Sunday, October 4, 2009

Maisie Funnies

I think that I was such a bad blogger that no one reads this anymore (understandable!) but I am still going to update so that I can remember the funny things Maisie does.

Her latest funny phrase is "cheese toast." My baby loves cheese, and my baby loves toast, so it makes sense that she would love cheese toast. What's funny, though, is that she loves saying "cheese toast" as much as she loves eating it. Last week one day, as she was eating it, she started saying, "Cheeese toast, cheeese toast." She has a particular intonation and it kind of sounds like CHEE toes, CHEE toes. She grins as widely as she can and laughs when I start to laugh. Well, this afternoon we were driving home from a church retreat weekend and Maisie should have been napping. I was surprised she was awake, but she was only barely awake... gazing out of the window dreamily. I was flipping through a magazine when I heard her start to chant, "CHEE toes, CHEE toes." I burst out laughing and said, "Maisie, are you daydreaming about cheese toast?" She just grinned and laughed and said, "CHEE toes," "CHEE toes!" When we got home and made her a piece of cheese toast, she was beyond delighted. I can tell that as much of the joy comes from talking about it and being understood as actually eating it.

She's also really into trying to do things herself, or pretending to do adult things. For example, if she sees a hair brush, she tries to brush her hair, or tries to brush my hair, or pretends to brush her doll's hair. Ditto toothbrush -- she loves to try to brush her teeth. She also takes the washcloth and washes her rubber duck in the bathtub, tries to feed Elmo or pretend to give him a sip of water out of a straw, and pretends to answer the phone. That last one was hilarious this weekend. We had to unplug the phone in our room at the inn where we were staying because all Maisie wanted to do was pick up the phone, say, "'LO?" and hang it back up. "'LO? 'LO?" And if you do happen to be on a real phone call when Maisie is around, when you say "hello," she'll turn around and yell, "HI!" and start waving, and when you finish the conversation, she'll yell, "BYE! BYE!" and wave some more.

She knows more body parts, I think -- she will tell you where her hands and her knees are, in addition to head, hair, ears, eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, bellybutton, and toes. She also understands that we all have noses, and will point at her baby doll's nose or Elmo's nose and say "no." "Nose" sounds like "no," but you can tell which she means because if she's saying no, she gets a funny mean look on her face and shakes her finger back and forth. "No no no," she says.

She has a couple of new favorite songs, too, and she knows them well enough that she really gets into them. She knows I always clap during the drum parts in the Avett Brothers' "Kick Drum Heart," and she will clap too. Not at precisely the right time or in the right rhythm, but it's the effort that counts. We sing a funny song by They Might be Giants called "Seven Days of the Week" and I have made up silly and obvious motions to go along with it, and she will do all of them with me as we listen to the song (mostly shaking her head, shaking her finger "no no," pointing to her head, and throwing her arms up). I might be embarrassed to admit that she also now sings "yeah yeah yeah" along with Miley Cyrus's "Party in the U.S.A." As our friend Will has commented before, I listen to a lot of really crappy music when Jake isn't around. (I don't mean you, Avetts!) Anyway, she also nods her head at the appropriate line in the Miley Cyrus song, and throws her hands in the air. Must get video.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Big Girl

I guess I was so overwhelmed with Maisie's first birthday that I put off blogging about it... and all of a sudden she is thirteen months and one week! I don't even know where to begin.

The basics: at her 12-mo. appt., she weighed 23.5 pounds (between 75-90%) and was 33 inches long (still off the charts). The doctor asked if she had any words yet. Yes. A lot. I never know whether I sound crazy because it seems like an awful lot for her age, or whether I sound crazy because maybe it's really not a lot after all. Not that it matters. It's very fun, and hearing her new words are the funniest thing, although she is full of personality in other ways too. She now says: Mama, dada, yes, no, more, good girl, nose, toes, teeth, belly, cheese, keys, book, bird, ball, pig, duck, dog, car, baa, meow, woof, nay, quack, moo, Maisie, baby, Elmo, George, shoes, hi, bye, house, bath, door, out, up, walk, night night, water, milk, bottle, cup, Bet Bet (my parents' dog), lalala, oh, uh oh, whoa. Today I am 99% sure she said "owl" and "want." I know there are a good many I'm missing.

