How Old is Hallie?

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Blissfully Uneventful Week

Summer weeks have a way of flying by all too quickly, and this was one of those that got away before I knew it.

When time flies, you know you are having fun, and that was certainly the case this week. After a somewhat inclement weekend last week and changeable weather on Monday (which had me caught out in the rain several times, unfortunately....Hallie didn't seem to mind and was happily trying to dislodge the rain shield on her stroller during one particular brisk walk home when I distinctly remember feeling as if the next deluge was imminent and that I was about to be swept away by it), the weather has turned out to be quite nice this week, which has meant a decent amount of time in the playground and a venture into our $7.99 Toys-r-Us wading pool and some sessions with the water table (the sand half of it still being deemed less than a fun thing by our girl). That, and a couple of play sessions with Karina, dinners with her and Uncle Mark and Aunt Vanessa, when Vanessa wasn't on the road for work, one fun session at the kids gym, and lots and lots of books, signing, and talking has been what occupied Hallie this week (as for the moms: both of us have been doing work, I said, my summer is ending all too soon and lots of stuff remains on the table that requires completion between then and now).

A week that flies by is also a week of good eating (and as a result of that, good sleeping, good moods, less toy throwing, and more talking). All of those things were true this week and Hallie now officially has six foods: she just added prunes/plums to her diet of goat milk products, bananas, apples, pears, and potatoes. We have also found that she likes Goat Milk mozzarella more than goat milk cheddar (apparently she is not Sharon's daughter: Sharon hates both goat cheese and mozzarella...sorry honey, but she takes after me on this one!) and that she is totally able to eat bananas in their un-pureed form when we cut slices of them up into 6 pie shaped wedges (I don't think the pie shape is essential, just logical) and spear them onto toddler forks and hand them to her to feed herself. She tries to do the spearing herself and sometimes this works, and sometimes leads to some frustration because she cannot get the slightly slimy bananas to go along with her less-than-accurate toddler poking. In any event, this is major progress and, while it still takes her a lot more time to feed herself finger foods than it does for us to spoon jars of stage 2s into her, and while we still are not yet at the point where finger foods alone can provide her with sufficient calories and nutrition, we're getting there on the chewing thing and slowly advancing our kiddo out of babyhood. Plus, the concept that we might be able to just buy a banana somewhere, cut it up, and have Hallie eat it seems frightfully normal. So what if she eats two slices and we eat the rest? Heck, it's still healthier than finishing up her fries for her!

The key to a good eating week is that it only happens when Hallie is not reacting to something. Back a few weeks ago when we tried and failed rice and then tried and failed soy immediately thereafter, Hallie could handle no solids at all. The way her allergies work is that they enflame her entire GI tract, from her throat to her tummy (and possibly her intestine, too---we never scoped down there so we don't really know what was going on with it). So she cannot comfortably swallow anything and things that she does get down into her stomach (even safe purees and drinks) tend to come up again, which leads to further inflammation. In her case, these symptoms seem to last about three days, regardless of how little of an allergen she has ingested, and then resolve. That's why our food trials are going so painfully slowly. Our allergist wants us to wait 7-10 days after a food failure to try anything new because Hallie needs to come back to baseline and become comfortable again after taking in an allergenic substance. If she doesn't then it becomes pretty hard to tell if her system is going to be okay on the new food we are trying. We also give it a full week with a new food to confirm a pass, though Sharon and I are usually pretty sure it's okay after the third or fourth day: we know the symptoms to look for now (these are painfully obvious when we are at baseline with Hallie---gagging, retching, vomiting of course, but also restlessness, moodiness, less talking---which seems totally related to the allergies---and a tendency to destroy anything and everything around her). Anyway, no allergies this week, no vomiting this week (unless you count the gagging on the too-big pieces of banana on Thursday when Ami was feeding her; this was before the new fork system was devised by me), and just one happy little kid. Consequently, we are now at 79 days entirely vomit free (I didn't count Thursday since she did hack up that banana) out of 192...and closing in quite quickly on a 50% no-return rate this year. Yippeee! We now use our paper towels for more mundane things and our eco-rating is improving. Woo hoo!

On other happy news: Hallie now exclusively calls me 'mama' and 'mom' and exclusively calls Sharon 'mommy' and woke up this morning with a big happy face and said "Mommy!" when she turned and saw Sharon and "Mama!" when she turned and saw me. This melts our hearts and we are so happy to hear both words tons of times each day coming out of the mouth of our little girl.


Sara Cohen said...

Congrats on the name calling! What an amazing thing to have her differentiate between the two of you and be able to axpress herself! I would love to get together...I was thinking maybe sunday the 20th. We could do the evening...he's usually up by 4 from his nap and we can do a picnic at a park, you are welcome to come to our place or we would visit you. We've been to three bears before and love it. You let us know. He usually eats around 5-6pm and is easy, so I would let you tell me what's easiest for you . Let me know. If that doesn't work, we could certainly meet down at Franklin square sometime but this week is a busy one with little time to wander down there. Hope you are having a good weekend! Sara

24weeker's Mama said...

Nice bike Hallie ! you look like big girl now.

Trisha said...

UGHH! Those darn allergies. I am glad that you are finding some new things for her to eat though. It's great to hear that she's talking more and more each day...I told you she'd do it! Before you know it, she'll be like Caleb and never shut up! And I had to laugh about your triangle shaped bananas. C won't eat cheese unless it's cut into triangles....