Miss Mo is eleven months old! This has been a pretty exciting month for her, and she's getting to be such a big kid.
We had no way to weigh her and a very imprecise way of measuring her length this month, so those are really just guesses. Guesses that reflect the fact that I don't think she's grown much in a month. In fact, these numbers only give her a half a pound (and no inches) over her 9 and 10 month numbers (which were the same). She's a great eater and still gets plenty of breast milk, but she's just a wee thing I guess.
I helped my sister take my nephew's eleven month photo the night before we did this one, and Will was not at all interested in laying still. So when I laid Mo down on the blanket, I was ready to rapid fire a couple photos before she rolled over and crawled off. Instead, she put her hands up like that and laid perfectly still for several minutes. Like, "No Mom, I got this, I know what I'm doing."
Which is fitting since Mo did her first professional photo shoot last week. I'll have to write about it more thoroughly later, but basically I sent her photos into a local agency a couple months ago, forgot all about it, and then I got a call last week out of the blue that a large local company wanted her for a photo shoot. I'll share more details later, but she was so sweet and I was proud of her wonderful demeanor.
While she's not yet walking, Mo is quite mobile now. For awhile after she learned to crawl, she wasn't very eager to go too far. She mostly crawled around the room we were in, so she was easy to keep track of. But now she's all over the place, and we've reverted to building what we call "baby wall." Our living room opens up into the kitchen and the front room (a multi-purpose area without a good name), so to keep her contained, we line up some larger toys, a couple baskets and the ottoman to block her in.
I think the funniest thing about her crawling is that she has to use her hands, and therefore can't easily use them to transport things. So we often see her crawling around with things in her hands. Sometimes it's just a sock she found or a piece of paper, but sometimes she tries to crawl while holding a bulky toy or, her favorite, a used diaper that hasn't quite made it to the trash yet. Or, even funnier, she'll put something in her mouth to move it around. Fortunately, she hasn't tried that with a diaper yet.
In the last couple weeks, she has gotten better at standing on her own. I wouldn't say she can exactly, but whereas she used to tip right over when we put her in a standing position, she now can hold herself there for a few seconds. And rather than fall or tip, she can usually lower herself down in a controlled way. It's pretty incredible given that it wasn't long ago that she couldn't even support her own head! And while she's not yet walking on her own, she does walk behind her push toy, so she's well on her way.
Mo is an incredible eater. This is something I'm very excited about because I know some kids are programmed to be picky, and I hope this is foreshadowing for her future eating habits. She usually eats breakfast, lunch and a snack at daycare which consist of some finger foods, some purees and yogurt. And she gets a few bottles of breast milk still. Then at home she nurses once or twice, and we feed her dinner. We start with finger foods - cut up fruit, veggies, cheese, chicken, etc. - and she feeds herself, though she is pretty darn slow about it. Because finger foods take her so long, we then heat up some purees to fill her up. She eats like a champ, and we haven't found anything she doesn't like. Between all the healthy food and continued breast feeding, it's interesting she's still so petite.
In my 10 month post, I wrote about Mo being sick, and she was sick again this past month too! All the germs at daycare finally caught up to her I guess. I think the worse part about her being sick, besides the fact that she's miserable and I can't do anything about it, is that it throws off her beautiful sleep habits. Even after she was mostly feeling better, she kept waking up around 4am and wouldn't go back to sleep without nursing. Fortunately it didn't last too terribly long, and she's back to being a super sleeper again.
We got to celebrate Mo's first Thanksgiving with her. Unfortunately she was still pretty sick. The day before we thought we'd have to miss the family meal altogether, but Thursday morning her temperature was way down, so we decided to go for it. She ended up taking an epic three hour nap amidst the chaos of her cousins playing, and she completely missed dinner. I tried to give her some Thanksgiving goodness when she woke up, but her appetite was still gone from feeling sick. Hopefully next Thanksgiving she'll can really indulge in my favorite holiday!
I think Mo has found her lovie. Much to my chagrin, it's a pink stuffed kitty with a pink bow. Not that it matters really, but I was hoping she'd become attached to something else - maybe her sock monkey or one of her many stuffed elephants or giraffes. It's my fault though. Aside from a small stuffed bird, Kitty is the first thing I added to her crib. Kitty plays music when you pull its tail, and our routine quickly became to lay her down, hand her Kitty, pull the tail and slip out. Now she is thrilled whenever Kitty is around. When we approach her crib to take a nap, she'll see Kitty and lunge for her. Sometimes she grabs Kitty after a nap, wanting to take her downstairs with us. One time Mike heard her suddenly start screaming during a nap, and when he checked on her, he found Kitty on the ground (I think Mo stood up with her in hand, then accidentally dropped the kitty over the side).
Mo is starting to communicate a little more. I'm pretty confident she's saying "hi" and she now attaches meaning to "dada." She says "mama" but I'm not positive she is intentionally referring to me. And when you hand her something, she'll usually make two little sounds that have the exact inflection of "thank you." She has also started to figure out the sign for "all done" though I think she's just mimicking us and doesn't yet know what it means. Probably her cutest noise is when she's frustrated. If you redirect her from something she really wants - like the cat food or a hot stove - she grunts/groans/growls in frustration. And she likes to smack her lips. I think she's trying to imitate a kissing sound, but it ends up more like a lip smack.
Mo is a HUGE help around the house these days. A few of her favorite chores: folding laundry and emptying the dishwasher.
That's it for the 11 month update. Mo says bye-bye!