Sunday, May 29, 2011

This weekend, Frannie has had many encounters with new people, friends and family, and we have discovered that she shows a distinct preference for people who entertain her, and engage her with smiles and games. No real surprise there, but a definite change from just a few weeks ago.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

4 month Dr. appointment today:
13 lbs, 4 oz
24 inches long
So, slightly down in length/weight ratio (45th percentile instead of 50th), but not a big deal. Still a big-headed kid (16 inches!), but very healthy. And still pronounced "perfect."

Dr. was pleased that Frannie is putting toys in her mouth, babbling, and trying to stand when held up. We're pretty pleased, too, but it's nice to hear it from the expert. As a teacher, it's crazy to realize how proud comments and compliments on your own child from someone in authority make you feel. I may drastically revisit my own interactions with parents.
Pensively chewing on her ting-ting. This may be the dust jacket photo for her novel.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Frances rolled over from front to back today. She managed it three times, throughout the day, so while it's not exactly a fluke, it's also not a skill she's mastered. I liken it to learning to juggle, and while you can occasionally throw and catch all three balls with the appropriate hands, more often one of them flies into the ether, or hits the cat on the head. She'll get there.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Frances has an impeccable sense of comedic timing. After I fed her yesterday, she was sitting in my lap and produced a very ominous gurgling. I scrambled for a burp cloth, only to look down and see her smiling happily, no spit-up in sight. I sighed with relief, set down the burp cloth, and turned her back around to face Sarah. Just as I lifted her, Frances let out an arc of spit-up that landed on my lap, my arm, the boppy pillow, and her own dress.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

We've started an informal routine at bedtime: diaper, story, feed, down to co-sleeper. If the ting-ting is needed, it usually comes in between feeding and down.
After tonight's bath, we gave Frances some naked tummy time. According to our baby class leader, rolling over and sitting up can be impeded by the giant cloth diapers babies wear, and since she's so good at sitting and standing on her changing table, we thought we'd give it a shot. She loved it, and showed off, kicking her hanging toys on the tummy time mat, and trying to army crawl to the bright colors.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Since Frances was 3 weeks old, we've been swaddling her at naptime and at night. Usually we use the double swaddle, but on warm nights (or when we're out of clean blankets) we pull out the Miracle Blanket, which works the same way. Either way, she's bundled up around her arms, around her feet, and snuggled toasty and tight*. And although we've had a couple of escape attempts featuring the lower extremities...
...the swaddle has always stuck. Until this morning...
Yup, that's Frannie's hand in her mouth. Note that it had to come up through the neck hole of the sleep sack, since the armhole is blocked by the tightly wrapped swaddling blanket. Note also the look of joy and pride on her face. That hand was totally worth all of the work it took to get it in her mouth.

*Despite the warnings, we do put a blanket on her in the co-sleeper. It's just too cold in our house, and we get miserable if we have a heater on all night. She lays on top of half of it, and the other half comes up about to her armpits - it's really just there to add another layer for her toes, which always seem to be chilly in the morning. It helps her sleep better, and I value my sleep and hers. When she wakes up in the morning, her leg thrashing now moves the blanket even further off of her, so I don't worry about her ability to keep a blanket off of her face. I'm more concerned that she'll throw all of her covers to outer Mongolia once she's not hampered by the sleep sack.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

So great is my fear of missing a diaper blowout, I have now started to imagine that I smell baby poop. Not a huge problem when I'm at home with Frannie, since more frequent diaper changes are a good way to avoid diaper rash. However, when I'm at work or in the car without Frances, the imaginary poop smell is bewildering. And unhelpful.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Frances has taken to laughing predictably at me humming on her cheek like a kazoo, and will usually laugh when I blow raspberries on her belly. Progress!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Pumping at work last week was okay on Monday, but got worse as the week went on. Today, I got 6 oz before 11 (and 4 more in the rest of the day), so pumping early and often is going to be my plan for the rest of the week. I'd really like to be able to pump more each day than she is eating, but I'll settle for breaking even.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

After Mother's Day dinner, we flipped through a couple of reels of old slides of Sarah's cousin. From the few slides that included Sarah as a baby, it looks as if Frances not only takes after me, but also her Mommy! Phew.

Mother's Day for Frances

While I look forward to the day when Frances can choose her own gifts for us at Mother's Day, Sarah and I had fun preparing for today ourselves. Sarah made a delicious berry french toast casserole, and Emily, Neil, and Abe came over for breakfast. After a delicious feast, we spent a relaxing morning (Frannie snacked regularly), then visited Sarah's Grandma and Grampa before having Mother's Day dinner with the family.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Frannie sitting in the Bumbo

That's a pretty baby in the mirror.  Can we have her over? She looks nice!

Olive is the most entertaining creature in the house, especially when she's running after sunbeams.

Tummy time? Eh, okay.
As a music teacher, I have a larger-than-usual interest in how Frances' language and vocal abilities develop. From her first squeaky vocalized sounds, I've been keeping track of her sounds, and recording her voice every few weeks. This week, she acquired another new skill: repeating the same sound over and over. When it develops into words (why? why? why? why?) I'm sure to find it less thrilling, but for now, her 30-odd repetitions of "eah, eah, eah, eah" was a highlight of my week. Next up: imitating?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Cold for Frances

As often happens when you're an elementary school teacher, I picked up a cold my first week back. I tried very hard to keep my microorganisms to myself all weekend, but Frannie woke up on Tuesday with a sniffle, developing a cough and her first cold as the day went on. Last night was a rapid return to the early days, with 3 wake-ups during the night. She seemed confused by waking up, though - she wasn't hungry enough to eat a meal, so she'd nurse for a few seconds and then drift off, and I'd put her back in the co-sleeper. I'm feeling better today, with just a lingering sinus headache.

On a related note, decongestants are not recommended when you are breastfeeding, as they will decrease your milk supply. This makes perfect sense (dry up one bodily fluid, dry up all of them), but is not something that occurs to the cold-addled brain. Also, if your sinus pain goes on long enough, you start considering taking the decongestants anyway, just to get your brain back.