Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Banana Planna

We now own a banana with Peeper's name on it, and I am excited and sad and proud and terrified - all at the same time - at the prospect of her starting solid foods soon.

We've been talking about this for quite a while, and wondering whether she's ready, especially given her prematurity.

At our appointment yesterday, her doctor said that the gut-closing process is based on how long they've been eating, not gestational age, so her gut really is 6 months old, which was one of my primary concerns.

He told us to do rice cereal for a month, then vegetable purees, then fruit purees, but we are kind of ignoring some of the specifics of that advice.

Okay, we are completely ignoring all of the specifics of that advice.

There are as many "medical" opinions on baby-feeding as there are pediatricians, and it was established before Peeper was even released from the hospital (I may be blogging more about this soon) that, as much as we like our pediatricians overall, we don't particularly agree with them in this area.

We've (I've) been doing a lot of reasearch, and reading up on the recommendations of various pediatricians and nutrition expects of the book-writing variety, regarding starting breastfed babies on solids, and have specifically read alot about the baby-led approach to starting solids, and have sort of settled on that as being what feels the most right to us, for now.

All the big authorities agree that exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months is best, for a variety of reasons. There's also a lot of evidence that it's just fine to wait even longer, and may even be better.

Looking at the signs of readiness for solids, she's sort of iffy, depending on whom you ask.

(Does she need to sit well without support, or is sitting well supported good enough? She's falling over sideways in her big giant highchair, but if I tuck a rolled-up dishtowel on either side of her, she stays pretty vertical. Does that count?)

One thing that I can't quite decide about on that list is her level of interest in eating solid foods.

Shrike says that's she's watching us eat, and eyeing our food. I guess it's hard for me to judge that because I'm usually holding her and can't see very well what she's looking at and also, I'm used to seeing the little roasted turkeys in her eyes when she's looking at me.

To be honest, I would probably be just as happy to wait a little longer, because I'm not sure that I'm ready for this next step, but I don't suppose that's really the question.

What really matters is whether Peeper is ready. If she is interested and is ready for solids, then we need to give her the opportunity to have some, but if she's not ready, I don't want to push her.

Of course, we could wonder and stew and debate about that until she leaves for college, but really, I don't suppose anyone but can answer that question but Peeper herself.

And I don't suppose she can answer if we don't ask her.

So, ask we shall.

Which brings me back to this "baby-led" thing.

The "baby-led" approach, to put it in a rather simplified way, is just a matter of, first, waiting until at least six months, when the baby is developmentally capable of manipulating soft "finger foods" and has both the coordination and the interest to get them in her mouth, and then focusing more on those, rather than spoon-feeding purees.

You can find much more information on "baby-led solids" or, as it's referred to in Britain "baby-led weaning" (primarily in the sense of weaning onto solid foods; they seem to use that term in place of "starting solids," regardless of how long they intend to breast (or bottle, for that matter) feed after starting solids) on these websites:

Guidelines for implementing a baby-led approach to the introduction of solid foods by Gill Rapley, adapted by Stefan Kleintjes
UNICEF UK and Baby-led Weaning from the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative
Baby-led Weaning: Helping Your Baby To Love Good Food by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett
Baby Led Weaning / Baby Led Weaning Blog

One of the things I keep reading, in terms of raising a healthy eater, is that the decision-making about food is a shared responsibility between parent and child.

The most succinct way I've heard it put was by a WIC representative, who spoke at a Learning Center event last year:

"It's the parent's job to decide what to eat, and when to eat, but it is the child's job to decide whether to eat, and how much to eat."
In other words, the parent can - and certainly should - say, "Dinner is in an hour, it's not snack time right now," or "We don't eat cookies for breakfast," but should not engage in "Clean your plate, there are children starving in China," or "Have three bites of broccoli or no dessert," battles.

For an infant, focusing more on self-fed finger foods (and self-fed not-so finger foods, when she's coordinated enough to wield some utensils) gives her that control of the whether and how much from the beginning, with no prying of the spoon past her closed lips, or "here comes the airplane" to get that "last little bit" in.

The other big thing I have been reading is that we should think of solids as "just for fun until they're one."

In other words, she's going to still be getting the majority of her nutrition from nursing anyway, so there's no need to stress about how much solid food she's eating or not eating.

