Now that we're at 11-months, we're starting to plan Ava's first birthday on March 12. We're planning a birthday party at our house with friends and family. I'm not sure on a theme quite yet, but I have some ideas. Before we start celebrating, we're enjoying this stage of Ava right now! Here's the latest update on what's going on with Ava at 11-months old.
Clothing size: 12 months and 18 months on the top. We have three boxes of hand-me-down clothes from Ava's friend, Violet, in 12-24 month sizes and we're thankful to have them because she's been growing so quickly!
Two more teeth! Ava has two more teeth on the bottom that started popping through about a week ago. Her current count is 6 teeth! When they first come out, those new teeth are sharp and she likes to rub her tongue on the new teeth. Nursing is challenging sometimes because it's uncomfortable for both of us. I use homeopathic teething gel, which really helps.
Loves to stand up...Ava loves standing, though she doesn't pull herself up, she's good at balancing herself by holding on to the furniture or us. She can stand a long time and doesn't seem interested in walking yet, but we're guessing that will come soon enough.
Mobility, we're getting there. No crawling forward, but Ava likes to push backwards either on her tummy or on her bottom. Her arms are strong and she moves in a circle, backgrounds, and rolls all over the place. We give her some help by propping her up on her knees to help her crawl and she puts her head on her arms and snuggles. It's really funny! Ava watches everything that we're doing and how we're moving. Her hands and arms are always moving. Aaron called her "Miss America" because she loves to clap and wave. She likes to play catch! No joke! She throws balls and small objects and when you throw it back, she will return it by throwing. When I unload our weekly produce bin, she goes crazy for a chance to play with the oranges!
Her first words: Ava is talking ALL THE TIME! Daycare says she's talking/babbling constantly and she's saying words now. She says "Dog" when she sees Bena and the deer in our yard. She says "Ball" when she sees an orange, which she thinks is a ball. Her most favorite word is "Dada" and she finally has started to say the "Ma" syllables, which is music to my ears. :)
Very playful! Ava plays hard all day and especially likes to play with her friends at daycare. We were all home together during the ice storm just a week and a half ago. The city was basically shut down, including her daycare. On Friday, when Ava returned to daycare, she was so happy to see her friends after three days at home. She enjoyed being at home with us, though. I worked from home, while we juggled taking care of Ava while working. Aaron and Ava got to bond a lot, which was fantastic! When Ava wakes up for the day, she smiles and starts talking. She really is a playful little baby, who likes to dance, laugh, and sing to music. Her favorite caregiver, Miss Sharon, told me that when she sings "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," Ava makes the hand movements!
Sleeping well at night. Ava has always been a good sleeper, waking to nurse and then right back to sleep. She sleeps well in her crib, but there's some nights that she doesn't want to be by herself and she sleeps in our bed. Ava sleeps until 3-4am before she wants to nurse. Sometimes, she will stretch until 5:30am when I wake up for work. I usually nurse her in bed after the alarm goes off and she is sleep nursing in bed. I ease out of bed and get ready for work. The nice thing is that because we're nursing, it's not a big deal when she wakes up because we can both nurse in our sleep. She loves to wake up in the morning and touch her Daddy's face. It's so sweet! Daytime naps are less predictable and short at daycare, especially. Ava is too busy playing to nap. Many times, she falls asleep nursing when we get home and has a cat nap in the evening. It doesn't seem to disrupt her night sleep.
Very affectionate. Ava kisses me when I arrive at daycare to pick her up. It's an open-mouth kiss, which is so funny! Ava will her hand out to touch her baby friends and caregivers when we're leaving. Last week, I let her give her friend, William, a hug. It was so cute! She's as much as a sweet snuggle-loving baby now, just as much as she was a newborn. I guess that's why Ava likes the sling so much because she likes to be close to me, but sit up high to observe the world around her.
Parenthood: We're adjusting to our new role as parents every day. Aaron is very supportive and is fiercely in tuned with Ava. He picked her up from daycare a few nights in the past few weeks and she's been caught off guard since I pick her up and we nurse as soon as I arrive. She has cried for as long as 20 minutes, but Aaron understands that it's a phase she's going through and he tries to distract her with playing with toys at home. We're learning together, which is all I can hope for. Right now, I feel our life stage is so intense because Ava is so young. I intensely love and miss her when we're apart!