Sitting Ruby

We’re suffering through a heat wave in Seattle right now, but Ruby’s holding up pretty well.  We’re spending a lot of time holed up in the basement where it’s cool, and the air conditioner keeps her bedroom bearable at night.

A few days ago we tried Ruby in her booster seat, and to our pleasure we discovered that she’s perfectly comfortable in it!  This means she can join us for some civilized chatter at the dinner table.  She also enjoys having toys in front of her on the tray.

Ruby in her booster seat

We used this new skill to good advantage at a restaurant last night, where we had her sitting in a high chair for a little while.  The restaurant high chairs are still much too big, so I need to keep a hand on her to make sure she doesn’t slide out, but at least it keeps her out of our laps when we’ve got hot food.

Not Every Whim…

Not every whim

Unlike Steve, I have already been trying out some discipline with Ruby. She’s developed an unpleasant habit during nursing where she writhes and turns away. Not only is it annoying and time-consuming, it leads to sore nipples for me. At best, she squirms a bit during feedings. At worst, she arches her back and cries as well. Weirdly, she always turns her head away to the right. I don’t know why.

I’m not sure of the cause. Possibly she’s impatient for me to let down. Possibly she picked up some bad habits from bottle-feeding (where the bottle followed her mouth around as she turned her head; Steve has now stopped this). In order to stop the problem, I have unsuccessfully tried:

– Feeding with her and I both lying down
– Feeding with her lying down and me sitting up
– Feeding with both of us sitting up
– Feeding while I stand and jiggle her
– Feeding while I bounce on the yoga ball (a moderately successful tactic)
– Facing her to a blank white wall to minimize distraction
– Holding her hand to calm her inner jitters
– Holding her body tightly so she can’t move easily
– Taking her off for a minute after she turns away
– Saying “No” in a firm voice

Today I tried a more martial-arts-inspired approach: use the enemy’s energy and momentum against them. While feeding her (in the standard position), I turned her body so her head was ALREADY turned to the right. This really seemed to help. If she turned her head, it only went a little bit, and she didn’t break the connection. She also seemed calmer. I’ll have to give this approach a few more tries to see if it’s a winner.

It’s hard trying to enforce discipline on an infant who not only doesn’t speak, but can’t even understand me very well. I suppose it is a good warm-up for the terrible twos.

State of the Baby, Addendum

I had a few things to add:

  • You can tell the seriousness of Ruby’s crying by the expression on her face. When it’s serious, her face looks sadder and her lower lip curls in.
  • Ruby is often quiet. Despite all the noises she makes (described in the previous entry), I’d say that she’s quiet at least half the time she’s awake. When I picture her, I picture her just looking silently at the world.
  • We’ve made the transition from putting Ruby in sleepers all the time, to putting her in real outfits most of the time. Granted, she’s still wearing pretty comfortable/easy stuff, generally one-piece things like creepers or overalls with a onesie.
  • When you carry Ruby upright so that she’s looking over your shoulder (facing backwards), she usually puts her near hand around your neck and holds on. It’s very endearing.

Odds and Ends

I don’t have the time to write very often, so here’s a roundup of my thoughts.

Happy Canada Day! To celebrate, we will be filling out Ruby’s Canadian citizenship papers so she can be a properly documented dual citizen.

Yesterday’s vaccinations didn’t seem to have much effect on Ruby’s mood or sleep, but they made her hoarse. It made me realize that she does have her own voice, because I notice now that it sounds different.

After much trial and error, I’ve determined that the “baby spatula” method of transferring a sleeping baby to her crib doesn’t work. Usually, Ruby falls asleep in my arms, so I have to put her down without waking her. The “baby spatula” is where you put your hands flat under the baby, so they can slip right out after you put her down. The problem with that is that on the way down, she’s not very well supported, and so is likely to startle awake. My new method is to bend down into her crib while holding her in my arms. Then, I let go of her feet (easy). Then, I use my free hand to support her head as I gently slide my arm out from under her head and shoulders. It usually works.

Ruby is very charming. Almost without fail, she’ll smile when she meets a new person. We were at a party last night, and she was happy and smiling the whole time (when she wasn’t asleep). She also performed her circus trick a couple of times.

