Friday, October 31, 2008

Now we are six

Six teeth that is. The couple of front teeth that have been thinking about making an appearance for the past couple of weeks have finally broken through the gums. Leah now has 4 top front teeth. They're all pretty small at the moment, but it won't be long before she's really got a toothy grin.

The added benefit of having bottom (2) and top (4) teeth is that she can now grind them. That's right...this morning she was grinding her teeth. No, not because of stress. Just because she figured out how and apparently liked the sound. Shafi and I don't agree with her though...we definitely do not like the sound. Hopefully she'll tire of it soon.

No pictures of her new teeth yet - she makes it difficult to get a good look at them. But some cute Halloween pics.

Lots of adorable babies at the Halloween playgroup at the Brooklyn Dojo:
Leah showed off her latest standing skills:

And crawling skills:
And she tried to use James the bee to push up to standing...looks like a circus elephant:
Playing with her friend Avery the frog:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Another tooth...more pulling up on the furniture...and a new sound

Yes it's been an exciting couple of days. Yesterday her top left front tooth broke through the gums. She officially has 4 teeth. Luckily the 2 that have come in on top are not very big yet, so she doesn't look like a jack-o-lantern. And the other 2 will be close behind, so I think they'll all be approximately the same size when they get big enough to be seen.

She also started making a clucking sound a couple days ago. She just smacks her lips and tongue together and makes a soft click-click-click. She especially likes to do it in response to someone else doing it first. Very cute.

And today she truly conquered pulling herself up to standing. When she was supposed to be taking her afternoon nap she pulled herself up in the crib. She got stuck there and started wailing. I went in and helped her down and then picked her up to calm her down. After a couple of minutes I put her back down...she still needed to nap. A few minutes later she was wailing again and we went through the same process. Then she cried herself to sleep without standing up. After her nap, which was only about half an hour, I decided to try to teach her how to get back down.

I stood her up and stood in front of her and played a little. Then I sat down in front of the crib and poked her in the belly until she looked down to see me. First she tried peering over the rail to see me - but of course she's not tall enough. Then she figured it out. And she leaned back and plopped down onto her bum. We practiced the same thing about half a dozen times...she would pull herself up to standing when I stood and tapped on the top of the rail - and then she would sit down when I sat down and poked her in the belly.

And I know that I was successful in teaching her, because all afternoon she practiced by pulling up on the coffee table and the musical table and once the entertainment center. She did have a couple of rough falls - not that she really hurt herself but she bopped her head and face a couple times. But mostly she lowered herself down succesfully. I was surprised she was able to pull up at the entertainment center - figured it would be hard for her to get enough traction on the hardwood floor. And as soon as I saw her I moved her over to the carpet - if she took a tumble down on the hardwood it would certainly hurt a lot more than when she does it on the carpet.

I guess we've entered a new phase of Leah really getting into everything. Now I have to hope she doesn't figure out how to walk too soon!

Yesterday Leah enjoyed pulling all the DVDs off the shelves:
And she showed off her Halloween black cat hat, bib, mummy, and pumpkin bear:
And her very cute Halloween onesie:
Today we practiced standing in the order to practice getting back down:
And I left the room for a few seconds and came back to find Leah standing at the entertainment center:

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Leah's first Halloween costume

It's not yet Leah's first Halloween. But she did wear her costume for the Brooklyn Heights Childrens Halloween Parade yesterday. She's an adorable elephant. And she seemed fairly comfortable in the costume, so we didn't feel like we were torturing her.

We had a nice weekend all around. She slept better both Friday and Saturday nights...until 7:20 yesterday morning and 7:50 this morning. Maybe we can get back to the 8 a.m. wake-up time. Much better than the 6:30 we were getting last week! And today the weather was gorgeous so we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and to Chinatown for dim sum...and back across the Manhattan Bridge just to change it up a bit.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It's been a very exciting day already

At the end of Leah's nap this morning she was crying hysterically. I had been in the shower so it took me a few minutes to get to her. When I went in she was standing up in the corner of the crib closest to the door. Not sure how long she was standing there, but she was pretty upset. Tears and snot were streaming down her face. I think she had pulled herself up and gotten stuck there. She didn't stand up during her afternoon nap as far as I know, so it's not exactly a regular thing yet, but she did pull up in the crib for the first time today.

