Friday, March 27, 2009

16 weeks!

Our poor girl... in this sixteenth week she was dropped for the first time, see below, and she certainly seems to be working on cutting a tooth or two, AND she picked up her first cold. Just the last day or so she has seemed stuffy on and off and has been coughing more and more and the cough is wet sounding and raspy. Today, when she cries, she can't achieve quite her normal volume, she sounds husky and muted. Kev thinks she could achieve more volume than she is typically attaining, but is just too worn down to exert the effort. I think this may be true, but she also has a touch of laryngitis, which is sad, but somehow sweet sounding too.

That said, it was also a wonderful week for Caroline as her Abuelita took the bus here all the way from Michigan and showered her with love and attention for three days straight. Abuelita took lots of LONG walks with Caroline and sang to her and played with her and read to her and just loved, loved, loved her. We miss you, Abuelita. We are SO glad you were here.

Abuelita's visit was perfectly timed because I felt like I was hitting a wall exhaustion wise again last weekend. Being on solo baby duty (more or less) for two nights so Kev could rest up for playing on Sunday was exhausting. Caroline was up at ready to go at 4 a.m. Sunday morning, so we decided to go with Kev to the two church services an hour away where he was playing in hopes of being hired as church musician there. Caroline delighted all those whom she met there, and her needs were such that I made it to the second half of the first service and the first half of the second service. So it's all good. I got in a service. We were WIPED out by the time we got home though. (And Kev had mixed feelings about the day- felt GREAT about interactions and thinks the church is a good fit for him, felt so so about his playing.) Anyhow, Abuelita's visit was perfectly timed because if ever there was a day on which we just needed someone to hand her off to for chunks of time it was Monday. And there she was, ready to love Caroline. Praise Jesus!

Developments this week? Other than the cold and the dropping... well... she seems to be showing signs that she really knows me. She would play with Abuelita for a good long time, but when she'd get fussy I'd come out and interact with her and she'd calm right down and start smiling again. She was calm enough that Abuelita suggested I go try to get some more studying done, but within a few minutes of my heading into my office she would start fussing again. And eventually it was clear she just needed me. She wasn't necessarily hungry, she just wanted mommy. As sad as it made me that she wasn't content with Abuelita, on the one hand, it also brought me a certain joy to know that this meant she knows me, on the other hand. And I think the same is true of Kev. We can comfort her in a way others can't. This is gratifying in a certain way. (It is also gratifying that she is quite content to be cared for by others for even substantial periods of time! And certain others especially!)

Other developments? Well, another reason it was GREAT to have Abuelita here is that she helps remind us of the new things Caroline is capable of developmentally. I don't know that she does this intentionally, but as we watch her play with Caroline (and as she pulls out toys we hadn't tried using yet, for example) we realize other things we can be doing with her. So this week Caroline started playing with stuffed animals, and rattles (sort of), and though we had tried using her linking rings before, Abuelita hooked them onto her play mat in such a way that Caroline was really able to interact with them. So it has been a big week of play development.

Yesterday night I had some alone time with Caroline and she was in a good mood so I thought I'd put her on our bed for some tummy time. Usually she fusses pretty quickly in tummy time and begins grunting and straining to roll over. Ever since first rolling over at 10 weeks, she has done so several other times, but usually with much consternation. But yesterday she stayed calm, but started earnestly working on turning over right away, and she did so remarkably quickly, without a single fuss! I think she's learned the skill, friends! And now she seems to be gearing up for rolling the other way. She frequently rolls onto her side shortly after going down on her back if she has a lot of energy (which she often does, I now have no question that she is what Dr. Brazelton would call an "active baby").

Sleeping is still erratic, but... getting better. She is sleeping in her crib quite well. That was definitely the right move to make. She seems to be in a pattern of a few good nights with long (not extremely long, but decently long) stretches of sleep, only one middle of the night feeding, and then a night or two of frequent waking. It isn't exactly a pattern, but the past two weeks have been like that- a few good nights, a few rough nights. Kev and I are now working on the model that if she wakes up less than 3 hours since her last feeding he goes to her and tries to get her back to sleep. But if it has been 3 hours or more I go to her and feed and rock her and ideally get her back to sleep. If she isn't quite to sleep after 40 minutes to an hour, Kev takes over.

One of the highlights of the week was a long walk with Abuelita (all of us) to a children's bookstore in our neighborhood (2 miles away) and a dinner at the restaurant next door. Caroline was extremely content riding on daddy for the walk in her baby bjorn. She was soaking up everything. She almost seemed hypnotized on the walk home. But... she really melted down that night. That was one of the worst sleeping nights we've had in awhile. We think she got majorly over stimulated. We're learning, slowly, what our girl can handle. She just soaks up so much and does love it, but she can only take so much.

Well, I think that's about it. I'll post some pics which will reflect some of the above in just a moment.

Oh, and she does actually seem bigger to me now. I am looking forward to the next growth report at the pediatrician (a few days after her 4 month birthday).

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