On Saturday, Caroline entered the last month of her first year! This past month has been especially fun with my little girl and she has made some big changes.
First, she has perfected the art of climbing stairs. If she notices we have left the baby gate down for even a second, she makes a beeline for the stairs. When she realizes we are following/chasing her, then she will glance over her shoulder and giggle as fast as she climbs. She knows she is doing something forbidden, and that makes it even more exciting. I am amazed that she hasn't had any big falls either, she just slips down one or two steps and then keeps right on going. I have been trying to teach her how to go back down backwards and hope she can figure that out soon. When we moved to a house with stairs, Rylan was already 18 months old and he figured them out quickly, so hopefully we will only have a few more months before she will be trustworthy on them. Caroline has also figured out, much to her delight, how to climb on Rylan's bed so she can jump, bounce, and pull his wooden letters off the wall. Her other favorite dangerous past-time is crawling behind the couch to play with the television wires. That one is really frustrating, because I haven't figured out a way to completely baby-proof that area. I have also caught Ms. Mischevious splashing in the toilet, and unloading the dirty dishes from an open dishwasher. When that gets boring, she pulls up on all our neatly stacked plastic containers of toys, reaches in, and starts flinging toys willy-nilly until she finds what she is looking for. She has been quite proud of her new ability to take of her socks, and shoes. When I pick her up from nursery at church, the workers have usually given up on keeping them on. Today when I picked her up from MOPS, she had lost her hairbow, both shoes, and one sock! I joke about having finding some pink duct tape to secure them.
Caroline is one tough little girl. I am amazed at all the roughhousing, bumps, and hard knocks she will tolerate without a whimper. I guess that's what happens when you have a big brother who likes to wrestle with you.
Friday night I was helping Caroline stand all by herself and she took a one or two small steps before falling into my arms. It all happened so fast, that I am not sure I want to give her credit for her "first steps". Plus, she hasn't been able to repeat it in the days since, but we are definitely getting closer to walking each day. She can stand on her own for several seconds and can even lower herself back down to the floor carefully when she gets tired.
Caroline's vocabulary has grown this past month. She still says "dada" and "buh-buh", but now can say "uh-oh" which is pretty cute. She also babbles, squeals, and chatters much more, which makes it more rewarding to play and interact with her. She can be so animated and dramatic in her emotions, both happiness and anger! The most adorable new thing she has learned this month is how to give kisses, which is mostly just a nuzzle on the cheek, sometimes with a litte snot or drool thrown in for good measure. Still, when she pairs it with a loving "ohhh", it melts my heart! One of her signature moves is giving tight hugs around the neck and saying "awww" when she is glad to see us. I wonder if that affection is a girl thing because Rylan wasn't that way, although he was more snuggly at her age. Maybe it is just differences in their personalities.
Mealtimes have been a little quieter and calmer in our house this month, now that I have started giving Caroline more table food. She likes just about everything as long as it is cut up in small enough pieces and will still eat some pureed peas and carrots so I can get a few vegetables in her. I am nursing three times a day and will probably cut down to twice around her birthday when I can start giving her whole milk. She will drink my milk out of a sippy cup, so I think that will be an easy transition. Naptimes are different every day it seems, but most days she will take an hour morning nap and sleep for about 1 1/2 hours in the afternoon. Bathtime is one of her favorite times of the day and she has figured out the comfort of lying down in the water to keep warm.
We are looking forward to celebrating her first birthday in a month, and I am excited about giving her some "girly" toys. I hope it isn't too late to distract her from the fun of race cars and Buzz lightyear action figures.
I finally decided to switch pediatricians after another frustrating hour wait at Rylan's 3-year well visit (with both kids, mind you, and no explanation for the delay), not being impressed with the new nurse practitioner, and having trouble communicating with the office staff. Caroline's 1 year visit will be with Rhonda, the NP who has seen her for every visit since birth except her 9 month check-up. I am really excited about that and think this is a good move for us. Hopefully Rhonda will stay put at this new pediatrician's office for a long time!