So, Thursday night is my Project Runway night (at least for another couple weeks). Tonight, I turned on the reruns as soon as Natalie went down for the night and there is 40 minutes left before the new episode starts. Since it looks crazy, I want to be done writing by then.
- Picky eating? Natalie might be starting the picky eating phase. She has been rejecting foods, especially at dinner time. This is totally new for her since she pretty much until a couple weeks ago has eaten almost anything at anytime. I am wondering if it is an independence issue. She grabs the spoon, but then doesn't put it in her mouth, even though she was proving that she could for several days. I feel like the home visitor jinxed us. She asked us how we plan to deal with Natalie fussing at the table and playing with her food, just to get us talking about it, and then Natalie starts within a week. We are trying to stick to giving her only the predetermined food options, but giving her many opportunities to eat those foods and in different ways. For example, tonight we let her try using the spoon herself for her jar of food and be fed by us, and we tried it several times. I know that toddlers will become picky, and I know that they eat less. But, it is hard to not give into her and give her her favorite foods when she is unhappy since I don't want her to be hungry. It will be so much easier when she can talk!
- Milk. What really threw us for a loop tonight was that Natalie was so picky and fussy at dinner, but when I came in after cleaning up, she totally wanted my glass of milk. I shared with her, and she made a big MMM and wanted more. Then she wanted to dunk her hand in it and lick it. She actually started crying, I think because she made her hand cold. But wanting the milk that badly was different. We are going to switch over to 2% milk. We figure that drinking more of that is better than basically drink none of the whole. Then, after she gets used to it, we think we can switch over to whole again.
- TV. Particularly in the evening, Natalie is spacing out more completely in front of the TV. In a lot of ways, I can't blame her. By 5 - 530, she has had a long day and needs to veg a bit. But, we are also watching videos on the computer sometimes in the morning, and she gets angry when we stop. I then have to distract her. TV will be better when she is old enough to interact, such as sing along, answer the questions, clap her hands, dance, etc, because we watch mostly shows that incorporate interaction. So, I've been working on keeping the TV off more during the day. For example, today she watched some videos on the computer, then about an hour of TV later (mostly Sesame St), then we didn't turn it back on until after dinner when she was screaming after fussing at dinner and had slipped and hit her face on the leg of the kitchen table. Mike took her to comfort her and after she kept breaking back out in cries, he used the TV to help calm her down since we usually have the TV on in the evening. She then saw maybe half an hour before bath. I don't know. Sometimes it seems like a lot of TV, but then other times it doesn't considering that we are home so much of the day. Anyway, we are working on less TV.
- Part of the reason we are working on less TV is that usually from 5 to 645 we would watch TV with Natalie (except for dinner), but that is also the time Mike gets to spend with her. He said the other night that he feels the quality of the time he is getting to spend with her is being affected by the TV being on, so I told him that he can turn it off. I feel like if he is choosing to turn off the TV so that he can get better quality time with her, then I should be stepping back and not being very involved. Its good that he is taking initiative to make this time for them better.
- Tonight though, Mike was really sad because Natalie didn't really want to spend time with him. We went on a walk a littler later than usual and Mike must have gotten home right after we passed the house. When we got home, he was out shooting hoops. He played with her some outside, but as soon as we got inside, she really didn't want much to do with him for the rest of the evening. I don't blame him for it bumming him out, but I really can't say she's done it to me before, which also doesn't make him feel any better. She is rolling around on me and clinging to my leg, and he just wants some of that, too, after missing her all day.
- All of this fussiness from Natalie could be teething. I feel like moms are always blaming all their problems on teething, but Natalie has been putting things in her mouth a lot more recently, like she used to. And we have seen a return of drool, though not like she used to there. Natalie's previous 8 teeth didn't bother her too much, but I'm wondering if these teeth are her molars? Anyway, I haven't ruled out that her teeth bothering her might have something to do with the dinner time fussiness, especailly since she's been chewing on the spoon.
- We are at a little plateau for Natalie's achievements right now. She has learned how to get on and off her ride on toy, but not how to move it yet. She is learning how to manipulate some of her new toys. She's been very attached to a few books we've been reading. However, even though she is showing lots of new skills, we both feel like she seems older. It seems like her understanding of the world is a little different, but how exactly I don't think I can put my finger on. A change was how friendly Natalie was to my friend when she came over to visit today. True, she has seen her three times in a week, but today she was trying to put toy food in her mouth (that's a new skill I guess, putting toy food in other people's mouths), touching her noes, sitting on her, pulling up her shirt to see her belly button, etc.
- Natalie had her 12 month appointment at the doctor's on Monday. Not too much to report. She is 29 3/4 inches tall, though that could be a tad off since she was struggling. She was 21.5 pounds. The doctor said that we should bring her to the dentist, not because he saw a problem, but because a pediatric dentist the practice consulted with suggests early visits. Mike and I will agree, but aren't making it a priority. We don't see a dentist visit going well at all considering how clingy Natalie can be and considering how upset the doctor made her. She was fine when the doctor was just in the room with us, but when it was time for the exam, she started to cry immediately. The shots were very rough, too. Since she is walking now, she got shots in her arms for the first time. I had to pin her arms to her as she got three shots. It was over quick, but she cried really hard. It must be so confusing for her. I calmed her down, but she started back up again. What really helped was getting her out of the exam room. I also asked the doctor about milk, but he wasn't much help. He made it sound like we are doing fine, but she should be drinking 16 - 24 ounces a day. He suggested pumping and mixing it with the milk, but I tried it and it didn't make a difference. I'm reading a book about weaning, but more on that another day.
- Also on Monday, Natalie went to play group. It was her second time there, but I can't remember if I wrote about us going yet. The play group is through the same people who run the home visitor program. I had known that the play group existed, but when we got a flyer from the program it seemed like the right time to go. When we went this week, we got to talk to the woman who usually runs the group. She was very welcoming and she was impressed by how well Natalie took to being there. Before that, I didn't think about how a child that didn't go to daycare would adjust to a situation like that, but I think going to story time helped her out, and the fact that we have a lot of toys for her to play with at home. I also think that being given a snack immediately upon arrival on her first visit made a big impact on Natalie. I mean, she gets to play with new toys, run around, sit in a chair, and eat Cheerios. I got to talk to the moms a little bit, but Natalie isn't quite ready for me to really devote myself to a conversation. Natalie is the youngest child there who isn't there because an older sibling is there. I heard from two of the moms that there is usually another one year old (who is just one like Natalie, not like one and a half), but she was on vacation. We were going to try to go to play group again today, because it is also held on Thursdays, but Natalie napped late.