Archive for December, 2008

vocabulary ++

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

as predicted by many charlotte-fans, she’s gone from zero words to a new “word” almost every day this past week.

she very clearly says “hi.” she says it with a wave when greeting (or noticing) someone. it occasionally sounds like “hi there.” which may be her attempt at “hi ” only she hasn’t grasped that quite yet. this has probably been going on for about a week.

she also points at dogs/puppies when she sees them and says “doggie” (“dgah-ghee”). she does this fairly consistently, and doesn’t really use that sound combination at other times with purpose, although it does come out quite often when she babbles.

along with “hi”, she’ll also wave and say “bye-bye” (which, since she doesn’t get the b-sound, comes out “duh-die”). this one is quite the crowd-pleaser since she does it every time we get out of the elevator, or when she’s being carried away from *anyone* at the store, mall, street, etc.

still no clear mama or dada (i think everyone’s “name” might be dada to her). i think the next words might be shoe, sock, or zipper, since those seem to be the most reinforced words.

as far as comprehension, she very clearly understands “give that to me,” “can i have that, please?”, “not in your mouth”, “arms up” (for taking off clothes, getting in the high chair), and is working on “what is that?”. she can sign “milk” (which really just means “cup to drink out of”), if you point and ask. she’ll fairly regularly say “doggie”, but most of the rest of the time she just sort of stares at you with an “i don’t know” look on her face. i guess that means she understands the question, though.

along those same lines, she loves dancing to music, especially while watching herself in the mirror, and will even move along with “head, shoulders, knees and toes” and “hot potato.” we caught her doing the “mashed bananas” part in the car today and it was a-DOR-able.

one year old: what else can you tell me?

Monday, December 15th, 2008
  • her hair is still very blond (but occasionally looks a bit reddish), and not too long
  • her eyes are still crazy-blue (the most common outburst from a stranger is related to her eyes), but they’re a bit grayer (like mine) than they were a few months ago.
  • she (still) only has 6 teeth. (4 on top and 2 on the bottom)
  • at her one-year checkup she was 26.5 inches long and weighed 23 pounds. that’s a bit over 50th percentile for both
  • she “can” eat anything except peanuts, tomatoes (too allergic while i was breastfeeding), and chocolate (i just don’t trust she won’t be allergic like i was so i’m waiting for the right “moment” to introduce it)
  • she likes meat and starches, not so much with most veggies (especially cauliflower).
  • her favorite shows are imagination movers, handy manny, little einsteins, sesame street (especially “elmo’s world”), and the mickey mouse club. the wiggles are falling out of favor, as has jojo’s circus.
  • her favorite toys are anything electronic with a button she can push that lights up and/or makes noise.
  • she loves this small stuffed penguin we bought at the zoo. it’s one of the few plush toys she hugs and kisses (by smashing it against her face while smiling and laughing ;)
  • her favorite books are ones with a few pictures she can point to and “name”.
  • she does not tolerate sitting for a story and prefers to read at her own pace (open book, flip book upside down, close book).


one year old: what else can she do?

Monday, December 15th, 2008

oh, lots of adorable things!

  • respond to “how big is charlotte” by raising her hands above her head
  • respond to “how old are you?” by gesturing with “one”
  • respond to “is that a hat?” by putting it on her head
  • respond to “high five” and “low five” by putting out her hand and sometimes smacking yours
  • put something “in” a container when prompted (doesn’t always let go and often takes it right back out)
  • dance (to music unasked or just when asked. moves her head, arms, and bounces)
  • clap when she hears applause (on tv, in crowds)
  • push any button or anything that looks like a button
  • respond to “blow kiss” by putting her hand in her mouth (we’re working on the second part)
  • gesture along with “head, shoulders, knees, and toes” relatively well (even the “eyes, ears, mouth and nose” part)
  • point to a few body parts (emerging skill except for “ears”, she’s got that down). sometimes she’ll point to yours instead (especially nose)

and some useful things, too!

  • understand what “no”, “not in your mouth”, and “gentle” (for petting animals and not pulling hair) mean (but doesn’t always comply)
  • help you dress her by putting her arms through sleeves or stiffening her legs.
  • trys to put on her socks (although she doesn’t open them, just puts them on her feet)
  • eat finger-foods relatively neatly, even out of a bowl instead of just sprinkled on a plate.
  • nibble larger food (soft pretzel sticks, cookies) into smaller pieces (although this is usually after trying to cram it all in her mouth at once and choking a bit)
  • “eat” with a spoon. (she’s got the in the bowl/in the mouth step down, but is missing “scoop”)
  • “help” you get her out of car seats, strollers (sometimes this is not a good thing
  • turn around and lower herself off couches, beds, and other cliffs (but doesn’t always judge the distance down ;)
  • ride on your shoulders and keep her balance (so long as you hold her legs)

and some not-useful stuff ;)

  • unvelcro her shoes (this is not helpful when she’s in the car)
  • cry when someone leaves the room and doesn’t take her too (she stops about 10 seconds later if she’s distracted
  • express her distaste in her food by dropping/throwing it off the side of her chair
  • pout when she doesn’t get her way by slapping/hitting whatever’s near by or beating the table

i’m sure there’s a bunch more, so if you’re the baby equivalent of “what? she can’t tie her shoe yet and she’s already 8 years old?” she probably can. i just forgot to mention it. ;)

one year old: is she talking yet?

