Wednesday, July 31, 2013

fourteen months

I'm kind of thinking I'll keep doing bi-monthly posts about Nell, because she's cute, and surely no other baby in the history of the world has done the things she does.

Also, it's important to make any future siblings of hers jealous when they sit around in their hand-me-downs wondering why they didn't get as many blog posts.

Perks of being the eldest, Nell.

{Although, truth be told, all but approximately two of her outfits are hand-me-downs, freecycled, or thrifted, so... we don't seem to be in the business of raising a diva so far.}

Nell has four molars now, making twelve teeth altogether, I think.  It's hard to be certain because anytime I try to look in her mouth she acts as though I'm trying to murder her.

Nell is a busy girl these days.  She can stack her blocks on top of one another, loves playing with her purple ball, crawls everywhere quite fast, and pulls herself up on everything - including my skirts sometimes, which makes me feel like we're always living on the edge around here.  She was sick a lot just before turning one, and after that, it seems she was intent for a while on making up for the lost time of that month of viruses and ear infections and fevers.

Her favorite activities include dropping things over the edge of our bed, dropping things down from her high chair, and shoving things down the crack between our bed and the wall.  Faced with a basket of toys, she'll almost always choose to hold on to a tube of mascara, a lip balm, or a wooden spoon instead.  We've taken to calling my mascara her "security object."  Other babies have security blankets; Nell has security... makeup.

Nell gets immense enjoyment out of copying everything Mama and Daddy do.  For one thing, anytime she sees a phone, she goes for it with glee.  She picks it up, slams it against her ear so hard we wonder why it doesn't seem to hurt her {Nathan jokes that maybe she thinks that's how you activate it}, and starts babbling, always starting with "Haaaa!" (Hi!).

She is amused by non-verbal sounds, too, like clicking her tongue, sucking in air on a high-pitched screech, and making a "woo woo woo!" sound by clapping her hand over her mouth.  {We used to call it an "Indian" sound when I was little.  Now I'm sure nobody calls it that anymore.  Native American something or other?  Help me out here.}

Nell LOVES music, and whenever she hears it in any form, she stops whatever she's doing and begins waving her arms as if to conduct.  She learned this from watching her Dad and her Uncle Andrew imaginatively conduct recordings.  She also dances to the music.  Undeniably the cutest thing ever.

About a month ago I had a phrase from the Bartok Concerto for Orchestra stuck in my head, and kept humming or singing it absentmindedly.  One day I noticed that Nell was approximating that little tune - a descending fourth followed by a descending fifth - after hearing me humming it.  She likes to sing!

I've been sporadically doing some baby sign language with her, and she's great about showing me when she's "all done!"  The others are pretty hit or miss, although she can sort of do "more" and we're working on and "potty" (because we do Elimination Communication around here, but that's another post for another time).  I should really be more consistent about teaching her signs, but let's face it: I'm not one of those moms that has it all together in life, and this is only one of many things falling through the cracks, I can assure you.  

One of the most hilarious things about Nell right now is that she gets very jealous whenever Nathan and I hug.  Any time she catches us hugging each other she starts yelling or crying, sometimes weeping dramatically and sometimes yelling angrily!   We then quickly include her in a family hug, but to tell the truth, it's hard not to laugh at this particular trait.

Nell has quite a few words now that she uses regularly and I can pretty easily understand.  My personal favorites are probably "Nuh," for Nell, and "Nuh," for nursing.  There's just something cute about the fact that she uses the same word to refer to herself and to her favorite activity.  Oh, and she also has a cute, conspiratorial way of drawing near to me and whispering "duhbuhduhbuhduhbuh..." in a way that makes me grin.

Nell's Words:
Bah! (ball)
Mama (used specifically)
Dada (used specifically)
Na-na (Hannah)
Nuh (Nell)
Nuh (nurse)
Uh! (up)
Da *snort* (that)
Buh *snort* (book)
Bah *snort* (block)
Duh *snort* (duck)
Haaa! (hi)
bah-bah (bye-bye) (accompanied by hands waving)

She also imitates "woof woof" for a dog and "oo oo, aah aah" for a monkey pretty effectively.

{Oh, and if you're in the dark about the snorting thing, you might need to go watch this video.  Nell's working on her ending consonants.}

Dear Ellen,

It's been a wild ride these past couple of months.  I got mastitis -- twice -- and you got your molars in and then you had a cold and for a while you thought you should stay up until 10:00 pm and/or wake up at 5:00 am and then I got what might have been thrush or might not have been but in any case everything seemed difficult for a while and I even thought about quitting nursing.  But here we are, both still alive, and I think we're on the upswing - for now at least.  

In the midst of all that, we've been having some good times this summer, you and I.  We go out to yard sales every Saturday morning together, and have found quite a few great deals on things you love or will love when you're a little older.  I found you a little toile armchair for $5 and you climb in and out of that thing at least a dozen times a day.  It brings you so much delight.

Every day when the weather is nice, we go sit on the front steps for a little while in the sunshine.  Sometimes we eat fresh berries or some other small snack, sometimes we look at the flowers in the flower pots, sometimes we watch for the rabbits that hop through our yard.

I know it's cliche to say, but you help me look around and enjoy the little things in life, like comfy chairs and blueberries and flowers in bloom, and I like that.  Getting to share the good things about summer with you makes it all the more fun.




  1. I love these posts :) It will be so great to look back someday and have all this information stored. What a darling little girl!

  2. I really enjoy these posts too. I'm glad you are continuing them! I love your descriptions of Nell and music. So cute!