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.