And in this week Deedee will be 2 months old. Many things have been going on, and she seems very happy about them. DaddySlave got her her very first toy, a music octopuss that smells like vanilla and that right now stares at her everytime she sleeps in the moisés. With one gift card she got her very first gym to see if she packs some muscles here and there. Aunt Nita got her one of those bottles with a straw that reduces tummy pain, and what do you know… they really work… so MommySlave got three more of those. Deedee has been at the mall honing her shopping skills at HT, and making the most of A/C. Her vaccine shots are on Friday, so that should be the excitement of the week…
Baptism preparations are the news of the day. Got some stuff, will need some donations, but the basics are covered. Need to get the candle-blanket combo and to recruit two or three followers to take care of basic food. The parents reunion is tomorrow, we filled the card today and will get an official date tomorrow as well. We need to check with the Fairy Godmother to make sure of when she will be traveling, so the date doesn’t fall in one of those days of Thanksgiving week. Official baptisms are the 3rd Sunday, so that would be November 18th, but maybe arrangements can be made for the 11th… We’ll see… The important thing is the reunion.
There will also be a WIC orientation on Wednesday morning, so we will all enjoy the fun of waking up early to go to Mayaguez to listen to things we already know… Anything for food.
DaddySlave has been working overtime, last weekend and perhaps this next weekend too… Finances are not so happy and he’s trying to do something about it. We miss him much… Duty sucks badly. He’s also been having a rough time with college… Oh, well…
Uncle Groundel is now staying with us at RoseRed, so at least Deedee is having some entertainment. Somehow he makes her smile… we need that recipe. Although she is smiling more, like 2-3 times a day. Shhhh, it’s a secret!
MommySlave is putting together pics and scrapbooks, to see if she completes at least one of them. And she’s been trying more Feng-Shui stuff on everyone… She’s putting together some clothing bags to give away, perhaps at church…
Now, since most of us know little to nothing about baby care and the like, here’s an info-post that applies to the now and then of Deedee. Taken from WhatToExpect.com. Enjoy!
Week 7: The Gift of Grab
While his hands were once curled into tiny (and preciously pudgy) little fists, these days your baby is beginning to stretch out his fingers and test what they can do. At around seven weeks, your baby is likely to find his fingers endlessly fascinating, and may spend a good chunk of time simply gazing at those magical appendages. (Hey, are these mine?) Or he might realize that sucking on a thumb (or a pinky or a pointer) is soothing — maybe even soothing enough to help him drift off to dreamland. If your little one turns out to be a thumb sucker, celebrate the fact that he's found a way to comfort himself on his own. (And pay no mind to busybodies who say it isn't good for him — at this age, it's perfectly fine.) Also on your baby's handy agenda: getting a grip. Try putting something (like your finger or the handle of a rattle) in his palm and chances are he'll hold on — and keep on holding! He may even reach for an enticing object and try to bat at it or snatch it for his own. You can thank his ever-sharpening vision for this breakthrough — he can see better now so he's ready to try coordinating his eyes and his hands. Sure, he's got a ways to go before he smacks a ball out of the park, but when it comes to hand-eye skills, practice makes perfect (and his attempts are really cute, besides). How can you give your little one a leg up on using his hands? For one thing, make sure he logs daily tummy time so he can get a little workout for those hands — and the arms they're attached to. (Remember: Back to sleep, tummy to play — while baby needs to be belly-down to build strength and motor skills, it's not a safe position for sleeping.) He'll likely keep his elbows tucked in now, and just lift his head enough to see the dust bunnies under the couch, but soon he'll be pushing up higher and higher until his arms are straight and he can look out into the wondrous world well beyond his blanket.
Week 8: Super Baby Senses
Do you learn something new every day? Your baby does — and then some! Around the eight-week mark, she's awake and alert more often during the day, so pencil her in for more playtime. Best ways to stimulate those senses? Provide plenty of opportunities for her to experience her surroundings through sound, sight, and touch. Small doses are best (if she's fussing or squirming, she's had enough), and simple toys are all you need. For example, now that she can track moving objects with her eyes, try slowly shifting a ball, rattle, or cloth from one side to the other as she faces you. Watch as she plays along by moving her eyes back and forth (tennis, anyone?). Her baby blues (or browns) are becoming more discriminating these days, too. While she could once make out only bright colors and basic, two-toned patterns, she's now beginning to discern — and delight in! — more complex designs and a whole rainbow of colors. Now's the time to break out some vibrantly hued board books or give her a narrated tour of your fascinating backyard. Not only does she love the sound of your words (after all, she's been hearing them since well before she was born!), she's starting to be able to put your face to your voice, and those of other familiar folks like Daddy or Grandma. While it may not seem like it, she's listening carefully and may soon try to respond with some sounds of her own. Encourage her by chatting and cooing along in a conversational pattern. (No, you won't sound silly — you'll sound like a mom!)
