Monday, January 30, 2006

Completely Scattered...Just Like My Brain

Abby's been really busy learning new things since I last posted. I can't keep up!

She likes to sing now. When she plays with one of her musical toys, she'll "nanana" along with it.

She points at everything and asks "Da?" One of her favorite games is to sit in our laps in the glider in her room and have us read to her from the 4 or 5 books on her dresser. She'll only let us get through a page or so before she's pointing at the stack wanting a different book. We'll go through this over and over until she tires of it. Then, she'll slide off our lap and take the book with her. She'll run away with it excitedly and look back to see if we're going to try to take it away from her.

She does the same thing with the remote because she knows it's the one thing we try to hide from her. When she does get it, she'll run around the room with it while shrieking as if it's the funniest thing ever. She'll tease us with it too. She'll walk toward us with it in her hand as if she's going to give it to us, then turn around and run away at the last second.

Back to books: when we're in the basement, she's gotten a lot better about sitting through an entire book. She loves to be read to. She hands us books all day long, and if we're on the floor with her, she'll crawl into our lap to enjoy the book. She also likes to read the books herself. She'll sit with a book and turn the pages while babbling as if she's reading it. She spends more time with her books than any other toy. I'm so glad she's developing my love of books.

We bought her a "potty." She's nowhere near ready to be potty-trained, but she went through a few days where she'd pee on the floor in the bathroom after we'd take her diaper off for her bath. I figured if we could catch her, we could sit her down in the potty and maybe start associating the two. Of course, she hasn't had any accidents since. She does like to sit on it though.

She loves wearing things on her head: Damon's hats, headbands, burp cloths... They don't stay on very long, but she loves it when we put something on her head. She'll take it off and bring it to us over and over to put it back on.

A few times, I've been able to get her to bring me something if she's close to the object. It takes a lot of hand gesturing and pointing on my part, but she'll eventually figure out what I'm getting at and bring it to me.

God help us, she's climbing now. She still won't go out of her way to climb up something, but if there's an easy way up, she's all over it. If we forget to push the kitchen chairs back in, she can pull herself up like she does the coffee table. From there, it's easy climb up to the table. Scary! She can also climb on top of her Leapfrog table that she's loved so much, so that toy is going into storage. She's still not getting up on the couches, but she has been trying.

She's enjoyed turning light switches off for awhile, and she recently discovered there's a switch on the wall behind a couch in the basement. After a few tries, she's also figured out how to turn the lights on as well. Now, she wants to get up on the couch all the time to play with the switch. She gets so upset and frustrated because she can't climb up there yet.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

My Secret Weapon

When Abby was a newborn and still had her days and nights mixed up, I would pace the basement with her at all hours of the night. One night, to pass the time more than anything else, I decided to sing to her. Bette Midler's "The Rose" was the only song I could remember in its entirety in my zombied state, so I'd sing it over and over to her. Once she'd fall asleep, I'd switch to "100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" to keep me from putting her down too soon. It rarely worked. As soon as I laid her in the Pack'N'Play in the basement, she'd scream and we'd start all over again. Even later when she was sleeping better, but still waking up a couple times a night, we'd sit in the glider together while I sang "The Rose."

I've played it many times for her on cd since then, but she's never shown any interest. Until now. On the way to Damon's work last Friday, Abby was really fussy in the car, so I played the cd that was already in the player. The song to come on was "The Rose." Instantly, she quieted down and went into this weird stoned state. I kept checking back at her to see if she was still awake because she was so quiet. I played it over and over until we got there, and she didn't make a peep the whole way. It's worked every time since then too.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Weekend Full of Milestones

Ever since Abby turned a year old, she's been going through a developmental growth spurt. This weekend was a big one for her.

Friday, I took Abby to Damon's work to play with a couple of his staff's dogs. Two of the women he works with have these teeny dogs that they bring in to work with them. Abby had a blast. The first dog had had a bad experience with kids, so he didn't hang around very long because he was terrified of Abby and kept barking at her. The second dog was this 3lb. Maltese/Poodle mix puppy. She was adorable! Abby would slowly reach out to touch her, and the puppy would lick her hand as soon as she was close enough. Abby thought this was hilarious.

While we were at Damon's work, we took Abby through the dining room to see the residents. Since she's gotten better at walking, she doesn't like to be held for long, so we let her go. The residents really enjoyed seeing her walk in the aisles between the tables. One lady gave Abby her menu, which was in a leather folder, and Abby took it with her for a few feet before she sat herself on the floor to "read" it. She loves books. She's not patient enough to sit while we read to her, though.

