Anyone who'd prefer not to read about a babbling toddler, but who's interested in the progress of an IVF pregnancy, please redirect yourself here.
Charlotte has not repeated her walking feat since Memorial Day. She's consistent about wanting to hold just one hand, actually just one finger, while traipsing around the house. And she's taken a few solo steps here and there, but nothing like she did on Memorial Day. "They" say that kids tend to develop either their motor skills or their verbal ones first, while the other lags a bit. This little girl has definitely been focused on the verbal side of things.
As far as signing goes, she's mastered nearly every sign in the Baby Signing Time series. "New" seems to be a tough one for her to understand, but when she hears Raffi singing "Day-o," she sings and signs "day" right along with the music. Same for "baby" in Baby Beluga. She made up her own sign for "wet," reaching up to touch my hair if I say the word because of the times I've gotten her up from a nap with my hair still wet from the shower. I found a TV show that often includes sign language and taped a couple of episodes, from which we both learned signs for "boy," "girl," "sit," "stand," "on," "off," and a few others. There's really no doubt what she's signing now, and I think even someone unfamiliar with her toddler interpretation of signs would be able to understand most of what she signs.
Verbally, she's become a sing-song chatterbox. The intonations make it sound like she's really saying something in complete thoughts and sentences, but "real" words pop up only once in a while during her conversations with herself (or her toys). Her favorite word by far is "baby," which she coincidentally introduced on the day we got our BFP. She tries to imitate our words, and has been pretty successful with many of them.
Some of her current spoken words:
berry (boy does she love blueberries and strawberries!)
bee (or B, for Bruins... yay, Bruins!)
I'm sure I've left out a few, but she adds new ones every day so it's hard to keep track. She loves music, and has recently asked to listen to Antje Duvekot at nap and bedtime (with only three CDs in her room, it's that, Bruce Cockburn, or Mozart. I think Antje's cover is the most interesting-looking.). We've been going to Music Together classes since January and she really enjoys making music, dancing, and interacting with the other kids. Anyone roughly her size or smaller gets air-kisses and is excitedly called "baby." The other children seem a bit smitten with her and follow her around... even though she crawls and many of them are 2 or 3 years old.
I guess this is kind of a 15-month update. I just realized she turns 15 tomorrow. Wow... time is still flying, and I wonder how that will affect my perception of this pregnancy.
Sunday, we were picking out Fathers Day cards when she spotted one with the picture of a crying baby on it. She insisted on hugging and kissing the baby, and the one on the card behind the first one, to make him feel better. She truly seemed bothered by the fact that he wasn't happier after her affection.
Charlotte is about 30 inches tall, and weighs about 20 pounds now. She is solidly into 12-month sizes, although some 9- and 18-mo items fit too. She's still in size 3 diapers, but we had to upgrade to "overnights" at night because she was soaking through the regular ones.
Charlotte eats pretty much anything. She's willing to taste anything new, especially if she sees me eat it first. When she doesn't like something, she swallows it quickly to get it out of her mouth, which means she doesn't chew it so she gags on it and then spits it back up. I hope she learns soon how to just spit something out if she doesn't like it so we can skip the gagging/spit-up drama and mess. She takes all her beverages from sippies with straws now, with occasional attempts to drink from a "big girl" cup. Not a lot of success there- she likes to put the cup under her lip so most of the liquid pours down her chin. When she concentrates on it, though, she is quite capable of drinking from a regular cup.
Until a week or so ago, her normal meal schedule was 8oz of whole milk upon waking, followed by a bowl of 7-grain cereal with fruit after her morning nap. Lately, though, milk has not been enough first-thing in the morning, so she gets some yogurt or fruit along with it. Lunch is usually a deconstructed sandwich or yogurt+wheat germ, plus some cut up veggie and fruit and milk. She's not always interested in a snack after her afternoon nap, but I always offer her some fruit, cheese, crackers, or toast. Dinner can be just about anything, especially if there's sauce for her to dip things in. She loves chicken, fish, pasta, meatballs, and pizza. Broccoli is her favorite vegetable, so I have to admit we serve that to her often. Chopped-up tomatoes are a hit too, sometimes. It's not easy to find organic veggies that make good finger-foods, but our CSA will help with that starting this week. All-told, she drinks 16-24oz of milk every day. She has a cup of water available to her all the time too. We haven't done much with juices- C and I don't usually drink juice, so we haven't encouraged Charlotte to. We prefer to give her lots of fresh fruit for snacks and "dessert." Charlotte is absolutely crazy for strawberries and blueberries, and watermelon was a big hit, as has been mango. Apples are especially enjoyed if she and I share one, taking turns taking bites, but applesauce is yummy too. Charlotte's biggest meal of the day is usually after her morning nap, at around 10am, and then she just nibbles the rest of the day.
Socially, Charlotte ADORES people. She says "Hi" and waves to everyone we pass. We're hardly out of the car anywhere we go before she starts making friends. She's noticeably disappointed when someone doesn't return her greeting or at least smile at her. She doesn't seem to have any stranger anxiety, but that's when I'm around. I suspect she might react differently if I weren't. At music class this week, she crawled over to another mom (whose son had wandered off to look in a mirror), reached up to take her hands, and led her around the room for a couple of minutes. And this was at a make-up class, with parents and kids we'd never met before.
In addition to babies, Charlotte loves rocks. At the beach, she likes to stand in the water and pick up the biggest rocks she can handle, then give them to me to toss them back in the water with a big splash. In our stone driveway, she likes to fill my hands with rocks, then relocate them to some other place... like the lawn or the front walk.
She likes to sit in my kayak in the back yard, then test her limits by standing up and telling me, "No," when I remind her that she needs to sit, not stand, in a kayak. She does that with chairs too... stand up, then tell me "No," as she sits down again. It's as though she wants to make sure the rules have not changed. The "No," isn't a challenge or a "No, I won't" kind of thing- more like she's demonstrating to me what should not be done.
Geez- there's so much to say about this wonderful little girl. But I need to take a shower before she wakes up, so I'll end it here. She continues to be the source of much amazement and joy.
5 years ago