My sweet little baby is changing and growing SO FAST. It has been completely thrilling to watch her development in fast-forward these past two months, but now that she's all caught up I'm ready for her to slow down so we can enjoy the last of the baby days before my girl becomes a toddler.
You read that right - two months. Just eight short weeks ago Vivi was still at the orphanage and six weeks ago we were still in Vietnam. So much has changed and I don't want to forget a thing, so here's a very random list of exactly who Vivi is right this minute, as she turns one year old.
Vivian has perfected her super-fast crawling and is now pulling herself up and down with ease and is cruising the furniture and last night I saw her let go and stand unsupported and clapping for a full fifteen or so seconds. Surely walking isn't far off...
Viv is much more of an explorer than Adeline ever was. Probably because of her vision, Adeline always stuck very close to me, but if you stop paying attention for even a few seconds Vivi will be zipping off to lift the lid on the toilet or head up the stairs. We need to baby-proof much more than we did before!
Like all 12 month olds, Viv wants to touch EVERYTHING.
Vivian learned to clap recently and she is very proud of this skill!
Vivi loves to laugh and she loves to make other people laugh. One night at dinner she put her water on her head and Adeline burst out laughing and then continued to laugh at Viv long and hard. Ever since then Vivi regularily gets a glint in her eye and puts something on her head and says "Hat" and then laughs and laughs. Adeline thinks this is hilarious each and every time, so I'm sure Vivian is going to be doing it for a long time to come.
I've threatened to seperate the girls at meal times as they spend way too much time cracking each other up and way too little time eating.
Vivi has a few words now - "Mama" (both David and I are Mama), "Nana", "A-lie" or "Ad-lie" (Adeline), "Hi", "Cat", "Hat", "Help", "Up", "Uh-oh" (usually said as she pitches something over the side of her high chair), "Bird", "Bye Bye"and "Ni-Night". "All done" is a word she uses a lot, and I think it was her first, along with "Hi" and "Up". Many of those are only intelligible by family members, but a few of them are totally clear and she is working hard on more words and getting clearer all the time.
Viv doesn't know any animal noises. I don't know why this bugs me. Why do we want our babies to perform animal imitations anyway?
She also has some signs. Her favourite is "cracker" and she can even ask for a "fish cracker" or a "round cracker". She also uses the signs for "water", "more" and "hurt".
After six weeks of giving EVERYONE but the three of us the stink-eye and a serious back-off-vibe, Vivi is now becoming very charming and social. I thought she might be a shyer girl, but it seems like now that she's feeling more secure she's quite outgoing. She checks in with me often, but is happy to be meeting new people, chatting, doing her queen-wave, saying "Hi", smiling and giving high-fives. She doesn't want anyone but her family to hold her though.
Vivian has finally realized that Nana is part of the family and super-fun, so they're having a great time together when Nana visits.
Vivi had a few hard days when David went back to work, and she still asks about him a lot each day by pointing to the door, looking worried and waving and saying "bye bye". She is THRILLED to see him come home and she gives him some lovely hugs, kisses and head bonks to welcome him back.
Vivi is a very reluctant eater, unless the food in question is crackers. All vegetables and fruit are on her "NO" list, although she has popped in a couple of peas recently and if veggies are small and in fried rice she'll eat a few without noticing. Fruit is an absolute no in any form, as is anything sweet, like yogurt. I have never seen her look more wounded than when I tried to get her to eat a bite of banana...She likes meat most of the time and will often happily eat chicken, ground beef and fish and I'm trying to up her protien and expand her palate by spreading her beloved crackers with peanut butter or cream cheese, although she'd much prefer them plain. Vivi has starting to branch out a bit with rice and noodles and will sometimes eat potatoes, but really, she wishes she could just live on crackers, water and bottles.
Vivian LOVES her bottle. LOVES it. It's not going anywhere anytime soon, but we should likely cut back on them a bit to make her hungrier for real food.
Vivi is a big baby. I'm not sure her current weight and height but she is near the top of the North American growth chart and off the charts for Asian girls.
Viv is a better sleeper than Adeline was at this age, but that's not saying much as Adeline was pretty much a non-sleeper for her first two years. Viv falls asleep easily and she naps an hour and half to two hours most afternoons. Night times have been rough lately, but the poor thing is teething and you can tell that it is really bothering her.
Viv sleeps with her "hugging blanket" scrunched up near her face. It smells horrible and is usually rather damp, but I think that's part of the appeal. Vivi's nou-nou told us that she "likes to hold a blanket when she sleeps" and we tried various blankets, but what she really wanted was something small and scrunchable. Soon after coming home we handed her a dish cloth at bedtime and she was delighted that we had finally got it right and she snuggled right up with it and went to sleep. I couldn't have Vivi having "dishie" as her permanent lovey, so I took an hour to make her a quick little dish cloth sized blankie, which she adores.
Vivi loves to read books. Her favourites have pictures of animals. I'm not quite sure of her system, but some animals get bonks, some get kisses and some get a wave. Cats always get a wave and a "Hi, Cat", chickens and most other animals get head bonks and pigs and ducks and a few others always get kisses.
Vivian gives lovely spontaneous full-body hugs, but mostly has to be asked for a kiss. Unless you're a pig in a book, and then you are totally getting kissed.
Viv has grown lots and lots of hair in the last two months (not that you can really see it in the pictures) and is going from being a bald baby to a wild-haired baby. I can't tell what shade it's going to be yet as sometimes it looks darker than Adeline's and sometimes it looks lighter. She is a loooong way from pig-tails, but I must admit that it's been nice to have one head of hair I don't even have to brush in the morning.
Vivian will keep headbands and bows on and is fine with hats - so far...
Vivi LOVES the bath (especially when she's in there with Adeline) and she's okay with a shower as well.
Now that Vivi can crawl, she's become the human vacuum - she finds every tiny piece of fluff and grain of rice on the floor. Thankfully she brings them all to me and none of them go in her mouth!
Vivian has 4 teeth and is working on a few more, with much night-time screaming and day-time clinginess... Teething is HARD.
Viv loves to swing at the park, be upside down, do the "Smooth Road to London Town" knee bouncing game, "Row Row Row Your Boat" and other things that get her body moving in space. She gets up on her knees and tries to jump on the bed with her sister.
Vivian likes the car and her stroller and she loves to go places.
And oh, the places she'll go as she zooms into her second year of life!
I'm very thankful we were together to celebrate this big birthday. I really thought it was unlikely to happen and am so so happy it did.