Thursday, May 3
Julia invented a game today! When I wanted to get her dressed, she began crawling away very fast and laughing hysterically. Periodically she would look back to make sure I was following her (which I was, also crawling, and telling her, “I’m coming to get you!”) This was funny to me because I don’t think she’s ever seen anyone play chase, so it must be instinctual that running away from your mom is funny, as long as she’s following you and you’re not really in any danger of getting out of her sight! I love it that she finds some things inherently funny.
Yesterday, Julia was cruise-running, cruising very quickly around the coffee table. That was probably a pre-cursor to her game of chase today. She also has been discovering many new things she can do with her mouth. She clicks, smacks, and makes guttural noises. And she can do something that neither Josh nor I can (she must get it from her Uncle Nick) — she can turn her tongue so it’s vertical in her mouth; she’s been doing it a lot and it’s pretty funny to see.
Wednesday, May 9
After a hiatus, she again looks like she might walk any day now, as she pauses while standing to contemplate what to do next, before finally falling into a crawl.
Friday, May 11
Julia understands the words “wave” and “clap”! She’s been able to wave and clap for some time, and we usually demonstrated the action while we were talking about it. But today Josh discovered that if you say, “Julia, can you wave?” without any hand motions, she will wave, and the same with clapping. It’s really neat to see so clearly that she understands us.
Tuesday, May 15
Julia’s pincer grasp has greatly improved. When she first began picking up pieces of food, she would pull the morsel into her fist, then try to squeeze it up towards her thumb until it was sitting on top of her closed fist. She would then bring her fist to her mouth and suck the food off. Now, she can often hold the food well enough between her thumb and forefinger to get it all the way to her mouth, even if it’s slippery.
She’s also much more talkative these days. Her babbling (“da da da da da”) has become a kind of jabbering that sounds like a foreign language that we just don’t understand. The sounds are much more varied, and her tone changes so she sounds questioning, satisfied, angry, or excited. She also has begun using consistent sounds to refer to things, perhaps labeling objects. She will stand up in her rocking chair, point to the knob on top of one of its posts, and exclaim delightedly, “Ctha! Ctha!”
Friday, May 18
While in Atlanta visiting her grandmother Annie’s office, Julia saw Elaine Vaughn, one of her web site devotees. Elaine asked, “Julia, are those your new shoes?” Julia immediately sat down, grabbed one foot, and held the shoe up to show Elaine.
Saturday, May 19
Julia walks! When she and I left for Atlanta on Tuesday night, Josh asked her not to learn to walk until Saturday, so he wouldn’t miss it since he wasn’t arriving until Friday night. Last night just before Josh’s plane got in, Julia took two steps in a row. But she went to bed without doing anything more. When she got up this morning, with Josh there to see, and her grandfather Spike looking on, she did several more two-step combinations and then progressed to three and four steps at a time. We raced her upstairs so she could show off for Annie as well. Then we called her Gramma and Grampa, Nana and Papa, and Uncle Nick to let them know what she’d done.
Sunday, May 20
Julia’s word “ka!” (sometimes “ctha!”) is clearly reserved for good things. She woke up this morning in a cranky mood, which lasted for several hours. Later in the day morning cheered up, and began pointing at things, exclaiming, “Ka! Ka!” Annie commented, “That’s the first ka I’ve heard all day!” She also said “dada” several times while looking right at Josh, but since she says those syllables frequently, I wasn’t completely convinced that she was using it to mean “daddy.”
Monday, May 21
We returned to Boston last night, and today at the park she showed off her new walking skills by stringing together seven steps in a row.
Thursday, May 24
Today Julia began opening cabinets and drawers and removing all the contents, throwing things purposefully to the ground behind her. Joy, joy! I had noticed when we were packing for Atlanta that Julia was a better unpacker than a packer, but until now she had only removed the contents of open containers; she had never tried to open our cabinets and drawers although sometimes they would open by accident. We’d better finish childproofing quickly! She also confirmed that she knows the word “shoe.” When asked, “Julia, can you show me your shoe?” she holds the shoe up proudly.
Monday, May 28
Julia did something today that we’ve suspected she could do for some time — it may be that this was just the first time we actually saw it. She stood up without holding on to anything. Now she’ll be able to get back up and keep walking if she falls down, even if she’s in the middle of the floor. She’s spending increasing amounts of time standing, but still only takes a few steps at a time.
Wednesday, May 30
Julia has enjoyed shaking her head when she’s playing with you, but until recently had never used it to mean “no.” Now she will shake her head if offered food after she is done eating, or if you try to hand her something she doesn’t want. She continues to increase the ways she can communicate with us!
Thursday, May 31
All of a sudden today Julia started walking much more and farther than she had to date. She was attempting distances as long as a yard or two; previously if her destination was more than a couple feet away she would immediately drop to a crawl. Now she will walk a yard or more. She also gets much closer to her target before reaching for it, so she doesn’t have to lean as much. As when she first learned to crawl, she had been stopping short of her target and then stretching to get it. This worked with walking, as she could lean until she fell into her destination object, but with crawling it just led to frustration when the object she wanted was just out of reach.