Did I say something about how Ember walking made my life easier? Well it does in certain ways, like being able to put her down without having her rolling all over the dirty floor. The downside? She keeps running off on me now. She doesn’t technically run yet, but I would say she’s very very good at speedwalking. She sees an open gate, open door, open stairs, and she is there. Not just once… but every single time I put her down. And then if I don’t put her down she ends up being a struggling, squawking octopus on my lap. She is obsessed with going up and down stairs – and has the scraped knee to prove it. We were at a party last weekend and we were exhausted having to herd her away from the deck stairs, run after her to grab mulch out of her mouth every time she went to the playground, and then spotting her up and down the stairs over and over and over. It is boring, slightly terrifying (see the comment about the skinned knee), and just really tiring. We were really kicking ourselves for not bringing the stroller with us just so we could strap her in so we could eat dinner.
The other thing Ember is developing is tantrums. She has a spunky little temper now that she has realized that she wants things and can get things… but sometimes people don’t let her. She doesn’t understand what is wrong with these horrible people who don’t let her do fun things like dive off couches and grab the computer mouse to run off with, but she is going to illustrate her disapproval with a full range of acting skills. So far she has the back arch, kicking legs, rolling around, flailing arms, and screaming. It’s hilarious – and ear-piercing. Once distracted or otherwise calmed down it’s all immediately forgotten, though, so it’s kind of funny.
She is understanding a lot more and starting to speak some words. I can say, “Ember, can you go get a book?” and she’ll grin at me and (usually) go get a book. The sounds she makes at pretty vague and I’m still not 100% sure I can call them words, but she will say “Kate” (but everything kind of sounds like Kate right now), “Mama” (the usual unhappy “Mamamama!”), she’ll repeat “Daddy” if I ask her to say it (and will look around and find him), and the other day she said “Ba” while waving. She seems a little behind other kids her age in speech, but it doesn’t concern me at all since she’s really solid on her gross and fine motor skills. Also Kate doesn’t give her a huge opportunity to talk. (Lots of opportunities for screaming, though!) She’s pretty quiet during the day but really babbles at us a lot if she’s awake after Kate goes to bed. I’m really looking forward to having alone time with her when Kate starts preschool in September!
She spends a lot of time playing with objects: blocks in and out of buckets, putting balls in holes, turning pages on board books, dumping out cups of sister’s water all over the floor. She likes to carry things around and hand them to me or whomever is nearby. No fancy toys for this kid. It’s funny how the expensive, musical toys are only interesting for a short while until she knows how to work it, then it’s ignored. It’s the bowls and blocks and sticks that are endlessly fascinating!
One new thing that makes me get all mushy is that since her birthday she is becoming increasingly bonded to Denis. She was always very very much a mama’s girl, which I think is part due to personality and part due to the natural division of kids, Den gets Kate and I get the nursing baby. So it was normal and expected but it still made me a little sad when she just wanted mama. Now she seems to be realizing that he’s a pretty fun guy, he seems to also live here and provides good tickles. When Den gets home from work Kate immediately pops up and runs over to him, and just recently Ember has started doing the same thing! It’s really really adorable, she goes speed-walking over there and lets out a happy screech, arms up until he picks her up. Then she looks at me with this big happy grin on her face. So adorable.
She is still nursing, though she doesn’t nurse too often during the day.. but every couple hours at night still. I would like to nurse her until 18 months like I did Kate, but I’ll just do whatever works for her. She still refuses to drink cow’s milk – she spits it out like it’s something entirely weird. Of course I bought Ember her own special sippy cup for her birthday, while Kate got a water bottle; turns out Ember much prefers drinking from the water bottle. I got a second one, intending one color to be Ember’s and one to be Kate’s, but they swapped around so much I gave up trying to enforce anything. Whatever, they are sisters, they share germs anyways. As far as sleep goes… she is still in our bed. I consider a good night to be two wake-ups (of her crying, nursing, falling back to sleep). Bad nights are every hour. I really don’t like bad nights, and I’m not quite sure how I’m still functional after a few days in a row. I am going to try again to get her into her crib, which is right next to our bed. Fingers crossed that it goes well. I really would love to have my own bed space for at least part of the night, and getting more than 3 hours sleep in a stretch wouldn’t suck. What holds me (and her) back is my love of having her close. She’s probably my last baby. I love snuggling up and sniffing her baby-wash hair at night while she nurses. Yeah I’m tired, but once she’s in her crib it will all change so fast. Every time we have horrible nights and I think I’m done and ready then things shift back and I think well, it’s okay, I can wait. Sigh. Conflicting emotions.