She doesn't pronounce all of them correctly yet, of course. You have to use context to distinguish between "book" and "bird" or "keys" and "cheese" or "ball" and "bottle." "Baa" and "bath" sound pretty much identical; it just depends on whether she is pointing at a sheep or into the bathroom. She says "Mamie" for "Maisie" and "guh guh" for "good girl." She repeats other words like her names for our parents (and will say them voluntarily when she's with them). She will repeat "dirty" but only sometimes says it unprompted, but the words in the above list she will say whenever she sees the object. She calls a cat "meow" but will repeat "kitty" if you ask her to. It sounds like "titty." She still won't say Fiona or Sammy, but she will point to them when asked and walks up to both of them and says "good girl." When I tell her Sammy is a boy, so he's a "good boy," she looks at me like I'm crazy and turns back to Sammy and says, "good girl!" again.

She has a great wave and will lean over to people (and by people, I mean strangers) in stores and restaurants saying, "Hey. Hey. Hey," until they turn around so she can wave to them. She likes to yell, "Bye!" or "BUHBYE!" just as much as she likes to say hello. She blows kisses to her daddy when he leaves for work in the morning on her own. She knows to stick out one finger if you ask her how old she is (and sometimes she will say, "WUH!" for "one") but sometimes it takes awhile. She might not answer until a couple of minutes have passed. She is more likely to answer if someone asks ME how old she is and I respond. Usually when that happens, I look over at Maisie and she's holding one finger up.

A couple of days ago she hitched her lunchbox up on her shoulder like it was a pocketbook and said, "Bye!" like she was going somewhere. Shortly thereafter she was playing with my bracelet. When I asked her to put it on, she slipped it up her arm, admired it, and sang, "Oh oh oh!," and did a little shoulder shake... her signature dance move.

She loves music and loves to dance. Her favorite song is still "Single Ladies" by Beyonce and she requests it by saying, "Oh oh oh?" and wiggling the shoulders. She asks to watch the Elmo's Song clip on Hulu every time she sees the computer. We have had a couple of (what feel like) legitimate conversations about it. After we've watched it, she immediately starts signing "more," sometimes saying "more" out loud, and then saying, "Lalala." More Lalala. I say, "No more Lalala. We're all done." She shakes her finger at me and says, "No no no. [Sign for more.] Lalalala."

She requests specific books now (like "Where is the Green Sheep" is "baaa") and can find her favorites. She will find the right toy and bring it to you if you ask, too. She points at things to ask what they are and will point at things when you ask her to identify them (light, door, window, fan, dog, cat, baby, book, bird, etc.). She likes to go up to doors in our house and knock on them ("na na"). She's a wonderful mimic and will try to copy any face you make. If you ask her to make a funny face, she scrunches up her nose and sniffs a little bit, and then laughs.

She recognizes herself in pictures and in the mirror and will happily exclaim, "MAMIE!" when she sees herself. She can also identify Jake and me in pictures and will do so unprompted. She loves to look at pictures of the rest of the family but doesn't usually point them out, although she'll look at the right person when I ask "where's so and so," so I think she knows who they are too. She loves monkeys but says "day" or "dee" for "monkey" -- no idea why. She also will put her hands under her armpits and say "ee ee oo oo" if you ask her what a monkey does. She will also bob her hands up and down if you ask what a bunny does -- it hops ("ha ha ha"). She still knows most of her other animal sounds too, although she can't say "oink" yet so if you ask her what a pig does, she just wiggles her nose up and down.

She loves to lean her head against us and climb in our laps (although a lot of times she doesn't want to stay there), and if you hold her and give her a hug, she pats you on the back or the arm. Sometimes she likes to just reach out and touch your arm, or pat your hand. She offers up her baby dolls and stuffed animals so you can kiss them, and she will pretend to kiss them too, though she doesn't pucker -- just presses her mouth against them and says "muh!" We are working on being sweet to Fi and Sammy. She knows that she is supposed to pet them gently -- and sometimes she will do so on her own, saying "eeee, eeee" because I always say, "easy, easy" -- but just as often she will bop them on the nose. Like I said, we are working on this. Right now I just say "no!" as firmly as possible and move her away from them as fast as I can.

Oh, and she still likes to eat! Her favorites are cheese and fruit, but she likes most everything. She prefers water to juice. She still sleeps great for the most part. She goes on nap strikes occasionally, but they don't last long (knock on wood). She still loves her baby yoga class and can do some of the moves and positions if you ask her to (and if she's feeling cooperative!).

