This has been such a fun month of growth! Charlotte started shaking her head "No" and standing for short periods of time. She can cruise around while pushing her Y bike and has pretty good balance while actually riding her Y bike around the house!!
She is incredibly curious and loves to crawl around exploring. She is good at opening and closing doors. She can put things away and "sort" them, too. She has mastered the fake laugh AND a silly fake cry this month. She also has the absolute best giggle! We LOVE when she laughs!
Charlotte is VERY interested in babies and loves to play with the little guy I watch three days a week. She is usually pretty gentle, but sometimes forgets that small babies like to keep their personal space ;)
Charlotte has six teeth. She weighs 19 pounds, five ounces and is 31 inches tall. (That puts her in the 50th percentile for weight and 95th percentile for height.) She wears cloth diapers, but uses size three in disposables every once in a while (size four at night). Her clothing is a mix of sizes because there is a huge (and maddening!!) discrepancy between brands. She wears some 12 month clothing and some 18 month clothing, depending on the article of clothing and whether she needs extra space for her cloth diaper butt. :) She is eating a lot of solid food now and drinks less milk than she used to. Most nursing sessions are finished in about 7 minutes!
We are pretty sure Charlotte has learned some baby sign language. We have been doing the signs for more, all done, milk, food, water, please, and thank you for the last five months. It seems like Charlotte is now doing a combination sign that might mean "more" or "please" or "milk" or some combination of all three. Though we aren't sure, it's exciting to think that more clear communication is on the horizon! [Sad, but funny: yesterday she fell off her Y-Bike in the kitchen! She didn't cry, just laid on the floor for a moment. Joel saw her doing her sign before I picked her up off the floor! So maybe it means help...?!]
Charlotte can wave hi and bye AND give high fives now! She is such a fun little lady!
Also- in the past week, she started saying something that sounds like "Go!" I wasn't sure at first, but then noticed she was mostly making that sound when riding her bike or rocking (backwards!) in her little rocking chair, or crawling quickly across the room. So now I'm thinking it's for real...
We hope that things are totally improved on the sleeping front. Charlotte doesn't nurse at night anymore. She either puts herself back to sleep or can easily fall back asleep if one of us goes in to comfort her for a minute. What a relief after two long (hard!) months of night waking.
Sometimes Charlotte will still fall asleep in the Ergo carrier. She also naps well in her new (big girl convertible!) car seat. A couple times lately she has fallen asleep while driving so I just sit in the car with her while she snoozes. It's quite precious to see her face all smushed up and hear her little baby snores.
Charlotte started taking a swim class this month. She is, of course, totally crazy about water and loves being in the pool with the other babies and parents. Seeing her so happy in the pool is one of the best parts of my week!
Even though it is sassy, we love when Charlotte shakes her head "No" because it's communication. Haha. We really enjoy the feedback she gives and the way she responds to us. She sometimes initiates hugs, kisses, and playful snuggling (aka: WRESTLING!). Joel, especially, is in heaven when she snuggles! :)
Some of her favorite activities lately include: pushing or riding her Y bike around the house, climbing up the stairs, going outside, standing on her own for a short time before falling over into one of us or a pile of pillows, riding in the stroller, being carried in the ring sling, pulling herself to stand while holding on to the baby gate, exploring the house, and reading books.
She is SO into books this month!! She turns the pages incredibly fast and seems interested in a much wider range of reading than she ever did before. Charlotte also has favorite pages in each book and after she "reads" the whole thing, she will go back to pages that she really likes. Sometimes she will even clap happily at those pages, which is the most adorable thing ever. Her favorites this month are: "goodnight Rhode Island," "llama llama, wakey wake," "brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?", and "HUG!"
She also loves: her parents, babies, older kids (especially girls), her beloved owl (Screech), animals, blocks, and kitchen-themed toys (cups, spoons, miniature jars, her garden salad set, etc.)! Our girl loves to play!
This has been a very fun month of being Charlotte's parents! Now that we are all getting more consistent sleep, it's far easier to be patient and gentle when responding to our girl. She is delightful and we are thrilled that she is starting to communicate more clearly with us!
One challenging thing is keeping my cool when she deliberately throws things onto the floor from her high chair. She will look at me and shake her head, then drop the item on the floor and carry on with life. I know it's intentional and it drives me crazy when she knows I will say "no" but still does it anyway. Argh!