On this first day of her 39th week, sweet Caroline found herself in three new states! Oh the places she'll go... We flew through Newark, New Jersey to Albany, NY and then drove over to Massachusetts in order for me to co-officiate at a wedding for a dear high school friend. We'll be adding new silver stars to Caroline's U.S. map on the wall in her nursery... and decided today that we should get some airplane stickers and put those on places she's only experienced via their airports (so far Chicago- but that will surely change some day! Atlanta- but that will likely change next month! And Newark- that might be an airplane forever!) She is playing on the floor of our cottage at this lovely establishment in the Berkshires with her daddy who is singing her silly songs and letting her burn some energy... how the child has energy given that we woke her up at 4 a.m. (aie... usually it goes the other way around...) is beyond me... then again... she did get several naps today. She continues to be an immensely good traveller. She had a few squawky moments, but was basically content for two flights and a long layover. I don't care to ever change a diaper in an airplane restroom again, but... given that it is challenging to change her diaper anywhere these days I don't attribute that struggle exclusively to the circumstances of travel. Anyhow... we're proud of our girl. She's charming the pants off folks... and she's surely going to bring her great, great Aunt Betsy a bit of joy on our short visit to her on Sunday, and her Mamie and Grandpa (and Uncle Daniel and Lauren too?) on Sunday afternoon. It is a crazy packed weekend at the end of the first week of the new semester, but... blessings abound.
I don't think I've written about Caroline during diaper changes lately... We don't use the changing table anymore. She is too strong and too mobile! It is challenging enough to change her on the floor. Even when we ply her with toys or favorite songs... she loves to roll over onto her tummy as soon as she is completely naked, or sooner and crawl away just as fast as she can... this has led to puddles on more than one occasion... and usually the process of getting a new diaper on her is a bit of a wrestling match. Sometimes she lies relatively still for us, playing with a duplex block often... she found the bin of this big lego-like blocks in her closet, and pulled off the lid and dumped them out one day. She likes tearing down towers that we build. And loves gnawing on the blocks, sometimes aiding the diaper changing process.
So this was the first week of the semester... and Caroline did quite well most days. Mommy did o.k., it is very overwhelming to be back in school full time (over time, really...) for lots of reasons. I don't have a lot of time with Caroline in any given day, but I'm trying to make the most of the morning time we have together and being as present as I can through dinner feeding and bedtime rituals. It is wonderful to be greeted by a HUGE smile at the end of the day.
The big new food development this week? Lentils! We were eating a lentil dish and I got to thinking that lentils might be a good food for her. I did a bit of research and sure enough in some cultures they are one of the earliest foods a baby eats! The red lentils we bought at the international market just happened to be the easiest to introduce! Woohoo! We found a recipe that suggested sauteing a bunch of veggies (onions, carrots, sweet potatoes, maybe something else too!) and then simmering the lentils with these and some water or broth. All this is then blended together. I tasted this and it is delicious. It tastes like Thanksgiving to me. And... Caroline likes it too! She ate it almost every night for dinner. We made real strides this week in getting more balance into her eating every day. She eats oatmeal with applesauce almost every morning, rice cereal with yogurt and fruit at lunch, and this lentil mush at dinner, and snacks of fruit, cheese, cheerios, and breast milk, of course. We still need to get more veggies in, but we're making progress. She REALLY likes to eat. She ate peach for the first time this week and liked it! On Wednesday night I was home alone with her and fed her a bowl of her lentil mush and she finished it quickly and looked at me like "Now what?" So I got out a banana and she ate the whole thing in about 20 minutes. Unbelievable. Oh, and this week I was snacking on some grain sweetened chocolate chips and dropped a few. As I was scooping them up she grabbed one and popped it straight into her mouth- to her delight! Oops... but I think daddy was pleased to see her share his taste! (For those of you who don't know, he's a serious chocoholic!)
Kev reports that she is doing a lot more exploring on her own, occupying herself for longer stretches of time. She's crawling a lot better, and faster! She's quite adept at following us from room to room AND she went outside on her own for the first time- from the open kitchen door onto the back deck- and then came back in all on her own (of course kev was keeping a close eye on her!)
She's also a whiz at stair climbing now- at least the single stairs in our house! She's not too bad at going down stairs either. We keep an even closer eye on that process, however. Kev just shared she climbed a big step at church all on her own.
Still not walking, not cruising much, standing lots and lots and trying to pull ups even... this week, Kev shares, that she liked to pull up onto surfaces that have piles on them and reach to pull things down. "Baby's got goals," he declared.
She's pretty well recovered from her two falls last week. She still has a dim green bruise on her forehead, but otherwise no signs of injury. The neighbor girls didn't come by even once though. I hope we didn't scare them off.
Maybe I'll get pics up tomorrow, but I just wanted to get some text posted... I can't believe we've made it 38 weeks with weekly posts at least! Woohoo... soon she will have been out of me as long as she was in me! I hope we keep these posts up for at least the first full year... then we'll see! We have to go over to another building to get a wireless signal so I'm going to try to nurse Caroline to bed (if she'll refrain from biting me- she has bit me three times tonight and each time looked at me with glee as she did it- each time I took her off and said "no" sternly and wouldn't let her nurse for awhile after... we'll see...) Apparently there is another baby here with whom she'll be in child care tomorrow during the ceremony. He is 3 months old, but about her size! My goodness... she'll be 9 months old next week! Anyhow... thanks for reading, friends. Please let me know if you're out there. The comments have been rather quiet lately.