Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Hand that Feeds

When Rose is happy with her food, it's obvious. She takes a bite and softly talks with her mouthful for a few seconds before swallowing. It's like she is telling each mouthful a little story before it goes down her gullet for good. Last night, I fed Rose rice cereal for dinner. Predictably, she polished off the entire bowl, whispering sweet nothings with every bite. I thought I would give her a night off sweet potatoes. I don't want her to think that every time she gets into her highchair I'm going to be force feeding her new, yucky foods.

But as I was cleaning up, it occurred to me that maybe new foods would go over better if Rose was able to investigate them on her own terms. Proud of my brilliant insight, I took a large spoonful of sweet potato mush and plopped it on her tray to do with as she might. I spied on her while I finished cleaning up, curious to see if Rose's reaction would be different when sweet potato was fed to her by her own hand. And here's what I saw:

I guess that's a No.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Everyone's a Critic

I was pretty excited to get home last night to try out my homemade sweet potato baby food. Rose loves jarred sweet potato. And the ingredients are identical to my version: sweet potato and water. So I was feeling pretty confident. Let me take you through a visual of our sweet potato experience:

Sweet potatoes entering stage right; the room is full of anticipation:

A look of impending disgust crosses Rose's face, it's not looking good for the sweet potato:

Sweet potato lands, and that's a...

"Pppthhhhhtt!" Yes, that is her tongue sticking out. Let's try again:


Come on, Rose, is it really THAT bad? 

Seriously, mom? Where's the rice cereal?
 Now, we're talking!

I'm determined to keep trying and trying and trying. I do have an entire ice cube tray full of frozen sweet potato mush that needs to be eaten. Next item on the menu - acorn squash. I'm not feeling too optimistic.

On a more successful note, Rose has a new skill. Last night I sat Rose on the floor and surrounded her with toys just outside her reach, hoping to entice her into crawling. At one point she got onto all fours, hovered for a second and then reached out, flopping onto her stomach, and grabbed a toy. She's done this before, so I wasn't really paying attention. And I was glad she was getting some tummy time. But then, after she had a good grip on the toy, she pushed back up to all fours and all the way back into a sitting position. With a very please look on her face. She repeated this for Trevor this morning. Clever girl.

The mornings here in Portland have become quite chilly. Thankfully, Grandma Kathy gave Rose a toasty outfit for her stroller rides in the morning, with a little room to grow. Here's Rose this morning before being loaded into her stroller by her dad. Could she be any cuter?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

And a Bowl Full of Mush

Last night Rose tried peas for the first time. They got a big thumbs down.

Living in Portland, I'm reluctant to admit that the peas were out of a baby food jar and not grown in my garden. After Rose's reaction, I had to give them a try. And I don't disagree with her. Warm, thick, jarred, pea mush is not yummy. Luckily, last night I decided to undertake making my own baby food for the first time (other than mashing up bananas, which were also not a bit hit). After Rose went to sleep, I baked an acorn squash and a sweet potato. Then I peeled them and hand mashed them with some water until my forearm was burning. I have to say, the end result looked pretty similar to the jarred mush I've been feeding Rose over the past few weeks. We'll find out tonight if it was worth the effort.

On Sunday, Rose spent the afternoon with Grandma and Grandpa Livingston. From the pictures that Roger took, it looks like everyone had a great time. Well, everyone except Scamper. (Note that Rose's obsession with her tooth has not subsided.)

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Halloween Edition

On Saturday morning, when Rose woke up at 7am, Trevor offered to play with her in the living room so I could catch a little more shut-eye. This was an exceedingly generous offer on his part, since he'd been at work the night before until around midnight. Try as I might, I couldn't go back to sleep. I was too excited to get up and spend time hanging out with my family. That is the best part about the weekend! I snuck into the living room and found two happy campers.

Later that day, Rose had her first Halloween party. We spent part of the morning trying on parts of her last minute costume, much to my delight.

