Oh baby Stephanie, how she's a-growin' and a-changin'! It seems only a few short weeks ago that she was a helpless little baby...oh wait, it was only a few weeks ago (though I'm not so sure about the helpless part)! Now, she is one busy little chica! In the past few weeks she has started...
...rapidly followed by the progression to motoring
Lemme tell ya, this one-foot-in-front-of-the-other thing is the discovery of the year! Why on earth would she bother to crawl when she could take off at a run instead? Within a week of standing with pride, Stephanie had figured out forward locomotion. She thinks walking is hilarious! She giggles and shrieks as those chubby little legs propel her forward. Like Ellie was, baby Stephanie is relatively small for her age, which means Markus and I are in for some aching backs as we help her get around to her heart's content. Fortunately, she does love motoring around the coffee table, an adorable scene to witness particularly when you see the pride and exhilaration she experiences when she turns the corner on her own. In the past two days, she has experimented with letting go of the table and making a break for it, only to most unsatisfactorily find herself flat on the floor. It's only a matter of time. I need to get busy baby-proofing to the ceiling, because she is busy, motivated, and she happily throws caution to the wind.
Here you can see one of her first walking attempts. Notice the ever-present tongue sticking out of her little mouth. This has been a common sight for the past two months, a sign of endless teething. I think it adds a look of great concentration to the whole walking thing (plus it's really cute!).
And while I think this deserves a post of its own, the other first to mention is talking. Baby Stephanie has always been and continues to be a highly effective babbler. She babbles in more sounds and with greater variety than any baby I've ever heard. She is clearly talking in a language we don't happen to understand, but it is talking just the same. Most of the time, we can understand exactly what she wants or is trying to say. She gestures to things as she talks, looks you in the eye to be sure you are listening and understanding, waits for you to comment before she continues...it is real conversation!
Back in the two languages we use most often in this house, I've been hoping her official first word would be "mama". Ellie was (and is!) such a Papa's girl that there was no way "mama" was making the cut, but Stephanie is my little koala and she has been saying "mam mam mama" for a while now...but I haven't been sure that counted. On Sunday night, I was privileged to witness her first for-sure word, and alas, it wasn't "mama." It was bedtime, and I was snuggling her in her room. We had just wrapped up our bedtime routine, and I put the pacifier in her mouth, the last step before putting her in her crib. She pulled it right back out with her hand, looked me right in the eye, and said, "Nay" with the biggest smile. Since Sunday, she has used the word often and to great effect. "Nay" is the kinder, gentler "no" substitute I picked up in Holland, and yes, it's her first word. I think I'm in trouble.