Wednesday, June 24, 2009


BG is using pointing and occasional sign language to convey her needs now. It is absolutely incredible.

Today she smacked her lips and moved her hand towards her mouth to gesture she was hungry for breakfast.

She also woke me up by bringing me her 'phone' (a very old zen that looks like our cell phones) and putting it by my ear. Yes, she's mimicing.

The learning she's doing is incredible and it reminds me every day how I am her example and I need to set good examples for her.

She put her phone to her ear and starting 'talking' and then passed it over to me. When I was sleeping and my eyes were closed, she grabbed my hand and placed the phone in my hand. That slays me. She does that with her flash cards as well. When she wants me to pronounce what is on the cards, she brings it to me, grabs my hand, opens it palm side up and sticks the card in my hand. She's a sponge. She's absorbing so much.

I started using this to my advantage and now after meals I 'brush' my teeth so she can mimic me brushing her teeth with her tiny toothbrush.

She's also slowly feeding herself with the spoon. She tests me now and then by appearing to drop the spoon by the dog but when I say 'no', she brings it back to her mouth and smiles. When she wants more, she gives me the empty spoon to fill up.

I can do this with foods that stick on the spoon but other items, like yogurt need to wait until she's mastered the motor skills to spoon things.

She's also a champ at finger foods and can eat nearly half a banana in a sitting.

She also lets us know when she needs a diaper change. She's not signing diaper although she understands it but vocally she makes this sentence that we don't understand but it's clearly interpreted to be "diaper change, please".

I do find that she seems very curious and likes when I name things for her. She already knows and sort of says:

MmmWah (the kiss sound) She says it when my husband goes out the door.
Purple I'm not sure she knows the color purple but associates it with a shaped object instead.

Of course, no one understands her as much as her parents who sometimes don't understand her either.

She also knows how objects work and is eager to learn how other things work. She has a speak and say and she knows if she pulls the lever the middle arrow spins and a song or animal sound is heard but she's not that strong yet so only gets it to spin but not speak. So she'll bring the speak and say to me and take my hand and has me pull the lever with her.

I also mentioned before how she learned which knob was the volume knob on our receiver and when she found my husband removed it to prevent her from playing with it, she found the knob and tried to put it back in its slot.

She'll patiently sit with her colored shapes and happily pick them up so I can name them for her and show her where in the shape sorter they fit.

She dances. She'll turn on the music in her one sided home and move her shoulders and torso to the rhythm. She also likes AM 70's rock. Nothing gets her her torso moving as much as the piano keys on an Elton John song.

This is a fun time for me. Can you tell? I can see her brain growing and learning. It's fascinating and makes me strive to be a better role model for her. Sure, I'm apprehensive of the 'toddler years' that are waiting ahead but I'll survival hopefully a little less battered than some. It's just a wonderful thing to watch your child grow and learn. I can sit there for days and watch those cogs turn.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

BG cut her first tooth

BG cut her first tooth a few nights ago.

I was changing her diaper and she was giving me one of her usual toothy grins when I looked and saw a little glimmer of white protrude out of her top gum.

It's the top right tooth.

So far, she seems unphased.

She has been drinking more breast milk recently. I took it as the weather getting warmer and her being more mobile increasing thirst but maybe she's going through a growth spurt.

Ok, parents, have you ever gotten so tired watching your kid that you could use a nap? Have you ever tried to get your child to nap and you've been up for so long exerting all this energy to get this active child to sleep that you wind up dozing for a few minutes while he/she is crawling here and there? Well, DH and I are in that zone.

I swear the person the wrote this cartoon, Greedy for Tweety, has been there because every time I feel my lids get heavy, I think of this cartoon and that scene with Sylvester the Cat, the Dog, no one knows the name of, and the baseball bat (2:51).

Except in my case, the cat is me, the dog is my baby crawling towards the baseball bat which is something I forgotten to child proof, like my laptop or phone.

My husband calls it a time warp. "I swear, it's like time moved and she's crawling down the hallway when two seconds ago she was sitting next to me playing."

I've been reading up on toddlerhood and what to expect during the lovely ages of 2-4. From what I've read, I need to prepare for a marathon and a debate. It's making me a little nervous and sad that the 'easy' year is behind us. I laugh at 'easy' as reading back on the my little blurbs, I recall the stress, changes, uncertainty that new parenthood and a newborn brings.

I think my heart will break into a thousand pieces when the first major tantrum and first 'No!' happens. According to some of the moms I've spoken to, there are two approaches to impending toddlerhood, the fight for independance: denial (My child will never do that) and shelter building.

i'm too logical, or superstitous, to be in denial. I think I'm slowly preparing the sandbags in my bunker.

Aside from the tooth we've also had some other milestones. BG touched beach sand for the first time. Ok, it wasn't a real beach, it was the man made beach at the Seaport but still it was beach sand. She was apprehensive and left without a true opinion of sand. The parents on the other hand discovered, even if you only allow a child to put their feet and hands in the sand, it will somehow get in their diaper.

BG also stood up and 'drove' the parked car. She loved waving at me while I stood in front of the car.

It's not really a milestone and she's had mosquito bites before but BG got attacked by a family of mosquitos. She went out with DH to the park and came back with welts all over her knuckles and face. The poor girl still has the red marks all over her face.

