I'm feeling extra tender for my baby girl tonight (perhaps because she has had a fever of 102* today and has been so cuddly and patient and sweet despite it). I know I say it constantly, but I truly feel such deep gratitude to be a mama to this little 11 month old wonder. As I rock her before bed each night and say a prayer, that is typically the only thing I can think to say: I am so, incredibly grateful for this precious chubby body to cradle in my arms, for the way that she needs me, for how much she fills me. Taking care of her is loving her, and it is never a burden. I pray that I will always live to meet her (and her brother's) needs.
She is all kinds of trouble these days, crawling like a crazy person at super speed. She is especially fond of crawling into the bathroom and breaking off little pieces of toilet paper to eat, and she has some serious radar for finding small choking hazards to put in her mouth. I don't ever remember George doing that, and it keeps me on my toes for sure. At her 9 month doctor appointment I specifically asked her pediatrician about the Heimlich Maneuver vs. back blows for a baby of that age who is choking because it is something that I have been worried about-- she seriously puts small things in her mouth all the time (it's back blows, by the way, until she is one). I mean, I am not planning on her choking (and I really do try to make sure there are not choking hazards within her reach), but better to know just in case, right?
Her first word was "Da Da," at a little over 9 months. She babbled "da da da" and "ma ma ma" a lot before that, but that was when she started to say it associated with her daddy. He would come in the room and she would grin from ear to ear and, in her high little voice, say, "Da Da!" A few weeks after that she started saying "Mama" legitimately, and she has now added "num num" (for food), and "na na na na" (while furiously shaking her head back and forth for "no no no") to her vocabulary. My favorite thing she says is a very breathy "Hhhiiiiiiiii." We say hi back and forth to each other a million times a day because I love it so much.
She also loves to click her tongue (first picture above and below), and it is my favorite when I can hear her in the other room just happily clicking away. My aunt Kim taught her "peek-a-boo" a while back, and while she sometimes does the typical two-handed eye cover, she often likes to cover both her eyes with only one hand, right in the middle of her face, and I love it. She also does pattycake, waves bye bye, and dances on command. One of her cutest tricks is something she does with my dad every time he holds her. He started having her give him a high five and then bump foreheads whenever he would pick her up, and now, as soon as she is in his arms, she puts her hand up to slap his and then promptly leans in to bump her forehead to his. It is seriously darling.
Pearlie has been pulling herself up to standing and cruising around furniture for awhile now (maybe a month or two), but has just recently begun flirting with standing alone. She loves to let go and balance, and is getting really good at it. This morning she stood up from sitting, without the help of furniture or anything, for the first time. She was so proud of herself. She tried it once and fell down immediately, and then tried it again and stood there for about 10 seconds with her arms out to her sides to steady herself. She was looking at me with a big grin like she knew she was pretty awesome.
The other day she was playing with my mom's phone and put it up to her ear like she was talking on it. It was so cute to me because I had no clue that she would know to do that. And yesterday she found a brush on the bathroom floor and put it up to her hair and moved it around. That surprised me too, because I have never brushed her hair before. Babies don't miss anything, I tell you what.
Georgie refers to himself as her "bruh bruh" and really wants her to learn to say that. We are working on it, I keep telling him, but he doesn't think she is catching on quickly enough :). She loves her brother, though. She is happy in her carseat as long as she can see him, and they are constantly playing a game where they take turns wildly shaking their heads back and forth against their carseats. They think it is hysterical, and I do too, unless I am wanting Pearl to fall asleep. Then the humor wears off pretty quickly and I wish for a barricade between them that is sightproof (not a word?) and soundproof. I owe a separate blog dedicated to their blossoming relationship, so I won't write much more here, but it is so soul-warming to watch your children love each other. More on that (and on Georgie-- he is every bit as delightful as she is) soon.