She will eat as much as she wants - which will also be as much as she needs.

That all just really seems to make sense to us, so it's the approach that we're going to take for now.

Does that mean we'll never spoon-feed her pureed anything? I doubt it.

Does it mean we're going to hand her a steak tomorrow and tell her to have at it? Certainly not.

But, I think we probably are going to put some pieces of rather ripe banana in front of her at some point in the next few days (when the newly-purchased bananas get good and ripe, I suppose) and see what happens.

(You like how I say "see what happens," ever-so-nonchalantly? Of course, I'm sure that will involve both still and video cameras and blogging about it as soon as we've got her cleaned up. And, yes, we do plan to strip her to a diaper before we begin. We're rather clever that way.)

If she seems to enjoy her banana adventure, we'll probably do that for a few days, then maybe try some avacado.

If she's not interested or can't seem to figure it out, we'll probably wait a week or two and try again - or maybe try some avacado anyway, in case she just doesn't like bananas.

Banana and avacado are two of the most-recommended starter finger-foods because they are so soft, don't require any cooking (a big plus in my book) and are on the sweet side, which is appealling to breastfed babies.

Other things I'm hearing folks talk about offering fairly early on are sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, pears, green beans and other such healthiness. (All steamed good and soft, of course.)

Our local farmers' market opens in a few weeks and I'm looking forward to finding fresh, local (and often organic, although without the pricey certification) fruits and veggies to - dare I say it - cook for her.

If softening them up a bit and handing them to her to feed herself is working out, great!

If it turns out we do need to do some mushing or smushing for a while, that's fine, too.

But, as ambivalent as I am about it all, I am rather excited about the prospect of this whole adventure.

(And, hell, if she tells us this healthy stuff is actually any good, who knows, we might even try some ourselves!)

PS: BigGaloot and PerfectPup are 100% behind this plan!

PPS: Peeper just tried to take an Oreo out of my hand. Perhaps she is ready to try some banana, after all.

Daily Peep: Try, Try Again

Some out-takes from Monday's panda photo shoot:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More Highchair Hijinx

Oh, is that not what that compartment is for?

Daily Peep: Goober

When I put this hat on Peeper:

at first, I thought it made her look like Jughead (whom I wanted to call "Jughaid"), but it turns out that she actually looks like Goober Pyle.
Thanks to Wikipedia, I've got them all sorted out in my head, now.

But the pants definitely make her look like Lisa Loopner's boyfriend, Todd.

New question:
Why was I watching Saturday Night Live when I was ten years old?
Evidently, the Anonyparents were much cooler than I realized.

Test Drive

In an attempt to avoid hitting her with too many crazy, new things all at once, we set up the highchair today, so Peeper can start getting used to it.

Just for funsies, I put a tiny bit of water in a sippy cup and gave it to her to play with.

She thought it was pretty . . .

. . . and definitely worth investigating . . .

. . . but is still pretty unclear of the concept.

Flying Colors

Peeper had her six-month well(!)-baby check-up today, and the doctor said she looks great.

We'll start with the tale of the tape:

Current (Birth) / Percentile / Adjusted Percentile

24.25 inches (18 inches) / 5th / 10th - 25th
Weight: 12 lb 14 oz (4 lb 12 oz?) / 4th / 5th - 10th
Head Circumference: 15.9 inches (12 inches) / 8th / 5th - 10th

She's now just a hair more than triple her low weight (at 24 hours old) of 4 lb 4 oz!

Needless to say (and, yet, I will), the doctor was very pleased with her growth, and both he and the nurse who measured her remarked that, "She's on the chart now!" for all three measurements.

She got three shots, which she was not too happy about, although a little goody fixed her right up. (Eventually.)

We gave her some Tylenol right before the shots (she gets a full dropper now!), and another dose four hours later. She's probably feeling a bit ooky from the shots, because she's slept most of the afternoon.

The doctor also seemed happy with our answers to all his developmental questions - even though I felt it necessary to say things like,

"Why YES, she's been rolling front-to-back since SIX WEEKS, and she's really, really close to rolling back-to-front. She'd really like to. She's WORKING VERY HARD ON IT," and

"She sits GREAT with support, and, no she's not sitting unsupported yet, but she's doing MUCH BETTER at it, and staying upright for SEVERAL SECONDS and she's even RIGHTING HERSELF when she leans, well sometimes, but she's much steadier lately, and . . . ."

until he just looked at me and said, "It's okay. Most six-month olds don't do that yet."

