To Gabrielle Grace on your 1st birthday,
1) You are so close to walking. In fact, you've taken 1 or 2 steps without falling (Grandma claims three but grandmas tend to exaggerate). You also enjoy taking one step and then dive-bombing into my arms, so it may be awhile.
2) Breastfeeding came to a close between 10-11 months. I'm so proud we made it that far on our journey together. It's nice to have my body back to being mine, but I would be lying if I said I didn't miss it from time to time.
3) On the flip side, you love actual milk! In fact, you love everything, including the recent additions of tortilla chips, cucumber and birthday cake!
4) Since my last update you've developed a major case of stranger danger. When a person outside of immediate family attempts to hold you, you scowl and put your head down. It's hilarious to me, but your first days of school after summer vacation might be rough.
5) You're very much still in the "stick everything in my mouth phase." I'm very much ready for this to end, especially after you took a bite of a crayon on dad's watch.
6) Being chased is your favorite pastime. If we get close, you just melt into a big pile of mush and prepare to be tickled.
7) I can't not mention the funny face you've been making for over a week now. Not sure how or why it happened, but now everytime there's a camera around, you are guaranteed to open your mouth and do this:
8) Instead of onesies, you're wearing a lot more shorts and t-shirts now. It really makes you seem like a certifiable one-year-old. I also have been styling your little mop. It's straight as an arrow, so no curly Qs for you, but it's a beautiful shade of strawberry blonde that I like to put in a side pony.
9) Binkies are a girl's best friend. Now that you're one, I'm going to try to get them down to naptime and bedtime, but who are we kidding, that is going to suck (no pun intended). Hopefully we can wean by age 2. There, I said it. Now I just have to do it.
10) Currently your schedule is as follows:
6 a.m. - wakeup, diaper change, bottle and play
7 a.m. - real deal breakfast (you hate eggs just like mommy)
8:30 a.m. - walk in the stroller
9 a.m. - 1st nap of the day
10 a.m. ish - wake up happy and play play play
11:15 a.m. - lunch
noon - play some more (this includes pushing walkable furniture, pointing at EVERYTHING, at crying if Faith takes a toy from you)
1 p.m. ish - another nap
hopefully 3 p.m. wake up from nap, happy girl again
3:15 p.m. - play some more, torture Howie, crawl toward mirrors and find anything that's not a toy
4:30 p.m. fussy time
5:15/5:30 p.m. dinner is served
6 p.m. bathtime, lotion, cute pj time
6:30 p.m. - dad takes you downstairs to practice piano and guitar :)
7 p.m. bottle and play/practice walking
7:30 p.m. books and rock and bye baby
11) You are Howie are entering the "get-along" stage. He loves licking your little fingers full of food and you love letting him and giggling.
12) You and Faith are friends. She's good to you but still learning how to treat a baby and you laugh at her jokes but then get mad when she takes a toy away.
13) Unlike your sister, one thing you're not into at this age is cartoons. Faith loved a little Mickey Mouse or Little Einsteins while I would get something accomplished like cooking dinner. She's always had an amazing attention span, but I didn't know it until you wouldn't sit through one book with me or watch a cartoon she was watching for more than one minute. This is a good thing.
14) When we put you to bed at night, it's so nice knowing we are going to get a full night's sleep nowadays. We might have to binkify once a night but that's a rarity. #praisebetheLord
15) You have quite the stink eye if you don't like the taste of something, the look of something or just disapprove in general of what's happening. I'm not sure whether to be concerned or proud.
16) Sometimes you don't notice what makes your child different until you have another one. Faith is Captain Cautious. You are Admiral Adventure! Watching you two play in the sprinklers is like night and day.
17) We've entered the pointing phase. You look at everything from boys to fans to lights to toys and say "baa?" as if you need confirmation. I know you understand so much more than you can say and am excited for more words to come.
18) Favorite toys include babies, lift the flap/touch and feel books, remotes and kitchen utensils.
19) It bears mentioning that you have been crawling since about a week after I published your 9 month post. Go figure. You have a bit of an unorthodox style, with one knee up, but you've gotten good at getting around. You can even stand for a time by yourself, too.
20) If I'm in the room, I better be holding you. I did go through the whole labor and delivery ordeal, so I best be your favorite for at least the first few years. :)
21) When Faith was a baby, I would rock her to sleep and semi-hope it went fast. With you, I know there is only more care-taking to do for her once I put you to bed (denying another bowl of ice cream, fighting to brush teeth, convincing her not to wear a dress to bed). That said, I take my time rocking you to sleep and I try to force my arms to use muscle memory so I can always think back to what it's like to hold a one-year-old as they drift off to dreamland.
22) We found you a new preschool. It was funny because we have super high standards for you and Faith, but we took a last minute tour, came totally unprepared with no questions and had no idea how much it would cost, but it all worked out perfectly. I'm excited for you to start there in the fall!
23) I had the pleasure of having your birthday off work. We had a blast and I hope to make it an annual tradition.
In conclusion, raising you is so much fun. I hope I'm around to see you raise your own babies someday.