Kimono veranda watcha movie

Molly got some new PJs, which are perfect for sitting on the turtle, chewing on Big Bird and watching a movie.

…And kicking your feet. 😀 She’s working out some teething stuff again, although it seems to have backed off today. It’s so rough watching her just hurt; having Tylenol and teething goodies is OK enough, but I wish I could make all the pain vanish.

Dad discovered counting lately; for example, counting to 10 during a diaper change. In fact, that’s so good, it should be in a Things that Work:

  • Things that work: Counting to 10, and sometimes 20, in earnest during a diaper change to distract her and keep her still.

It’s a simple trick that’s been working this week. 😀 Also, counting is generally fun, and can be used to great effect during meals.

I about burst with pride today with Molly. We were on our second playground, looking for kids — found none — so she decided to climb to the top of the big slide at the goose park. She’s been up there before, but it’s been a while; I think she felt more confident in taking her time up there without other kids around. I spotted her all the way up, of course. What surprised me was when she sat down and got her feet out in front of her — she meant to go down it!

I held her hands and lowered her a little ways, but she let go, slid down, took the curve perfectly and stepped off at the bottom. Beaming. 😀

So the next time, once she was in position, I climbed down to meet her at the bottom.

…This is the “Are you sure this thing is safe?” look:

…followed seconds later with “Wheee!!” 😀

…and a perfect dismount at the end.

It is a very big slide. And Molly is a very big girl. 😀

Fever when you hold me tight

Molly slept terribly last night. Between her fever, stuffy/runny nose and whatever teething misery she was in, she took what sleep she did in 10-minute increments. Thus, so did we. Rough night for everyone.

Her day started out much the same, and her zombie parents took turns comforting her and catnapping all day. Things went better for a few hours in the afternoon, which is how things go for me when I’m sick, too, as I think about it. We went outside, we read books, we watched Harry Belafonte videos.

But mostly very little could distract her from the fact she was largely uncomfortable. Her fever did die down this afternoon for a while, too; and on the plus side, she’s drinking water well, so that’s helpful.

Time for a Things that Work, and this one I have to tip my hat to my friend Michael on:

  • Things that Work: Temporal artery thermometer. Never have I spent $40 so well.

After Michael’s rave reviews, and his suggestion that perhaps one could leverage greater buying power were one to shop for the thing at a time other than “at 2 a.m. when your baby’s crying,” I went out and got one a month or two ago. Amazing device, startlingly accurate and quick and bothers Molly not a bit. You press it up against her forehead lightly, press the button, drag the thing gently across her forehead to her hairline, and you’re finished.

Essentially it’s an infrared-scan thermometer, and it takes 1,000 readings per second and throws out the outlying readings — e.g. winds up only with the temperature of the temporal artery. I can’t say enough good about it, and I can’t tell you how reassuring it is to know what your child’s temperature is when they’re sick. Temperature’s the main metric you use to determine when to panic, and knowing I wasn’t supposed to panic led me not to. Mostly. 😀

Molly’s high point today was a fun game mom thought up:

…This looks like a familiar scene, but what you can’t tell from the picture is that this time, mom has dumped out all the goldfish crackers and Molly’s putting them back in the container one by one. And we’re all counting along. Good fun!

I hope she has a better night than her day went, poor dear. It makes my heart ache when she’s uncomfortable.

Itsy bitsy teeny weenie

Mom is something of a genius. And I’m not just saying that to score points.

First, she’s a ton of fun to play with/on:

As if that wasn’t enough, she creates toys out of nothing that become Molly Favorites. To wit, today’s Things that Work:

  • Things that Work: Empty water bottle + Lemonheads candy = best toy ever.

Molly is surrounded by toys. And for the past few days the water bottle rattle has been the best one. Although the otherwise annoying steering wheel that makes the car sounds is a close second:

…The orange thing is an integrated “cell phone,” which she mostly chews. I’m fine with that, because she doesn’t have a good plan yet.

Today’s big adventure was the local indoor pool. Again, mom’s a genius; dad was pretty sure the best plan today was a lot of staying home. But mom rallied the troops, and after a quick shopping trip to find sleepers that fit and a swim suit, off we went.

The suit was a perfect fit:

…Not polka dots, but cute regardless. 🙂

Molly played for quite a while at the pool, which was a fun-area type thing with a lazy river and a lot of splashing. None of it fazed her; when the water was within reach she splashed like the dickens. When it wasn’t, she watched all the crazy “big kids” running around.

