Before I get into updates on beautiful, wonderful, fiercely strong Caroline Grace, I have to say how overwhelmed I continue to be by the generosity of the community that follows this blog. I've been engaged in a wonderful, educational exchange via e-mail with Mama V, a lactation consultant-in-training. And no fewer than three of you have offered to send storage bags via mail, and other much needed items as well. Silent sent a MARVELOUS package with storage bags AND so much other GREAT stuff. Wendy, marvelous cousin is assembling a package with more bags and other child proofing items. And Mama V, who sent us a VERY generous package before Caroline was born is sending more bags along. Wow, all! I know a package is coming from Mamie as well. We are SO BLESSED. One of the wonderful bits of wisdom Mama V passed along via e-mail was a nudge to use on-line discussion groups for moms in my area to see if i could secure a stronger dual pump, for at least a month as I seek to build a supply for the fall. She recommended a specific model and nudged me to seek it out. i put a feeler out on the one discussion board on which I typically only lurk and within 24 hours a mama was offering a month loan of the exact model Mama V recommended, or a sale for a very reasonable $25. 24 hours later I met her in a parking lot, got the pump and orientation to it, and I can send her a check if I want it or just set up a meet to give it back if I don't. She says she almost never reads on the board anymore so it was a fluke she caught my request. I'll call it providence and thank God for it. For the time being, I'm using the old pump. I'll sterilize the parts in the new (old) pump and practice using it at home this weekend.
I've been pumping frequently and still haven't gotten enough ahead of the game to start freezing, but I'm enough ahead that we don't start the day with nothing anymore. We started the day today with about 9 oz in the fridge. Enough about that!
Well, well... as I said, we think C is working on more teeth, Evidence of this claim?
- uptick in drool, again
- dramatic mood swings, very smiley/laughy one minute, SCREAMING her lungs out the next, then happy again minutes later
- rubbing her tongue along her gum line repeatedly
- disrupted sleep (a terrible night followed by a day with no naps longer than 30 min)
She has also been clenching her jaw and growling. She was doing this on the drive to campus this morning which led me to declare "Well, she's either screaming to express her outrage at the injustice of gum pain or growling to show those teeth who's boss!" I tell you, we have one TOUGH and FIERCE little girl.
Caroline was introduced to plain, whole-milk yogurt this week and she loves it! She was also introduced to rice cereal, first with breast milk and then with yogurt (her breakfast the past two mornings) and in both cases she gobbled it down. I mixed banana with yogurt one day and she LOVED that. She also was introduced to grapes, via her mesh teether, this week and LOVES those. We were under the impression that our girl is an especially great eater, but Aunt Katherine nudged us to try non-sweet foods to see how she takes to those. So we steamed and mashed some zucchini from our garden a few nights ago- um... she was DISGUSTED. After awhile we mixed in some apple sauce, but even that didn't help. The next day we tried carrots. Kev boiled and then mashed them... totally not interested. After awhile I tried mixing the carrots with yogurt, but nope. We'll keep trying, but it seems she has an overactive sweet tooth. Wonder wher she got that? ***blush*** Hopefully some videos will go up tomorrow of some of the latest adventures in eating.
She definitely has developed a distinctive crawl. You can see it in the pictures below- from 33 weeks. She keeps her left leg bent, but her right leg straight. (Kev is sure it is the other way around- left leg straight, right leg bent. We'll investigate tomorrow and see.) She has figured out that straightening both legs, as if to stand, doesn't get her anywhere. But she can motor pretty quickly without toppling with one leg straight. Occasionally she bends both, but I think this is her way of defiantly asserting "I still would rather be walking. I'm NOT giving up on that." But then again, maybe this is another way to protect the leg she broke. (Our investigations may yield some insight into this.) Who knows? She is mobile and happy about that. That's what counts.
We know she's committed to walking as soon as possible because she pulls up at every opportunity, even when there's nothing for her to grip on to. She presses her little hands onto flat surfaces and pushes her way up. AND when she gets there she takes one hand away and often steps a bit. She frequently tries removing both hands only to promptly fall on her cushly diapered bum. She still isn't exactly scooting around areas while standing, but it is only a matter of time. Any bets on when she'll be walking?
Her other big motor accomplishment this week has been stair climbing. We only have a few steps in our house, one down into our bedroom. One or two down into the guest bathroom. Well, desiring to follow a parent who heads to the kitchen hoping she'll keep playing in the bedroom she has on more than one occasion climbed that step. We have a dark video of this that I'll post if I can later. She is VERY proud of this! And we're pretty proud of her! We are, however, now making occasional strategic use of a safety gate,
She also seems to be experiencing a language development explosion. Her favorite syllable this week was an emphatic "DA!" But we're hearing lots of fascinating strings of sound. She is making lots of endearing, talky sounds. Really, really cool. We're trying to consistently link the sounds she makes to actual words. It isn't that hard to do. She frequently says something that sounds like "All done!" Apparently at presbytery last week the caregiver who was playing with her thought she said "Again!" when they were doing something drum like, and so they continued. I look forward to hearing what is on our girl's mind... most of the time anyhow.
I'm home now. Apparently twas a rough day for Caroline. Not happy much at all, until an explosive poop while in the bjorn on daddy, apparently the MOST explosive poop she's ever had. Kev said it was an adventure. After that she felt much better. But... the girl napped for a today of about 35 minutes, and not consecutively. She did very well on our long afternoon, early evening of grocery shopping, our once every two week tour of shops. She got LOTS of big grins as she was carried about on daddy. And gave lots of big grins too. She should be sound asleep now, but she woke up when we went to put her down a little after 7 and has been in a very giddy playful mood ever since. She's been hilarious the last five minutes. Crawling across the bed to get to me with her head pressed into the bed, "like a mole", Kev said, squealing with giggles while daddy walks her to boston and beyond. She was DELIGHTED with the grapes we gave her in her mesh teether while we ate our dinner a little while ago. Gosh our girl is cute.
Cute story from presbytery last week. So on one of the breaks I went down to the nursery and was nursing Caroline. There were two three (nearly four) year old girls there, best friends since birth, the minister's daughter and her friend. The friend came over while I was nursing Caroline and said "What'r you doin'?" "I'm feeding Caroline." "What are you feeding her?" "Milk." "But where's the milk?" "In my body." "But where?" She nearly whined with her frustration. "In my breasts." I wonder now if her mother is going to appreciate this lesson her daughter is getting. "Hunh." She replied. Clearly baffled. I was quite entertained by the girls during this feeding as they first played pirates, "Ho, ho, ho" over and over again, until an older girl who was helping out said, "No, its yo, ho, ho." So they'd correct themselves and shout "Yo, ho, ho" over and over again, until it morphed back into "ho, ho, ho", correct, repeat, morph, correct, repeat, morph. Until finally some invisible switch got flipped and they were rock stars. That was their declaration. And they put on QUITE a performance for us. The little girl who was baffled by nursing is quite the lyricist. I wish I had written her lyrics down.
I'm sorry, but I'm too tired and so is Caroline and so is Kev... so tonight... no pics or videos. Tomorrow hopefully. And no energy to edit, so I hope this is halfway coherent. Baby is melting down now. Must go.