BG is also pushing herself up to standing by herself and testing the waters as I've caught her letting go of whatever she's holding on to for brief seconds and standing by herself.

It's true what they say, as soon as they learn they can crawl, their standing and cruising.

We've been babyproofing bit by bit as we're seeing how inquisitive our little girl is. So far, she's into closing cabinets and dresser drawer knobs. We've budgeted for more expensive, sturdy gates but opted out of expensive drawer appliances. We heard totlocks are good but DH says that his brain can't recall where he put his keys and that unless we had 20 totlock keys, he'd always lose it. So we bought a few of the hook kinds but haven't set them up yet. Right now we have painters tape, which is doing a surprisingly good job holding the drawers closed.

We know in a few weeks this is not going to be good enough as BG has already figured out the mechanics of some items.

Right now, we're debating the beach. I'd love for her to experience the beach but I think she's still too young to warrant the outing. For us a trip to the beach means packing the car and driving and enduring the traffic (which is what I dread the most) for a few hours of me chasing my husband to put sunscreen on the baby. Still, she loves the water so I'm researching beaches in the area and looking for a beach that is clean, family friendly, not too far and not too crowded that the traffic increase travel time 2 fold.

Any New York families know of a beach that fits the criteria?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Reflections on self and mommyhood

Last week, a friend who hadn't seen me in a while said that I looked more confident, radiant and put together. "Motherhood has really done you well. I think it fits like a glove for you."

Even though she told me this right after a 2.5 hour marathon session of 'baby does not want to sleep but crawl and explore in the dead of night', I swelled with pride. I am proud to be a mom and think one of my reasons for being here is to be a mom.

Since becoming a mom, I've become a better person. I don't sweat the small stuff as much. I'm not as obsessive compulsive and anal retentive. I try to appreciate life more and it really doesn't take much for me to smile and feel joy. One look in my beautiful baby's face and the stresses and worries and aggravations subside.

I'm still learning but I think that's a part of motherhood. If you thought you juggled plates before being a mom, wait until you become one. All of a sudden you are juggling plates while balancing on a ball and smiling.

I think I've grown as a person and will continue to grow and society will be better for it. I've gained some patience, some compassion and some understanding.

I wish I had more energy and time to improve my role as a wife. My husband and I have been together for over a decade before our baby arrived. During that time I babied my husband and I suppose we both liked the arrangement. Now, my attention is more on my baby and I guess I treat my husband more like an adult than he'd like sometimes. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I treated him like a child but that I gave him more leeway and more attention. Now as I'm juggling, I find that my leeway is tighter. I expect a bit more from him. I see him differently. He's always been my partner but I think my expectations for him have changed.

Don't get me wrong. I love him with all my heart. DH is smart, funny, intelligent and has the potential to be whatever he sets his heart to be or do. He's also very opinionated, impulsive and over confident sometimes but that's what attracted me to him I suppose. We all search for partners that balance us out.

After a long day of work and then clocking in for my nighttime parenting shift, I'm super tired and exhausted and find it hard to be as enthusastic about my husband's ability to clean the bathroom when I asked him to do it.

Still I need to try to acknowledge it more. My relationship with my husband doesn't stop because I have a baby.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

BG Threw up for the first time

and the second time and the third time.

Mind you, the first and third times were on me.

The second time it was on our carpet.

I had no idea this baby had so much breastmilk in her.

The first incident happened after she woke up from her sleep around 7:30pm. She had fallen asleep around 6:30, earlier than usual. She kept rubbing her eyes so we put her to bed early. She slept until 7:30pm when she woke up fussy.

As I was about to change her diaper, she let it rip all over my shirt, shorts and bed. We changed the sheets and changed her pjs and placed her on the floor as we cleared everything when she got sick again on our carpet. Mental note: put a sick baby on a changing pad.

Thankfully she didn't get her pjs dirty. DH, cleaned her face up and placed her in the crib and scrubbed the carpet while I washed up.

I came back to find my little girl with a hound dog look on her face and pinkish red eye lids. DH remarked she looked like she was in shock.

BG kept lifting her arms at me and so I picked her up and she wrapped her arms around me and started to hiccup, body shaking hiccups. She placed her head on my shoulder and I began rubbing her back gently as she continued to hiccup for 20 minutes.

As the hiccups subsided, she started to feel cool and clammy. She didn't have a fever but she felt warm before. Then without lifting her head up, she threw up all over my shoulder and onto our carpet again.

I brought her out towards the bathroom to clean her up when she threw up once more all over my shirt, shorts and the rug.

I placed her in the bathtub and cleaned her up and after 10 minutes in her bathtub, the color came back.

A change of bed linens, two baths and 4 pj changes later, we're up chuckling it away with dad.

We're guessing that since she didn't have a fever and she requested breastmilk 45 minutes ago, she's ok and she most likely was overheated as our apartment is rather warm today. We now have the air conditioning on and she seems much better.

I'm glad she looks and feels better but there goes my hopes of getting back to our usual 7pm bedtime routine.

Throughout our trip this week, BG has been going to bed at 8pm or later. Unfortunately due to the timing of the drive, we made it to the hotels around 8pm and had to wake up BG. Of course, she didn't go back to bed so easily after the rude awakenings.

Maybe we'll try again tomorrow. Her naps are slowly getting back to her usual time 11am and 1/2 pm.