Then we had swimming class. She was the star pupil. When the teacher pushed her toward me in the water she stretched her arms out for me and kicked her legs and closed her mouth - she was able to move forward underwater for a foot or so - and when she came up she didn't even seem to mind that she'd been underwater. This was only week 3! We've got 7 more weeks to continue to improve on that. I think she'll be doing laps by new years.

And what blog post would be complete without cute pics?
Yesterday she pulled up to her knees at the musical table:

We went to play with Leah's friend Erica yesterday - Leah was being very sweet with hugs and kisses - and randomly they happened to be wearing matching coats:

This morning Leah pulled up to her knees at the coffee table - and happily watched me at the computer for a few minutes:

She was happy as a clam after her afternoon nap - a little stretching:And then some ear-piercing squeals:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

And then there were 3...

Teeth that is. Leah's 3rd tooth broke through the gums today...probably last night actually. It's on top - but not one of the front teeth - it's the one just to the right of the right front tooth - between the front and the canine. Not sure why that one came in first, but I'm sure it doesn't matter. The front two and the one on the left are surely not far behind as the gums are swollen there. So soon enough there will be 6.

I can't post any pictures...because I can barely get a look at the tooth much less a picture of it. Maybe it's because her gums are sore, but she will not let me look at or touch the new tooth or the top gums at all. She scrunches up her mouth and pushes her tongue out. I was able to get a finger in there yesterday to feel that the tooth was close but I didn't think it had broken through - and this morning I was able to get a little peek and see that now there's a big white section of tooth showing - following which I got my thumb in there and felt the tooth - following which she cried. Oops - guess I'll stop doing that for now.

The teething definitely seems to be bothering her. She woke up and cried a couple times the last couple of nights - early mornings actually - around 4 or 5 or 6 a.m. And she woke up very unhappy from her morning nap today. She was happy in the morning, took a good nap, was fussy in the middle of the day, took a good nap, and was happy in the evening. Not sure why the pain and thus the fussiness would come and go like that, but I have no other explanation for the mood swings, so I'm going to stick with the teething theory.

She's also been giving us trouble going to sleep at night. She has this really sad cry that we just can't sit and listen to, so we go in and try to comfort her. The last couple nights we basically held her until she fell asleep, but tonight we decided to stop the insanity...she is getting awfully heavy...and we're probably just making it worse by continuing to hold her night after night. So we comforted her once and then let her cry it out. She actually only cried for about 20 minutes until she fell asleep - around 7:40. But then she woke up crying around 10:30 and has been fussing on and off since. I'm not going in unless the crying gets worse. But it is keeping me up...hence the blog post.

Looks like we could be in for a rough night.

But as always, she was super cute when she was happy today.

She's now tall enough and coordinated enough to play with the musical table without me holding her up in front of it:
She explored all over the apartment today...including under the middle of the dining table:
And in the kitchen:
We gave her a piece of toast to entertain her at brunch...she didn't actually eat it...but she thought about it for a minute:
After her afternoon nap she was in a great mood and had lots of fun playing:

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Leah can pull up...

Well, she did it once anyway. I forgot to mention yesterday that when we were playing on the floor in the morning she pulled up holding on to me - first to her knees and then up to her feet. She stood for a few seconds before tumping backwards and landing on her bum. She cried a bit, but I think she was startled more than hurt.

I'm glad she hasn't figured out how to pull up on the furniture yet, but I'm sure it's coming soon.

Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of it...I know - everyone is shocked by that. Don't worry - pictures of Leah standing will be coming soon.

Friday, October 17, 2008

We have a good sleeper!

OK - I don't want to jinx it - but 2 nights in a row Leah has slept from approximately 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. Both yesterday and this morning she did wake up around 6 a.m. and make some happy noises and play for a bit in her crib - but then with no intervention or crying she went back to sleep until 8.