Oh. Okay. Good to know.

I think I actually remembered to ask most of the questions on my checklist:

Check. See above.

Solid Readiness
He said that the gut closes when they've been eating for 4 - 6 months, so it's not something that needs to be adjusted for her prematurity. I didn't ask about her tongue-thrust reflex, but we'll just watch and see what happens with that.

He gave the go-ahead to start on solids. He referred to cereal, but based on the research that we've been doing lately (specifically looking at recommendations for breastfed babies), I think we're going to let her have a go at some fruits and veggies and see what happens. More on that in another post.

"No, I don't feel - oh wait, yeah, I think there's one getting ready to start to come through." He said he feels a bit of a "skin flap" that sometimes develops at the early stage of teething. I don't think we need to shop for a toothbrush any time soon.

Aw, shit. I meant to ask how we should go about cleaning her teeth when they do show up, and when we need to start that.

Spitting Up
Yeah, he doesn't know either. He said that she's likely to spit up less with solids, just because they are heavier and tend to stay put. Sounds delicious.

He was watching her grab at her onesie (which Shrike was holding) and put it in her mouth, and he said that her movements look just fine to him, and that she's supposed to still be that jerky. I described the marked difference between even what she's doing now and what GirlW was doing three weeks ago (acknowledging that she's six weeks older), and he said that W "actually sounds a bit advance." (Note to self: Mention this to M!)

Try to keep her in the shade or mostly clothed for now. A bit of sunscreen on face / arms / legs is okay, but don't slather her head-to-toe, because of the chemicals in it. They are all the same, any "Gentle for baby!" brand is just marketing.

Incision / Stitch
Looks great, the stitch will continue to work its way out. Leave it alone for now.

Swine Flu*
(yes I did feel like a big dorky-freak-out-about-nothing parent, asking about this)
He agreed that Anonydaddy is the best source to let us know if there's there have been any cases in their part of Texas between now and our trip. I'm betting this will all be a big nevermind by then.
Her next well-baby check-up will be at nine months, and she won't need more vaccines until her one-year(!) check-up.

He did ask whether we'd followed up on her metabolic testing with the Children's Hospital.

Whoops. After her tyrosine level was almost normal in December, they told us to check back in March, to make sure it was completely into the normal range. Yeah, we kind of had other plans in March, so that didn't happen.

We need to give them a call and set up an appointment, and get that done. At least the trip shouldn't be too bad this time - I'm thinking we'll blow off the whole stroller / carseat business, use a backpack for a diaper bag (I think we're going to buy a bigger one and just go that route fulltime. God, we are such dykes.) and commit to walking it when we get to BigCity.

Should be pretty doable, since it won't be snowing, like our last trip, nor will I be eleven days post-partum, like the first trip!

So, barring anything unforseen, it looks like we might be down to monthly doctor's appointments for a while: Children's Hospital in May (or whenever they can get us in), cardiologist June 29, well-baby July 29 - and then (dare I say it?) maybe nothing until she's a year old?!?!

*And now, for something completely different:

Does anyone remember the swine flu scare of 1976? You know, the one that never materialized.

I was very young at the time but I remember hearing people talk about it alot, and I specifically remember a Saturday Night Live** sketch with Dan Akroyd as Jimmy Carter, doing a presidential debate with a big swine flu vaccine needle in his arm.

Oh, wait, Google tells me the Gerald Ford character had a vaccine too. I stand corrected.

Google also tells me that Michele Bachman is going around talking about "Have you noticed that swine flu only happens when Democrats are president?"

Wow. Just wow.

(Well, Wow - and Ford was president during the swine flu scare, not Carter. So, there's that.)

**Note to Anonymama: What the hell was I doing watching SNL when I was eight years old?!?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Daily Peep: Garden Girl

Yesterday, we planted onions.

("We planted" = Shrike planted, Peeper watched, I kibitzed.)

Shrike showed Peeper the plants, but we didn't let her actually hold any, lest her first solid food be baby onion.

