Thursday, April 25, 2013

14 months and walking!

Note:  I wrote this on April 11, but managed to lose the cord to connect the camera to the computer.  So if the info seems dated, that's why!

Another month down, a serious skill picked up!  Gabby's been walking short distances for a little over 2 weeks--maybe 2-3 steps at a time before falling or grabbing on to something.  She was able to walk really long distances (from the kitchen to the family room) while holding onto my hand, and was starting to try to let go of me.  Then, over the weekend of April 6, we went to our friends' wedding (congratulations, Justin and Karen!), and while we were gone, Auntie Amy and Ryan came out from IL to watch Gabby.  When we got back, they told us that she'd walked pretty much the whole time and barely crawled at all!  We've known for a while that she is more likely to walk if she has an audience, but I was really surprised to hear just how much she walked.  She definitely walked a little more the next few days, but really picked up on Tuesday while I was home with her.  I took her outside (she actually asked--by giving me her shoes and waving bye-bye after I put them on her!), and she was walking like crazy!  I took a video on my cell phone (note: this is actually at the park near our house, and was taken last weekend; as an aside, this is also the day Gabby got an orangefrom a random 8 year old stranger--that's who she's looking at at the end of the video):

But missed the best part when she was walking in the street in front of our house (a cul-de-sac, so no traffic).  I was holding her hand, but she jerked hers out of mine, and started walking as fast as she could across the street!  She was very determined to get our neighbors lights.  The funniest thing--she was walking just like I would expect a zombie to, and her breathing sounded like zombie moans.  I'm so sorry I didn't get it on video!

She's still not an exclusive walker, and I think she walks more at home and more outside (and now all she wants to do when she is awake is go outside!) than she does at daycare or inside, but she's certainly well on her way to being a true toddler now.  (April 22:  She's pretty much only walking now, even at daycare.  I talked to her daycare director, and she thinks Gabby is ready to move up to the 1 year old room at last!  She'll make the move on May 1).

As far as other Gabby news, she now has 11 teeth, including 3 molars!  And that molar cutting was no joke--she was really miserable and didn't want to eat much (a sure sign of trouble--this kid loves to eat).  I can see the last molar and all 4 of her canines in her gums, so I know we're in for another round of teething soon.

She most definitely now understands exactly what I'm saying and not just my tone--I changed how I ask questions, and she still responds in an appropriate manner.  For example, we were walking in the kitchen and I asked if she was hungry.  She then led me to her high chair and pointed at it.  I also asked if she needed a nap, and she put her arms up and fell right asleep when we got to her room.  I finally got her some bubbles, and when I put them away and she wasn't quite done, she said "bub" and pointed at them (and started whining) until I got them back out (which I only did because of the "bub" and pointing--I'm trying to encourage communication in ways other than crying).  It just amazes me how fast she is learning, and how I really don't have a small baby anymore, but a toddler instead!

Another thing bringing that home is the amount of tantrums she throws now.  She gets so mad when she can't play with things (like my phone), or she can't go outside anytime she wants to (which, since the walking started, is basically anytime we're at home).  I know this is merely a prelude of things to come, and I can't say I'm looking forward to it!

On the job front, I applied for a full time teaching position at a community college about 10 miles from our house and didn't even get to the interview stage :(.  I think I still just don't have enough experience--this was the first job that had been posted in about 5 years, so there are a ton of adjuncts out there accumulating experience just like I am.  It's going to be a rough road to a full time job for me.  I also only have 1 class for the fall semester so far.  It is a bit early (one college never contacts me until summer), but this time last year I had 2 classes lined up already.  It's just a little discouraging for me right now!

Monday, April 1, 2013

13 months

The memorial service for my father-in-law was the weekend before last, and it was a very moving event.  We interred his ashes on Friday with just his immediate family, and then had the memorial on Saturday.  Gabby was an angel during the interment--she fell asleep as we were starting and stayed asleep until it was over.  She was also really good at the restaurant afterwards.  I thanked her multiple times for her behavior! 

Brian and Gabby at the grave site.  It's actually really pretty there, despite the power lines in this shot.

Gabby says the dirt tastes fine.

Fortunately, Brian's sister Jennifer included us with her babysitter for the Saturday event, and Gabby had a blast playing with her cousins Audrey and Olivia.  It was also really nice to visit with people without having a baby clinging to me!  I think Gabby may have sensed that something was wrong--she was VERY clingy while we were in LA, and while some of that is probably the new people and the strange places, it seemed to be more than that.  She's still totally a momma's girl, which is nice, but sometimes momma's arms get really tired of holding her!

After the memorial weekend, we took advantage of my spring break and went to San Diego.  Gabby had a blast!  She loved the shows at Sea World (especially the dolphin show), she loved seeing all of the animals at the Safari Park, and she loved having us all to herself! 

I know it looks like we're super close here, but we're actually in the very last row.  Brian got a new camera lens and loved playing with it.

Gabby loved the bird lady most of all.  Unfortunately, we have no reaction shots, since Brian's lens wouldn't let him shoot that close.

Again, we were really far away!

Blowing kisses to the butterflies. I have no idea why it's rotated.

Riding the Africa tram

Watching the animals roll by

She finally got to touch an animal!

It was so much fun for me to see her reaction--it was like I was seeing it for the very first time myself.  She was just so excited, clapping her hands, pointing and waving.  I admit that I got a little teary, and realized that this is why we have kids--so we can show them the world!  We got to meet one of my mommy Facebook friends and her daughter Olivia, and Gabby just loved seeing another baby her size (and with the same amount of hair!).  The only thing she didn't love was being in the bathroom (in a crib) overnight.  She woke up every night but one at 3:30 am, and was a pain to get back to sleep.  Other than the sleep deprivation, we all had a great time there!

What she didn't do at 3:30.
Gabby is now 13 months old, and well on her way to toddler-hood.  She still doesn't walk, but she can now stand up without having something to hold onto for support.  She can also take a few steps, but only if she has a clear goal in mind.  She'll walk from a table to me, but she won't just walk without thinking about it.  She also walks a lot more when she has an audience--we went to her friend Phoebe's first birthday party, and she definitely put on a show there with her walking. 

I can hold 2 of them!
We went back to the Berrys' for Easter yesterday, and Gabby had a great time playing with Phoebe and Charlotte.

In her Easter dress. Yes, she wore the same thing to the memorial.

Bouncing Charlotte's ball

Swinging with Chris

This is actually not Easter, but none of the Charlotte Easter pictures turned out!
"I love you, Phoebe"

"I hate you, Phoebe!"  She'd actually just dropped a toy.

Friends again at the ball popper
Otherwise on the milestone front, Gabby is really good at pointing.  I love this, since it makes it so much easier for her to tell me what she wants.  She also baby-signs all done, but tends to use it to mean "pick me up".  She's now blowing kisses (cutest thing ever!), and understands at least my tone when I give simple commands.  For example, I'll ask her if she wants to eat, and she'll drop what she's doing and come right over.  She also does this when she really doesn't want it--I asked her if she wanted a nap, and she came to me, but clearly wasn't tired.  I think she's like the cats and is just responding to the tone of voice and not the actual words yet. 

I've also started to see some frustration from her.  She'll try to do something like put a block in a hole, and if she can't get it in, she'll get really frustrated and start yelling.  I usually just tell her calmly "you can do it", and for the most part, she can.  It just takes her longer and makes her mad when she knows it's supposed to work.  I'm fighting my urge to just jump in and help--she needs to get frustrated so that she can learn to deal with it!

Gabby is just a constant joy, and I'm so glad to have her.  I can really see her personality developing, and I know she's going to be so much fun when she can communicate more.