I had pretty much decided that I was going to stop doing monthly letters after Valerie turned one, but I was still somewhat up in the air until the date of her thirteen month birthday came and went without a birthday photo shoot. That sealed the deal. Monthly letters will now be replaced by annual letters. Or maybe semi-annual or quarter-annual, while she is still little and changing so frequently. I haven't decided for sure.
Since this blog is my lazy parent substitute for a baby book, however, I am still going to bore you with milestones and such. Valerie's 13th month was a big one for language development. She is quite the little chatterbox, and every day, her chattering sounds a little more like real words. She knows that the dog says "oof", the cat says "mao", the tiger says "warr", the trucks go "voom", and the elephant says (I can't type it, but it sounds like a trumpeting elephant, I swear). I'm a little disappointed in myself for caving and teaching her the stereotypical animal noises, but she learned dogs and cats on her own, and our board books have lots of pictures of animals to identify, and very few pictures of classic rock bands to identify. (Note to children's book publishers: Make that book. I will buy it.)
She still points at things and asks "wuhs da?" and I am now confident that I was not giving her too much credit last month when I said I thought she was saying that. She's a smarty, and I shouldn't have doubted her. She now says variants on window, outside, trees, dog, more, book, duck, doll, door, and light, in addition to mama, dada, nana, no, yeah, uhoh, hi, and bye. (I may come back and edit this list later, as I remember words I have forgotten.) She also started using the sign for "eat" this month. Oh, and the other day, as we were getting ready to go out, I said "let's go", and she repeated "let's go", clear as a bell. Which is why I have stopped watching R-rated movies with Valerie on my lap. (Although I am still resisting the whole "made for babies" genre of annoying television/movies. We've just been watching more family-friendly movies, with fewer repeatable words that start with "F".)
And no, she is still not walking yet. (Which someone seems to ask me about every single day.) I am quite okay with that, too, since she seems to be more than making up for it by being ahead of the curve linguistically, and she's hard enough to keep up with crawling and climbing and cruising. I still haven't found the time to baby-proof the house, yet. It guess it's like fixing the leak in the roof - You can't fix it while it's raining, but it doesn't leak when you could easily fix it. Something like that, anyhow.