My dear Alena,
Congratulations, you have now lived outside my belly for as long as you’d lived inside it. This past month has been full of developments for you. What an exciting time of your life! And what an exciting time to be your parent. This month’s developments include:
- You have mastered the art of crawling. We now have to watch our step when we’re preparing food in the kitchen. And we’ve had to move our garbage can, recycling bin and computer to places out of your reach. We’ve also installed a baby gate at the top of our staircase.
- One of your favourite games is crawling over our legs while we’re sitting. You will crawl back and forth repeatedly and you get such a kick out of it!
- You started saying “Dada” – sometimes you’ll say it while actually looking at your daddy. Usually, you’ll say it when you’re feeling happy.
- After you learned “Dada,” I tried to teach you, “Mama.” For about a week, you would look at me like you were studying my mouth and then you’d say, “Dada!” But since then, you’ve figured out how to say, “Mama.” Although you don’t quite associate the word with me yet. A lot of the time, you’ll say it when you’re unhappy.
- This past week, you’ve been expanding your exploration of sounds and pitches as you babble. It often sounds like you’re singing.
- Your current favourite book is “Baby’s First Noisy Book,” which your grandma (“Mah Mah”) bought you when she visited. You love looking at the pictures and hearing the sounds when we press the buttons. You especially like the car and the ducks.
- You like being outdoors. Sometimes when you’re being fussy, the minute we step outside, you calm down.
- You’ve learned how to pull yourself up to standing. A couple Monday’s ago, we walked into your room to discover you standing in your crib! We’ve since lowered your crib to the lowest setting so that you can’t fall out.
- You’ll now try to pull yourself up on pretty much anything vertical: the baby gate, the chair, us…
- You continue to love observing people. If there are people around, you’d rather watch them than play with your toys sometimes.
- You are quite observant to detail (you take after your parents in this!). We gave you a pair of your jeans and you spent a long time examining the buttons, the seams, the zipper, etc. This is great because we can give you pretty much anything and you’ll be entertained. Even a water bottle will keep you occupied for five minutes.
- You’ve learned to wave your hands! Well, more like waving your arms. You’ll sometimes do it when you’re excited, and sometimes in response to someone waving at you. And you always do it with both arms at the same time. It’s super cute.
- You also like to “play” the piano. The first time I took some piano music out, you squealed with glee. I think you’ll be pretty musical (also taking after your parents).
- You’ve started to smack your lips when you want to eat. You seem to have a high interest in communicating. Many times, when your dad or I are eating something, you’ll look at us and start smacking your little lips, as if to say, “I want to eat some of whatever you’re eating!”
- Mealtimes are great fun and great messes.
- You LOVE peaches and nectarines. You can eat half of a nectarine in one sitting. Your other favourite foods at the moment are oatmeal, puffed rice cakes and cantaloupe. You are pretty focused and calm when you have something to eat. It makes going out to restaurants with you pretty fun and enjoyable.
- You seem to be growing taller at a slower rate now. You are still wearing 12-18 month clothes, so that’s good.
- At the beginning of this month, you went through a phase where you resisted sleep. We think it was a combination of your top teeth coming in, you learning to crawl, the heat and having your grandparents visit. We resorted to walking you in the carrier to lull you to sleep. I was extremely tired those two weeks! Thankfully, you’ve outgrown that and are back to falling asleep on your own in your crib.
- The little bald patch at the back of your head is finally going away. I guess you’re not on your back as much now so the hair has a chance to grow back in.
There are many moments when I look at you and marvel at the miracle that you are. Somehow, my DNA is part of what makes you. And somehow, you came from me. But you are really your own little person. You are a gift to us and we love you so much.
All my love,