Standing, Walking, Etc.

Lily is growing so fast, I don’t even know where to begin to announce all the changes going on with her. But I shall try anyway.

  • She can now clap. She learned about a month or so ago, and now she doesn’t do anything BUT clap. She also knows that if you ask her to clap, she’ll do it for you. And if she hears the song, “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands…” she also go ahead and clap along to the song. It’s very cute. It’s also her way of cheering herself on during mealtimes.
  • Lily can also shake her head. Although technically, she’s learned this around 7 months or so, now it’s much more pronounced and at will. When you ask her a question, even if the answer is “yes,” she’ll still shake her head “no” as a response. Such as… “Are you a happy girl?” She’ll shake her head “no” with a giant smile on her face.
  • Lily has now perfected the one-hand walk/run. She only requires holding onto one of our hands in order to walk and run. She practically bolts. She loves playing chase and tag with us. She also loves chasing Tink around the house. Sometimes she thinks she can trick us and run faster than us, but then she realizes that we’re actually RIGHT behind her and she can’t outrun us since she’s holding onto our finger!
  • Lily has, overnight, at about 10.25 months old, learned to eat finger foods and feed herself throughout every meal. All of a sudden, she just started picking food off her tray and putting them directly into her mouth. Before that, SOMETIMES we’d get lucky and she’d put something into her mouth during mealtimes, but most of the time she just played with her food. Recently, something “clicked” and now she’s a nonstop eating machine. I’m so relieved! She’s also a trooper and tries to eat everything I put on her tray, even if it’s new. She’s tried smoked gouda (she likes it, but in smaller doses), miso soup tofu, mango, toast (not a huge fan of this), almond butter (turned out to be mildly allergic), peas (her favorites), oranges (looooves this), grapes, cheerios, puffs, etc. etc. etc. I’ve been trying to mix and match up with veggies more. She loves pears and apples in chunks too.

  • We’re trying to teach her “all done” in sign language, since she’s darn loud!

  • While nap times during the day are easier (she’s now back to her usual 2 naps a day, thanks to Daddy), night time sleep continues to be a mystery. Sometimes she goes down easy, other times she doesn’t. Sometimes she wants to be cuddled, other times she doesn’t. We’re going to have to decide on ONE routine among the two of us (me and Daddy) and stick with it, because the inconsistency is really confusing. She can put herself to sleep now, but we’re not consistent about it, so sometimes it takes her longer and sometimes it only takes 5 minutes for her. She has regular night wakings too, and sometimes they are just binky emergencies and other times they are longer cuddle sessions. Sometimes she is okay with me leaving the room after sticking the binky back into her mouth, and other times she cries for me to stay. Last night, she woke up at 2:30a and decided to stay up until 6:20a. ABSOLUTELY exhausted the whole time, but for some reason couldn’t go back to sleep. I think she’s teething (again? we’re still waiting for the first tooth!), and she was just so irritated and uncomfortable. Sleep continues to be a mystery.
  • The most exciting news is that two days ago, Lily decided to take her first independent step! Three times in one day! They were very itty bitty steps, but she did it on her own and we’re so proud of her! I missed the first two since I was at work, but she performed to me when I got home afterwards. So proud of our little girl.
  • And, as mentioned in an earlier post, here’s a video of Lily giving kisses.

    I’ve been up since 2:30a, thanks to Miss Lily Bean. I’m exhausted. Time to get ready for work. Oi.

    10 Months and Stuff

    Well, our Lily Bean is 10 months old now. Time goes so fast, and I can’t believe that it seemed only like yesterday when I gave birth to her, when we brought her home from the hospital, when she had her days and nights mixed up. Oh, Lily girl, you’re growing too fast for us sometimes.

    Some updates on how our baby girl is doing, before I forget and before the time catches up with me and she’s already 5 years old. Heh.

