We’ve been signing at Ruby since a very early age.  Our vocabulary isn’t big, but Ruby is starting to pick them up more quickly.  Like her words, though, she tends to latch onto a favorite sign and then use it for everything.

Ruby’s verbal vocabulary right now is limited to “down” and “this”.  She has said other words in the past (“up”, “mama”, “papa”, “gargoyle”) but for now, those two words are just about all she uses.

Similarly, her favorite sign right now is “more”.  She uses it to indicate that she wants to eat, which apparently is all the time.  She also knows how to sign “all done”, “bedtime”, and she can nod in agreement.

“All done” and “more” can sometimes be confusing for her.  When she’s eating I’ll ask if she’s all done and she’ll sign it.  Then I’ll ask if she wants more and she’ll sign that.  Then I’ll ask if she wants down and she’ll say, “Dooooooowwwww…”.  Then we’ll start over from the top.  Sometimes, I’ll see her run through a bunch of her signs — “milk”, “more”, “all done” — as if she’s not quite sure what she’s trying to say.

State of the Baby: One Year Old

Ruby is one year old! Here are some things about her:

  • She is suffering through her first serious cold. We were worried about her coughing and thought about taking her to the doctor, but then we looked in a few reference books and found that her symptoms are normal and don’t warrant a doctor visit. All the same, she’s coughy and snotty and tireder than usual. This means we get more cuddling than usual, which is the silver lining.
  • She has said the following words/phrases (in context): mama, papa, up, down, light, shoes, gargoyle (long story), all done. She also has a very large vocabulary of gibberish that uses many vowels and consonants, and can often be heard talking to herself.
  • She regularly uses these signs: all done, water, up. She has also taken our gesture for “come here” and made it into a sign that can mean “come here” or “give me that”. She claps, waves, nods, and points as well.
  • She is not afraid of heights and loves to climb up on big-kid playground equipment.
  • She giggles delightedly if you toss her, face-first, onto pillows.
  • She likes to climb, and often climbs into her toybox, her wagon, and a low bookshelf (that usually holds her stuffed animals). Going up and down stairs are a piece of cake by now. She also really enjoys climbing on some cardboard boxes we put in her playroom for just that reason.
  • She seems to have especially acute hearing and will pick up her head for any unusual sound. The microwave and telephone always cause her to react (usually by looking up and saying something we don’t understand).
  • She often has a minor rash on her cheeks that looks like acne. We think she must be allergic to something but haven’t figured it out yet.
  • One of her favorite places to play is near the front door where we keep our shoes. She loves to take the shoes off the shelf and strew them across the floor.
  • She isn’t crazy about grass, and when forced to touch it (with hands or feet), she recoils in disgust. We hope to get her used to grass very soon, when the weather improves.
  • She still uses her soother, especially for bedtime, but we’re working on minimizing the non-sleep times that she has it.
  • We have weaned her off mid-day breastmilk for the most part. She still nurses before bed and in the morning.
  • She can stand up without holding on to anything if she is a little distracted. As soon as she realizes what she’s doing, she’ll sit down.
  • She has one nap every day, in the afternoon. It usually lasts at least an hour and a half. Her bedtime is around 8pm, and she wakes up between 6 and 7am.
  • She eats oatmeal with banana every morning for breakfast. For lunch and dinner, she usually feeds herself diced food such as cheese, chicken, fruit, Cheerios, or sweet potatoes.

She Takes After Her Mother

I’ve been delighted to discover that Ruby has a real propensity for climbing. She has always liked standing up, and as soon as she could pull herself to standing, she began doing it all the time.

But now, her climbing talents are really beginning to shine through – she loves climbing stairs! As soon as we decided to let her (with supervision, of course), she attacked the stairs with relish. On each trip up the staircase, her confidence and agility grew, and now it takes her less than a minute to get from bottom to top, saying “up, up, up” all the way.

Most of the time, I make her go back down after she climbs up, so that she is comfortable with both directions. She’s not nearly as fond of “down, down, down” but is getting the hang of that as well. Her favorite part is getting to the bottom so she can then start back up.


Ruby is making two interesting kinds of sounds, aside from “mama” and “papa” (the most interesting sounds of all).

1. She speaks to her stuffed animals in a quiet, extra-high singsong. This is a voice she doesn’t use with us or her other toys, but when we waggle Clyde Frog or Oksana the bear in front of her, she sings to them in the special stuffed-animal language.

2. Ruby can whistle! We have yet to capture it on video, but she does it pretty much every day. She likes to purse her lips, and when she blows in and out, there’s a whistling noise. I’m hoping she never loses the talent – it’ll save a lot of frustration learning how when she’s an older kid.

p.s. Don’t miss the photos of Ruby in the snow yesterday.

Last Night Wasn’t All Bad

Despite the feeding-related difficulties last night, there was a bright spot as well. Ruby finally began showing visual interest in books!

Not only that, but she concentrated her unusually long attention span on a cardboard book (Sometimes I Like To Curl Up In A Ball) for maybe 15 minutes straight. She flipped the pages back and forth as well as she could, given her dexterity level. She looked with interest at the pictures, and was quietly intent the whole time.

Enjoy a short video of Ruby reading her first book…

State of the Baby Addendum

  • Ruby is very comfortable in water. She always enjoys her baths (unless it’s too late and she’s really tired). Today, we took her in a swimming pool for the second time, and she took it in stride. Her feet kicked under her the whole time, and she stayed calm, even when her mean parents dipped her face in the water.
  • Speaking of kicking, it’s worth noting that Ruby kicks her legs probably 70-80% of the time she’s awake. The vigor of the kicking varies, from upset to apathetic.  She doesn’t kick when in a sling (but does in the Baby Bjorn), when asleep (usually), and when holding her toes.

Park Pictures and an Observation

Ruby, Steve, and I attended the 30th birthday / “Thank God Andreas isn’t dead” party on Saturday at Seward Park. (The latter is a reference to a recent bike accident.) An acquaintance of mine from Jobster, Ben, was quite taken with Ruby and snapped a ton of pictures. He posted the best ones on his flickr account.

Here’s one of my favorites:

I also wanted to note that I’ve been astounded lately at Ruby’s patience. We’re discovering that she often just lies awake in bed after waking up, rather than calling for us right away. She’ll just lay there and look around at the patterned fabrics (sarong, stripey thing on ceiling) and think her thoughts. Sometimes she’ll occupy herself by trying to catch hold of her feet. She can do this for a long time before getting bored.