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Wednesday 29 April 2015

Twelve Months Old

The last year has just flown by so fast. It feels so surreal to think that just over a year ago I was pregnant and now here we are with this little person who fills our days and keeps me on my toes. She's no longer a baby. She's a toddler. A little girl. And an independent one at that.

Mathilde has grown up so much in the past month. She is so much more confident with her physical abilities. She hardly crawls any more, opting to run most of the time - with her arms in the air to catch herself when she inevitably trips. She dances, she claps, she plays pat-a-cake, she throws balls, she chases birds, and she loves doing flips - with a little assistance from Mummy. She climbs higher, faster and on more items than a month ago. The playground has become Mathilde's favorite place and she tries out every piece of play equipment that she can reach. This girl has no fear and barely stays still for the slightest moment.

Mathilde's fine motor skills have been improving too. She spends a lot of time sorting and stacking things as well as putting lids on bottles and containers. She likes to play with puzzles, stacking toys, cars and baby dolls. In fact, over the last month she has started to play a lot more, both on her own and with her big sisters. I love seeing how they interact with each other when they play. Both Ava and Lola enjoy playing with Mathilde. Ava loves to read to both of her little sisters which is adorable. Lola sometimes gets a little frustrated with Mathilde, but for the most part they play well together - until Mathilde knocks over a Duplo tower or runs off with an important part of a game. Mathilde seems to have cottoned on that it can be funny to annoy her big sisters, especially Lola who she gets the biggest reactions from. Her latest trick is to turn the tv off while Lola is watching it, and then run off giggling while clutching the remote control! Lola gets it back from her, turns the tv back on, and then makes the mistake of leaving the remote control where Mathilde can reach it. Guess what happens next?

Being in water is still Mathilde's favorite thing of all. She still enjoys her swim classes although lately she has been trying to assert a little independence by refusing to do what she's supposed to at the right time - usually when she can see a pool toy floating nearby that she would rather play with. Mathilde has recently worked out that she can reach the bottom of the pool with her feet when she goes under water. She now stretches her legs out to the bottom and pushes off with her feet - and quite a lot of force. Mathilde's swim teacher has been encouraging the kids to hold their arms together in front of themselves when they float on their stomachs. He calls this torpedo. Mathilde loves doing torpedo and puts her arms in the right position on cue when I call out "torpedo". Her head is so big that her little arms barely get over it!

Mathilde has been in copycat mode for quite some time now. She likes to brush her hair when she sees me brush mine. She likes to brush her teeth and walks around with her little toothbrush in her hand. She brushes the few teeth that she has about half a dozen times a day so I guess she's on track to good dental hygiene! She tries to drink out of sealed or empty bottles and cans and makes refreshed "ahhh" noises despite not actually drinking anything.

Mathilde has become my little helper at home. She likes to help get the crickets ready to feed to Ava's gecko, Cookie. She gets the container of crickets out of the cupboard under the kitchen sink as well as a jar that I transfer them to and the vitamin powders that we sprinkle on top. Once I've placed the doomed crickets in the jar with the vitamin powder on top Mathilde closes up the lid. She then carries the jar from the kitchen to our bedroom and waits in front of Cookie's vivarium where I take over to tip them in with Cookie. Mathilde loves doing this little job so much that if the under sink cupboard is accidentally unlocked, she gets everything out and tries to do it all herself! In fact, I've caught her with the lid off the cricket container before (luckily none managed to escape) and I've often found her carrying the empty jar to Cookie's vivarium.

As well as helping out with feeding Cookie, Mathilde still likes to help out with the washing machine and dishwasher. Of course, most of this helping is actually hindering, especially when she tries to help put things in the trash! I've learned not to empty the recycling bins directly into the dumpster because you never know what else might be in there. Today for example, there was a butter knife sitting in the bottom of the recycling bin when I emptied it. Mathilde!

As I predicted in Mathilde's eleven month update, she now has four teeth across the top but still just one at the bottom. Actually, as of her first birthday she had three across the top, but in the few days since her birthday the fourth tooth has poked it's way through the gum too. Her second bottom tooth is still well below the gum line. Her top teeth look gigantic at the moment and they have really big gaps between them. Fingers crossed these gaps mean she won't need all of the orthodontic work that Ava is having done now due to her cramped mouth.

Mathilde's latest favorite foods are blueberries, strawberries, salmon, gelato, cheese and noodles. She has been very picky when it comes to eating lately and shakes her head emphatically when she doesn't want something. Foods that were her favorite one day very quickly become despised, like bananas. At one point she would've eaten bananas for all three meals a day, but now she shakes her head and puts her hands in front of her mouth at the mere mention of the word. That said, she is very keen to try new foods, but generally only if she can hold them herself. She is not a fan of being spoon fed - unless it's yogurt. That said, she is not a fan of having messy hands when she eats either. She wants to hold her food but it freaks her out a little when her hands get covered in food. Of course, every now and then she proves me wrong and I catch her squeezing and apple sauce pouch all over her legs, rubbing it in with her hands!

Sleeping is still not Mathilde's strong suit. Everyone comments on how happy and well behaved she is, and that's generally true during the day. But at night time she becomes clingy and does not want to sleep unless I'm nursing her or holding her. I find myself falling asleep with her on the couch many nights or I'm up several times throughout the night with her until I give in and let her sleep in the bed with me. Maybe once a fortnight she'll sleep through the night on her own, and by through the night I mean anything more than four or five hours in one go. Day time sleeping is not Mathilde's favorite either and she fights napping whenever possible. If we're out and about she'll usually fall asleep in the stroller which is great. But if there's anything exciting going on, or other kids around she won't nap at all. She still usually takes two naps a day (often very short naps) but there are plenty of days when she just naps once. Both Ava and Lola start dropping a nap around the same age so I guess it's to be expected. Of course, this lack of sleep means I've often got a little girl on my hands who bursts into tears at the drop of a hat - or the click of a camera as was the case while trying to take these photos!

But for the most part Mathilde is our happy, chilled out Californian girl.

Our big, one year old Californian girl.

Happy birthday Mathilde!

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