She came home, drank a bunch of milk and ate a bunch of peas with gusto. I expect we’ll all sleep well.

Soft like doggies

Patience, your name is Krishna the husky.

She was very patient with Molly’s continuing attempts at petting. A credit to the breed. I describe a lot of things Molly touches as being “soft like doggies.”

In other news, it’s time to mention it. I think Molly’s teething.

sophie

Today is the third day of teething-like behavior. This is distinguishable in my mind from “put anything you can in your mouth” behavior, which she’s been at for a while. Teething-like behavior is pulling the rubber pacifier out of her mouth, turning it around to the flat side, turning that sideways, and rubbing that all over her gums for ten minutes, squeaky-squeaky. Or, as above, cramming several things into her mouth and doing the same thing.

The spotted giraffe is called Sophie. It’s all the rage with moms in the know, I’m told. But it does as advertised, if you can imagine a rubber giraffe being advertised to do anything, so it’s getting a Things that Work entry.

  • Things that Work: Sophie the rubber giraffe.

It’s natural rubber, painted with food dyes, and squeaks. And it’s like twenty dollars. According to the extensive packaging, it was first made in 1961 on St. Sophie’s Day in France, hence the name. Molly was born on St. Sophie’s Day, turns out. I had to look her up, but Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat founded and led the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, opening schools and convents throughout France and elsewhere. So I learned something too.

The point being: the giraffe is advertised as a fantastic thing for babies to chew on while they’re teething, and amazingly it’s become Molly’s instant favorite for just that. So, it works.

We’ve also been playing with the piano Molly’s cousins sent. It took a few days for Molly to figure out she couldn’t effectively whack at the keys from her three “working” positions — lying on her back, lying on her tummy, or standing with dad’s help. So she reluctantly has started spending more time sitting, and almost exclusively doing so in front of the piano. So she ‘s getting practice being in a sitting position, and can whack at the piano.

With verve. 🙂

A Touching Story

wiseface

Molly’s “reach out and grab things” phase went into high gear today. But first, the morning.

We got up today and realized each moment without a working camera is a moment of Molly lost forever. So, after mom headed to work, and Molly caught a quick morning snooze on dad’s chest, we loaded up for a big trip to the camera store. We were first in the door, and after much cooing by the sales staff we managed to actually purchase a camera — and Molly was delightful for every minute of it.

With things going so well, I hit the store for some baby supplies. Molly put up with it, but was getting tired… back at the car, a quick few gulps from the bottle put her out. Feeling like I had accomplished a great deal with a three-month-old, I grabbed a celebratory burger in a drive-thru and headed home, where Molly napped through my meal.

The afternoon was largely spent walking around and touching things. I would walk up to something in the yard, say, for example, “Do you want to touch the tree?”

And she’d reach out and touch it.

touchtree

“Do you want to touch the turtle?”

turtle

“Do you want to touch the wind chimes?”

…And so on. Over and over she touched stuff — but only after I asked if she wanted to. I tried just walking up to branches we had touched before, and she looked at them, but wouldn’t reach out until I said something. Really neat. I don’t know if it’s a Milestone, but it was a great way to spend an afternoon before her nap.

Speaking of which, time for a Things that Work I’ve been meaning to do:

  • Things that Work: Video baby monitor.

monitor

This thing has been worth every penny of the (if I remember correctly) $200 we spent on it. It was our big-ticket, let’s-spend-all-the-shower-gift-cards-at-one-place purchase. You can’t tell from this poorly-taken photo, but the picture is great — and it even has night vision, so you can watch her smile in her sleep, even in the dark.

You hang a little camera like this over the crib:

camera

…It pans up and down, left and right, and even zooms a little. We’ve liked it because we can tell when she’s stirring, and we’ve gotten to where we can spot a real wake-up before it happens — and get there first, so when she opens her little eyes we’re there for her. It can be too much of a good thing (we probably ran up there too much at first), but it’s nice to see she’s doing well without having to wait for the siren to go off.

The instruction manual says the monitor can control up to four cameras, so we could have three more babies, I guess. Or put one out front to screen the roofing salesmen before I get off the couch.

