6 months

Two weeks ago was Ruby’s 6 month / half year birthday. At the pediatrician’s, she measured to be 57%tile in both height and weight. We’re thrilled that she’s doing a lot better than both Illie and me when we were her age.

The milestones are coming at around the right time. I have the idea that cognitively, she’s a little bit ahead of schedule, while physically, she’s about right on time. A couple weeks ago she learned how to roll around, and she looks like she’s about to learn how to crawl within the next month.

We also started her on solids about two weeks ago. First, it was rice cereal, and then avocado, and the last food she’s tried is banana. Before we officially started her on solids, she clearly showed interest in the food we were eating. We’d let her lick some fruit and it was very obvious she was ready for solids. It is no longer the case that every fiber of her being came from Illie. Starting solids is somewhat a sad occasion for me.

Also, since she started solids, she has not been sleeping through the night as well. She’s developed a habit of waking up at 4am wanting to play. Seems like there’s a correlation, don’t know if there is a causality.

In many ways, seeing all this development occur makes it seem like our baby is leaving us. Her habits and preferences are changing so fast. She’s becoming a different person. It makes me both sad and excited at the same time. During this fast moving process, I feel like I want to always be there and treasure every moment since it is so fleeting. The one thing that I absolutely adore are Ruby’s short limbs and head proportions. I love the fact that, until recently, she could not reach over her head with her arms. A couple days ago was the first time I was able to get her thumbs to touch over her head. She hates it when I reach her arms over her head. That too, is irresistably cute.

Leaving San Diego

Dear Ruby,

I have no doubt in my mind that this blog will be around by the time you’re able to read this.

Today was your last day in San Diego. You cried as you left the apartment. It was almost as though you knew that you were permanently leaving this place as a baby. You’ve gone to Upland with mami, and as I pack your belongings, I already miss you a lot.

Last weekend was great grandmother’s 100th birthday celebration. You’re not used to seeing so many people, and you had just developed stranger aversion a couple weeks ago. During the celebration, you were extremely unhappy and crying a lot because there were so many people around, even as great grandmother held you. Great-grandmother does not have many days in this world left, and you will not remember her by the time you read this, but be assured, while her body is failing, her mind is astute and as capable as ever. Even though you are the youngest and great-grandmother has only known you for less than five months, she still asks to see you quite frequently, and you are always on her daily well-wishing prayer list amongst her other 15 great-grandchildren.

Love,

Baba

Ruby at 4 months

Ruby is 4 months and two days today.

She just got her 4 month checkup and immunizations yesterday.

She weighed out to be 14 pounds even, 24.75 inches in height. That translates to 57.6 percentile in weight and 66.7 percentile in height. Completely healthy, no problems. That makes for some really happy parents.

Ruby’s now grasping objects with both hands, her vision and ability to track objects has improved substantially, and we’ve already started teaching her to sit up on her own. Her thumbs have also come out, and now she is sucking her left thumb. I used to do that too.

After yesterday’s immunization shots, she cried briefly and even some tears came out. She then went straight back to sleep. Unlike her 2 month shots, she didn’t carry a grudge, and she didn’t want to be left alone. This time, she was pretty good until it was time to sleep for the night, and I had to carry her and walk for about an hour and a half to soothe her. She eventually went to sleep on the swing.

She really is growing up pretty fast. Her personality is starting to appear. In general she’s a pretty good baby – she doesn’t seem to like to go out very much, and she really likes physical touch and being carried by someone who is standing/walking. Though she is still too young to understand, we read to her everyday and she’s already starting to pay attention to the books – in fact, I can tell that she enjoys reading time because sometimes she cries when the story ends. I think she is generally a pretty typical baby.

I’m really going to miss a lot of things when she grows up. I love her short arms and the fact she still can’t reach over her head. I like how she’s somewhat bald, I just love the feeling of the warmness of her head on my cheek because her hair is so thin. Her innocent cooing and toothless smile just melts my heart. And the way she sleeps with her short fat arms outstretched is just irresistable. I also love how she wraps her tiny, fat warm hands around my finger. Her high pitch crying is also pretty cute. And lastly, she lets me kiss her fat cheeks whenever I want.

I still update the gallery several times a week. I didn’t think I’d keep it up, but the family loves it, and it’s a great way to archive some of the precious times while she is growing up. In many ways, and especially since comments are enabled, the gallery is really more my blog than this one.

running redux

no more racing until Ruby gets older.

weekly mileage probably in the 20’s-30’s now, with a long run about 11-13 miles. A lot of them at around 6am in the morning before illie and ruby wake up.

haven’t done repeats/intervals for several months, and rejoined the tuesday workout group today. Did five 800s with about a 2:20 min rest, started at a 6:03 min/mile pace and finished the last one at a 5:29 min/mile pace. Probably didn’t lose that much speed since I stopped doing speedwork months ago.

learned to run with a midfoot strike since about november. Besides this form being a lot better for my knees, I think I gained at least 5-10 seconds per mile instead of a heel strike. I probably would have been able to boston qualify if I could run with a midfoot strike last October.

eating

About two weeks ago ruby seemed to have two cognitive breakthroughs : the first, her recognition of faces and people improved markedly, and she’d wake up, look at me, and smile (I love that toothless grin!!). The second, she learned how to be awake and not require intensive distraction to not cry. Later on I think she’ll learn how to entertain herself better and won’t be as high maintenance.

