Taylor logged her second flight last week – we flew to Las Vegas for a couple of days. Overall the trip went well and I’m glad we went, but travelling with a baby is a lot of work! I assumed that T.J. would sleep on the plane, but she had no desire to miss out on the experience. If you think that the seats on the plane are tight, try having a wriggling baby on your lap who wants to touch everyone around her. Taylor wanted to get to know the other passengers, so we made up a new game that I call, “Don’t touch the person in the seat next to you”. The game is about as self-explanatory (and tedious) as it sounds. The flight back was a little easier because the plane was only about 2/3 full. We went to the back row so that T.J. could jump around and burn off some energy. She loved being in the back because all of the flight attendants were back there and she got to be the center of their attention.
Unfortunately, one of the things we seem to have brought back from our trip is a cold. Our whole household is sick this week, and to top it off, I think Taylor is teething again. I can’t be sure because she won’t let me look into her mouth but she’s fussy and drooling up a storm and she often gets sick when she’s teething. She’s also been biting me when she’s frustrated or tired, so I’ve ended up with a trail of teeth marks on my hands, arms and shoulders. It’s surprising how much damage those little chompers can do! When I tell her “no biting”, she still ignores me, but when Zach says it, she seems to understand. We think it’s because she responds to his deeper voice, so I’m working on my baritone to let her know that I mean business.
We had a quick trip to the flower exhibit at the Bellagio. I don’t know which she enjoyed more, the flowers or the people-watching:
Taylor is caught in the act of tearing up magazines and playing with a soda can:
Bernice teaches Taylor the finer points of lounging:
With all of the talk nowadays about genetics and nature vs. nurture, I often wonder which of Taylor’s traits are hard-wired and which traits are ones that we (her parents) can affect. Because T.J.’s world is so food-centered right now, I’ve been focused lately on her eating habits. If there is a genetic predisposition towards pickiness, Taylor is definitely at risk to inherit that gene from the Cahalen side of the family. We’re working with her to broaden her horizons so that she has a wide repertoire of foods that she’ll eat. Already she eats more vegetables than both of her uncles combined! She doesn’t shy away from most foods – she’ll give them a good try – but if she doesn’t like them (broccoli), she will literally start gagging as though we’re trying to poison her. Very dramatic!
Taylor and Chiquita are becoming good buddies these days. Taylor has always been totally enamored with Chiquita, however the feeling was not entirely mutual. Chiquita has now figured out a way to play with T.J. Chiquita was walking around the house with a tennis ball in her mouth when she sauntered up next to Taylor, dropped the ball and walked away. Taylor saw her opportunity to get the ball and so she snatched it up and clutched it in her chubby hand with an expression of pure exhilaration and joy – she was so excited to have it. In a flash, Chiquita made her move. She raced up to Taylor and with two quick swats of her paw she had batted the ball right out of Taylor’s hands. Just like that, she was off, leaving T.J. looking both stunned and amused at the same time. At first, we thought that Chiquita was just trying to terrorize Taylor, but after seeing them repeat this little game a few times I think that they are both playing and T.J. is in on the game as much as Chiquita (well…almost!).
Giving herself a round of applause and showing us how big she is (SOOOO BIG!):
Chiquita tries to get her licks in:
Ta da! Standing on her own:
Taylor met her great-great-Aunt Pearl and Uncle Raymond this weekend as well as two of her cousins, Steven and Melanie. They were in town from Davis. She was a little nervous at first – it was crowded at the restaurant where we met and I think Raymond might have been the first person she’d ever encountered with a beard up close! By the end of lunch, she had warmed up and even consented to a photo session. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera (as usual), so I don’t have any photos to post.
T.J. really seems to enjoy her music. She has toys that plays songs and she loves to get them going, the more noise the better. I think it’s gratifying to her when she feels like she actually controls the “instrument”. Whenever she gets a song started on one of her toys, she gets up on all fours and starts rocking to the music. She loves to watch the animated short “Boundin'” from “The Incredibles” DVD. As soon as I put it on, the expression on her face changes and she starts jumping up and down. She gets so excited…I’m not sure if it’s because she likes the song or because she never gets to watch TV otherwise, but it’s a sure-fire way to get her in a good mood. I think of it as our magical movie – it turns a cranky baby into a happy one (thanks, Pixar)!
Taylor’s independent streak is really coming out – she’s very expressive about what she wants. She’s figured out that if she wants a bite of something that we have, she can just bang her hand down on the table to get us to give her some. It certainly gets our attention! Now we’re trying to teach her different (i.e. quieter) ways of communicating what she wants.
T.J.’s had a taste of the good life and she has no intention of going back. We’ve been letting her try some of our food so that she gets used to new tastes and textures. Now she’s decided that she doesn’t want baby food anymore. In fact, she doesn’t want any food that is fed to her, it must be in bite-sized pieces that she can feed herself. If I offer her a piece of banana, she’ll turn her head away in disgust, but if I put the same piece of banana on her tray, she’ll pick it up and gobble it down. Between preparing, serving and playing with her food, mealtime can take up to an hour. By the time the meal is over, I think that more food ends up around Taylor’s high chair than actually in her stomach and the kitchen usually looks like a war zone, but it’s all in good fun!
Taylor “helping” me with the laundry and miscellaneous other pics:
“Beam me up, Scotty!”: