You are one year (and 2 days) old my sweet girl, and my-oh-my, what a year it has been! But before we think back on the whole year, let’s talk about this past month. You have made great strides in the last month, and you walk everywhere now! It amazes me how quickly it happened. When I wrote your last letter, you were taking 7 or 8 wobbly steps consecutively, but you still preferred to crawl. Now, you walk (or run!) everywhere, and with such confidence! Everywhere you go you have to be holding something in both hands too. Most of the time, it's your socks. It amazes me how much you love to play with socks and shoes since you hate to have them on your feet!
You are such a smart little peanut! When asked, you correctly point to your eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hair, fingers, toes and belly button! You love your belly button! You even love to find Mommy and Daddy's belly buttons. When you point to your mouth, we ask you what's inside and you stick out your tongue too!
You are definitely not a baby anymore. You communicate with us more and more every day, and you KNOW what you want! You correctly sign "milk" and shake your head "yes" and "no." If you want milk or your diaper changed, you go right to the stairs (and start to climb if we forgot to close the gate.) Your vocabulary includes "hi," "mama," "dada," book," "bye bye," "up," and "baby." Baby sounds more like "baba" but "hi" and "bye bye" also include a little wave. You even put two words together and say "Hi, Dada!"
You love when we sing the ABC's or the Itsy Bitsy Spider and you do the cutest like bouncing dance to it. You've even started "singing" with us.
You are holding strong at 8 teeth. The 9th one is just under the gums and Mommy has been expecting it to pop through for the last month. Hopefully it comes through soon, because it really seems to be bothering you. We've been brushing your teeth at bath time and you love it. Santa brought you a new big girl toothbrush, and you even like to brush them yourself now!
Sleeping has improved this month. One night you slept from 8pm to 6:30am! I wish that would happen more often, but you have been giving us 8 hour stretches for the most part. When we get to 4am, you don't want to go back to sleep, but we'll tackle one thing at a time. We have a good bedtime routine and you go down for Daddy easily, and you take a good 2-3 hour nap in the middle of the day.
You are starting to wean yourself, and only nurse at 4am, nap time and bedtime now. When you do nurse it's only for about 10 minutes too. You love food and eat like such a good girl. Breakfast is usually cheerios, yogurt, oatmeal and blueberries or toast. You LOVE yogurt! Lunch and dinner are usually whatever we're eating. There's not much you don't like, with the exception of potatoes, which Mommy can't even believe! (How can you be my daughter if you don't like potatoes?!) You like to feed yourself, but you haven't quite mastered the spoon yet. We started giving you a little bit of whole milk with dinner last week and you LOVED it! Unfortunately, you didn't sleep very well those few nights and we think you had an upset stomach. Your doctor suggested we start with 1% and work our way up to get your belly used to it.
This month included a lot of Christmas activities. We decorated the tree, decorated the house and made Christmas cookies. You loved all the decorations! Your first Christmas was a three day event that left you (and Mommy!) exhausted, but we all had so much fun watching you. Mommy especially enjoyed experiencing Christmas through your eyes. It was magical and filled Mommy's heart with so much joy!
You have so many new toys now that you don't know what to go to first! You really love your tea set from Auntie, your cell phone from Mommy & Daddy, and your Fisher Price Learning Home from Grammy and Grampy though. You also have 5 or 6 new baby dolls to hug and kiss and cuddle. Not to mention that there's not room for any more books on your bookshelf, you have so many now!
At your 12 month well baby visit, you measured 30 inches long and weighed in at 23 pounds, 5 ounces! You are now in the 80% percentile for height and the 90% percentile for weight! (You had a new nurse this time and Mommy didn't think she measured you carefully enough, so I think you might actually be a little bit taller.) You had 3 shots, which you weren't happy about, but otherwise the visit went well. The doctor seemed impressed at how advanced you are cognitively and physically, not to mention you gave her a great big hug! I was not surprised. Mommy knows what a smart little girl you are already!
At 5pm on the night of your birthday, Mommy had a good cry. Exactly one year ago, the doctor had put you on Mommy's chest and I held you for the first time. In that moment, it all felt surreal. I couldn't believe you were mine. Now, looking back, I get so emotional. I never could have imagined in that moment how much love and joy you would bring into my life. I can't even come close to describing it in words. You filled a part of my heart I never knew was there, my sweet girl. I feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to be a mother, but particularly, to be your mother. You teach me more than I try to teach you and you love me more than I try to love you.
Watching you grow this past year has been the most wonderful, awe-inspiring experience of my life, and Mommy feels so blessed to have had this time at home with you. Daddy and I look forward to watching you continue to grow, learn and explore the world around you. You are a sweet, adventurous, expressive little girl and I hope you never lose those qualities.
I love you to the moon and back my sweet, sweet girl!