Ember seems like such a toddler now! She has figured out how to climb onto the couch (using her chair to climb over the couch arm), climb and sit on the kid chairs in the house, and thankfully also how to get off furniture feet-first without injury – though there was a spectacular roll off the couch the other day that landed her flat on her back. She’s turning into a monkey, and as she gets taller she can reach more too; every time I turn around my computer mouse is missing.
I’ve noticed big change is in her language skills. She doesn’t have a whole lot of actual words yet, she says “Mama” and “Da-dye” which stands for bye-bye and/or night-night. But she understands so much more. I ask her if she wants to eat and she runs to her highchair. She’ll run over to her daddy when I ask her where he is. She blows kisses on command. I ask her if she wants more food and she makes the sign for more and waits expectantly. I need to brush up on some signing words to teach her, as she’s picking things up pretty quickly now.
We are also in transition with her sleep. She still ends up in bed with me in the middle of the night but she’s starting the night in the crib. We’ve gone from refusing to settle in the crib at all, to laying down on my hand and gripping it while she falls asleep, to laying down without any help from me. Now we’re working on her falling asleep without me in the room, but it is being slightly complicated by the dreaded molars. (I knew I wouldn’t have a long time between teething episodes so I am not surprised, just full of sighs for stupid teeth.) Along with falling asleep on her own she’s putting herself back to sleep on her own, which is pretty huge. Also huge: Den was able to put her to bed while I was out one evening last week. Huge! For over a year I have had to come home and put her to bed, no matter what time it was I knew I had to hurry home because she’d be tired and cranky and refusing to sleep until I nursed her to sleep. The night I came home to find both kids in their beds I did a little dance!
At some point I’m going to need to night wean her so that she and I can actually sleep all night long – I am not even sure my body would know what to do without being woken up every couple hours. Night is really the only time she actually nurses a lot, she’s down to nursing just a couple times during the day, she’s just too busy and distracted. Kate at this age was very needy (from what I remember), nursing often. Ember’s just totally fine without it. She doesn’t dive or tug at my shirt at all. If she’s hurt or sad she just hugs me and nuzzles onto my shoulder. If she’s tired she’ll flop around on my lap until I nurse her, but then won’t actually nurse more than a couple seconds until I take her in a dark room. Once in a great while I’ll nurse her in public, usually when it’s past her nap time and she’s starting to lose it, but it’s a pain in the butt and doesn’t really accomplish much.
She’s taken over one of Kate’s nalgene no-spill water bottles and drinks water all day long when she feels like it. She won’t drink milk at all still – takes a mouthful and then lets it all dribble out of her mouth. I’m hoping that someday she actually decides to drink some, but I got tired of putting milk in a sippy cup just to have it spit all over. Food at least is going much better than the milk! Once she figured out chewing and textures she’s been doing just fine with table food and can handle most things without issue. She’s definitely not a kid who will eat anything and everything, she has her preferences and will drop food over the side of the highchair if she’s not keen on it. She loves meat, I can pretty much count on her eating whatever meat is with the meal. Fruits and veggies are more hit or miss. Grapes and blueberries are completely rejected. Banana, strawberry, watermelon and such are all eaten though it’s clearly not her favorite thing ever. Actually I’m not sure she really has a food that she totally loves, she’s just very measured in her appreciation.
She has continued bonding with Den. When she’s mildly upset by some bump or disappointment, if I’m not immediately available she runs right over to him for a hug and a cuddle – and sometimes after going to me she goes to him as well, double the consolation I guess! She loves to play with him, I always tell the girls that he is the fun guy (so go jump on him, not me!).
Maybe our memory is blurry, but it seems like Ember is really good at figuring things out. She’s solid on her feet and trying to jump already. She has really good fine motor skills and is always doing things that surprises us. She uses the toy vacuum around the living room, puts the balls in the dragon toy so they come out the various chutes, threads sticks through holes. I know none of this seems amazing to other people, but she just seems to pick things up really quickly after watching, and she experiments and figures things out herself. I guess watching babies grow and learn will just never get boring!