Last week Elena passed another milestone–she’s now ten months old. Since she was born on February tenth, I’m declaring this to be her lucky month. She’s been doing so many new things recently, it’s hard to know what to write about.
On one front, Elena is finding lots of ways to communicate with us. It’s probably overly optimistic, but we think she may be saying her first word: “amen.” It isn’t that she’s very reverent, instead she knows that she gets to eat after we bless the food, and “amen” marks the end of the prayer. Along the same lines, she seems to have picked up the baby sign for “more.” We’re still working on the appropriate usage–sometimes she just makes the sign for fun.
Elena has been especially giggly lately, and is learning to laugh socially. For instance, when everyone else around is laughing, she’ll join in. Also, she had a good time playing with cousin Gavin who visited us one day last week. His dad had shoulder surgery, so we got to take care of him. For a while, Elena laughed at every little thing that he did, whether he was trying to be funny (waving around a kitty toy) or not (blowing his nose). It was similar to the way she laughed at cousins Sammy and Aaron this summer. She really likes her cousins.
Elena’s physical development definitely keeps us on our toes. Sometimes it seems like she’s everywhere, and her range is extending every day, especially in the vertical direction. Her hands are fast, and if I don’t notice that there are two things within her reach, she’ll fake me out by reaching for one and then grab the other before I realize what’s happening. Today I rearranged and cleaned up the mess of cables connecting the home entertainment equipment. I hope that now it’s less noticeable and less accessible. The front side of the equipment remains a popular target for her inquisitive fingers. While I was away at Mutual this evening, she found a tiny button on the receiver that turned off the speakers, so Jenny couldn’t watch any TV.
Elena spends a lot of time on her feet these days, holding onto couches and shelves and using them as guides while she cruises from one end to the other. She can even use just the wall to steady herself. I went outside to get something from the storage closet and closed the door behind me. Elena noticed and scooted right over, then stood up and watched me through the glass. I had to call Jenny for help, because I didn’t want to slide the door open with Elena standing there. We think that she’ll be free standing before long.
One final note: we’ve put a lot of time and effort into our Christmas packages over the past few weeks, but they’re finally done and in the mail. If you’re one of our immediate family members, be on the lookout. We hope you don’t think they’re too weird this year. More on that later.