    • Our Lily Bean can stand on her own now, more and more. She really surprises herself when she does it. She’ll let go of our hands, or of the object she was leaning on, and suddenly she’s standing up by herself. Then she’d look down, and see the ground, and her little legs start shaking nervously, and she lets out a little alarmed yelp, and looks for our hands again, to steady her again. TOTALLY cute.
    • As mentioned before, she knows how to give kisses, and now hugs. She gives Mommy mostly kisses, and Daddy mostly hugs. She also knows what “soft” means. I’ve been teaching her by letting her feel “soft” things next to her face, so now whenever I ask her, “Is this soft, Lily?” she’ll take the object I’m asking about and put it close to her face and nuzzle against it, as if to test out if it’s soft.
    • Over the last week or so, she’s been perfecting different positions to get in and out of. Most notably, recently, she’s learned how to go from sitting to crawling and back to sitting. That last part was a big one for her. She also knows how to play while kneeled down on her knees.
    • No teeth yet. Wow, it’s taking a while! But my mom said I didn’t have teeth till I was about 10 months, and Sylvia said the same about Dave, so I guess it’s normal for her to get it late too?
    • Big issue #1: sleep. We’ve been doing Dave’s plan for about two weeks now, and the first week or so was difficult. First, Dave was able to get her down faster and sooner and less painful, but Lily wasn’t associating that with me. We also had to get her to the living room to calm her down before she was able to relax enough to fall asleep in our arms. Then we’d transfer her to her crib. First week and a half or so, she was waking up several times a night due to this new bedtime routine. I have to admit, bedtime gave me a bit of anxiety because I never knew how long it would take, or how grumpy she would be, or how fidgety, or how much she’d fight it. Then, as if magically, over the last 3 or 4 days, she started going down for me easier. Granted, still in my arms, while I rocked her, but I stopped bringing her out to the living room, and she’s again associated her bedroom with the lights off as “sleep” instead of “AH I wanna fight it!”Big thing now, though, is trying to get her down wide awake so she can fall asleep on her own. We’re debating whether or not to try my plan out this upcoming long weekend, since Dave’s plan is gradually working. We’re putting her down more awake each other, and she’s less fussy and she’s fighting it less, so there may not be a need to go to my plan. She’s starting to sleep through the night again, with minimal wakings, and her wakings are generally very mild and she just needs a binky (as she did before). First week or so of Dave’s plan was a bit hellish, since she was waking up several times a night and sometimes wouldn’t fall asleep for an hour or more. However, it’s hard to say if this was due to Dave’s plan or due to something entirely different, since she’s such a sensitive little baby when it comes to sleep, anyway.

      So, we shall see, I suppose.

      This is how Lily was sleeping when I came in at 7a this morning.

      We also got a video monitor finally, and we love watching her while she’s in the crib. So cute.

    • Big issue #2: eating. We’re doing Baby-Led Weaning for her meal times. Meaning, we offer her all sorts of wonderful, colorful, healthy foods, and she can decide during each meal what she wants to eat, how much of it, and learn on her own time how to get them into her mouth. She’s got the pincher grasp down pretty well (though not perfect yet), but she’s still just playing with her food for the most part. Sometimes some of the food makes it into her mouth, and today we had a bit of a breakthrough when her cousin Chelsea was over. Chelsea ate some of the cheerios on her tray, and Lily decided that she, also, wanted to eat some of the cheerios, so she fed herself. Woohoo! There was practically no feeding from us. It was all led by her.

      I’m really trying to keep my anxiety about meal times at bay. I don’t want her to associate meal times or food as a control issue to be had, so I want to just relax and let it go and let her do her thing. She’ll eat when she needs to, right? But sometimes, I just wish she’d eat MORE. Then I start thinking, “Wait a minute. I don’t eat a whole lot, and she’s a smaller baby too, so why am I expecting or wanting or hoping that she’d eat the same amount as other babies might? I certainly don’t eat the same amount as other adults do!” Not fair to our individual little firecracker to be compared to other babies.

      Having said that, I took her to her doc’s appointment for a check-up about two weeks ago. As of that time, she weighed 16 lbs 12 oz. Still in the 25th percentile. I described to our doc that sometimes Lily would get so upset that she’d vomit, and the doc is concerned that she may have acid reflux, which would explain why meal times have become so difficult, and why it has been giving her so much anxiety. More so than before. So we’re looking into that and seeing what we need to do if she indeed does have acid reflux.

    • Our Lily loooves her books. We read to her constantly throughout the day, and of course she gets her scheduled, routine storytime reading before bed. She has “favorite” books that she likes us to read to her, and she knows how to “turn the page” when asked and knows how to “close the book” when we say “The End” at the end. It’s the cutest thing.

    • Lily’s day is full of play, play, and more play. Recently, we found a long tube-like box that used to hold her play pen, and I emptied it all out and made it into a play-tube for her. She loooooves crawling through it. It’s the funnest thing in the world right now. Even Tink can’t help but join in from time to time!

    In general, our little girl is a beautiful, healthy, happy (VERY HAPPY) little girl. We can’t be more pleased. We signed her up for a play-and-grow class at Gymboree. We go for about an hour or so every Saturday, where she gets to tumble around and climb and learn to walk and crawl and bounce in this giant baby-friendly room with her babies who are also learning to do the same things. She’s very interested in other babies. Reaches out to them, tries to talk to them, tries to follow them around (until she gets bored or gets distracted and does her own thing, of course).

