No new pictures yet. I will try to get around to it this weekend.
We were in Ithaca this past weekend to watch the Tar Heels win the national championship. !!!! Hey, if my own alma mater can't have national championship sports teams, or even a decent football team anymore (they were good back when I was an undergrad, anyway), I might as well adopt my in-laws' team. I am just Tar Heel wed, but Auletta is Tar Heel born, yay. (Fairly recent picture below.)
Auletta's development usually leaps when we go to Ithaca (maybe that's one reason we go so often?). She is now (finally!) using words to refer to objects, at least a little bit. She now definitively says ball, referring to balls and other things that are round or appear to be round, and baby. Actually she was saying baby earlier, but we didn't know if she was talking about herself, or imaginary babies, or what. Now she uses it to refer to a baby doll she adopted in Mama Goose in Ithaca and which Granny kindly bought for her so as to make it legal, as well as to a Beanie Baby baby bear and a couple of other pink anthropomorphized baby-like stuffed animals she came about somehow--not from me, because I almost never buy her pink things, but she will occasionally insist on pink, so she's in touch with her inner girliness that her mean mommy tries to suppress.
Other than that, hmm. Lately instead of waving at faraway people who can't see her, she's starting to wave at people we pass on the street, which is very cute. Also she came very close to sleeping through the night before we went to Ithaca, but now we're back to square one as far as acting like an infant. Auletta never did that trick some babies too of sleeping through the night at some wildly early age and scamming their parents into thinking they have an exceptionally easy baby until suddenly they start teething or whatever and then there is, yet again, no sleep. She just never slept through the night to begin with. The up side is that 1. she just nurses and goes back to sleep--she's never kept us up fussing or anything, and 2. if I ever had any difficulty with insomnia or falling back asleep, boy am I over that now. And of course I'm sure if she had her own room (she sleep in our walk-in closet), things would be a lot different. But still, I'm hoping we can get her back to sleeping more or less through the night, because eight hours in a row of sleep would be AWESOME, and that is the one question everyone asks that I dread (in fact they've probably stopped asking because they just assume any child should be sleeping through the night by now, but really, it's kind of like "How is that dissertation going?" DON'T ASK.), and the one thing keeping her from being basically a very easygoing and awesome kid, which she is in every other respect.
The other thing, I guess, is that I am not even close to weaning her, although leaving her with other people for extended periods of time always goes well enough (as far as anyone tells me) that I wonder why I don't do it more often. Justin and I had a very nice few hours together sans baby walking around Cornell and then going to dinner at John Thomas on a date. A date! But still, for various reasons, I think I'm going to try to wean her over the next few months, at least to the point where she's not at all dependent on nursing, even if she still does occasionally. I just haven't had much reason yet, but on the other hand it would make life easier and she is approaching the age (I mean, for me; for other people maybe she's well past it, but whatever) where nursing her all the time is getting a little weird. I have no problem with extended nursing, and it's going as well as ever, but I think I'm getting to where I would like to be doing a lot less of it.
5 months ago