Afterward, we hung out on the patio watching Shrike blow bubbles.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Daily Peep: Panda Pic - 6 months (26 weeks)

Six Months

Dear Peeper,
You are six months old today. You are also six weeks post-op, and have officially completed the "recovery period" from your open-heart surgery, and now have no more activity restrictions.

Mommy threw caution to the wind and "flew" you a bit last night, and you loved it. When we did this before you surgery, you seemed happy enough, but this time, you laughed and laughed.

I wonder if you remember doing it before? I wonder if you missed it?

The "flying" might be a bit riskier for your ground crew now than it was back then, thanks to your new post-op habit of spitting up, but seeing that smile on your face, and hearing your laugh makes it well worth the risk.

Actually, I hesitate to type this out loud, but you've only spit up a tiny bit today, whereas you've still been doing it multiple times a day - and often a lot at a time - pretty much since your surgery.

Wouldn't it be great (and kind of funny) if you were suddenly done with that, and we could just say "She spit up a lot when she was recovering from surgery. . . ."

I'm not going to hold my breath for that, though.

Getting the discussion of your other bodily functions out of the way - your poop is looking great since I cut the rest of the dairy products out of my diet. Over the past couple of months, you've move from, um, moving pretty much every time you ate, to every few hours, to every day or two.

But when you do go, it's spectacular!

I don't think it's giving you any pain or difficulty anymore, because it always seems to catch us by surprise, but it's obvious you've been saving up, because there sure is a lot of it!

But it looks great! A consistent, beautiful, text-book mustard color, no blood, no big production of making it come out, no problem.

(I know, I know - stereotypical new mom, obsessed with baby's poop, but we've had issues, you know. It's important.)

So - good news and bad news - the dairy seems to have been the problem.

The doctor that we talked to before said that I could try adding it back to my diet when you hit six months, but I'm surviving just fine without it, so I think I will wait at least another month, until you are gestationally six months old, and then maybe we'll give it a try, and see how you handle it.

On that subject, we will discuss solid food with the doctor at your well-baby appointment on Wednesday, but unless he tells us you've got some sort of deficiency that will only be remedied by smooshed bananas, we're of a mind to hold off just a bit longer, likely to seven months.

Especially given that we know you have one allergy, I'd feel a little more comfortable giving you that additional time to let your little digestive system mature before messing around with it.

I've been researching the hell out of this, and on the one hand, all the reading I'm doing is really making me start to look forward to watching you experiment with the new tastes and textures that solid foods will bring, but it's also reassured me that you'll be just fine waiting, and might be better off.

As far as the "readiness for solids" checklists go, you're kind of so-so.

You definitely have complete control of your head, and sit well with support, but not without it (different sources say different things there).

You are reaching and grasping and putting things in your mouth, but not in a very coordinated way at all.

You are slobbery (but not enough to have any kind of a "teething rash" yet) and definitely enjoy gnawing on things, but don't particularly seem to be having any gum pain yet, and I don't think I can feel any teeth under there yet.

So, I definitely think you've started the teething process, but I don't expect that we'll see any actual teeth for quite a while.

I'm not sure where you stand on losing your tongue-thrust reflex. It still seems like you stick it out quite a lot when something goes in your mouth - but are you just licking those things? That's on our list of things to ask the doctor about.

Here's the list:

  • Remember to find out what percentiles you're in for height/weight, both for actual and adjusted ages
  • Solid readiness - gut closure, tongue-thrust, etc
  • Teeth - can he feel anything under your gums?
  • Fine-motor skills - should you still be whapping yourself in the face so damn much?
  • Sun protection for summer - what sunscreen is safest for wee tots?
  • Surgical incision - check healing, when/whether to put vitamin E or something like that on it; that one tiny stitch working its way out at the bottom - can he do something about it, because we're chicken!
  • Spitting up - any ideas why surgery caused such a change in frequency?
  • Swine flu - what the hell?! Do you need a shot? What about the fact that I'm planning to take you to Texas in a few months?
[Hey Interwebs - Have I forgotten anything?]

So, what else are you up to these days?

You are still looking like you'd really like to roll over from back to stomach, but still haven't done it yet. I figure that when you finally do, you'll be really pissed off about it, though, because then you'll be on your stomach, and you hate that.

I do make you do some "tummy time," but it generally involves you crying until you either roll over onto your back, or until I can't stand it anymore and pick you up.