During the week, I’m the one who gets Ruby when she wakes up in the morning (because I have to go to work afterwards). She’s always super smiley and happy, and often wakes up without crying. It makes such a great start to my day to have about 45 minutes of happy Ruby first thing. After she’s fed and changed, I take her into our room and she cuddles with Steve while I get ready for work.


Just yesterday, Ruby suddenly became more chatty. She’s vocalizing regularly now (mostly vowel sounds)… and it’s very cute.

I posted a few more pictures on Ruby’s album from our old digital camera. From now on, most of the pictures will be from Steve’s fancy new camera that takes much better pictures. The old camera will still hang around, though, because of its video capabilities. In the new photo set, you can see Ruby performing her circus trick much better than last time.

A Trip to the Beach

Ruby got her first dip in the Pacific Ocean (just her feet) this week when we took a road trip to Seaside, Oregon. It was a lovely trip, and she slept angelically in the car almost the whole way there and the whole way back. Our hotel was a 5-10 minute walk along the beachfront promenade to the main drag. We enjoyed having to take a little walk before every meal / outing. Ruby travelled in either the Baby Bjorn or our Premaxx sling, even during meals (we had no stroller with us).

Seaside is kind of a hoky town, as evidenced by the many shops-of-crap (from dolphin art to “antiques” to t-shirts with stupid jokes) and the four or five nearly identical surf-and-turf-style restaurants. We wandered around anyway, then went to Cannon Beach to spend an afternoon.

Ruby gained two new skills while we were there. First, she became more chattery and we enjoyed several nonsense conversations with her. She seems to say “ah-goo” when she’s happy. Click here to watch a few short clips of her vocalizing.

Also, one of our circus friends told us about a circus trick that only young babies can do, so we gave it a try. Check it out!

On the downside, Steve and I think Ruby has begun teething. Others (notably our parents) are dubious because it’s pretty early, but the signs seem obvious to us. Once a day or so, she’ll start yelling/crying like she’s in pain (not a regular fussy cry; and she rarely cries in any case). She’ll really bite down on any fingers put into her mouth, and she’s drooling what seems like an entire ocean’s worth. The first episode happened in Seaside on Tuesday night, and Steve ran off to Safeway to buy some baby Tylenol, which helped. We’re just waiting and watching for now, since babies can teethe for a while before teeth are actually visible.

You can see more photos from our trip in this folder of Ruby’s album.

A Baby’s Life

Ruby’s been having a lot of fun lately…

She’s gotten over her apprehension of baths and now splashes around in the water, having a grand old time. Click here to watch a short movie of her in the bath. (The movies in this entry will open in Windows Media Player.)

In one developmental milestone, Ruby has jumped a month ahead: she can stand for over a minute at a time. We’re helping her balance, of course, but her legs are strong enough to hold her up as long as she wants. She enjoys standing and likes to do it a lot: click here to see.

We’re still waiting for Ruby to develop the use of her hands, though. To this end, I’ve been trying to put toys in front of her more often so she gets the idea. She still hasn’t gotten very far, but likes to watch the toys swinging as she hits them accidentally: click here.

Last night, Ruby took a big step and moved into a crib in her own room. (Previously, she’d been sleeping in a smaller co-sleeper near our bedroom.) The night went without a hitch and she slept about eight and a half hours. It seems that the air conditioner in her room (the attic can get VERY hot) makes soothing white noise that helped her fall asleep. Here’s a picture of her crib, and here’s a picture of her napping in it today.

P.S. The antibiotic eyedrops are helping her goopy eye, which is looking better already.

Ruby's got the stink eye

Actually, she's got pink eye. Kate noticed a little goop in her eye this morning, and she got progressively goopier through the day. We took her to the doctor this evening and now she's on antibiotic eye drops in her left eye.

Here's a picture from just before we put eyedrops in. All that goop on her eyelid is coming out of her.

We also had the doctor check out her eczema and he counseled the same as everybody else: moisturizer, using less soap, and hydrocortisone cream if it gets really bad.

Also, Ruby weighs just about 12 pounds.