Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Maybe we've crossed a threshold...and now Leah eats solids

Tonight I made 1 tablespoon of oatmeal cereal mixed with 2 tablespoons of formula. She ate all of it...and half a jar of carrots! Not sure if the trick is the timing or starting with the oatmeal or what...but she ate well and she didn't fuss and it wasn't very messy. Maybe we've turned a corner.

And earlier we had a great time spending the day in the park. We played ball:
We horsed around:
Leah and her friend Theo shared a meal of stuffed peacock:
Leah seemed to like the beak the best:
And she showed us her happy baby pose:

Making feeding progress?

Well, it is so hard to tell if we're really making progress or we just happened to have a good morning. First things first...Leah slept through the night. She went to sleep right about 7 p.m. Around 5 she cooed for about 10 minutes and then cried for about 2 minutes and then apparently went back to sleep...I didn't get up. I didn't hear her again until about 6:40. I waited a couple minutes and then went and got her. She was happy as can be. I changed her and put her down to play while I brushed my teeth and washed my face and made her a bottle.

She finished a 6 ounce bottle and played for a few minutes while I emptied the dishwasher and made her some breakfast. I made a few tablespoons of oatmeal cereal and I got out the jar of bananas remaining from yesterday which was about 3/4 full.

I should recap the last couple of days before I go into this morning's success - can't remember where I left off in blogging so sorry if I repeat myself. I made oatmeal for her a few days ago...and she loved it. For the first time she actually opened her mouth for each bite, closed around the spoon, and seemed to enjoy eating. She finished what I had made and I made her more. So for the past few days I pretty much just gave her oatmeal. No point in fighting to get her to eat when I want her to enjoy eating...and she apparently only likes oatmeal.

Then yesterday I decided I ought to try to sneak in just a little bit of fruit. I put about 1/2 of a tablespoon of banana in with several tablespoons of oatmeal. It was a noticeable difference. She still ate it, but not as much of it and not as enthusiastically. The banana does have a strong smell, but basically I think there's no sneaking things in for Leah. She's just a finicky eater at the moment.

So this morning I started with the oatmeal and after a couple of bites I gave her some banana. She ate it...and opened her mouth for the next bite. She ate about half the jar of banana plus a couple tablespoons of oatmeal. Definitely the biggest meal she's ever eaten. And she seemed happy until the end...which is when I figured it was enough and I stopped.

Maybe the timing was better. She had the bottle just after 7 and "breakfast" at about 7:30. So she was somewhat full from the bottle but obviously not too full. And she wasn't so hungry that she was too impatient for the solids. We'll see how "dinner" goes and try this first thing in the morning feeding again tomorrow.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Late nights are not for Leah

We went to my friend Amber's birthday party tonight. Since Shafi was leaving at 6 to get to JFK to take the redeye to London I decided I would just take Leah along to the party. It was originally going to be a roof deck party, but the venue was changed to an Italian restaurant. It was a casual restaurant, so I decided to risk having a screaming baby out on a Saturday night.

Luckily it was very loud...so no one else could hear the screaming baby. But unfortunately we did not make it to dessert. Leah was really happy and social and playful for the first 30 minutes or so. Then I put her in the stroller as the food started to come out and she played happily for another 30 minutes or so. Then she was obviously tired. It was about 8:00 - an hour past her bedtime - and about 2 hours since she woke up from her evening nap.

She fussed and spit out the pacifier and pulled the blanket down and the canopy forward...basically she fought going to sleep in the stroller until I gave up. I had eaten the appetizers and an entree and a few glasses of wine and the table had just been cleared and dessert menus presented. So I threw some cash at the birthday girl and headed out. Fortunately I was able to keep Leah awake in the cab and as soon as we got home I changed her, gave her a 4 oz bottle, and put her to bed. She went to sleep as soon as her head was on the mattress. So we'll see how she sleeps tonight having gone to bed about 2 hours later than usual.

In case you were wondering, she didn't quite make it through the night last night, but she was close. She woke up around 5:15 this morning but didn't start to fuss until about 5:45. Shafi gave her a bottle and she was back asleep around 6:15 and slept until 7:30. So not too bad...but another hour would have made it a full night.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The better to eat you with, my dear

Yes, that's right...Leah has a tooth! It actually broke through the gums on Wednesday - I could feel its sharp edge. Then yesterday I could see it a little bit. And today it was up just high enough that I could capture it on film (well, digital media anyway).
I think that may have contributed to her not sleeping well Tuesday and Wednesday nights...and the few nights prior to that. But last night she actually slept through the night! She went to sleep around 7:30 and didn't get up until 6:45 this morning. She did let out a single cry around 4:30, but I didn't go in and she obviously went back to sleep. And this morning she was happy as can be. I left her playing in her crib until about 7:15 and then gave her a bottle. Let's hope we get the same thing tonight!

