Thursday, February 19, 2009

Five Months

Evie is five months old today! She doesn't have a doctor's appointment for the rest of her four month shots until next Tuesday, so I'll update again then if anything interesting happens at that appointment. Her weight via bathroom scale this morning was between 15.5 and 16 pounds (scale wavered back and forth between the two), which is the 64th percentile, and her height via the growth chart on her wall appears to be around 25 inches (36th percentile). The percentiles are via this website and appear to skew a bit lower than our pediatrician's charts, which usually puts her in the 75th and 50th percentiles.

Here she is at 2 weeks old in her "birthday" diaper:

At one month:

Two months:

Three months:

Four months:

And now at five months (no flash=weird skin tone):

I'm so proud of myself for getting smiles out of her for this month's photos! All I had to do was sing "Snuggle Puppy."

This month's interview includes some bonus footage at the end, showing Evie's rice cereal breakfast and us playing afterward. I just love how her whole body trembles with anticipation of the next bite of cereal. And please feel honored to watch the last minute and a half of this video because I normally only sing to Evie, in church and in my car...never in front of people and definitely not on tape!

Highlights from this month:
  • Evie learns to roll from back to front = yay! big girl, I mean, oh crap now she's going to suffocate in her sleep! Panic!
  • Evie has more and more patience with books = I am very happy to read to her!
  • This month I got over my horror at the idea of putting Evie on the floor. Now I'm content putting her down on a blanket downstairs, on her nursery carpet upstairs, and once directly on the kitchen linoleum. I think it's because I'm no longer worried that she'll lose head control and smack her face into the floor (which would make her cry AND transfer germs and dog hair into her mouth). Apollo and Phoebe are getting used to this new development and Apollo is thrilled at having so many new places to nap:

  • I've struggled with sinus issues all month and Evie has likewise had a stuffy nose and occasional cough. I don't think we have had colds; I'm blaming our stuffy noses on the dry air and Evie's cough on teething/drooling. However, I did take her in to the pediatrician last week about her cough and the doctor recommended a cool mist humidifier to clear up her stuffy nose. I felt like an idiot...why didn't I think of that? We bought the penguin one; it's adorable.
  • Evie has had a diaper rash off and on this month. At first it seemed to be a kind of teething rash (the theory is that the excessive drooling makes a baby's poop more acidic) but last week it got really bad overnight and we diagnosed a yeast rash, so Evie has been in disposable diapers for a week as we've struggled to eradicate the yeasties with non-cloth-diaper-approved creams. Today I'm trying to put her back into cloth and I'm praying the rash stays away.
  • Evie LOVES the dogs this month, particularly Phoebe. She smiles and giggles whenever Phoebe is nearby, especially if she is wagging her fluffy tail. So far Phoebe seems gentle and tolerant and occasionally approaches Evie and gives her some tentative kisses on Evie's hands or cheeks. I'm carefully supervising these interactions, to protect Phoebe as much as to protect Evie, since Phoebe has never bitten anyone before whereas Evie has demonstrated a predilection for pinching skin, pulling hair and screeching. Sometimes when Evie grabs a handful of hair from the nape of my neck while I'm carrying her and pulls hard, I feel like growling at her!

  • Socially, Evie is a bit conflicted. She is exhibiting all of the following: flirting with strangers, fear of strangers, independence and separation anxiety. She seeks out eye contact with strangers when we are out in public and flashes her most brilliant smiles at them, then looks away as soon as she wins a return smile. However, sometimes she cries when strangers initiate an interaction with her by talking to her or smiling at her, especially if they don't look like Mommy and Daddy. Her godfather is an unfortunate recipient of this reaction because of his goatee. J often has a goatee as well, but hasn't grown one since Evie was born, so she's not used to it. I'm afraid that Evie and I are going to argue about this one because I love it when J has a goatee and I'm predicting that Evie will disagree with me. Here is Evie with her godfather a couple of weeks ago (she got over her initial reaction):

    As I mentioned above, we are starting to see independence in Evie's personality. She's decided that she no longer likes to cuddle and would rather sit by herself and play independently or interact with us face to face. I can no longer reliably soothe her to sleep in my arms; her crib mobile or her swing are much more effective unless she's overtired. However, she still wants me/us to stay in the room with her while she practices her independence. Her hearing is excellent and the sound of footsteps retreating from her location incites fussing and crying more often than not.

  • This month we realized that she hasn't been getting enough practice with sitting upright because of her gastroesophogeal issues. About 98% of the time, sitting up leads to spitting up. But sitting reclined all the time isn't going to help her meet upcoming developmental milestones, so we've started propping her up or sitting her in her B*umbo seat, and dealing with the messy consequences. She loves to sit in the B*umbo and play with this toy she got from my mom at Christmas (J's parents' dog, Max, is in the picture here):

  • Sleep has been a big issue this month; specifically, none of us are getting enough. I've been reading Pantley's The No-Cry Sleep Solution and The No-Cry Nap Solution and have learned that Evie's sleep issues the last couple of months have to do with her sleep cycles. Specifically, the growth stages she's been in (and teething, perhaps) have made her less able to stay asleep from one sleep cycle to the next, which explains the 40 minute naps and night waking. I also learned that she is a micro-napper if she's not in an optimal sleep environment (swing, crib or car in motion), meaning that she sleeps through the first phase of sleep (5 minutes) and then wakes up feeling refreshed and ready to play even though she's not really rested...this makes her very cranky by evening.