Oh! She isn't quite walking yet, although on several occasions she has taken up to five or six unassisted steps. She can walk quite well even if she is only holding onto my index finger, but boy, does she not want to let that index finger go. I guess crawling is too efficient to give up just yet. I hope she will turn out to be more coordinated and graceful than I am, but we haven't seen any signs of that yet. Ha. She still tumbles around quite a lot.

I will think of a zillion more things tomorrow, but I wanted to get these down before I let any more time slip away and I forget them. She's a funny, sassy, delightful baby who makes me laugh about a hundred times a day.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

More Words

I really have to start watching my language. In addition to repeating all kinds of random things, Maisie seems to bust out with new words every couple of days now. This week, she started saying "milk" ("mih"), "up," "woof woof" ("woowoowoo") and "baby." "Baby" was a big surprise. We were at Jake's parents' house over the weekend (they watched her while we went to our friends' wedding elsewhere in NC last night) and yesterday morning we were playing on the floor. Jake's childhood Cabbage Patch Kid (Isaac, in a baseball uniform, looking much more pristine than any of my own baby dolls are these days) was sitting on a table. Maisie looked up, pointed toward the Cabbage Patch Kid, and said, "Baby." It was unmistakable, plus she then said it about five more times as she dragged Isaac around.

Her Papa also reported that she said "balloon" while they were keeping her. I haven't heard that one yet but I don't doubt that she said it. She loves balloons and we talk about them a lot, considering they are plentiful at our grocery stores and we hit the grocery store at least twice a week.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Eleven Months

A month from today our baby will be ONE! How did that happen?

I know in my last post (two months ago!) I mentioned some of Maisie's words. The language explosion has continued. She can now say: Dada, Mama, hi, ball, dog, duck, George (as in "Curious"), Elmo, and shoes. She says these spontaneously and usually will repeat them after me if I ask her to. I think she has said "more," "milk," "no," and "toes," but not frequently or reliably enough that I count those yet.

She can nod and shake her head in response to some questions, like "Do you want more?" or "Is that good?" She definitely understands when you say no (though that doesn't always stop her).

She will answer "what does the horse say" ("naynaynay"), "what does the duck say" ("gakgakgak"), and what does the cow say ("mooo" pronounced "mmmmm").

She signs "milk" and "more" and "all done," although she usually only signs "all done" after I've done it. "Milk" and "more" she will sign on her own without my prompting.

She drinks water out of sippy cups (the kind with the in-between no spill nipple). She seems to like water a lot more than apple juice.

She can drink out of a straw, and was so pleased with herself the first time that she clapped after she did it. Very proud.

She knows how to blow a kiss. If you ask her to blow a kiss, she will put her fingers to her mouth and make a smacking sound.

She loves to play peekaboo and pattycake, and will start these games on her own or participate if you start them. Sometimes she will pull a blanket over her head to begin peekaboo or take my hands and make them start clapping until I do pattycake. She can also "roll" the dough with her hands in addition to just clapping during pattycake1.

She dances, shrugging her shoulders and wiggling her bottom, if she hears a song she likes or if she sees us dancing and trying to get her to join in.

She claps when she's excited, or if you sing "If You're Happy and You Know It," or if other people are clapping.

She waves hello and goodbye.

She can make a funny face if I ask her to -- scrunching up her nose and then smiling.

She LOVES to look at herself in the mirror or watch the videos I have taken of her talking.

She loves to be read to, and loves to look at her books on her own. She will ask for specific books that she likes sometimes, too. Sometimes she digs through all of her books asking for "duck" or "George" ("dord") or "Elmo." She especially likes her duck book because it quacks at the end and she likes to quack along with it.

She can grab your nose if you ask her where your nose is, and she will grab her own toes if you ask her where her toes are. She will give Eskimo kisses (rubbing noses) if you ask her to, too.

She points at things all the time now so that I will identify them to her.

When we read her Curious George book, she can point to George on every page if you ask her "Where's George?" (He hides at the zoo in the book.)

She is a tease. My mother will say "I love Maisie, yes, I do," and nod, and Maisie will shake her head "no" and just giggle away. She will offer you a Cheerio and then snatch it away and put it in her mouth and just howl (she always gives it you eventually, though!).

