I just wanted to take a minute and share a bit about Avalyn's developments before another year comes and goes with little documentation on her growing!
She is now officially sixteen months old and signing has been a real help! At ten months already, she was signing quite a few different signs with us but now she can follow instructions, give commands of her own, and tell us what's wrong.
Even as I type this, Melina is playing the guitar behind me and Avalyn's little voice is chiming in "Sing! Sing!" Music is definitely a HUGE part of who she seems to be. It is not hugs and words that comfort her, but singing. She sings her ABC's with a few of the letters slightly mumbled. But she will alternate with me for the letters. And she counts to ten clear as a bell, although "seven" sounds more like "seben". Too cute! Especially when I'll spot her playing and I'll say "ONE!" then she looks up with a big grin and says "TWO!" so on and so forth until we both throw up our hands in the air for "TEN!"
She squeals with delight when Duane comes in for brief moments and signs the word "outside" while pleading for him to get her "Sues on? Sues on? for her "shoes on". But first she reminds Duane that she is to "sit down... sit down." Duane gives me that pleading look and I remind him "hey, you've got some biggest fans in this house and the smaller their size, the bigger their love, it seems!" A knowing smile tickles the corner of his mouth as he looks down at our little girl with pigtails holding out her shoes for him. He bends over as she instructs him "Sit down. Sit down." Yes, dear Avalyn, one step at a time!
Once outside, another squeal of delight is heard as she is greeted by our big dog, Keeshka. "Puppy! Puppy! Keeka! Keeka! Oh, Keeka!" Not long after this, she will spot Duane's cell phone and the new command is "Phone? Phone? Phone?" growing higher in octave and urgency with each repetition of the word!
It is darling to see her explore the world and to see what is most significant to her through her eyes. Animals are her delight, as is music and Daddy. She still clings to me for dear life when ANYONE other than immediate family comes near. She is so precious! At mealtimes, she sings right in with us our prayer before eating, holding hands and enthusiastically singing AMEN when done. During mealtime, she is asking for a "Fok - Fok" (yes, we have to be very careful with that one!) and we're quick to pass her the fork! She'll spot the smiley face nearby and say "happy! happy! happy!" which causes Duane to laugh as it reminds him of Phil on Duck Dynasty who often says the same thing! :)
We hold hands after the meal and bow our heads as Duane prays our gratitude and a blessing upon the rest of our evening together. Avalyn bows her head earnestly as we pray and as soon as she hears Duane's words "In Jesus' name..." she answers a split second before the rest of us "AMEN!"
Bedtime is such a breeze thanks to the Baby-Wise method we've enforced since birth, never a fight but a joyful time as we read her a "boook" as she calls it, then say goodnight to many things in her room, then finally lay her down with a gentle stroke, a smile on our face and a prayer of blessing on our lips. A muslin blanket laid down first then her cat blanket from Grandma Vaags... she smiles, turns on her side, thumb in mouth and off to sleep she goes.
Now a month later from my initial "draft" for this post, she is talking more and more. Outside now requires her "sweator" for her sweater and her "boots, boots". She is clear as a bell for her "bottle o miwk". And she LOVES anything to do with water!
Her attempt at speaking full sentences is so cute. The other morning, I got her up and our conversation looked like this:
"Good morning, Avalyn! What a nice sleep you did! Want to go downstairs for bottle of milk?"
"Yep. Daddy firehall?"
"Nope, daddy is home and downstairs in the shower."
"Daddy home? Shawa downstayers? OK!"
She's not a big breakfast eater but will adamantly ask for gwapes, appo, bewies (berries) and ceweol (cereal) or bwed (bread). She is just so much fun! And she knows it!! Sometimes she'll be silly then look at us and say "funny!" while signing it and giving us a big grin.
We so delight in our privilege as parents and to watch these little keeners discover the world is so much fun. So there's my little "diary entry" if you will, of some of Avalyn's milestones.