But you looooove to stand up, and have been supporting your weight standing (and lifting yourself to standing, using your legs, just holding on to our hands for balance) for quite some time now, so maybe you'll just blow off the crawling thing and go right to walking.

(Or, maybe in a month or two, we'll be laughing and laughing about all those people who implied that you might never learn to crawl if we didn't put you on your stomach more, as we chase you around the house and try to keep you from eating gobs of dog fur out of the carpet.)

[Note to self: Must vacuum more often when Peeper learns to crawl.]

You're also making progress toward sitting up. We practice that several times a day, and you've definitely got the strength (you no longer just fold up and crumple forward, like you did a couple of months ago), but not the balance (you do tip over).

But, you've gone from maybe teetering upright for two or three seconds (which was photo-worthy a couple of weeks ago) to staying vertical for several seconds, before you start to keel over.

A couple of times, I've even seen you right yourself when you've started listing in one direction or the other!

I figure you've still got several weeks to go before we're comfortable saying that you are sitting up, but you're definitely on your way.

You still enjoy talking, and have added quite a variety of squeals to your repetiore in the past few weeks.

Often, when I get out of the shower, I hear you in the other room, and thing "Oh, crap, she's crying," then I realize that you're just squealing at Mommy and whatever silliness she's got going on at the moment.

You're not yet imitating or repeating sounds (the milestone chart tells me that's the next stage to expect) but you do very often say something that is somewhere in between "Hiiii!" and "Heeeey!"

You usually say it "to" something or someone (or somepet) that you're interested in at the moment, but it's not quite consistent enough for us to declare it a "word." I am trying to reinforce it as though you meant it as one, though, so whether it is now or not, it might eventually be your first word.

(Yes, I do know that saying that to all the world at this point pretty much guarantees that you will never make that sound again, and that your first word will, in reality, be "fuck." Pronounced with perfect clarity. To an eighty-seven year-old nun. With perfect hearing.)

Of course, as you say it, you will be grinning at her with the most precious grin ever, that just screams "How damn cute am I!?"

Because that's what you do when strangers talk to you. And, of course, I love it.

I only wish that I could actually see your face when I'm wearing you in the wrap, and didn't have to rely on them saying "Oh, there's a big smile!" to know that you're charming them.

Unless, of course, they want to hold you, then it's a whole 'nother story.

You're not so much about hanging out with anyone but me and Mommy. And with good reason - as much as we've taken you out and about in the world, we've been very careful about not passing you around willy-nilly, to protect you from germs and such.

(Dog slobber germs, restaurant floor germs, backyard dirt germs? That's all good; we're building immunity. Strangers touching your hands and breathing in your face? Get away from mah poor sick bay-bee! I'm a new mother; I do not have to justify my neuroses.)

And you know what? You're six months old. You know who your moms are and you prefer to be with us. I think that's actually a pretty good thing.

You've got plenty of time to hang out with other people when you're an obnoxious teenager; I'm really not too concerned about it.

(Except when it's people who you really ought to be happy to be with, and it kind of hurts their feelings when you cry, and then it really stresses Mama out, and having a stressed-out Mama is not the way to make you any happier, so yeah, it would be nice if you could at least pretend to be okay with them for a little while. Pretty please?)

As you may have noticed, we are not at all of the "put the baby on a schedule" philosophy, and we're quite happy to play loosey-goosey with things like meals and naps.

You nurse when you say you're hungry, then you generally fall asleep. You might stay asleep for thirty minutes, or for three hours, one never knows.

You do generally take at least a couple of good naps - an hour or more, and usually one or two long naps - two or three hours, as well as several cat-naps, over the course of the day.

I think. I really don't pay that much attention to it. I hope there's not going to be a quiz.

We've sort of learned that if our schedule is flexible, we should wait til you wake up on your own to try to go somewhere, rather than waking you up mid-nap to take you out and about.

(The hard way.)

I have also learned that if you wake up crying, it's a safe bet that you are not done sleeping, and I can offer you some goody (maybe after a diaper change) and you'll go right back out, and stay asleep for a good while longer.

If you wake up just blinking your eyes, looking around, and smiling at me, you are done sleeping, and I'm not going to get you to go back down for "just a few more minutes," no matter how convenient that might be for me, so I don't even bother trying.