She definitely knows her name and (I think) that she recognizes it's her in the mirror.

She crawls like a champion still, crazy fast, and can pull up anywhere. She can stand on her own for just a second or two but hasn't really tried to walk yet.

She is our joy.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Nine Months!

Little Miss Maisie is nine months old! And, as she has always been, she's not really Little Miss. She weighs 21 pounds, 6 oz. (between 90-95%), and is 29 3/4 inches long (off the charts). I can't remember what her head circumference was, but it was about the 95% as well. She's big, but she's proportionate.

So much has happened this month. She's crawling all over now, and has been since the beginning of the month. She has also started saying a few words. At first I thought I was a super crazy mama for thinking that she was actually saying things, but I really believe that she has said/can say "hi," "mama," "dada," "ball," and "dog." She had been making noises that sounded like "hi" for awhile, but at the end of April, she leaned over to Fiona, stared straight at her, said, "HI," and then turned to look at me, like, "Did I do that right?" Since then, she has said "hi" to: me, Jake, my parents, Stephanie, Caroline, random mom in our baby yoga class, a couple of neighbors, a couple of people at Safeway, a lady at Old Navy, a Safeway cashier or two, and the nurse weighing her at her nine-month appointment. All of those people were people who either said "hi" right back to her in response or made some other comment to me about how she was talking, so surely that counts?

She says "dada" a lot more than she says "mama," and for a long time I wasn't sure she knew we were Mama and Daddy, but now I think she knows and uses them purposefully. When she sees Jake, she often says, "Dada" (and not just "Dadadadadadadada," though she does that too), and she most often says "Mamamamama" when she is crying or when she needs something from me.

"Ball" was the word that surprised me the most. She has several balls that she absolutely loves, including one that we have been playing with since Christmas, so it's a word she's heard a lot, but I had no idea she could say it until we were at Target last week and walked by a display of balls. She looked at them and said, "Ball." I stopped in my tracks.

"Did you say, 'ball'?," I asked her. And she looked right at me and said "ball" again! (Well, it sounds like "baw," but, I mean, she's nine months old.) I called Jake and he said, "You know, I thought she said 'ball' to me when we were playing with her ball recently, but I figured I was just imagining things." Then, two days later, we were in line at Old Navy and a little girl was playing with a ball in front of us. "Baw," Maisie said, and then kept babbling. The little girl's mother and I started talking -- I think Maisie had said "hi" to her already, and waved -- and the woman said, "Is she your first? That's why she's talking so early," and I said, "Yes, she has been saying 'hi' and 'dada' a lot," and the lady exclaimed, "Well, she just said 'ball'! I heard her!" I was so excited to have it confirmed by an independent source.

"Dog" was almost as surprising. Obviously we talk about dogs a lot since we have two of them, but she didn't say "dog" until we were reading one of her favorite books last week. It's just a book of words, with a picture of something on each page. As soon as we turned to the page with the dog, Maisie said, "Dog." ("Daw" -- different from the "dada.") Jake's parents were here this weekend and they heard her say it again a few times when we read that book.

She doesn't say all these words every time I want her to, of course, but she has said them enough and other people have heard them enough that I don't think I'm totally nuts.

She still really enjoys "How big is Maisie?" "So big," and she loves to give Eskimo kisses. If you ask for an Eskimo kiss, she leans toward you and shakes her head so you can rub noses. She still claps, and still sometimes makes the sign for "more," usually when she wants more string cheese, her new favorite food.

I can't really believe how communicative and expressive she is now (and how mobile, though that is also terrifying). I thought Maisie was fun before, but she is super fun now.

(And of course now that I blogged about her words, she probably won't say anything else until she's like three.)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Miss Maisie

Telling secrets with Powe at lunch on Easter. They love each other!

Sidenote: I tend to take the most pictures when we are playing in the morning, when she is either still in her pajamas or in her going-to-the-grocery-store play clothes. This weekend I sent a bunch of these pictures to my mom, who helpfully suggested that, "You know, Emilie, now that it's warm, you could just let her wear those smocked dresses I got her as her every day clothes, just to play in." Point taken. Pictures in her southern-girl wardrobe will be forthcoming... eventually.

Eight Months Old

Hey, guess what? We're still here, and we still have a baby! And she's still the sweetest and funniest baby we know (we're aware that we are biased). She's also eight months old. Eight months old. I can't believe it.

