her crib and snuggling down with them on her floor, even when she's not actually tired. When we're in the living room watching one of her shows, she'll often put her head in my lap or curl up next to me. It's a sweet time. Though I have to remember to keep a book or something close at hand, because she's only got a few shows and I know them pretty much by heart.

One of them, Baby da Vinci, features the "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" song. She loves the video in general because it has so many kids in it ("Baby!" she says, turning to me to make sure I'm aware. "Baby baby baby!") but her favorite part is when that song comes on, and lately I've been having to play it for her four or five times in a row. "Heaaaa," she says, patting her head. She knows where her shoulders are, but during the song she usually hits her head, her toes, her eyes, and her nose, and is content to wait for the song to catch up with her. Eric and I tap the appropriate body parts during the song to help her along.

She has three winter hats, one her halmoni bought her and two that I made, and she loves to pull them on and tromp around the house in them. She also likes trying on Eric's blue hat, which is enormous on her but looks adorable when we turn the brim up. My fears of her freezing to death because she wouldn't keep a hood on are assuaged for now, though of course we haven't actually taken her out in truly cold weather yet. We'll see how it goes.

We're not really doing anything on the potty training. She likes to sit on the potty, and occasionally she does something in it, but I don't think she's made the connection that she's always supposed to do that in the potty rather than in her diaper. Mom and Dad say we need to time when she normally, er, eliminates, and make sure she's on the seat at those times. We haven't yet gotten our act together to do that, but it sounds promising.

Her understanding is amazing. I tell her things like "We need to change your diaper so we can go shopping, so let's get your pants off," and she leans into me to let me remove her pants. I say "Can you hold your bottle when we go downstairs?" and she walks from her room to the top of the stairs with it, stopping to close the lid to a box, and waits for me there to lift her down. She can obey instructions like "give this to daddy" or "put that in the trash," and is often helpful when I'm folding clothes by putting her bibs in the special bin we keep them in. She's so pleased to help, and I'm so proud.

She's gotten very keen on trying on clothes lately. Usually when she's already fully clothed. She'll extract a shirt from the basket of laundry I'm folding, or pants from her drawer, sit down and try to pull them on. (It's always on her legs.) She's actually gotten close to getting on a sock a couple of times, and is pretty good with her hat and mittens. She also continues to enjoy removing her pants. At least, I have to assume she enjoys it; why else do it?

She's a good girl overall, reasonably obedient, but she's starting to explore more. Thus, the egg rolls, and how we're moving things away from the edges of counters and tables. We got her some crayons and a coloring book recently, and since then we've been having to constantly define what can be drawn on and what can't. When we've all been in our bedroom messing around and she toddles down the hall, we don't let her go in silence more than maybe a minute. She hasn't gotten into serious trouble or injury yet, but it's only a matter of time.

She's fond of pretending to eat my face, probably because it usually ends in her being tickled and hung upside down. When I make funny noises she makes them back at me. She loves to go in to wake up her daddy; sometimes she flops down and uses him as a pillow, sometimes she sits and stares, and sometimes she starts jumping up and down on the bed. She's definitely continuing to be a lot of work, but she's also definitely continuing to be worth it. Chloë times are fun times.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey

A quick rundown of Chloë's vocabulary thus far:

Ap-ul (applies to apples, oranges, strawberries, cherries, and occasionally tomatoes and peppers)
Ah (eye)
Ah-ee (owie, mainly the scar on my knee)
Uppee (up please)
Pee (please, always said with a big grin)
Pee (pants)
Tzcheee! (cheese--I haven't actually figured out what that first consonant sound is; always said with extreme enthusiasm)
Babul (ball--we've regressed)
Babul (button)
Babul (bottle)
Babul (potty)
Duh (duck)
Dahr (star)
Dah (shoe)

