Wednesday, April 30, 2008

First Steps!

Tonight the three of us were in her room playing with a ball before bedtime, and it rolled away from her into a corner. She held my hand for support to walk toward the ball, but since I was sitting on the floor, my arm didn't extend far enough to allow her to reach the ball. We stopped holding hands, and she paused for a moment on her feet as though she was checking her balance, and then carried on walking by herself for a few steps to get the ball! 10 months and 10 days old.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

June Babies Group Meeting today

This week's mothers group met at our place today. Here are two videos taken this afternoon.

June Babies from /ella jean. on Vimeo.

In the video below, the order goes (from left to right): Henry, Matteo, Stella, Ella, Soren, Naomi and Oona. All the babies wore their "Golden Child" t-shirts in honor of Thomas Golden Randolph, who is a charter member of the group and the only guy missing from the original 8.

Golden Children from /ella jean. on Vimeo.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Ella's Progress

06/20/07: weight 7 lbs 14 oz height 20"

06/25/07: weight 7 lbs 11 oz.

06/28/07: weight 7 lbs 13 oz. height 20" head cir 35.5 cm

07/05/07: weight 8 lbs 2 oz.

07/17/07: weight 9 lbs 2 oz

07/26/07: weight 10 lbs 1 oz; height 22"

08/20/07: weight 12 lbs 4 oz; height 23.25" head cir 40 cm

09/19/07: weight 15 lbs 1 oz; height 24" head cir 41 cm

10/25/07: weight 16 lbs 6 oz; height 25.5" head cir 43 cm

02/20/08: weight 19 lbs 0 oz; height 28.5" head cir 45.5 cm

04/23/08: weight 19 lbs 3 oz; height 30" head cir 46.5 cm

Sunday, April 20, 2008

10 Months Old

Ella is 10 months old today. Recent developments include the arrival of several teeth; louder squealing and shrieking; 'cruising' on her feet; pointing; nodding her head 'yes', and talking with a lot more vowel+consonant combinations.

Foods she's eaten this weekend:
+ fried egg yolk on toast (now becoming the breakfast standard)
+ guacamole & hummus on toast
+ hamburger
+ lettuce
+ lots of cheerios

Our attempts to persuade her to eat steamed or fresh vegetables and fruit have not been successful yet. She feeds herself by using her hands and seems to dislike foods that have a wet or moist texture, so fruit or vegetables that have been cooked in any way have not been popular.

She had her 9-month checkup today (though she is 10 months), and she passed with flying colors except for weight. Two months ago, she weighed exactly 19 pounds and was in the 95th percentile for babies at 8 months. Today, she weighed 19 pounds, 3 ounces, and had dropped to the 50th percentile for babies at 10 months. The doctor indicated she should be gaining weight consistently and staying in roughly the same percentile range each visit. We'll keep trying with the food every day, and hope for better results at her one-year checkup.

Her walking is getting better and better. The push wagon has been a welcome addition to the toy collection, and she loves getting pushed up and down the hall on the scooter. Walking around the playground and watching kids play at the park is one of her favorite activities, and she tries to get along holding only one hand instead of two.

Here's a video taken two days ago after Michael got home from work.
Ella pushes wagon 3 from /ella jean. on Vimeo.

We're guessing she was at least partially inspired to raise the volume level on her shriek as a result of observing all the other shriekers at the playground in Prospect Park, which is usually crowded and noisy when we visit in the afternoons. Now she could be in a varsity shrieking league. She shrieks for fun and to signal displeasure or impatience (e.g. when I'm trying to wipe her face). We're expecting the hallway mirror to crack any day now.

She went to the first swimming lesson yesterday at Berkeley Carroll school and liked it. As soon as I put her down in the pool area, she walked to the edge of the pool and would have stepped right in if I'd let her hands go. The instructor laughed a few times when giving us instructions: she felt Ella's expression said "Do you really think it's a good idea to put us on our backs in the water and blow bubbles near our ear?". Her music class instructors say they have to work hard to get smiles from her too, though she'll break out the happy shriek when the puppets, bubbles, parachute and live guitar playing are featured in class.