Miss Maisie hasn't been to the doctor since her six-month check-up, so I don't know how much taller she is or how much she weighs. I do know that she wears 12 months or 18 months clothes, and I bought her a pair of pants last week that were size 18-24 months and they fit just fine. I think it's safe to say that she's still enormous. We have already lowered her crib mattress once, but I think the day is coming soon when we will have to lower it again. My estimate is that she is 20 pounds and 30 inches. For awhile it looked like she was just growing longer and had thinned out some, but the addition of solid foods has brought about the return of her round tummy. About that food...

...she loves it. She still takes a bottle easily, but she loves real food. By real food, I just mean baby food. The only table food I've tried to give her was a real banana, cut in tiny pieces. She has mastered the pincer grasp so she really enjoyed being allowed to put the pieces in her mouth herself, but she truly hated the banana. She looked at me like I had poisoned her. When I said, "Yum! It's delicious! Bananas are delicious!," she shook her head vigorously and then gagged. So far, it's the only thing she doesn't like (and weirdly, she likes banana baby food just fine -- just not actual banana).

In addition to banana baby food, she has also eaten: rice cereal, oatmeal, squash, green beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, applesauce, pears, peaches, prunes, and Gerber corn puffs. Green beans are her number one fave, but really she likes it all. She eats twice a day now -- usually breakfast of oatmeal and a fruit, followed by lunch/dinner of a vegetable with a few corn puffs.

When she turned six months old, she was just barely sitting up on her own -- it was precarious. She could stay sitting if you placed her just so, but was still unsteady. Within a week of her six-month birthday, though, she had pretty much mastered it.

As of her seven-month birthday, she still wasn't rolling over from her back to her front. She rolled from her stomach to her back before she was even four months old and has been pretty early with every other milestone, so when she turned seven months and still wasn't rolling the other way, I got worried. I wasn't actually worried, really, but I was thinking about it a lot. She was so close -- she could get all the way on her side and could reach and twist and scoot, but wouldn't go all the way over. I think she had done it once on accident. Within another week or so, though, she was rolling all over the place and these days, she could roll across the house if I let her, effortlessly.

She's also almost ready to crawl. She can go from sitting to crawling position, and can get all the way up on her hands and knees and rock back and forth. Sometimes she accidentally crawls backwards, but I think any day now she'll achieve proper forward crawling. Just this weekend she started army-crawling -- do they call it creeping? -- where she inches forward on her tummy, pulling herself with her arms. The two things that have sufficiently inspired her to do this are Jake's guitar tuner and the cable remote control. This is unsurprising, because what she wants more than anything is whatever adult thing we're using at the moment -- cell phone, keys, remote control, deodorant, brush, whatever.

Now let me tell you about some of Maisie's tricks. The latest and most enjoyable for her is clapping. We had been singing "If You're Happy and You Know It" for awhile, and she could clasp her hands together but couldn't actually clap. Last week she started actually clapping and oh, she is so proud of herself. She starts clapping as soon as I start singing, or if she just wants some attention and praise, or if she gets excited. Lots of clapping.

She's been waving for awhile now, but she's discriminating. She won't wave at strangers, usually, but she is often excited to wave at our friends. Last week we went to a baby yoga class and she wouldn't wave at anyone when we got to class, but she waved bye-bye as we left. She's not shy with stranger, but she is slow to warm up. She stares intently at everyone she sees (nosy!), but it takes a little work to make her smile. She does remember people and is happy to see people she knows, though -- last night she was very excited to see our friends Will, Jean, and Dave. There was immediate and enthusiastic smiling, waving, and clapping.

Maisie will also throw her hands over her head when I say, "How big is Maisie? So big!," but I think maybe she's tired of that trick. We did it a lot for a week or so, and she LOVED it, so much that if I wasn't paying attention to her at any given moment, she'd throw her hands up in the air and then stare at me like, "WELL? YOUR TURN. SAY IT." The last few days, though, she hasn't really wanted to play and she'll start to clap instead. She also knows where my nose is, I think -- for a few days, every time I'd say, "Where's Mama's nose?," she'd grab my nose. She hasn't felt like doing that today, though.

