My little girl made HUGE strides this month in mobility. Suddenly she crawls, she climbs, she stands (no hands!). Everything is in her mouth, she is waving bye-bye and hi, and clapping her hands. She continues to give hugs and kisses and offer bites of food or toys to others.
Her smiles are not as easy to come by for everyone anymore. Mommy and Ga Ga always get big smiles, and so far only my mom and I get full-on belly laughs. She usually offers a smile to great-grandma and grandpa, our in-home caregivers, and her Aunties with some coaxing. Strangers have a much harder time now, as she studies them seriously and clings more to mommy, shyly burying her face in my chest before peeking out again.
She loves her music class and bangs the drum with her mallets, and strums the teacher’s guitar. Shakers, or her mariachi, are her favorite right now. She loves to bang and drum and make any kind of rhythm. So far she seems to enjoy swimming, getting over the “newness” of the place to splash the water and giggle. And of course, she dunks under water just fine, which is great encouragement for her 2-year-old cousin.
Sleep has been more difficult this month, as the munchkin can now stand and climb and crawl around. It’s been hard for her to just relax and lie still! After many minutes of wiggling, she will end up face-planting on the mattress with her butt in the air, and often turns over during the night to sleep on her tummy. She likes to wedge her face into corners while she sleeps, which makes me nuts. We’re down to 1 or maybe two naps per day, only an hour if we’re lucky, unless there’s a car ride. That’s a guaranteed nap.
She’s starting to feed herself much more now, but not getting tons in her mouth. She gets it all in her closed hand so only actually eats whatever is sticking up above her fist. Still, when feeding her I always finish with something she can feed herself. Usually some kind of muffin, or toast, or banana, or egg. She continues to like my homemade baby food purees… heck, even I like them! She’s had her first taste of birthday cake, ice cream, and pumpkin pie, too. Yogurt was an instant hit!
We did all of the fall seasonal traditions that I love. Halloween, orchards, and fall leaves… mixed with some “back-to-school” music and swimming lessons. This little girl still loves to go out and see and do new things. She knows mommy will be right by her side, and if I have to go anywhere she will have her Ga Ga. She knows when it’s sleeping time, and reaches her arms up to say “pick me up!” She is ambitious, focused, and driven, even at this age. She wants to go, see, do, and learn more, all the time. She is very affectionate, but reserves her frequent hugs and kisses for her closest family members. She likes mommy nearby at all times, on ground level where she can check in for a hug at any time! And she is still, as always, obsessed with the kitties.
She’s a perfect mix of everything, and every day, every minute, I am endlessly grateful for the joy she brings to my life, and the happiness that shines through even routine events. I am so lucky that we found each other. As one of the books we read together at bedtime says, “I’m so lucky to be your mother. We will always be with each other.”