Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Harper girl has learned to say "Mama"!!!

She says it spontaneously when she wants me, is frustrated, needs comforting, or when she's in my arms or just wants to get my attention. I can also coax her to say it by asking, "Can you say Mamamamamama?" She'll oblige most of the time. She's been saying it for about a week now. I haven't consulted the books, but her first word at 6 1/2 months seems early to me.

I continue to awe over her genius and her sweetness. This last week she's really becoming communicative, even in subtle ways. She gets it when I am teasing her, even just with a silent, silly grin shot across the room-- she'll laugh with a squinty smile. Last night I was playing with her on our bed, leaning over her and tickling her chin with my mouth and then lying back and she'd grab my face and neck and put her open mouth on me! The game ended, though, when she actually bit my cheek! Sweet thing... I should've known not to play that way. She doesn't know how to cover her teeth with her lips like I do it! I thought it was pretty smart that she knew to emulate me though. We've been playing games like that lately. It's always surprising that she can emulate and laugh and know that we're doing something, you know?

Another little "game" happened the other night. I said "Harper" and then leaned my forehead into hers. Then I lifted my head and said "Harper" again. She immediately knew to lean her forehead into mine and we went back and forth like that laughing until we exhausted the humor out of it and impressed a watching Daddy. She is so fun.

Other positive news: Ethan and I are working on gently teaching Harper to sleep for longer blocks of time because the waking-every-2-hours thing wasn't cutting it for me. I got so exhausted that even when I had opportunity to sleep, I couldn't! The slightest noise woke me, and I then caught a cold because my body was so worn down. We're pulling through the worst of it, though, and Ethan is a big help in the process. He comforts Harper when she wakes at night and we know it's not due to hunger. I've decided I'll nurse her once in the middle of the night (even though at 6 months they say babies don't need to eat at night) and the rest of the time, she just gets rubs or a rhythmic walk to help her back to sleep. This is supposed to teach her that night time is for sleeping, and day time is for eating and playing, etc. We think it's working because last night was the 2nd night of it and she woke up only 4 times instead of 6 the night prior.

Oh, and one more thing-- one of her top teeth is beginning to poke through her gums. Yipeee!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Organic Sweet Peas!

After telling Nagatani that the traditional starter foods (rice cereal w/ apple juice, bananas) were plugging Harper up, he suggested we try some vegetables. He explained that starter foods do constipate babies because back in the cloth diaper days, moms wanted their babies' doods to be hard to they could just kerplop them into the toilet.

Last night, I gave Harper organic sweet peas and she loved them! She ate them up! It was so fun to feed her last night! No resistance, opened her mouth, the only downside was she nibbled my finger a bit with her bottom teeth. And this morning she's already gone poo! Yipeeeee!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

6 Months

Harper had her 6 month shots yesterday. She hated it! I hated it! The good news: that was the last time she'll have four shots at once. The next appointment is at 9 months, and Dr. Nagatani said they'll take some blood to test for anemia, and then at 12 months she'll have her chicken pox shot, and that's it.

Harper's been generally fussy since her shots. But she wasn't feeling so hot for the past few days before them anyway! She was beginning to get over a runny nose, slight temperature, and hoarse voice when she was poked. Now the runny nose is back in full effect, she's running a slight temperature again, and her voice remains hoarse. Poor thing.

We're still not sleeping. Harper wakes every couple of hours, and the last few nights her temperature and runny nose have caused her to wake up every twenty minutes sometimes! It is frustrating and sad and it has really shown me how important sleep is to your general well being! I am now a coffee addict, no way around it. And lately, I've been getting frustrated because (addict that I am) coffee is losing its effect!

Harper weighed in at 16 lbs. 7 oz. (55th percentile) and 26 1/2 inches (75 percentile), so she's long and slender. Dr. Nagatani commented on her muscular "shapely" legs, and her long long curly eyelashes, as well as how vocal and strong she is.

Lately the girl has stopped falling asleep for her naps after nursing. She requires me to walk with her up and down the hall, singing "This is Mama's Harper girl..." She cries a bit before falling asleep, resisting it with all her might, and then her cries become sing-songy moans as she falls asleep. I pace for a half hour for her to then sleep for a half hour! But it's worth it: if she misses a nap she's a crank pot. She's also become much more sensitive to the sounds around her and wakes much easier, so if you call my house and get a busy signal-- I'm taking the phone off the hook during naps these days. I usually lay her down surrounded by pillows on our bed (it's the only way I can break free to do things like type in her blog) and turn the monitor on. If I try the cradle or crib the motion of going up and over the side wakes her. I have to pretend that I'm going to sleep beside Harper for her to stay sleeping. Smart, sensitive girl.

I love this age. Harper is very, very aware and responsive. She tries more and more to communicate both verbally and nonverbally, and she is changing so quickly. Her personality is starting to show in her pictures. She is curious and playful. She even gets sweet and lovey sometimes, wrapping her arms around my neck and burying her face when I hold her. Some mornings she reaches up, holds my face in her hands, and puts her face right against mine (I steal kisses for as long as she'll let me). It's been a tough month because lack of sleep makes me cranky and impatient, but it's been a beautiful month because Harper continues to amaze and inspire me as we get to know each other better and better.

Monday, February 6, 2006

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Beautiful Babe
Teething/ Eating

This whole month can basically be summed up by the above. Harper's been working hard to make some top teeth. It takes a lot of fussing to make good ones and Ethan and I are anxious to see the result of all of this. Every day I rub her gums hoping to feel a jagged edge. Nothing poking through yet, but it has so be soon, right?

All of the teething has disrupted our girl's good sleeping. I used to feel so proud that Harper was a good sleeper, and every night I fell alseep assured that I'd have at least one (if not two) four hour block of solid, uninterrupted sleep. Not so anymore. She wakes about every hour and a half, and is usually hungry and needs nursing to fall back asleep. I took this as a cue that maybe the girl needs some solid food these days. The books say that babies' nutritional needs change around 6 months and they need more iron than the breastmilk supplies. So, I tried the traditional first foods: mushy bananas, rice cereal, oatmeal cereal. Over many attempts, Harper actually showed signs that she might like the taste the other night and consumed more than ever before: about a tablespoon's worth of cereal mixed with breastmilk and a bit of banana. I was excited and hopeful since it had seemed she'd never take to it and I'd be nursing her exclusively forever.

However, the experiment didn't go as well as I initially thought. She hasn't pooped since. This feeding was two nights ago and for some babies, it is normal to go this long between poos. Harper is a much more frequent pooer, however, so I'm beginning to worry. Books say the poo problem will work itself out and it's not uncommon for the introduction of solid foods to cause constipation. I gave her some prunes last night. In the meantime, I can't wait for Harper to do some doods!