I'm not really sure where to start or how to best condense all this info. Ellie has changed so much this past month. Heck, just the other day I looked at Chad and told him how much she has changed in the last WEEK.
I guess the best way to describe Ellie's most recent changes are that...well...she seems a lot less baby-ish and a lot more like a toddler. I suppose this would make sense, seems how she is now officially a toddler. :) Overall, she is much more animated, interactive (with us and her toys), and her communication is shifting/improving.
No walking. Yet. But we are getting closer. Still lots of cruising on furniture and pulling herself up onto things. She can't stand up on her own (like if she's in the middle of the room) just yet, but it now takes her very little assistance (e.g. holding on to my finger) for her to get up into a standing position. Ellie also now loves to "walk" with our assistance. We spend a lot of time holding her hands and walking around the house in circles. In fact, my back is starting to get sore from all that hunching over!
Ellie's increased mobility = into even more stuff = impossible for me to get anything done while she's awake. Enough said.
Ellie's increasing age = increased independence = plenty of battles of the wills. Enough said.
No real, full words (at least I don't think so). Yet. But we are getting closer. Lots of da-da's and ba-ba's, and, every so often, something that sounds pretty close to "mama." But (sadly) I'm not confident she's made the connection of those words to Chad and I. Also, the babbles sound much different the last couple weeks. Lots of yabba-dabba's and so on.
Ellie is very animated. I guess this isn't really anything new, but the way she expresses herself is continuing to evolve. Lots more interaction with us and her toys, lots of dancing, waving and gesturing, laughing and lots of "talking." She could talk (ok babble) on and on and on. Complete with hand gestures and voice fluctuations and laughs. Still wish I knew what she was saying!
Oh, and on the lines of communication, she has picked up on a few baby signs. Insert happy dance! We had been (inconsistently) signing "milk" and "all done" with her since about eight months (???) and this month Ellie started consistently and signing for these at the appropriate times. She is so proud of herself when she does this--that beaming grin gets me every time. It should be noted that sometimes she also signs for these things at random times...like sometimes she makes the sign for "milk" when she's playing. Meh. Toddler steps.
She has developed two distinct laughs: A "this is funny laugh" and a new "this is fun" laugh. Don't get me wrong, we deal with a lot (lot, lot, lot) of fussiness/battles/Ellie thinks the world is ending moments. But she is also now very animated when she's happy...and it's so much fun for us. I love it when we're doing something mundane like riding in the car or grocery shopping and she is just content as ever; smiling and giggling.
Ellie learned to dance and loves it. Sometimes when she hears music she does this little shimmy-shake-bob with her body and head. Always, always, always makes me laugh. Poor girl most definitely inherited her parents poor dance skills.
My favorite change as of late? She has become much more affectionate. Melt. My. Heart. I'm not sure if this is coincidence, but this all sort of came about when we started giving her a "lovey" for comfort at naps and bedtime (she LOVES that thing). She has developed a love for soft plush animals and will randomly snuggle with them, rub them against her cheek, and give them kisses. And (even more exciting) she is showing much more affection toward us. Sometimes when she's playing she'll stop in the middle of what she's doing to come up and give one of us a hug (or as we often call it, "love"). When I rock her before naps and bedtime she likes to snuggle into my chest. When I pick her up out of the crib she often cuddles into my shoulder. And it's not unusual for her to lean in and snuggle when I pick her up on various occasions throughout the day. I think you get the idea. Pretty much the best thing ever. :)
Oh, and on that note of being more affectionate, another new thing she has picked up is giving US pats on the back. Like, I will pick her up out of the crib, rub her little back, and then she will pat my back a couple times in return. Seriously? Makes all the tough moments totally worth it.
Some Stats/Odds-n-Ends for Ellie at 12 Months...
- Height: 51st percentile
- Weight: 19 lbs, 1 oz; 16th percentile
- Head circumference: 90th percentile
- Nursing: 3-4 times a day (ay-yay-yay...lots of mixed feelings for mama on this). But slowing down in this area.
- Solids: I think it's safe to say that we're well established in this area. We mostly do finger foods with the occassional puree thrown in there, mostly if I want to give her some sort of mix with blended spinach or kale. We just introduced "milk" (almond milk for now) and are waiting to see how she does with that transition.
- Favorite foods: Sweet potatoes, anything green, Cheerios, puffs (aka baby crack).
- Sleeping: Finally (finally!!!!!) back to better habits here. It was a rough 1.5 months of fighting naps, but Ellie is back to taking a morning nap around 9:30-ish and an afternoon nap around 2:30-ish. And she now usually goes to bed around 7 and wakes up between 6 and 7 the next morning.
- Walking? Nope. But lots of cruising, pulling herself up, standing, assisted "walking" with the help of mom and dad.
- Words? Not really. But lots and lots of animated babbles.
- Teeth: Nine (!!!!) with more on the way soon (!!!!).
- Favorites: Cruising, soft stuffed animals, pat-a-cake, peek-a-boo, nesting objects, her lovey, dancing, playing "Where's Ellie?"
- Still: Fights diaper changes with the best of them. Strong willed as ever.