    And, of course, our Lily continues to love her bath every night before bed. I couldn’t help but take photos of the gratuitous rock star baby look too.

    Mother’s Day was awesome. Dave took us out to one of our favorite (Thai) restaurants near home, and it was my first awesome possum Mother’s Day with the Lily Bean. She’s very loud in restaurants, but she loves it because she gets so much attention from everyone who turns to look at her and makes goo-goo ga-ga faces and sounds at her.

    Sleep, Eat, and Read Oh My!

    So it’s been a while since I’ve updated, but there have been a lot of things going on with Miss Lily. Ever since we lowered her bed completely down to the lowest level, she had trouble trying to stand up in her crib — that is, until about 12 days ago. It became hard to get her down for naps and bedtime because she insisted on rolling over and crawling around. Then, I managed to teach her how to fall asleep on her own while she was on her tummy, crawling around. SCORE! It worked so well — until, of course, she learned how to stand up on the crib. Then the new game began, and all my old hard work of bedtime routine and her falling asleep on her own was out the window.

    Lately, after our usual bedtime routine (bath, pjs, story time, binky and bunny, lights out), as soon as I turn off the lights, she starts getting really squirmy, like she wanted to play. Her eyes would start closing (as she has successfully associated “lights out” with “sleepy time” but her body wanted to keep on going. As soon as I put her in her crib, she would roll over immediately and start standing up. First couple of nights, she just wanted an audience. She wanted to practice getting up, and then getting down safely, but she wanted to do it while one of us was in the room. She wanted one of us to watch her to make sure she was being safe and that we were there if she needed help. Literally.

    It was cute — until almost 10p rolled around and she was still up, getting up and down and up and down, over and over again, practicing. She’d count her steps in the crib while she was cruising to make sure she wasn’t going to get hurt in case she let go of the rail of her crib. Several times she fell over backwards, flat on her back, but she’d get right up again to start all over.

    So then I emailed the author of the No-Cry Sleep Solution to ask her what the heck to do now. She gave me a few suggestions, such as putting her in a sleep sack, and taking her out on a walk, and staying in the room with her and rub her back and legs and stuff to encourage to her stay down and fall asleep. Did all of that. Didn’t work. She was sweating in her sleep sack, and got too hot and uncomfortable. The walk worked once, but didn’t work again after that. Rubbing her back and her legs and arms and stroking her hair worked once, but didn’t after that because she was just glad to have me in there as her audience. As soon as I stopped rubbing her back, she’d get into crawling and start climbing up the side of her crib to standing again.

    After about a week of this, I was going crazy. When she usually would be down between 7:45p and 8p, she was going down any time around 9 and 9:30 and 10. Dave doesn’t approve of any method that allows her to even whimper, let alone cry, so it’s been tough. Right now, we’re trying some of Dave’s methods (which, admittedly, I don’t agree with completely but they do have some excellent nurturing points) to see if it would help her fall asleep happier and easier and quicker, like it did before. The past two days we’ve been doing it his way. First night wasn’t too bad. He rocked her out in the living room after my bedtime routine with her until she was drowsy, and then he put her down in her crib. She woke up a few times when he put her down though, insisting to be picked up and rocked again. The second night was longer and harder. She kept insisting that she not only falls asleep in his arms, but that she must STAY asleep in his arms too. Every time he put her down, she’d shoot her eyes wide open and the whole process would start again. Finally, he just left her in there, completely exhausted, and I went in to check on her. She was so tired and crawling around in her bed that she ended up putting herself to sleep. That took about 1.5 hours. Tonight, we tried an earlier bedtime routine (start at 6:30 instead of 7), just to see if we needed that extra time to get her to sleep. Dave did the whoolleee routine with her, from start to finish (outside of the bath). She was down by 7p. A little fussy, but fast asleep by 7. That’s a good change! It also has to do with the fact that she didn’t get a late afternoon nap, and only had the one 2-hour morning nap. She was exhausted!

    Since starting Dave’s methods, she’s also been waking up in the middle of the night, sometimes a few times a night, insisting to be cuddled back to sleep. This may be due to something else and not due to Dave’s method, though. She did that sometimes with me too. She was usually satisfied when I just went in there to give her her binky if she woke up in the middle of the night, but now that she’s been cuddled and rocked to sleep for a few nights straight, she thinks she deserves this during the middle of the night too. Now, I wouldn’t mind, except that sometimes, it would take her a VERY long time to get back to sleep, and if I put her down in her crib, WITH binky and music on, she’d start whining and yelping really loud, so I had to pick her back up again (because according to his plan, which we are both consistently doing together, we don’t allow for her crying at all, not even whimpering). This has gotten me very cranky and tired over the last few days.