And then we got ready to go. Rose seemed a little exasperated: "Mom, seriously, am I a penguin or a ninja?"

Trevor was exasperated, too: "Too many pictures! Too much." But in snapping away like a mad lady, I was able to catch a shot of how close Rose is to crawling:

The Halloween party was fun, but total chaos. Babies were strewn across the floor in their super cute, yet seemingly uncomfortable costumes, making it hard to walk anywhere. The room was a cacophony of screeches, squeals, grunts and groans almost the entire time. It was hilarious. Predictably, Rose added her own flavor to the party grabbing other babies by the hair and trying to "make moves" as much as possible. As moms do, we had to get a shot of all the babies lined up on the couch. Not an easy feat with the tendencies to topple over and the costume malfunction issues.

Rose continues to work towards crawling. Her second tooth has yet to make an appearance, and her first one is still slowly rising. Operation Tough Love is going well so far, though an unfortunate side effect seems to be the development of a much louder and more piercing scream when Rose does wake up in the middle of the night - making it challenging to sleep through. But for the most part, she is sleeping most of the night. At present, Rose cycles through many noises in a day on her quest to begin talking - high pitched squealing, grunting, growling, a whispered "thhhh" and fake coughing are among her favorites. And, best of all, she continues to be happy girl with a strong personality.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Funny Faces

Rose is obsessed with her new tooth. It is barely there, just a ridge of jagged white peeping out from her pink gum. But the feeling of the bone is such a contrast to the slippery, soft skin that used to be there, she can't help touching it, over and over and over again. I wouldn't have such an issue with this, if she was touching it with her fingers. Her preferred method of exploration, though, happens to be with her tongue. She hangs her mouth open and runs her tongue in and out over her lower tooth. This leads to a very doltish looking child. Don't get me wrong, I love to watch Rose explore and discover. When I see her do this, it makes me laugh every time, knowing that she is probably trying to understand and accept this new change. It's so much fun to see the world through her eyes. But when we're in the coffee shop and the woman next to us coos "What an adorable baby" and Rose turns to look at her with her tongue hanging out, I feel compelled to explain that she has just discovered her first tooth. And no she is not missing a few marbles.

While I'm on the topic of odd behavior and new discoveries, I had another good laugh while giving Rose a bath last night. Rose has recently moved out of the infant tub and is now taking baths in the adult tub since she has mastered sitting up. I only fill the water up high enough to barely cover her thighs. It seems easier to manage a slippery baby this way. She loves baths, loves to play with a bath toy while I sponge her down. Last night, she was sitting completely bent over holding her toy keys under the water in front of her. No matter what I did, I couldn't get her to sit upright so I could wash her belly. She was intent on bending forward. Thinking she was just tired, I moved on to washing other parts of her body. Suddenly, in one motion, she dunked her face under the water and then shot straight up. She turned to look at me with shock and awe as she blinked back the water dripping down her face. Like Chase's head in the video I posted last week, I think Rose was trying to explore the water with her mouth. All that effort just to get her face into the bath water. Funny little lady.

Rose had a PT appointment this morning. She managed to walk out without a TOT collar. The report was similar to last time. She is making good progress, but her neck is still tight. Her social skills and motor skills are right on track, but we need to keep working on the neck and shoulder strength. Here are some pictures from the session (check out all that hair!).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sleeping Like a Baby

