We are now entering the final stretch. This is the last month of Sam's life where she will be an only child (if he even holds on that long).
It has been a big one. Everyday Sam becomes less a baby and more a child. She walks everywhere, tries to do everything on her own. She pushes our hands away and says, "NO!" when we try to do something for her. She uses a spoon like a pro now and continues to expand her palate. Even so, she remains painfully skinny. Her little bones are visible, her neck scrawny, her belly taut and hard. I am turning into a little Italian grandmother who constantly tells my spawn they are too skinny, but I can't help it. She is.
Sam has become SUCH a girl this month. She adores shoes, especially her ruby red slippers (see below). She loves jewelry and clothing and sequins and sparkly things. She loves her doll and her doll stroller and she loves to feed her "baby" with a bottle. She puts on each of her six bracelets, puts on her sunglasses, places the baby in her stroller and then elaborately blows us kisses as she walks out the door of the living room. She stages some theatrical good byes.
According to her daycare teacher who has been teaching for 22 years, she has never seen a 17-month-old as assertive and vocal as Sam. Sam even bosses the four-year-olds around and they do what she says. Apparently everyone is as afraid of her will as her father and I. This is a kid who knows what she wants. I never knew those traits were genetic, but my daughter is so much like me, it frightens me.
We have had some scary falls this month because Sam is quite the little daredevil and always wants to do what she sees the big kids doing. She climbs on everything and refuses to use the toddler playground equipment when there are big kid structures to climb. Oy vey.
Her sleep habits are evolving and gradually she is choosing one nap a day, which is nice for me. It allows me to get more things done. She continues to sleep 12 hours a night without incident (knock wood).
She does the chicken dance, which is so cute. She flaps her little wings, wiggles her bum all the way to the floor and shouts, "Nanannananananna." She loves Matroyshka dolls, a nod to my Russian heritage. She can spend hours taking them apart and putting them back together. She also now has developed the less than desirable trait of pulling us where she wants us to go. And even though I like that she is clear on what she wants, I do not like being constantly bossed about.
Her verbal abilities are astounding. She speaks in full sentences sometimes, saying "Let's go outside"; "I want more"; "I love you" among others. She repeats almost everything that is said to her and seems to be quite talkative (read: she never stops chatting, even when it is indecipherable). She understands everything we say to her and can do simple tasks like find her white shoes, pick up her left foot, throw out this piece of paper. She picks up on everything the adults do and she mimes rubbing lotion on her hands, sweeping the floor and whatever else she sees. She can also stack blocks, just last week she was up to five.
These are a few of Sam's favorite things:
And just because I am so generous, I give you what may be the only belly shot you will ever see. Behold, me at 34.5 weeks: