I am pleasantly surprised at how fun this 13-15 month stage is. Noelle is increasingly more independent. She can play by herself for extended amounts of time, and is consistently more calm and happy. She thoroughly enjoys the outdoors and will have me walk her to the door while saying, “shooo” [shoe] to indicate she’s ready to play.
Physical: at the start of her 14th month, Noelle would take 1-2 steps here or there, but never more than that before collapsing into a heap on the floor. On March 26th, Noelle took 8 real steps all on her own and gave me a big bear hug at the end! Although we know she can walk now, she still prefers to crawl or be picked up. However, she practices walking the stairs a lot (with me holding her hands). She’ll go down, down, down… then up, up, up…
Language: her vocab continues to expand by the day. Her words so far – mama, daddy, doggy, up, apple, purple, nose, cheek, no, what’s that, opposites, shoes, socks, door, book, ball, touch, shovel. I started to sign to her more regularly around the 12-month mark. She can only do all done and more so far.
Playtime: she has fun sharing and loves to feed people. She often offers her food to other babies at church, and when she’s at the playground she will pick things up and offer them to others. One thing I find funny is how she picked up the habit of “cooking”. Amongst her toys are these Melissa + Doug pots/pans, so she’ll pretend to stir it and then feed me with her wooden spoon.
Other things she’s learning – during bathtime, she’s practicing how to scoop water then pour it back out. She also likes to “wash” her face (and mommy’s too) with her washcloth. She does the same with her toothbrush – after she brushes her teeth she’ll stick her toothbrush in my mouth and brush mine too. Everything she does, she wants to try on mama too.
Books: I don’t know what came over her these past few months, but she’s taken on an even stronger interest in books. When I’m changing her diaper, she reaches for a book to keep her occupied. When I’m about to put her down for bed, I’ll put a book in her crib. She’ll lay there, quietly flipping through the pages before falling asleep. Right after breakfast, she’ll reach for her favorite books and sit in my lap while I read to her. She’s always enjoyed books, but now she’s obsessed.
Food: she still LOVES food. It’s her passion. She will eat anything. I’m grateful she’s not picky, but at the same time, should I be worried about her intake? She eats A LOT. I have to be careful what I eat in front of her because whatever I put in my mouth, she wants it too. Here she is munching on some celery as if she got caught with her hand in the cookie jar:
(she’s not picky – even celery is good enough to eat)
(this is when she stole my breakfast from me – she has to do everything I do)
Milk: we weaned her off her last bottle right at the 14-month mark. It was her bedtime bottle and I was nervous the first night I didn’t give it to her, but she did fine. Now she only gets milk with her meals. I think the transition was more nerve-wracking for me than it was for her. So glad we have no more bottle parts to clean and more counter space now that the drying rack is stored away.
Sleep: she’s been sleeping well for the most part, except those 2-3 day stretches where she went through her wonder weeks. She is still taking 2 naps a day of about 1.5 hours each and sleeping 12-hours a night. I’m expecting her naps to go haywire soon though because she’s approaching the age where she should be dropping down to 1-nap. I’m not looking forward to that.
First Hike: there are a lot of great hikes near us so we took her hiking with some friends. We strapped her in a baby hiking backpack and off we went. It was a 3-hour hike and we were surprised at how well she did. We were worried she’d have a meltdown because she skipped her first nap, but she loved being in the great outdoors.
(An example of her always trying to feed us. She gets a lot of joy when we eat or drink or does what she does!)
(End of hike – Self-congratulatory applause. She had such a great time!)
I love her more each passing day. She can be challenging at times, and there are days when I want to collapse from exhaustion, but I can’t imagine life without her now. I look at her and I can’t believe she’s mine. She’s all mine.