One of the big challenges since the beginning has been eating. Up until about three or four weeks of life, breastfeeding Ruby has been a huge challenge. She was horrible at latching, and getting her to feed properly could take up to 15 minutes. Once she latched, her reflexes would take over and feeding would be fine.

About a month ago we hadn’t bottle fed her for two weeks, and it seemed that she had completely forgotten how to bottle feed. Since Illie had started work this week, we gave her the bottle once every day and for about one month, she’d absolutely hate the bottle. I was very worried that she wouldn’t be able to bottle feed. Illie did a lot of research and we tried a bunch of different bottle nipples, bottle-feeding positions, and other miscellaneous techniques but she just hated the bottle. About a week ago she finally learned to accept the bottle, and while she still initially fusses when taking the bottle, she can actually take a whole bottle.

Ruby’s feeding still isn’t in the clear though. She gets pretty bad reflux, and it can be pretty painful for her. Throughout the day, about half of her crying would be from hunger and the other half would be from reflux. It can be scary sometimes, because she’d be playing and happy, and all of a sudden I’d hear a sound in her throat and she would start crying in pain. Gripe water helps a lot with both the reflux and the gas.

On an unrelated note, I’ve enabled comments in the gallery.

Developmental Milestones by 11.5 weeks

I should update this blog more often. Ruby seems to be growing and changing pretty fast – on one hand it’s sad for me because certain stages in her growth are permanently gone, while I get to witness new milestones. I already miss the newborn Ruby, almost a completely different baby than the Ruby I know now.

When she was born, she really didn’t have many human characteristics. What went through my mind wasn’t so much, “who is she?”, but “what is this..” — she’d know how to cry, but she’d flail her limbs around and inadvertently scratch herself with her long nails because she couldn’t associate certain movements with self-injury. Perhaps the first human characteristics that she developed was the stretching after a good nap. Then came yawning.

At birth, Ruby was 6 pounds 9.6 oz, and she hit 6 pounds even when she reached her minimum weight at around one week.

I believe Ruby’s first smile was when Rosa came to visit during Ruby’s first week of life, and was playing with her. I didn’t see it happening, but only noticed it after the fact in a picture I took. Pretty early on, especially starting at week 3, it was possible to reproduce the smiling by playing with her.

Ruby started cooing at about a week 7 before we brought her back to San Diego. At around that time, she also became better at holding her head up. Around week 8 or 9, I completely stopped supporting her head when I hold her at an upright position. At around week 8, I saw her first laugh while I was bouncing her up and down on a bed. (Rosa reproduced this laughing even more clearly at the beginning of week 11) Perhaps at about week 9, she began seeing faces, and would smile when I made funny expressions at her. Around the same time, her ability to track moving objects improved, though she can’t follow quickly moving objects. Even more recently, at around week 10, an adult can have a cooing conversation with her.

At the end of week 9, Ruby got her 2 month set of immunization shots. I was at work so I wasn’t there to witness it, but Ruby reportedly let out her loudest, most painful cry ever during those shots. I came home that night and noticed that she was actually displaying anger. She would cry whenever an adult approached, and would calm down once she was alone. It lasted the whole night. She even got a post-crying reflex that sounds somewhat like a hiccup, for the very first time. The following morning she was still somewhat upset, and I took this picture of a somewhat agitated Ruby pulling Illie’s hair.

During her 2 month checkup, she measured 10 lbs 6 oz, close to 50 percentile in weight and height. That’s great news, since both Illie and I are way below 50 percentile in these two categories. If this continues I can expect her to become about as tall as me, which would be great.

This morning I weighed her on my bathroom scale and she measured out to be a bit over 11 pounds. She is still growing pretty fast and has already outgrown some onesies she wore as a newborn. Today she is wearing her strawberry pink-colored onesie for the last time.

Ruby at ~1.5 months

I haven’t been updating this blog that often, while Ruby is changing a lot.

She is 7 weeks old today. I finally got a sensitive bathroom scale and her weight is in the high nine pound range. She’s definitely changed a lot since her newborn six pounder days!

Since Illie and Ruby are staying in Upland until mid-May, my weekly routine is to drive up on Thursdays after work and running, telecommute on Fridays, and then to drive back to San Diego on sundays.

My last blog post isn’t completely representative – Ruby really has been a pretty good baby. She’s had her bad nights, but we’ve determined that it was due to gas, and since then it’s been pretty controllable. It is especially tough around 4am in the morning, which has been her waking time even when she was in the womb. The techniques I learned from Happiest Baby on the Block work great to calm her – what especially works is the “shushing”/white noise combined with bouncing.

It is kind of sad, she is beyond her newborn phase, and although she is now cooing, smiling, developing more of a personality, and sleeping longer through the night, the newborn Ruby that I knew a month and a half ago is already gone. As a baby she lets me hug her, kiss her, and hold her to my heart’s content. It’ll be a sad day when I have to drop her off a block away from the entrance at her middle school so her cool friends won’t see her with her lame dad.

By the way, this dad thinks it’s irresistably cute that Ruby’s arms are so short that she can’t reach around the top of her head yet.