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Dearest, darling Emmie,

This was a month full of firsts. We finally (FINALLY) saw/felt your first tooth, you signed your first words, and you’ve mastered standing and climbing.

The biggest thing for me was your first word. I guess *technically* you started using it last month, but this month “more” has solidified as a real, meaningful word for you. It’s TOTALLY AMAZING to see you communicate your desires very, very clearly. Not only will you point at things to show us, but you will also point at something on the table and sign “more” to tell us that you want it. All I have to do is pull out an avocado and you start signing up a storm with “more more more!” The sign is sort of your general, catch-all word for food, eating, avocado, yogurt, puffs, or any other preferred food. It DEFINITELY only relates to food right now. What has been SUPER cool is seeing what food-related words you recognize. In the morning, I’ll say “Are you hungry, Emmie?” or “Maybe we should eat some breakfast now” or “Let’s have some food, OK?” And as SOON as I say “hungry,” “breakfast” or “food,” your little hands start signing “MORE” like that was the word you’ve been waiting for.

You’ve also expanded your vocabulary to several other signs, although they seem a little more transient than “more.” For a few days, when I would sign “water,” you would bite your finger like you were trying to copy me, and then there was a day when I realized that you raising your hand up and down meant “yogurt,” and then you also have a sign that looks like “baby,” but clearly means something that I’m not getting. It *might* mean avocado, or it might mean you are dancing. I’m honestly not sure.

You’re also getting better at imitation. You’re more likely to imitate “mama” and “dada” in babble and to switch from one to the other when we change the model for you. You’re more likely to copy us when we play games, and it is so, so cute to see you do something we’ve just done, only tinier and more adorably.

I think this was the month you became a social butterfly, especially toward the end. We traveled to California for your grandpa’s retirement party, and at every point (airports, hotels, restaurants) you acted as a wee little mayor, smiling and waving at everyone whose eye you could catch. I can’t even count how many times we heard compliments on how cute/beautiful/adorable you were, and I had to agree. I especially loved seeing you charm your grandparents and your Uncle PJ. Seeing you play with them was incredible.

Favorite things: boxes, putting things in, taking things out;  balls, books, boxes, cardboard rings, alphabet blocks, wooden blocks and toys of all kinds; avocados, rice puffs, cheerios, yogurt; animals, shoes, brushes; pointing; Mama’s lens cap; crawling around the ottoman, pulling up on furniture, climbing up and down on your green chair, feeding people your food, swimming, playing “mail carrier” and handing us our “mail,” looking out the window at the cars, opening the kitchen cabinet doors (those not off-limits), pulling the tupperware out of the cabinet, playing in water, reading, playing with other babies, watching big kids play.

Things I love about you: the way you observe first, then interact with things; the way your face absolutely lights up with joy and delight when you see your Dada, grandmas, grandpas and uncles; the way you gleefully start signing “more” as soon as you see the avocado come out; your sweet cheeks; your incredible blue eyes; the way you extend your teeny little index finger to point your way into the world.

Songs I sing to you: Hush Little Baby has definitely become your preferred calming song. We sing other ones for fun, but that’s about the only one that actually calms you.

You are blossoming into a real little person, and I’m so proud I get to be your mama.

I love you, always and forever,

Your Mama