Today our baby girl is 11 months old. One year ago I was so pregnant and just two weeks from my due date with my doctors telling us it would be "any day now" and all of us consumed with full anticipation. And now she's here, in all her glory, filling us all up with her larger-than-life-sweetness every single day. She has the four of us wrapped around her little finger, and she has us wrapped around her little toes and her little nose and her baby blues and her tushie too. Seriously, this girl has us hooked. In the second photo down from here, the one with Meera in the wagon, she's wearing our favorite t-shirt. You can't really read it in the photo, but it says, "President not Princess." And man, oh man, does that say it all. This girl, at least for now, is no princess -- forget the frills and fuss; she commands with her simple presence alone. She is all president. There is no quivering bottom lip here, if she doesn't get what she wants she simply demands it (a shriek, a pounding of the fists, a kick of the legs) and within seconds she's got her brothers (not to mention parents) running to her rescue. Anything she wants, she gets. And it is easy to do because this little president knows how to choose her battles. She chooses wisely, and she chooses rarely, but when she chooses -- watch out -- do not stand in her way... because if you do... you are standing in the way of her big brothers, and trust me, they don't let anything stand in their way. Watch out world, here they come. And this threesome means business. I did not think it was possible for their bond to get tighter, but they continue to amaze me with their three-way-tie. They are tight as a knot right now. This month they've really come into their own with the development of new games that are now for three (instead of two). Peek-a-boo is the current game of choice. A napkin, a towel, a sweater, anything will do. It is always initiated by Little Miss. She covers her face and waits --silently and patiently-- for someone to notice. Before long she's got everyone playing along. K & O love it. They'll say "where's Meera?" 100 times without ever getting tired or bored, each time the question is asked with the most dramatic flair of sincerity possible. "Where's Meera? Where's Meera? Where's Meera?" Then, eventually, she'll pull the thing off her face to expose a huge grin and a big giggle. "Oh! There she is!!! There's Meera!" and then it goes again. Again, and again, and again. Much of our dinner-time is spent doing this. Every night. But she'll do it anywhere and everywhere that she might come across a piece of fabric that is suitable (on the sideline of the t-ball field, for example). Another dinner-time-routine that has become very popular around here is something I like to call "Ms. President Claps"; we'll all be eating and talking and she'll be sitting there quietly minding her own business as her brothers dominate the scene (as usual) and then suddenly, out of nowhere, one of us (usually Owen) will notice that Little Ms. Prez is calmly and confidently clapping like crazy and smiling ear-to-ear waiting for everyone to stop everything and look at her. Soon enough all five of us are sitting there, forks put down on the table, everyone clapping and smiling and looking at Meera. After she's had her fill of our full attention she'll go back to eating. And then we all continue on wherever we had left off. Speaking of dinner... she is quite the eater. She's pretty much done with baby food. She sees the little glass jars and immediately shakes her head "no" until we take it out of her line of vision. She'll still eat baby-food green beans and, her favorite, spinach-and-potatoes, but otherwise, forget it. Instead she wants the real thing. Current favorites: bean and cheese burritos, any kind of pasta, pizza, cheese sandwiches. This month she's tried (and loved) miso soup, chicken korma, pad thai, cheese-and-refried-beans-quesadillas, tortellini, smoothies, french toast. She loves grapes and strawberries and kiwi fruit and cheerios and mozzarella cheese and, of course, bread of any variety. And we can now confirm, with total certainty, that she's a salty girl, not sweet. Salty, salty, all the way. Little bits of salted pretzels, salted cashew nuts, salted tortilla chips... the saltier the better. Bring it on! This past month Meera has started a funny little quirk that neither of her brothers ever did when they were babies. She gets highly attached to a random object for a day (or two, or three) and will not let go of it. For 2-3 days there it was a little wooden toy maraca. She had to have it in her hand at all times. She ate with it, slept with it, got her diaper changed with it. For like 60-70 hours! Another time it was a random rattle that she had not previously ever shown interest in. And those are just a couple of examples. She doesn't do this all the time, but in the past month there have probably been 4-5 episodes of this. And she will scream if you try to take away whatever-the-object-of-the-moment is. She has also become very attached to Braydon this month. Now that she is fully bottle fed we've migrated over to Braydon, exclusively, doing the night feedings and handling any night wakings past midnight. This is something with did with the boys too, and we firmly believe that this is a major mechanism that promotes bonding with child-and-Papi. Since they are just so organically attached to Mama (for lots of reasons, including the fact that I simply spend more time with them), the night-duty is a way to foster and promote the deep bonding with Braydon. And in our family, it works. Really well. It worked extremely well with K & O (they still call out for Papi in the night when they wake for any reason), and in the past month we've seen it really start to take root with Meera. She is Papi's Girl. And, of course, she's Mommy's Girl too---- she loves loves loves her Mama. Developmentally, she's cruising along (literally and figuratively). She is big-time into standing up, holding on to anything she can find and moving along it (couches, tables, chairs, walls). She is very close to being able to pull herself up on her own now. She wants to stand-- and only stand-- all day every day. Still no crawling. Still has not rolled over (!). She's talking up a storm. A quick sampling of a few of her new words this month: "kitty cat" (as opposed to simply 'kitty'), "button" (2 syllables, clear as day), "bottle all done" (3 words as opposed to just 2), "fan" (that tough 'ph'/'f' sound followed quickly by the 'nnnn' sound--- a linguistic act not easy to do when you're not even 11 months old). This month she got two new teeth -- which brings her to a grand total of 8 (four on top, four on bottom) after lots of drooling and chewing. And she had her first lousy bought with a stomach flu (nasty!). But she handled that like she handles most everything -- like a champ! She's our girl. And she's loving life. We cannot believe she's almost a year old. We only have one more month to savor life with a baby-baby-under-1... and believe me, we'll be savoring every minute of it.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Posted by Heather at 10:44 AM