    She's napping better now that I am implementing all kinds of tools like white noise, lovey blanket and often the swing, but her night waking has been making her parents very cranky lately (one night in particular J was up with her about every hour from 1:30 am on--it was probably Sunday since he was on Evie duty). Last night I had a brainstorm and we moved her swing into our guest room (across the hall from our room so that I have a direct view of the swing while lying in bed). She woke and ate at 2 am and then I put her back to sleep in the swing, where she slept until 7:45. Yay!

    I suppose we'll just have to muddle through until she's 6 months old and the SIDS risk almost disappears--then we can put her bumpers back in and give her a stuffed animal and a lovey blanket, which should hopefully help her transition back to sleep when she finishes a sleep cycle. Right now she naps with a lovey that is velour on one side and satin on the other and she loves it. She rubs it with her hands and pulls it up to her sweet. Here she is napping with one of the loveys that I made her over the summer:

    The other complication in her sleep has been her rolling. We can't put her down in her crib right after she eats unless she is completely passed out because if she's even a smidgen awake she will roll right over and spit up. Neither she nor I enjoys the ensuing clean-up. Our solution has been to hold her for an hour after she eats and then put her in the crib, or put her in the swing where she may spit up a little but not enough to need a clothes change, only a bib change.
  • And the acid reflux question lingers. In the past couple of weeks her spit up has changed; on occasion it smells like vomit/bile instead of just smelling like soured milk the way it usually does, so we have put her back on the reflux rx for now to see if it helps this time. I'm almost afraid that by putting her on medication last month and then taking her off, we triggered acid reflux that wasn't there before? I would think it was connected to starting solids but the different-smelling spit up began before we started them. For the past month Evie has also been doing some of the classic head-turning while eating, which is a sign of acid reflux because it is not indicating she's full. She'll turn her head suddenly away from the nipple, gasp or cry out and then turn her head back to the bottle and continue eating. At first we thought it was her stuffy nose and that she couldn't breathe while she ate, but she seems to do it even when her nose sounds clear and/or we've just cleaned it out. In any case, she's back on meds and hopefully they'll help this time.
  • As I said, Evie started solids in the middle of this month and is doing well with rice cereal (see end of today's video). She seems to enjoy it and has learned how to open her mouth in anticipation of the spoon, close it around the spoon (sometimes) and swallow fairly thick cereal. Despite the temptation to keep introducing new things, we're going to try to hold off until six months and just keep up with the rice cereal for the next month. We're feeding it to her twice a day: right before her second bottle of the day and around our own dinner time. One thing I am concerned about is whether or not she has figured out how to tell when she is full, because she'll eat as much as we offer and has yet to turn her head away and reject a spoonful. So, we're keeping the portions small...usually one or two tablespoons.

    • Finally, Evie is asserting her personality with some impish behavior. For example, last week as I was changing her diaper and applying rash ointment, she began kicking her heels and flailing her arms, getting rash ointment on her hands, socks (and then her feet after I removed her socks), shirt, stomach, thighs and the outside of her diaper. As I struggled to wipe it from her hands and feet while she continued to flail, I snapped "stop it!" at her and she suddenly got quiet and lay still. As I fastened her diaper I glanced at her face, expecting to see her looking sad, but instead, my eyes were met with a big, sparkly smile. I laughed and smiled back at her and said "sorry that I snapped at you, sweetie" and she proceeded to push our her bottom lip and start crying. Wow did that make me feel like the mom of a little girl; it was like our first argument in a way, and I had a vision of the many, many conflicts we will have in the future. It's inevitable between mothers and daughters, but I will be happy if in the end we have a friendship like I have with my mom now that I'm an adult.

      Plans for the coming month? We have a piano tuner coming tomorrow and I picked up songbooks from our library with classic nursery rhymes, lullabies, etc. I started practicing today on the out-of-tune upright piano in our great room (it has been moved about five times in the past ten years and tuned zero times) and Evie seemed to enjoy it. I hope I didn't mess up her musical ability for good by playing out of tune. :) It's going to take me awhile to play competently since I haven't taken lessons since I was thirteen and normally play only once a year (Christmas carols). Somehow I think Evie will forgive my gaffes.


  1. 5 months go by fast, don't they? She sure is a cutie! =)

  2. She is getting so big! What a doll!

  3. I love her smile! And your voice is so sweet!

  4. What's the brown thing around her tummy?

  5. +Blonde Duck...that's the folded over rise of her cloth gets folded over when she's little and now that she's older we're using the top snaps so there's no fold. :)

  6. She's such a good eater!!! She seemed to really keep most of it in. Bravo, Evie!!

    You are a much better singer than you give yourself credit for. It sounded lovely, and I'm sure Evie loves it, too.

    Best of luck on the piano! I'm right up there with you on that goal. We gave our upright piano away when we bought our little house. Since Snippet was born, I've decided to buy myself an electric piano for Christmas so I can start fine-tuning myself again. I can't wait to play for him!

  7. I have to stop watching these adorable videos. They are making me want Ava to come soon. I am just dying to get some snuggles from a baby!

  8. Today is a very big day in the Where’s Wenda? Contest. I am visiting all of the SITS followers. Can I do it? There are around 1000 followers. Oh my! Better grab my cup of coffee and get on my way. Be sure to visit Hot Chocolate Caramel Mocha and Three Bay B Chicks as part of your contest entry.



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