For the past few days, Ruth has been exhibiting a new skill: If you hand her a book, or if she pulls one out of her toy basket or off her bookshelf, she will open it and "read."
That is, she opens the book, points to the words and babbles to herself, complete with exclamations and pauses (sounds something like "Ba da da ba pfft gee aboo tay blah de MA DA bee shh..."). Sometimes she'll turn the page and continue, sometimes not.
This is very exciting! When babies start imitating mom and dad, it shows they are picking up on social cues. And it shows us that her receptive language skills are forming. Receptive language is input (as opposed to expressive language like speech) and is built by describing what a child is doing, mirroring the sound a child makes when they point to an object and then labeling said object, and expanding on what your child says (e.g., if they say "dog" repeating the word and then telling or asking the child what sound the dog makes).
We've been reading to Ruth since birth and she has quite the library for a nearly one-year-old. We bought her a few more for her birthday too -- some Eric Carle books on shapes, numbers, and colors since she LOVES his illustrations and will hand you Polar Bear, Polar Bear or From Head to Toe to read (on the latter, she will clap about 75% of time when I turn to the seal clapping page).
Oh, and she is very close to walking. She cruises like a pro and can stand, unsupported. She's even taken a step but quickly realizes what she's doing and either sits or grabs the nearest chair/table/hand. I think it is a matter of balance and confidence -- she doesn't want to let go until she's sure she won't fall. She does like to walk while holding onto an adult's finger or pushing a toy.