I'm liking the new schedule:
8 a.m. Wake up
8:30 a.m. Breakfast
10:30 a.m. Bottle & Nap (until about noon)
12:30 p.m. Lunch
3:00 p.m. Bottle & Nap (until about 4)
6:00 p.m. Dinner
7:00 p.m. Bottle & Bed

And when necessary I can wake her up at 7 a.m. in order to shift the schedule a bit. For example, we have swim class at 11 on Wednesdays, so I wake her at 7 and I can put her down to nap around 9, get her up around 10:30 and get to class. Then she has lunch after and naps around 12:30. That does mean that she's a bit cranky by evening, but it seems to be working out okay so far.

Hopefully she'll stick with this and I can actually say that my baby has a schedule! Now the overbearing moms can only judge me for not making my own baby food. :)

Speaking of swim class - Leah was looking super cute in her wetsuit this week:

And she's continuing to be interested in more and more toys as she gains dexterity and mobility:
I think she was just posing for the camera - but you have to love the toothy grin:
And we had lots of fun playing at the dojo playgroup today:

Monday, October 13, 2008

Leah is very popular with the boys

We had a great time hanging out in the park's likely one of our last nice days of the fall. Some friends joined us...and there seem to be mostly boys Leah's age in the neighborhood. And they love her. She's practically beating them off with a stick.

Asher and Theo were practically fighting over her:
Asher was climbing all over her:
Then James showed up and tried to give her a kiss:
Looks like maybe James won...she kissed him back:

And on another exciting note, it looks like Leah has some top teeth coming in. She may be getting 4 of them in fact. We'll see how long it is before they actually break through.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Can she sleep 7 p.m. to 8 a.m.?

Last night we put Leah to bed about 7 p.m. And she woke up at 4:30 a.m. But I didn't feed her. After she had been fussing for a few minutes I went in and picked her up. She was wide awake, but I forced her to put her head down on my shoulder for a few minutes. After about 4 minutes she was pushing back up and trying to get me to play, so I kissed her and told her to go back to sleep and put her down in the crib. She was quiet for about 10 minutes - and then she started crying. She cried on and off from 5 to 5:30 - but none of it was really hysterical crying - more of a fussy cry. Then she went back to sleep...until just after 8 a.m.!

So now we're wondering if it's possible for her to sleep straight through from 7 p.m. to 8 a.m. I think we'll have to reinforce that there's no need to wake up before 8 a.m. by not feeding her until then every day. If she wakes up before 7, we'll comfort her and put her back down. We'll see how it goes...but I'm loving the possibility of her sleeping through the night and not waking up too early to boot.

Then she napped from 10:15 to almost noon! And took a shorter nap this afternoon from 3:15 to just after 4.

And when she's up, we've got a really really happy baby. She was particularly cute today:

Trying to hold her own bottle:
Posing with Baba:

And the sound of her laughter is absolutely the best sound on earth:

Friday, October 10, 2008

Leah eats meat

Today, in honor of Leah being 8 months and 3 days old, we gave her a Gerber chicken and vegetable dinner. She didn't exactly love her first taste of meat, but who can blame her...pureed chicken and vegetables isn't exactly mouthwatering. But with a little coaxing she did finish the full 4 ounces. And then she finished a full 2.5 ounce applesauce.

Yep - we're moving on up - we're on stage 2 foods now, although we've got some stage 1 still in the cupboard to finish. And Leah has become a big fan of Cheerios. She still won't pick them up herself. I think she's capable, but she's really just lazy. In fact, if I hold my hand out, instead of using her fingers to take the Cheerio from my hand, she just bends over and hoovers it up with her mouth. Totally lazy...but very cute.

And she has gotten incredibly adept at eating the Baby Mum-Mum rice crackers. She does have a little trouble when she gets to the end - she hasn't figured out how to put the whole piece in her mouth - but other than that, she just munches the whole thing right up. And at only 8 calories per cracker, I can keep her entertained with them for as long as I need to.

Pre-meat tasting:
Post-meat tasting:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Leah does not quite get the mesh feeder

I tried giving Leah some fruit in the mesh feeder today. They're all the rage with the 6-12 month set. You put some fruit or other soft food in this little mesh bag that is attached to a handle and the baby sucks the food through the mesh - eating the food without the choking hazard.

