You are so smart. I know parents always say that about their kids, but seriously, you are smart. You're doing so incredibly well in your crib now. That first night was hard, but I'm so glad we decided to do it. None of us knew that you were actually craving an earlier bedtime, by yourself. You cried less and less each night, and by the 4th or 5th night, you didn't cry at ALL. We have a very clear routine that gets your head ready for bed, and as soon as we pass the threshold of your bedroom, your head falls to my shoulder to hear me sing you your bedtime song (either "Amazing Grace," "Everything's Gonna be Alright," "You are my Sunshine," or "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star") and then I give you a kiss, whisper "Night night, I love you." and lay you down. You either stay on your back and calmly watch me leave the room, then just close your eyes, or you turn over, scooting your legs in under your belly, poking your cute little butt up in the air, and close your eyes. I was SOOO impressed that you stopped nursing at night starting that VERY first night. I was so sure you would wake up absolutely starving in the middle of the night. On the contrary, you woke up at 1am and 5am, cried about 10 minutes and went back to sleep, and then after a while you'd just wake up at 5am, and now you're sleeping until 6am. That has been a change for me. You've gotten into a different routine where you are ready for bed around 7pm, and wake up at 6am, rather than an 8pm bedtime and 8am rise. I definitely want you to make your own schedule, so as long as it's predictable, I'm okay with it. Your naps are still trying to get into a rhythm with your new sleep cycle though. You want to go back to sleep for 30-45 minutes at 9am or so, and it's so hard to try to keep you awake long enough to make it an actual "nap." Those days you're not tired again until 2:30 or so, which is too late for a 1st nap and too early for a 2nd nap, so it ends up being the only nap. Sometimes I wonder if you're getting enough sleep during the day. I also sometimes wonder if I'm overthinking every tiny part of your sleep cycle. :)
You're still growing and changing at the speed of light. Here are some things you've learned/picked up lately:
*You can climb off the couch backwards when you want off, and you try to get off the bed the same way, but it's too high off the ground. You still definitely have to be watched though, because you aren't yet completely aware of the fact that not paying attention causes you to fall off! You're such a tough girl, though. The other morning you fell off the bed onto the wood floor, and you didn't so much as make a face! Just got up and kept playing!
*You can identify belly buttons. :) I especially love this new trick. You always have your hand(s) stuck in your belly button when you walk around, and when you nurse you have your hand stuck in my belly button. We were at RiverMarket Park today with Lilly and some other kids, and I asked you where her belly button was (I noticed you were eyeing it), and you showed us where it was! I'm starting to work with you on identifying parts of our face, but so far, you're just concerned with the belly button.
In your princess pool at home, hand in belly button:
*You actually mind me when I tell you "no no" about 50% of the time, which is a very impressive feat for someone that could totally still pull off the "I'm not even 1 yet, I don't know what that means" trick... When you reach for cords or try to open the trash can, I put on the best serious face I can and say "No no!" and you stop, take a few steps back, and then start fake crying, all the while staring at me. It is absolutely hilarious. You've only done it a few times, but I get such a kick out of it!
*You are obsessed with water, which I'm proud of, because I'm a waterbug too. You cry and cry until I pull you into the shower with me every morning, you look forward to your night time bath (when I ask you if you want to take a bath, you go in the bathroom and won't leave until you get your bath), and you have SO MUCH FUN swimming. We went to Mimi's last weekend and swam in Amanda's pool, and you probably giggled and/or smiled the entire time we were there. They had a baby pool with a fountain that you could stand up in, and you would NOT let me hold your hand, even though every 8 steps you'd fall in. I love how independent and strong willed you are. I know it's going to be frustrating to be your parent sometimes because of this, but I admire it, and am grateful to have such a strong little female. :)
Those are the things I can think of off the top of my head.
OH! I need to tell you about your "ear piercing" experience. You don't remember it, do you? Good! Because I'll never forget it. Looking back, it wasn't such a big deal, but it wasn't fun. When you get your shots at the doctor, I feel bad, but I know it's best for you so I can overcome the guilt. Well, with ear piercing, it's only superficial, so I felt SO much guilt as you cried. You didn't cry for a really long time, but you did cry, and you did have that awfully pitiful "why did you do that?!" face. Your dad was with me, and it was a bad, bad idea to talk him into coming with us. I had no idea he'd be so hurt seeing you upset like that. He was mad at me all afternoon! Ugh, it was definitely a guilt ridden day. Are you glad you have them pierced? I hope so. I was just assuming you'd want them one day and it'd be good to get it out of the way when you won't remember it. You do look adorable in your little purple earrings, but if you get a little sister someday, she's going to have to decide on her own time when she needs her ears pierced...
Your birthday is on Friday! Well, our birthday is on Friday. I can't believe it's come so fast. I see now why some people can't stop seeing their children as their babies, because even though you are so different now, it still seems like you're my little newborn I just brought home from the hospital! I look back on pictures and you literally change every week. It's been so fun to watch you grow, and you just get more and more beautiful every time I look at you!
Now for the photos:
Here are my favorites from your 'official' one year portraits:
Here you are playing with your cousins at Mimi's house:
Here we are playing in Amanda's pool:
Here you are with Lilly from our playdate yesterday. You two were so cute with each other! You kept holding hands!
Here you are playing with Lilly and Anabel at the fountain park in RiverMarket:
I try every day to get some good one-on-one time with you, with no distractions. It's usually wrestling and tickling on our bed. This is one of those times:
Then you started trying to walk off the bed, so I had to keep telling you "no" and holding you back. This is the face you kept making over and over. You have such a cute little pout!
With the expressive faces you make now, I can't wait to hear all the hilarious things that are bound to come out of your mouth!
I love you,