Eli has by far the most to update on - it's been such a busy month! He started standing solo, gradually going from 2 second to 10 seconds or more, but before he even got very good at that (honestly, he's still not a pro) he decided some steps were in order. He started walking nearly two weeks ago, Tuesday night while I was at work. What a li'l stinker, walking for daddy and not me. Joe was on top of it, though, and got the camera out for a few quick videos for me. Unfortunately I can't seem to post them, I'll try again soon. His walking style is like "lead with your arms and head, and hope your feet follow," he's not timid at all! Probably from having a brother that beats on him no matter WHAT he's doing, so he might as well be walking away and bonk his own face in the process.
He's also been talking a lot more and started babbling "mama" - guess that makes up for showing dad his walking skills, huh? He got his 8th tooth - I guess I'd better be including him in our nightly teeth-brushing bedtime routine! He likes to read and will mostly sit still with Patrick on my overloaded lap while we browse a few board books together. His favorite thing to do is follow Patrick around, and when they play outside they can stay out there, alone, doing their own thing, for over an hour! It's nuts! I'm so grateful we had them so close together, they are wonderful playmates. Other than playing mini-me, he likes to load/unload toys/diapers/utensils from bins, and throw things upstairs/downstairs/in the trashcan. He will crawl from the living room across to the kitchen trash just to throw away his perfectly good toy, unassisted. He's our little helper :) He still takes a bottle, but I hear 12 months is a good time to wean kids and it will give us a bit of a buffer before baby girl arrives so SHE can have a bottle if she needs one (I plan on nursing, but am definitely more open to bottles after the good experience we had with Eli), so it's good that he is also comfortable using sippy cups of all kids, plus straw sippies like Patrick uses. HE'S probably ready for some switches, from formula and cow's milk, from rear-facing car seat to front-facer, from bottles to sippy cups, but I am not. In my head he is still my baby, and babies don't do any of those things.
Maybe it'll hit home a little more when the BABY baby arrives and all of a sudden he's like Goliath - a walking, babbling, self-feeding Goliath. But then again, I'd like it if he could stay a baby for just a few more months, he was such a good one! I miss you, baby Eli!