Monday, June 15, 2009

Thirteen Months Old Today

I have decided that I am, more or less, on vacation. That means not trying to do any academic work at the moment. Since we got back from Dallas, it's been all about settling into our home and routine and spending lots and lots of time focused on Valerie. I mean really focused, not just meeting her daily needs from moment to moment, but sinking attention and energy into her like water on soil. Thankfully it's not just me - but Terry and Grandma Dot and Grandpa Vern and her babysitter Rhoda as well, and our circle of friends to varying degrees.

Sometime between Saturday and Sunday I felt her settling into our home and routine herself. It really took a full week. From the beginning of May, it's been a revolving door of change and readjustments, and she took it well overall. But it was beginning to wear on her, and by the tiem we got back from Dallas (after the week of immunization-fevers and allergy rash as well) she was pretty worn out, I think. Mostly this manifested through sleep issues (of course) - waking around 3 times every night, uneven napping, and restless sleep - at least once every night it would take around an hour to settle her back to sleep. As of last night, this is abating.

I have been nursing her down since our move to Ithaca, both for the initial going to sleep and for the night waking. During our first few weeks in Ithaca she was still mostly sleeping through the night, but little by little that eroded. And even then, she would never go to sleep without crying at least for a few minutes (although never more than a half an hour). Now, thankfully, we seem to have found our bedtime rhythm and she's been going down really smoothly. As of last night, she still woke up 3-4 times, but she didn't have that restlessness so I think we are on a good trajectory.

So what is she up to at 13 months?
  • Working on walking! Tara and Aaron generously gave us the little riding toy in the previous post's picture, and she LOOOOOOOOOVES it!! She pushes it around all over the place, and it really seems to be supporting her walking practice.
  • She is going to be an athlete, because she loves to play with balls! She has 8 now (I counted) of varying sizes and textures. She still loves the game my mom invented, where we put her in the Pack'n'Play and toss a ball into it and she throws it out again. She's getting better at throwing them too.
  • She is going to be a scholar, because she loves her books! The last time I counted a few days ago, she had 56. And that's not counting the mini Tonka books or the books at Grandma Dot's! Since then she was given a set of Little Golden Books but I'm not sure how many are in it.
  • She is babbling ever more distinctly and coherently. Her two all-purpose words right now are "Up" and "Ba," although she modifies the vowel sound following the B, depending on the word she means: ball, bird, balloon, banana, blueberry, bear, etc. "Up" means: up, down, take me over there. She also growls "rrrraaaa!" to indicate a bear or lion (toy or picture), and says "babababa" in a high-pitched voice to imitate a chicken squawk (copying the way I do it: "bok-bok-bok-bok-bok-AWK!")*
  • She is signing a lot: ball, hat, dog, duck, bye-bye, and the one she invented (derived from the "zoom zoom zoom" rhyme) where she brushes her hands together as though brushing off dirt, which means "sing me a song," "tell me a story," or "keep singing," or sometimes just "again." She also waves her hand like a conductor when I'm supposed to sing a song to go with one of her books. And she points expertly :-)
  • Today we invented a new game where I tossed all her stuffed toys into the crib, and then she would throw out the one I asked for: dog, cat, Superman, etc. It was so cool to learn which ones she was able to identify!
  • She is eating really well! This was another area of development that suffered with our latest trip; she went back to nursing 7-8 times a day (instead of 3-4 as previously) and ate very little solid food. Now she's really putting it away. She especially likes black beans, avocado, blueberries, salmon, applesauce, and hummus, but chicken made her throw up the other day. So no meat (other than salmon). She's also eating cottage cheese now, in small portions. She does NOT like her food warm, she definitely prefers it room temperature or cold. She also eats bananas, pears, apples, green beans, potatoes, and more I can't even list it all. She's a good eater.
  • She continues, overall, to be an active, curious, delight and joy to our hearts.

* Historical note: my first word was evidently "coco," which is what chickens say in Spanish (co-co-co-co-co)


Rachel said...

I love that she already recognizes her toys, that is awesome.

I can't believe she is already 13 months old.

Susie said...

Wow, she knows a ton of words! I'm glad she's settling back into the home routine. Life is so much easier when everyone is sleeping. We also have the same riding toy, and I was really excited about. Anna doesn't pay any attention to it at all though. Go figure!

Caro said...

Happy 13 months little one