So, how would I characterize this 27th week for Caroline? Swingy! Dramatic swings from high to low in record breaking time, and low to high for that matter. I'm not just talking about the fall, but whole week following. Most every day she has been REALLY happy for awhile and then REALLY not. Yesterday seemed to be the worst of this pattern, the swings happening closer and closer together, and interfering with napping. It seemed for a bit early this week like she was having some separation issues with me. If I would leave her sight for longer than 2 seconds she'd melt down, but that has faded as the week has progressed. I don't know if the forced separation at the E.R. had something to do with this and if we had some trust to re-build. (Thank you all for your love and support!)
It is especially hard to know to what to attribute the intensity of her emotions this week (other than her personality!), because there are SO MANY possible factors. The fall, yes, but so much more.
Her frustration is HIGH because she is on the edge of some major motor skill developments. We've been practicing having her sit independently in cushiony places and she is DOING GREAT!!! Sometimes she only needs one arm to balance and she stays upright for a good while, usually. She doesn't get upset when she tips, but I do sense that she's eager for more control over her body. She continues to work hard towards the goal of getting on all fours and has gotten very close this week. We met a momma of a 6 month old at the Farmer's Market on Wednesday. Her baby is about 5 days older than Caroline and had just gotten up onto all fours the day before. I know it is silly to compare babies, and I'm not, but as Caroline had just gotten the closest she's come that morning it felt like this encounter was preparing us for what is just around the corner! We'll see. As I wrote on the other blog, and think I wrote foreshadowing of here last week, she has taken to some impressive gymnastics during nursing sessions. When she's getting full, and energetic, she rolls away now, but not with the intention of stopping her meal. She picks a spot from which she engages in target practice, attempting to latch on from further and further away, and from all sorts of odd angles. She has also taken to pinching and positioning my breast in these moments- that is less endearing, but really, I wish you could see what she does. It is hilarious- and impressive.
And then, of course, there's the teething thing. No teeth yet, but sometimes it seems like we can see them coming. And some of her crying DEFINITELY seems related to gum pain. She eagerly accepts cold on her gums (especially Las Paletas- another comic coming this evening, I promise! Along with pics! I just wanted to get the narrative written while I had some time this morning.) and will gnaw, hard, on just about anything. She likes the homeopathic teething gel we have, but we think that might be a taste thing rather than a relief thing. And of course, she continues to drool, drool, drool. Hard work this teething stuff! But they're coming, and as her pediatrician said, they push down... and stop... push down... and stop... for months! And so bursts of teething pain are unpredictable.
And about the fall- she really did sustain remarkably few injuries, but has seemed to be hesitant to put much weight on her right leg in the week since. She will put weight on it, just not as equally with her left has before. We're keeping an eye on it. She seems to be increasing her use of the leg as the week goes along and doesn't react negatively to any touching or pressure on the leg. Perhaps it is as simple as that scrape on her big toe irritating her!
And you've all be waiting for word on... SWEET POTATOES! Hopefully blogger will cooperate this evening and I'll get a video up, but a written report for now. On Monday night we finally made the introduction. We fed her at first with our fingers and let her play a bit with sweet potatoes on her tray. At first she seemed cool with it, but was less and less pleased as the experience went along. She made some champion faces! She liked playing in the mush, but couldn't help but bring it to her mouth which was NOT what she wanted to do. It was pretty funny. It seemed like less a taste issue and more a texture issue, but we'll see. It seems this addition (as small an amount as she consumed) may be gumming up her digestion a bit (her bowels are so fussy!) so we haven't done it every day. We did try on one other day- Wednesday- with a spoon. Just a few bites. And more came out than went down, we think. But that's fine. When you consider her gut has been working at digesting solids for the first time on top of everything else, this too could account for some mood swings. Maybe we'll try another food next week, or we may try mixing sweet potatoes with expressed milk to thin them out a bit more, maybe a bit of apple juice to sweeten them a bit and thin them. We'll see.
I've been please to see that Caroline does not seem to be afraid of the bjorn now, though she's happier in it on daddy than on mommy. Even with that variation, she was near giddy in it as we walked about the Farmer's Market on Wednesday. So long as I kept moving she was EXTREMELY happy. (Swing, swing, swing...)
Yesterday I was trying to make tabouli all day, and it did take all day. It was hard to work with her in the bjorn. She has a knack for putting her head in between me and the recipe, or me and the vegetable I'm chopping, or whatever. In the afternoon, I tried the sling again for the first time in a long time. And she was quite content! I carried her on my hip in the sling and this worked quite well- except that I left her arms free and she grabbed a handful of tabouli as I was tossing it! I even nursed her a bit in the sling. I wouldn't say we have totally figured out sling use, but yesterday suggests it is worth continuing to try.
Mostly, this week, I've lowered my expectations of myself dramatically. I took a nap with Caroline almost every day. And just let things go when she was melting down. She does seem to be in a phase (again) of being very attuned to when we're paying attention to anything but her and not being willing to tolerate that for very long. So, with less demanding things on my plate, I just tried to give her MUCH more attention, and the swings somewhat demanded this. I'm glad I could oblige. But wow. Tiring. I'm a little hungry for adult contact- looking forward to my meeting with the prof this afternoon. We tried going to a story hour at the great children's book store on our side of town, in the hopes I might meet another young mom or two, but we missed the story. Nonetheless I met a young mom with an adorable nearly 3 year old son and a daughter on the way next month. I don't know that we'll be friends, but she lives nearby and... maybe. It sounds like they go to story time a few times a week, and the farmer's market too. She has a masters in Christian Church History from NYU. Perhaps we'll bump into each other again.
Oh, a few more random things- it really does seem like she'll sing along with us sometimes. Early on she did this with her Abuelita, but not with us. More recently she's seemed to sing along with daddy. But this week, with me! And yesterday Kev was spending some quality time with her, clipping her nails (MUCH NEEDED) which she doesn't mind all that much (we have such a strange baby!), and he came out to where I was sitting and said "I just saw her do something I have never seen her do before!" "Really, what?" He stuck out his tongue at me and then said "This. Sticking out her tongue intentionally, and leaving it out!" And I have seen it since. She actually licked me at one point last night!
I wish you could hear her laugh. It is the best!
Katie and Haddon and Abby, Caroline REALLY wants her Godfamily to come back sometime. She promises there will be no gas shortage or major accidents!!! And Abby, she wants to share a popsicle with you, so in a few months, when you have sore gums, come on over!
Pics, Video, Comic- tonight! Blogger willing.