Sunday, July 31, 2011

11 months

It's a rather exciting time to be watching Rachael grow. There are so many new achievements, and she's on the cusp of some new developments. Although, it's also quite nice to have her asleep on my lap at the moment-she is still my baby girl, after all.

Where to start? Eating is still very much a day to day thing. One day/meal/minute Rachael can eat quite a lot, but there are still plenty of days that while her food can make its way all over her chair/ bib/mouth, side of cheek/in eyebrows/rubbed into back of head/under legs/all up and down her outfit/ thrown onto the floor, none of it actually makes it into her mouth, let alone into her stomach. Not to mention how many crumbs can make it into our bed.
But that's ok. We are still committed to ongoing breastfeeding, so we can be fairly relaxed about her input of solids. I am also happy that we have been able to get past the biting stage. Much thanks to Mr Google on how to get through it. Although it ended up only lasting a week or so, it had the potential to become a big problem if not handled well. Thankfully it was not repeated when the next set of teeth made their way through.

And speaking of teeth, tooth number 5 will be breaking its way through the gums within the next week it seems. Teething behavior never really stopped after teeth 3 and 4 (they started coming through about 5 weeks ago), so we were sure 5 and 6 would be on their way sooner rather than later.

Rachael's hair is starting to thicken up. There is still very little of it, but the texture has definately changed. It also no longer sits down if you stroke it down. That, combined with the fact she loves to pull everything over her head (with the exception of clothing) amounts to permanent hat hair.

We have started swimming lessons with Rachael. Not so good on that point. From when she was born, she hated baths.

First bath

We figured she'd get better once we left hospital. It never did, and once we discovered her love of the shower, we stuck with that.

Enjoying her shower a week later
We have tried her in the baby bath on multiple occasions, but haven't had any luck, She also demanded to get out when we tried to share our normal sized bath with her. Even now, when she is as big as the baby bath, she seems scared stiff of it.
We were hopeful of more success in the pool, where she could hold onto a parent and feel secure a la shower. No such luck. The day before her first lesson, we visited the pool, watching other lessons. On the day, she wasn't keen on the change room, and absolutely hated the pool. In fact, she managed to cry pretty much the whole lesson. We switched parents, which did help a small amount. We even bought the dummy into the pool part ways through, which also helped a little, but she still was not liking it. It would have looked rather strange to everyone else in the pool centre (who were all very aware that she was there) to see the crying baby in the pool, with both parents, sucking a dummy while the other kids enjoyed the activities.
I have been asked by several people if we will continue with the lessons. We will. If she had been a younger baby, we may have put it off for a while. But at 11 months, if she was going to grow out of it, she probably would have, so we are proceeding with the familiarisation route. Between the first and second lessons, I took her to the pool for a few hours, to get her a little more used of it. As a result, we have got to the stage where we can eventually get her into the water with a minimum of fuss. Small steps, but we'll take any small improvements. Second lesson was a slight improvement on the first, but we still have a long way to go. We will go in of our own time once a week in addition to the lesson so we can get her more used to the water. Hopefully we'll get a smiley face picture in the pool in the next few months.

The personally most exciting development are to her movement. Rachael can, when choosing, perform an ordinary crawl. A crawl often starts off this way. But predominantly returns to the one leg, one foot version. This version also appears to give more traction on tiles, where "standard" crawling seems a bit slippery. What has not changed is that all crawling performed is at Rachael's will only. It's frequency is increasing, but she still isn't a convert to the crawling way of thinking. Crawling is good to follow dad or grandma to see what's happening, or to get to the pantry to investigate, but isn't a preferred mode of transport. Assisted walking is great fun though- it is quick, and allows Rachael to be able to pick up an item and bring it with her. She often enjoys pulling herself up to standing on the couch. Just in the last few days, Rachael has, on a few occasions, stood herself up from sitting on a parent to stand up to an object. As the beginning of balance, I find that very exciting. She has also, a couple of times, taken a single step alone when going from one parent to another. I don't think she knows she did it though.

On a personal note, I have celebrated my 25th birthday. We had not given Rachael chocolate or cake yet, but we let her indulge in her first bit of chocolate cake. I think she enjoyed it, and was looking for more :)

It's now only a month until Rachael is able to celebrate her own first birthday

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

10 months

I'm a couple of days late on this one.

Biggest thing first- as per previous post, at 9.5 months, Rachael decided it was about time to get moving. Her style isn't exactly conventional, but it gets her there- sometimes. Overall, Rachael is not at all impressed with the idea of crawling (mayby that's why she never bothered with it for so long). She'll only crawl on occasion, should she feel like it. Pretty much it's kept for getting to things she knows that she isn't allowed to. For everyday movement, she much prefers to "walk" holding onto someone's hands. If she wants to walk- just about all the time- there is no way you're going to be able to convince her that crawling is a perfectly acceptable alternative. A screaming tantrum lets you know in no uncertain terms that it's walking or nothing. After saying all this however, we have started babyproofing. A house you think is pretty ok turns out not to be when there's a bub there. She is remarkably quick to crawl to things that she shouldn't. Power cords, daddy's office papers, catalogues to chew. So far it's Rachael 1, house 0 after she managed to pull over the lamp in her room, leaving it minus a lampshade.

In the last week, Rachael has caught onto the concept of waving. It's very cute. I am sure I've caught her trying to say bye-bye on a couple of occasions. But in baby language, you can never be too sure what's real, and what's in your head. Should it prove to be correct, it might be her first meaningful word. Eith way, she is enjoying this new "game" of waving, and the attention it brings, particually from both grandmothers.

We think she might be teething again. It's always hard to know, but she has been feeding pretty much every 1.5 hours today.

In an update to the 9 month post, Rachael is no longer scared of the singing dog. She hasn't quite yet figured out which pieces to press to activate it, but is she presses it into the floor, it will inevidably activate one part.