Oh, how those early months of life mean so many changes, so quickly! I tell my kids almost daily to please stop growing. They get a kick out of smiling and swearing they are growing taller before my very eyes. Then they stretch themselves up onto their tiptoes and widen their eyes to huge saucers (not sure why they equate big eyes with growing!) and giggle as they "grow."
Two weeks ago, on the very day she turned 13 months, Juliette started walking. We spent the morning at an indoor playland, and with all that room to roam, she let go of my hand and wandered off in amazement. At the rate she walks now, you'd hardly believe she only has two weeks of experience under her belt! And she is in love with shoes. After the last week on vacation up at a cottage, she stubbed her big toe so many times it was permanently scraped and bleeding all week. And so I reluctantly covered up those lovely little toes that I've let go barefoot everywhere for the past 13 months. Now she wants to wear shoes everywhere. There are a handful of different pairs on the shoe shelf, and she loves to go and bring you some to put on her feet. This morning when I asked the boys to get their shoes on to go, she was right in there, sitting on the floor with them, trying so hard to wiggle her feet into her sandals.
She is also moving past her simple finger foods. The easy to make peas, carrots, blueberries, raspberries and bananas are holding no interest. About a month ago she gave up on pureed food completely in favour of finger foods. Now she seems to understand that the "big people" have full meals on their plates, and she wants some of that. Unless I serve her chicken. That girl could eat an adult size chicken breast and still ask for more! I'm on a quest now for some more complex food ideas for her, but it's not an easy task. I need foods that can be made in advance and frozen, so I'm not preparing an entire second meal every mealtime. And they need to be grain-free and dairy-free.
Juliette puts herself right into the fray with anyone and everyone. I guess that comes from the chaos of three older brothers who aren't really that much older. There's a lot of movement in our home, and she is not one to sit back and watch or get lost. It's good to see her brothers pulling her right into the fun.
My arm muscle definition is massive. I spend most of my day carrying her, sitting on my hip and balancing her in the crook of my arm. I don't use my baby carrier because most of what I do during the day requires me setting her down and picking her up a hundred times an hour. Built in gym.
She's starting to get used to the baby seat on my bike, which makes me happy. I plan to bike a lot come the fall, when it's just her and I. In fact, I hope to bike everywhere as long as the weather is good.
She has finally come around to cuddling. Before, she cuddled to nurse and that was it. Even at bedtime, she preferred nursing instead of cuddling. But last week at the cottage we spent a lot of time in our bathing suits, slathered up with sunscreen. So that meant she spent a lot of time wrapped up in a towel after a swim or a bath. Now she absolutely loves to bring a blanket or a towel to me, to wrap around her shoulders and sit up on my knee, her head leaning against my shoulder.
She is a tour de force, that's for sure. We always know what she wants and how she is feeling. But I wouldn't expect any less from one of my kids :)