My oh my, Marshall! You are eleven months old!

Only one more month left of your very first year of life. I held your newest cousin this week when she was less than a day old. And I was reminded of how small you once were and how much you’ve grown. You are hardly even a baby anymore (though you still let me cradle you once in awhile).

I just re-read your month ten post, and in a lot of ways not much has changed in the past month. For the most part, this month has been one of gradual development.

I haven’t measured you lately, but you don’t seem to be too much bigger. You’re still wearing some 12 month and some 18 month clothing.

You are still sleeping great. Most nights you sleep straight through from 7/8pm to 7am, and most days you take at least a 90 minute nap in the middle of the day.

You still get the bulk of your calories from mommy milk, but you also have three or four solid meals and snacks throughout the day. Your favorite foods are fruits, yogurt, crunchy cereal, and crackers. One new addition to your diet is cow’s milk. It took you a couple weeks to decide that you liked it okay, and now you usually drink just a few sips from your straw cup at each meal.

You have been slowly picking up some sign language, but you don’t consistently sign to us. You have learned the signs for milk, all done, hello, and light. Lights are your absolute favorite things! You also do great at pointing to things that you want. Even though you’re still working on finding ways to communicate with us, we can tell that you understand a lot of what we’re saying now. It’s really amazing how quickly you pick up on things.

You are saying “mama” and “dada” quite a bit now, but you haven’t yet used them in purposeful ways. However, you point to us when we ask you where “mama” and “dada” are, so you’re starting to put it all together. You seem to be imitating our sounds and movements a lot more lately too. In fact, at this very minute the three of us are sitting at the table taking turns sticking our tongues out and waving our arms around and clapping. I think we might be enjoying it more than you. We also really love the kisses you’ve been giving us. Big open-mouth slobbery kisses. Usually we get them at bedtime after asking for them, but once in awhile you give us surprise, unprompted kisses. And our hearts just melt.

I’d say your favorite game is still peek-a-boo, which we have found can be played in a variety of ways. It is most fun when you initiate it. We all get such a kick out of that. You scored lots of great gifts for your first Christmas, so you have all kinds of new toys to play with now. You enjoy the toys that light up and make noise and the simpler ones that need you to make them go. Sometimes you play with toys the way they were intended to be played with, and other times you get creative and do your own thing with them.

Unfortunately, we’ve learned this month that one of your least favorite things is having your nose suctioned. You’ve had a cold, and the only thing we can do to relieve some of the yucky feeling is to squirt saline in your nose and suction out the goo. It makes you go nuts in a terrible way. I hate doing it to you even though I know it will help you feel better.

This past month you’ve been continuing to work on your mobility. You spend a lot of the daytime upright at your play tables and walking behind your motorbike and cruising from one piece of furniture to the next. A few times we’ve caught you pretending to be a monkey and climbing up the baby gates! You’ve started to stand on your own for a few seconds at a time while playing with toys, though you usually fall once you realize that you’re not hanging onto anything. A couple weeks ago we started encouraging you a little more to walk while just holding our hands. You quickly went from needing to hold on with both hands to just one hand. And then last night, at exactly 11 months old, you took your first totally unassisted steps! You were walking back and forth between us, and for just two or three steps you were on your own. It was awkward and short-lived, but technically you used your feet to move your body forward. Pretty amazing, kiddo. Keep up the good work.

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