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A friend of mine recently reminded me of the saying, when it comes to babies, “you either have a walker or a talker.” She and I both have talkers! Elisabeth is quite comfortable toddling around as long as she has a finger to hold on to but isn’t yet willing to try walking on her own. And she has been trying to crawl more lately but is far from mastering that. Her vocabulary, however, is over 40 words now and she is picking up new words at a rate of about 4-5 per week.

Elisabeth can tell you what sounds these animals make: cow, horse, sheep, duck, chicken, monkey, elephant, wolf, tiger, penguin and rabbit. (The rabbit and penguin aren’t so much sounds as actions, but she sure knows them.) She understands “up” and “down” and says both words. She talks a LOT and is constantly trying to copy the words that we say.

Body parts that Elisabeth can point to on herself (and, most of them, on others) include: nose, mouth, ears, hair, head, tummy and feet. When she’s in the bath I give her a sponge and ask her if she can scrub her feet. She lifts a foot way out of the water and does her best to scrub it!

She has pretty much mastered feeding herself with a spoon. She eats her whole bowl of porridge at breakfast and bowl of yogurt at lunch or supper all by herself with almost no help from us. The range of foods that she will eat is still pretty tiny: besides porridge and yogurt, she eats banana, mango, bread, cheese, crackers, rice cakes and sometimes pear. That’s about it. Oh, and she drinks grape juice. The range of foods that she will eat – or at least try – at nursery is a bit broader, but even there she’s a very picky eater. Her nursery asked me to write down a list of foods that she will eat so on the days that she is at nursery all day they can ensure that she will eat something. That’s important since as of the beginning of March she’ll be in nursery two full days a week plus a half day.

Nursery is working out brilliantly for Elisabeth and for us. She really likes it there and they love her. The nursery manager said to me one day, “I wish I had a lot more Elisabeths.” The only thing that’s not working so well is naps. At home when I can tell Elisabeth is tired, I put her down to sleep in her cot and, in the quiet of her room, she sleeps as long as she needs to. At nursery the cots are on one end of the baby room, not in a separate quiet room. So when she does go to sleep, she doesn’t sleep very long, and sometimes they can’t even get her to sleep at all because she doesn’t want to miss what’s going on. The last two Tuesdays after she has spent all day at nursery, she has slept badly at night (one night she was awake from 3:15 to 6:00 am!) and I’m quite certain it’s because she didn’t get enough sleep during the day. So as she moves to two full days a week at nursery, I think we’re going to have to have a chat with the nursery staff about what can be done to facilitate better napping.

In the teething department, Elisabeth is now up to seven teeth (I think – it’s hard to get a good look at that top gum) and the seventh – which was a third bottom tooth – came in with absolutely no fanfare, thank goodness. In fact, we haven’t seen crabby teething Elisabeth since the middle of December, which has been wonderful.

For the most part (other than the full days she’s at nursery) sleeping is in a good pattern too. Most nights Elisabeth is sleeping 12+ hours straight without needing any attention from us. We put her down around 7 pm and she wakes up sometime between 7:00 and 7:30. Hooray! She wakes up happy, too, and will usually just lie in her cot chatting or sucking her dummy and playing with her stuffed animals until one of us eventually looks in on her. She’s still doing a long morning nap although there are more and more days when she doesn’t take an afternoon nap at all.

She’s been going through a “I want my mummy” phase for the past few months which can be a little frustrating for James especially when she cries when I leave her with him. In the last week she’s been a little more affectionate toward him, though, and he also figured out that often when she’s running away from him it’s actually because she wants him to chase her. “I’m gonna get you” is a fun new game.

Favourite things: books, eating, bath time, ducks, shape sorters, buckles, singing (fav songs are “Little Green Frog” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”), playing on the bed with Daddy before bedtime, and her beloved dummies (American: pacifiers).