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Dearest Emmie,

You are blossoming into a funny, sweet and sparkling little girl and I love it. Every day you come up with some new and I adore watching you grow and change into a little person.

Your favorite sound is making a motor sound with your lips. You “brrrr” whenever you play with a toy car, walk with your walker, or just when you want to make a sound. You also do with when you are REALLY mad in your crib, and your crying just devolves into a furious “BBRRRRR! BRRRR! BRRRRR!!!” It’s sad, but also adorable. You also use “brrr” as a “word” for car, as in, you will point to your car, sign “more” and “brrrr” so I know you mean the car and not your Cheerios or milk or avocado.

Progress is being made on the walking front! After some Official Tests, you are officially just a little slow on the walking, but have definitely been making some progress. You will now hang onto our fingers and walk, and you think this is just the funniest thing ever, especially if you are walking towards Mama or Dada. You also have finally started standing on your own, even though these moments are not even measurable in seconds yet (for the most part). When you do stand unsupported, your face is just filled with glee and pride and you usually sit down laughing.

Your memory is amazing. We’ve been rearranging some cabinets and at some point, I put your Cheerios container into a cabinet near your chair, then promptly forgot about it. A while later (days?), Daddy was feeding you and you apparently knew exactly where those Cheerios were and kept pointing and pointing until Daddy found them. You also can remember exactly where various other things are as well, if you see them put there. Soothies, food, favorite cars, balls and other toys, nothing is safe unless we hide it without you seeing.

You’ve started imitating big people actions more now, even things you’ve only seen us do a few times, or things that we haven’t even been intending to “teach” you. When we bring food out to you (usually from the microwave, but not always), you blow to “cool” the food. You like to hold things up to your ear and “talk” on the phone (although I swear we hardly ever do that when you are around). You now “tickle” us and even open and close your hand when you are tickling us and think it’s hilarious to watch us wiggle and squirm. I love how you now will do things intentionally to get a reaction from us, like tickling us on purpose.

Things you’ve known how to do for quite some time, but I don’t think I’ve written down yet: brushing/combing hair, putting on shoes, using a toothbrush (although you usually start by brushing your hair with it), wearing a hat, using nail clippers, putting on sunglasses, twisting open twist tops, and using utensils & cups (even pretend ones).

One of my favorite moments from this month was watching you try to open Daddy’s iPad like a book. You opened the cover, then tried in vain to separate the rest of the “pages” (the iPad itself). You then got bored and left it for something more interesting. What I loved is that it was the opposite of the well-known video of the 1 year old using an iPad, then playing with the “broken” magazine, trying to make the pictures move. We’ve consciously tried to limit your exposure to technology until you can understand it more and to encourage your love of books. While I know this probably won’t last long (nor should it, necessarily), I was thrilled to see this little indication of short term success.

On the language front, I delight in watching your development and discovering new words you understand or seeing you use a new sign.

Words you understand (new words this month in italics): window, stairs, airplane, plane, outside, car, drive, shoe, hat, hot, noodles, chair, sit down, hi, bye, kiss, tickle, tummy, mama, dada, grandma, grandpa, Jasper, dog, doggie, puppy, light, fan, hook, book, ball, downstairs/upstairs, eat, food, breakfast, hungry, more, yogurt, drink, water, all done, shoe.

Words you use (new words this month in italics):
Spoken: mama, dada
Sign: airplane, ball, noodles, daddy, water, please (emerging), dog, Soothie (your invention), “brrr” to mean car, more, eat, all done, yogurt, milk.

It’s positively astonishing to realize how much you are starting to understand. Even if you don’t really “understand” what we are saying, you frequently will catch words in our sentences and show us how much you hear. For example, I was telling someone something about the air outside and you started signing “airplane.” I started to say, “No, there’s no plane right now,” and then realized you had heard the word “air” and made the connection yourself. You do the same thing any time you see any kind of water or hear the word in any context. As someone who makes her living teaching kids who don’t understand language, it’s astonishing to me how much you understand with no “teaching” at all. I’m sure you understand even more than we know, we just haven’t thought to ask you yet!

Production-wise, it’s a good thing I’m teaching you sign. Some kids are verbal from the get-go, but you are definitely a signing baby. Speech-wise, I’m just thrilled you are continuing to develop your babble more (although “uh” is still your most common sound, unfortunately for my nerves). Your sign is much more diversified, although I’m still trying to work out what some of the signs are. The sign you made up for Soothie couldn’t be clearer, though. One finger hooked in your mouth, just like the Soothie nipple. I’m so grateful this is different from “eat” and “water” (which are more or less the same). Dada is the clear favorite sign of the month, though. As soon as you wake up and I come in to get you, you start tapping a tiny fist to the side of your head, which is how you say “dada.” I know where I rate! (To be fair, you do say “mama” quite clearly now, and it’s even always just two syllables now). You have some other signs that seem to be… something, but we aren’t quite sure what yet. One is like “Daddy,” but involves you tapping the back of your head. Another looks just like “baby,” but you don’t really know or use that sign, and you tend to use it when you are happy and content (and there are no babies in sight).


Your favorite things: your walker toy, cars, balls, climbing up, standing, attempting to snuggle with Jasper, books, Daddy, tickling other people, avocados, crackers, dipping food, your green chair, playing with other kids, taking small items out of boxes, twisting the lids on and off of your applesauce & yogurt pouches, Soothies, your lovey, practicing walking, playing peekaboo, being held upside-down, playing in fluffy blankets, going up & down stairs (although sometimes you get scared of going down, even though you do it perfectly well).

Things I love about you: the incredible blue of your eyes that I have yet to capture in a photograph; your infectious laugh; the way you are now sleeping 12 hours at night (LET THE ANGELS SING); your belly button; the sound of your little voice saying “mama”; the way you crawl quick-quick to get things you want; the sound of your little hands slapping the floor as you crawl; the careful way you separate the pages of books with your thumbs; your focus and concentration on your play; your teeny little feet; your big open mouth kisses that are mostly just for mama.

I love you, always and forever,

Your Mama