Saturday, March 26, 2011

ELEVEN months of Avery!

Life with Avery just keeps getting better and better. Every month she is more fun and delightful than the last. I am enjoying watching her grow so much! She has so much personality - more every day it seems.  Only one more month till the Little Elf is one year old!  Stop stop STOP!  You can't grow up any more, baby.  You have to stay my sweet little doodlebug!
This month the biggest new development has been communication. Avery is figuring out the beginnings of how to tell us what she thinks and wants. She started pointing and now she knows that she can point at something she wants and we'll get it for her. She can point at something and we'll tell her what it is. She even points just to show us stuff and if you're not paying attention she will grab your face and turn it towards her! She points all day long. She especially loves when we go for our walk, and she can point out all the birds and dogs. She is learning some words too - not talking, but she definitely understands a handful of words (probably more than we realize). She will point to my nose or mouth, to her toys, to her sippy cup, and she can find the tiger on her activity cube. She knows that bye-bye means someone is leaving and how to wave hi and bye. She says "hi" all the time! It doesn't always sound exactly like hi but that's definitely what she is trying to say. She knows that I'm "Mom-mom" and Adam is "Da-da" and my mom is "Yaya".
She is proving that she truly is my daughter through her growing love of books.  Before she didn't seem interested in books other than to teeth on, but suddenly the light bulb went off and she realized they were full of pictures and adventure and colors!  Now she goes straight over to her toys and starts pulling the books off the shelf and turning the pages.  Her favorite book is a Little Golden Book called Baby Animals that has pictures of different baby animals on each page.  She loves to make a growling noise when she sees the baby lion, and to give kisses to the baby monkey and the baby giraffe.  She gets really excited about this book!
Avery has become a more adventurous eater in the last month too.  She rejected pretty much every puree I served her, both home made and store bought.  But she likes to eat off my plate and will try nearly anything I'm eating.  She even surprised me by liking chili and curry!  She really likes eggs.  You're not supposed to feed babies egg whites before one year since they can be a potential allergen, but a couple weeks ago she threw a fit at breakfast when I wouldn't give her any off my plate.  She was pointing at my plate and fussing until I gave her a bite and then she ate a whole bunch!  I fix her an egg every morning now and she'll eat about half of it, plus a couple bites of avocado and banana.  For lunch and dinner she eats whatever I'm eating - usually some chicken, fish or beef, avocado, sweet potato, or soup.  It's still kind of hit or miss whether she will be in the mood for food, but it's vastly improved from a month ago!
She gets more mobile all the time and she is into EVERYTHING!  Here she is peeking into the trash can.  If I open the refrigerator or the pantry she is right there, opening the drawers, trying to pull Dada's beer off the shelf and checking everything out.  She practices walking by cruising around on all the furniture and using the chairs and stools as walkers by pushing them around.  By the end of the day all our furniture is rearranged and there are toys exploding everywhere!
Her napping is still pretty irregular but it's better now than a month ago.  She will occasionally - like once or twice a week - go for an hour or more!  That's amazing for my 30 minute catnapper.  It's still a challenge to get her down for her nap.  She only falls asleep nursing about half the time now and if I want her to nap I have to walk around with her and hum and bounce her until she's fast asleep.  I have heard of babies who you can just put them in their cribs and they lay down and take a nap... and I ask, HOW?  Avery has never once just ... fallen asleep.  You know you see pictures of babies asleep in their high chairs or in their exersaucers?  Not Avery.  Not once.  I was so glad when she went from 4 naps down to three, and was glad again when she recently dropped down to just two.  Now I only have to get her to sleep twice a day!
Night time sleep is about the same.  It often takes me close to an hour to get her down and she almost never falls asleep nursing anymore (much to my chagrin, it's so much easier), I have to walk her around and hum and bounce while she "sings" to herself.  If I put her in her crib before she's totally asleep she immediately starts crying like she's heartbroken.  Once I finally get her in her crib I have about an hour before she wakes up and needs to be resettled again.  Every so often lately she has gone for several hours in her crib either before waking or after I resettle her, but that is definitely the exception and not the rule!  If I send Adam up to get her, she will cry "Mammmmaaa, maaaamaaa, maaaaahm" until I come up and then she'll put her little arms around my neck like she thought I was gone forever.  Depending on my patience level, I will either go up and walk her down again or sometimes just get in bed with her at her first wake up and she stays with me the rest of the night.  I'm still nursing frequently enough at night that it's just easier to have her right next to me.  Most nights I am feeling pretty rested doing this, and even enjoying snuggling with her.  We do have occasional rough nights (like last night - she woke me every hour and then was awake from 3-5 am).  I will be glad when she can put herself to sleep... or go off to college and I don't have to worry about it anymore, whichever comes first!
There are so many things I want to remember.  I know I will wish I had written more when I look back at this time.  I am already forgetting details about her early infancy that, at the time, seemed like they would be seared in my brain forever.  Mainly I want to remember the sensation of her.  I want to bottle up her babyness and keep it - how she smells, how she feels, her soft skin, her delicate hands, the way her lips make an upside down heart shape when she falls asleep, the sound of her laughter and her adorable babbling, what it feels like to hold her and have her curled up next to me sleeping, how she gives kisses and wraps her little arms around my neck, the way I feel like my heart is exploding when she looks up at me while she's nursing or pops off to grin and say, "a-da!" which of course I think is the most brilliant and original proclamation ever.
I love the look on her face in this picture.  Priceless!  I love this little girl so much!


Nina said...

She is a beauty Michelle and definitely looks like her Mama!

nicknmegan said...

What a sweetheart. Who can believe she is almost one year old... You know, she usually reminds me of you when I look at her pictures, but in these last two pics, I really see Adam! Maybe minus the bow in her hair....hopefully anyway. :)