The one bit of structure that it would be helpful to have would be for you to be happy to go to sleep and stay asleep for the night at the same time that we want to.

Of course, with Mommy's work schedule, our bedtime is around 2 am, but lately you've been stretching that a bit.

Actually, you are happy to go to sleep around 1:30 or so (after a bath and some goody), but you seem to have this idea that that is a nap, and you almost always wake up after about thirty minutes - maybe while I'm trying to transfer you to bed or maybe still in my lap.

(Lately you fall asleep better if we're up, on the boppy, than lying in bed.)

Then, you and I are up for another thirty minutes to an hour, playing or whatever (you're usually not unhappy, just not asleep) and then you nurse back to sleep, and you're down for the night.

What. The. Hell?

The upside is that once you're down at 3 or 4 am, you stay asleep til 11 or noon, with some goody-in-our-sleep sometime mid-morning. So, that's not really so bad.

I'm sure we'll work it out, and like every other habit or pattern you've established, it will change soon enough, as you grown and change and mature, and I don't have to get up and go to work in the morning, so it's not that big of a deal.

But really, is that last nap necessary? Can't we just go to sleep at 2 am and call it good?

So, what makes six-month-old-Peeper a happy girl?

You still love hanging out on your changing table, playing with toys, watching your panda mobile, or listening to Mommy be a goofball. Preferably naked.

(You are naked, not Mommy. Although that's pretty entertaining, too.)

You are really enjoying the bathtub - Now With Toys! - although you still complain about getting out and getting dressed.

You think that BigGaloot's tail is about the funniest thing ever, and you love to watch it wag. You also like it when he licks your toes, although we try to avoid letting him lick your hands or face. When we can.

You want very much to pet all your kitties and puppies, and often do, but there's still that coordination thing to be dealt with, and your tendency to want to grab their faces. We try to avoid that, too. When we can.

You've really enjoyed being outside, in the very-summer-like weather that we've had lately. We can't wait to get you in your swimming pool!

Warning: Cliches Ahead

I can't believe that you have been here for six months. And I can't believe that it's only been six months since we met you.

It seems like just yesterday that you were born, and yet we've been through so much in that time.

It has really been nonstop since the moment you were born, between the stress of your early arrival, and your breastfeeding difficulties, and worries about your growth and the jaundice, and the trips to the Children's Hospital, and your heart defect, and then your surgery, and jeez, can we just stop and breathe for a moment? Please?

I sure hope that the next six months is a little less eventful than the first. Let's try to limit the excitement to that of the milestone-reaching variety, okay, kiddo?

I look at photos of you when you were a newborn, and I can barely remember that tiny - terrifyingly tiny - baby that you were. You have come so far.

I try to extrapolate that growth and development over the next six months, but I just can't even picture you as a one-year-old; it seems as abstract to me as picturing you as an eighty-year-old woman.

But I know that in just six short months - and all I can think about today is how short the past six months has been - you will be a year old.

Still our baby, but not a baby-baby.

It's so weird to think about how recent your birth feels, and to realize how soon your birthday will be here.

You are moving closer everyday to being a "big baby," and before long you will be sitting up, crawling, eating Cheerios - but not just yet.

Not today.

Today, you are still our baby.

As much as I look forward to all of those things, as proud as I am of every little milestone and baby-step you've taken over the past six months, as eagerly as I cheer you on as you reach for the next level, I'm happy for you to be our baby for just a bit longer, and I'm trying my best to savor every minute of it, while it lasts.

At the same time, the little glimpses that we get of those upcoming stages - seeing you sit up for a few moments before toppling over, holding your hands as you stand, looking for all the world like you could take off walking any second, swearing that you just told the cat "Hi!" - they are like a sneak preview of the little girl that you will be, the little girl that you are closer everyday to becoming, the little girl that I can't wait to meet.

I love you, baby/girl.


The Big 4-0

Dear Shrike,
Okay, now I am blabbing to the whole world about your birthday.

(Although it's still your fault that your Facebook friends know.)

As I type this, you are in the next room, changing Peeper's diaper. I can hear you talking to her, and her squealing back at you (and at her panda mobile, I'm sure) and there is nothing that makes me happier.

You girls are everything to me, and I can't imagine life without the two of you.