And, within the last couple of days,"Nanana," which as far as we can tell is her imitation of us saying "No. No. No! NO!" I say it when she tries to grab the toilet paper off the roll. Eric says it when she takes dishes out of the dishwasher. (He did allow her a dispensation for helping me unload the silverware, because she carefully took out a piece at a time and handed it up to me until it was all gone, and he was unable to resist the cuteness.) Yesterday, she pointed at both while we were using them, saying, "nanana," and keeping her distance. "That's right, 'no.' Good girl!" I said. Then I asked her if she needed a diaper change. She said, "Nanana," and walked away.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Little fish, chatterbox

Chloë's Uncle James and his girlfriend Amanda got her a nice little sweater and some foam letters for the bathtub while we were out in Seattle. I like the sweater more than she does (a sweater, in her eyes, is something to take off) but she adores the foam letters. They're bright but not obnoxious colors and stick to the side of the tub when wet, even if they've got chew marks on them.

She's recently become attracted to running water (thus her new nickname, OCD Baby, because whenever she hears water running she wants to "wash her hands") and her favorite way to start a bath is to select some of these letters and toss them in the bathtub, then be lifted in so she can sit among the letters and play with the water as it streams from the faucet. She also likes playing with them while she's sitting on the potty, looking at them or chewing on them or, for some reason, trying to shove them between my glasses and my face. I've been showing her the A and saying "A is for apple!" and the C and saying "C is for Chloë!" Now she calls all the letters As.

She's also evidently gotten to the "let's pretend" developmental stage. She has a toy remote that makes noise when you press the buttons, and was putting it up to her ear the other day. (Obviously, we use the phone more than the TV.) When I was on the phone with my parents last night and wanted to stop her continually pushing the pretty red button that ends the conversation, I fished out the remote and she happily pressed it to her ear, which made the different buttons make their different noises. Then this morning, when she was on the potty and playing with her As, she happened to have the H. I said, "H is for hello! Can you say hello?" She put it up to her ear and said, "Ah." So I picked up a G, put it to my ear, and said, "Hello, is this Chloe?" She didn't want to continue the conversation, but she passed me more letters so I could. Then she picked up a couple herself and chattered into them.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Andrew Lloyd Weber I'm not.

Baby, baby
Give me your answer, do
I'm half crazy
Being the mother of you
I'll love you all of your days
Even if they're in a haze
But how will I
Ever get by
Being the mother of two?

Friday, November 12, 2010

The answer, my friend, is blowing

We're all sick, Eric the worst of us, Chloë the least; she doesn't seem to have any symptoms other than a stuffy nose and somewhat more short-temperedness than usual, and that last may just be normal tantrums due to her communication skills not keeping pace with her comprehension and desires.

But she's finding solace, as her mother does, in Kleenex. (Accept no substitute!) She spent a chunk of last night blowing her nose. She aims the Kleenex (or washcloth, or whatever she's got in her hand) at her nose, but doesn't necessarily cover it. That doesn't stop her from blowing. These are productive blows, too. She was quite pleased with herself, and I had to wash her hands several times. She screamed when I took the dirty Kleenexes away, then quieted when I handed her new ones, and continued to blow. She wasn't excited about me wiping up the leftovers from her nose and lip, but she allowed it. She seemed to like the application of Aquafor (petroleum-based lotion) to keep her skin from drying out, too. This morning she allowed me to apply a Kleenex to her face, and when I instructed her to blow, she did. If she's inherited my nose, this is a very, very good thing.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Eat at Maummm's

This pregnancy is giving me food trouble. I can't remember whether I had this much trouble last time. I know in the first trimester I was sicker, but in the second was I having so much "nothing sounds good"-itis? Yesterday I was home early to watch Chloë and trying to come up with something for lunch. I didn't want toast. I didn't want peanut butter. I didn't want pasta or a burrito or soup or anything we had handy. I rifled through the cupboards in desperation and found the ingredients for rosemary-artichoke hummus, and decided that that didn't sound bad, and anyway I needed protein. First I had to get Chloë her lunch, but she's easy; she ended up with scrambled eggs with cheese. Then I started the hummus.

