Today you are one year old.
No longer zero.
This month, more than any in particular, has been full of...everything. Movement, personality, travel, boot-camp, solid food, and my personal favorite: separation anxiety.
Let's get to it, shall we?
We started this month off right with a two week trip to Virginia where we stayed at your Guga's and Papa Jim's house. They were not at all excited to have you there. Nor were you to see them. The attention? You'd rather eat dirt.
Oh, wait. You might actually rather eat dirt, depending on the situation. Yes, you still put all sorts of strange things in your mouth, including dirt. Mmm.
You were so very happy to see your Papa Jim when we arrived. We celebrated by going to Sam's club, which made you feel right at home. Whoopee! I am quite certain that you looked up at the ceiling while we were there, found the lights and wheezed in delight.
Wheezy: not just a nickname for older folks with respiratory problems. Nope, my child? She wheezes. In. Not out. With delight. In fact, Little Miss Itty Bitty, you laugh this way as well. A short little laugh out followed by a long, loud wheeze in. I have literally never heard anyone laugh that way...until you. People always tell you that your kids will teach you things, I just never really thought it would be something quite like this.
You have really developed a sense of play this month. What I mean by that is that while you still spend a large amount of time exploring your toys and anything else you can get your hands on, you also are capable of playing games with people. You love to play peek-a-boo. We usually play such one of us is covered with a blanket and then you have to uncover them. One of my favorites is that I can simply put my hands in front of my face and start calling "Where are you?" and you'll drop whatever you're doing to rush over and "uncover" your whereabouts by moving my hands. Oh, how much fun that is.
You are beginning to understand that items can be hidden under other objects. I can cover a small toy with a larger one or place something in a container and you'll immediately go and recover it. You're not too picky, however. While at Guga's house, the two of you would play in the hallway. Guga would stand at one end and lean over to hide her face behind a door frame...and you'd squeal, wheeze and race off down the hall to "find" her, the two of you playing peek-a-boo the whole time.
Apparently you're a multi-tasker.
Speaking of which, you now enjoy holding onto a toy with your hand while you make your way around. Sometimes one toy, sometimes two...and occasionally you hold one in your mouth if it is too tough to handle with your hand.
I blame that on the dog; who else would you have learned that from?
Cooper loves you and desperately wants to protect you. In fact, when you're around he is super doggy Chompy-lones. When you are nowhere to be found, he acts like normal dogs. As in he even likes other dogs. Amazing, I know, but true. We think you two will one day be fast friends. He already share all of his toys with you, he lets you explore his food...when I don't catch you in time to tell you no way, and the other day? He...thought?...you were sharing your toy with him, and he chewed it up.
Awesome, right? He's already doing what he can to teach you to put your toys away. Excellent indeed.
Physically, you've come along quickly in the last month or so. You crawled on your hands and knees towards the end of last month, and now you can stand up on your own. You'll stand up on the sidewalk, the carpet, and even our bed. You are constantly practicing your ups and downs and you've learned to let yourself down gently as opposed to plopping on your tuckus all the time.
You've learned to do pat-a-cake quite well. You do the clapping sections on your own and I've caught you practicing the rolling movement the last two days.
You also like to take someone else's hands and make them play pat-a-cake. We visited your Great Grandma when we were in Virginia, and you sat with her and made her pat-a-cake with you.
I must say that you still appear to love people. You especially like them if they have glasses like your Daddy, but you just like them in general. You went right to your Great Granny when we were home and the two of you had a grand old time.
You've also started waving this month. The very first time was to say good-bye to some of your Papa Jim's colleagues. We'd had a very busy day full of new places and people and I think you weren't sure you were going to get to go home with just me, so you started waving them all good-bye.
It is a nice concept, I must say.
Now you are more likely to wave hello. You wave at yourself in the mirror, you wave at Cooper, you wave at your toys and you wave at Whoopi Goldberg. Yeah. On the television. You love her for some reason and you clap for her and wave at her whenever she is on.
All of our time in Virginia exacerbated whatever separation anxiety you had developed prior to our trip. We were gone for a long time, and you went from sleeping the first two nights to waking at least twice a night unless you slept with me by the time we came home. So, we did a boot-camp.
Oh, yes. We are so mean. When you are a teenager, you will totally hold this against us.
Basically, after trying every other option we had regarding getting you to stay asleep (you go to bed fine, you just don't stay there very well), we decided we would put you to bed and not get you up until the morning. It was great fun the first few nights, but you are now doing well with it. There is still a little fussing, but I think that will soon be a thing of the past. Thank goodness. Maybe I'll finally start to get some sleep.
Daytime naps are currently a mystery, but we'll get that worked out eventually as well.
Of course, if you continue to fling yourself out of the crib during your nap, then we may very well not work anything out at all.
Oh, yes. You flopped out of the crib during one of your rants one afternoon. By the time I got upstairs, you were smacking at the door to get out of that room.
Needless to say, we lowered the mattress again that evening before we put you to bed.
So far, so good.
Aside from the movement and playfulness this month, the other really big development is your eating solid foods. It all started with Mum-Mum crackers. The first few times I'd say about ninety percent of it ended up on you rather than in you, but you've long since mastered that.
I attempted banana and avocado last month, but all you wanted to do was mash them in your hand and then look at me like "What IS this MESS?!?" while refusing to put any of it in your mouth. This go 'round you've not only mastered picking up and eating banana and avocado (no easy task, people, those things are slimy), but you also eat chicken, bread, goldfish and cheerios. Your Dad and I were even able to go out to eat with you a week or so ago and order you some chicken to eat while we had our dinner. It was oh so nice to have you engaged the whole meal.
You had a rather interesting approach to the chicken and bread we set out for you. Apparently you believed that it would go away as quickly as it came because as soon as you saw a new piece on the table, you spit whatever was in your mouth out and put the new pieces in. We put everything in your lap back on the table and you had much better luck the second time through.
I plan to give you more of the food we eat in the coming months so that we can continue eating together. Tomorrow we're having a small cake for you, and I can't wait to see how that goes. You tried some cake at Guga's house and, well...the photo speaks volumes:
My letter is quite long this month, and all I can say is you changed a lot. One thing that has not changed is that you are a very determined little girl. Really, this is just a nice way of saying that you can be pretty stubborn when you are focused on something. When you want something, you do everything you can to get it, no matter who or what is in your way.
As you can see, this is sometimes very funny. What remains to be seen is whether or not your Dad and I will be able to teach you how to use this...focus...to your advantage before you drive us bonkers with it.
One area in particular in which you are determined is with anything technological. You want to touch the computer, the phone, the remote, the video game consoles, the DVR, the list goes on and on.
And thanks to our cousin Britn, you now think you should have access to your Dad's blackberry:
If the number of things you've learned in your first twelve months is any indicator, then we are bound to be amazed by what you will be able to do, with technology as well as in every other aspect of your life.
I, for one, am excited to see who you will become.