what a big girl you are! the very day after i announced via your 10-month post that you weren't pulling up to stand by yourself yet, you decided to prove me wrong. while you were playing in our family room (with Nana and Pappy here), you crawled over to the recliner and pulled yourself up like you'd been doing it for years. now you can balance without holding on to something for several seconds at a time -- longer if you're distracted by a toy. my favourite is whenever i have you stand on the changing table while i button your pants. you usually steady yourself against my shoulders for a few seconds. then you let go and stand there with a huge grin on your face, and finally you smile even wider and slooooowly let yourself tip forward until your forehead touches mine.
you pull a lot of silly faces these days -- the Zoolander "Blue Steel" face, the gruff old man face (you pull your bottom lip up over your upper lip), the cheesy squinting-eyed grin, the concentrating face (you wrinkle your nose and look vaguely disgusted while examining a new toy or texture). and you love to spit -- big sloppy raspberries that make us laugh!
you had an absolutely fantastic time with Nana and Pappy over Columbus Day weekend, when your daddy and i took an overnight trip to Bethlehem, PA, to celebrate our fourth anniversary. on Saturday, you went out to dinner at Hoss's with your great-pap and great-gram (and had your first taste of ice cream -- which i think you would have liked if it wasn't so cold!). you clapped for the children's choir at mass on Sunday morning, had a playdate with your second cousin Aubrey, and explored all of the fun toys Nana brought down from the attic. you especially liked the Fisher Price xylophone. Nana and i were beside ourselves with joy at the stuffed rocking horse she found that neighs, swishes his tail, and makes a clip-clop sound when you press his ear, but you weren't too sure about him. you are so lucky to have such wonderful family close by, and i only wish we were able to see all our other family as often!
your curiosity is growing by leaps and bounds, and when i pick you up from daycare, i often find you climbing up on the foam mats by the window to watch the older kids. a few weeks ago, you were "helping" me unload the dishwasher, and when i turned around for a few moments to put away the silverware, you quickly took the opportunity to climb in the dishwasher! and after you discovered how much fun it was to pull all my cookbooks off the low bookcase in the kitchen, i moved them and put your own toys and books there so you have your own special place to play.
you now say "bye-bye" (and wave), "up-up" or "MAH-MAH!" if you want something, "hi", "bay-bay" for baby (your reflection in the mirror, your dolls, and other babies in the nursery), and of course your favourite words, "pup-pup" and "ti-ti" for Kaiser and the cats. if we correct you, you shake your head "no" very solemnly. and yesterday for the first time, you signed "please" when i asked you to say it, before i could model it for you. and i absolutely love when you hum to yourself while you're playing or before i get you out of your crib in the morning.
the blazing leaves and crisp air remind me of this time last year, when we were anxiously awaiting your arrival, wondering what kind of a baby you'd be. and every day, when i kiss your cheeks and lay you down to sleep with your arm curled around your seahorse, i think: you're the best kind of baby. ours.