I have so much to write about Evelina and the last three months since my last monthly update but for now I will just share this video which features walking (!) and a bit of talking (kinda) and throwing of ball.
As we approach your first birthday, we are still marvelling at how quickly the time is passing by. There have been much more subtle developments such that we barely recognise when you do something new.
This morning, I asked Evie if she wanted breakfast. She crawled over to the kitchen door. It's so amazing how she is starting to understand.—
Mama Kate (@raisingevelina) October 28, 2011
Your understanding of what we are saying is definitely increasing although you still choose to be quite selective about whether you understand ‘no’! Thankfully your fascination in the TV unit seems to have dwindled although the remote control still seems to enthrall you more than anything else. Telephones seem to the latest obsession and it is so cute to watch you use any mobile phone-shaped object like a telephone – the Flip video camera, a shoe, anything!
It is really lovely that you seem to have grasped the concept of kissing – you even purse your lips on occasion although you do tend to favour a more continental (read: French) approach: mouth open, tongue out! Still, it is lovely that you are so affectionate and we have even been treated to some (very quick) hugs. You are still a bit of a fidget when you hug but we will allow it!
At the end of October, we went to your first First Birthday Party for your friend Ruby. As it was close to Halloween, you were able to wear your cuter-than-cute witches outfit. There have been a steady stream of first birthdays with Rory first, then Ruby, Arthur and Jacob before yours. Arthur had a party too which you attended, although we had to leave quite early for you to have a nap. You are still such a good sleeper and unless you have your three naps a day, things are not all well with the world for you!
As well as all the first birthdays, you helped your cousin Poppy celebrate her 2nd birthday at Hatton Country World.
Your physical developments has come along well this month with a steadier walk-along at furniture; more willingness to walk with us holding your hands and sometimes, just the one hand; an interest in climbing which has you climbing into your toy box, climbing the sofa and climbing the stairs. You now shoot up the stairs pretty well although you still need the safety net of someone right behind you as you tend to lack precision!
The climbing is getting silly: Evelina managed to climb onto the top of the fireguard and also she made it up onto the sofa without a boost.—
Mama Kate (@raisingevelina) November 08, 2011
Towards the end of the month, we noticed you start thinking about letting go when you were standing at the sofa and we have now seen you stand for a good ten seconds at a time. There have been no steps as yet but it doesn’t seem like it will long.
We also went for our first bike ride this month with you on your new bike seat. So much fun!
You have also developed an interest in box forts so we have been meaning to make you a bigger box fort to play in. You are inquisitive and playful which is so much fun.
Sometimes you look so grown-up, like at your birthday party when you handled the influx of people with aplomb. Yet, sometimes we still see glimpses of our little baby.
The day before your birthday, we took you to have some professional pictures taken and it went so well (a little too well, if you ask our bank account!). The photographer was delighted by you and we got so many good pictures of you. I was so pleased with your party frock which you also wore on your birthday – beautiful bronze taffeta-type fabric with a big bow. You looked gorgeous.
In the blink of an eye, you have gone from that tiny, little creature with gunk in your hair to a big eyed smiler with a great sense of humour who always has a lot to say, even if you can’t speak yet.
I have now been a mama for a year and I still have so much to learn. The strange thing to me was that at no point did I ever feel lost or like a novice but at the beginning, I felt like your caretaker. It just took a little while to comprehend that I was your mother. I think I am still getting to grips with what that means! It seems odd to thank a baby for being themselves but I really do want to thank you for being such an extraordinary child. I know that every mother feels that their child is exceptional and I am no exception! You are a marvel, a wonder, a delight and a blessing. You have made me and your daddy so very happy.
We half expected you to be walking by now since you were so quick to get up on your feet at every piece of furniture possible but you have still yet to take the plunge. A couple of times now, you have let go of the sofa/box you are holding onto with one hand to stand on your own but it is just for a moment. Still, I suppose it means you are testing your balance so it’s probably just a matter of time.
You have mastered something big this month though – you can climb the stairs! It started with just a few steps at Grandma and Grandpa’s but now you can manage the entire flight so we have had to be extra vigilant with your stair-gate. The other day, we were putting things up in the loft and you were put in your cot for safety. After a while, you grew frustrated with your prison so I let you crawl about on the landing while I finished getting some bits down the loft ladder. On one of my journeys down, I feel something soft beneath my foot as I a climbing down the ladder and I realise that you have managed to climb up two rungs, getting stuck in the process! My heart fell out of my mouth and I had to dangle precariously past you so as not to trample you on my way down. Climbing is definitely your new thing. You have also worked out how to use the magazine basket as a step up onto the side table in the lounge. And you also have managed to climb into your toy box which is very cute indeed.
