The last few weeks have been so much fun. Each morning I wonder what new discovery you will make today. It took you about a week to go from rocking on your hands and knees to crawling, and just another week to become very speedy. A few days later you added pulling yourself up to standing to your skill set. Climbing up stairs is probably your most favorite activity, so we try and find some for you to climb up each day. With the combination of crawling, standing, and climbing, you are a very good explorer. Some days you are more adventurous and go out of sight, and others you want to stay close and make sure we are right there by you. It is fun to watch you begin to gain some independence and see that you have control over the situation.
You have also become a pro at feeding yourself. The first day you really showed interest in eating you would get your hand up to your mouth but you couldn’t seem to let go to leave the food in your mouth. You had your mouth open for a long time and finally let out a short yell of frustration. Those were tense moments for us both and I got so excited when you finally ate something that there was lots of yelling and clapping. It was as exciting as watching a much needed touchdown in the 4th quarter of a football game. Just a few days later and you now put everything into your mouth. Literally. In the last 24 hours you have managed to swallow a tiny piece of string, paper, and a clump of dirt. There were at least two other items that I couldn’t identify that also made the trip to your stomach. Some of your favorite edible items would be bread (because that is the easiest thing for me to give you…), bananas, peas, noodles, carrots, strawberries, rice, chicken and peaches. Actually you enjoy anything that you can put into your mouth, except the pureed baby food that I froze so you could grab it yourself.
Your really love chords. Swinging them around or waving them up and down with both hands while chanting along is a common sight in our abode. Until you put them in your mouth, and then we do a trade. Usually with a pen or highlighter, because that is another favorite item. I taped one to the end of a string and hung it from a chair to try and simulate a chord – not quite as fun, but the string was soaked through from your taste testing so I think it did its job.
You also love running your hands through hair. Dad’s hair is a favorite, but also any other little person within arms reach usually will find their hair is being borrowed. You grab my hair with both hands so fast and then promptly stuff it into your mouth. It is an especially appealing game when my hair is wet, for some reason. I have taken to wearing my hair up more, but that doesn’t even stop you. I’m curious to see if your fascination with hair is related to chords or if you will be quite the stylist when you grow up.
While we still have to watch you closely so that the library books don’t go back with bite marks, you have begun showing interest in actually looking at books. You are more selective at what ones to look at if there is a pile to choose from. One of your favorites is a book of animals that have different textures on them that your Aunt Aimee gave you for Christmas. We spend a lot of time on one page with your little fingers rubbing the fur. You also like it when we sit and read you a book. I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for you to enjoy this activity, so I’m thrilled I can finally cuddle you on my lap and share a good story. It only lasts for a few minutes though, which means we both have lots more reading adventures to look forward to.
Yesterday we were reading a library book and I started making the animal sounds. You’ve heard a cow goes “moo” and a bee goes “buzz” almost since the day you were born (Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?) so I was shocked when I said, “A sheep goes baaaaaaa” and you burst into laughter. Deep belly laughter. “A pig goes oink oink,” brought similar spontaneous joy.
Earlier in the day I started flipping a rubber coaster in the air, one that you’ve been chewing on for months, and it also tickled your funny bone. You had better believe we sat on the floor watching that coaster go round and round for a long time. Listening to your laughter is one of my favorite things of all time.
Tied maybe with starting to give us kisses. You look up with your mouth open wide and plant your face on our cheek, not really sure what to do next. It warms my heart. You have also started giving us purposeful hugs that last just for a few seconds, but coming from your usual non-cuddly self they mean the world to us.
With Dad gone until the wee hours of the morning, you and I have been trying to figure out more things we can do together, especially in the evenings when you want to be held. We go on lots of walks, hang out at the park where you climb stairs, and stand on our porch and look at all the cars, dogs, and people go by. A few days ago you saw a couple with a dog way across the street and got really excited. You started waving both hands really fast and screamed really really loud. So loud that the couple from waaaaaay across the street turned and waved right back!
We also turn on music and dance. The first day we did this it was some rousing Celtic music so there was lots of clapping and whooping in addition to our dancing. Now every time you hear music or clapping you like to yell right along. I can’t help but laugh and maybe join you a little.
Another development worth mentioning is that your first tooth showed up. For about a week after your tongue was wiggling outside of your mouth, feeling the new addition. You were also super snugly and had a fever while the tooth was working its way through.
Emily, you bring so much joy to our home and to everyone around you. You love to sit and watch people and once you are comfortable you open up and smile, wave your arms around, and share some of your stories. Literally everywhere we go people are constantly saying, “She is such a good baby! Is she always like this?” A few of the salesmen that your dad installs for have children and those kids love you! They are between the ages of 2 and 5 and as soon as we show up they run to you and put their little hands on your cheeks, saying your name over and over again. They also like holding you and giving you hugs, and you are a great sport, not minding a bit.
We love you Emily!
Many of your facial expressions were captured during the skateboard pictures so I’m including a bunch.