She does babble a lot and makes lots of sounds -- Dadadada and Mamamama and Nananana and Bababababa and Vavavava and something that sounds like "hey" or "hi" but probably isn't. I just assume it's all noise at this point, although a few times she has said Dada so clearly and appropriately that we've wondered. She definitely knows her name (and all her nicknames, which are many) and she knows who Daddy is and Mama is and Sammy and Fiona. I meant to try to teach her baby sign language, but hadn't really buckled down to do it. One of the only signs I had used more than a few times was the sign for "more," when she was drinking her bottle or eating. I probably hadn't done it for a few weeks, though, and then this weekend she all of a sudden started making the sign for "more" when she was hungry. I don't know if that's what she meant to do or was trying to do, but it's a pretty pointed sign (you can see what the sign looks like here) and that's definitely what she was doing with her hands, and she was definitely showing it to me. She also definitely wanted to eat when she did it. If that is what she was doing, I can't believe that she remembered it! I hadn't done it in ages. If that's what she meant -- and again, I don't know if it is -- but if it is, I suspect she thinks it means "food" and not "more," but who knows? I am definitely going to try more sign language, though, and see if she picks anything (else?) up.

Our usual schedule is up at 7, nap from 9-10:15, nap from between 1-1:30 to 2-3, bedtime routine starting between 6:15 and 6:30 and she's usually asleep around 7 (though that can vary from anywhere between 6:30 and 7:30 depending on how long it takes her to fall asleep). She puts herself to sleep and most of the time does not wake up during the night (or wakes up and puts herself back to sleep). Sometimes she'll wake up at 6 instead of 7 and then our routine is slightly off, but that's okay. I call that Schedule B and it works too. It usually just means that we have an extra third short nap somewhere during the day, which I do not mind!

She wakes up happy and she is ALL over the crib. I still put her to sleep on her back, but she usually winds up curled up on her side now, and she usually plays with her Fisher-Price aquarium as soon as she gets up. She has been able to turn it on and off for months now, but for a couple of weeks it was out of battery. It's kind of a pain to change the batteries, so we just left it alone, until Miss Maisie let us know that she was ready for it to work again. She kicked it over and over again and then when we went to see what the ruckus was, she looked at us, then stared at the aquarium, kicked it once more for good measure, and then looked back at us and smiled. She does not have any trouble communicating what she wants! We promptly changed the batteries and we often hear the aquarium's music start up in the middle of the night or early morning.

Oh! Her teeth. Maisie has six teeth now -- three on the bottom and three on the top. She's had her bottom two front teeth for months (since four months). Her top teeth were funny for awhile -- she cut her left lateral incisor (front side tooth) first, so she was quite the snaggletooth. Her right lateral incisor came next, so she looked like a little vampire. Now she's got one of her central incisors coming through, but it's taking its sweet time. She's also got a head full of hair. Her hair fell out for awhile but has grown back in quickly. We still can't tell what color it will be. It looks light brown, dark blonde, or reddish depending on the light.

I'm sure I'll think of more, but basically, she's a delight. She's happy and easy and sweet, and she loves music, the dogs, and Jake, who makes her absolutely howl with laughter. I can't make her laugh quite as much, but I think she likes me too. She hasn't experienced separation anxiety yet -- she's happy to stay in the nursery at church, and she will let anyone hold her (though she will stare them up and down while they're doing it) -- but she definitely looks at me for approval and reactions now, and she definitely wants me when she isn't feeling well or if she's tired or hungry. Most Saturday mornings I go to the movies for some alone time so Jake and Maisie can have Daddy-Daughter time, and although I LOVE the time by myself (and the chance to see a movie), I am so glad to see her when I get home. I love getting her up from her naps, because she is so happy to see me. She grins and waves and gets so excited she either claps or wiggles, which means then I do the same. :)

I will post a separate post with pictures shortly.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Six-Month Check Up

Maisie's six-month well check was this afternoon and it was an adventure. I woke up yesterday fighting a cold, went to bed last night with chills and muscle aches, and woke up at 3 a.m. feeling like I had been run over by a semi. I just knew it was the honest-to-goodness flu, so Jake worked from home today so I could recuperate and limit Maisie's exposure to my plague. I stayed in bed and watched Party of Five episodes on Hulu, which would have been kind of luxurious if I had not been hacking, aching, sneezing, unable to breathe, feeling guilty that Jake had to stay home, and missing being able to hold my baby. However, I feel considerably better now (not well, but a lot better) so I think it's just a cold and not the actual flu. In any event, Jake took Maisie to her well-check because we figured all those children at the pediatrician's office didn't need my germs, nor did I need to catch whatever else is sure to be floating around there.

