Stats Update: December 15, 2009

At six and a half months, Portia has kept her growth curve going with some outstanding results. She is now “off the chart” for weight and at the 100th percentile for height! Extraordinary!

Height: 71.5 cm (28.1″)
Weight: 9.78kg (21lbs 8oz)

Portia’s First Tooth!!!

Our little girl is growing up!

I can hardly believe it. After a very stressful night of Portia waking up every hour and a half and nursing a bit and then sleeping for another hour and a half, Portia’s first tooth pushed its way through her tender gums.

From stories of first teeth that I have read, it is a trying time where the baby screams, becomes feverish and does not sleep, but aside from the waking every 90 minutes, P displayed none of those things. She never had a fever, and wasn’t really that fussy. So you can imagine my surprise the following morning, when I felt a razor sharp little growth on the bottom as she tried to “yarm” my finger. For the rest of the day, she carefully managed to gnaw on every toy, until she could feel the impact her new tooth had on her “yarming” abilities.

The impact it had on me was one of fear. “She is going to want to nurse soon”, I thought, as a tiny sweat broke out on my brow. “It won’t be that bad”, I told myself. In the distance I heard the ‘squeak, squeak”, as Portia navigated her tooth stub over Sophie.

When the time came, it wasn’t that bad, in fact I didn’t feel a thing. A sigh of relief escaped from my mouth, until I realized that when she is feeding, her tongue covers the bottom tooth dagger and protects my “delicate areas” from looking like a cherry jelly bean that got caught in a SlapChop (Vince never mentioned that one)!

Stay tuned for the next chapter in this saga…”Do Top Teeth = Weaning?”

Portia’s First Solid Food (Besides Sophie, That Is!)

After Portia had her last appointment, our doctor told me that Portia should start solid foods. She said this is very important to maintain and replenish the iron stores that she has most likely almost used up since birth.

Interesting Factoid: apparently when you are pregnant, a lot of the iron you take in goes right into the baby to create a store as they do not get a lot of iron from breast milk. As they approach 4–6 months, these iron stores are almost depleted.

Portia Eating Sophie

So, after some research into what to do, I decided to forgo the rice cereal, and start P with some actual fruits and veggies. I settled on the tastiest one of them all, (well out of the recommended starting veggies and fruits) the SWEET POTATO!

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Stats Update: November 2, 2009

Portia is now five months (and a bit). She is simply becoming “huge”!

Weight: 9140g (20lbs, 2 oz)
Height: 71.5cm (28″)
Head Circumference: 43.3cm (17″)

Her doctor said she is still above the 97th percentile for growth, but that she is following her own growth arc. Apparently this means, that instead of being a “fat baby”, she is just a younger “tall woman”, if that makes sense.

And as promised, a new picture of her growth, based on the “Conan-o-meter”.

I would say she is 1.2 Conans long!

I would say she is 1.2 Conans long!

H1N1, Anyone?

H1 N1 VirusSo here in Canada, they are telling everyone to get the immunization for the Swine Flu. However, depending on your health status, you either get it sooner or later. Canada has assured us that even though you may be at the bottom of their “eligibility list”, there will still be enough vaccine as Glaxo-Smith Kline has promised there will be.

This however, did not stop people, otherwise healthy with NO underlying conditions of any sort from queue-jumping when the clinics opened for the first time. This apparently cause some very hurt feelings and from what I hear a bit of anger. Maybe I am out of sync with how serious this is, as I never thought of trying to pass myself off as a pregnant woman or elderly man in order to qualify.

It does scare me that people are dying from this flu, and dying quickly from most reports, but people also die from a lot of other illnesses everyday. As it stands right now, no one in our household is able to get the vaccine until the final week (yes, even Portia as she is a month short of qualifying for the next group). I am not sure if they think that six month olds have an impressive social life that requires getting a vaccine, where as five month olds are home bodies? Should I stop going out? Should I make Portia wear a mask? Should I proceed to order that family-sized allergen free bubble?

I think I will follow common sense, and wash my hands often, and not visit friends who are sick, etc. (Sorry guys, no chicken soup from me)

In the end, it may not matter if I think I should get the vaccine or not, as Glaxo Smith Kline has now said they have not been able to produce it as fast as they originally thought, which means they will have to delay immunizing people until the vaccine is available. They now say by Christmas they hope to have everyone done.

I know Portia would be fine with not getting this vaccine if it was up to her, she is tired of the jabs in her leg… poor little girl.

*I will keep you updated about our quest and if we end up getting it (the vaccine or the Flu).

Baby Get Dummer Watching Baby Einstein?

So for a long time I thought Portia’s drooling was just cause she was a baby…well, it may have a different cause…BABY EINSTEIN!

Apparently, the videos I have long thought to be intellectual development tools for early baby education and super intelligence have been exposed as the mindless videos they are. For some reason, although TV has long been thought of as a no-no for babies, toddlers and anyone else who is trying to expand their brain, the Baby Einstein brand has been largely exempt from criticism for their line of DVDs.

I must admit, I fell into their marketing scheme and was more than pleasantly surprised when gifted with a Baby’s First Moves DVD. I thought that as smart as Portia clearly was already (with parents like us), she is going to be gifted beyond reproach with the help of this DVD.

Well, much like when I ask her why she has so much gas, she stared blankly at the screen as the colours and shapes danced before her eyes. Even then, I was convinced that she is subliminally learning something to delight us with at a slightly older age.

Then, I read this…

Apparently, the claims of higher intelligence are “misleading” and “exaggerated”, and NO TV is good for kids under two years. So along with Baby Einstein, I guess there will be no more Sid the Science Kid, Super Why or Curious George for Portia. And when she is old enough and asks me about what she used to do for fun when she was a baby, I will say “You played with clay” and completely ignore all references to the bad mom I have been for letting her indulge in TV.