Five Ways to Boost Tummy Time
What's tummy time? Think of it as baby's first workout! Some babies hate it and squall indignantly when placed belly-down on the floor. Others seem to enjoy the view. Still others are indifferent, cooing happily no matter which end is up. Whatever your baby's reaction, he needs to work his way up to 15 to 20 minutes on his tummy every day (always under your watchful eye) to practice his push-ups and develop the muscles in his arms, shoulders, upper back, and neck. Tummy time also sets the stage for motor skills like reaching, rolling over, and crawling (and it helps prevent flat spots from forming on the back of his head). By three months, most babies can lift their heads 45 degrees (leaning on their forearms); a month later, they can go to 90 degrees (pushing up on their hands).
If your baby protests tummy time, try several brief (one- to two-minute) stints a day, gradually working up to longer belly sessions. He might also tolerate — or even enjoy! — his playtime more if you:
•Get down on the floor with him, face to face, and talk to him.
•Place an unbreakable mirror in front of him so he can see his own fascinating face.
•Tempt him with enticing toys.
•Prop him up by placing a nursing pillow (or other firm cushion) under his chest and arms.
•Place him on your own tummy while you lie on your back (but watch out for drool!).
Remember, "back to sleep, tummy to play." While tummy time is important, it is never a good idea to put your baby to sleep on his stomach — sleeping in the prone position is a significant risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Maximizing Your Baby's Alert Time
As he begins his third month of life, your baby is really beginning to wake up. No longer simply an eating/sleeping/pooping machine, your little one has longer stretches of alertness between feedings and naps — giving you plenty of time to play, sing, and talk to him during these newly instituted play sessions. Hey — it's a great time for the two of you to get to know each other. Try a few rounds of peekaboo or a song, some tummy time, a narrated tour of the living room, or a walk around the block. Read books together — yours or his — or leaf through a family photo album. Stack a few soft blocks and then tumble them down. Show him how to watch your goldfish swimming in its bowl. Let your baby relax on his play mat or in his crib with a mobile hanging above him — soon he may learn that if he kicks at the dangling doodads, he can make them move. But there's no need to try to teach him skills or concepts yet, or to stock your home with tons of toys. At this point, he enjoys the sound of your voice and the sight of your face more than anything else.
Month 2: That First Gummy Grin
Yup, caring for a newborn is an exhausting ("Hello! I'm awake again!") and dirty (um, was that a projectile poop?) job. But the rewards can be pretty, well, rewarding... and one of the best ones is probably showing up right about now: that spectacularly toothless smile! More dazzling developments at the three-month marker may include cooing, laughter, and a new penchant for playtime — plus (and this is a big one), he knows who you are! These days, when your baby sees your face or hears your voice, chances are he'll try to respond by turning toward you and flashing a great big gummy grin. (Hi, Mama!) If you could peer inside your baby's downy head, you'd see a very busy brain at work. His gray matter is in the midst of a gigantic growth spurt, tackling big concepts like eye-hand coordination and object recognition. Thanks to big strides in how well he uses his senses, he's much more aware of his environment — and more sensitive to changes around him as well. This might mean he may become slightly pickier about just who can cuddle him (though true separation anxiety doesn't usually occur until he's about nine months old). Your baby's body, too, is catching up to his busy brain by mastering a lot of new physical skills. He's probably getting better at pushing himself up during tummy time, and he can begin to bear some weight on his feet. Try standing him up on your lap and feel how he pushes down. Now that's power! And while he can't yet give a real "bye-bye" wave (that'll happen sometime around his ninth or tenth month), he can move those arms into a satisfying arc (ala John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever). You've got to admit, your baby's got some great moves!
Sing To Your Baby
One of the hidden benefits of parenthood is the chance to reclaim your silly side. Because, let's face it, babies love silly! Entertain yours with goofy songs (complete with goofier lyrics). Music, rhythm, and rhyme all prepare little ones for reading (listening to songs helps them learn to distinguish individual sounds and syllables, which eventually helps them connect letters and sounds). So don't be afraid to belt out some tunes (being on key is totally optional). What to sing? Anything and everything works: popular music, Christmas carols, show tunes, hymns, traditional kiddie ditties. Many of the old favorites offer endlessly variable lists in their lyrics. Old McDonald's farm, for example, might be home to not just cows and pigs, but zebras and ostriches, or dinosaurs and dragons. Your baby will be so busy laughing at your mooing and oinking that she won't notice all the vocabulary words she's learning at the same time.
