Wow! It has been another big month for you. Today is a special day. Aside from being your 11 month birthday, it is your very first SNOW DAY! As a child growing up in North Carolina, you won’t see snow very often. But when you do, it will invariably mean NO SCHOOL! You saw a little of the white stuff in West Virginia on our last trip to Kentucky, but this is your first at home. I showed you the scene out our windows when we first woke up, and you smiled. You were excited.
We took you outside to play for a few minutes this morning and a few minutes this afternoon. It has snowed at least 5 inches, and it’s still snowing! You seemed happy about the white stuff and maybe a little confused. We are excited since it is your first snow, and I have to admit that we’re giddy about it in general, too. We haven’t had a decent snow in several years. It’s a big deal around here!
Since we had a snow day today, we have been able to witness history together. You took a little nap just before the main part of the inauguration ceremonies began. You watched Obama get sworn in as the 44th US President. Snow day bonus!
You had many more firsts this month. You celebrated your first Christmas with a ton of presents. You didn’t unwrap too many by yourself, but you did tear some paper and play with some bows. I think you were thrilled to get some toddler toys to replace your baby rattles. You even now have some furniture of your own – a rocking chair that used to be Grandpa’s and an easy chair that Santa brought for you. Your North Carolina grandparents, aunt and uncle came to celebrate with us on Christmas Eve, and your Kentucky grandparents and cousin came for a visit a few days after Christmas. We had so much fun experiencing Christmas with you this year. Some of your favorite new toys were your stacking cups from daycare, your Animal Sounds Farm from Santa, your photo album from Mommy and Daddy, and both your kitchen and drum from Aunt Kristin and Crazy Uncle Chad. You really seemed interested in all the toys that you received!
For your first New Year’s Eve, Mommy and Daddy hosted their usual New Year’s Eve Games Night party. You played for a little bit, took a nap, and then woke up just in time to ring in the new year and see some fireworks. I took you out on the porch to see the fireworks, but you didn’t like them at all! As soon as you saw the bright flash and heard the noise, you screamed and wanted to go back inside. I don’t blame you – they were pretty close to our house!
You had a few play dates this month, including two at Marbles museum with Paolo. I think that place is going to be a lot of fun for you when you are a bit older. You seem to enjoy the crawler area for now, and you explored some of the rest of the museum. Quite a bit of it is for bigger kids, but it is fun to see what sort of things we have to look forward to in your future. Daddy also set up our bonus room to dual as Mommy and Daddy’s games room and Maddie’s playroom. The room works very well as a playroom, and you had your first of hopefully many play dates in there as well.
You are still nursing and you now no longer eat baby foods. You eat a little bit of the same food that Mommy and Daddy eat. We made this transition around the time of my last letter, and you have been doing pretty well. You eat a large variety of foods now, and your favorites seem to be pasta with sauce, colby jack cheese sticks, and vanilla yogurt. Your appetite, however, is miniscule. You will turn down even your favorites at times, and you eat very little at your meals. This can be frustrating for your parents! You have new techniques now for refusing food. You have been turning your head from side to side for a while, and a few months ago you added spitting it back out by blowing raspberries. Now you push our hands away with both hands while shaking your head and blowing raspberries. You are very clear about what you want, and you’re quite picky. You have nearly mastered using a cup, and I can almost let you use it unattended. Almost.
You attended your first birthday party. Your buddy Caroline turned ONE this month, and you went to her party at Marbles Museum. Daddy took you to the party since Mommy was throwing a baby shower at the same time. You had a good time and wore a pretty dress, of course!
The other day, you achieved a major milestone. You took your first steps!!! We had just called your North Carolina grandparents and had your Grandma on the webcam. You were playing in your kitchen, and you let go and walked two or three little steps to the couch, towards the webcam. We were all VERY excited!!! I think you knew that something special had just happened. You did it twice more at that time but stopped performing when we took out the video camera. You haven’t repeated this feat since then, but I know you will be running in no time.
You have been testing our limits lately. You are well aware of the rules and try to see if you can get away with breaking them. You’ll look over your shoulder to see if we are looking, and then you’ll proceed. We are still blocking the exits from the living room with furniture, but we did get a long gate to partition the open area between the kitchen and the living room. You had been squeezing through any tiny crack you could find. You haven’t gotten too mad at the new gate yet, and it is funny to see you “escape” by your usual route behind the chair to find that you’re still trapped.
You have been trying to climb everything! At daycare, they are constantly trying to get you off the snack table and bookshelves. Everyone agrees that you are going to be more than ready for the next classroom at school! At home, you climb the stairs, your new chair, and into the cradle that we’re using as a toy box. A few weeks ago, you pushed a box over to the ottoman and tried to climb onto the ottoman. Smart girl! We really have to keep our eyes on you at all times. You’ve also started to throw and kick things.
You are an amazing baby. I am continually impressed by how much you are learning. Lately, you have been talking more. Most of the time, we can’t understand what you are trying to say, but you sometimes repeat what we are saying. Your teachers clearly heard you repeat, “All done,” “All gone,” and “done.” You sometimes will say “no, no” when you don’t want more food or you don’t want to take a nap. I’m starting to think that some of your words have context instead of it being a coincidence! The other day, I was reading you a book and you clearly repeated the word, “turtle,” twice! You have been using “dada” more frequently for Daddy and “mama” more frequently for me. The other day, you were trying to get me to wake up and you laid your head on the pillow next to me and said, very clearly, “mama.” I loved it. You also have been answering the questions, “What does the sheep say?” and “What does the cow say?” with “AAAAA!” and “Mmmmm!” Very cute. You wave “bye bye” frequently, and in the past few days, you have started clapping when we say, “yay!”
You still aren’t a great sleeper, and there have been a few times this month that I have been frustrated by your constant nursing at night. Each time it was only for a couple of days, so maybe you needed some extra nutrients or extra comfort. I’m glad that I can provide both for you. We love snuggling next to you, and I love seeing your sweet smiles first thing in the morning. You still don’t have any teeth, but that doesn’t stop us from thinking that you could possibly be teething anytime you’re fussy or drool excessively. It’s almost a joke these days, “maybe she’s teething!” One of these days, it will be true!
As you near your first birthday and as you are starting to walk, I am hoping to savor your last days as a baby. I cannot believe that I will soon officially be Mommy to a toddler. Time is going by so quickly. It is exciting, though it sometimes makes me a little sad. You make us smile and laugh every single day. We love you so very much.
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