Ready, set, go!

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I realize it has been merely 11 days since my last post. The one word that comes to mind in regards to Savina’s development recently is “rapid.”

I just wanted to give some quick updates before her birthday, so I don’t clutter my next blogpost with this when it really should be just about her birthday and her birthday party.

I’ll try to go through this quickly, because time is shoooort right now.

Motor skills and communication:

IMG_5394Savina continues to walk faster and faster. Today she is getting really close to a slow run. If I walk slowly beside her, she can keep up. She’s also turning well now. On my own birthday, last Thursday, the 10th, she had a massive sugar rush after we had allowed her to eat some of the strawberry shortcake we bought to celebrate my round 30. She started running around, well not running, obviously, but walking quite fast, in circles in the kitchen. I swear she just kept going around and around, and forth and back between Peter and me. After about 10-15 minutes I started videoing her. And I recorded for another 27 minutes. Then she became tired, and you could tell, because she began to fall on her bum a lot.

Here is some of the video I took, as well as a little video from this morning, which is almost the pace at which she can walk now (she can go faster than that).

Crazy Savina

IMG_5385Has Savina turned the house upside down yet? Naaah, not really. Well, it depends on your definition of “turning the house upside down.” She certainly goes around and explores, and naturally leaves a mess with toys and things she turned into toys, but we’ve baby-proofed the house so well that she is allowed to do all that, and it does not annoy us one bit. The only place we are cautious is in our bedroom (where she only gets to play in the morning and with supervision), and in our office (where she only gets to play under supervision). We keep many of her toys in both those rooms to offer her alternatives to the no-gos. I still hardly ever say “no” to her though. There is no need for the most part. Plus, I’m lucky. She’s a really good kid, who has yet to venture forth into territory we don’t want her to get into, like our bookshelves. The shelf we created for her, with her toys in it, is still sufficient to keep her away from my own precious books on the opposite side of the room.

Yesterday morning at breakfast she licked off the liverwurst from her bread and attempted to put a piece of ham on it. So cute.

She has tried to sign “berry” this weekend and actually did pretty well. “Berry” is a difficult sign for itty-bitty’s fine motor skills in my opinion, but it looked almost correct. She also signs “eat” consistantly now, “dog” occasionally, has signed “tree” once, is signing “more” fairly often, and attempted to sign “book” tonight. She even wanted Daddy to show her again after he and I had shown her several times. It was such a delight to watch her. And, oh yea, she has combined “eat” and “more” a couple times.

She also points consistently now at things she wants. Recently she points at my chest rather than doing the drink sign when she wants to nurse. She hasn’t abandoned the sign entirely, but she is pointing at me a bit now.

There was a short period during which Savina looked either at me or something I was looking or pointing at every time I said “Savina, look!” She doesn’t do that anymore, unfortunately. As so many things, babies pick something up, do it for a while, and then not for some time.

A little over a week ago in the morning, I asked Savina and signed to her at the same time (in German): “Will you give Mommy a kiss?” I didn’t expect anything from it, because I never asked her that before, and last I showed her how to kiss, in front of the mirror, she didn’t seem to understand it yet entirely. But she surprised me, leaned forward and rested her lips on my cheek. I was melting away! She then kissed me like that after every nap, when I asked her. Then after a couple days she slowed down, but I did receive one for my birthday, which made my day! I have not gotten a kiss from her since.

IMG_5372My asking her to say “yaya” when she wants something and I’m absolutely certain she does, is paying of. I was trying to make her understand that when I ask her if she wants this or that, she needs to answer me in whatever way, signing, talking, anything. So I’ve been telling her to say “yaya” every time I knew for sure she wanted it. She now occasionally answers without my prompting. So, for example, if I ask “do you want more blueberries?” because she’s been pointing at them, she’ll say “ya” or “yaya,” or if I ask “do you want to go outside?” Sometimes she also answers “ya” to questions that do not require a choice to be made, such as “did you find your bear?” or “Are you hungry?”

Savina says “Mama” a lot now, and I can tell she fully means me by it 99% of the time. Sometimes she runs to me, calling Mama Mama Mama. And when I ask her, “Who am I?” she answers: “Mama.” I love it!

Savina’s third tooth is about half way out and came way faster than the other two. Had I not checked, I would have never known when it broke through. It didn’t bother her one bit, and I fully attribute it to the new amber necklace we got her. Before we replaced her necklace with a fresh new one, she’d had some teething pain off and on, and we even had to use Hyland teething gel a few times. Since she wears her new necklace, I have not needed to even think about the gel. Her second upper tooth cut through this morning or some time last night, well part of it did anyway. Again, hadn’t I checked, I would have never known. I love amber!

Lastly, Wonder Weeks have started up again last week. Lovely. She’s very clingy again (for example: doing laundry in the basement, I walk 2 steps away from her to put the basket back, and she walks after me as fast as she can, crying “Mama Mama”), she’s fussy, and difficult to transition from chair to crib. I was hoping she’d start it late, like after her party, but noooo. But hey, she’ll be fine. She’s usually fine when around company, because she gets too distracted to be fussy.

Can you believe all of this progress happened in the last 11 days? Wow!

Okay, this became a little longer than anticipated, phew. Until after the party! Thanks for reading!

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Almost a Year???

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I can’t believe it’s October already! And I can even less believe that since my last blog post a whole month has passed again! So much is happening. A year went flying by like never before. Savina is turning one in less than two weeks. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that. She was inside me. I pushed her out. She was a tiny peanut who couldn’t move much on her own. Now she’s a grown little tyke, who is walking, and wanting to run! Really?