On Saturday, we went to Red Robin for lunch. We decided that Abby is now old enough to get her own meal. She's not a baby anymore! I ordered her the chicken strips and french fries because she loves chicken. Seriously, she'd be happy eating chicken all day long if we let her. It came with 2 big chicken strips, and after I peeled the breading off and shredded it for her, she ate an entire one and about 3-4 french fries.

That evening, I managed to get the remote from Damon during a commercial break in the NFL playoffs, and found the Dog Show was on. I said, "Abby look! Dog!" and repeated the word "dog" several times. Once she saw what I was pointing at, she was hooked. While she watched, she said "dog." She didn't get the "g" sound, though, so it came out "do," but it was clear she was talking about the dogs on tv. Also, earlier in the week, I would say "thank you" every time she'd hand me a piece of food instead of dropping it on the floor and she'd imitate me with "takee" every time. So far, she's only said each word the one time, but she's getting there.

We've been trying to slowly wean Abby off her bottle. At first, she'd only take a sip here and there from her cup, but every time she did I would get excited, clap and say "YAY!!!" Now she's put the two together, so whenever I say "YAY!" she'll start clapping even if I don't.

One last thing she figured out this weekend was that she can put toys in things. We bought this instrument set for Christmas where the smaller instruments fit inside the plastic drum. This weekend, she would put whatever toys were handy inside the drum. It's about time she started carrying her weight around here. Now that we know she knows how to put things away, it's time she started picking up after herself. LOL!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


A new children's museum opened downtown a few months ago that I've been itching to take Abby to. I wanted to wait until she was walking, so we finally went on Saturday. She had a blast! I wish I would've taken more pictures, but the place was packed, so I tried not to take pictures of other people's kids to show online. Plus, Abby can really walk fast, so we were constantly chasing after her.

On the way to the museum. We thought that having the car seat turned around would keep from getting fussy because she'd be able to see us. It actually made things worse because now she can us and gets upset when we can't play with her.

This was the only one I managed to get of her walking.

Monday, January 09, 2006

So Much To Say

Sorry I haven't posted in so long. Abby hasn't been sleeping well, and school started up for me again last week, so I've been tired and busy. So much has happened since I last posted.

Abby walks everywhere now. It took her awhile to get up from a sitting position without holding on to anything. This was the only time she'd crawl instead of walk in the last few weeks. Last week, she finally started getting up on her own a lot. She still crawls some, but she mostly walks. She's also gotten a lot steadier on her feet. She no longer has that awkward "Frankenstein" walk with her hands in front of her and her feet wobbly. When she started putting her hands down, she'd grab onto her clothes for balance. She also maneuvers around obstacles easily while walking.

One thing we recently discovered is that our little exhibitionist loves to walk around naked! One day, she got fidgety on the bathroom counter after we'd gotten her undressed for her bath, so we put her down to walk around. I've never seen her happier! It's hilarious to watch. She's also become obsessed with taking her socks off. I can't keep them on her feet anymore. She gets upset when she's wearing pajamas with feet because she can't pull them off. She's so quick about it too. By the time we get a sock back on one foot, she's already taken the other one off. Once she pulls them off, she proudly carries them all over the house. One day she carried a sock for over an hour!

She's also still obsessed with holding 2 things in one hand whenever possible. It's always her right hand too. One day, she'd be sitting down playing quietly when she'd get so upset all of a sudden. It took a few outbursts before I figured out that she kept dropping one of her toys and it would upset her when she struggled to get it back in her hand with the other one. She even does this with food. She loves to take all 4 pieces in a graham cracker, put them in her right hand, and eat them all at once.

Speaking of food, Abby's gotten to try so many new foods lately. She now likes cottage cheese, raspberries, graham crackers, oranges, eggs, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (this one took a few tries because she didn't like the stickiness of the pb), chicken, pork, and a bunch of other things that I can't think of right now. I was surprised that she wasn't all that crazy about blueberries. So far, that's the only fruit she doesn't really care for.

A couple of weeks ago, she started handing us things. I gave her an old cell phone to play with and she loves to hand to us, so we can "talk" in it. She puts it up to her ear and talks too. Anyway, the last week or so she has gotten really bad about throwing food when she's done eating. Yesterday, I taught her to hand me the food instead. She'll hand me everything until her tray is empty. At least she doesn't do it until she's eaten as much as she's going to eat. Every time she hands us something, she says the same thing. I just wish I could understand jibberish. It sounds like "grlbrunnunlghhhnu?" or something.

One last thing I forgot to mention. Abby's 12-month checkup was last week. She is now 22lbs. 11.5oz. and 32.75" tall. She's in the 74th percentile for weight and she's even farther off the chart in height!