Saturday, August 28, 2010

Waving Talking Crawling Standing Madness

Ada started saying "Ada" very clearly. Last week it was just "ah" "dah", but now she's putting it together.

Ada waved to the dog and then her dad today, opening and closing her hand. Her sisters aren't waving yet, but are mesmerized when I open and close my hand to show them how to wave. It's like I possess a magic power. They look at my hand, crinkle their nose in fascination, look at theirs, wiggle their fingers, but can't quite get it yet.

Ada isn't crawling yet, but she managed to turn around while seated - 180 degrees. It's funny how she can scoot without getting out of a sitting position. She has figured out how to pull toys towards her, and she benefits from her sisters dropping toys wherever they crawl.

She's starting to want to stand more and I suspect she's going to give this crawling thing a pass altogether. It's beneath her, methinks. Little Miss Ada gets incredibly upset when she's on her tummy. It's a reflux thing. She arches and straightens her legs to get out of that position. She can almost get herself into a seated position from lying down.

What a wondrous day that'll be, because she gets so frustrated and tantrum-screams when she topples over and can't get herself off the floor again. Then when we help her up, she's all smiles and giggles again.

Emma is pulling to stand, and letting go with both hands, standing on her own for a few seconds at a time. She did it the first time on the 25th (10 months from birth day) and has repeated it a few times since then. She's so solid when standing - she really has great balance for that tiny little body of hers.

Julia stood by herself for a few seconds today. She and Emma are hitting the same milestones very very close to one another. It's uncanny. They rolled over on the same day, sat unassisted on the same day, cut the same teeth on the same day...

Julia is getting herself stuck in her crib almost daily. She's such a little wriggly worm. She figured out she could lift her bum off the mattress and slam down with both her legs and does that repeatedly. Now Emma has caught on and is doing it too. The two of them are such little monkeys. They rev one another and will sit and say, "aah" "aah" to one another, increasing in intensity and taking turns and then burst out laughing. It's such a funny game to watch. Ada just smiles and looks at them like they are nuts.

They're all starting to be more uncertain around strangers - an important developmental milestone. Especially Emma needs more time to adjust to new places, people and situations. She had a quivering lower lip today when a friend picked her up, and started bawling when we bathed her in our big soaker tub. It was the first time we bathed all three together in our big bathtub instead of one by one in their baby tub and I guess the sudden shift caught her off guard. She did acclimate eventually and was kicking and slapping the water while shrieking with laughter towards the end. Hopefully tomorrow night's bath time will start happier, too.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

10 months - pulling up to stand

Whoa - we have busy bodies in this house! They are all hitting so many milestones at once that I'm losing track and just had to post to catch up before they're onto the next thing.

We have stopped charting and keeping track of every bottle. This is a big milestone for me, because I'm finally trusting that they're eating enough. Emma isn't on the official growth curve yet, but, like her sisters, she is following her own growth curve nicely. They are all still getting breastmilk, but we have been supplementing Julia and Emma's bottles with high calorie Neosure. As of this week, they are off the Neosure! In addition to the breastmilk, they're now drinking just regular Enfamil. Phew - so much easier to prepare their bottles and mix only one kind of formula for all 3 in addition to the breastmilk.

Ada is leveling out after rocketing up the weight charts at a 45 degree angle. She's in the 84th percentile for weight, which is incredible compared to the 3 pound 14 oz preemie she was at birth. Julia is somewhere in the middle. On the growth curve, but below average for weight.

I've cut down on the number of times I express milk for them, and they're now getting about 50/50. It's been hard for me to let go and start to wean them, but as they're eating more solids, I can at least try to rationalize it. I try to feel good about what I've provided to them these past 10 months, but it's still challenging. My body and mind need a break from the constant pumping. I'm still pumping 3-4 times a day despite my part-time work schedule, but it's nowhere near the 6-8 times it used to be. Not feeling chained to the pump has been wonderful, but it's also hard not to feel guilty about cutting back and reclaiming some normalcy.

This past week Julia and Emma have been pulling up to stand. Emma managed to do that in her crib on August 16, which prompted an emergency lowering-of-the-mattresses on all 3 cribs. They go into 4x4 mode and bulldoze over our legs when we're on the floor with them, and pull themselves up while holding onto our clothes. They are so busy, but we also have our hands freer than ever, because they can sit without falling over, and two out of three can crawl to where they want to be.

They are much less frustrated than just a month ago, and such a joy to be around now.

They have been eating puffs for about two weeks now and are doing well with it. No gagging when they feed themselves, it works great to keep them busy while I mix their cereal. I've also been able to eat breakfast at the feeding table while they eat their puffs. It's been amazing to watch them improve their pincer grasp and how many puffs actually make it into their mouths as opposed to dropping on the floor. We tried cheerios today and they did fine with it. Emma was even preferring the cheerios - she picked them out between the organic apple puffs!

They are all eating pureed apple, pear, banana, sweet potato, butternut, zucchini, green beans and peas. They've tried pureed blueberries with mixed success. On Thursday, they tried banana pieces and did fine. We cook and puree most of their food ourselves. Whatever is not in season, I buy premade, but that is in the minority.

The speech pathologist was here this morning to check their progress with the solids (they were struggling because of the reflux.) On a side note: she told me clapping comes before waving. I tried showing them all how to clap hands. Julia looked like she was going to get it, so I held her on my lap and moved her hands towards one another (still in fists), then showed her how to open her hands and with fingers curled made the clapping motion. I showed her my open hands again, she then opened hers, and without my help, she clapped her hands together! She had it down in about two minutes. I was so excited - I couldn't believe it.

Now she has a new party trick and claps hands all the time, even above her bottle, while I'm feeding her. It's hilarious to watch. I'm still working with Ada and Emma. They can all bang toys together, so I guess it's just a matter of time before they get it too.

When their dad came home yesterday, they were super excited. Ada "flapped" her arms like a flailing little bird, and Julia and Emma crawled toward him. It was the first time he received such a big reaction from the trio. They have just started reaching out to us to be picked up. Not every time, but it's so special to see them communicate that they want our attention.

When something new or strange happens, they all have this curious expression on their faces: their eyebrows perk up and they scrunch their noses. It's pretty funny.

There is so much joy in every moment now. There's an explosion of interaction. We're just soaking it all up after all the hard months. This is the most fun I've had. Ever.