Thank you so much for being with me, and for making her with me.

Have a wonderful birthay.

I love you,

Movin' On Up

This evening, we switched out much of Peeper's wardrobe from 0-3 month to 3-6 month sizes!

Many (most?) of her 0-3s still fit, but the footie-things are getting too short, and the couple of 3-6 outfits I've tried on her seem to fit, so we figured she'd better start wearing them.

We washed up all the 3-6s and put them away in her dresser and closet, but first we packed away most of the 0-3s - everything with feet, all the onesies (because we have a zillion might-as-well-be-identical 3-6 onesies to replace them with) and a few other things that are too small.

Included in the things that we retired were several really cute outfits that we never got around to putting on her.

But, of course, not the one that you gave her. She's worn that one hundreds of times! It's one of our favorites!

Splish Splash, Peeper's Takin' a Bath

Friday, April 24, 2009

Daily Peep: Literary Genius

Peeper is starting to be more interested in her books these days.

Of course, we doubt that she realizes there's any connection between those sounds coming out of our faces and the things she's chewing on, or that those pretty colors represent real-life things (Or not-so-real-life things, in the case of Dr. Seuss.), but just playing with books and knowing they are fun toys, and figuring out how they work really is the first tiny baby-step toward literacy.

Speaking of "how they work," she's very interested in turning pages, and actually does it pretty well (in board books - or laminated restaurant menus) although, of course, she's got no idea which direction to go, or when . . .

. . . or which appendages to use.


I mentioned a while back that Peeper's feet had discovered each other, and that they play with each other alot.

Her hands still haven't found her feet yet, but she has, just in the past few days, started trying to use her feet to do things that she's previously been doing with her hands.

One assumes that she'll eventually realize that the hands do a better job of it, and will decide to stick with them, but in the meantime, it is just fascinating to watch, as her awareness of her self, and the world around her, unfolds, step by step.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Daily Peep: Mama is a Blockhead

On our recent playdate, I noticed that GirlW has a set of really cool soft blocks that looked familiar to me.

When I described them to Shrike, she thought they sounded familiar, too, so we decided that we'd seen them in one of the many mommy-magazines that we get.

I still think that we may have seen them there, but the other reason they look so familiar?

We. Own. Them.

In our defense, they were in a box in the basement, with several other "big girl" toys that Peeper's received as gifts and hand-me-downs, but isn't ready for yet.

I knew that there were some 6-month things in there, so I poked around in it last night, and that's when I discovered the blocks.
I brought them up for her to play with, and she finds them pretty intriguing . . .

. . . but is having some trouble handling them.

GirlW was just picking hers up and gnawing on them like nobody's business, so I'm sure Peeper will have them tamed pretty soon.

Oh, and GirlCat likes them, too.

BoyCat is less impressed.

Nurse The Earth

Just when I was thinking that I'm a big old loser for not doing something special to save the Earth today, I found out that I already am!

Happy Earth Day, everybody - from me and my goodies!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Daily Peep: Biiiiig Girl!

Peeper got her final Synagis shot today, and was weighed on the scale that we trust, for the first time since her March shot.

On March 25, she weighed 10 lb 7 oz.

Today, she weighs 12 lb 7 oz!

That is a gain of two pounds (32 oz) in 27 days - or almost 1.2 ounces per day!

(Even as a newborn, they were only asking her to gain 0.5 - 1 ounce per day.)

I suspect she's making up for lost time, now that she's not spending so many calories to breathe.

Here she is today, sleeping on the mattress from the nest.

(Note that the nest still lives in the bed. It's blocking off the area where some slats are missing from the headboard. We really need to fix that.)

And here she is in the nest five months ago, on November 20, weighing around 5.25 pounds.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Daily Peep: Sleeping With Fishies

This is one of the two pairs of jammies that the Easter Bunny brought.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Daily Peep: Jumper Roo

Here's Peeperoo in a little jumper ensemble that my friend G (whom I've known since kindergarten!), her partner L, and their son, NotSoBabyM, gave her at our Texas shower.

I've been eyeing it for weeks, looking forward naked-leg weather!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Another Playdate!
or Choosey Cloth Diaper Snob Becomes Huggies-Loving Beggar

Peeper and I had another playdate yesterday, during which I learned an important lesson:


"We're just taking a little walk, and I don't want to carry a bag. I'll leave the diapers in the car and change her when we get back."
Is a Very. Bad. Plan.

