Monday, December 17, 2007

First Solid Food!

Today Ella sat in her highchair at the dining room table and had solid food for the first time: rice cereal mixed with breastmilk. She was up for the experience and ate almost all the food I prepared -- and the rest ended up on her face, hands and bib.

More videos and photos as always at

Friday, December 14, 2007

Smiles for the Camera

Her first illness this week: a virus that hit early Wednesday a.m. She threw up after her first feed of the morning, and had a mild temperature of 100.6F and diarrhea. Since then she's been pale and has been pooping green (5-7 times a day), but is keeping food down. These pictures were taken this morning. In spite of the virus, she's been cheerful between naps.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

Month 5, week 4

Ella is one week away from her 6-month birthday. Her hair is growing in, and is very soft. It still stands up at the crown, even after she's worn a close-fitting hat on her head for more than an hour. One of the moms in the June babies group said she looks as though she's put her finger in a socket. A nurse (Jen) at the pediatrician's office said Ella looks like Shiloh Jolie-Pitt (meant as a compliment).

Ella does many fun and sweet things: she walks her fingers around my face, in my hair or in my mouth while she's nursing; she reaches out now to touch everything -- the flow of water under the faucet, the walls as we're going upstairs, items in the refrigerator, Michael's and my face and hair; likes to pull herself up to a sitting and standing position holding onto our fingers, and smiles when she does it as though she's just won a prize. Loves to look in the mirror, and says a lot of syllables now ("da da", "la la" and "thppppp"). When she's crying her 'mad' cry, she sometimes 'talks', saying "DA DA DA DA DAAAAAAAAA!!" as though she's telling us what she's upset about.

Technically, her first word was "Da Da", though Michael and I are pretty sure she hasn't used it yet as a reference to Michael; and occasionally she'll say "Aay-la", which sounds a lot like her name. We often practice with her, saying "Ma Ma, Da Da" and (pointing to her) "Ella". She watches us intently, grins in response and says "da da da thppppp". She has recognized her name for months now, responds when we call to her, and understands the gesture/word "look!", "shhh", and others. When we point to something, she follows the direction of our finger to whatever we are pointing, and when she's fussing and I'm finding it hard to think, I'll look at her and put my finger up to my mouth and say "Shhh", and she'll stop and look at me as though it might be the start of a fun game and she's waiting to see whether I'll do something else that might be entertaining.

She's been rolling from her back to her stomach since her 4th month, and does it very quickly. At yoga class, when I lay her at the head of the mat on her back (like all the other babies), she flips over very fast and pushes up on her hands to get a look around the room.

She prefers to sleep on her stomach now, and when she wakes in the middle of the night, she cries and pushes up on her hands to look at the doorway from her crib. When Michael or I tiptoe to the bathroom at night and the floorboards creak, we'll see her fuzzy head pop up over the side of the crib and she'll see us through the doorway (darn those creaky floorboards). We're starting to crawl to the bathroom on our hands and knees now in the middle of the night to get past her doorway without detection.

She's sitting up independently for short periods of time and if she starts to tip, often catches herself and corrects her balance well enough to avoid tipping over. Right now, the safety labels on her toys are more interesting to her than the toy itself, and when Michael wears a Magpie T-shirt from the Australian Football Club, she studies the logo with interest (black and white) and reaches out to touch it.

Pictured: sitting on the rocking chair in her room; sitting on the living room sofa with the TV remote; her camera face; sitting in her bouncy chair (hair sticking up).

Sunday, December 9, 2007

December Union Hall Meeting

Today the June Babies Club met at Union Hall in advance of the holiday break. We had a gift exchange (Secret Santa/Happy Hanukkah) and every baby got a present. They're all starting to sit up independently, maintain prolonged eye contact, smile broadly, and enjoy being held by other parents. Although each baby is different and has a distinct personality already, we're amazed by the similarities as they develop. They are all in the exploration phase, and putting hands in our mouths/hair as they nurse, starting to giggle, teethe, etc.

Stella (3rd from right) has the best head of hair in the bunch and has since she was born!, and Alice and Soren are tied for second place in the 'Great Hair' category. What Naomi lacks in hair (4th from left) she makes up for in length. She's the 'supermodel' baby of the group: the longest, most slender, with long, pretty legs. Matteo (on right end) was born in May and was the first to sprout two of his lower front teeth. He and Oona look related, and take adorable photos together. Ella and Henry hold hands when they meet at yoga or at Group meetings. Max (2nd from right) stays at home most days with his father, who is a professional chef. Alice is the newest member of the group.

Here are photos from the lineup (see pictures of babies on red corner sofa). Initially they were all upright and cheerful (they enjoy sitting next to each other). But now that they're in the wandering-hands phase, it's a very short time before one baby's hand gets into another baby's hair or mouth. Soren and Ella were straddling a huge gap in the sofa cushions and listed to the side, creating a domino effect. By the time the parents backed away and started snapping photos, the gang was listing and starting to wail...
Group pictures (from left to right): Alice, Oona, Henry, Soren, Ella, Naomi, Stella, Max, Matteo.

