Rachel turns 11 months old today. What a wonderful 11 months it has been! She is such a joy in our lives. Nicholas absolutely adores her. When Rachel wakes up in the morning and starts babbling, Nicholas wants to be the first one in her room to greet her. He loves to play "tickle attack" with her. They also play chase together as they both crawl around on the floor taking turns chasing each other and cackling with laughter.
Rachel has learned some baby sign language. Sign language is just great way for babies to communicate their needs when they are too young to speak. She can make the sign for "milk", "eat", "more", "diaper change", and "all done". She can also speak a few words such as Dada, Mama, done, up, nite nite. She also tries to say diaper but it just comes out as "di".
Rachel has three teeth - her two top front teeth and her lower right front tooth. She loves almost all of the Gerber baby foods. When she is tired of eating she will rip off her bib and shake her hands to make the all done sign while she says "done". Don't even bother offering her more food after that. She will swat at the spoon with her hand and green baby food will go flying everywhere. I know this from experience. She likes foods that she can feed herself like Cheerios, small pieces of bread, chunks of banana or avocado. But these get messy because she either ends up smearing them all over her high chair or throwing them over the side on to the floor where they get stepped on by us. She still struggles with drinking from a sippy cup. She doesn't like tipping it back and ends up sucking air. Then she gets mad and throws the cup to the ground.
Rachel is not very fond of diaper changes. She doesn't cry but she does squirm and flip over as she tries to crawl away from you. This is especially fun when I've just removed the poopy diaper but haven't had a chance to clean her up yet. Oh yes, that's fun. Now I have to be sure to have several baby wipes ready to go and the clean diaper within reach so I can get her changed as quickly as possible. Sometimes I feel like a cowboy wrestling a calf to the ground and trying to tie up it's legs as quickly as possible.
Rachel can cruise around while holding on to something with one hand. She is always exploring and trying to get into everything.
She can even hold on with one hand and squat down to pick toys up off the floor.
We regularly hold both of her hands and try to show her how to walk but she will take a few steps and then try to flop back down to the floor to crawl so she can get where she's going more quickly.
Rachel loves board books. She has most of Nicholas' board books except for some that were loved on so much that they have fallen apart. She doesn't try to chew on the books much anymore but she still isn't ready to really sit and listen to a story being read to her. Instead she just likes to turn the pages. And she has a fascination with the covers of the books. She will look at the cover then turn to a page in the book. Then she has to look back at the cover of the book again to make sure it is still there before turning to another page in the book. It makes it very difficult to read a story like that but she is enjoying the books in her own way and that's all that matters.
Rachel loves bath time. She splashes in the water, crawls around in the tub, and likes to chew on Nicholas' sea creature bath toys. When bath time is finished, I used to be able to pick her up out of the tub and stand her up so she could hold on to the tub then I would easily put her hooded towel on her and then grab her in my arms to start drying her off. But now, she's got to much exploring to do to wait on me. When I stand her up outside of the tub, she quickly drops down and crawls out of the bathroom, dripping wet and slipping and sliding all over the floor. She is very quick and determined. I'll have to figure out a better way to get this towel on her now!
We love these hooded towels that a friend passed along to us.
She loves to wave to herself in the mirror.
She still likes to sleep a lot and still takes two naps a day. However, there have been times when she has completely missed her afternoon nap and not had a total meltdown so I see her giving that one up in the near future. When she wakes up from a nap, she often calls for Dada. Yes, she's a little stinker! The two of them have come up with a cute game. Rachel throws toys out of her crib and Stuart throws them back in. She will just giggle and squeal and keeps the game going forever.
One of her favorite toys is a box of wooden alphabet blocks that my brother gave to Nicholas. She loves to take each block out of the box and throw it on the floor. Then she will pick them up one by one and put them back in the box. She also can't resist knocking down any attempt at a tower that you might try to build with the blocks. Her other favorite toys include Nicholas' bat cave and the action figures (they are fun to chew on), looking through books, Mommy's cell phone, and a little Fisher Price train that we bought for Nicholas when he was about 6 months old.
For a while, Rachel did not like walking around the neighborhood in the stroller. I'm not sure why but we couldn't even make it down the street to Nicholas' school without her getting fussy. She's doing much better now. She loves to walk Nicholas to school. She "talks" to his friend that we pick up on our way and she laughs and waves at the crossing guards (of course they just love her!). After we drop the boys off at school, Rachel and I often go for walks around the neighborhood for a little while. I have to make sure that I have toys, snacks, and a sippy cup for her and I still don't venture off too far from home in case she starts to have a meltdown.
Little Rachel will be a year old in the blink of an eye. She's not so little anymore but she'll always be my little baby.