Thankfully, Maisie is recovered from her last cold (current mild stuffiness? "Just boogers," according to our doctor) and has recovered from her ear infection (though she did still have a little fluid in her ears, so if she runs a fever, we will bring her in, which we would have done anyway). She was deemed a perfectly healthy, developmentally on target little girl who is also impossibly tall. She's 29 1/4 inches (good thing we got that convertible car seat) and weighs 18 lbs., 6 oz. Her weight percentile has dropped slightly, but she is still off-the-charts for length. We expect that she will plateau soon and her pediatrician predicted that she will just stop growing for a few months in the very near future.

I always like taking her to the doctor and getting a reassuringly clean bill of health, and we do not take it for granted. It's a relief that she's fine and that I am recovering from my own ailment. We're anxious to get back to normal tomorrow. I missed her today when I was quarantined!

Monday, February 16, 2009

And a Few Extra Pics

Six Months Old

I know, I know, I have been SO slack on the blog. Do I say that at the beginning of every post? I feel like I do. I have a lot of excuses; the main one is that our good camera broke over Christmas and it just came back from the shop today. I did buy a cheapo replacement, a tiny pink Casio (Jake's reaction? "Great, the whole family can really use that one"), but our picture-taking was stymied and I let that keep me away. It's not for lack of cuteness or general hilarity on Miss Maisie's part, I promise you that.

Anyway, Margaret James will be six months old tomorrow. Six months! Why, that's half a year. We can't really believe it. As every parent can attest, it has flown by. It's flown by so much that I am continually amazed by what she's doing. So, what IS she doing? So much.

-- She's eating some oatmeal, though we haven't moved much past that in the way of solids. This is my fault. I just haven't made it a priority, even though my father has been dying for Maisie to be eating real food since she was about three days old. This morning she enjoyed oatmeal more than ever before and ingested far more than she spit out, so I think we're on our way.

-- She rolls over from her front to her back with no effort at all, but she is reluctant to roll from her back to her front. I think it's because she is an expert at swiveling around. I try to sit behind her while we are playing on the floor sometimes so that she will try to roll over and look at me, but she manages to scoot or pivot so that rolling over is unnecessary. Multiple times a day I think she's about to roll all the way over but she has caught herself each and every time. Soon, I'm sure.

-- She's very close to sitting up unassisted, and in fact can do so for a few seconds at a time, but still tips over fairly quickly more often than not. Reliable sitting is also coming any day now, because if she is leaning back on my lap or propped up on some pillows, she will lean forward to a sitting position every time.

-- She's super chatty. We know it's just coincidence, but she says something that sounds an awfully lot like "Hi!" on a pretty frequent basis. We can finally put her in her crib wide awake and she will go to sleep on her own (this is a fairly recent development, and an exciting one) and when that happens, she talks, talks, talks for at least ten minutes before she drifts off. We suppose she is telling her friends on her mobile how her day was? I don't know, but it's funny.

-- She not only goes to sleep talking, she wakes up talking, too. She usually wakes up happy and we can hear her yammering away (this time telling the mobile what she dreamed about, maybe?). She also has a Fisher Price Ocean Wonders aquarium on her crib, and she sometimes turns that on to amuse herself before we come in and get her, too.

-- She's also super grabby. If it's in her line of sight, she wants to hold it and put it in her mouth. She especially likes glasses, long hair, and earrings. Come to think of it, maybe it's not me that she loves so much, but my accessories. Oh, well. We mothers take what we can get. In line with her grabbiness, she loves all her toys, too. If she can grab it, stare at it, chew on it, or bang on it, she likes it.

-- She smiles and giggles all the time. She enjoys being tickled, dancing, looking at herself in the mirror, engaging with Fiona, staring at little Sammy, kicking her playmat, crinkling anything that will make noise, reading, hearing anyone sing to her, being kissed, being swaddled (we still swaddle her arms -- she still loves it and seems to need it), being rocked, strolling, being in her sling, being in Bjorn. In fact, when I think of things she doesn't like, I can only think that she doesn't like the sun in her eyes. She is a happy baby and we feel so lucky.

