Gloria spent some time brushing up her skillz this week. After a few intense practice sessions, she had an “a-ha” moment with her tiger stacking toy – this involved holding the rings in both hands, and sometimes holding the base steady with her legs. Now she’ll sit with it for 15 or 20 minutes at a time, deep in concentration as she practices stacking the rings one by one. It’s the only object that has ever held her fascination for so long – and hence it is a wonderful thing. She has also been making some progress with her shape sorter. She can get the shapes into the sorter, although chance still seems to play a large role in whether she matches the shape to its corresponding slot correctly or not. Often she’ll drop one shape into the sorter successfully and then attempt to drop all subsequent shapes into the same slot. On the gross motor skills front, Gloria has also been pulling herself up to standing quite a bit more (although she’s not actually cruising furniture yet).
It’s been about a week and a half since Gloria’s first dentist appointment, during which we received some instruction (and a teeny bit of a guilt trip) about getting more regular with tooth brushing. Since then, we’ve been trying more consistently, but it hasn’t gotten any easier – Miss G clenches her mouth shut tightly and refuses to let the brush in. We’d welcome any advice from experienced parents on this one!
We took Gloria to Southern California to visit her grandparents for the weekend – it was our second visit this summer (although the first was unfortunately for my grandfather’s funeral). The flight to Long Beach went surprisingly well, and Gloria even got a bit of a morning nap in the Gemini carrier. After we arrived, we met my dad for a fancy 5-course lunch at his friend’s restaurant – G enjoyed house-smoked salmon, mushroom soup, veggies, and other goodies. She seemed to have some kind of allergic reaction after the meal though – her lips broke out in spots that remained for a few hours. We suspect a shellfish allergy, as the reaction was familiar to Kenny via his sister’s childhood allergy, and Gloria did try some of the vegetables from our mussels ceviche. The meal bumped up against Gloria’s regular afternoon naptime, and our sleepy munchkin fell asleep in the car during the trip home.
The next day we took Gloria to the beach. It was her first time setting foot on the sand since Thailand so many months ago, and she seemed fascinated by her surroundings. Gloria enjoyed a nice picnic, dipped her feet in the cold Pacific Ocean, and played with little sand crabs burrowing their way into the sand (I was relieved that although she picked them up, she refrained from trying to eat them).
Sleep did not go particularly well in Huntington Beach. Gloria flat-out refused to sleep in her trusty Peapod tent that served her so well in Thailand. The first night, when we failed after many attempts to get her to sleep in the tent, she ended up passing out in a heap on the floor of Grandma Sandra’s office. The next morning, we went out and bought her a pack and play, and tried putting her in it for her morning nap. She still freaked out when we tried to leave the room, however, so Kenny stayed in the room with her until she fell asleep. This only took 15 minutes, so we decided it was a small price to pay for getting Gloria to sleep away from home. However, the next nap took 30 minutes for her to fall asleep, during which Kenny pretended to sleep on the floor next to the pack and play and observed G doing all kinds of acrobatics – pulling herself up to standing and then thumping down onto the mattress over and over. She also did some downward dogs, looked over the side of the crib to observe her motionless father, and pitched her stuffed animals out onto floor. I took a turn for bedtime, and the process took 45 minutes, as she did more acrobatics in the crib and tried to get my attention. It was an ordeal, but better than listening to her scream herself to sleep (I think).
Gloria enjoyed the trip home, although she failed to get a nap during the flight. She especially loved opening and closing the airplane window and flirting with our neighbor in the aisle seat.
Eating – and trying new foods – was a pervasive theme this week, although Gloria’s appetite was somewhat erratic (some nights it seemed like she ate air for dinner). In Huntington Beach, Gloria loved Grandma Sandra’s chicken soup (the mushy carrots, chicken, and broth), kugel, guacamole, cupcakes, barbecue chicken, watermelon, mango, blueberries, pineapple, corn (on the cob!), a whole wheat bagel, and cream cheese. She’s also been practicing with the spoon, and managed to feed herself a few bites of polenta at home earlier this week. To ease her teething pain, Gloria has been chomping on baby carrots and eating frozen peas and carrots (still frozen!) To cap off her culinary experiences for the week, Gloria joined us for our anniversary dinner at Poppy. As we often do, we brought some of “her” food along with us in case the restaurant fare arrived too late or wasn’t baby-friendly enough. It turns out, G wanted nothing to do with the food we brought, but she loved the stuffed squash blossoms, fennel soup, cauliflower gratin, and assorted other small dishes from our thali.