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Monday, July 18, 2011

Ellowyn is 6 months old

Ellowyn turned 6 months old last week.  In some ways it feels like that half year has gone by in a blink.  In other ways, it feels like it's been forever.  But one thing is for sure: I am totally in love with this girl.  

Just like her big sister did, Ellowyn continues to slip down the growth charts: she's now 50th for length (down from 75th at 4 mo) and only 10th for weight (down from 25th at 4 mo).  As always, the pediatrician is unconcerned, he just says I have slow-growing babies.  Her head, on the other hand, is big as ever: still 90th percentile for head circumference.  

She's still sleeping great: sleeping for 12 hours at night, usually up only once a night, and napping 2-3 hours each day.  And every time I put her down for bed, she goes to sleep on her own.  She is awake and happy when I put her down, I give her her lovey and turn on her mobile, and then I leave the room.  She babbles a little bit and then falls asleep.  This is an entirely new concept to me.  With Mira, I always actively parented her to sleep: we nursed, we rocked, we sung, we cuddled, we patted.  Not with Ellowyn.  She would rather be left alone, thank you very much.  It was kind of like reverse sleep training because SHE trained US.  I would try to rock her to sleep: no way, she was not having it.  But set her down alone in her quiet room... sleeping in 5 minutes.  In some ways it's nice because I know that I can just lay her down and she will sleep if she's tired.  In other ways it's a little sad for me because I *liked* cuddling Mira and having that quiet time with her to sit and gaze into each other's eyes and sing softly in the dark and just be together, relaxed and intimate.  I don't get much of that with Ellowyn, so I really relish those brief seconds when she will let me just hold her close.

Ellowyn has started babbling a lot!  Lots of B and D sounds.  Her favorite word is "blah", which she will say repeatedly and often.  This is also something that we didn't experience really with Mira.  Perhaps that's why Mira was a late talker, but she never babbled much at all.  Not so with Ellowyn.  All that time she used to spend "singing", now is spent babbling up a storm.  It's ridiculously adorable.  

She's still not quite sitting up yet on her own; she needs a little support on the back and sides.  But she is moving all over!  She rolls in both directions and even scoots along on her belly.  Already, she's getting into things on the floor the way a crawler does because she can scoot all over the room!

As for her reflux...  A couple weeks ago, I forgot to give her a couple doses of her reflux meds and she didn't seem bothered by it.  So I just... stopped.  She still spits up, but is unperturbed by it.  Her reflux discomfort symptoms are few and far between, so I feel like it's worth it to not be medicating her any more since there is some evidence that Ranitidine (her reflux medication) inhibits calcium absorption.

And that brings us to: Eating!  After Ellowyn had an allergic reaction to avocado (!!!), we have been very cautious in what she gets to eat and when.  (She seems to just be very sensitive to environmental allergens: she had a bad reaction to HYPO-ALLERGENIC laundry detergent, too.  It's a good thing she has an OCD mommy.)  She has had baby oatmeal, acorn squash, carrot, pears, plums, and sweet potato... all with no allergic reaction.  So that's good.  And she LOVES to eat.  She literally DIVES for the spoon.  She whines if you can't shovel it in fast enough.  She thinks eating is the best thing since nursing.  

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Staying cool

Ellowyn playing in some water in the baby tub while Mira eats a popsicle.  (The popsicle is homemade: when I made Ellowyn's baked peach baby food, I froze some of it with sticks in it for Mira.)  

Monday, July 11, 2011


On Friday, Mira started a gymnastics class!  She really loves it.  They do fun floor activities like playing with bubbles and scarves and bells and singing songs.  And then they do a little tumbling: forward rolls, side rolls, donkey kicks, etc.  And they also have a bunch of bars and beams and other typical gymnastics equipment and the kids get to hang and balance and swing and play on it all.  It's a parent/tot class (they don't offer solo classes until the kids are at least 3 years old) so I'm following her around and spotting her on the equipment and doing the floor activities with her so it doubles as a light work out for me!  

The teacher was really impressed with Mira's strength and how long she could hold on to the bars and hang from them.  I told her it was from all the rough-housing she did with her daddy at home!

She was fearless on the balance beam.  She climbed right up onto it and before I even noticed she was trying to stand up on it.  Luckily I got to her in time to catch her as she almost pitched forward onto her face.  The teacher quickly showed me how to spot her in such a way that she could still feel her own balance and then after that she wanted to walk both balance beams over and over.

So we've signed up for the next two months.  I really like this gym because once she turns 3, they have other class options in addition to gymnastics: dance, sports, martial arts.  So not only will she get to see those things going on at the gym, she'll also get to try them out if she is interested.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Ellowyn's first solid food

A few of days ago, we decided to let Ellowyn try solids. Mira’s first food was avocado, and it seemed to work well for her since she’s quite the little foodie now, eating almost anything even at an age where most kids get picky. So we thought: hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. So Ellowyn’s first food was also avocado.

I think it went over pretty well:

I was really pleased with how she seemed to be so into it, grabbing at the spoon, opening her mouth wide for more, easily swallowing with no tongue-thrust reflex. We’ve clearly picked a great time to start her on solids, developmentally speaking.


A day after she first tried avocado she developed this red spot next to her mouth, about the size of a quarter. After it had been there for 2 days and was still red, I decided I’d better have the pediatrician take a look at it. He thinks it’s hives: an allergic reaction. And we’re pretty certain it has to be from the avocado, since we were observing the 4-day rule and so hadn’t introduced any other foods yet. (And thank goodness we did it that way because if we’d tried other foods too then we wouldn’t know what to avoid.) The doctor said that even though avocado is a food that is very unlikely to produce an allergic reaction, babies can have a reaction to pretty much anything.

So after only two avocado feedings, we’ve now stopped solids and are back on exclusively breast milk until the hives clear up completely. At that point we’ll try some other food. Cereal would probably be safest, but I’m tempted to do some acorn squash or pears or something else foodie-ish.

Just like I did with Mira, I’m making all of Ellowyn’s baby foods from fresh produce (rather than buying jars of processed food) and I’ve already made a few batches that are in the freezer ready to go: pears, plums, and carrots. Next I plan to make squash and peas.

Anyway, I’m really hoping that the next thing we try goes better. It scares me to think that she could have a more severe allergic reaction to something and her airway could close up. But the doctor says that’s unlikely and thinks we could even try avocado again in a couple months. (Apparently, sometimes babies have a reaction to something when they are younger but then their body and digestive system matures and they no longer have that reaction any more.)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Ellowyn picture spam

Here's Ellowyn in her exersaucer.  She loves it, but she's a little too skinny/wobbly for it, so we have to stuff blankets around her in the seat to keep her stable.

Ice in a mesh feeder helps with teething.  Also, it's just kinda fun.

Wearing her geektastic onesie.  You can see that she's just devastated that her parents are dressing her in such embarrassing attire.