Monday, December 29, 2008

Post Christmas Wrapup

What a week.  One would think that having a week off from work would mean having plenty of time to keep the blog up to date.  One would be wrong.  It did mean extra time to play with Sara Beth however.  She has become much more comfortable eating baby food.  She has decided it is easier to consume food with an open mouth.  The cats still distract her, but it is no longer necessary to schedule an hour to feeding her four tablespoons of oatmeal.  Her bib is also likely to survive a couple meals before it needs to be washed.  Yesterday, Heather and I had a meal of steak and sweet potatoes.  Sara Beth longingly looks at the food and batted her little eyes as if to say "Father Dearest, might I please have a tasty morsel of big people food?"  I couldn't help but give her a couple mouthfuls of a real sweet potato instead of the pureed stuff we normally feed her.  It was a hit and she downed the bites and then looked wistfully at her loving father for more.  Unfortunately, I came up with the idea of giving it to her when there were only the few bites left. Heather thinks that next time, she will share her potato with Sara Beth.

Sara Beth and her Grandma had a grand time playing together.  Sara Beth would play with her toys and look up and the changing screens while my mom checked her email.  

At only 4 1/2 months, Sara Beth is still old enough the help unwrap her gifts.  She will grab onto the paper and pull.  The paper rips apart to her great joy, but then, instead of extracting the next hand full from the package, she will then attempt to stuff the first hand full of paper in her mouth.  Since no one gave us edible wrapping paper this year, we had to dissuade her.  To head off the question, that is our friend's kid helping SaraB unwrap her gift.

Like a typical baby, Sara Beth wanted to play with the boxes and wrapping paper as much as she played with the actual gift. A teddy bear was one of the exceptions.  She loves to cuddle it and bury her face into it.

Sara Beth plays with this toy while we eat dinner.  She now sits at the "big people" table in her high chair, after she made it clear that she did not want to miss any of the action by sitting in her swing while everything exciting happened at the table.  It has been drooled on, spit up on, thrown on the floor, and it keeps on being a viable play toy while at the dinner table.  The suction cup on the bottom is a lost cause.

After stocking up on diaper wipes, I realized that the box was just the right size for a makeshift train for Sara Beth.  We careened through the hours making cho-cho noises; cats bolted at the sight of a mobile baby careening towards them.  SaraB loved the experience.  Instead of throwing the box away, it now resides under her crib on the chance that she wants to take a train ride in the future.

After a long week of playing with family, Sara Beth got to snuggle with us in bed one morning.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Our Little Food Processor

Sara Beth has gotten much better at processing food into a smelly brown mess.  Since she started on baby food to supplement her milk consumption,   her dirty diapers have decreased in frequency to about one every other day.  Initially, we worried that she was getting constipated, so we upped the prunes in her diet.  Then we had our first major blowout.  Sara Beth was a smelly mess from her hair down to her knees.   Sara Beth did this when I was not at home, so I have only Heather's description to go on, but it sounded rather horrific.  

So, to rectify the problem, I put the camera by the changing table and told Heather to take pictures next time Sara Beth had a bowel movement.  Heather insists that the diapers held out better in this second event, which occurred two days later:

I got to help with the third occurrence this evening.  It was fully contained in her diaper, but  smelled awful.  I have a sinking suspicion that the stink free diapers are now a thing of the past.  But it is all worth it to see her eat real food.  

Typically, Sara Beth will shove anything in her mouth that she can grab a hold of ... except food.   If you are holding on to her hand, there is a good chance that she will try gumming your fingers.  If she has her favorite rattle, she will show it affection by sticking it in her mouth.  Her toy elephant will get its trunk sucked on like a large straw.  But we have little cereal things that dissolve in the mouth and when we place them before Sara Beth, she moves them all around on her tray, picks them up, and then forgets about them.  My current hypothesis is that they are too small; and she either does not consider them a real food source or not worth the effort to bring them to her mouth.  I think it might be the second because when she does want to eat one of them, she will currently stare at us or lean forward and start grunting until we pick one up and put it in her mouth for her.  Once in her mouth, she does suck on it, and as soon as she swallows it, she will lean forward and grunt for more, so we know she likes them.  We might have to do some tough parenting and make her put them in her own mouth.

We have found that  Sara Beth definitely likes sweet potatoes better than prunes or oatmeal.  I had some trouble feeding her a full meal of oatmeal, so I added some sweet potato to the slurry and she became much more receptive to eating it again.  Heather is planning on going to the store tomorrow to get some more sweet potatoes baby food as she has gone through our current stash.  She will still make faces when we start to feed her, but as soon as she gets a mouthful of her sweet potatoes, she will begin sucking and licking the spoon clean.  Feeding her is a slightly less messy affair when sweet potatoes are involved; both she and I are in agreement that they are much better in her stomach than on her bib.

