Anna said "Dada" about two days after that 1 month post. She and Addie have both been saying syllables since we picked them up. But this was a word with intention. She knows who dada is, and she will reach out for him when she says it. Yesterday, he was tilling up a patch of ground for our garden this summer. I carried her out of the house to go see him. She just about jumped out of my arms, and started bouncing up and down saying "Dada! Dada!" She also says "Mama" when she's crying. I don't hear it as often, though.
Addie says mama and dada, and a whole bunch of other syllables all day long. She's very vocal, but hers still don't seem to have identity connected to them. She knows who everyone is. The only things I know she understands what she is saying is when she is ready to get down from the high chair after eating. We've taught her the signs for "all done" and "more", because mealtimes were so difficult in the beginning. She said "aah daah" and does the sign when she's ready to get down. No more crying fits when we try to keep feeding her past her full button.
Speaking of feeding, self-feeding is in, spoon feeding is SOOO last month. Neither girl will eat from our spoon unless they have something to feed themselves. This means quartered vienna sausages, cheerios, quartered banana pieces, diced pears, peas and carrots from a can....we've found a lot of things they like. I tried making meatballs out of ground ham and sweet potatoes, but when Addie discovered how mushy they were, they became floor spackle. If Anna doesn't like what she's been served, she will drop it over the edge of her tray onto the floor, so she only gets little servings at a time. Favorite thing to do at mealtime: push down on the edge of the cheerios to make them pop off of the tray and out of the kitchen into the living room.
We also solved some of the waking up in the middle of the night problems. They were getting hungry. We did snacks of yogurt just before bedtime, first. Then we moved dinner time to an hour later, moving it gradually. Last night, they ate at 6pm with us eating at the same time. It was really pleasant. They ate their sausage and cheerios while we ate, then we'd lean over to feed them butternut squash. After we had both finished eating, I gave them a little yogurt for dessert. They slept from 8pm to 6am. Awesome!
I also have gone backwards to giving them bottles at naptime or bedtime, as opposed to sippy cups. Although we were using the soft tipped sippy's anyway, there's something soothing about a bottle. I looked back at one of the attachment books yesterday to see what it had to say about emotional development, because Addie's still not a snuggler, and it recommended bottle feeding. I did it with Anna while she was sick to keep more liquids in her, because she didn't have to bite down as hard as on the bigger tip of the sippy cup. And it made her much more content to let me rock her longer. So I tried it with Addie yesterday....huge improvement almost immediately. The book said "It's probably a good idea to stop when they are adolescents, because they're just too long. But other than that, as long as they are soothed by it, it is appropriate to bottle feed your toddler."
Did Anna start sitting up on her own? She can't lift herself from the floor into a sitting position, but she will hold one for a long period of time if we sit her up. She is attempting to balance herself to keep from falling over. This is a HUGE improvement. She has also figured out how to push herself backwards in the walker. She prefers standing or sitting to laying down. And she has also worked her way rolling out of their bedroom, through the hallway, to the baby gate, and has pulled herself over the 2" lip into the living room. It's not crawling, but it's pretty dang close. It's effective, at any rate. She can entertain herself a lot better now, getting to toys she wants.
They're addicted to Nick Jr. I know the whole day's line up of programs from 7am to 9pm. It's sad, I know. They don't watch all the shows, but they will look up every time they hear the voice of Moose A. Moose, who comes on in between each program. I fully expect them to be using words like "fragile" and "debonair", matching shapes, writing poems, and raising small animals by next month.