See how many different words you can work into these tunes:
Action words: "If You're Happy and You Know It" and "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain"
Animals: "Down by the Bay" and "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly"
Body parts: "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" and "Where Is Thumbkin?"
Clothing: "Miss Mary Mack"
Family members: "The Farmer in the Dell"
Food: "Fried Ham"
Household objects: "Hush Little Baby" and "Miss Lucy"
Numbers: "This Old Man (Knick-Knack Paddywhack)" and "Five Little Ducks"
Transportation: "The Wheels on the Bus"
The Art of Distracting Your Baby
It's never too early to break out one of the most important weapons in the Mom Arsenal: The art of distraction. If your baby is fussing (because she's tired, or hungry, or bored, or just because she's grumpy), sometimes a simple diversion can stave off a full-blown freak-out – or at least delay it for a while. These little tricks also come in handy when you're trying to stretch out the interval between feedings or naps (the better to regulate your baby's schedule); when you're waiting (and waiting) for your turn at the pediatrician's office; or just anytime you're trying to coax a (toothless) grin. You'll soon learn what your baby likes best, but here are some excellent starter moves:
• Peekaboo: Well, duh -- but this kiddie classic is popular for a reason. Most babies can't get enough of the big surprise – here's Mommy! Mix it up by hiding behind your hands, a blanket, even a book; for more excitement, pop up above, below, and to the side of your hiding place.
• Song and dance: Pick one or do both, and rest assured that (tone deaf and/or klutzy) amateurs are most certainly welcome. Any old groove will do, as long as you engage your baby by picking her up and helping her join in the fun.
• Silly sounds: Who can resist that plump baby tummy or those pudgy toes -- and why should you even try? Plant a kiss on each adorable digit, or turn a kiss into a sensory sensation by making it a raspberry — a goofy noise, a puff of air, and a smooch from Mom, all rolled into one! (Um, does anyone really know why it's called a raspberry?)
• Funny faces: Stick out your tongue, fake an exaggerated sneeze, or give a big wink — any departure from the usual may just grab your baby's attention and even prompt a smile.
Fun With the Five Senses
For babies, the world is a magical mix of sights, sound, smells, tastes, and touchables. Unlike (most) adults, children feel first and think later — and that's a beautiful thing. So how can you help your baby (and yourself!) enjoy an even richer sensory experience? Try these five tips and see what happens.
1-Let's see. Your baby's vision is not as sophisticated as yours, so she doesn't yet know how to focus in on individual images. Help direct your baby's attention by identifying colors, patterns, shapes, objects, and people ("Look at the red bird in the big, green tree!" "See how that cloud looks like a bunny!").
2-Let's listen. At this age, individual sounds are difficult to distinguish as well. A baby's world is a cacophony of voices, noises, vibrations, and tones. You can help her exercise her auditory muscles by playing listening games: "Do you hear a dog barking? Where is that sound coming from?" "I hear music. Do you? Is it loud or soft?" Exposing your child to different kinds of music and discussing what she hears is another way to boost listening skills, so play CDs, turn up the radio, or belt out your own favorite tunes.
3-Let's taste. While your baby may still opt for simple fare, experimenting with a variety of tastes, textures, colors, and shapes is a great way to broaden her culinary (and sensory) horizons. As you sample different foods, help describe their characteristics. "These bananas are sweet — and a little mushy." "Wow, that Popsicle is cold and smooth." If your baby doesn't like something she tastes or doesn't feel like trying a new food, don't force it. Tasting new stuff should be fun (even as grown-ups!).
4-Let's touch. The opportunity to discover the world through touch boosts your child's tactile and brain development as it builds motor skills and an active curiosity. Narrate her discoveries: "Sparky's fur is so soft, Daddy's beard is scratchy, the grass is wet…" and make sure any environment she's exploring is safe, wherever you may be.
5-Let's sniff. Here's an interesting fact about babies: They can't differentiate between nice smells and stinky ones until they reach toilet-training age. But you can start some on-the-nose training by taking your baby on a sniff-tour of her world. Make a point of pointing out the aromas of things like fragrant soaps, just-baked cookies, flowers, and fresh-cut grass, and help her find the words that describe those scents. ("That smells sweet." "This smells yummy!")