We also made some progress on the solid feeding today. I gave her applesauce this morning and she did eat it - but not so happily. Then this evening I introduced oatmeal. She loved it! She opened her mouth before I even had the next bite ready and she closed her mouth around the spoon and swallowed almost everything (a little bit still came dripping back out - but she just needs more practice). I had only made 2 teaspoons of oatmeal mixed with 4 teaspoons of formula, and she seemed so happy with it that when that was done I made a second batch of the same size. With about 2 bites to go she started to fuss a little, so we finished that up and it seemed to be the perfect amount. I think I'll try mixing it with the applesauce in the morning and see how it goes. I don't want to count my chickens too early, but maybe all I needed was to use oatmeal instead of rice cereal.

We also introduced the sippy cup this morning. She didn't mind drinking from it - we practiced with just water - but she wasn't able to hold it upright enough by herself. We'll keep practicing. Or maybe we'll try a straw next.

And a bonus pic of Leah being super cute and happy today. She has been even more interested in the crib mirror lately. More than once today I found her looking in the mirror and babbling - talking to the baby in the mirror.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The attack of the fuzzy green caterpillar

We had a scary midday at the park today. We were sitting there on our blanket, socializing with other moms and babies when Leah started crying inexplicably. I tried to console her to no avail. Then I made her a bottle and while positioning her to feed her I realized she was kicking a lot and rubbing her ankles together. And lo and behold there was a big fuzzy caterpillar on her ankle just at the end of her pants.

Of course I got the caterpillar off and threw it to the side. She continued her frenzied kicking and I found that there were all these little yellow-green hairs stuck to her foot and ankle. I commenced brushing them off with water and a burp cloth and eventually resorted to picking them off with my fingers. They didn't hurt or anything, but shortly thereafter I developed a rash on my arm. I gave her a bottle to calm her and then had to hold her to keep her calm. She wouldn't return to playing with her toys. Finally when I put her in the stroller she calmed down.

Not sure if she was in pain or what. The rash on my arm had a sort of prickly itchy stingy feel. Not terribly painful or anything but definitely uncomfortable. So I decided we ought to just come home and take a bath to get all the caterpillar hairs and whatnot off. There was also a green ooze on the blanket and her pants, so I'm not sure if that contributed to the skin irritation or not.

Anyway, we're both fine. By the time we got in the tub Leah was happy again and she's been napping for over an hour and a half. My rash faded slowly over the past couple of hours and is now pretty much gone.

I've done some research and found that the caterpillar seems to be an American Dagger Moth. I found anecdotal things about kids playing with them and getting rashes, but nothing that seemed too scientific. In any case, there was nothing about it being poisonous or anything, so I'm sure we're both fine and I can stop worrying.

But it was a frightening experience. And I felt so bad that it took me so long to find the source of Leah's discomfort. I'm sure she'll forgive me.

This is the actual caterpillar - another mom scooped it up on her toy mirror:

And this is how cute and happy Leah looked pre-caterpillar attack:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Leah loves Grandma & Grandpa

My parents visited this past weekend for 3 days. We were all a bit anxious to see how Leah would respond to them, as she has a lot of separation anxiety these days. But luckily she took to them immediately. They played with her. They helped with feeding and diapers (well, my Mom did anyway).

It was a successful visit, and I'm sure they're already looking forward to seeing her again in November when we all go to DC for Thanksgiving.

Leah "walking" across the Brooklyn Bridge with Grandma & Grandpa:
Grandma teaching Leah how to clap:
Grandma playing with Leah and Leo the Lion:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Leah's 6 month check-up

It's official - my baby girl is huge! I thought she had a growth spurt recently and I was right. She's now 28 inches tall. That's >97th percentile! And she's 16 lbs 9 ozs, which is the 61st percentile. Her head is now in the 73rd percentile at 43.3 cm. The doctor was happy with her growth. She said she wouldn't necessarily correlate the jump to the switch to formula, but either way - all is well.

She's healthy overall - nothing of note there. She was happy with her developmental milestones - starting to sit on her own, spending time on her tummy (signs that she'll be crawling soon), interacting with people, using both hands. And she commented on how strong she is...she gets that from her mom of course.

