Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The Eleventh Month

What a busy month it has been. From more teething, to talking, to WALKING - Kaitlin has had no shortage of big developments this month. Not to mention that she also celebrated her first Easter! It has certainly been an exciting month - and I can't believe that she is ELEVEN months old already. *SOB*

I'm sure that I have mentioned before that I am convinced that babies grow, literally, over night. Well this month proved that theory again. Kaitlin's "talking" previously consisted of lots of "Dadadadada's" and some screaming and yelling. But that was about it. Then one day she all of a sudden started making more talking sounds - ya, ga, ba, and stringing them together to sound like "words". Her speech is (obviously) still in the very early stages, but she now makes lots of little word sounds and strings them together into sentences, of sorts. She talks to her toys and will point to objects around the room and say their "name" or "talk" to me about them. I still dont understand anything of what she is trying to say, but I think it is so cool that her speech has developed so quickly.

And speaking of pointing, let's go on and put that as her favorite thing to do nowadays. She loves, loves, LOVES to point to things around the room and go and visit them. For example - I have some Easter cards on our mantle (I know...time to get rid of them already! But now I can't!) and at some point she discovered that they were up there. She started pointing to them so I took her over to them so she could see them and she got the BIGGEST smile on her face and started laughing. She picked each one up and talked to it, flipped it around to look at the whole thing and even opened them up like she was reading them. Now that is one of her favorite things to do, we must go look at the cards 10 times a day. She also loves to point to the birds on the big decal on her wall. So every time we are in her room (especially before and after naps) we go say "hi" or "goodnight" to the birdies and owls. She points to them and even tries to give them kisses. 

One of Kaitlin's other new favorite activities is taking anything and everything out of its place. Books, kitchen supplies, clothes - they all fall prey to her throwing arm. She loves to empty things out and can quickly empty her bookshelf, my kitchen cabinets or her dresser drawers in the matter of a few minutes (and create quite the mess at the same time). She hasn't learned how to put things back yet, but I make sure to sing the "clean up song" ever time and she sits there with me while I put them away.

We have also started to actually read books together. Kaitlin is a mover and a shaker and I could never before get her to sit still to read a book with me. Now I can get her to sit for 5 minutes or so and we can actually read a book together! I have to either pick a really short book or read at lightening speed, but we're getting there. Her favorite book, and really only one that we read together, is called Peek-a-boo Farm and she LOVES to pull the flaps back and play peek-a-boo with the animals. The last page reveals a mirror that she can see herself in and she just thinks that is the best thing in the whole world. She loves the book so much that she will randomly give the cow and the mirror kisses! We read this book at least 5 times in a day - so while I know the whole things by heart she continues to love the "surprise" of animals playing peek-a-boo.

And the WALKING!! She is finally walking!! Kaitlin took her first steps on April 7, 2013 and her dad and I were both there to witness her first few steps! It was definitely exciting and she didn't really know what to think of it. Since then she has slowly made some more progress - she is now taking 5-10 steps at a time and is a lot more steady on her feet. She is still using crawling as her main mode of transportation, but she will now walk short distances without one of us prompting her to. We have taken away the walker toys and now hold one of her hands to practice walking. This has helped her straighten up and not relay on the walker to move her forward. It's been really hard to get a video of her walking by herself since her steps are so short lived, but I finally managed to get some proof! Check out my Vimeo page for lots of other silly Kaitlin videos.

Walking! from tracy lynn on Vimeo.

A few more things I have learned...

Buy a little before committing
What's the hardest thing about buying things for baby? Not know if he/she will like it or not. And believe me - babies have some strong opinions. Not only that, but you might find yourself having some strong opinions too. I am learning, slowly, to buy one a little of something before committing to it. This goes for a wide range of items - diapers, wipes, lotion, sippy cups, etc. If you have the option to buy a small sample or a small pack of something, DO IT. Even if the bigger option is cheaper, if you have never used it before trust me and buy a small amount. Don't go buying 6 of the same sippy cup (or straw cup) if your baby has never used it before. Guaranteed it'll be the one that they hate. And then you'll be stuck with six cups that you can't use. Same thing with big packs of diapers and lotions. And really, is it a good value if it just goes to waste?

Get a babysitter - EARLY ON
Ok, this is one of those "do as I say, not as I do" lessons. I always tsk-tsked parents that didn't get a babysitter early on so that the baby could get used to being taken care of someone else. And then, of course, I became one of those parents. I just couldn't justify spending money on a babysitter for a few hours when I didn't need one. And even if I did, it was usually to go out and spend even more money on buying something. So I put it off and put it off. On the rare occasion that I really did need someone to watch K I was able to drop her off at a friends house, so she was already familiar with them. Well, now that I am going back to work part time I have had to get a babysitter for K all day, and one that she had never met before. Put that together with this epic amount of separation anxiety and being a total mama's girl (which I secretly love) and you have one VERY upset little girl. So - do as I say, not as I do - and get a babysitter early on if you can. It'll make it easier for everyone.

Fresh air is good for kids...very, very good
My new nemesis is rainy days, and in a couple months it will be Houston summer days. Because those days mean we are stuck inside. And I have learned that spending a few days inside is no good for anyone. Kaitlin likes and needs to go outside, either on a long walk or at the playground. Heck, even just playing around in our small yard is better than nothing. I'm sure I will eventually learn to just put on a rain jacket and play outside anyway, but until she's walking and not crawling we stay indoors when it's wet. I have noticed that she sleeps better and is in a better mood after spending some time outside. She loves looking at everything around her while taking a walk in her stroller, and I have mentioned several times how much she loves going to the park. I anticipate this to stay true for quite some time, especially as she learns to walk, run and has even MORE energy (which I don't even know how is possible).

So...this is it. We are heading into the last month of her first year. I can't wait to see what's in store!

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