Saturday, July 7, 2012

Now I know my ABCs (and EFGs)

Abby woke up this morning singing the ABC song.  Well, the first line, anyway.  I know I'm biased, but I think it's incredibly adorable.  And that my baby girl is super-smart.  It's funny, because when she sings it, she gets it just right (though she does tend to elide the "E" and "F" into one sound: eeyef), but when she speaks it, she says, "A, B, C, D, Ah-jee, G."  Also adorable.

She's additionally expanded her number count to five.  Four some reason, she usually skips the "one," starting instead at two and counting up, though I have heard her go all the way from one to five once or twice.

And, per her usual m.o. of tackling multiple achievements at once, she built her first block tower yesterday.

Unfortunately, she's also gotten her first concrete scrape: yesterday afternoon as she was shuffling along riding her doggie-on-wheels.  She hit some uneven point in the driveway and toppled over on her side.  I felt terrible, because it happened shortly after I gave her some space and independence.  Of course, I know that I can't be behind her, spotting her, her whole life, but I still wish that I could, especially if I could prevent little accidents like that one.  Letting go is going to be a very tough deal.

Here's a picture I took to record her little "boo-boo," while she was reading a bedtime story with Mei Mei.  Every time I end up with an over-exposed picture like this one, I mentally chastise myself for not taking the time to learn about adjusting aperture and shutter speed, which a good understanding of would help me to prevent.  Someday soon, I hope.

I did darken the picture in a photo editor before posting, but you can still see evidence of my blunder in the blindingly bright patch of light on Abby's onesie.

That little scrape just below her elbow is looking even darker and more terrible today.  {sigh}  But it does not appear to be bothering her, so I will try not to let it bother me.

Rather, Abby has been her usual chipper self (though she required a bath and some amount of comforting right after the fall), and has spent much of the day re-enacting her favorite verses of "The Wheels on the Bus."  These include:

The babies... go wah, wah, wah!
The children... go up-and-down!

For some reason, she feels the need to slam her tush down on the floor as she chants up-and-down, even though I've never modeled this action.  It sounds pretty painful down on the floor, but I've had to move her off of the sofa when she tries it there, because she gets a little crazy with it, to the point that I'm afraid she will fall off.  I also try to discourage any action beyond sitting and lying down on the furniture.  She'd use it all as a trampoline if she could.

Michael, on the other hand, has been experiencing some setbacks with his reflux and sleep issues.  He's been waking every hour for the last two nights, and actually kept me up with him from 3:30 to 5:30 this morning.  This seems to be coinciding with a growth spurt, which has finally prompted him to request both sides at a feeding (up until about a week ago, he would stop after one, and then want to eat again an hour or two later).  Despite taking in more volume at each feeding, he appears to still want to feed just as frequently, and is throwing up and crying left-and-right.

I took him in to Urgent Care today, only to be told that I am feeding him too frequently, and need to put him on a schedule.  I am not to feed him any more often than every 3-4 hours, and should try to avoid feeding him at night.  I just don't see how this is possible as he nurses for comfort as well as for nourishment, and the binky sometimes just doesn't cut it.  Also, nursing him is often the only way I can get him back down when he wakes at night, which happens more frequently than every 3-4 hours.

Beyond that, I'm not sure that it's advice worth taking.  I've always believed that he took in so little volume so frequently because his little tummy could only handle so much at once, so spreading out feedings and thereby forcing him to consume more at a sitting seems highly counter-intuitive to me.

I've presented my case to a Mommy forum to see what other mothers think, but I've only had two women respond thus far.  In the meantime, out of desperation and a feeble hope that it just might work, somehow, I've been enlisting the aid of my family to keep Michael distracted and happy (as much as that's really possible today) for a good three hours between feedings.  It's been tortuous, and I'm not sure if it's right, or even feasible.  Once I'm back home and fully in charge of him, he'll go absolutely nuts if I'm the one holding him (and holding out on him) because on top of wanting to eat, he'll be able to really smell what he's desiring.

I plan to follow up with his regular doctor this coming week, but I'm still not sure what I really want to do until then...

And speaking of being back home, it's still unclear when that is happening.  When Tom called the power company yesterday to find out what the status was on the delivery of a new meter, he was told that it would come that afternoon.  Later that evening, after office hours were over, he received a call informing him that an inspection had to be done first, so he should set that up.  Incredibly convenient timing, considering that at that point he could no longer set up said inspection until Monday at the earliest.  So, we'll be here through the weekend, at minimum.

I feel two ways about it, honestly.  I do want to be back in my own home (which we've just barely had time to enjoy owning), but I definitely appreciate all of the extra help I'm getting here at my parents'.  As exhausted as Tom and I are, we can surely use it.  And I'm not sure how I will cope once I'm thrust back into the nightmare that Tom and I were living, trying to deal with Michael's troubles virtually alone, and on very little sleep.

Now I'm in danger of ending this post on a downer, and that would be a shame.  Because, as I always try to remind myself during the worst of things, there is so much good with the bad.  Like watching my two babies play together.

And getting fabulous pictures of it, to boot (if you ignore that over-exposure problem I mentioned earlier).

"He ain't heavy..."

Such a great little big sister, my Abby Rose.


I hate to break up the natural flow of this post, but I've been meaning to get this down and always seem to forget to do so (though I couldn't find a good place to fit it in above).  As a post-script, I wanted to add that Abby no longer needs a night-time "bottle" (we've been continuing to call it that but have been using a soft sippy spout attachment on a Nuk canister for the last several months), and has progressed to drinking a few ounces in a sippy with each meal.  Sadly, I can't remember exactly how long it's been since we weaned her off of it, but if I had to guess, I'd say three weeks.  At around the same time that this happened, Abby began mis-using her straw sippies- she would try to tip them instead of holding them upright to drink out of the straw- in what I assume was an attempt to drink in a more similar fashion to Mommy and Daddy.  Since then, she has been mainly using the little Gerber hard-spout sippies that we've had in storage since she refused to try them at around 12 months.  Next up on my list of things to do is work with her on breaking her dependence on the pacifier.  This would be easier if Michael didn't have one in his mouth for half of the day.  Luckily, she can go without (even though she doesn't always want to) except for nap and bed-time.  Because of this, I may just wait until I can have a real conversation with her about how it's time to let go.  And in the meantime, dare I make an attempt at starting potty training?  Oh, what a joy that promises to be.