Actually, that was only one of the lessons that I learned yesterday, but let me begin at the beginning.

One of my Democratic Party buddies (C) and his wife (A) - both lovely people - had a baby (Hmm, also W. Ok, we'll call him BoyW and our playmate from last week will be GirlW.) in early February, and since then, we've been trying to find a time to get together.

I've been driving around with a gift bag full of Target stuff for the little guy for a couple of months, and last week I realized that he' s probably outgrown those newborn clothes by now, so I went and bought a couple of six-month-sized things, and we're saving the tiny stuff for a player to be named later.

(There are actually a few potential recipients in the works. None of whom I'm allowed to blog about yet.)

So, A and I finally made a plan to meet up on the campus of the women's college down the road, to take a walk with the babies. It was scheduled to be a beautiful day, and the campus runs along a creek, and features both an organic farm and an equestrian center. So, it's not your typical "college campus" for scenery purposes.

The plan was for her to call as she was wrapping up lunch with friends, and I'd start my last-minute preparations and head over.

Of course, when she called, Peeper was asleep and nursing, wearing just a diaper - and all her clean diapers were in the dryer. With Shrike's help, I changed her diaper, dressed her, stuffed some freshly-dried diapers and repackaged the gift.

(Threw the newborn stuff out of the now-torn gift bag, tossed in the big-boy jammies. Shrike asked if I'd remembered to remove the price tags. I ripped them off, while saying, "Oh, she shops at Target - she knows what this stuff costs!")

Then, the diaper bag dilemma.

I certainly didn't want to carry the "real" bag on our walk, because it's just ridiculously huge.

Lately, I've been taking a smaller bag to carry into stores and such, with just the essentials, while leaving the big bag in the car.

(The smaller bag is actually the freebie from the hospital, but Shrike cut the "Similac" tag off of it for me, because it pisses me off that hospitals allow formula companies to market that way. So, I will use their free bag, but I will not display their logo.)

But - I didn't really want to carry that while walking either, so I debated digging out the backpack.

Shrike said, "Oh, you're just walking around. Leave the diaper bag in the car. You'll be fine."

Cue ominous music.

(Also: You like how I make this all her fault? Because it couldn't possibly be my fault.)

We did have a lovely walk, and a lovely visit, complete with the obligatory comparisons of our labor experiences. (We used the same OB practice, and MidwifeD, who delivered Peeper, was with her throughout labor, and Dr B did the actual delivery, so there was much to talk about.)

There was also baby comparison, of course, and this time Peeper got to be the big kid. Well, at least the old kid, and the mature kid, since BoyW, at about 10 weeks old, actually weighs a few ounces more than she does!

At one point, BoyW was waking up from his nap and fussing, and Peeper was starting to squirm in the wrap and fuss, so we found a nice picnic table by the creek, so they could enjoy their respective lunches.

Peeper was not really into nursing - on / off / on /off - and still fussing aound, so I did something that I never do.

I thought she might be wet, so I stuck a finger between the snaps of her outfit, and into the edge of her diaper, to check.

And that is when I learned lesson number two.

So to speak.

A asked, "Would you like a baby wipe?"

I said, "Well, my diapers are in the car, so . . . oh, you mean for me? Yes, please."

I wiped off my hand, and Peeper kept fussing, so then Amy offered me more wipes - and a diaper.

And I will be forever grateful.

Lessons learned.

Hey - I Cooked Something!

This morning, Peeper and Mommy enjoyed the beautiful day in the backyard, while I boiled a pot of spaghetti and chopped up some onions, bell peppers and link sausage, then threw in some barbeque sauce.

My original plan was to use the veggies and sausage to beef up some jarred marinara sauce, but when I got the jar out of the cabinet, it turned out to be salsa!

I would include a recipe, but that first paragraph was pretty much it.

Daily Peep: Supervisor

Again, this is Peeper hanging out while I go potty, making sure I do it right.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Daily Peep: Nature Lesson

Yesterday, after our family walk, showing Peeper the forsythia blooming in the backyard.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Daily Peep: Peep's Pets

See, Willa, we do still take picture of the animals.

Oh, wait. Let me try again.