    We may need to try my method eventually, if this proves to be harder than it should. She used to be able to put herself to sleep, and now she presents us with new challenges because she’s more mobile. But I believe she should be able to be re-taught on how to put herself to sleep, happy and all. Dave believes that this will come in time and we don’t need to rush things. She hasn’t been getting enough sleep at night the past few nights. Hopefully this will change. Last night, she only had 8 hours of sleep!! Poor baby. We shall see what happens tonight. If Dave’s method works, we’ll stick with it. I’m all for no-cry sleep solutions!

    Here’s an example of what she’s been up to. This little girl is all about perfecting her challenges. She’s awesome. Very determined, motivated little one.

    As for feeding, we’ve been introducing more finger foods into her diet. She’s getting used to being fed lumpier, chunkier foods, but she’s not really getting the idea that she can actually feed HERSELF. She plays with food with her hands, but puts inedible objects into her mouth. This girl is backwards sometimes! Heh. Last weekend, I gave her some tofu chunks glazed with cheerio crumbs. She LOVED it. But, she didn’t feed any to herself. She put it all over her face and hands instead, and I ended up just picking some up with my fingers and putting them in her mouth. She finished a whole bunch! But didn’t feed one morsel to herself. Heh. Oh well, baby steps I suppose!

    She loves eating carrot sticks. Sometimes she is able to bite chunks off, but doesn’t know what to do with them in her mouth, so she spits them back out. I steam them so that they’re soft enough for her to gnaw on. She loves the taste of the carrots, but doesn’t know how to “chew” them with her gums.

    Today, she tried oranges for the first time! She looooooved them. I had cut them into little itty bitty chunks so that she can learn to chew, and she just looooooved it. However, she still doesn’t know how to “chew” properly and ends up trying to swallow too-big pieces all at once. Sometimes, she’d make herself throw up in order to prevent choking. We hate when that happens. So we just have to go slower with this little one. I think, for what it’s worth, it will get easier when she has some front teeth, even though she wouldn’t be using them to “chew”… She seems to want to inspect new foods with her front gums before allow it to enter the rest of her mouth, so I think she’d try to actually chew on finger foods with her front teeth when she gets some.

    So, in order to discourage fake-choking and therefore vomiting, we’re taking the lumpy foods veerryyy slloowwwwlllyyyyyy.

    In other news, Lily is also standing on her own. For a few seconds at a time, but each time a fraction of a second longer. Heh. She also knows how to call “Mama” and “Dad dad” and knows how to call “Nana” when her Nana Sylv comes by. She also knows how to drink from a sippy cup. Granted, the ones we’ve had for her have been too hard for her to hold on herself and tip over, so I got her a smaller one yesterday and she took to it like a charm! She drinks water out of there easy peasy now! Our Lily also knows how to “smile” for the camera, and gives kisses to Mommy on command. Most of the time her “kisses” just means she’s gonna tilt her head towards my face, but sometimes I get the lovely, awesome open-mouth kisses. Hehe. She willingly gives her toy lamb an open-mouthed kiss whenever I ask her to though. I’m trying to get these on video but it’s hard because she’s so mobile!

    This is her smiling for the camera:

    Another thing I’m trying to get on video is her READING! Yes, you heard right, our Lily Bean can barely talk, but she knows how to read. Well, at this stage, it’s more like memorization of familiar words. We’ve been having her watch the “Your Baby Can Read” DVDs at least twice a day, and we’re onto the 4th DVD now. We’ve also been playing word flash cards with her several times a day. The same words over and over again, and introducing a new set of words every month. We’re now teaching her 30 words. She’s learned to recognize the first 10 that she started with. These include the words clap, hi, wave, elephant, nose, mouth, eyes, and a couple others I don’t remember. She knows how to “read” them, or rather, memorize their shapes and the meanings and sounds to them. We tested it about a week ago, out of sheer fluke, and asked her to pick out the correct word out of two cards, and she did it consistently 7 times in a row. I’ve tried to get a video of her doing this, but each time she gets bored after a couple of word games because she’d rather be crawling or cruising or playing! So far, I’ve only been able to get a photo!

    Here, she’s picking out the word “nose” when I asked her to pick out the card with the word “nose” on it.

    And now, for some more randomly most awesome cute photos.

    Playing with her cousin Kennedy, who is 3 months and 1 day younger than she is!

    We’ve been taking Lily outside more, as the weather gets nicer and nicer. Hopefully this trend will continue!