Another big advancement is your dancing. I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to see you bob along to the beat – your preferred TV viewing spot at the moment is right up at the TV unit. You even danced along with Ellen the other day.
We went to visit our friends (and you Godmother) Caroline and Lee this weekend and it was so lovely to watch their girls playing with you. It will be so great when you can run about with them at the park.
This month you were baptised at St. Margaret’s Church in Whitnash. Your Godparents, Grandparents and Auntie and Uncles joined us.
The hardest part of this month has been me returning to work and although you are very happy with Grandma while I am gone, I still miss you very much.
Your tenth month has mainly been an exercise in perfecting the art of standing up and sitting down – with some falling over for good measure. You have become so much steadier, though, and adept at carefully sitting yourself back down instead of tipping sideways or backwards. You are able to walk using your baby walker although you need supervision as it rolls a bit too quickly for you to stay upright! Your feet can’t keep up. You are also crawling properly now and have completely forsaken the commando-style crawl ‘n’ drag that you had previously favoured.
We are still waiting for more teeth to appear – you still just have the two that came through in July. I can’t see any sign of any more although it is not that easy to get into your mouth for a good feel since you use the two teeth you do have to good effect! They are really quite sharp.
A lot of your progress this month was noted in your 9-month health visitor check-up so there is not very much else to report. The biggest change this month, other than the steady standing, is your babbling which is really coming along now. We have a feeling that you have said dada or daddy and actually meant it – it is hard to be sure but twice now you have said it with your daddy around and it didn’t seem accidental or coincidental. I really can’t wait for you to really start talking – even with all your ‘words’, I still can’t imagine what your voice will be like. And when you say Mama or Mummy, I know I will just melt! A couple of times, you have also said baba when you have looked in the mirror so I don’t know if you are saying baby or if, again, it is just coincidence.
Another change this month has been your temperament. Whilst you are still your sunny, affable self a lot of the time (tired or hungry? not so much!), we have noticed you being a bit more clingy and wary of people when you first see them – even if you have seen them before. I noticed this even more when you aren’t feeling well and this month you have had a nasty cold and cough that is still hanging on. This has meant you have hugged both your daddy and I – or you have at least held on to us – so this is probably a major first even though these sorts of things kind of sneak up. I am trying to think of the first time you hugged me – if you even have yet – but I can’t and yet you would think that this is a significant milestone that I would not forget.
We took Evelina to go on the swings by herself for the first time today – she seemed to dig it!—
Mama Kate (@raisingevelina) September 04, 2011
This week is my last week at home with you all the time. Starting next week, I will be working two days a week in the office with your grandpa while grandma looks after you. I have not really had much time to think about it because for a while, it looked like my working situation was going to change. Add to that the fact that we have your Baptism on Sunday, my mind has been busy elsewhere and I am currently trying to ignore the exam-nerves feeling in the pit of my stomach which I think is linked to the fact that I am returning to work. I know I am lucky to only be working two days and not more (for now) but this will still seem like a wrench at first. I have been giving you a lot of extra cuddles this week which you always wriggle out of.
The only time you are happy to just sit on my knee with my arms around you is when you are feeling sleepy just before or just after your last bottle and I put In the Night Garden on for you. You didn’t show much interest in TV at all for a long time but you have started to watch things with interest (albeit for a relatively short amount of time – your attention span is still limited!).
This month we all attended the wedding of our good friends, Liz and Pete. It was fun to get you all dressed up although we only got the church in the nick of time and fed you all through the service to keep you quiet! You are quite vocal now and even though you were happy and / or excited, your squeals still sound loud in a church!
You have made a massive improvement in eating solids (purées and finger foods) this month. I was starting to worry a bit about your lack of interest (because this is what mama’s do: worry. Constantly.). But something suddenly clicked and now you just want to eat and eat at every meal. I think dropping the fourth bottle was the turning point and somehow you have started to notice that food can fill you up. Breakfast is a lot easier now that you will wolf down your Weetabix or Ready Brek.