Since she is growing so quickly, we try putting her in all her Christmas regalia just in case she out grows it before the holiday actually comes.  Plus, she looks real cute in it.  And she enjoys chewing on the faux fur collar.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Feeding Time

We have started to feed Sara Beth more than just milk this week.  We started with just rice cereal, and then worried that it would cause her to become constipated so we added some prune baby food to the mix.  Since she has been grabbing for whatever plate or cup within striking distance for the past three weeks, it came as no surprise that she picked up on the food thing quickly.  When we placed the food in her mouth, she gave us a weird "what are you doing" kind of look.  After a couple failed spoon fulls, some actually got down her throat, and she realized that we were giving her food to eat, and not a new game of "drool on the bib".   She then got so excited that she bent all the way forward to the point that she was facing down and any food that went in immediately fell straight out, but her tongue was actively trying to lick the empty spoon clean.  In addition, she will grab the business end of the spoon, getting rice cereal all over her hand, then deftly guide the spoon away from her mouth and into the side of her cheek.  So there is still progress to be made; I have heard from other parents that this whole feeding thing is just a messy affair.  Trial and error has taught us that we can preventing a re-enactment of riots at the rice factory by holding her head upright and pinning her arms down, but all we actually need to do is show Sara Beth that the less food she makes into a mess, the more more food can reach her mouth.  The details of how that plan will work still haven't been worked out yet, but I think we have a willing subject.  Just look at the intensity that she is giving the food.  

Heather dresses Sara Beth so well.  Everything matches, even the sun glasses and bows.

Cue the oft repeated phrase "they grow up so quickly".  Sara Beth will now sit up for extended intervals without falling over or doing a face plant into her knees.  In fact, this is a similar picture to the one I posted just two weeks ago, and it looks like either the chair is getting smaller or she is getting bigger.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Off the charts

Sara Beth turned four months old yesterday.  To commerate the milestone, she went in for her four month checkup.  She weighs 16 pounds and 6 ounces and is 26 and 3/4 inches tall.  That puts her in the 95th percentile for weight and she is off the top of the chart for height.  Just like her daddy.  Though she is growing so quickly, I do feel I need to print a retraction.  In my previous post, I had mentioned that we might need to go to size 4 diapers.  Apparently, that is not necessary.  The size 3 Luvs are just much smaller than size 3 diapers from other brands.  She still comfortably fits in the size 3 Pampers, though she does have the amazing ability to fill them up quickly.

Sara Beth has really grown this past week.  I came home from work last week to find that Sara Beth can now roll from her back to her belly.   It is rather impressive to watch as she  doesn't use her arms at all.  It is a carefully choreographed sequence involving swinging of the legs and an arch of the back and finally a little flick of the head to complete the flip.  The reverse procedure from stomach to back still needs a little practice; she is unable to complete that maneuver unassisted.  One other caveat is that she is not an ambi-turner.  She can only turn over on the right.  There have been several times where she will almost make the flip to the left.  She will teater on the edge of doing it, and then collapse onto her back again, only to quickly flip onto her belly with a quick roll to the right, as if that was her intended direction all along.  As you can see, she still has her arm trapped under her after she completes the flip and it takes a minute to wiggle it free from under her chest.  Also note that she is now face down over bare carpet instead of on top of a easily washable blanket.  I have started laying down burp cloths in a straight line on her right to prevent any spit-up mishaps.

I decided to record  her new skills on the camcorder to capture the moment.  I set her on her back, got the camcorder turned on, then had to flip her onto her back again as she has rolled to her stomach before I was ready to film.  In the end,  it didn't make for a good video as she completed to maneuver too quickly.  You need at least a little struggle for good movie making.

I could go on for several more paragraphs describing all the wonders of a rolling baby.  Stories of how we rolled across her play room (her handling the back to the belly and me helping with the other half of the complete roll) or the late night rescues where she rolled onto her belly and I had to stealthfully flip her without her noticing that I was in her nursery.  In any case, I have other things to mention.

Like that she is a lot more interactive and aware of her surroundings.  She is more prone to smile, though sometimes she will burst into tears when kissed instead of smiling.  I am beginning to see a personality forming, though the isn't really anything solid yet.  

She is definitely ticklish as Heather kindly demonstrates for the camera.

This is her first Thanksgiving day outfit.  Once she thoroughly soaked this one in drool, we swapped it out for one that we had on loan from a neighbor who has a daughter about a year older then Sara Beth.

After Thanksgiving, we setup the Christmas tree.  I was admiring the tree.  Sara Beth was keeping track of where her Mommy was.  It was close to feeding time for her.

And what use is cold weather if you can't bundle up your little bundle of joy in obnoxious warm outfits.  I blame the camera for not keeping the image in focus.  Perhaps if any one is reading and is interested in purchasing a new Cannon PowerShot A2000IS camera as a Christmas present for me will be rewarded with much better pictures after the Holidays.