As Stella gets older, each month's passing isn't necessarily quite as momentous as during the first year, but she's still changing an awful lot. And, as this is her virtual baby book, I thought it a good time to take stock on where she's at these days.
Stella at 14 months!
It's pretty exciting!
Stella's generally a voracious eater. Most mornings, Tyler makes her 1/2 cup of dry oatmeal with blueberries--and she eats the entire thing! She also seems to have largely inherited Tyler's taste buds. Bring on the pickles, vinegar, things that are zesty and flavorful--curry, soy sauce, butter chicken, roasted pepper and tomato soup. I'm often surprised by what she likes. And sometimes by what she doesn't. She doesn't seem to be so much of a comfort food, mashed potatoes, mac 'n cheese kind of gal. She's also a bit of a fickle foodie. One week, she could eat peas and only peas. Next week, all she's into is trying to squish them between her fingers. Lately, broccoli, mango and beef tenderloin have topped the list, but it could all be different in a few days.
Stella still is largely happy to interact with the world while holding onto our fingers. She loves when we take her outside to walk around the block. When we went to the aquarium last week, she practically walked through the whole place holding my hand--clearly she's got some balance, leg strength and stamina. She could walk (and will take some steps or walk when she's sufficiently distracted), she just hasn't decided that she wants to yet. For now, when she wants to get somewhere, she'll reach for one of our fingers insistently. When we try to encourage to get around with her own steam (I mean, she could still crawl), she gets pretty frustrated. She doesn't want to crawl, but she doesn't want to walk alone. Sometimes, under duress, she'll do this funny thing where she'll walk while kneeling. I was so convinced she would be an early walker--just another way she's teaching me that I'm not really in charge. While sometimes I get a little impatient for her to start walking independently, I also am a little happy to not have to chase after her quite yet.
Stella's own special mode of transport, not crawling, not quite walking....
She's also at that fun age when she wants to mimic us and "help." If we give her trash, we'll walk (together) to the kitchen, then she'll open the cabinet, put it in the can, and close the door. Now, I know this will ultimately lead to her throwing all kinds of things away that don't really belong in the trash, but for now it's pretty darned cute. And she wants to help sweep, put her dish in the sink, and comb her hair (though she no longer wants to brush her teeth). Probably related to the trash thing, she's really into putting things into other things--toys into an old diaper wipes box, balls into an empty Kleenex box, and sometimes with toys that are actually meant to encourage such behavior. (I'm still waiting to see this manifest itself with putting clothes back in the dresser, or my shoes back in the closet after she's pulled them all out....)
Probably less fun but equally developmentally important is that she's increasingly stubborn and getting frustrated. There's lots of head shaking (even when she really means yes), frustrated noises, and the throwing herself down onto the ground--when we're lucky, this means stretching out on her belly and kicking her legs. When we're not, she throws all caution to the wind and throws her head back, which then gives her a legitimate reason to cry.
This does not illustrate the previous statement at all--it's just a cute picture of Stella and Tyler together. We tend not to take pictures during the mini-tantrums (though we do sometimes have to try hard not to laugh at her melodramatics).
What else? More hair--if still a bit short and straight on top and fluffy and curly in the back. More sounds--da and ma and a dog barking noise that sounds like a cross between bow-wow and woof ("bwu, bwu"). More teeth coming in on her bottom gum. And better sleeping--she's been consistently sleeping through the night, 12+ hours, to our relief, with the side effect of seeming to move to only one nap a day.
Becoming a better sleeper. I think she still likes that newborn feeling of being all cozy and confined--we often find her looking cramped in the corner end of her bed, with her head nestled into a corner.
She can (fairly reliably) get down off of the couch or the futon downstairs. Stella's also pretty obsessed with bellybuttons (or "oodle" in Bahasa Indonesia). She can find hers and is very amused to see other's. She still loves monkeys and kitties and the recycling/yard waste truck and guys. She's also probably inherited some of her parent's shyness--in large crowds, she'll definitely hang back and wait to get her bearings. Sometimes she'll do this thing in a new situation where she'll just freeze in place, standing stock still or once or twice even in mid-crawl. Other current activities and faves:
I don't know if when my sister-in-law Jeanne got Stella these sunglasses she realized how much Stella would like them!
Hipster Stella (and dad)
Always interested in the world outside--and tall enough to see out this window now.
Playing with the farm
Besides all the recent sickness, this is a pretty fun age. Stella's starting to seem more like a little girl than a baby, which is pretty amazing, considering what she was like a year ago. I'm still looking forward to being able to have conversations, but it's pretty cool to realize that she really is understanding what we say and to see her be a little scientist all the time, experimenting with how the world works and how she can have an impact on things. And she keeps our lives filled with lots of laughter:
Stella, we love you!
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