Eleven Month Checkup
The concepts this baby understands these days are amazing to me. If you hold out your hand and say "please" she'll give you whatever she's holding (unless it is of particular interest to her, of course). If you hand her a comb, she'll hold it up to her head and swirl it around. And last week, at his parents' house, Ez gave her a foam sword and swatted it with his; she swatted it back a couple times, then stood up for battle and started full on swashbuckling, edging forward until she had him pinned up against the wall. She is a little sponge, soaking up the world and learning to wring it back out again.
TEETH. This month she got two new teeth in one day. (We're now up to four teeth, and I think a few more are coming soon. Lord help us.) While I was taking a shower one morning, I could hear her starting to freak out in her crib, where she was playing. She was suddenly screaming and crying and banging her head on the rails, like she does, well, never. Still dripping wet, I ran into her room to see what was wrong. I reached in her mouth, knowing to expect something soon, and there was a new little chomper freshly popped through the top gums. Later that night, Ez was changing her diaper before bed and she started screaming and kicking and writhing around. I stuck my finger in her mouth again and BOOM! -- there was top tooth number two. It was an eventful day for sure. There is a huge gap between these two front teeth, for which I blame myself. Back in high school I had to have oral surgery and braces to fix my gappy teeth, so I think it's not out of line to start a "Johnnie Dentistry Fund" right away. (Of all the traits of mine she had to get, and there are very few, I feel bad it had to be that one. But it is so darn cute I laugh every time she smiles.)
SLEEPING. We've fixed some of the sleeping issues we were having, thank the good Lord. Though I think teething does at times contribute to night waking and poor sleeping (though not all doctors agree on that, apparently), after some book reading and internet searching, the long-term solution I thought we needed was an earlier bedtime. Instead of aiming to have her asleep between 8 and 8:30pm, I started aiming for between 7 and 7:30 to better align with her natural circadian rhythms. While we still have some sleep training to do before she's where I think she needs to be, this has been a huge improvement. When I lay her down at night now, she rolls over and is asleep within a few minutes without a fuss, and she seems to sleep better overall and with less waking. We're a bit off schedule this week due to family visiting and more teeth on the way, but I'm confident we can get back on track with a few good, consistent nights of our handy new routine.
EATING. Since we backed up her bedtime, we decided to eliminate one of her bottles this month because we couldn't fit it into the new routine. She doesn't seem to miss it. We finally used up the rest of my frozen breastmilk last week --just shy of 11 months -- so now she's just drinking about 20oz. of formula a day. She's starting to flat-out refuse being fed with a spoon, shaking her head no and pushing the spoon away, so we're trying to get creative with finger foods during her breakfast, lunch and dinner. Her favorite new things are a mixed squash casserole (which is especially tasty because my mother-in-law grows her own squash) and buckwheat pancakes made with mashed banana (torn into little pieces).
TALKING. She babbles, but the only real words she seems to say are Ma, Dad and sometimes Uh oh. She points at things and says "Ta!" a lot -- which I think maybe sort of means "Look at that!" Not a whole lot of real talking going on.
FIRST BIRTHDAY PLANS. I tend to keep things low key, so we're just having a little family picnic at my mother-in-law's. Just a special little cake for Johnnie (need to find a recipe for something healthy) and surrounding her with people that love her.
I can't believe that next month will be her ONE YEAR CHECK UP!!! The thought alone is making me misty-eyed.