Favorite part of the last few months? Snuggles. Lots of snuggles. I'm in heaven. She's never really been much of a snuggler so I think that makes it that much better. When she's tired, she just wants to be held and puts her head down on my shoulder and holds on tight. She'll do it when I ask for hugs or snuggles or love too. Best part of my job!
Finally some new teeth! And lots! I make the weirdest teethers. She's been really slowly getting teeth #5 & 6, the next upper ones. They just barely popped through last week. No sign of the next bottom ones at all. Well, just a few days ago, I was holding her in my lap, tickling her and as she put her headback and laughed I saw a molar. And not just one, three out of her four molars were already in. She skipped 6 teeth!
Language is amazing! She's learning new words all the time. Not necessarily speaking them, but she understands so much more every day. I love asking her to bring me something or take something to one of her siblings and having her be able to do it. She loves repeating sounds, even the obnoxious ones her siblings make. My favorite new word that she actually learned to say is "please". She learned the sign at the same time and she whispers a "pssss". It is so cute! And it seems to make her less frustrated cuz she can ask when she wants something rather than just squawking at me.
Another new word is "ouch". The other day at lunch she accidentally bonked her head on the table and repeated right after me when I said, "oh ouch". Then she kept bonking her head and saying ouch. Way to ram the concept in, I guess!
She's also kinda obsessed with saying "Mama!" She loves to come up behind me and pat my shoulder and say "Mama? Mama? Mama?..." She picked up saying it over and over again from Austin, who usually says it in 3s. (My own little Sheldon!) So between the two of them, I hear my name a LOT! McKenna has been insisting on calling me "Mother" so at least there is a little variety.
She also added a few new signs these months too. Milk isn't exactly new, but getting the concept of asking for it specifically is. She yells "Mama! Mama! Mama!" and when I ask her what she needs she proudly holds up her hand and signs it. The first time she got the right response, I could tell she was so excited. Like she just discovered all the power that she can now wield! She also learned how to shake her head no, which has helped a lot at meal times too. We can have a little conversation to figure out what she'd like to eat and what she needs more of. Love it! And sometimes when I answer her, she just starts talking gibberish like she has something really important to say. Wish I knew what!
She's learned a few body parts too. Hair, belly button, mouth, tongue and nose. Nose is awesome! When you ask her where her nose is, she squeezes it and says "Honk!"
I *might* just have a kid that obeys! Maybe. It takes a few times of telling her no, but she will usually stop doing what she shouldn't or comes when you ask. Austin and McKenna took "no" as a challenge and would just laugh at me. And "come" meant run as fast they can in the opposite direction. If she's cranky though, I'm completely out of luck. She's got a stubborn streak in there too.
All along, I've had a feeling she might be my most difficult toddler. She was my easiest baby, so it's just fair I guess! She's still a happy joyful thing most of the time, but she is developing a serious temper too. I think I had at least until 16 months before I got legitimate tantrums out of the other two. She's already got them figured out. If you take something from her, she will flail herself back and start kicking and shrieking. She has also figured out how to go limp when you're trying to pick her up. If she starts copying McKenna's meltdowns, I'm in for a world of hurt.
Along those same lines, she's already entering the "do it by myself" phase. She will insist on walking without holding your hand. Really wants to hold the spoon and feed herself. Has to hold her own smoothie and straw and will rip them out of your hands, spraying yogurt everywhere in the process, if you try to help her. Praying this is short lived, but out of experience, I'd say it's not!
Still a good eater. I keep waiting for that ball to drop. Austin was a good eater until about a year. Thankfully she doesn't seem to be letting up on enjoying food! She is developing a few bad habits though. She's taken to chucking food if she's full or uninterested. And when she's done drinking her milk she flips it onto the floor. The kids would keep getting it for her and then she discovered it could be a game. With a little bit of a 'tude too. One time I gave it back to her and she promptly chucked it again, pointed to it and I swear she said "Get it!"
She's a water baby! We did swimming lessons with the big kids this year at a friend's pool. While one kid was in their lesson, I swam with the other two. Bella LOVES the water. When we get to the pool, she immediately tries to climb in all by herself. I've had to bring a booster seat to keep her contained while I sunscreen up the others, otherwise she's gone! As soon as she gets in the water she starts splashing everywhere. She dunks her own face too, although she doesn't always hold her breath. We're working on that. She knows how to kick on command and does a decent job swimming when you pass her under water between you and another person. I need to find a good floatie situation for her. All the arm floaties and swim bellies are too big for her and she hates the infant floatie. Can climb right out too! She doesn't want to be held all the time, convinced she can swim by herself, so it's a bit of a challenge! But it is so fun to see her enjoy it so much!
Her new excited face KILLS me! I just love it so much! It's really how I'm seeing her personality and sense of humor blooming. She excitedly brings me stuff she finds, running towards me to deliver it. Delivering items gives her such joy! She'll bring me my phone, then take it back and take it over to Brian. Then confiscate it again and repeats over and over.