Sunday, February 21, 2010

10 Months

My Little Big-Stuff,

We're only two months away from your first birthday now - and you seem to think that you're going to be turning 13. This month has brought some challenges, but we've had a good time.

You're reaching the point where you know what you want and you work real hard to make it happen, but your little 10-month old body has limitations (such as not being able to walk) and that makes for some frustration on your part. And a little more whining than your parents enjoy.

This has been a month of pulling up, cruising furniture, and constantly reaching for fingers to hold onto so that you can walk wherever you want. Apparently army-crawling is no longer an acceptable mode of mobility! And while you are very wobbly and your balance still needs a lot of work, no one has bothered to tell you that. You're quite certain you can walk unassisted and regularly get to the end of the coffee table and casually turn to walk away as if there is no doubt in your mind that you can walk. So this month has also seen A LOT of falls and tumbles. You're getting more graceful and you very rarely cry when you fall, but, just the same, you spend a lot of time face-planting it onto the floor.

It has been a cold month and we've been in the house a lot more than either of us would like. I'm not sure if it is actually seasonal affective disorder or just a severe case of cabin fever, but you and I both are a little more ornery than usual these days. We're girls who need our sunshine and time outside . . . being buried under 14" of snow isn't really our thing. I'm not sure who wants spring to come faster: you, me, or Papai! Meanwhile, I'm supplementing with extra Vitamin D and hoping to be passing it along to you through my milk.

We've tried to have a little fun despite the sub-freezing temperatures though. We took a trip up to Nena and Papa's House, took you sledding/playing in the snow for the first time, enjoyed a Valentine's Day Day-Date with Papai in Iowa City to eat lunch at Olive Garden and go shopping, had a couple play dates with other stay-at-home mommies and their girls, and you made your first trip to Iowa State University to visit the Ag Engineering Department with Aunt Kelly and watch an ISU basketball game (and just so you know, they were already trying to recruit you into the engineering department and encouraging your father to start saving now . . . and just so you know, your father said you better be busting your hind-end and getting some scholarships . . . I thought it only fair that I record this information for you so that you can't claim ignorance later. We're giving you 18 years to earn some nice big scholarships. I think that's more than fair.)

We adjusted your schedule (is it really a "schedule" though, maybe we should call it a routine) slightly this month to reduce your nursing sessions from four to three and try to have your three meals at more "normal" times. Our days are ruled less by a clock though and more by a series of events, hence my tendency to prefer talking about routines rather than schedules. This month, a typical day for you might be (although each event can vary by as much as an hour or so in either direction):
7:00 wake up, nurse, go right back to bed
9:00 wake up and have breakfast
11:00 naptime
12:30 wake up, eat lunch
3:00 nurse
4:00 naptime
5:30 wake up and eat supper
8:00 nurse and go to bed

You continue to be our lean, mean, eating machine with meals being your favorite part of the day. You plow through more than 2 pounds of plain natural yogurt each week and beans, of any sort, continue to rank among your very favorite foods. On an average day, you might eat:

Breakfast: 6 oz plain yogurt with 2 tsp of toasted wheat germ, 1 banana, 1/4 cup of blueberries

Lunch: 1/2 cup black beans, 1/2 cup of peas and carrots, 1/2 cup of applesauce with 1/4 cup of crispy rice brown cereal (think Rice Krispies, but made with brown rice and no sugar)

Supper: 2 tbsp ground beef mixed with 1/2 cup of lentils, 1/2 cup collard greens, 1 peach

You drink water with each meal and throughout the day. We've avoided giving you juice, since you get plenty of whole fruits. Well, that and we really want your only drink options to be milk or water. Seems the easiest way to keep you content with that is to make it the only thing you know . . . as long as we can, anyway. :)

Much to our delight, you started babbling about halfway through the month. You hadn't really made a single consonant sound before, so we were a little anxious for you to start saying something. Well, one day you woke up and decided you could make all sorts of sounds. And so you did. Nonstop. All. day. long. Your Papai came home and was all like, "Um, when did she start "talking"?" And I told him, "Oh, when she woke up this morning." You now jabber all the time (except for when you have an audience who wants to hear you talk) saying, "bababa, gabaga, dadada, kkkkkk, mamama, papapa, eheheh" and other sounds. You haven't assigned your sounds to anything particular, and you don't repeat anything we say. You're just content to hear yourself babble.

So you don't call anything or anyone by name and you don't use any sign language yet. But, that certainly doesn't mean you don't understand what we sign and say. You know who Mamae and Papai are and look right at us if one of us asks where the other one is. You understand comer (to eat), leite (milk), nao pode (no-no), pare (stop), livro (book), vai ao vaso (go to the potty), fica aqui (stay here), the names of some of your favorite toys (Madeline, seu macaco (your monkey), seu cachorro (your puppy)), along with beijo (kiss), maozinhas (hands), boca (mouth), and more. It's really amazing to watch you learn and see how much you understand now!
Of course, now that you're understanding more, we expect a little more out of you: like obedience when we tell to you stop or that you cannot chew on the electrical cord. You make it pretty obvious that you know when you're doing something you're not supposed to (such as when you stop doing it while we're looking, but go right back to it the moment you think we're not looking.) Whoever coined the phrase "innocent little children" obviously didn't have a child of his own! You're cute and adorable and lovable and fun. But innocent? Yeah, not so much. So along with all the praise and positive reinforcement you've been receiving since birth, we've added a little corrective action now as needed. Two (admittedly half-hearted) swats on one occasion to your diapered little hiney two weeks ago and you no longer fight and whine and try to crawl off when I get you dressed. I can only hope that future needs for discipline are as successful and long-lasting! (Somehow I doubt it, but I can hope, right?)

You make me laugh and smile everyday and then moments later make me want to lock myself in a sound proof closet. I suppose that comes with parenthood. But luckily we have a lot more the the prior than the latter! You're still my outgoing, stranger-loving, smiley, happy girl and you bring so much joy into my life!

I love you whole bunches, Querida,


brasil021943 said...

Are you teaching portuguese to her?

Vivi DiLopes Adams said...

Emily, she is sooo cute! I could do a lot of squeezing there! :)

Nani said...

Hi Emily, you know what I admire the most about you guys (besides the fact that you are great parents)? Is that you not only take good care of Gabi but you also keep doing the same things you did before she was born. I know many parents saying that after they had their kids they could not travel and do fun stuff anymore because the kids "came first", and I admire the fact that you both enjoy your lives with Gabi as well. You didn't stop traveling, sightseeing, doing your fun stuff just because you have a baby now, plus it's also fun for Gabi, I believe. I hope my husband and I will be just like you and Erik when we have kids! Keep going, you guys are doing a great job with her. She looks mais linda cada dia que passa!