Thursday, July 09, 2009

Eleven Months Old!


Dear Valerie,

You are eleven months old, now! It has been a really busy month in the Wakeman household. So much so, that I am tempted to cheat and write your birthday letter in point form, interspersed with pictures. (Just like I did last July, when I was also too busy to write proper blog updates.)

Your physical development this month was astronomical. Once you realized that you could get around, you decided to see how much more your little body could do. You learned how to transition from crawling to sitting (June 10), and at some point, you started getting around on your hands and knees, instead of just your belly (although I don't know the exact date, because it was such a gradual transition). You pulled yourself up to a standing position for the first time on June 12, then promptly fell on your butt, cried, and didn't pull yourself up again until June 25. You love standing, though, and you'll even take a few steps if someone holds your hands.


You've always had books that you liked to chew on, but this month I think you really discovered that books have content. You love being read to, and you love reading by yourself. (You'll turn the page, say "Oh!", then turn to the next page, and say "Oh!" again. It's pretty cute.) You're trying really hard to talk, too. You mimic us all the time. I don't think you know what you're saying, but you will echo the general sound of whatever we just said, and you're getting closer and closer. (Although we stump you sometimes when we sneeze or hiccup and you can't figure out how on earth we made those noises.) Your three main words right now are "doe" (like "door" without the ending), "beu" and "geu" (like bird and girl without the endings). You don't seem to use your words to consistently refer to the same things, however, so I'm not 100% what you're trying to say. You may just still be trying out noises, but you do seem to consistently like these particular noises.


You are so much more exploratory this month, and the downside is that you'll do things like crawl over the top of your potty and do a faceplant on the other side. Then you'll cry. I've tried applauding when you fall, I've tried pretending to ignore you when you fall, I've tried laughing when you fall, but nothing seems to stop the impending tears. The only thing that helps is a great, big mommy-snuggle. So I've resigned myself to the fact that it's natural for you to be upset when you fall down, I'll snuggle you for a few minutes, then you'll squirm away and get back to your exploring. You're a pretty resilient kiddo.


Hmm, maybe I will do that point form thing after all.

First proper trip to the shore. Cape May, NJ. The gnats were really bad, and it was windy. You weren't a fan of the ocean (but I probably didn't introduce you to it gradually enough).


First trip to the shore on a proper "beach" day. Ocean City, NJ. We rode a surrey on the boardwalk. You loved playing in (and eating) the sand, but you had mixed feelings about the ocean. You were giggling hysterically, but clinging to your parents for dear life. I think you'll like roller coasters. You also met your twin second cousins for the first time, and had a lot of fun trying to keep up with them.



First Camp Meeting. Delanco Camp, NJ. I grew up going to a church camp every summer, and was starting to feel really nostalgic about my camp this year. So I found a camp on the Internet, and we went on a wing and a prayer. God blessed our efforts, and gave us an amazing week at a camp we loved and hope to go back to again.


Four teeth in one week! #5 on June 15, #6 on June 16, #7 and #8 on June 22. You saved the top, front, center teeth for last, which actually made you look strangely older to me, because you looked a bit like a kindergartener who had lost her two front teeth, rather than a baby who is getting them. I was hoping this run on teeth would mean we would get a break from teething for a few months, but you seem to have started the molar-chomping already. Sigh.



You continue to be a joy, both to us and to our friends and extended family. You don't always want to go to other people right away, but you will smile broadly at almost anyone, and you'll usually warm up to new people eventually, and allow yourself to be held. It's all about gradual transitions with you; you're not a "rip the band-aid off all at once" child. Sometimes, I start to get impatient with this gradualness, because I am totally the kind of person who dives in the deep end. But I have learned to appreciate that you always come around in your own time. You teach me new things every day, and I love how much richer my life is as your mother. You are a beautiful blessing, and I am so glad that you are my baby.




jd said...

I've been checking each day for this while at the "camp of your youth"...thanks for all the photos and thoughts...can't wait to let Valerie "warm up" to me!

jeremywakeman said...

Great post! You managed to capture the feeling of this past month really well. The pics of her in the watermelon outfit are some of my favorites.

@jd: Valerie might have enough memory of you now that she doesn't need to "warm up"! How nice will that be?

jd said...

I didn't know Jeremy was a blogger, too! I agree...she catured the last month well. But then Jule Ann is a really good writer.
I HOPE she has some memory of me, but I won't be upset if she doesn't....I'll just take my time!

Liana said...

I'm always amazed at how big she's getting (via blog-photos)
she's adorable...
you do a great job at documenting, Jule Ann!

nivchek said...

Is that a baby hawk?