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10 Months
Sunday, April 22, 2012 - 09:10 a.m.

10 Months Minus 2 Days

Aerin turned 10 months old yesterday! Look at me being all timely and stuff!

(It's only because I started writing this post three days ago.)

Whaddya mean ear tubes?

It's been a very eventful couple of months! In just the last four weeks or so, she:

- Learned to crawl

- Learned to wave

- Started drinking cold milk out of a sippy cup (a big change from body-temperature milk in bottles)

- Started eating chunkier things like chicken, cinnamon rolls, muffins, and cheese

- Had an ear infection that lasted from the middle of March until yesterday

- Got c. diff from taking three antibiotics in a row

- Had ear tubes put in Friday morning

- Cut her seventh and eighth teeth

So Grandmama took a smocking class...

The whole time I was pregnant, I kept saying that we were about to get our payback for Micah being such an easy child. I think I was right. She is so very different from Micah in so many ways.

1) She is into EVERYTHING.

Micah was such a cautious child. He got into things, sure, but not with the same gleeful, self-destructive abandon.

The first week in April, she learned to crawl, and since then has been on a non-stop quest to receive a fatal head injury. She is into everything: pulling drawers open into her face, opening the entertainment center doors into her face, pulling up on the coffee table in order to properly smash her face on the corner, pulling the caps off all the door stoppers and attempting to choke on them, shredding newspapers and magazines with unbridled delight, plucking various bits of dog hair off the I-swear-I-just-vacuumed carpet and taste-testing each one, rifling through her brother's toys to find the one choking-size object I forgot to remove, grabbing fistfuls of the sleeping cat's fur, and that tape dispenser with the serrated edge? YES PLEASE.

Yesterday, while I was down the hallway harassing her brother and cousins about scattering marbles all around ("Keep them down here and away from Aerin, I don't want her to choke!"), Aerin was getting into a bowl of plastic strawberries her cousin had left by the toy box. When I came back to the living room, she had one trapped way back in her mouth, stuck behind her teeth. She was struggling to spit it back out, but couldn't even make a sound. I think I may have lost a few years off my life, right there.

I can only imagine it will get worse as she learns to stand and more things come within grabbing distance. Even before the crawling, I often joked about her go-go-gadget reach, and our constant household refrain was "Swiper, no swiping!"

With Micah, as he got older, I thought nothing of turning on the TV and taking a quick shower while he sat and watched it in the living room. Aerin, I expect, will be the child that uses those ten unsupervised minutes to empty the flour canister, paint a mural out of nail polish, trim her hair with the kitchen shears, pour all the hand soap in the dishwasher, attach her booster seat to the dog as a saddle, and decorate the cat with a Sharpie.

Enjoying being alone in the tub

2) Her approach to food

Food, to Micah, was business. He was a champion eater, but he hardly ever smeared cheese sauce in his hair, or coated his face with spaghetti so as to resemble an Oompa Loompa, or deliberately shoved macaroni noodles in his ears. Aerin, on the other hand, believes a good portion of a baby's nutrition should be obtained through osmosis and acts accordingly. She will be the child I take to the doctor to have a pea removed from her nose.

She's also a bit pickier than Micah. He loved cantaloupe, but she's not impressed. He liked mushrooms, she eats around them. Her current favorite foods are spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, lasagna, pears, peaches, Cheerios, puffs, and YOUGURT IN ALL THE FLAVORS. And boy can she pack it in.

She loves her big brother

3) Teeth. So many teeth!

Last weekend, Aerin cut her seventh tooth and yesterday she cut her eighth, both on the bottom. I'm pretty sure nine and ten are on the way on the top. This time they seemed to come easier. There was plenty of drool and still some night waking, but at least she didn't go on another nursing strike.

7 teeth showing!

As far as how she looks these days, her weight has been stuck around 20 pounds the whole month, what with the ear infections and c. diff and all. Her growth has also slowed down. She's been in 9-month outfits since she was 6 months old, and she's just now starting to outgrow them.

Her hair has grown in quite a bit and has started to curl by her ears. Her eyes are looking a bit more hazel than brown these days. Her skin is still super soft and smooth, with the exception of her legs. All that crawling has left her with rough, red skin on her knees and an assortment of small bruises from various toys she's attemtped to scale. She's still all dimples in place of knuckles and elbows.