Monday, December 15th, 2008

this is another grey area. i think the best answer is “sort of.”

i may just be very picky. to me, it’s not going to count as a “first word” until she says it without provocation consistently and accurately (if everything is a ‘dog’ then nothing is).

that having been said, she babbles constantly and is clearly trying to mimic sentence structure, and not always repeating the same sounds over and over. she points to things in books and babbles like she’s reading words. these are all things that they say come after first words, which is why i think i’m picky. she’s got lots of sounds, too. most of the basic vowel sounds and a bunch of consonants (dd, mm, nn, ng, bb, tt). zz, ss zth all come out like “th” but you can tell it’s intentional.

her first “word” will probably be “dog” (lots of visits to grandma and seeing them while we’re out), “dada”, “mama”, “sock”, “shoe”, or “zero” (she points to the “0″ on our front door while were trying to get in and we talk about it). she may already be saying “hi”, but it’s impossible to tell. almost everything starts off as “hi.” babysitters have claimed she’s said “hi dog” and “see ya” clear as day, but since i’ve also heard her say “jesus” (possibly “cheezits”) and “cigarettes” clear as day, i’m highly skeptical.

oh! and she does know a small amount of sign language. she does the sign for hungry, but i’m not sure how much of that is real. she does it when you’re asking her if she’s hungry so it might just be a mimic thing. or she’s always hungry. she definitely knows the sign for more, although it’s clear that it really just means “give me that thing so i can put it in my mouth.” she does it when her tray is empty and she can see more food. she does it if you’re eating/drinking something and she wants it. she also doesn’t always do it when you ask her if she wants more. sometimes she claps her hands or raises her arms or pushes the tray away.

we’re working on getting her to understand “all done”, “milk”, and “juice,” as well as “please” and “thank you.” she’s also got a few more gestures that we’re trying to discern. having her communicate with us in ways other than crying or fussing by talking is something i didn’t expect to be so moving.

she responds to several commands (give me that, put that in the box, where is your ear/nose, etc), so i think she’s moments away from getting it all. i expect there to be a helen keller “water” moment in the next few weeks and suddenly her vocabulary will skyrocket.

one year old: is she walking yet?

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Eh. not quite.

she’s been really close for months, or at least that’s the way it has seemed since september. she started cruising and we thought “surely, it can’t be long now.” but her progress sort of stagnated. it’s not a developmental thing (she’s still months and months (and months) away from someone other than her parents being concerned), she’s just working it out at her own pace. she also hates shoes, due to not wearing the much as a baby-baby (even the soft-soled ones). trying to get her to keep them on has been quite a challenge.

i think part of the reason for the delay is how fast she can crawl. for several months, even though she could cruise very well and stand relatively well, she wasn’t really interested in moving forward that way. you could almost see it in her face. she’d think about taking a step and get this look that said “screw this. crawling’s so much faster.” she’d drop down and take off towards her goal. standing was only useful as a stage between sitting and climbing. balance was never a consideration, and it turns out balance is key.

the other “reason” i think is lack of socialization. i’ve noticed over the past year that whenever she’s around someone her size she studies them intently and the next day she can do (or is trying to do) something that she couldn’t the day before. since she’s staying at home with me, she doesn’t have as much exposure to walkers her size to give her the idea that it’s the way to go. at her birthday party, however, there was a 15 month old chasing everyone around and it started to really click for her. maybe it was just that he was getting more attention than her.

at 13 months she likes doing laps around the kitchen with her grocery cart. she’s also interested grabbing your hands and leading you around the house. sometimes she’ll tolerate doing it one handed, but the speed gets her down. she requires lots of cheering to convince her this something she wants to do. we’ve had a few moments where she’s taken a small step on her own, but that’s usually just to fall into someone’s waiting arms. there is no dismount ;)

standing is much the same way. she’ll pull up with ease (and has been for months), but to keep her standing, you have to distract her and/or then cheer her on. she’s up to almost 10 minutes in the same place (assuming there’s something worth watching on the tv) and can even bounce around while she’s up there and compensate with her balance. she’s really good at falling safely, though, which is very important. it’s also a good indicator of how tired she is. sloppy falls means it’s nap time.

a couple of days ago, i nabbed some videos of her current progress:


pushing a cart:

i’m looking forward to christmas and exposure to her walking cohorts to really finish off the lessons.

no worries, we’re all still here…

Monday, December 15th, 2008

it is amazing how the weeks slip by when you’ve got a baby turning into a toddler on your hands. after a while, you realize that you’re so far behind that you’re never going to catch up unless you devote a few hours documenting and posting all at once, which makes it even harder to “find” the time to do it. suddenly you’re attacking windmills.


no worries. we’re all still here. instead of writing a marathon length-post, i’m going drop a few small ones on you (and hopefully update the site in general) over the next few days. small steps, just like charlotte’s starting to take.