Friday, April 29, 2005

The End of Training Wheels?


I know I've got a little while, but this new bike holds the promise to making learning to ride a breeze, as well as open up bike riding to individuals whose physical handicaps would have made a normal bicycle difficult to ride. The back wheels stand apart at slow speeds to work like a tricycle, offering stability. But as you ride faster and faster, the two narrow wheels come together to give you the normal bicycle experience. As you slow, the wheels come apart again.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Separation Anxiety

Yes, it's hit. We hoped we would be able to avoid it and that Rachel had just made the adjustment to being in the care of others without having to go through separation anxiety. She's had a tough time the last 3 or 4 times she's been in the church nursery, but she's always done pretty well at daycare, so we thought it might be that she doesn't like having to be away from us on the weekends when she already has to be away from us on weekdays. Either that, or that the people at the church nursery were somewhat strangers to her since they rotate and she doesn't see them nearly as often as the caregivers at her daycare.

Well, 3 out of 5 days this week, Rachel has cried as we've been leaving daycare or as we've still been in the room there with her but are about to go. She's also very aware of when I walk out of the room at home. I'll let her know that I'm going to another room and will be right back, and usually she's fine, although she does hate it when I'm in the kitchen and she's on the other side of the baby gate, looking at me.

It's heartbreaking to see her little face crumple and to have her cuddle up and cling against you when you have to walk out the door momentarily. Fortunately the caregivers at her daycare are compassionate people. One of them, Marian, saw it start to happen yesterday and came right over, holding out her hands so she could take Rachel, hold her and comfort her while we said goodbye. I know they've seen this before and have helped other children through it, but it sure stinks when it's your child.

It's still our hope that I'll be able to be home with Rachel full-time somehow. If that were happening now, she'd probably have some anxiety when we left her occasionally for church or to go out for an evening, but at least it wouldn't be so frequent and add to the guilt of having her in daycare to begin with.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Pretty Pink Pancakes

Yesterday morning we had pancakes and Lori said it was ok for Rachel to try pancakes. Because I am no good at following instructions, I added red food coloring to them, just for fun. Lori gave Rachel a few torn up pancakes and then I suggested maybe we could give her a whole one, with supervision, to see if she would eat it without trying to stuff the entire thing into her mouth. Well, she grabbed up that pancake, stuck it partially in her mouth, ripped off a piece and ate it, like she's been eating pancakes with her hands all her life. She seemed to really enjoy it. She's always happiest when she thinks she's eating the same foods we are.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Walk Like an Egyptian

We're going to count today as the official first time she walked. She had made independent steps before, but they were almost always a single step and pretty much just going with momentum. But tonight she made the decision to let go of the coffee table and stood the for a second or two and then stepped forward, lifting her left leg, bringing it forward, pausing for a second or two, then bringing the other leg forward and then paused a second time. Then Lori caught her before she fell onto her backside. Of course, she would not repeat well for the video or still camera, but here's a shot with her stepping while not holding on to anything.

(Lori doesn't know this but I had been working with her on clapping. But she would show a tendency to try to clap even before that whenever we were singing in church and everyone was clapping along.)

Monday, April 18, 2005

So Many New Things!

Rachel is 10 months old now, and she seems to be picking up on new actions and sounds faster than we can note them. On Easter weekend, she started to cluck her tongue off the roof of her mouth. I'm not sure where that came from. Shortly after that, she started to make a little snorting noise as she wrinkled her nose. She's doing a lot of the nose-wrinkling still, and she seems to be finding herself quite amusing lately :)

Rachel is also teasing us a lot by pulling her hands away from everything and standing independently for a few seconds at a time, but only when she doesn't know she's doing it. She still thinks she needs to hold onto something and doesn't realize how steadily she's able to stand up. She continues to practice walking by cruising around like crazy and can really move with her little push-walker now.

This weekend, she started to clap, out of the blue. That was a first. She also likes to share things, or at least pretend she's going to share them (such as a Cheerio) and then quickly take her hand back and shove it in her mouth. She enjoys making us laugh and is pretty aware of when she's doing something silly.

She's doing quite a lot of pointing, too, and I think she's eager to know what everything is called. And she thinks it's a fun game to hold her little finger out and have someone else touch it, "E.T."-style.

It's so fun to watch her develop little games and new awareness. Every week she becomes more of a little independent person. It's bittersweet, because I know that the time will continue to pass quickly and I'll miss things about each stage once it's over. But it's also exciting to get to know Rachel as she grows and for her to be able to communicate with us more.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Rachel Calls AudioBlogger

this is an audio post - click to play

Friday, April 08, 2005

Cruisin' USA

Yesterday was different. Rachel home sick for the second day in a row and I stayed home with her. Other than Sesame Street and Bear in the Big Blue House, I kept the TV off all night. Anything and everything was a reason to try. I'm out of Cheerios. Wah. You're not feeding me fast enough. Wah. I dropped my toy. Wah. Stop wiping my face. Wah. A new diaper? Wah. She, obviously, wasn't feeling her best.

Lori's mom joined us for dinner. After dinner, Lori's mom was sitting on the floor playing with Rachel and we sat down on the floor, too. Rachel was playing a little bit with the push-walker. Lori's mom puts her behind the walker and she just takes off, basically the thing is going faster than she can keep up and she tears across the room until she hits a table and stops. It wasn't a long distance and she wasn't in any danger of getting hurt, but it really looked like she aimed for the table in order to stop herself.

Obviously not Rachel. More info on toy from Fisher-Price
So Lori and I got down on the floor and had her try to walk from one of us to the other. She did and we'd all clap and we'd turn the walker around so she could go the other way. A lot of the times on her way to me, she'd turn and end up hitting the table. And she'd either stand there crying or fall to sitting and crawl the rest of the way. If she didn't crawl, I'd have to hold my hands out so she could take them and walk the rest of the way.

And when we thought she might be growing tired and didn't turn the walker around for her, she crawled back. So we kept letting her walk back and forth between us to the point where she was just getting exhausted, poor thing. But she was really mastering it. It would be fun to see what she does with the one at her school where there's more room to go. Maybe we'll get there early enough tomorrow morning to play with her a little bit on it before we're off to work.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


About two weeks ago I had to pick up Rachel by myself (usually Lori and I carpool). One caregiver was holding Rachel, another stood nearby whlie another child stood in a playpen crying. The caregiver was rubbing Rachel's temple, which I could see was red. I came in and they said something had happened and I asked what and one of the caregivers spat out "Robert bit her!"

I learned later that they're not supposed to tell you who bit or hit your child, but I guess it had just happened and they were kind of annoyed. Yep, sure enough, there was a bite mark on the side of her face. I was pretty ticked at Robert.

The next day a colleague said her son manages to come home with bite marks once a month. They won't tell her who did it, but her son is big enough that he tells her. That made me feel better. Later that night, she had a toy and she was smacking me in the face with it. I really hoped that she hadn't hit Robert like that before he bit her, or else I'd have to feel guilty about my anger at him.

Well, the bite mark is gone, and I'm no longer annoyed with Robert. At some point, we may find out that Rachel has bit or hit some other child.

Funny story... we have friends who have quads. Their children make up four of the six children at their daycare. They will often get two incident reports... one will say "Your child was bitten by another child." And a second one that reads "Your child bit another child." We had a good laugh when we heard that.

In other news, we'd like to join D&LC and big brother M in welcoming new baby MSC! (Born 8:37 pm, 4/4/05)