So, for those of you in the US (which does not include me), who would like to be insignificantly compensated for the months of believing your child would be the one to solve world hunger, you can now return your DVDs (up to a maximum of four) and receive a refund of $15.99 each.

And in six to eight weeks, when your refund cheque arrives, you can take that money and apply it to something to counteract the effects of those DVDs…lots of bibs!

New in Baby Hairstyle Trends?

As most of you know…Portia was blessed with an amazing full head of hair when she was born. Thick and luxurious! And as time marched on, she did not seem to be losing any of it, which usually happens in babies.

Then I started to notice that you could gradually see more and more of her scalp. Max’s theory was that she had the same amount of hair, but it was spread over an ever bigger head. Then the back-of-head bald spot developed. So out came the selection of hats, so as not to embarrass her in public (kids can be so cruel).
Back of head bald spot
Well, now the inevitable has happened, she has started to lose large amounts of her hair. That wouldn’t be so bad, but it all seems to be from one side of her head.
Not so much

The other side still has enough hair to curl whimsically around her ear.
Lots of hair

Maybe this will start a new trend in baby hair design (or heaven forbid in ADULT hair design).

Here are some pictures, but please, no pointing and laughing.

Kushies… I love you!

Evil Arm vs. Extra Large Kushies

Evil Arm vs. Extra Large Kushies

So after realizing that Portia needs a bit more time to grow into her Woombie, I started my search in earnest, again, for larger receiving blankets.

Well, after checking every package of receiving blankets that I see every place I have gone for the last month or so, I finally found ones that are larger than the standard 30″ x 30″. They are made by Kushies and they are 35″ x 35″, they are massive!

Portia’s “evil arm” never had a chance! The blankets are not only larger, but super soft. They are made of 100% cotton flannel, and are nicely trimmed with kinda funky graphics. I ran into these receiving blankets at Walmart (so you know they were inexpensive).

Now, since the ratio for blanket:Portia is correct, I just have to make sure nothing changes. (NB. Stay tuned for how quick this ratio will change!)

Woombie Swaddler Review!

Portia tries out her Woombie for the first time.

Portia tries out her Woombie for the first time.

After blogging about ordering a Woombie Swaddler for our Baby Houdini a couple days back, the Woombie Swaddler finally arrived from Amazon.COM, so here is my initial review of the Woombie Swaddler!

After picking it up (mid afternoon), we patiently awaited her first yawn, so we could stick her in it. The first yawn happened as we were having dinner, so we put aside our Hamburger Helper and rushed into the bedroom to wrap our little girl into her new baby straight jacket.

I thought we might have to fight to get her into it, but to my slight disappointment, she just lay there whilst I “Woombified” her. Once I zipped her in it, she looked a little confused as she flailed her arms still contained in the cocoon-like encasement. After not one peep, I set her in her crib and closed the door.

Both of us had one eye on the clock, mentally counting down the minutes until we were sure she would be asleep so we could check on her. I finally broke the silence after about 15 minutes and rushed in. Well, there she was, in her Woombie, happy and asleep. Although, judging by the shapes jutting out of the Woombie, I am pretty sure she was sleeping with her arms behind her head.

Although she is usually a good little night sleeper, we have been trying to find a way to keep her swaddled. Well, its true, she did not escape this one! In fact, she stayed nice and warm and I could even feed her when she woke without unzipping her. Judging by the positions I would find her in when I would check on her periodically, she had a great range of motion. We would sometimes even hear her legs thumping back down on the mattress after completing her “exercises”. She really seems to like her new sleeping contraption.

The one thing we did notice however, is that after her first five hour sleep, she woke about every hour and a half after that and then would fuss for twenty minutes before drifting off to sleep again. She usually is only up for a quick snack every three or four hours and then back to bed immediately. Could her new range of motions be “too freeing”? I tried her in it again on the next night, with the same result…no escape, but waking more often. Hmmm….

So I examined the Woombie. I examined my daughter. I examined my daughter IN the Woombie. And I have come to this conclusion…although we bought the “Big Baby” size Woombie (and she IS big, don’t get me wrong), I think it is still too large for her. It is giving her more motion than she has ever been able to have and she is playing now. She is even able to stretch her hands up to her mouth to suck them through the Woombie!

This is a great product, and it will work for us well, but I think we need to wait until she fills it out more to slightly limit her movement before she will benefit from the true snug fitting reassurance. Until then, it is still great for her daytime naps. %trackback%

Houdini Baby Proof Swaddler

Well, our little bundle of joy, as she has been getting older has become more and more adept at unswaddling herself from her regular receiving blanket swaddle. Then a few minutes later, she will be moving around her crib, propelled by her legs and in the process will wake herself up completely. Trouble with this is that Portia then battles to go back to sleep as with all the movement she has excited herself thoroughly.

I have been looking for a solution, and discovered the Woombie Baby Swaddler, so ordered one of these from Amazon today, as I noticed that it had free shipping, and with an added bonus because my mailing address is in Washington, and it ships from out of Washington State, there would be no state tax.

I particularly like the idea of this swaddler, when compared to other ones such as the Miracle Blanket, as it is made of a Lycra like material (similar to the material that athletes clothing is made from). Thus, when Portia is swaddled in this, she will still have freedom of movement and be able to move her hands around without them being restrained by her sides as they would be in the Miracle Blanket. To me this provides a natural resistance environment, not unlike what she would have experienced in the womb, working against this resistance as she tries to move would no doubt have a benefit on her muscle development too – I am sure?

Anyway, more about this once it arrives.