I think it is pretty hard to top how awesome Aya is right now. To get the tough stuff out of the way - she is still a terrible night-time sleeper. But that's about it! Everything else about her is wonderful. She is on the verge of walking, but I think it is much more her own decision not to do it than a lack of skill. She is a super-fast crawler and cruiser. She can stand and balance for a long time, picking things up or lowering herself carefully to sitting. As of today, she can go backwards down the stairs all by herself (we've really been training her on this one) so we will breathe a little easier. Video below :)
Many of her old loves remain: family (especially siblings!), water, music, motion, small animals, chatting chatting, and being where the action is. She is really independent, and seems a bit stubborn where there is something she absolutely wants. She likes other babies a lot. She adores Oliver, our nanny/housekeeper, and also really likes Christopher, our cook. She now has 4 teeth (boy they seem to be coming slowly with this kid...). Still takes 2 good naps a day.
New loves are crawling upstairs over and over and over again, and playing/singing "This little piggy...", "Jolly Go Ride to Boston" and the "Wheels on the Bus". And books! She used to not be into books at all. Then she was only into two very specific books ONLY, and only if I was sitting in the rocking chair in her room. Now you can hear her "reading" in various rooms at different times of the day from a wide selection. And she has self-selected a new bedtime book that she crawls over to and brings me for her bedtime routine. The animals from "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" by Eric Carle are painted on the wall in her room, and lately she enjoys saying goodnight to each of them before sleeping. My favorite new thing she does is give me a kiss me when I request one - it's just too cute.
Aya consistently says "Mama" and "Hi" (inconsistently she'll say something that sounds like "night night" and one time we swear she said "cat"!); she is also very good at waving goodbye and clapping her hands liberally for all (or no) achievements. Actually, she claps a lot when nursing. She recognizes the signs for "milk", "more", and "all done", but is not doing them herself yet. Ays is a decent eater - probably not that the world's best, but better than her siblings I think. It helps, I'm sure, that we are MUCH more relaxed the third time around. I'm actually so relaxed that I haven't had her weighed in a couple months (but probably should do that this week. My goal is to continue nursing Aya through July. We will likely be traveling that month and NO WAY will I willing give up breastfeeding before what feels like endless hours on an airplane with a toddler.
And - just because I cannot resist - here is a bit about how Aya's favorite way to spend her free quiet time. She LOVES this little spot between our stairs and bookshelf. She puts toys in there, she likes to stand there, lay there, "hide" there. I think it's hysterical. She keeps going back there, over and over. It's her special spot and I love it!
Eleven months of our littlest love, and she just keeps getting better and better.
Will it really be her birthday in one more month?! Now THAT is hard to believe!