Life with a 13.5-month-old is crazy. The two things I say over and over these days: 1) what a difference a year makes...she's all grown up! and 2) how can she have so...much...energy! I probably say these things at least 4.6 times a day, on average.
Some of L's new developments:
1. She is starting to speak in full sentences. She used to say words like "this!" and "here!" but now it's more like, "what is this?" or "here it is!" I mean, wasn't she just a swaddled burrito blob a couple months ago? Boggles my mind that she understands us and responds back. When I ask her questions now she nods yes or shakes her head no. Her no's are...much more frequent. Her vocabulary is expanding daily, which is so fun to see. Sometimes we realize she knows words even though we never made it a point to teach them to her. She picks up so much just by listening...which is scary. Neither of us curse but I need to start laying off words like "damn" and "freaking" or soon she'll be saying "Give me my freaking bottle damnit" which isn't a good situation for anyone.
2. She is on the verge of running. The process of learning to walk is so strange. She was cruising for months, literally. Then one day, she took a step. Then the next day, a couple more. Then she was walking 5-8 steps for another week or two. One day (of course, the day I left for London), she got up and walked clear across the living room (maybe 20 steps?). After that, the amount of steps she could take without falling increased exponentially. Now it doesn't really make sense to count steps. I can tell you that she can walk from the living room to the kitchen and back. She is also picking up some speed, and it's hilarious to watch because when she wants to walk faster, she lowers her head like a bull (more aerodynamic?).
3. She is a monkey. She will not sit still. for. one. second. She climbs the slide. backwards. She climbs up the stairs and insists on walking down them. She climbs the outside of the staircase banister. She climbs the TV stand to touch the TV (MUCH to daddy's dismay as the TV is brand new). She climbs the couch. She tries to climb tables and fails. and tries again. and hits her head. and cries. then realizes no one cares. then tries again.
4. She is getting naughty. I'm realizing that I need to start disciplining her, which I'm not looking forward to, at all. But she is definitely starting to get defiant. This morning, she didn't want to eat so she started chucking cheerios on the floor. I told her to stop. She looked at me, put the cheerios down, then grabbed her sippy cup and held it hostage over the edge of her tray. I was ... speechless. It's like she was saying, "Fine! But you didn't tell me I couldn't drop my sippy cup...!" I told her to give it to me with a stern voice and she did right away. The stern voice works right now, but I can't overuse it because I know soon she will think nothing of it. Parents, I welcome any advice in this area. -___-
5. She is getting sweeter. This is pretty much the opposite of #4. But now I can ask for a hug and get one voluntarily, sometimes. Although she probably says no 8/10 times and then I have no choice but to get it forcibly. The best though is when she comes and gives me a hug and a kiss when I didn't even ask for it. This happens about once every two weeks and then I am SO HAPPY and then I rub it into daddy's face. Then she does the same thing to daddy and I'm like damnit. I mean goshdarnit. (For the record, even though she wants me to hold her most of the time, she gives daddy a lot more hugs and kisses. I'm not sure why this is but it is a source of mild annoyance for me.)
6. She is sleeping on a mattress on the floor. She hasn't slept in the crib in over 4 months, because she moves so much in her sleep that she kept knocking into the slats and waking up screaming. The past four months she slept on blankets on the floor, but this past weekend we bought a foam mattress from Ikea. The second we took it out she ran over and lied down and said "ahhhh." She loves it! The first night sleeping on it she slept over 10 hours straight (she's usually more like a 9-hours-a-night sleeper). Victory (I hope)!
7. She is (still) a great eater. The great thing about my mom watching her is that she eats so much good, healthy, homemade food. Her newfound favorites are plums, tomatoes, seaweed soup, cheerios (in milk, although that clearly was not the case this morning), green beans, and kale. I'm so lucky to have a good eater and I hope it stays this way. My mom is obviously so happy to have a good eater on her hands, but she makes it a point every so often to remind me that I was not like L and that my horrible eating habits as a kid (as in, I never ate) made life miserable for her. Maybe L's good eating makes up for her mother's horrible eating.
Life with a 13.5-month-old is crazy but so much fun but so tiring. And I'm sure it'll only get worse. This morning, as I was getting a cup of tea from the kitchen, Jimmy the project manager guy said to me, "you look tired." Yes Jimmy. I'm tired. But it's all worth it to get an unsolicited hug and kiss every two weeks. :)