Take a load off, Molly

Today was full of minor moments of amazingness. Molly has grown to enjoy “horsey” on my knee to the point where I believe she was laughing out loud this morning, with the biggest open-mouthed smile I’d ever seen. And this afternoon she spent two or three minutes at a time on her tummy on the ottoman, watching the dogs, before getting frustrated. And she even let me play something on the guitar besides John Denver, which is good for my own sanity. Variety and all.

But the big adventure of the day involved the little device that’s been letting mom and I eat dinner together lately. So, as promised, a new installment of “Things that Work”:

This morning, for no reason I can readily identify, I decided to take Molly on an adventure down the street to the walk-in haircut place. Dad needed a haircut, badly. Turns out I’m not coiffing quite as much as I usually do in the morning, and I look better slept-on with short hair than long. Don’t want the neighbors thinking I’ve gone nuts when I walk out for the mail.

So after a big morning of filling bellies and diapers, and after Molly had a short nap, we loaded up into the truck and off we went. I brought the Bumbo seat, a gift from mom’s cousin, which, as you can see, is the greatest thing invented since fire:

Pardon the crummy cell phone picture, but frankly, I didn’t think this whole adventure would work out either, so I didn’t have the camera. I even felt like I had to make up a story when asked, as to why I was potentially subjecting my young daughter to a morning of unnecessary trauma. I told one woman I had a friends’ wedding to go to.

As I said to the remarkably game woman who would be cutting my hair, “This will either be your shortest haircut of the day, or your longest.” 😀

We even had to wait. But Molly was quite interested in all the colorful bottles on the mirrored shelves, so that entertained us. Also it was “old guys with walkers day” at El Cheapo Hair Salon (not the real name). Seriously, there were three guys with walkers there when I walked in. As I sat down they were discussing the pros and cons of tennis balls. Anyhow, they were all eager to make faces at Molly while I walked her around, which worked out well.

When it was our turn, I plopped the Bumbo on the counter and we were off to the races. This seat is amazing, it’s made of a lightweight skooshy foam, and Molly is absolutely planted in it. It may not last, but for now she doesn’t have the strength to do much about it once she’s in, so it’s safe enough for countertops and dinner tables. And she can see what’s going on, which makes her pleased. So she sat through the whole thing. Mind you, the woman didn’t dawdle. But still.

On the way out, after a I had paid up and given Molly a quick bottle, one of the walker guys’ wives stopped me to coo at the baby.

“I was watching you the whole time,” she said. “You did a wonderful job. Your mother would be very proud of you.”

Gotta love it.

Boy, you’re gonna carry that weight

Mom took her mid-week day off a day early this week, so we decided to get a little shopping done. And, we took Molly. Which brings us to the latest installment of “Things that Work”:

We had a little trouble finding this one, a close cousin to the Ergo. Both are hip-belted versions of such stalwart baby accoutrements as the Baby Bjorn — and all are a way to carry a baby hands-free, or near to it.

The closest place we could put our hands on one was in Boulder, and the next closest retailer was in Telluride, which should be the giveaway that it’s about the most expensive baby carrier on the market. But after several hours of tooling around Target and the mall with Molly alternating between content, interested, and asleep while sitting in it, I give the Beco a resounding double thumbs up.

Unlike the Bjorn, the Beco has a hip belt, and is designed like a backwards internal-frame soft backpack — in that when fully done up, the majority of the weight is on your hips. Raised as a backpacker, this is attractive to me. And while the Ergo does the same thing, the Beco adds an internal piece of fabric between you and the baby. The result is that you can take the pack off and hand it over to a new wearer, without taking the baby out. You can also get her situated up front, and later when she has the head strength, swing it around and carry her on your back.

Also, unlike the Ergo which makes you shell out extra for an infant insert, the Beco is ready to go with one included — an extra piece that secures the baby a little higher. The downside to this is until she’s a little longer I can’t use the hip belt without cutting off circulation to her legs, but to be fair, she’s not heavy enough for that to matter much at this point. There’s also a little hood, which keeps raindrops off and apparently is useful for babies that need some degree of darkness to doze off. Unlike Molly.

She bounced lightly along with me all afternoon while we did a little grocery shopping, found a pair of jeans for mom, and even watched the carousel at the food court while mom and dad ate lunch. All in the Beco.

I can’t say if she slept soundly, as she’s in the middle of yet another nap even as I type. But I believe she had a good time. And mom and I ate yet another meal together, so it worked out for everyone. 🙂

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