Catching ... up with Celeste (and making use of MC's gerunds meme)
Toddling ... This, of course is the big one. Celeste is getting much, much braver with turning away from the couch, ottoman, armoire, parent, etc., to walk across the room or even from room to room. Over the weekend, she spent a good 15 minutes just walking 3 meters from me to Evelin and back again, over and over again. There are times she needs encouragement and/or the promise of a hand just out of reach, but other times, she just up and goes — like the time I had my back to her and she set out from the livingroom couch, started toward me, stopped, turned, and headed to the gate that blocks the kitchen from the diningroom to see what Evelin was up to.
All in all, she's impressively steady, but she does tend to be either slow and determined or on a tear, which can sometimes end in a semi-controlled lunge toward Evelin or me. Of course all this walking leads to ...
Bruising ... Right now, she has matching bumps and slightly purple marks on each side of her forehead: one from a fall into a chair in the house yesterday, the other from a slow fall to the sidewalk this afternoon.
It comes with the territory and none of her falls have been too bad (although a few have been pretty spectacular). If she doesn't land on her face, we try to scoop her up quickly and confuse her with praise, but there are times that the tears take a bit longer to fade.
Scooting ... Despite the improved walking, Celeste still isn't too keen on pulling herself to a standing position much less figuring out how to get standing if she isn't near something that can help her get upright. So she still scoots her way across the room fairly often. The funniest, however, is when she tries to scoot up the stairs.
This afternoon, she did some practicing of trying to use her hands and feet to get up the stairs (she was already standing), but her usual MO is to scoot over to the stairs, get one foot onto the first step and then to try the scooting motion that usually propels her slowly across the floor. She's never made it up the stairs this way, although she has had one or two near falls when she's managed to get both feet on the step while her bottom remains on the floor.
Eating ... Last night, Celeste proved herself a pancake fiend. Evelin'd been talking about pancakes for a few days now and since the quickest meal on the week's menu was at least vaguely Indian, she wasn't interested. (She and Celeste had met friends at Udupi Palace for lunch.) So the pancake idea moved to the forefront of her mind.
At the aforementioned lunch, Evelin ordered a pea and onion uthappam for Celeste, but she wasn't too interested in it at the restaurant so Evelin brought it home. As part of her dinner, we tried it again and she liked it, although there were some bites where she focused on picking out the peas from the pancake.
[ASIDE: Although Celeste's food whims can change from day to day, I think part of wanting the uthappam for dinner but not lunch might have been due to seeing me sneaking a few bites. There are times it seems she views me as her official food taster; if I eat it and don't fall ill, it must not be poisoned and therefore Celeste wants to eat it too.]
The really funny bit, however, was when Evelin pulled out the blueberries for the pancakes. Celeste loves blueberries. She started the full body thump at the sight of them, so she got some and the pancakes got some.
While I kept her supply of blueberries current, Evelin started cooking the pancakes, and I got the first one off the griddle. Being a bit daring, I tried to eat it while sitting right next to Celeste. Evelin had given her a wooden spoon to play with and as soon as she saw I was eating whatever it was I had, she started trying to poke my pancake with the spoon. It was too hot (especially the blueberries) to just give her a bite, so I broke down some pieces for cooling and had another bite. That just offended Celeste. In the end, she had about two-thirds of my pancake. (Fortunately for all involved, more were forthcoming and a few were even left over to have on tap for future meals for Celeste.)
Teething ... It seems two of the first-year molars are in. The other two ... we're not to sure about. She was acting like her teeth were hurting her some last week, but as of today it looks only like it might be that fourth lower front tooth that might be (finally) coming in.
Napping ... After a few months of just one midday nap, Celeste seems to be cycling back to two naps per day. The downside is that the first nap is coming between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. (in part because she's been getting up early). The second nap is running later in the afternoon, sometimes coming dangerously late in the day. Twice now, I've had to wake her around 4:00 p.m. just to ensure we don't have too much slippage of her bedtime. With that late nap, she's tending to go down for the night some time between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. (before, she'd often be asleep by 6:30 p.m.), which means I'm much more likely to see her on my "normal" workdays.
Signing ... She's getting very good with some signs: MILK, BABY, WATER, MORE, CHEESE, BATH, UP (although that could just be a stretching of the arms and not a sign), NAP/SLEEP (we think), and, on a few occasions PLANE. I'm sure there are some others (she does parse several signs, such as EAT, that she doesn't use herself), but the WATER one has been pretty handy. (It took us a little while to catch on because she's sort of slapping her ear instead of making a W handshape near her mouth, but she's definitely asking for a drink.)
Brushing ... One last sign Celeste picked up very quickly is BRUSH TEETH, and she is very good about remembering to have them brushed. Last Thursday, we were about halfway through her bath when she stopped playing with some of her toys, looked at me, and started running her finger over her teeth. I'd forgotten about brushing her teeth, so she reminded me. Pretty clever this one is ...
I'm sure there's more, but it's after 10:00 p.m. and I'm zonked.