Evelina just crawled up the steps in my parents' lounge – her first stairs (albeit just 3 shallow and wide steps)!—
Mama Kate (@raisingevelina) September 16, 2011
You are such a people person – you love being around other people, strangers included. When I walk around the shops with you, I see you trying to catch every passer-by’s eye (especially the men; we are going to have so much trouble with you when we are older) and you look visibly put-out if someone has the audacity to walk on by without a smile for you! I love how I can glance down to see you beaming at someone behind me and when I look around, sure enough there is someone delighted that you are smiling at them. You are already able at just 10 months old to make people happy. What a powerful gift. You smiled at a lady the other day and she was so enchanted, she told me that you had made her day.
You make my day every day.
As your daddy and I celebrated our birthdays at the end of July, we left you for the night with your Grandma and Grandpa – our first night without you! While we went for a curry and a film at the Birmingham IMAX, you were a perfect angel and slept well for your grandparents. In fact, August was a busy month for us with both your daddy and I having weekends away without you. My weekend away in London celebrating our friend Liz’s hen night was your first night being looked after by just Daddy. Although I had a great time, I still missed you and was very excited to see you. When I arrived home, I was greeted with your smiling face and a bandage wrapped around your head – Daddy was playing a joke on me! It was such a cute sight and might have worked a little more had you not been smiling so widely!
More good weather meant you got to have some paddling pool fun. One of the days, you were joined by your two cousins Millie and Daisy in their cuter-than-cute matching Hello Kitty bikinis! As the eldest, Millie was careful to look after you and make sure you didn’t fall head-first into the water, despite your attempts to drink it!
Among this month’s firsts are:
- pulling yourself up onto first your knees and then your feet to a full stand
- proper clapping
- low fiving (the high five is still too advanced)
Oh lordy. Evelina pulled herself up to her feet today unaided.—
Mama Kate (@raisingevelina) August 22, 2011
At your baby clinic visit this month, you weighed in at 21 pounds and 2 ozs which is a good size. Your nine months check is soon so we will also be able to see how tall you are as well as making sure you are doing all the things that you should be – I know that you are!
You are as mobile as ever now – your crawl is very fast and we have had to buy a fireguard to keep you away from playing with (read as: eating) the coal bricks. Your other obsession is the audio-visual equipment in the lounge. This picture shows you being told “Evelina, no!” and turning back to smile impishly before continuing on!
With your next development of wanting to stand up at the furniture, we have to be extra vigilant and unfortunately, you had taken a few knocks with your unsteady legs failing you on occasion. It is especially difficult to prevent these knocks when you are in your cot – you are now able to stand up at the side and this has meant that your naps sometimes don’t get started as easily as they should.
Something has happened this month and your face is starting to really change – your are less babyish and looking more and more grown up. You have always had the most expressive face but your are so alert with it that it is hard to remember that you are still so young. You seem to be taking so much in. You are also starting to get just a little but more clingy – especially for your father. Yes, you are definitely a daddy’s girl! When he comes home, you beam with delight only to express your distress when he decides he needs to leave the room to go and get changed!
I have noticed you getting just a bit warier of people you don’t know well – you hold on to my arm a bit tighter. We aren’t encouraging this behaviour but it is a nice feeling to think that you want to hold on to me. I will hold on to you for as long as you need it – even when you are big and grown.
The biggest deal this month was our family holiday to Italy – your first time abroad, on a plane and staying away from home for more than one night. As expected, you were a total star, sleeping through the night and coping with the heat remarkably well. It was such a fun week although it was more tiring than holidays usually are – I can only imagine how it would have been though if you were less reliable!
Evelina crawled properly today but only for Grandma and Grandpa. I saw a later effort but it was only half a job.—
Mama Kate (@raisingevelina) July 10, 2011
This month was also a month of firsts:
- first crawl
- first tooth
- first trip in a shopping trolley!
As I said, this month you started to crawl and you have already come on so much. You are so mobile now – you get about in a commando-style crawl which is just getting going. It is only a matter of time before you are speeding all over the place. We noticed on holiday how much sturdier you were when sitting and you are still able to play with your toys with your feet with great dexterity!
We took a visit to my old hometown of Southend to visit old friends who were impressed with your ability to use your feet.
Evelina starting cutting her 1st tooth while we were in Italy & the 2nd is on its way too! Neither one is really a 'tooth' yet! More a nub!—
Mama Kate (@raisingevelina) July 20, 2011
So, your first tooth..! We were very excited to feel a sharp point on your bottom gum and sure enough, a few days later, a tooth started to poke through, with your second following a couple of weeks later.