She had her shots - 3 shots but 5 vaccines. She took them pretty well. She was screaming of course, but she calmed down at the bottle pretty quickly. Since she usually gets fussy the day after her shots, the doctor recommended giving her Tylenol in the morning and keeping it up until she seems back to normal - which is usually about 2 days.

I asked lots of questions. Nothing particularly noteworthy in the answers. Her sleep is good. The amount of formula she's getting is good. We should start doing 2 meals a day. Try mixing rice cereal with fruit in the morning and rice cereal with vegetables in the evening. Feed her between bottles so she's not starving or full. I think I'll keep doing the first thing in the morning for now...since she takes a bottle around 4 am. But if she gives up that night bottle then I'll have to do a bottle first and try "breakfast" an hour or so later. And then we'll do dinner before bath time.

Tonight I gave her 2 tablespoons of sweet potatoes mixed with 1 tablespoon of rice cereal. She took most of it - and she didn't end up wearing all that much of it. She's starting to eat a bit better. I can see progress, so I'm sure that will continue and she'll be a champ in no time.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Some weekend pics...

I have nothing in particular to blog about today, but we took some very cute pics this weekend, so I thought I'd just share some favorites.

Friday evening - Leah watched Shafi for a bit after he got home from work - you can see from her happy baby pose that she was happy he was home:

Saturday afternoon at our neighbor's twins' first birthday party - Leah and Malia (who is 10 months) played a little bit while in their daddies' arms:
Leah loves to be upside down these days - here she was just chilling on my legs - taking in a new perspective:
Sunday afternoon Shafi read to Leah for a little bit before naptime - she loves being read to - even when there aren't many pictures:
Shafi also helped with her rice cereal meal yesterday. She ate pretty well, but of course she's always easily distracted by the camera - she's such a ham:

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Leah is 6 months old!

I can't believe it. I sang Happy Half Birthday to her today. I think she appreciated it.

We celebrated by hanging out in the park with a bunch of friends. It was a gorgeous day.

Leah is definitely growing up fast. 6 months is supposed to be a big milestone time and it definitely is. She's started spending a lot of time on her tummy. That ought to lead to being able to sit up and crawling...but might be a little while still for those. And she's very vocal - she squeals, she babbles, and sometimes she has a sort of panting style of speaking. She still loves to be up on her feet and now she bounces up and down like that. She's starting to giggle more and more. She's also gotten a lot more dextrous lately. She can pick up and hold toys a lot better and is very adept at putting things in her mouth now.

Her eating continues to improve. She ate 2 teaspoons of rice cereal mixed with 4 teaspoons of formula this morning. She needs to be involved with a toy or something rather than just focused on the food or she gets fussy, but today she was actually looking up and opening her mouth rather than my having to trick her into taking the food. And yesterday I felt like 90% of it ended up coming back out of her mouth, but today I would say that about 90% of it stayed in - a big improvement in 1 day - and much less clean up for me.

And she's now been on the swing at the playground a couple of times. She definitely likes it.

I took some nearly naked (diaper only) pics today so that I'll be able to look back and see what she was like at 6 months:

Monday, August 4, 2008

Beautiful day in Central Park with a friend

We went to Central Park today to meet up with an old colleague from IntraLinks, Alison. We went through pregnancy together - and then she returned to work after maternity leave when I did not. It was great to see her and her son Angelo, who is 2 weeks older than Leah. And it was nice to get the scoop on what's happening at IntraLinks these days.

The babies seemed to hit it off and we got some very cute pics of the two of them together. As you can see, Angelo is quite a bit bigger than Leah and has so much more hair! But I think they look pretty cute together - maybe we can get them betrothed.

And we snuck in a nice family pic in the park.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Hmm - maybe Leah is not so into the solids

After such a successful first day on solids (Tuesday), Leah would not eat the rice cereal on Wednesday. I tried 3 different times thinking that maybe it was just that my timing was off. Then yesterday I tried the rice cereal to no avail. She just clamps her mouth shut and if I do manage to get anything in she spits it out. Then yesterday afternoon we tried sweet potatoes. She was reluctant to open up at first, but once she did, she at the first bite and gave me a big smile. But after a couple bites she was no longer interested. Today she did about the same - 2 or 3 bites and then no interest.

Seems like a lot of work for little progress. I'm going to try to mix the two tomorrow and see if she takes that. I'll give it a few more days - and then if we're still stuck at only a couple bites maybe I'll try another vegetable.