Chloë got interested and, when I spooned it into a bowl, wanted a taste. Now, this stuff has garlic, and rosemary, and lemon juice, and chickpeas. It is very much Weird Food, as Eric calls it. But Eric had also just told me about an article he'd read that mentioned strong tastes, like garlic, get into amniotic fluid and babies whose mothers eat such things prefer them afterward, and I know I wasn't having food trouble my entire pregnancy with her. So I figured I'd let her try. I scooped a little into a baby spoon and handed it down.

She made a peculiar face, and I looked around for her sippy to help her wash the taste away. Then she made her "Uh! Uh!" noise and pointed the spoon up at me. "More?" I said hopefully. She nodded, and I gave her another spoonful. And another. Eventually, replete, she stopped begging for more and I was able to eat some myself. Yes, she's definitely my daughter.

And very recently she's started claiming me as someone other than "Dada." We've been coaxing her to say "Mama" for months. She still doesn't, quite, but she does say "Mom." Or rather, "Maummm..." like she's trying to say that final A but it gets stuck on her tongue. It's cute, and I love it. Though she woke up in the night last night and was screaming "Maummm...! Maummm...!" and I thought it might have been better to let her keep on calling me Dada.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Many a slip twixt cup and lip

Chloë went to bed early last night, after drinking only about half her bottle and then sliding off my lap to wander aimlessly around her room. We put her in one of her new sleeper pajamas for warmth, and she went down easily, except for the aforementioned spitting. Around nine-thirty she woke up screaming. She hasn't done this for months, so I went in to check on her. I couldn't find anything wrong--diaper okay, not feverish, no tarantulas in the bed--so I put her back down. Ten minutes later Eric went to check on her. A few minutes after that I pulled her out and rocked with her. Normally this quiets her down, but she kept crying, so we applied some Orajel--we think her molars are coming in--and put her down again. She kept screaming. After another interval we tried baby ibuprofin. I took her out of the sleeper, in case she was too warm, and put her down. She kept screaming. Eric and I looked at each other, confounded. "She must be overtired," Eric said finally. After another twenty or thirty minutes of crying (not helped by me going in to cover her with a blanket too early and starting her off again), she went to sleep.

I woke at twelve-thirty when she started screaming again. I kept my eyes closed, thinking, What could possibly be going on? and noticing that I was thirsty and needed to use the bathroom as usual, though not as much as a few weeks ago--I'm definitely moving into the second trimester.

Then I got up and told Eric I was changing Chloë's diaper and would he please bring her a drink of water. Her diaper wasn't very wet, but I changed it anyway. I was pulling her pants back on when he came in with her sippy from dinner (with dinner detritus wiped off). She shrieked and reached for it. I set her upright as Eric handed it to her, and she drank. And drank. And drank. Eric and I exchanged looks of horrified guilt. Eric sat down in the glider with her so she could keep drinking, and I told her, "I'm going to bed, but I'll see you in the morning." She nodded, unconcerned. A few minutes later I heard Eric put her back to bed, where she lay quietly. The next word we're teaching her is "drink."

Monday, November 1, 2010

There and back again

Chloë, Eric, and I went to Seattle Wednesday through Sunday to see her grandparents. It was a great trip, though the travel itself was wearing; it turns out Chloë doesn't sleep well while flying. She was also disconcerted by the leash we put on her in the airport, but other than that she did pretty well. In Seattle, she woke up every morning around 4 AM Pacific time, and despite this was spoiled by her grandparents anyway. She came away with several new tricks, including:

-the word "baby."
-a much more accurate pronunciation of the word "ball." (One syllable, even!)
-when you hand her a paper towel and say "Wipe hands" or "Wipe face," she obeys.
-pointing to her grandpa when asked "Where's Grandpa?" ("Halmoni" was a little harder.)
-spreading her hands out, palms upturned, with a wide-eyed innocent look as if to say "What happened? I just don't know!" We haven't quite figured out what she means by it, but that doesn't stop us from being slayed by its cuteness.

Possibly also:

-making spitting noises to herself in bed. She did this tonight after we put her in bed. I'm thinking she was remembering the sort-of-spitting contest she and Grandpa had at dinner Saturday night in which Grandpa got covered in baby spittle and, speaking as a mother, totally deserved it.