There's a cat up there!

She's developed the habit of wallowing around in the crib and wedging herself against the bars in various uncomfortable positions. This (along with the teeth) has resulted in more night waking, which may just kill me dead.

Easter

I've been happily buying adorable dresses for her, and I want to dress her in three different outfits every day just to see her in them. Girl clothes are so much more satisfying than boy clothes. And some of the tunic/pants combinations are just too cute to resist.

Cousins

Aerin's been more difficult these last several weeks as she's learned to really voice her displeasure with people. Her impatient shriek just grates on me, like no other sound in the world. The daycare teachers laugh at her for yelling at the boys in her class when they don't do what she wants them to. If Micah's in her face, she squawks indignantly (and loudly) at him. But over the last few days, I think I've seen her trying to use some sign language (they teach it at daycare.) She holds out her hand and makes the sign for milk when she wants a sippy cup with her meal. She's starting to make the sign for hungry, too. Maybe it's coincidence that she's making those motions, but I hope she's really trying to communicate. I much prefer adorable baby signs to being howled at repeatedly.

Not to say she's not a happy baby. She's still very smiley and cheerful, even when she's sick. She's starting to get a little more clingy, but she'll still grin and wave happily at strangers.

9 Months

As fast as she's changing now, I can't wait to see what she'll be like by 11 months.

8 Months

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Backyard Bubble
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - 12:50 p.m.

A while back I stumbled across a website called Play at Home Mom. The site has tons of fun ideas for playing with your kids, from simple little games to big DIY projects. Two of the ideas jumped out at me: the plastic bubble and the light box. Both looked cool, but the bubble was definitely the biggest hit of the weekend.

Around 10 AM Saturday morning I spent about 15 minutes duct-taping up two sides of a 10x25 sheet of 3.5 mil clear plastic. Then I took it outside, rigged it to our fan, and taped up a bit in the middle. Because it was a really windy day, I made a couple loops of duct tape and staked the fan end to the ground. Then I turned on the fan and POOF, we had a bubble.

Outside the bubble

At first Micah was little unsure of it, mostly because I was dumb enough to joke about it blowing away with him after a particularly strong gust of wind.

Crawling in

But once he went inside, he was in love.

Standing inside

Standing inside

When the wind blew hard, the whole back end of the bubble would lift up, way up, over our heads. At first he was a little scared whenever the whole thing started flapping around, but by Saturday evening he and I both were laughing like crazy and yelling, "It's a windy wind! A WINDY WIND!" It was hilarious at the time, I swear.

Sitting on the side

A couple things:

1) Suffocation - The plastic we used is a 3.5 mil plastic. It is NOT the super-thin plastic drop cloth material. The thickness of the plastic is such that it cannot be accidentally sucked over a child's face. Also, please keep in mind that air is continually being supplied by the fan and the bubble is never deflated with a child inside. That said...

2) Supervision - It kind of goes without saying that although the risk is low, we still supervised closely. I would have been content to watch from outside, but he wanted me to come in with him. I spent most of the weekend playing inside the bubble with Micah, and it was nice and cool and kind of surreal. I can totally understand why he loves it!

3) Fan placement - The original post showed them using a stand fan. I prefer a fan that sits on the ground because if the kids get excited and run up the plastic wall, they can jerk the fan over. Ditto for wind. A fan on the ground might fall over too, but it won't come down on someone's head.

4) Seams - I was a little sloppy putting the bubble together and didn't get the plastic lined up right in the seams. When the bubble inflated, I had exposed strips of tape. When we deflated the bubble for naptime and came back out later, those exposed strips had stuck to the plastic in several areas and tore it when I tried to pull them apart. When we do this again, I'll be more careful with the seams.

5) Staking - I did a poor job of staking the thing down and spent the entire weekend hitching it back over to the fan. Next time, I'll use bits of rope attached to the seams and I'll properly stake down both the bag and the fan.

Outside the bubble

For only about $20, we had an activity that totally fascinated Micah for nearly two whole days. I figure we'll give it a shot the next time we have the cousins or Micah's friend Trey over and see if other kids get as much of a kick out of it. My guess is, yes!

Sitting in the back

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