The cloud overshadowing the day is that Golden is in the hospital getting a blood transfusion to alleviate his anemia. Jen estimates they'll be in the hospital until middle or end of this week while they conduct tests and doctors try to determine the cause of the illness/anemia/low platelet count. This is a shout-out to Golden, Jen, and Brian, who were greatly missed today. In the first group photo of the babies (taken on Labor Day, September, 2007 - see above picture of babies lying on a striped blanket), Golden is second from the right. By the 2-month mark, while some of us were fretting over breastfeeding challenges and the babies' weight gain, Golden had grown 3 inches and gained 3 pounds. He has one of the sweetest dispositions of the bunch. We're all thinking of the Randolphs every day and praying that they find the root cause of his illness, he can recover quickly and come home, and play with the rest of the June babies again.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

First Giggle

Ella giggled for the first time last night during a drive home from IKEA. She was in her carseat in the backseat of our car, and Amanda and her daughter Oona were sitting in the backseat too. Amanda was entertaining Ella by showing her the back of her whoozit toy, and she giggled several times! The sweetest sound.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

First Snow

Ella saw her first snow on Sunday, December 2, 2007. Pictured: Ella looking at the snow on the deck; the deck furniture covered with snow; Ella laying on the playmat flashing her sunny, gummy smile.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

2 Good Nights of Sleep Does Not a Pattern Make...

This week introduced a lot of firsts: Ella's first Thanksgiving, celebrated at the Cohens; first two trips in the new family car (a used Range Rover) -- one to the Cohens, and one to the Marcuses (Emma, Alan and Senan); first time playing in the Exersaucer toy; and first Gymboree class for babies 0 - 6 months old.

She met Uncle Ben for the second time since she was born.

She enjoyed all the day trips, Gymboree class and company (Ben), but naps were short and sporadic over the last three days because we were out, and the night sleeps have been more disjointed. In the last journal entry, we were rejoicing that she'd slept from 10:30 pm until 7 a.m. for a couple of nights. Last night she woke up three times between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., and she hasn't had a nap longer than one hour or pooped in the last 3 days, so we can't bank on a smooth night yet.

Tomorrow we're going to stick close to home so she naps in her crib and try to stick to a routine for the next several days to see if we can get back on track.

Pictured: Thanksgiving at the Cohens, Phil Cohen holding Ella, playtime on her playmat at home (looking at mirror), sitting in the new exersaucer, and visiting with Uncle Ben.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Five months and lots of fun

This week, there's been two nights where Ella slept from 10:30 pm - 7:00 a.m.! Tonight it's midnight and she hasn't woken since she went to sleep at 710 pm.

She didn't poop for five days last week. Since she'd occasionally grunt as though she was pushing, we called the pediatrician to get some ideas. The best of the options was to give her prune juice in a bottle. We gave her a half an ounce of prune juice mixed with one ounce of water. She made a funny face but finished at least an ounce. For the rest of the day, nothing happened, but that evening, at 2 a.m. she woke up crying, and Michael could smell poo before he'd even reached the crib. She's pooped a few times since then, so it seems like the plumbing is working well.

Ella likes to hold our hands and pull herself up to a sitting and standing position now, and spends more and more time on her stomach on the playmat. She rolls from her back to her stomach and pulls her arms free, and pushes up on her arms. Then, after realizing she doesn't have free hands to grab objects with, she starts complaining until someone comes to flip her back onto her back. She's also starting to use consonants in her 'chatter'. She doesn't seem to have a 'grumpy' setting, except when we've put her in the crib to take a nap. She still objects, and spends somewhere between 2 and 20 minutes letting us know she isn't a fan of naps until she falls asleep.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Union Hall Meeting - November 11, 2007

The June Mothers' Group normally meets on Tuesday afternoons. In September, we started a tradition of having at least one weekend meeting every quarter so spouses could attend.
The first weekend gathering took place at Prospect Park on Monday, September 6 (Labor Day) when the babies were all roughly 3 months old. Pictured on the blanket from left to right: Oona, Ella, Stella, Naomi, Soren, Henry, Golden, Matteo.
The second meeting took place at Union Hall Bar in Park Slope, Brooklyn on Sunday, November 11, when the babies were five months old. Pictured on sofa from left to right: Soren, Oona, Stella, Naomi, Henry, Ella.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Playdate with Oona - Nov 15, 2007

Photo at bottom: Oona (white swaddle) and Ella (floral swaddle) at ~4 weeks old, taken on July 15, 2007.
Photos below left: Oona and Ella at Prospect Park at ~3 months old on Labor Day.
Photo on right: Ella (pink pants) and Oona (orange shirt) at ~5 months old, taken on November 15, 2007. Look how far they've come!

Here are recent videos of Ella smiling at the camera (a rare occurrence) and rolling from her back to her stomach (dated November 11 & 12).

Monday, November 12, 2007

Week 20

Possibly the cutest little chicken in Park Slope

Saturday, November 10, 2007

4.75 Months

Ella is 19 weeks old now. Today her naps were too short (30 minutes or less) so she was rubbing her eyes and bursting into tears at random intervals by 5 pm. Earlier in the day, we went out for brunch with our friends, Emma, Alan, and their 20-month old son, Senan. Ella sat in our laps throughout brunch looking around at other diners with great interest, scrunching the paper tablecloth in her hands, and 'talking' loudly. When we left the restaurant, she fell asleep in her stroller for 30 minutes. If she had her way, I think she'd opt to be within eyesight of us 100% of the time. Here's a picture of Ella on her playmat with Mr. Toast.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Michael has successfully fooled Ella into smiling by hiding the camera and catching her unaware. She loves trips in the stroller -- the longer, the better.

New Bugaboo footmuff. Very pink.