Hallie is a hilarious little kid. Every day, we discover new things about her and new tricks (for lack of a better term; yes, I know it sounds like a trained monkey and, yeah, right now we sort of are).
Here's a smattering of her latest repertoire, most recent one first:
1. Yesterday, Hallie started to play ball with me. Really play ball. She picked up her little yellow ball with the red stars on it (it's a nice size---bigger than a superball and smaller than a beach ball---so she can grasp it firmly. Then she threw it at me (overhand--the kid has a nice throw--so that it bounced once before it reached me). I caught it and threw it back. And then she did this again. And again. Sometimes rollling it, sometimes throwing it, but nearly always aiming correctly so that the ball reached me (this even though she was crawling about and hence throwing the ball from different locations. We did this for about fifteen minutes, which is bordering on forever in the mind of a one-year-old.
2. Hallie's receptive language seems to be exploding to an extent even we are unaware. In addition to Curious George (also known as "k") and Elmo, she's able to identify Big Bird. But her vocabularly, happily, is not confined to TV or cartoon characters. She also knows bear, book, ball, up, open, hi, block, bye-bye and probably a few other words. She definitely knows 'no' but still ignores this one! It's so hard to tell what she knows, frankly, since she is still so non-verbal. This has us worried but I am trying here to focus on the half-full glass.
3. How big is Hallie? "So Big!" I have to get a picture of this one, since she doesn't quite do it in the conventional way. Last weekend, Sharon taught this to Hallie, and now Hallie loves to perform this trick. But instead of stretching her arms way up over her head, she clasps the top of her head and holds it, making it seem like she is worried. Very cute.
4. Waving. We have a virtual waving machine here. She wakes up every morning waving at us, which makes us happy. She still does that cute little-kid wave where she curls her fingers in to her palm, sometimes holding her arm down, and sometimes raising it up.
5. FIrst signs of some desire to let go and walk. She thought about it yesterday and nearly took one step, squatted down, held that position for a bit, and then thought better of the whole enterprise. But you can tell that, finally, she is considering that walking might be an option. And in terms of things that we did not think she knew, the other afternoon when our friends Sheila and Brett and their adorable nearly-three-year old daughter, Alex, were hanging out here, Sheila asked Hallie to take a step toward her. And Hallie looked at Sheila and actively shook her head 'no.' We didn't know she knew that, and, like her words, we probably won't experience that one again for a while, but it's nice to know she can just say 'no' when she needs to.
6. And finally, Hallie loves to interact with her Sesame Street DVDs. The 35th anniversary celebration ("What's the name of that song?") is the reigning favorite around here and, amazingly enough, even after a gazillion viewings, Hallie finds the thing fresh and exciting. She laughs at SuperGrover's flying superhero antics; squeals every time Elmo comes on the screen, but especially in the lead up to the Operatic Lullaby segment; and claps heartily during numerous numbers. But, as they say, "nothing is better than a song about letters," and the best song of all is the Gospel ABC with lovely Philadelphia native Miss Patti LaBelle:
And, because I've been remiss about posting pictures, here's a few recent shots of our girl at the park:
Hallie loves sliding. I've even considered letting go and letting her do it all herself; I suspect she'd be fine with that, but I know that I won't until she can walk on her own.
And clearly, she is getting there:
The outfit in which Hallie was dressed on this fine early September day was one that I had discovered in her closet during the great Labor Day clean up. I discovered a lot of outfits that had somehow gotten lost in the shuffle and hence remained unworn. Six boxes of clothes ended up in the basement, but this was too cute to put away and I figure that she might get two or three wearings out of it before it gets too small on her or (more likely), the weather turns too chilly.
Anyway, the outfit includes the most adorable hat and Sharon and I were trying desperately to get her to wear it. Hallie, however, has a mind of her own:
I'm not sure what we're going to do once winter comes. She's going to be awfully cold without a hat and shoes on!