I can’t believe I’m writing this! You’re one! A year ago today you were born and our lives changed forever. You bring us so much joy and pride. Life with you is so fun and we are lucky to be your parents.
We celebrated one day before your actual birthday with a party at Cottonwood Creek park in Encinitas. Many of your family and friends came to celebrate with you with breakfast burritos, donuts, coffee and mimosas! You were in great spirits and somehow lasted five hours between naps without any melt-downs. You didn’t like your first taste of cake, but I’m sure down the line you’ll develop your mom’s sweet tooth. You were the life of the party and your favorite birthday gifts were the musical instruments!
On your actual birthday, your Grandma Christy and I took you to the beach. You absolutely love the beach, particularly the ocean. You are enthralled with it and would run straight into the waves if you could. You don’t seem to mind the water, even when it’s cold. After the beach, we got ice cream to celebrate! The ice cream store gave you your own ice cream cone but you weren’t interested at all. Oh well!
You’re still very tall at 31 1/4 inches (98th percentile) and people comment on it quite often. Your head is in the 88th percentile and you weigh 19 pounds, 9 ounces, which is the 47th percentile. You’re mostly wearing 12 month clothes, although some of your 9 month shorts and tops still fit. You can wear either 12 month or 18 month pants now due to your long legs (depending on the brand).
The biggest development of the month is that you started to walk! You took your first steps on September 15th. We were playing on the play mat in the kitchen area and you stood up on your own, looked me right in the eye and took three steps and fell into my arms. I was so happy I cried. For some reason the first steps are the milestone I’ve been most looking forward to and it did not let me down! Sadly, your dad was out of town for work so he missed it. I was able to get him on the phone to tell him that night and he has watched you get better at taking steps over the last couple of weeks. You still are using crawling as your preferred method of transportation but you’ve gotten more brave with each passing day. Now you stand up on your own and walk to things you want (usually mom and dad, but sometimes objects as well). You’ll also stand holding on to one thing (like a wall) and take steps to get to another object.
You’ve been saying “mama”, ” dada,” “uh-oh” and “no” for a few months now, but I still wasn’t 100% convinced that any of these were your first word because you say them out of context quite often. However, at your birthday party you squarely looked at someone, waved and said “hi!” out of now where! I’m considering that your first word. It really makes sense that this would be your first word because you are so incredibly friendly! You also started to say “ta-da” which is incredibly adorable. You’re a pro at recognizing “bye bye” and wave most of the time that we say it (although sometimes it takes you a minute or two).
I’m starting to realize that you understand WAY more than I thought. For example, I have been singing the song “If You’re Happy and You Know It” lately and you really love it, especially the stomp your feet part. You got a new toy for your birthday and the little robot says “stomp your feet” and you follow his directions by stomping your feet! I’m looking forward to watching your vocabulary blossom this year. In the meantime, you use pointing, grunting, wining, lifting your arms up and crying to communicate with us. You know how to put on your own hat, put my small diaper bag purse on your arm, hold a phone to your ear, stomp on the computer keyboard, and use a paper towel to help “clean” the floor or table. You watch and imitate everything we do!
This month was incredibly fun because it was the first full month that I was home with you! We have at least one outing a day and have made even more friends to meet up with for playdates this month. We regularly go to baby sign language and baby story time at the library, the beach and the splash-pad and had several meet-ups at the park with friends. You now go to gym class every Wednesday and it’s the highlight of the week for you (besides going to the beach). You still like to run errands with me but now when I take you to Trader Joe’s you like to grab things out of the cart and throw them on the ground, which is a still entertaining and cute, but also a little annoying!
Your favorite things to do are push things (the high chair, your walker, a stool, anything with wheels or that can be dragged across the floor), shake things, and put things together. You’re a pro at stacking rings and putting anything you can find into a basket or box (I’ve almost washed some interesting things thanks to your love of putting things in the laundry basket). You love a hand-me-down toy that pushes balls through a chute and plays loud music and have learned to turn it on by yourself.
The morning of your birthday was our last time nursing. We survived a bad lip tie, mild tongue tie, low supply, painful nursing, five months of pumping three times a day at work and once more before bed, and ten months of pumping at least 5 times a day. I am actually pretty shocked that we made it to a year. You weren’t exclusively breastfeed and we went down to just one nursing session in the morning over the course of the last month, but you got some amount of breastmilk for a full year. The next hurdle – getting you to drink cow’s milk from a sippy cup!
Speaking of eating, it was kind of a rough month. You’ve had four upper teeth coming in all month (or longer) and three of them finally came through. I think you’re working on the last one now. You tend to not want to eat a lot of solid food when that is happening. I’m not too worried about it – I just continue to give you three meals and at least one snack a day (plus about 20 oz milk) and sometimes you eat it all and sometimes you barely eat any. You still don’t like meat but you love greek yogurt, tuna, cheese and peanut butter so I know you’re getting in good fats and protein. And of course, you still LOVE fruit of any kind.
You continue to be extremely extroverted and smile and wave at everyone. You aren’t afraid of strangers and will walk or crawl to most people. You absolutely adore your dad and he can make you laugh harder than anyone else. You light up when he comes home from work and crawl or walk to him and ask for him to pick you up (although you still don’t like to be held for long). We’re working on teaching you to hug and kiss and although you don’t do it in the traditional sense, I think that you do it in your own way.
You’re growing into a little girl more and more every day. It makes me sad to think that you’re not a baby anymore, but also happy that we have so many adventures to look forward to. I can’t wait to have hilarious conversations with you, take you on your first trip to Disneyland, watch your dad teach you to surf, and witness you explore your own passions and interests.