Elizabeth and I just started Baby Sensory classes. Elizabeth was a very solemn baby for most of the class, hardly venturing out from my lap. The circle time should be somewhat familiar due to babytime, and we actually know many of the moms and babies from babytime, but the unfamiliar surroundings and unfamiliar instructor were slightly overwhelming.
We sang songs with sign language and played with interesting feathers. Then we played with various sizes of balls. The beach balls were a bit scary for some reason, but Elizabeth did alright until the instructor made eye-contact with her. "Waaah..." she cried, burying her head in my lap.
During the social time, Elizabeth was very interested in a large inflatable wading pool filled with small balls, but as soon as I put her inside she decided that I was too far away for comfort's sake. "Mum, mum, mum, mum, mum" she wailed. So we compromised. I let her lean into the pool but she didn't actually have to let go of me.
After the class, we headed by Grandma and Grandpa H's apartment for lunch. Elizabeth had great fun playing with Grandpa's beard!
Our follow-up dermatology appointment was cancelled because the staff were reassigned to CHEO emergency department for H1N1. But with new flu cases on the decline in the capital, they were able to reschedule and we ended up with a new appointment on the same day as our original appointment (but an hour and a bit later).
We try to take extra care over Elizabeth's presentation when we go for medical appointments. My theory is that if Elizabeth looks especially cute, the staff will pay extra attention to her. So far this seems to be working, although it's possible the strategy backfired slightly this time...
The resident who did our preliminary assessment today was determined to get a smile out of Elizabeth, bopping her with "Stomach Ulcer" (Elizabeth's favourite giant microbe toy) - in the stomach of course - complete with sound effects. "Boop!", she said. Elizabeth is very suspicious of strangers these days but by the third or fourth boop she couldn't help a small giggle. Unfortunately Elizabeth wouldn't go peacefully to Dr. K (the head dermatologist) this time, to his obvious chagrin. This led to a rather comical exchange as the various members of the crowd of students and doctors huddled around Elizabeth. "What treatment would you recommend?" he asked the assessing resident. She drew a deep breath and launched into a technical response. And then broke off midsentence when she realized that Dr. K was not exactly paying attention. "Peek-a-boo" he said, as he covered and uncovered his face with his hand. Elizabeth laughed, along with the rest of the staff.
The doctors are now all agreed that most of Elizabeth's hemangiomas are officially in the so-called "rest" phase. This means that they aren't going to get any bigger but they aren't getting smaller yet either. Elizabeth's facial hemangiomas are showing signs of involution already, silvering on the outside. They were quick to caution that it can still take years for the hemangiomas to disappear. Dr. K said that it is also still too early to tell whether there will be excess skin on the side of the nose that will need to be surgically treated.
Christmas preparations have begun! We did a Christmas stocking exchange this year and even Elizabeth is participating. We decided that we weren't going to buy gifts on Elizabeth's behalf; instead we thought we'd get her to make her own contribution.
This was Elizabeth's fourth art project (the other three involved plates, picture frames and t-shirts), but it's the first time she contributed more than foot and toeprints. Letting her actually get her fingers in the paint was a little nervewracking. You'll notice that we stripped her down as we don't have any baby-sized painting clothes yet and didn't feel like ruining her clothing. She would have enjoyed it a lot more had we used edible paint, so we'll have to try that next time. I've heard that pudding is a good first paint medium, although I'm worried about potentially teaching my daughter that it is acceptable to play with food. She doesn't really need help learning that! I do have several different colours of apple sauces in stock at the moment though, which it turns out Elizabeth doesn't eat...
Despite reading the Shrink Art instructions carefully or maybe because Elizabeth was helping, we nearly set fire to the cardboard during the plastic shrinking phase. What a stink! The fumes were so bad we evacuated the house for a couple of hours, but the resulting art project is pretty cute. You'll have to wait until stocking time for the final reveal though...
Grandma H, Elizabeth and I went for a long walk around the neighbourhood today, despite a persistent fall drizzle. We don't own any kind of stroller weather shield, but since we've made it almost nine months without one and our so-called corporate umbrella seemed to work okay, I suspect this is one piece of baby paraphenalia we'll do without.
The one drawback: towards the end of our walk the wind picked up causing the umbrella to fly up. We concluded that the umbrella solution works best for calm days but it did keep most of the rain off the baby.
Popping in and out of the various stores was fun but made it clear that stroller + snowsuit + baby + winter + shopping is not a combination I like. Elizabeth doesn't always like to be worn right now (wants to wiggle!) so when in one of those moods I guess we'll forgo the shopping or head to a covered mall.
The octopus was from Octopus Books, a local bookstore that was willing to order in Daddy's Christmas stocking book for us. Elizabeth and Grandma had way too much fun playing keep-a-way...