We started with banana. I gave Leah a few little pieces first and she ate them. Then I gave her a chunk in the mesh feeder. She didn't seem to know what to do with it. I held it and put the end in her mouth and she kept blowing on it - the way she spits food or plays with her sippy cup. I tried squeezing some banana through it so that she would understand that she could suck the food out of difference. I gave it to her while I cleaned up from breakfast - she banged it on the tray and dropped it into her chair - getting banana on the highchair and herself.

So then after lunch - mine and hers - I gave her some honeydew. I put a nice chunk in the feeder and tried the same routine - no different. Even when I squeezed it so that the juice was dripping from it, she tasted it and then started blowing on it. I suppose it's possible that she didn't like the honeydew...but I think it's more likely that she was just confused by what to do with the mesh feeder.

I guess we'll try again tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mom got to go to the gym - Leah got to try out the sitter

I tried the gym with Leah for the first time today. I bought the 10-pack of babysitting vouchers for $50 - which is only $5 per time - not too bad. You can get up to an hour and a half for that. I only got about half an hour today though.

I dropped her off and she was happy playing with the sitter, Millie. There were no other kids there so Millie was able to sit and play with her. I checked back a couple minutes later after getting ready and putting my stuff in a locker. She looked happy. I went and rode the bike for 30 minutes and then decided to check back again.

She was crying. Millie was obviously trying to get her happy. I watched her put her in the exersaucer and feed her a few Cheerios. She stopped crying a bit and then started again. Then Millie got out the bottle I had put in the bag. But I had told Millie that she'd had a bottle at 3 and probably wouldn't need to eat - at this point it was just after 4, so she really didn't need one yet, so I decided to go in. I figured she probably wouldn't really take the botte and if she did she would just end up spitting up a lot.

But I probably shouldn't have gone in...because then Leah was only happy when I picked her up. As soon as I put her back down she thought I was going to leave and cried again. So I decided rather than trying to go continue my workout I'd rather take her home and try again another day. I think it'll only take a couple more times for Leah to get used to Millie. And Millie thought that if I hadn't come in Leah would have calmed down and been fine.

So now I just need to be able to keep motivating to get to the gym a few times a week!

Also of note, Leah is 8 months old today! And as always, she continues to get cuter by the day:

Sunday, October 5, 2008

OK - this mobile baby thing is not as fun as I wanted it to be

Yeah yeah - everyone said "be careful what you wish for." And I knew they were right. But I was so excited for how much fun Leah would be when she was able to get around a bit. She's not quite crawling yet, but her scooting is getting pretty good. She's not very fast but she's figured out how to use her leg to help her move too, so she's getting faster. She's been doing the army crawl for a few days now - pulling herself forward with her arms and dragging her legs behind her. Now that she bends her knee to put a leg forward to help push she can move farther in a bit less time, but mostly she just doesn't tire out as quickly.

This morning I watched her move from the middle of the living room to the entertainment center - and then manage to scoot into the space between the entertainment center and speaker - about 10 inches wide - to try to get to the speaker wire. What is it with babies always going for wires and cords? Of course I got up and stopped her before she could get to it, but it was just fascinating to watch. She also goes the other direction to the laptop's power cord. Or towards the highchair, where she tries to pull up on the bar at the bottom - which she will no doubt at some point hit her head on.

So yes - it does make her even more fun. And when she's crawling and moving faster and doing more and more she will continue to get more and more fun. But no doubt we are nearing the point where I can't leave her unattended even for a minute without the risk of her getting into trouble.

A friend suggested putting a couple of toys she really likes in the pack n play and then those toys always stay in the pack n play. That way she will be excited to go in there in order to play with them. And I'll have a safe place to put her down when I need a few minutes for something - like going to the bathroom.

And she continues to get cuter and cuter by the day too.

Sitting on the floor playing:
Eating a Baby Mum-Mum rice cracker:
Reading a book at the playgroup at the Dojo (doesn't she look like a such a big girl?):
Showing off her funky style, while shaking her jingling ball:
Jingling the ball and singing - looks like an aria don't you think?: