Today was a milestone day for Vivian - she turned thirteen months old and we celebrated being together as a family for three months.
Just three months. Such a short time, but it seems like FOREVER that we've been together. Vivi has gone from being very much a baby to a growing and going almost-toddler. I think Vivi has made an amazing transition, considering that it was just three short months ago that she went through the enormous change of being adopted and going from life in the orphanage in Vietnam to joining our family. She's such a resilient, open-hearted and brave baby.
In her twelfth month on the planet Vivian experienced lots of firsts, learned so many new things and got cuter and sweeter and more adventurous all the time. I want to remember her exactly as she is, right this minute, so here's a very random list of what happened in the last month.
- She was called "Vivian", "Vivi", "Viv", "Vivs", "Miss V" and "Stupid Baby Poo Face". The person who called her that last one said it with love and fun in her voice, but she still got in trouble and hasn't said it again...
- Vivi spoke lots of words. Here's just a partial list of the ones she uses most frequently - "up", "hi", "hello", "cat", "ball", "book", "hat", "gick-gock" (tick-tock), "row row", "bloon" (balloon), "bye-bye", "Dada", "Ad-lie" (Adeline), "Nana", "gacker" (cracker), "uh-oh", "ni-nigh" (night-night), "yum", "hep" (help), "all done", "eye", "mee-ma" (lemur), "baa" (the noise sheep make) and "baa-baa" (bottle).
- She also did lots of babbling. She is the only baby I've ever heard frequently say the baby classic "goo goo ga ga".
- Vivian used lots of sign language like "more", "please", "all done", "hurt" "cat", "dog", "bird", "fish", "bottle", "water" and "cracker". She used "hurt" plus pointing to her mouth or cheek to tell us her teeth and gums were giving her pain. Lots of teething, but no new teeth this month. Sigh.
- Viv learned how to play "stinky feet" from her big sister. Vivi smells a toy's feet (or yours) with a very dramatic pursed-lip-and-curled-nose sniff and then shakes her head in dismay.
- There was a LOT of dancing at our house. Even on her knees, the girl has MOVES.
- Vivian loves to bounce on the bed with Adeline!
- Vivian perfected her standing and started cruising and walking while holding on to someone's hands.
- She also learned how to climb...up onto a stool, a lap, the cofee table or the sofa and up the stairs. This is very worrying to Mama, but Vivi is THRILLED with herself.
- Finally Vivian has started to eat some foods that aren't beige and crunchy. Vivi would still much prefer a non-colour diet as meat and starch are her most favourite things, but she is now eating apple sauce, blueberries, raspberries, peas, the occasional bite of watermelon or orange and yogurt.
- Vivi's favourite foods are fried rice, chicken, crackers and won-ton soup.
- Bananas are her least favourite food. They really really make her cry.
- Vivi still gets itchy rashes on her face and body. We don't know what causes them, but are suspecting maybe allergies/sensitivities. She also snores some nights, coughs most nights and has an off-and-on runny nose. It's likely all related and it would be great to figure it out.
- Vivian wants to feed herself everything, thank-you-very-much, even though she has no clue how to work a spoon or fork.
- Vivian lovvvvvvvves her bottle.
- She also loves balls of all kinds.
- Vivian has started to do some pretend play. I love to watch imaginative play develop so it's so neat to see her feeding the bottle to the dolls and stuffies and brushing their hair and teeth, kissing and hugging them and covering them with blankets for sleeping.
- Vivi fell deeply in love with Lemur... I took Viv into Adeline's room with me to put away some laundry and she was checking out Adeline's stuffie collection. She spotted Lemur and it was love at first sight. Adeline is sort-of-okay with Lemur not being in her bed and hanging out with Vivian instead, but we may need to get Vivi her own Lemur. Lemur gets a million hugs and kisses and head bonks and she feeds him the doll bottle many times a day.
- Vivian bit her Mama, playfully and by accident, a couple of times. She also gets frustrated by not being able to communicate what she wants and very occasionally resorts to pinching and swatting. We're working on it.
- Vivi has two jokes - she puts stuff on her head and says "hat" and she pretends to answer the phone and have long conversations using all sorts of things that aren't phones. She knows both these things are funny and she likes to make people laugh.
- Vivian learned how to pucker and loves to kiss EVERYTHING, but especially her family.
- Vivian gives lovely hugs, and her eyes always sparkle and she always smiles when she's giving a hug.
- She grew some hair this month, but not much. She'll keep a head band and big silly bow in, which makes her Mama inexplicably happy.
- Vivi got much browner this month. Three months ago she was extremely pale, but not anymore. Just with good nutrition Vivi's skin has gotten much clearer and darker and she also tans extremely easily, even with sunscreen, so she's got some deep brown toes right now as they are what sticks out of the stroller!
- Vivi would be happy to spend most of the day on a lap singing and row-row-rowing her boat and doing finger-plays and kissing. No snuggling though. We're still working on that. She will go down to play on the floor happily for small bursts of time but then she wants "up, up, UP" again. She will play for quite a long time if Adeline plays with her or even near her.
- Vivian does love to snuggle in bed though, and spends the whole night attached to her Mama like a sweet, sweaty little limpet.
- Vivi doesn't like the heat and she doesn't sleep well on nights our bedroom is above 24 degrees, which it always is lately.
- Viv goes to bed at 8 and is usually asleep by 8:20, although she's been trying hard to keep herself awake lately and is finally succumbing around 9:15 some nights. She wakes between two and five times in the night and needs help to get back to sleep and then is up between 6 and 7. Only Mama will do at bedtime and in the night, but we're working on it. Luckily at 6 a.m. she is very happy to let Mama sleep a little more and go downstairs with Daddy for some playing and breakfast.
- Vivi naps in the afternoons for about an hour and a half. This isn't enough and afternoons can be her crabby time. When she gets the two and half hours that she really needs she's a much happier baby and the odd day she only gets an hour she is guaranteed to whine and need to be on a lap most of the afternoon.
- As you can guess, Vivi is still co-sleeping. I am still co-not-sleeping-much, but that's a post for another time.
- Vivi is totally in love with her Daddy and they have a lot of fun together and their attachment is growing every day.
- Vivian celebrated Adeline's birthday by being very patient at a big party where she couldn't actually DO much. She did adore the ice cream cake though!
- Vivian weighs 21.8 pounds now and I'm not sure of her height although I know she's grown as her pants are all shorter than they used to be.
As you can see from these pictures, which were all taken just minutes apart, Vivi has become so much more lively and expressive. Three months ago she was totally shut down and then she slowly started to blossom once we were home and now she's finally showing her true personality, which is very bright and bubbly. The words I would use to describe Vivian are happy, adventurous, curious, observant, smart and gorgeous. Adeline thinks her sister is "So cute!" and loves her to pieces.
I wonder what the next month will bring us? All good things, I'm sure.