I’m a little late with this post, as I’ve had a tough time putting my finger on the past month’s developments – changes seem to be coming more gradually these days, or at least more subtly since those thrilling first steps.  I know there’s a lot going on in that wild-haired head of hers and I’m sure she’s dying to be able to put words to her thoughts and wants, but Juliette and I aren’t speaking the same language just yet.  She spends a lot of time right now wandering around the house, pointing up at countertops and tabletops and cupboards, saying “Eh?  Eh?  Eh?  EEEEHHHHH???!!!”.  I offer her everything she could possibly be asking for, with the exception of my phone or my hot cup of coffee (which of course, are the items she’s after), so we compromise and I hand her an apple from the fruit bowl, which she happily grabs, takes one bite of, and then throws on the floor.  Toddlerhood is fun.

Honestly though, communication breakdowns aside, I do love hanging out with that kid.  And her increasing independence has its perks, like she hardly needs my help at mealtime anymore.  Check out her mad spoon skills!

Cleanup takes a little effort, but her aim improves day by day, and that avocado facial keeps her skin oh-so-soft.

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Thankfully, she still loves the tub and is amenable to being hosed down after meals.  She’s definitely a water-baby – I can’t wait to get her back in the pool for her January swim lessons.

She’s full of silly little quirks and gestures, like the way she grabs anything rectangular and holds it up to her ear like a phone – a tupperware lid, the TV remote, whatever cards she swipes from my wallet when I’m not looking.  Shane and I aren’t sure where she picked this up, since we rarely use our phones to actually talk, but there are times when she babbles so intently that it’s like she really believes there’s someone on the other end of whatever she’s holding.

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She’s go-go-going as much as ever – I can usually coax her into the stroller if she’s set up with a snack and a sippy cup of warm milk, but for the most part, she wants to be out and about.  Shane took her to the bakery last weekend and she insisted on getting out of the stroller and walking the mile back home (which took about 45 minutes, bless Shane’s heart…).  She loves the little tricycle our neighbors gave to us – her feet don’t quite reach both pedals, so she holds on tight while I give her a push around the driveway.

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We desperately miss our summer park adventures and often talk about exploring new coffeeshops and restaurants, but always return to our tried-and-true favorites, passing many a morning at the Columbia City Bakery…

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And then stopping to say hello to the Nutcracker next door.

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We head over to Tutta Bella and have pizza for dinner more often than any responsible adult should.  Jules loves their meatballs, and I love their happy hour glasses of champagne.

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We usually spend Friday mornings with our little buddies, braving the cold for the sake of being able to run around and get some fresh air.

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I’ve mentioned recently that there are days when Juliette makes me batty with frustration and impatience, but there are also days like today, when she couldn’t possibly be any sweeter.  She laid it on thick today, wrapping her arms around me several times and laying her head on my shoulder for a good warm snuggle, bringing her socks and shoes to me when it was time to go out and then sitting still while I put them on (you have no idea what a treat this is), even coming up behind me and patting my back as I kneeled on the floor to wipe up some spilt milk.  She must have heard me complaining to Shane last night after she and I had battled over dinner and bath and toothbrushing and pajamas, “I do everything for her, and she gives me nothing!”  I take it back, baby.  You give me such abundant joy, such deep-seated fulfillment as I feel the weight of you in my lap and run my fingers through those soft, wispy pigtails.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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