World explorer

Phoebe is 13 ½ months old now. Friends tell us this is when the fun really begins. As if we weren’t having enough fun already.

She’s walking now. And she looooooooves it.

These days, our mornings and nights usually consist of her entertaining us with non-stop laps from the living room to the kitchen and back. Kates and I can prepare a whole meal, eat it and clean up the kitchen -- and she‘ll still be going strong. She’s a ball of energy.

Added to the never-ending entertainment, a couple weeks ago we bought the Leap Frog Fridge Farm magnet set for her … We caught her one night playing with the magnets on the side of our refrigerator, and our day sitter has another Leap Frog set that she plays with incessantly. So we got a set for her to play with at home. Now she carries the little animal magnets with her everywhere. Sometimes she carries a cow in one hand, the actual barn in another hand, and a pig in her mouth -- while doing her laps.

She also looooooooves to talk, and never ceases to get Kates and I giggling with her funny sounds and -- non-stop -- gibberish. Sometimes it sound like she’s speaking an alien language; sometimes it sounds like she’s speaking Chinese -- seriously, Chinese. Sometimes it sounds like she’s speaking Ewok (just watch the Ewok scenes in “Return of the Jedi” and you’ll hear what I mean. Seriously). And sometimes we think she’s trying to sing “Dueling Banjos” -- denga deng deng deng deng deng deng deng

Kates has diligently been teaching her signs, too. Admittedly, I thought it was a crazy idea at first …But the first few times I saw Phoebe communicating at meal times with hand gestures to say “more,” “please,” and “all done” was all I needed to be convinced.

She also lets out a jubilant “Daddy!” that melts my heart every time she sees me.

She loves taking the dish towels and waving them around or pulling them over her head … She has a blanket in her crib now that she cuddles with to fall asleep … She’s also old enough to have toys in her crib, so instead of waking up and crying, Kates and I know she’s awake when we hear her Fischer-Price phone ringing or the sound of one of her barnyard books … She has a couple stuffed animals she’s started to develop a kinship with …

She also has discovered how to throw things. Food. Cups. Her magnetic animals. It drives us crazy sometimes ... But along with that comes learning how to play catch. A couple weeks ago we tossed a squishy ball back and forth for several minutes. Great fun!

She’s reached full explorer mode now, and she isn’t timid about walking down our hallway or climbing up stairs … She also thinks it’s really cool to close doors. So it’s not unusual for her to waddle down our hallway when we’re not paying attention; We’ll hear a pitter patter of her feet on the floor, then the door slams in her room and the houses falls silent … She’s not even a teenager yet and she's already getting good at it.

Most of the time, though, we just close the doors to all of the rooms along our hallway. And the baby-gate blocks our stairway.

With Phoebe, it seems, there’s always some place to go and always something that needs to be done. Sound familiar?

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