Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Running with Naomi

I have taken Naomi out a couple times in the jogging stroller, both times for a 1 or 1 ½ mile run. She did great, so I thought I would up the mileage and take her out during a longer run. It was about a 4 mile run. Here’s how it went:

I strap Naomi securely in her stroller, make sure her hat is on, she’s comfortable, she has toys, I have the car keys, etc. I am feeling great. It’s an incredibly beautiful day, and I’m out for a run with Naomi! We head out from the park and follow a paved trail.

Naomi is already bored with her toys, but that’s okay because she generally likes to just hang out in the stroller when we walk and look at the scenery. I figure it’s more interesting when you are going at a faster pace, so that will keep her entertained.

I learn I am wrong. Naomi is apparently not entertained by the fast-moving scenery (or perhaps I'm slower than I realize). I’m not giving up this easily, though. I start singing nursery rhymes.

I pride myself on being able to push the jogging stroller uphill while singing nursery rhymes. Naomi has a cool mom. I feel I am keeping my pace up. This is good!

We are on flat ground now. Naomi gets a little fussy, but she likes to watch the cars. I tire of singing.  I talk nonsense to her now and then but mostly just enjoy being outdoors with a slight breeze.

The turnaround point is in sight. Naomi decides she is ready to get out of the stroller and makes sure Mommy knows about her decision. I keep up a stream of chatter, hoping that will entertain her.

We are at the turnaround point. Naomi is crying off and on now. Should I take her out? No, she’ll just get more frustrated when I put her back in. Besides, by continuing to run, we’ll get back to the car as fast as possible. Talking and singing doesn’t seem to make a difference. It's a moot point; I’m running a bit short on air. I realize it was silly of me to give her all three toys at once. Next time I will hold a couple in reserve for later in the run.

We pass a bench. I hold to my resolve to not take Naomi out of the stroller. Her crying is building up, and I worry that passers-by will think I am torturing my child. I no longer think I am a cool mommy.  I try to put Naomi's toys in her hands while jogging; she won’t take them, although she does seem to think I look funny enough bending over while still jogging that she stops crying for a minute.

I notice Naomi quiets down when cars pass. It is not a busy road, though, or perhaps it’s a slow time of day. I contemplate which is the correct answer; it keeps my mind off Naomi crying. I hope for more cars.

Naomi’s a-howlin’ now. I stop wondering if it is sacrilegious and begin praying for more cars.

There’s another bench coming up. Naomi starts to quiet down as we get closer to it, but I know as soon as we pass it she’ll start howling again. We stop. So much for my continuous run, but mothers have to make sacrifices, right? Naomi LOVES the bench; it is a mosaic-type bench with many different colors of stones embedded in the seat. She enjoys watching cars. We play for a few minutes. I put her back in the stroller while she is watching cars, hoping she will be so intent on the cars that she doesn’t notice what is happening. It does not work.

With Naomi howling louder than ever, I set back out. We go over an occasional bump, and that really ticks her off. The cars still grab her attention, but they don't come by often enough for me. I contemplate calling my friends and asking them to drive past us multiple times to entertain her.

We are heading down a circular ramp and back underneath the bridge (the path goes underneath the road). Naomi stops crying. I am encouraged. We are near the end, my run was better than nothing, and I’ll finish with a not-screaming baby.

We head up the other side of the ramp with only about ½ mile left to get back to the car. Naomi is gurgling, not her happy cooing gurgles, but the ones that mean she’s building up to scream bloody murder. I run faster. Will silly songs help? I try some and ignore the fact that they aren’t working. I start planning this blog in my head; it distracts me.

We arrive back at the park. I feel bad Naomi has been crying. She deserves a treat. I look for some grass by a tree so we can play in the shade. Naomi does not realize we are done with the run and continues crying. It takes awhile, but we eventually find some shady grass. She tries to eat the grass while I stretch. I wonder if we should try this again. It’s a beautiful day to be outside. I think we will try this again with a few modifications…I haven’t figured out what, yet, but I’ll keep my thinking cap on. 

As with most things, this whole experience was much funnier after the fact!

Budding climber

As I watch Naomi become more mobile, it makes me laugh to see the similarities between how she is learning and how I learned to rock climb.  When she's pulling herself up from a sitting position, and also when she's in a standing position looking to move higher or sideways, she checks out the hand hold options by feeling around and testing them out, then trying a different one if her first choice doesn't work out.  She grunts with the extreme effort in dynamic moves.  She doesn't mind falling (although I haven't really conquered that one yet) - the kid is fearless!  She tried chimneying up something a few weeks ago.  She gets excited when she's been trying hard to get up and finally gets there!  She shifts her body weight around, experimenting with what will allow her to move more easily.

I put Naomi on some stairs yesterday, expecting her to move around a little and then get bored.  She surprised me by scaling them twice!  Halfway through the second time, she got wobbly legs (known as Elvis leg to climbers).  I gave her a short break.  When she got back on the stairs, she was ready to make the final ascent!  Of course, the cheerios at the top of the stairs might have helped...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

And she's off...

...in more ways than one!  Naomi hit the 8 month mark yesterday, and she's developing so quickly.  Her first tooth popped into sight last week, and both sets of grandparents got an excited phone call.  (Actually, that's a blatant lie.  The tooth didn't "pop" at all; it took an excruciating amount of time, pain, and fussiness!)  Every once in awhile I'll let Naomi chomp on my finger to keep her entertained, and now my finger comes out with a sharp little indention and a cry of pain on my part.

Naomi has also learned to crawl!  I was not prepared for how quickly this would happen.  For weeks she would get on her hands and knees and rock back and forth, but nothing more.  Then for 2-3 days she would scoot her knees up but couldn't figure out how to keep her balance while moving her hands.  (This was a funny stage, because she would plop down on her chest, gaining about 3 inches, and then repeat the process time after time.  When she kept at it, she actually covered some ground this way.)  The next 2-3 days she could move forward but it was a very interrupted crawl, with her sitting up every
few seconds, sometimes
toppling over on her head, sometimes getting up on her hands and feet like she was going to play leapfrog, etc.  And now, less than a week after she started moving, she's zipping around.  When she has an object in her sights, watch out or be plowed over!  We took some short video clips of her crawling and put them on youtube.com .  
If you are interested in the link, let me know.

Naomi is a good little helper.  After eating, when she sees the washcloth, she holds out her hands to get washed off. 
When it's time to get in the carseat, she sits back and waits for the seatbelt to be put on, and when you take it off, she lunges forward and looks up, waiting for us to get her out of the seat.  She helps me carry things from room to room, also, although whatever we're carrying tends to get a little slobbery in transit.  And the manipulative little babe knows when to flash huge smiles to get us to let her do things she's not supposed to be doing (like being up late at night).  
All in all, we love her and we're having a great time!  More pictures coming soon...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Playing with Balls

Naomi's ready to take on the world!  Here she moves from a little baby-size ball to one that can plow her right over.  She's really turning into such a character.  

Tub Time

Naomi has fun in the tub. Actually, Val had fun with Naomi in the tub.

We noticed Naomi loved the bubbles the water made when splashing, so we got some bubble bath for her, and she is completely amazed by it.  Here Naomi is in her bath seat, letting Mommy plop bubbles on her head.