Monday, March 30, 2009

I can't think of a title

Sara Beth has gone beyond merely wanting to eat "big people food."  More often than not, she now demands to feed it to herself, and will try to grab offered food instead of letting us feed it to her.  When I sit down and feed her her morning bowl of oatmeal on the weekends, I use two spoons.  One for me to use, and one for SaraB to hold and chew on.  If I omit her spoon, she will regularly grab onto the spoon I am using, and, of course, in her mind, the best spot to grab is the end that has all the oatmeal on it.

She does like her frozen bananas.  Heather sticks a straw through it as a handle before freezing it.  The straw handle does mitigate the mess that Sara Beth will invariably cause during the frozen treat's consumption. 

This is a new outfit that came in the mail from Heather's aunt this past week.  Sara Beth loved it, and was even able to wear it. It is sized for an 18 month old, so it is a little big, but considering the rate that Sara Beth is growing, she will get a lot of use out of this outfit as summer approaches.  SaraB has begun the habit of pulling bows out of her hair.  At this point, we don't think she is doing it out of a dislike for hair accessories, but more out of a curiosity for what is attached to the top of her head.  Since head bands, like the one Sara B is modeling below, are harder to pull off, they remain properly affixed for a longer time.

Now that she has crawling all taken care of, Sara Beth has moved on and is working on the next milestone: pulling herself up.  This might take her a while.  She will crawl over to her little toy table, and then grab onto the table top and pull.  This causes either the table to tip over, or for her to just hang there with her back arched while her arms ineffectively strain to bring her up.  She hasn't quite figured out that standing involves leg muscles too. 

With so much crawling practice, her form has improved as well.  Most nights, in preparation for her bath, I will strip her down and put her on the floor in the nursery while repeating phrases that include the word bath in it.  "Sara Beth, are you ready for your BATH?", "I think it's time to take a BATH"  and so on.  She knows what to do and will start racing as fast as she can to the bathroom, while I try to get ahead of her and start the bath water.  She has stopped using the "army crawl" method of locomotion using her forearm to brace her weight, and will now crawl on her hands.  It gets her to the bathroom much easier.  She then reaches to try to pull herself up to the bathtub using just her arms.

Yesterday, our church hosted an easter egg hunt.  Sara Beth took the name literally, and was content to find an egg and be done.  Attempts to convince her that the activity is more accurately called "easter eggs hunt" fell on deaf ears as she happily played with her one egg and ignored all the other eggs around her.  It was such a nice day that we spent quite a bit of it outside.  I got sunburned and Sara Beth got some color in her cheeks.  At this point I should state that I was the one that took Sara Beth outside; Heather wants to make it clear that she was not involved in the nearly sunburning of our child.  Today, Heather went out and purchased some baby sunscreen.  However, as the below picture shows, it was not all that serious, just some color in her cheeks.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Respecting her elders

Last Monday, Heather and Sara Beth went down to the Woodlands to visit Melanie for her birthday.  While down there, Sara Beth learned all the things that 10 month old Audrey could do, and decided that she should be able to do them as well, even though Audrey is only 2 months and 6 days her elder.  Ignoring such minor details, she had now begun to refuse baby food, and demands to be fed the same thing that adults and big kids get to eat.  Heather has been stock piling a vast variety of baby food to ensure that Sara Beth would get something unique to eat every day; however this plan has backfired and I returned a pantry's worth of baby food to the grocery store two days ago.  

  Sara Beth has begun trying to pull herself up into a standing position based on her observations on Audrey.  She will reach a hand hold above her head and try pulling up.  Minute details, like using her legs to push herself up, do not concern SaraB as she attempts to stand up.  If I help her with leg placement, then she is able to pull herself up, so we'll see how quickly she will be able to preform the act on her own.

In addition, Sara Beth had begun to crawl on her hands and knees instead of just army crawling on her belly across the floor.  This has allowed her to be much more mobile.  Just today, Sara Beth and I chased each other from the back of the house all the way to the front.  I would hide around a corner, poking my head out to say "Boo" or something similar.  Sara Beth wouldn't craw to me; she would crawl past.  I would bump into her and she squealed with laughter.  I then moved on to the next corner and repeated the process all the way to the front of the house.  Of course, as soon as Heather brought out the video camera to record the interaction, Sara Beth decided that she was done, and decided to play with the pantry door, and the parts of bags that she could grab from under the door.

Below is a picture of Sara Beth and Audrey.  Note how Audrey is sitting sweetly with her hands in her lap, while Sara Beth is sticking some miscellaneous foreign object into her mouth. 

What follows are two pictures of Sara Beth as she consumes some vegetables and rice with her parents.  The process started nice and neat with Sara Beth taking handfuls of food from the pile in the middle of her tray.  But by the end, the food was strewn across the tray and the chair she was sitting in, not to mention the floor.

Sara Beth still loves bananas.  She will eat them when we feed it to her, but she is most happy when she can feed it to herself.  She will grab the banana and munch on it like I would eat an ear of corn.  As with most of her meals these days, messes are the rule, not the exception.

Heather calls this Sara Beth's "Junkyard dog" face.  I am just glad I was able to capture it with our camera.  She will scrunch up her face like this, and then breath in and out really fast through her nose like she just smelled something funny. 

After eating half of the banana, she goes into a sort of daze and will sit still while she digests the large amounts of fruit.

