So...a real, actual blog post with more things than just pictures. :) Since pictures can't tell the entire story of Aurora's development, I thought it was about time to tell you all what Aurora's up to these days....
She has a few sounds that mean lots of things. She uses "da" for almost everything, with a few variations on it. "Da-DEE" is used for "daddy" (duh) and "baby." "Dum" or "dam" can mean "yum-yums" (nursing). And everything else is just "da!"--well, except for some of her rather creative sounds that she uses for "flower" and "hot." For "flower," she "smells" the flower quite loudly, even if we're just talking about flowers. For "hot," she blows onto the hot food or in the direction of the person who was talking about whatever was hot. It's rather adorable to see. :)
For all other communication, she signs (or grabs me and takes me where she wants me). I've counted around 30 signs that she knows and uses. Let's see if I can list them: all done, eat, bath, diaper, more, shoes, ball, bye-bye, Daddy, hairclip, baby, dog, cat, bird, duck, wash hands, toothbrush, down, drink, open, sleepytime, rain, shower, car, train, camera, please, thank you, strawberry, pacifier, sauce (as in sauce to dip stuff in)... that's all I can think of for now.
She makes plenty of other sounds, too--as one would expect from a young toddler. She's recently begun saying "mamamama"--but she doesn't seem to mean anything by it yet. She also enjoys humming to herself or along with a song. She'll hum to herself in the car, or while playing with toys, or while nursing, or while I'm singing her to sleep. This Sunday at church she was trying to sing along with the songs, which was precious.
This is, of course, Aurora's main calling in life. :) She runs, she climbs, she stacks, she knocks over, she spins, she falls, and does it all over again. She loves her baby dolls and will carry one of them around everywhere with her--sometimes asking me to hold the doll while she runs off to do something else. She also tries to be a helper--which is so sweet. If she makes a mess, she'll lean over and try to wipe it up with her hand. If she loses something and I'm looking for it, she'll put her head on the floor and try to look, too. She likes to pull her diapers out and pretend to put powder on them. She'll take clothes or blankets and bunch them up for me (folding them?). She loves to try to help take care of my potted plants, but that usually ends with the death of one of my plants.
But then, she's also ornery. She loves to pull books off the shelves, throw things over the side of the porch, open cupboards, throw things into or take stuff out of the garbage. She's managed to get herself permanently banished from the kitchen--and life is much happier because of it. She simply loves to explore and understand how things work, which at this point in her life means she needs to play with them. But her play is often times not gentle enough for the things she's interested in--so she gets told "no." We're working on teaching her to touch things with just one finger, but so far I haven't had enough patience to really work hard on that.
This has never been an easy area in her life. She wants to stay awake and not miss a thing, no matter how tired she is. But, we have discovered, when she's not teething, she is actually able to put herself to sleep (sometimes, if the stars and planets are aligned correctly). She just happens to be teething most of the time. She doesn't sleep through the night, we've given up hope of that happening any time soon, but she recently set a new record of only waking up twice during the night. We'll see if that ever happens again. ;) She also still needs to be swaddled most of the time, though some nights she is able to put herself to sleep with out it. I'm assuming she's just one of those types of people who needs some pressure or weight on her body to help her relax. When she gets a little bit older, I'm planning on making her a weighted blanket for her bed.
She is full of personality! She's very intelligent and observant (we can't get away with anything!). She likes to know how things work and seems more accepting or obedient when we explain to her the "why" behind what we're doing (though that doesn't always work). She generally is able to clearly communicate what she wants (unless she's crying, then it's really hard to know) and usually knows exactly what she wants. She's very independent, both in playing and in doing new things. And she certainly seems to have that streak of "I'm-going-to-do-this-till-I-get-it-right" that both her parents have. Did I mention she's stubborn? But she's very cheerful, when well rested and feeling good, and often hums to herself while playing or doing whatever. She's a little bit of a tease (offers me one of her snacks and then eats it herself right when I open my mouth for it) and seems to have a very good sense of humor. She certainly cracks herself up plenty. :) She's full of energy and very friendly (waving and blowing kisses to all of our neighbors and other random strangers). She wants to be a helper to mommy and to be involved in everything we do.
Weight: 22.6 lbs (at the end of the day)
Height: 31 inches
Hair: light brown and curly
Teeth: 11 (eleven)
Toy: the baby doll mommy made her for her 1st birthday
Non-toy play thing: anything she's not supposed to have (computer, cell phone, big books)
Daily activity: nursing
Annoying thing to do to mommy or daddy: scratch the walls with her fingernails
Hair style: disheveled
Sleeping position: on her tummy with her legs tucked up
Book: the one with a collection of nursery rhymes
Night-time activity: fight sleep and stay up late
Movie: Pride & Prejudice (A&E--long version)
Drink: water (unless yum-yums count as a drink) ;)
Place: living room, surrounded by toys
Acrobatic feat: tipping her camping chair over and sliding down it--I'll show you in another post
Hair accessory: hair clips--or ketchup, depending upon her mood
Dangerous activity: rocking her dinner chair back on its legs
Sweet activity: blowing kisses to everything, including garbage being thrown away and random strangers in cars driving by
Body part: her bellybutton!
That about covers it, I think!