Madeleine is having a lot of fun these days understanding lots of new words and showing off her comprehension. When she follows simple directions (i.e. splash, pour, fill, hug) and gets praised, she always looks supremely proud of herself.

She has developed a newfound appreciation for spoons and her ability to manipulate them to direct food into her mouth. The corollary is that she also enjoys throwing spoons off of her high chair tray. Speaking of food, we've discovered her culinary tastes match her personality. She likes strong flavors: pepper jack cheese, very spicy Indian food, unadulterated fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, and Mexican salsa to name a few. She doesn't even blink before asking for more. Also, our little vegetarian loves beans of any variety - she happily eats them as finger food almost every day.

Madeleine is babbling away happily: "da-da-dot" and "ba-ba-bop" being favorite combinations.

Most noteworthy this month was her first airplane ride and trip to the Midwest to meet her Bianco great-grandparents and visit the Naffziger family farm in central Illinois. Along the way, she met several great aunts, uncles, and cousins. Then it was back up to South Bend, Indiana to spend more time with the Naffziger grandparents and to meet her Aunt Ellen for the first time. We celebrated her 11 month birthday with Ellen, Aunt Susan, and Grandma and Grandpa who requested a traditional German chocolate cake for the occassion. Even though it was her first real taste of anything sugary, she was duly unimpressed, obviously taking after her Canavese lineage rather than her Naffziger family in this respect.

New photos are here

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