It has been eleven months now since the day that we first met. You would think that I would know you pretty well by now, but you still continue to surprise me every day. Just when I think I have you figured out, you go and do something completely different than what I am expecting. You really surprised me one night when I looked up to see you standing all by yourself without holding on to anything but your sippy cup.
One of the most exciting things I have noticed about you recently is that you have started reacting to praise, which also means you are starting to understand words and physical cues a little better. You have been trying really hard to get some new words out, but I still can’t understand most of what you say. Sometimes it sounds as if you are trying to imitate the words I say and other times it just sounds like jibberish. One word you definitely understand is no. Every time I say "no" to you, you start saying "nonononononononono" and shake your head. I never realized that I was shaking my head when I said no until you started doing it too. Now I catch myself doing it all the time. It’s just too bad you don’t comply and stop whatever you are doing when I use that word. I suppose that will come with time…hopefully.
I have really been having fun praising you when you do something good. Every time you do something new I now have to clap my hands and say "yay Zach" and you get so excited. You just think it is the coolest thing ever and when you do the same action again, you wave your hands in the air and holler to get my attention and show me what you have done. This has become quite a ritual at dinnertime. I got excited the first time you actually placed your cup (right side up) in the cup holder part of your high chair tray, so now every time you do it you expect the same level of excitement. And, really, it is still exciting-even after the twentieth time.
We have also been playing a really fun game almost every night after your bath. Daddy and I both get down in the floor with you. We sit across from each other and then you walk back and forth between the two of us. You started out only able to take about two steps at a time, but a couple nights ago I counted nine whole steps before you stumbled and fell to your knees. You get really excited about this whole process, giggling and squealing the whole time. I have really loved watching your progress. When we first started doing this, only a couple weeks ago, it seemed that you were just stumbling as you fell forward. Now you have taught yourself to slow down and re-gain your balance as needed so you can take a few more steps.
We had a couple of really bad weeks this month while you were teething. You now have a total of 7 teeth, with the eighth about to appear any day now. During the same time you developed a cold and a very bad ear infection. Mommy was up with you several times a night while your little body was working through that. You finished off another bottle of anti-biotics and now seem to be feeling much better. I’m still trying to catch up on my sleep, but you are back to your normal sleep schedule. In fact, you are sleeping even longer than usual since I finally got some curtains up in your room to darken it a bit.
There is only one more month left before you turn one year old. June is going to be a big month, and althought I’m looking forward to it, I wish I could freeze every moment I have with you right now. You are so much fun to be around. Your personality and character are really coming out as you discover this big world in your own little way. I could spend all day just watching you and never get bored. I want to savor every single moment I have with you. These last eleven months have been the best of my life.