We had three potentially trying incidents recently, but all turned out fine. (1) We drove to South Carolina to visit my family, stopping at Jake's parents' house along the way. She screamed most of the way to North Carolina, which was pretty stressful (and unusual for her; she usually likes the car). I think it was a combination of two things -- a needy/demanding phase where she was generally ticked that I was in the front seat instead of entertaining her in the backseat, and the fact that she was growing out of her car seat and it might have been uncomfortable. We just switched to the convertible car seat because she is too long for the infant seat, and she seems happier now. In any event, she was happier the second leg of our journey to SC and she was happy on the way back (and we had a great time while we were there, of course).

(2) Maisie had her first cold. It didn't seem to bother her too much; she slept pretty well still and never ran a fever, but I hated hearing her cough so I took her to the pediatrician even though I didn't really think anything could be done. Well, we were surprised that she had an ear infection, too! It never seemed to bother her and she thoroughly enjoyed her amoxycillin, so we're just glad we found it and it didn't hurt her too badly. She goes to the doctor for her six-month check-up on Wednesday and I hope (and expect) that her ear will be well again.

(3) The most upsetting incident happened this past Thursday. I was getting Maisie ready for bed and was putting her pajamas on while she was on her changing table. Quicker than anything, Maisie kicked a small picture that hangs over the changing table. It hit the (thankfully also small) picture hanging above it, which fell off the wall and hit Maisie on the forehead. It totally nailed her. She screamed, I cried. It was awful. Happily, she was fine in two minutes (probably less) and only has a little purple bruise to show for it. I just knew that she was going to have an enormous goose egg and a black eye, but no. Of course, now I am scared of the changing table (even though the offending pictures have been removed).

Another milestone -- Maisie spent Valentine's Day evening with babysitters, her first time being left with anyone other than her grandparents. Jake and I went out to dinner and left her at our church, where the empty-nesters watched the babies and kids so that parents could have a date. It was great, and I am pretty sure the ratio of adult to child was close to 1:1. Maisie is the youngest baby in our little congregation so we knew that she would get lots of attention, and she did. According to reports, she was enthralled with the older children and when I got there, she was asleep in our friend's arms. It went so well that we left her in the nursery Sunday morning and she had a blast. Apparently she did not miss us a bit.

I still love staying at home with her, and I am thankful every day that I'm able to do so right now. I can totally get why staying at home would not be fun to a lot of people, but it really works for Jacob and me. Maisie and I have a routine and a rhythm that's comforting and enjoyable for both of us, and I think we will have even more fun when the weather gets warmer.

I know I'll think of a million other updates as soon as I publish this. Maisie is just a delight. We say almost every evening, as I am sure most parents do, how did we get such a sweet/funny/precious/cute/perfect baby? (And how did she get to be six months old already?)

P.S. She's still big. Eighteen pounds when she went to the doctor two weeks ago.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

More Coming!

Oh, I have lots of blogging to catch up on!  I need to write a four-month post and an update on sweet Maisie's first Christmas -- I will summarize briefly and hope to get back on track later.

The highlights:  still huge (16 lbs. 9 oz. and 27" long at four months), two teeth all the way through (the front bottom two), losing her hair, still hilarious and precious, a pro at rolling from her tummy to her back but not the other way yet.  We had a brief setback with sleeping through the night over Christmas, but (knock on wood) she's sleeping better than ever now (10-11 hours). Her favorite things include: looking out her window at our SC flag, Sophie the Giraffe, the book Ten Tiny Tickles (we read it about four times a day), Curious George (by FAR her favorite stuffed animal), the Who song "Baba O'Riley," and staring/eavesdropping/flirting with strangers in stores and restaurants.  

We had a wonderful Christmas in North Carolina with Jake's family.  Maisie thoroughly enjoyed being the center of attention.  She is a lucky little girl to have so many people who love her!  She also engaged in intensive shopping training with the girls and so far, she can hang at the mall with the best of us.  This will serve her well in the future.  Unfortunately, our camera broke over Christmas so pictures are limited but I'll work on putting up the ones we do have.

The top picture is sweet Maisie yesterday, looking entirely too old and wearing a bow that lasted for all of five minutes.   I'm not sure whether she pulled it out or it just fell out, but I didn't push my luck.

Happy new year!