These past three months have been full of fun, laughter, baby giggles, silliness and many more milestones. You’re progressing in so many ways, Dinah. The biggest milestone, of course, is that you finally took your first steps just a few weeks ago at fourteen months old. On the fourth of July, you were surrounded by aunties, uncles and cousins as you took your first few steps toward Daddy. I was playing a game with other family members at the time and completely missed the whole thing (they claimed they were calling over to me repeatedly, but it clearly never registered on my part). The next day, aunties and uncles babysat you while we took your siblings to see Toy Story 4 and you took quite a few more steps. Luckily they caught that on video for us. You still only take a few wobbly, weak steps at a time. If you want to get somewhere fast, you crawl. The rest of the time, you look up at us and yell until we hold out our fingers for you to hold onto and totter around. You’d be happy to do that all day, as long as we give you both hands to hold.
We started feeding therapy in June, with a speech therapist coming to our house three times a month to see how you’re doing and teach us how to get you to eat. You’re making a lot of progress, and are now at where an average nine-month old is, skill-wise. You can swallow pureed baby food and yogurt (you love yogurt) fed to you on a spoon, and you love to feed yourself with the spoon (which means you get a lot of baths). Your other favorite food is veggie straws, especially the cheddar flavor ones, although you’ll accept almost any type of chip if necessary. The therapist says you probably prefer the crunchy foods because they give you more feedback in your mouth. We have exercises to do with you, involving an electric toothbrush and stretching your lips and massaging your gums with our fingers, but you really hate them all most days. Still, you have meals where you eat a good amount and I can tell you’re gaining a bit more weight and your hair is finally starting to grow now that you’re getting more vitamins in your diet
Dinah, you are one of the silliest, funniest babies I’ve ever known. You make me laugh all day long, and you are very good-natured. If you get upset about not getting to have something you want, you can easily be distracted or will move on within moments. You giggle all the time, which is heart-meltingly adorable. For a baby who waited so long to do it, you sure love to laugh! When people around you are laughing at something, you’ll join in just for the fun of it. You also find sneezes, farts and elephant sounds hilarious.
We’re currently visiting Grandma and Grandpa in Washington State, and you are thoroughly enjoying the “free range baby” lifestyle here. The enormous yard is a treasure trove for you to explore. Not to mention all the snuggles and attention. Even the fact that you’re currently cutting about six teeth at once doesn’t detract from your happiness here.
One of the biggest joys these past few months has been seeing your imagination spark to life. You play make-believe now, and it is absolutely adorable. I love to watch you pretend to feed yourself with toy dishes, brush your hair with a toy hairbrush (or tooth brush for that matter), or hug and kiss a doll.
You still don’t really have many words. We’ve clearly heard you say “Mama” and “Dada” along with “dat” (that) but you only rarely use them. It’s mostly just, “Hi!” all the time around here. Usually accompanied with an enthusiastic smile and a perfect parade wave.
You have a love for animals that borders on obsession when it comes to dogs. Everyone else around you is just background as your attention zooms in on any dog around, with overjoyed shrieks of, “Hi! Hi hi hiiiiii!” and overzealous waving and pointing. You adore Grandma’s big German Shepherd, Sketer, and are so gentle about trying to softly pet his head and ears.
In the space of a few short months you’ve celebrated your first birthday (and first Easter), gone in a pool for the first time, taken your first steps, eaten your first solid foods, gone on your first camping trip and enjoyed your first family bike ride. There have been a hundred other tiny “firsts” as well, and I’ve been soaking them all in. You are so easy to enjoy, Dinah, and I am so excited to see what comes next (just please let it include more sleep, okay?).