Rose woke up looking beautiful this morning, her bright eyes fringed with long lashes, plump rosy cheeks and a big smile. Ready to start the day. Her parents, on the other hand, looked like zombies, or at least felt the part. It's amazing to me that our baby can wake up every one to two hours throughout the night screaming for something, and still manage to be happy and playful in the morning. Maybe I shouldn't be so impressed, the baby is getting a full meal and lots of snuggles and hugs each time she wakes up. I wish I could say this was unusual, but I remember writing about the "fatigue" of the Livingston apartment just a week or so ago. Maybe she's teething again - that second tooth is threatening to break through any day now. And maybe her stuffy nose is making it hard to get a comfortable night sleep - her snores have been rivaling her father's the past few nights. But I'm beginning to suspect that the real issues are (1) Rose doesn't know how to put herself to sleep (or she just doesn't care to anymore, since nursing is such an easy way to accomplish the same thing), (2) Rose's understanding of object permanence has recently increased (i.e., mom is really still out there somewhere, even if I can't see her, and if I scream loud enough and long enough she appears to me - bringing her boobs with her), and (3) I've been more than willing to accommodate (in the hopes of a few more minutes of shut-eye for all). Well, enough of that. Tonight we begin Operation Tough Love. Wish us luck.

One important part of establishing good sleep habits, is a consistent bed time routine. This we've had down for a while now (except when we decide to be inconsistent and keep Rose out past her bedtime). Here's a summary (really just an excuse to post some pictures): When Rose and I get home from daycare, Rose is so exhausted that I have to launch right into the routine. It starts with eating some solid food in her highchair. Last night it was carrots:

 This is followed by a bath:

Then into a clean diaper, her PJs and brace. Blinds down and lights off. And a final nursing and off to bed. It's as simple as that right now. And it seems to work - by PJ time, Rose seems to know that it's time to go to bed.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Making Moves

No, not the crawling type of moves. Though, watching Rose play on her own lately, I think the crawl is not far off. She is getting very adept at reaching out from a sitting position for a toy, almost onto all fours, then righting herself back into a sit to happily gnaw on the selected prize. Some day soon, I think she'll figure out that she doesn't have to limit herself to the toys within arms reach. And off she'll go.

Last night Trevor, Rose and I went over to David, Kim and Chase's house for dinner. Chase is a month younger than Rose, but he's got a few inches on her and quite a few pounds. He's going to be a star athlete for sure! David captured the video below, in which Rose demonstrates a wide variety of her tricks, including growling, clapping, shaking a toy and a new one we can just call "making moves" for now. If you're too impatient to watch the whole thing, at least check out the moments at 1:11, 1:32, 1:58 and 2:20. I laughed so hard I cried, even watching this for the third time. But maybe that's because I'm the mom.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

This Sunday Trevor, Rose and I went on a family outing to visit a pumpkin patch and fruit farm in Oregon's fruit loop. It was my first time to a pumpkin patch and Rose's too. The rain was coming down in sheets, so we dressed our best for the fall weather.

Rose snoozed the whole car ride out to Hood River, letting her parents have some quality chatting time. By the time we arrived, the rain had calmed to a sporadic sprinkle. The greyness of the day made the fall colors brighter. And there were thousands of pumpkins to choose from.

As we wandered around, we found an old wooden wheelbarrow with a nice assortment of pumpkins in it - a perfect photo opportunity. Rose played along and diligently patted the pumpkins and made some good faces.

The photo shoot was brought to a halt when we realized the wheelbarrow was another family's shopping cart. Oops! We scurried off to find a little pumpkin of our own to take home, and picked up some apples and pears from the local fruit trees, too. After a nice lunch in Hood River, Rose slept all the way home. It was a fun family outing that could easily become an annual tradition.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hip Hip Hooray

Last Thursday Rose, Grandma Kathy and I went to see Dr. Achterman, Rose's hip doctor, to check out the thunk-thunk that had me so worried. Rose had an x-ray taken of her pelvis, which showed that her hip joint was still sitting in the correct position. Then Dr. A tested the abduction of both her hips - they both showed full range of motion, indicating that the joint wasn't popping out of place. Dr. A seemed very pleased with what he saw and reduced the brace wearing down to nights and naps only! The thunk-thunk, he said, could be any of Rose's joints, but was probably coming from her knee. It's a common sound to hear in babies, apparently. And he was right. The next day when I heard the same sound, I put my hand on Rose's knee and could feel the popping below. What a relief.