Why Babies Love Mirrors
What's a newborn's favorite thing to look at? A toy? Nope. A geometric shape? Not really. Your baby's preferred view: a human face. She's not picky about whose face it is, though, so grab a mirror, and offer your baby a chance to gaze at her own! Here's how you can get in on the reflection fun, and help bolster your baby's development. Prop a mirror against the wall and sit opposite it on the floor (not too far away, since a baby's eyesight is still a work in progress). Now plop your baby in your lap, leaning her back against your tummy. (This also makes for a great sibling activity: Big brothers or sisters can hold a hand mirror in front of the baby while you provide the lap.) Introduce your baby to her beautiful face by pointing at her reflection. Touch her nose, stroke her hair, gently pinch her ears, and name each feature as you go. Sure, your newborn doesn't know what the words mean now, but she'll be delighted just the same! Fasten an unbreakable mirror to the side of your baby's crib, or prop one up in front of her during tummy-time sessions for even more reflective fun. She may be more willing to stay belly-down (or coo contentedly in her crib — on her back, of course) if she has her own fascinating face for company. What's the point of looking in the looking glass? The mirror game helps your baby learn how to focus, track images, and explore the wonderful things a face can do. Plus, it promotes social and emotional development as she interacts with you (and maybe her sibs). Eventually, she'll learn that the friendly face she's been looking at all along is none other than her very own. Now that's a powerful lesson in who's who.
As your baby grows, he needs lots of opportunities to help his muscles do the same (no dumbbells required). You can foster large- and small-motor development with the simplest toys and equipment (or even none at all). Large motor skills (also called gross motor skills) will give your baby the strength and coordination he needs to progress from sitting to crawling to walking to running to all manner of physical activities and sports. To build those bitsy biceps, triceps, and more, mix things up often, moving your child from crib to floor to seat or from tummy to back and vice versa. Different positions stimulate different muscles and encourage different motions (like push-ups from his tummy or leaning forward to reach a toy when he's seated upright). You can show him what to do by moving his arms and legs yourself — say, pulling him up into a sitting position or lifting his belly into a crawling posture. Eventually, he'll take over and start practicing on his own. Small motor skills (aka fine motor skills) are a big deal, too. Eventually, these will enable your baby to feed and dress himself, to draw and write, and to pluck flowers from the garden. Giving him lots of objects and textures to handle and explore will strengthen his hands and fingers and make them more sensitive and dexterous. Toys that boost fine motor development include blocks (all shapes, sizes, and textures), balls (again, a variety), stuffed animals and dolls, activity boards, and household items (the real thing or toy versions) such as kitchen utensils, remote controls, and keys. Another super skill builder: Finger-plays — songs with accompanying hand motions — such as "Pat-a-Cake" or "Itsy-Bitsy Spider."
Four Ways to Chat with Your Baby
It can be hard sometimes to keep the conversational ball rolling when your baby is still too little to answer. But it's important to keep chatting with her — she needs to hear lots of words and sounds so that she can produce her own someday. (Plus, she understands more than you realize!) You don't have to come up with a sonnet worthy of Shakespeare; simple descriptions of your daily activities go a long way. Anything you say will be fascinating to your audience of one, but these four things will expand your baby's repertoire:
•Songs. Singing helps teach phonemic awareness, the understanding that words are made up of distinct sounds that can be manipulated and combined. Anything from "Mary Had a Little Lamb" to Christmas carols to your favorite pop tune will work. Extra points if you dance too!
•Books. Again, the words themselves aren't as important as the simple fact of saying them aloud for your baby to hear. Children's books — especially nursery rhymes and poems — are wonderful (especially if you make them part of a familiar, daily routine), but you can also read aloud from your cookbook, newspaper, or novel.
•Questions. Enlist your baby's "help" in making all those little decisions you face every day (Peaches or bananas? Yellow socks or blue?). Ask her what she thinks, then wait earnestly for a reply! It's good practice for the toddler years, when you'll want to offer her the chance to have control whenever possible.
•Her own "words." Sure it feels silly, but you can have an entire conversation based on alternating "ba-ba's" and "ga-ga's." Parroting her own sounds back to her will make her feel listened to and interesting (and isn't she!). It also encourages her to try imitating you. Before you know it, she'll reverse the game by repeating your words (so watch your language!).
Hope that kept you entertained for a while... Besides, you need to know how to treat Diva, don't you think?