Lots of changes this week! I think having visitors and going to a few new places has really sparked another cascade of brain connections.

– Squinching shut her eyes when she smiles big. This is so adorably cute, I wish I could get a video or picture of it.

– Clearly intentionally biting off smaller pieces of food in order to eat them. I think she’s getting the hang of those teeth.

– Feeding herself using a spoon. Her record of transferring food from spoon to her mouth is only slightly above what would be pure chance, but I think it’s mostly intentional.

– Giving things to others. Is this a milestone? I dunno, I guess Milestone Monday has really become What New And/Or Cute Thing J Is Doing Monday. But anyway. This weekend Grandma and Grandpa T were in town, and J spent a good 30 minutes playing a game (with a small camera bag) with them that consisted of the following:

  • Grandpa gives J the bag
  • J turns to Grandma
  • Grandma asks for the bag saying “please” and holding out her hand
  • J gives her the bag
  • Grandma says, “Thank you!”
  • J watches Grandma and holds out her hand
  • Grandma gives J the bag
  • J turns to Grandpa
  • Grandpa asks for the bag, with a please and holding out his hand
  • J gives him the bag
  • Grandpa says thank you
  • J holds out her hand
  • Grandpa gives her the bag
  • J turns to Grandma
  • Rinse, repeat

So basically the three of them passed this little camera bag back and forth, over and over, with big smiles and very emphatic pleases and thank yous. It sounds like a pretty dull game, but watching J grinning and giggling and learning about handing the bag to and from people was so much fun that everyone really enjoyed it.

– Understanding words. She definitely responds to her name, and I think she’s learning “all done” and “more” and “up” and “snuggle.” She’ll also high five about half the time. We’re trying to sign more with her, and so far I think she throws both hands up in the air for all done. She definitely will put both hands in the air and go, “uh! uh!” when she wants to be picked up.

– One step before/as she falls. She’s trying to walk. She is so close! Similar to when she would rock back and forth on her knees, she will now bend her knees and butt as if she’s trying to figure out how to redistribute her weight onto a single leg. Every once in a while, she’ll manage to take a step as she’s falling.

– Dropping things to see what happens. One of the more irritating things babies learn to do, I think. She will drop things repeatedly. This is adorable and not at all irritating when the thing she wants to drop repeatedly is within her reach after she drops it. So far this includes: cups, wooden blocks, plastic balls, other toys, cheerios, and wipes. She’ll drop it, then grab it and look at me and give me a big grin, then drop it again and often chuckle to herself. It’s more irritating when she drops something and then can’t reach it, but still very much wants to drop it again! This usually happens at dinner time, when she’s strapped in to her high chair, or in the car, when she’s in her carseat. Included items: her cup full of milk, all possible food items (including yogurt, that didn’t go well), and the only toy that will entertain her on long car rides. When we’re at dinner, I’ll pick up whatever it is a few times, but then I’ll take a break and put it out of reach for a while until I think she needs it again and is ready to not drop it immediately. Unless it’s chicken, in which case the cats always get to it before me. When we’re in the car, she’s usually out of luck and has to fuss until we get home.

– Paying attention. I’m sure she always has been, but it is now obvious that she watches *everything* we do. She pays special attention when something new or rare happens. We occasionally fight when she’s in the room, and it’s quite clear that she knows Something Is Up and watches us very closely, as if she’s learning how to interact with loved ones during a disagreement. Unnerving and frightening… Best behavior, everyone!