We also mentioned to Dr. A that Rose was still doing PT for her torticollis and that she may be getting a TOT collar soon. To this he responded with a deep frown and "let me take a look". With Rose sitting on his lap he pulled her head to a right tilt, then a left tilt, felt around her neck and declared it nothing to worry about. These things have a way of correcting themselves on their own. His advice - now that she is sitting up, keep her off her back as much as possible and things will even out.

With all that good news, I was so giddy, I practically skipped out of Dr. A's office.

Friday, Rose and I had another sick day at home together. Rose had been fighting a fever that hit 104.2 Thursday night. I took her in to see her pediatrician who diagnosed her with her first ear infection. Poor girl. After a few days of super sweet, super sticky, super pink antibiotics, Rose seems to be feeling better. She is not a fan of the medicine, though.

Even though she was feeling under the weather, Rose and I enjoyed playing at home together.



And at the end of the day, we walked downtown to meet up with Papa for an early dinner.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bad Tooth Rising

It's back! There's a bad tooth on the rise. Rose has been waking up at regular intervals the past three nights, fussing and rubbing her nose and mouth, but with no symptoms of a cold in sight. Luckily, she is easily comforted back to sleep, but she is up again within one to two hours - much to her parents' dismay. Fatigue is setting in at the Livingston apartment this week. We can see the little white slash where that tooth wants to break through and we can tell its neighbor is not far behind.

We had good news at Rose's physical therapy appointment this week. Peggy was very impressed with the progress Rose has made over the last two weeks. She said her neck looked looser and that her strength development was impressive! Rose is shifting back and forth on her hips while sitting, in a pre-crawling motion, which is right where she is supposed to be. As good as Rose is doing, we still need to really focus on stretching her neck and strengthening her right shoulder girdle. She was fitted for a TOT collar ( at the appointment, just in case. And we'll find out next time whether she'll need to start using it.

This morning, I had a bit of a scare. Rose was sitting on the bed playing next to me when I heard a thunk-thunk coming from her right hip. I immediately scooped her up for a cuddle (more for me than for her) and didn't hear it again. But I couldn't get it off my mind, it was such a distinctive sound, so I called her hip doctor's office to see what they thought. The nurse suggested having Rose come in tomorrow for an evaluation, and followed up with "I'm sure everything is fine, but let's get it checked out for everyone's peace of mind". "Everyone" being me, I'm sure.

Wish Rose luck tomorrow and send good, healthy hip thoughts her way.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Beaver Teeth

This weekend, while Trevor was at home battling a severe case of stomach plague, Rose and I headed to Corvallis with Roger and Kathy for the Beaver game against ASU. You know it was a bad bug, if it kept Trevor home on game day. And boy was it bad! Rose rested up for her first tailgater on the drive down.

When she woke up, I was surprised and excited to see a speck of her first tooth poking through! I couldn't stop talking about it all afternoon. Grandma saw it, Uncle Dave saw it, Grandpa saw it...everyone at the tailgater heard about it. I was so proud that my mom radar had been correct. I had been confident all last week that the increase in night time wakings and ear pulling and cheek rubbing definitely meant Rose was finally teething - until Friday, when her fussiness disappeared with no tooth to show for it.  And then Saturday morning there it was, plain as day:

Well, plain as a winter day in the Northwest.

Rose's favorite sounds to make this weekend were juicy raspberries full of gusto:

After the tailgater, Rose was excited to spend the afternoon with her cousin Jessie, while mom and the GPs went to the game.  The Beavers won to everyone's delight. Go Beavs, clap, clap, clap...

Sunday morning, Trevor woke up a new man, almost. I was excited to show him the new tooth first thing, but when we finally got a gummy smile from Rose, it was nowhere to be found. Seriously, it has completely disappeared! Apparently, this does happen sometimes, but I can't help wondering if it was just a little bit of paper that got stuck for a few hours.

Rose tried out her new highchair and a new food yesterday - sweet potatoes! If it's been a while since you've tried a completely new taste, here's a visual progression of the experience: