Guess who is 16 months old?

This fun girl! And it has been a big month!
The bottom lip chew is a common expression these days.
She still has mixed feelings about the pool but mostly she thinks it is pretty fun, especially if she has big siblings in there with her to make her laugh. (Finny still manages to elicit the biggest guffaws).
She got several new teeth this month, some molars which made her pretty cranky at times. (I think of this month as the best of times, and the worst of times. The highs were high, the lows were low.)
Oh this little girl. What a character she is.  This month has been an adventure for us all. The biggest news was that she finally learned to walk.  She had been staggering a step or two between outstretched hands but I fortuitously managed to catch her first truly independent steps on camera. It was a miracle.

Much more pleased with herself and less shell-shocked in later attempts..

She has become so much more pleasant since she has mastered walking. It was making her very nervous and unsettled to contemplate I think.  Here’s a little facebook anecdote about the trials and tribulations surrounding that:
Ella is going through an EXTREMELY clingy phase lately (I think it's related to her increased mobility). She doesn't just want to be near me, she wants to be ON me at all times, she would jump back into my uterus if she could. Anyway it was a wonderful reprieve today when she discovered the tupperware cupboard (ah yes...and so it begins). After that she revisited her old love, the spice cupboard and was a very very happy little girl. At one point I managed to escape the room for a moment and when I got back I found her frantically trying to gather as many plastic forks as she could (found in tupperware cupboard) and hold them in her free hand along with several big bottles of spices, as she prepared to scootch as fast as she could to come and find me. You could tell she was so torn between the wonders of the kitchen and coming to retrieve me so she tried to have the best of both worlds. It was so hilarious and a bit pitiful and made me realize how her need to be near me is probably a lot more stressful for her than it is for me. Poor bug.
In the last couple of days she has been walking more and more and yesterday I noticed that I hadn’t seen her bum scootch even once. It made me feel a wave of panicky sadness.  It’s not as if we didn’t get our mileage out of the bum scootch but still….I can’t believe that era is over. *sob*
What continues to be beyond thrilling is that she has formed a really close and loving relationship with her crib (long may it last..oh please, oh please).   I love our daily ritual before her nap.  Whenever I ask her if she is ready for her nap she smiles at me with great delight. First we choose some new books to put at the foot of her crib and a few little toys for her to play with when she wakes.  She smiles with anticipation. Then, we go to the kitchen and she enthusiastically talks me through pouring milk into her bottle.  While I am warming it up in the microwave we look at the pictures of her siblings on the walls and she proudly points to each of them as I say their names. Then I give her a bottle as we rock in the rocking chair. After all the months of her hating her bottle when I would supplement nursing with it, it is so satisfying to have her suck it down so blissfully. It is very true that bottle feeding can be every bit as satisfying a form of bonding and nurturing as nursing is,  and I am so grateful that she has taken to it so readily. I still hold it for her as if she is a tiny baby and she indulges me in that. After she is done with her bottle she puts her head on my shoulder, I pat her little back and we walk upstairs to her room. I lie her down and cover her with her with a light blanket, she closes her eyes and rolls onto her side and smiles sweetly. I put my hand on her cheek and tell her that I love her. She smiles again and strokes my hand. And then I walk out and close the door and I clutch my heart because seriously….she could not be sweeter and I am, quite simply,  utterly smitten.
The funniest/best part of this ritual is that sometimes I spy on her after I leave. She lies there with her fake sweet sleeping smile for a moment then checks to see that I am gone, and sits up to play with her toys or read her books. (She still won’t let me read to her, but she loves, loves, loves to read to herself).
She loves the bath these days,  but only if I am in it with her..if not, it is the Scariest Place in the Whole Wide World. Oh how squishable and delicious is her pudge?
She continues to adore her sister-doggy and joining her for walks with the wind blowing in their fur and feathers (hair) respectively.
She is curious and into everything (the house is in a perpetual state of disarray)
She is getting even better at saying prayers and rarely says a premature AMEN (much to her sibling’s disappointment). Sometimes we let her say our evening prayer. She takes it very seriously and says very, very solemn and lengthy prayers during which Finny has a very hard time not giggling.  Here she is folding her arms in preparation.
She continues to be a great fan of performing interpretive dance to music. One of the cutest things she does lately is respond with “see you” when someone says “bye” to her. Here’s as good a capture as I could get of that on the video (along with her new old lady/zombie walking style)

Today I noticed that she really does say a lot, she even says some short sentences, I just wasn’t listening closely enough.  Some of the newer things she says include “downstairs” “shemly” “cheese-stick” “where going” “see-you”. Every night when Aaron takes her up to her bedroom he tells her to say goodnight to the rest of us, and she always responds by putting her hand to her lips (to blow us a kiss). These are the things I want to always remember.
She communicates so well with gestures, babbling, and body language now that sometimes it seems as though she is a miniature grown up who happens to speak a different language. She is just SO.MUCH.FUN.  I guess it would be fair to say that 15 months came in like a lion (it was a tad painful) and went out like a lamb (I ended up loving every minute of it. Ok…almost every minute of it )
(In closing, let it be noted her passion for rocks-sorting, examining, collecting and climbing-remains strong,  and she still digs digging.)

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Anonymous said...

congrats on the walking...
she is sooo cute.

Anonymous said...

On her first walking clip, I love the hysterically disbelieving giggle in the background. Who from? Thanks for all the little video clips. They are delightful - the "arms" and "uh-oh" are just too cute, and the sleeping ... too too precious for words. I was so amused that she does her fake sweet smile for you until you are out of the room! How kind and thoughtful of her!

Mewith said...

I have just discovered you blog and your little girl is so precious. Those pictures are beautiful

Brittany said...

I am so torn between complete adoration, complete excitement and total heartbreak in every milestone my children reach. And like you said "these are the things I always want to remember"
I just wish I put the memories in my pocket and pull them and all. Snuggle up to Oscar as he clutches my shirt and sweetly nurses. Bennett's pure delight as he walks around the house, amazed that he can do just like everybody else...
Oh why can't they just STOP growing UP!!!!