The separation anxiety phase seems to be fading a bit. She is slowly accepting her sitter, Maryanne, and she now willingly goes to Michael and looks forward to seeing him in the mornings and when he gets home from work.

Best news: she had taken two bottles of breastmilk in the past week, so we're realizing the bottle resistance was due in part to disliking formula.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Oona on a roll

Oona came over this morning to test drive the Radio Flyer wagon. Here's her first run:

Oona pushes Wagon 1 from /ella jean. on Vimeo.

And here's another video of Ella pushing the wagon yesterday (Thursday).

Ella pushes wagon 3 from /ella jean. on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ella pushes wagon

Two videos taken this morning of Ella pushing her new wagon.

Ella walks with wagon 1 from /ella jean. on Vimeo.

Ella walks with wagon 2 from /ella jean. on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Training for F1

Ella continues to practice walking most of her waking hours every day, and though her balance is improving daily, her confidence still overshadows her sense of balance and danger. Last week, while standing and talking to her reflection in the glass doors of the office, she fell over like a tree and bruised her temple on the edge of the metal doorframe. I came across the Thudguard and Bumper Bonnet while surfing for some electrical outlet plugs and other items needed to finish babyproofing the apartment.

Here's a photo of Ella modeling the Bumper Bonnet, which she wore after a good session on her scooter. She vetoed the Thudguard -- wouldn't allow it to sit on her head even long enough for a photo. Michael and I survived our childhoods without helmets, so we won't be subjecting Ella to the bumper bonnet going forward (she's learned to bend at the waist and fall on her bum since last week, and the number of falls is diminishing). But it did make me feel slightly less anxious when she wore it this morning for roughly a half hour while standing unattended in the living room, and it was good for a lot of laughs.

Now for some big news (cue the drum roll):
Ella slept from 630 pm until 530 a.m. last night without eating anything during the night. No night feeds. "Slept" is a slight exaggeration; she woke up at 10 pm and cried on and off for 45 minutes (a time when I would have nursed her in the past), but eventually went back to sleep and didn't wake up again til 530 this morning.

So we are finally on our way to sleeping through the night. We're expecting a few more nights with occasional protests but hope that she'll be sleeping (or putting herself back to sleep without any intervention from us) by next week.

Now, if we can figure out how to get her to eat solid food and take a bottle or sippy cup, we'll be all set!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

NY Aquarium Visit

Today Amanda, Oona, Ella and I visited the NY Aquarium in Coney Island (Brooklyn). Here are videos of Ella and Oona taken at the Walrus exhibit, courtesy of Amanda.

Ella & Walrus 1 from /ella jean. on Vimeo.

Ella & Walrus 2 from /ella jean. on Vimeo.


Recently we've started to find Ella sitting up in her crib in the mornings and after naps, and yesterday she crawled a few feet on her belly to reach a toy without crying even though we were all sitting nearby in the living room. The only thing that has motivated her to crawl in the past is to reach one of us, but yesterday she was heading for a toy. She may be realizing the benefits of being mobile without waiting/crying for someone to help her walk.

Her preferred method of locomotion is still walking, and she's getting braver by the day about walking while using only one hand for support. She has started to let go with both hands to stand unassisted. She's bonked her head a few times but doesn't usually cry.

This is a video of Ella doing the belly crawl a few days ago while crying. At the end of the video, you'll hear her switch from crying to chattering as soon as she's up on her feet (about the span of a hearbeat!). The first part of the clip is a good example of the 'complaining' cry, and shows how quickly she can turn it off when she gets where she wants. I'll try and film a happy crawl and a clip of Ella sitting up later this week.

Ella crawling. from /michael. on Vimeo.