11 Month Letter

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My sweet growing girls… You’re 11 months old now. It’s honestly surreal that we’ve been getting to know you both on the outside for nearly a year. Your first birthday is right around the corner and we are planning you a wonderful celebration. This is the last month before you are officially one year olds and it’s still sinking in.

Harlowe, my dear girl… you’re no longer tentatively crawling. Your once delicate and cautious crawl has been replaced with a very solid speed crawl. Your crawl produces the cutest little leg thuds as you make your way across the room. You picked it up quickly and in a matter of days you were a master. Now you’ve even discovered how to crawl up the stairs.  Your new mode of transportation has greatly impacted your curiosity. This happened right around the start of your 10th month and your curiosity is budding with each day. You are exploring your environment, chasing toys, following pets and crawling after your mamas.  

Ainsley your crawling has risen to new heights this past month. You can now crawl onto taller things and up things. You pull up and walk along the walls. You crawl over things with ease and go from a crawl to standing to cruising furniture to standing unassisted with ease. You stand and release when reaching for your next object and seem endlessly proud of your accomplishments. You are exploring things like stairs, the bathtub/toilet and furniture in a much different way. You walk well when holding our fingers and are starting to take more risks with unassisted standing. I imagine your first steps are right around the corner. You enjoy balance and being on your tip toes. Everywhere you walk is on tip toes and you love testing your own balance by rocking and releasing while standing up. My girl you have a flair for danger!     

You and sister are energetically covering ground these days. You chase and tackle each other and love to give each other slobbery kisses. Ains my dear… we think sometimes you’re attempting to bite not kiss… but for now we’ll continue to call it kissing. I watch you girls with delight as you interact with such sweet fullness but also more and more I feel my body tense, full of worry. Mostly because these tackling matches often end in someone falling (read: being pulled to the ground) and inevitably crying.

However, you both recover fairly quickly from falls and the chase begins again. I fear this new phase will lead to me holding my breath quite often. I’m trying to let you fall, let you recover and let you do it again. I’m trying to hold back my fears and help foster you becoming brave, strong and determined… but my children this is so hard! The noise… of your little heads hitting the floor breaks my heart, EVERY TIME! Please be safe my little ones and continue perfecting your graceful falls as it helps mommy breathe easier. By the end of your 10th month you’ve both thankfully mastered graceful falls and we are hearing much less floor thudding.    

My sweet girls, your personalities are so different and as the months pass they’re becoming even more defined. I know you my little ones and this is an amazing reality. To have been blessed with knowing you each day of your lives and to have been here watching as you both continue coming into your own, is truly incredible.

Harlowe you’re thoughtful, reserved, sensitive and goofy. My child… you’re also quite dramatic. You are quick to melt down but you also quick to forgive. You don’t hold a grudge and you can change courses with ease. You love being silly, rolling around giggling on the floor, doing downward dog and hiding under soft blankets. You’ve learned fish lips and a funny tongue flick this month and really enjoy crawling around practicing them. You seem most frustrated with communicating. You picked up signing quickly but now seem to want to vocalize things but have yet to put all the pieces together. This causes you to get frustrated. You point, flap your arms, whine and grunt for things. This requires we play the game of what Harlowe wants and many times we fail seeking your request… which only frustrates you more. You seem to be piecing words together and we’re starting to hear them forming here and there. We’ve heard more and dog for sure along with the mama, baba etc.

Harlowe by the end of your 10th month you’ve become very accurate at pointing and have added a helpful word to your signing… The word more is now one of your favorite signs! It seems to help greatly with your communication. Now you ask for more food, more books, more dogs, more fish and more shoes. It’s quite adorable. You also use it with the pointing to communicate, “I want more of that thing I don’t know a sign for”.  

Ainsley you’re wild, spirited, energetic, flirty and always lovey. You’re my cuddly girl and where you lack calmness you make up for with feisty wild love. You attempt to be sweet with sister but this is often presented as shoving toys in her face (sharing) biting (kissing) tackling (hugging) and overall aggressive affection. We will see you staring off at your sister with a huge grin and moments later you will have tackled her to the ground. Luckily your sister being carefree doesn’t usually mind but Ains my dear… subtle isn’t all bad. You are such a sweetheart with your mamas. You play hard but will often stop and crawl over for a little snuggle and kiss before pulling away to return to exploring. You flash big open mouth grins, exposing all your teeth. You have a truly larger than life giggle and infectious full blown laugh.

Recently you’ve both become more focused in your play. You play differently, more cooperative play along with more independent play than previous months. You both still like a stage, encourage praise and seek mama’s attention but more and more you’re venturing out on your own. We leave you un supervised and will hear gigging from the kitchen… returning to find you two intermixed slobbering on each other laughing.

Harlowe you continue to be fascinated by books. You take the time to look at each page, touch and feel where they’re should be textures. And smell and lick pages that really interest you. You love listening to us read stories and you are become especially excited for your slide/peek book and Eco People book. You love pulling up and standing on everything. You enjoy chasing the pets and crawling after sister. This month you’ve also learned how to roll the ball back and forth with your puppy. This you find hilarious. You roll or toss the ball and puppy Tara runs for it. Most times brings it back and the game continues. You love your pets and have added the sign for Dog to your signing vocabulary. It’s so cute watching you wave your hand, point to dog and then pat your little chunky leg; essentially signing hi dog! Speaking of waving and pointing… these are your favorite ways to communicate. You point and wave at things, pets, mamas, books and really love waving at grandparents! This month has also been the month of discovering the cat. You are absolutely in love with your kitty Zelda. You will crawl after her giggling for hours eventually you catch up and she will let you have a little pet before continuing to run from you. Eventually you get tired and frustrated that you very rarely catch her but you love that cat.        

Ains you’re extremely task driven. You also like books but only to turn the pages. Most times if we attempt to read them to you – which inevitably slows your page turning… you get truly irritated! Now that you can turn each individual page with precision it’s all you want to do. You will crawl over to sister steal her book, flip all the pages and then shove it back in her face. All the while… she will be wailing. You’ve also taken to making adorable block towers and your mama’s can’t get enough of it. You proudly stack small wood blocks making little towers of two and three. You’re so proud of your abilities but my dear; you also get quite frustrated if it takes you a few tries to get them to stay stacked. You are definitely showing my flair for instant gratification and perfectionism. You know when it’s food time and have begun to excitedly crawl over to your highchair when we bring your food tray in. You are quite the foodie and will eat just about anything. We are still amazed at just how much you can eat!         

My girls, you move, talk, play and love with massive personality and more defined purpose. You know what you like and are discovering things you don’t with more certainty. You are spunky, sweet and you’ve both indefinitely expanded my heart and stretched my love beyond what I imagined possible. Happy 11 months girls!     

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