And what a year it has been.

Born at 50 cm, 3.2 kg and a head circumference of 34 cm, she now measures 74 cm, weighs 8.7 kg and has a head circumference of 45.5 cm.

But let’s talk about the past couple of months. Probably the biggest news that you’re likely aware of is that my little monkey is now walking. She took her first steps 2 days after she turned 11 months, and probably about a week before her first birthday she made it her primary form of locomotion. Toddling is very cute – I love the arms up in the air for balance. It was interesting to watch her develop this skill. She went from 2-3 steps one day, to 8 steps the next and although averaged about 4-5 steps for the first week quickly clocked up a record of 15 and then 30 steps the week after. It seemed to stagnate there for a few days and then bam! She just woke up and decided that she was finished with crawling. It’s exciting, but it’s getting hard to convince her that stairs need to be crawled down backwards – she just wants to walk down them now. That’s only a little bit dangerous.

We’ve also been quite sick – both Ava and I. It’s probably coming up an entire month of being infected with the plague, and it doesn’t look like relenting any time soon. I’ve got another doctor’s appointment to get some different antibiotics because clearly it’s developed into bronchiolitis again. Edit: We’re both well now, though through coughing fits I managed to strain muscles, sprain a rib facet and pinch a nerve all on the right side of my back. Almost better after a couple of osteo treatments (and about a week of hardcore painkillers).

Childcare is going well – she still cries when I drop her off, but apparently she stops as soon as I walk out the door and I’m always told what a great time she’s having there. I’m noticing the difference in her at home as well – although still clingy, she warms to people a lot quicker, and she has become very social with kids – I’m finding it hard to entertain her on my own – she wants to be playing around other kids. Edit: when I dropped her off on Thursday, she didn’t cry! Woohoo!!

No words yet, but ‘Da’ is probably her favourite sound – she says it the most and has also started pointing at things when she does. Hopefully we’ll get a contextual word soon, but for now she is refining her walking skills. Edit: Grammy thinks she might have her first word in ‘Ta’, but I’m as yet unconvinced, because it sounds very much ‘Dad’ and although she seems to use it in context, she still points at different things and says ‘Da’. Maybe, maybe not. We’ll see, Grammy, we’ll see.

We had our first night away from Monkey on my birthday, and it was fantastic. She went and stayed with Grandma and Pa in the hotel around the corner, and Andrew and I had a home-cooked risotto meal, some red wine and watched a movie. I definitely needed the wine to begin with – I felt very empty when she walked out the door, but it was absolutely worth it for the sleep in the next morning! We slept the whole night, right through to 8 or 9 in the morning. Uninterrupted! Amazing.

Her first molar is in the process of breaking through, and it really has confirmed my opinion that kids should be born with teeth. Our breasts would adjust, and our poor little mites wouldn’t have to go through all this pain.

Her climbing skills have also become quite refined – there’s almost nothing that she can’t climb on now. Technically she can’t climb straight onto the couch or coffee table, but if there’s a pillow on the ground that she can stand on (which there often is), then she can. Andrew had to make a large TV cabinet to store away all the cords because she was climbing on top of the speaker, onto the TV table then around the back of the TV to where all the cords were. Little monkey. Now that the cabinet is done, she definitely cannot get to them, which is good.

She has become fussy with food, which is very unfortunate. She no longer wants to be spoon fed – she *must* do it herself. She loves to eat fruit (her favourites are grapes and bananas), vegemite toast and pasta. But everything else (including her vegies)….hell no.

Just this morning I’ve given her some soy milk (because we discovered that she has a dairy sensitivity – nothing dramatic but her nappies smell like you wouldn’t believe if she has dairy – and that includes yoghurt, which apparently isn’t supposed to do that), and she seems to be okay with it – she certainly isn’t guzzling it down, but she’s gone back for more, so we’ll try to keep going with that so she can get some calcium in her diet. Life would be easier if she’d eat more things! I know, she’s only 1 – I’ve got a lot more fussiness to come. But at least you can communicate with them when they’re older – though that might be even more frustrating when they can’t be reasoned with. Ugh, who’d have ’em?

One of the cutest things that she’s doing at the moment, is picking up her clothes and placing them on her shoulders and around her neck (think preppy sweater placement), and then walking around. Often you’ll catch her with two to three items of clothing on her shoulders/neck, toddling around with arms in the air. Not sure why, but it’s pretty damn adorable.

She has always been a cuddly girl, but now that she’s really mobile it’s more obvious just how much she loves cuddles. Aside from walking towards you with arms open to fling around you for a hug, she will often grab a toy/book/something she’s not supposed to have, walk towards you and then turn around when she’s about 50 cm out, and then walk backwards until she falls into your lap and then sits very contentedly in your lap, snuggling into you but also investigating whatever it is that she’s holding. Lots of ‘awww’ moments.

I am also very proud to say that Ava is a natural headbanger. She does the classic baby bob-dancing, but also swings her arms and nearly always nods her head vigorously. I must try to catch it on film; it’s damn fantastic. šŸ™‚

This is so late that today is actually Mother’s Day (I’ve been writing this post for nearly two weeks!). I’ve had a lovely day: I got pancakes for breakfast (and lunch), and Ava was mostly well behaved, plus we cleaned out the shed for our hard rubbish collection, which I always find very cathartic. I got a little candle-glass from childcare with Ava’s coloured scribbles all over it, presumably somebody helped her – but damn! It’s really lame how much you adore shit your kids do/make. I never want to throw it out. I’m sure by the millionth thing I’ll be over it, but it’s still very much a novelty for me.

I’ve got a fair bit of media here for you today: first, our regular gallery:

Next, a few nude videos for you:

First video; starting to walk (and trying to copy Dada):

Second video; happily babbling:

Third video; carrying around clothes (not on her shoulders though):

And lastly, a year in photos, from my phone:

I have *still* more media, but it can wait for another post (or two). I’ll try to get to it tomorrow!

Peace out,