IMG_5268While we’re talking about walking… talking about walking hoho, Savina has improved so much since my last post. She’s a good walker now, starting to cross rooms and going faster and faster. I can tell that she wants to run, but she’s not quite there yet. If I lend her my fingers to hold on to lightly, she goes off flying.

Much has also changed in Savina’s understanding and communication. She understands a lot of what I say to her now. She opens her mouth when I ask her to, so I can brush her teeth. A couple of days ago I asked her if she wanted to listen to music because she was looking and pointing at the cd player. She got all excited. I asked, “Do you want music?” When she got excited, I said: “Say ja ja.” And she said in return right away: “Ja ja!” looking at me expectantly. She’s been pointing at the cd player several times since and always gets excited when I “notice” it and offer to turn on the player.

IMG_5301The other day she looked at her stack of books on the table during breakfast. I said, “You want to read a book?” I then placed the books next to each other in front of her and said “You pick. Which one do you want to read?” I didn’t expect this, but she looked for a short while and then pointed at one! (It was “A Mother for Choco” by the way).

Savina points a lot now, wanting me to name everything she points at. She can find more than just the cats in books, too. A couple weeks or so ago we were reading a book about the alphabet. When we got to “p” for pigs, I asked her where the pigs are. She looked at both pages (there is one pic and letter per page with a short sentence). She scrutinized the pages, then looked at me completely baffled and shook her head. I showed her where the pigs were. We finished the book and started over. On to the pigs again, I asked once more, and this time she pointed at them. Such a smart girl. On the last page, the letter “y,” there is a mirror. I asked where Savina is and she pointed at the mirror.

IMG_5251My little girl has started to give me things. Toys, mostly. She also gives me her spoon when she ate from it and wants more, sometimes with and sometimes without me asking–too adorable. And she not only started attempting to feed her plush dog, but a couple days later also tried feeding me. And when I get close to her hand and actually take some, or pretend to, she laughs or smiles.

Savina has become more aware of herself. When she eats, she does now notice when food is not entirely in her mouth, and she will use her hand and/or wrist to push the rest in.

IMG_5297A couple of days ago, as we were eating breakfast, I gave Savina a piece of my liverwurst bread she was eyeing. She also had a piece of bread with butter. She munched away, but didn’t finish the piece I had given her from my bread. So she was holding that liverwurst bread in her hand and continued eating the other one. After a while she looked at my bread, then at me, expectantly. Before I could say anything, like pointing out that she still has a piece of my bread, she noticed it herself, and with a sudden “oh, right” expression, she stuffed her liverwurst bread in her mouth, satisfied. This morning we had a similar situation, except with the bread being on her tray instead of in her hand. It amazes me how conscious of everything Savina is becoming lately.

Savina’s favorite word these days is “jajajaja” and she shakes her head to say “no,” and sometimes it seems as though she is shaking her head to say “yes” because she hasn’t quite figured out how to nod yet.

IMG_5234This little peanut has recently rediscovered her growl. Back in March she first discovered it and growled endlessly for a week, maybe longer. It was hilarious listening to her bite into her plush toys and go “arrrrggghhh grrrraaaa.” This time her growl is more advanced and she practises all kinds of ways to growl.

I’m so happy Savina is out of her latest set of “Wonder Weeks” since a couple of weeks or so. I’m still baffled by how precise this can be predicted. I notice such a huge difference with her. While she’s in her leap week she becomes so clingy and fussy, and I can hardly move an inch without her bellowing as if I had left the house without her. Cooking dinner becomes the most difficult task of the day during that phase. When she’s not in her leap week she happily plays at her “toy stations” around the house all by herself, while I can very well be at the other end of the house. If she wants me, she’ll crawl to me instead of crying for me. And when she comes crawling, and I say “Hi baby,” she gives me the biggest smile.

IMG_5313I can not recommend the book “The Wonder Weeks” enough. It has helped me understand the changes in Savina’s behaviour and to accept what is happening. It has helped me find patience and understanding when Savina is going through a mental development phase. Every time the book predicts a fussy phase Savina exhibits most of the signs mentioned, including clinginess and fussiness. Every time the book predicts that the baby has succesfully completed a develpmental leap, Savina’s behaviour turns around 100%. Thanks to this book I know what to expect and when to expect it. Right now she’s between leaps and wonderfully independent. I love it.

Last weekend she was with Daddy in the office while I was still snoozing. After a while I could hear her on the move, Daddy right behind her. Then I saw her. She crawled into our bedroom. Daddy said she crawled in a straight line from the office to our room (one end of the house to the other). She pulled herself up at the bed and Daddy helped her get on the bed. She didn’t pause then, but went straight up to me, and her mouth found the breast instantly. She knew what she wanted, and she knew where to find it. No fuss about it. I thought that was so cute.

A final thing I wanted to mention: Just as unwanted “advice” is tiring, as I talked about last time, so is the constant negativism from people around me. I can’t put it more clearly or more beautifully than this woman: Joy Or Just Wait

Please stop telling me things like “oh, just wait until she gets running, and into all sorts of trouble” or “just wait until she takes your stuff and flushes it down the toilet” etc. This is negative and stupid, I’m sorry, but I really don’t need to hear this.

Instead, tell me things like “Just wait until she wraps her arms around you when you come home” or “Just wait until she says ‘I love you’ for the first time.”

Can people not think about the beautiful things in this world anymore? Have they become so stressed out that all they see is black in raising their children? Where are the joys? Why aren’t you telling me about the good things to come? You need to wake up and appreciate life again.

I certainly do. Whatever stones are thrown in my way, or whatever mountains we come across, we shall master them. We will endure. We will deal. And we will enjoy the easy paths all the more.

I love parenting. I love my baby. There is no room for negativism.

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p.s.: Here is the quirks video I announced: Savina’s Quirks