Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Hangin' with the Cousins on the Fourth of July
Hallie got to see her little cousins (with brief cameos by the big cousins) two weekends in a row. She was thrilled to pieces and loved every minute of it. The cousins were equally enthralled, and not only because Hallie has perfected saying their names and enjoys having them push her on the swings, in the baby carriage, and is very amenable to being hugged, kissed, loved on, read to, instructed in the fine art of using a stroller, and chased. They just adore each other plain and simple, and this is very wonderful to watch.
Hannah, who is a beginning reader, loved telling her own version of Hallie's current favorite books, which, of course, we brought with us. These include The Velveteen Rabbit (RAAAAAH-BIT is how Hallie asks for it), One Duck Stuck (DUUUUUCCCCCK is what Hallie screeches when she needs it read, now!) and anything Pigeon by Mo Willems (whose books are wonderful...I adore the naughty and conniving Pigeon who is frequently outsmarted by duck and bus driver alike).
Hallie also relished in sharing her love for Sesame Street (which was always on-demand) and Signing Time with the kids, and Hannah was very proud of herself for learning some signs this weekend.
Adam spent much of the time racing around the house with Hallie in one of the play baby carriages (and sometimes racing around the house after her as they both careened around corners with their own carriages). There's a lot more space in the suburbs for running around, and Hallie had a blast doing so.
Between this, and heading outside at every opportune moment for fifteen minutes of swinging, Hallie had her fill of inside and outside activities, despite the fact that this weekend ended up being quite rainy and afforded little opportunity for beachgoing and the like.
Hallie did get a chance to savor the pool for a bit, though, and worked on floating and kicking (she is especially good at the latter) with mommy:
And, of course, Aunt Laura loved having Hallie around for scooping up and hugging. But, as you can see, our kid is way to busy to be hugged and cuddled unless she is on the verge of falling asleep, so, as soon as she gets into Aunt Laura's arms (or our arms, for that matter), she wants down (and says so, quite clearly) so that she can go, go, go.
Hallie did enjoy some quiet time activities, like doing the puzzles that the kids brought down for her from their room (she is a master puzzler) and playing with Hannah's letter flash cards. We discovered this weekend that Hallie knows most of the letters of the alphabet and loves to study the cards and pick out the right one when asked. She even says some of their names (EEEEEE!, for example or EMMMMM!). Needless to say, she has her own set of flashcards on their way as I type.
Speaking of cousins, Hallie has a brand new one whom she has never even met. Allow me to introduce to you Taylor Ruth, the gorgeous new daughter of my best friend Renee and her partner Kim, who made her entry into the world on June 30th at around 2:30pm weighing in at 7 lbs. 7 ounces. I got to visit with Taylor in the hospital on her first full day in the world, and, as soon as her parents adjusted to never again sleeping (or Taylor decides to sleep for more than two hours at a stretch), I'll introduce her to Hallie (who will no doubt screech "DAYYYY-DEEEE" at the top of her micropreemie lungs and wake the sleeping baby.
And, speaking of screeching, or more appropriately, squealing, Hallie had a blast today in the park in the brief periods of sunshine that erupted between some pretty major downpours. The playground down the block has a few grading problems in its landscaping, so water tends to collect in sizeable puddles in a couple of places whenever there is a significant rainfall. After her usual swinging and sliding, Hallie raced over to one of the larger puddles this afternoon and realized that she could splash through it and make quite a commotion in it. So she spent the better part of half an hour racing through it, then racing back, then stopping to stomp and splash her hands in feet in it, all the while giggling hysterically (she has a very charming, very funny laugh). She did this over and over again until she was soaked through. I gave her a bath before lunch (she needed it anyway since she still had some banana---from a chunk of real banana---not puree---that she ate yesterday stuck in her hair and some odd pink markings around her nose that were the consequence of exploring what happens when you not only write on your face with a pink marker but drill that marker into your nostril). Then, after I got soaked on the way home from Whole Foods during another downpour, Hallie decided she was jealous (she was covered by the rain canopy and I fought her efforts of removing it on that walk home) and she and Karina, who followed my girl's rather poor example, splashed and sploshed through the puddle again prior to dinner. Karina kept jumping up and down in the puddle, and Hallie kept trying to jump---she'd bend her knees but never lifted up off the ground---screaming "JUMP!" which is another of her favorite words ("Hop!" is another one---she learned both from Signing Time). One of these days she will lift off, but not just yet. Anyway, the jumping and puddle running led to a second bath (which was also handy for removing yet more marker from her face, this time orange).
Hallie had a great day and a lovely weekend, despite the rain, and fell asleep bright and early (which in our world means by 10:30 or so).
She also had a lovely eating day, breaking 1000 calories (I think...at least that's what my fairly meticulous record keeping suggests) and it seems that prunes are good, so far at least. And they are keeping her regular. Amazingly enough, nothing kept her regular before when she was ingesting so many allergens (not prunes, not miralax, and not reglan). Now, when she's not eating stuff that provokes enterocolitis, she's fine. She is able to eat solids (though she is tentative about this, she is now eating strips of hard goat cheeses, apples that are peeled and sliced, banana chunks and gerber fruit leather, which is sort of the consistency of the inside of a fig newton, as well as potato sticks and french fries, all without incident. She only eats largish quantities of the last two, but the progress she's made in just a few weeks is remarkable). And she is able to get things through her system better, so they come out the bottom and not the top. Other than times when she's been hurt (nipped by a shutting door, fingers caught in sliding door), she's given up vomiting altogether. We're now up to 76 vomit free days (and has thus far surpassed the goal we had initially set of 1 out of every 3 days being vomit free...we're going to now try for 1 out of every 2 and see how we do with that goal). And she is playful, sleeps well, happy, well-adjusted, and her speech improves every day.
On that note, gotta get to bed so I can take our kiddo to gym class tomorrow for some more balance beam practicing and such.