My sister Jill visited for the afternoon on Saturday.  We all went for a walk to the park.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Now that Sara Beth can crawl about, the next obstacle that she has overcome is the step onto the back patio.  The weather during the early part of this week had warmed up enough that we left the patio door open to let the breeze waft through the house.  Sara Beth took it as an opportunity to get onto the back patio.  The patio is about four inches lower than the level of the carpet in the house, so we kept an eye on her as she traversed the uneven terrain.  We needn't have worried though, she went back and forth several times, and didn't crack her head open even once!  She didn't ever want to get onto the tiles on the patio; they hadn't warmed up enough yet, so she crawled on the patio door mat and back into the house.

The next day, the spring weather brought rain.  Past attempts to bring the cats out to play with us in the rain have ended in failure.  Sara Beth, on the other hand, had much more fun.   She kept trying to catch the drops and she loved looking at all the water pouring out of the drain spout.  We did put her in a nice warm bath after we brought her back in.

Sara Beth knows how her table works, and when we place her at it in the standing position, she will play with it for quite a while.  Sitting next to it, however, puts the table in a new perspective, and she seems to need to figure it out the best way to make it produce noise again.

This Saturday, the weather turned, so we stayed inside.  Sara Beth did enjoy standing by the window and looking outside.  She could just barely see over the window sill.  She did notice some birds in the yard, and squealed at them.  After church today, we went over to a friends house.  Their Pomeranian just had puppies, and so there were 6 inch squirming bundles of soft fur.  Sara Beth really squealed when she saw them.  Heather and Sara Beth both liked petting and playing with the puppies, but neither of them convinced me that we needed to bring one home.  Three cats is enough.

Finally, I wanted to point out that Sara Beth can now use her sippy cup in the manner intended by the manufacturer. She is rather good at it actually, now that she has figured out which part she needs to stick in her mouth.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Sara Beth got her third and fourth teeth in this week.  It was the two top right incisors, but the two on the left are going to come through at any moment.  Compared to the first two teeth, these were a breeze.  Very little in the way of drooling, smelly diapers, and general fussiness.  We did offer her a frozen banana to chew on, since the cold would feel good on her gums.  The first bite surprised  her; she hasn't had chewed on any frozen foods before now.  But after a few bites, she warmed up to the idea of the frozen fruit and ate it.  Suddenly, she went back to not wanting any more to eat.  I think she had her first "brain freeze." 

Sara Beth can now crawl like a champ.  She can now not only crawl over to a toy bin, but she now is able to reach up and pull it over, spilling blocks everywhere.   She certainly was proud of herself.

Every day it seems that she has acquired a new talent.  Today, she successfully fed herself some grapes.  Heather cut the grapes into eights to prevent choking and then dumped them in a pile on Sara Beth's tray giving her something to do while Heather and I ate dinner.  I'm proud to say that instead of just smashing them or knocking them off her tray, she successfully picked them up one at a time and stuck them in her mouth.  Only a few missed and landed around her chair on their travels to Sara Beth's mouth.  She consumed them so quickly that we cut some more up for her to munch on as neither of us had finished up our dinner before she was done with hers. 

If she wasn't off the charts for height, I would say that she will have a career in gymnastics.  She loves being flipped around or held upside down.  After spinning her around, head over heels, she will throw herself over her center of gravity in hopes that I will flip her around again.  She might not become a gymnast, but perhaps she could become a ninja assassin or something else that involves flips and spins.

And finally, while sitting in the front yard, Sara Beth put her newly discovered feeding skills to use.  She grabbed a piece of mulch and started to bring it towards her mouth.  I thought it was cute and tried taking a picture; Heather thought it was unsanitary and reached in and took the black tree bark from her before it went in her mouth.  Thats heather's arm in the below picture.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Mobilizing the Troops

Sara Beth is now fully mobile.  For her nightly bath, I have begun the ritual of stripping her down to her diaper, and then setting her on the floor in her bedroom.  We will then crawl to the bathroom together.  Now, obviously, this doesn't work if she has a dirty diaper; that would lead to a mess too big to clean up.  Sara Beth and I will play peek-a-boo around the corners as I crawl down the hallway ahead of her.  When I poke my head around the corner, her face will break into a big smile.  I can go into the bathroom, and start the water running; I'll look around and she will pull herself around the corner.  

However, there are down sides to this new mobility.  Heather had a full glass of water in her hand wile playing with Sara Beth in the play room.  The phone rang, and so she set her glass down in the corner of the room and went to answer the phone.  By the time she got back, SaraB had crawled across the room and had pulled over the full glass.  She proudly frolicked in her newly created mess.  We are going to be taking Sara Beth to the pool when it opens in the summer, but, apparently, she wanted to try swimming inside the house early.

In other news, Sara Beth's dexterity has improved enough that she can now stick food and sippy cups in her mouth, though she still is working on the hand-mouth coordination.  Either that, or she decides to chew on the cup's handle than drink from the cup.

Now that Sara Beth is crawling, she can now get toys for herself.  She will crawl over to the shelf and pull the stacked toys off the bottom shelf.  After fiddling with the toy for a little while, she will toss it aside and reach for another from the shelf.  By the time she is done, it looks like a foot tall tornado had come through the play room.  

Here we can see Sara Beth standing.  She can do this for rather extended periods of time and falls over only when she decides to reach for something too far from her center of gravity.

Heather loves to do yoga and Pilates, and Sara Beth is learning it as well.