You have started a really funny habit of putting your leg up in your high chair – you clearly feel more comfortable this way. With the better weather, it has been so good to get outside with you even if I am paranoid about the sun on your ever-so pale skin.
I managed to catch your face with my nail leaving you with a gouge on your forehead! I felt awful but you have unfortunately inherited my delicate skin. I just hope you aren’t as clumsy as me too!
One of the most exciting developments for my given my background in Linguistics is your language acquisition. You are already making a whole host of sounds – you are quite vocal!
This week, we have had lots of guhs and duhs… Ridiculously excited by the cuteness of these sounds.—
Mama Kate (@raisingevelina) June 29, 2011
Your routine is changing now with less milk and more solid food (but just the same amount of sleep as you have enjoyed for the past 6 months, it seems!). Right now, you tend to wake up around 7am, have a quick play while I make up your bottle, gulp that down then play some more before going back to sleep within an hour max. After an hour’s nap, you are up for breakfast, another bottle around 10.45am with more sleep 11am-12pm. After your lunch, there is more play and then another sleep at 2pm which can sometime be up to 2 hours. You have dropped your afternoon bottle, instead having some water and a snack before your last nap of the day around 4pm. You have tea, play, bath and then your last bottle tends to start around 7pm meaning you are usually fast asleep by 8pm. A lot of eating, playing and sleeping, then!
And you want to know something really silly, when you are asleep, I kind of miss you!
This month you started doing a rather unfortunate thing with your tongue which was less than attractive – you stuck it behind your bottom lip! The above photo was the nicest one I could find of you doing it without making you look really awful and thankfully for the readers, no food is on display!
Luckily, this was just one of your many phases (like your love of raspberries which comes back periodically!).
Evelina wished her daddy a happy father's day this morning with a friendly fish hook followed by a raspberry.—
Mama Kate (@raisingevelina) June 19, 2011
We finally got your nursery looking spiffy with the bunting up and (almost) everything in its place. The final addition will be your foot and hand print which has now arrived.
We tried you in your door bouncer for the 2nd or 3rd time and you really seemed to get the hang of it (‘scuse the pun!). You actually managed a couple of bounces (although this does not compare the manic jumping we get now, at Month 8!).
All in all, your seventh month saw a lot of changes – somewhere towards the end of it – and I am not really sure exactly when, I realised that you could sit unaided. That is not to say that we didn’t need to still use plenty of cushions around you as you were still prone to a sudden faceplant when we least expected it which makes us realise what a lethal deathtrap (redundant, I know) the house is. One poorly padded marble hearth and.. well, I don’t want to think about it.
But some things stay the same. My love for you. And your eyes of blue. And your quizzical brow.
I thought I was going to catch up with these reflective posts so that I could write about your seventh month on time but I didn’t quite manage it.. maybe by your eighth month, I will be on track!
You are getting about so much now that I can’t leave you playing on the floor for any amount of time and a few times, I have been making a cuppa or getting your bottles ready and I hear you complaining, only to find that you have managed to roll part-way under the sofa leaving up on your front and trapped as you have not really worked out forward motion (you can edge, you can pull but thank heavens, you cannot yet crawl) and the sofa is stopping you from rolling out of trouble. It’s quite a sorry sight – your little face is quite appalled by the impediment.
We are still waiting for your teeth to make an appearance – in the meantime, you still want everything put your way in your mouth, including unsuspecting fingers.
This month was a busy month – we celebrated your Grandad’s 60th birthday by throwing him a surprise party. Your Grandpa, Nanny and Uncle Matt also had birthdays.
As a treat for Easter, Grandma and Grandpa treated you to having your hand and foot print made into a beautiful addition to your nursery. You were good as gold as the lady pressed your hand followed by your foot into clay.
You met your Great Auntie Janet in May while she was visiting from the US. She is your Grandma’s sister and you were very confused by the lady who looked just enough like Grandma without being Grandma, with a very different voice! When your Great Auntie Chris joined us for a trip to Coughton Court, it just added to the confusion!
There are still a ton of ‘firsts’ – some so small, they pass us by as we marvel at our growing daughter. I do manage to catch one or two, though:
First mirror smile! We are in the car and I smiled at Evelina in the baby mirror and SHE SMILED BACK! Usually she just looks perturbed.—
Mama Kate (@raisingevelina) May 21, 2011