This is it, buddy. We’re in the final stretch of these monthly updates: in just one month you will be a whole year old! Where has the time gone? This month hasn’t seen too many developmental changes, but you are certainly settling more into your personality, preferences, and daily rhythms. And we’ve had plenty of fun adventures!
We kicked off the month with our family Christmas photo session, which doubled as your 1-year photos (even though they were a bit early). You looked so adorable in your tie and button-down shirt, but you sure were stingy with the smiles—you may have the looks, but somehow I don’t see a modeling career in your future!
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and this year this year you’ve given me even more reasons to be thankful! We spent the day with Mommy’s family and you had such a good time climbing the stairs, watching the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Special, and playing with family, especially your great-Oma and your Tía Amairany—she really can make you smile, and you love it when she talks to you in Spanish. You joined us at the table for Thanksgiving dinner, but you were too tired to really enjoy the meal: even though we offered you some of every dish, you spent more time throwing your food than eating it. You were pretty keen on the pumpkin pie and whipped cream, though: it was your first time eating dessert, and I think you decided that you’re a fan.
The day after Thanksgiving we headed up to family camp in the mountains. It was your first time at camp, your first time in the mountains, and your first time seeing it snow! It was such a cold weekend, but we bundled you up in hoodies, jackets, and a snow suit and you seemed pretty unfazed by the icy temperatures. We weren’t sure how you would do away from home, in a totally different environment; I think you missed having space to crawl around, but you were happy being carried/worn around camp and on hikes. You did really well at meal times (although you were too distracted by all the people to eat much), and you had fun in the evenings with your babysitter, Joy. I can’t wait to take you to camp when you’re a bit older and will appreciate it even more, but it was still fun to introduce you to a place that I love so much.
Christmas time has been so much more meaningful and exciting this year, now that we are sharing it with you. Even though you’re too little to know what’s going on, we’ve enjoyed introducing you to Christmas music, reading Christmas books, starting an Advent tradition, and taking you to pick out our Christmas tree. You “helped” us decorate the tree with the Baby’s First Ornaments you received from both sets of grandparents, and I just love seeing the Charlie Brown stocking Grandma made you hanging over our fireplace. Last weekend we took you to see Santa in Downtown Brea. There were zero tears but also zero smiles; as with your trip to the Easter Bunny, it was pretty anticlimactic. Still, I’m glad that you and Santa had your first meeting; I have a feeling you two will develop a good relationship in the coming years.
You are absolutely dominating in the crawling department. It’s so funny to watch you crawl from room to room, inspecting everything that crosses your path. You almost always head to the bird’s cage or the bathroom scale (you like that it lights up when you press on it), but you also frequent the bookcases (so many exciting books that MUST be pulled from the shelves!). You get a kick out of it when we crawl around with you, and you like playing Hide-And-Seek by going into a different room and waiting for us to find you. You also love playing Peek-a-Boo behind the doors (and really, any time: as soon as I say “Where’s Charlie?” you squeal with laughter and look for something to hide behind.) Though you’re not showing much interest in cruising or walking, you like to stand at every chance. You are constantly pulling yourself up on tables, chairs, our legs, the sides of your playpen, and of course Sunny’s cage.
I adore hearing you laugh, and it’s happening more and more these days. Whenever you are really happy about something your face breaks out in that adorable two-toothed grin, you excitedly suck in air through your teeth, and you wave your hands in the air (we call it your “Party Hands” and it’s the most fun when we wave our hands in the air, too). When you’re excited about crawling to somebody or something that’s caught your attention, you suck in a squeal, then raise your hands over your head and “dive” into your crawl. I like to think you’re practicing your salute for your future as a gymnast.
You’re doing fabulously with your self feeding and will try almost any finger food at least once. You’ve grown less interested in puffs as we’ve given you more “real” foods. Bananas are still a favorite but you also love carrots, cheese, and beans.The only food you consistently refuse to eat is eggs (in any form). You’re not a fan of being fed with a spoon, but you also haven’t quite figured out how to use a spoon to feed yourself. You ARE really good at drinking water out of your sippy cup, and you love drinking water. You’re a very intuitive eater; some days you’ll eat an entire plate of food and other days you hardly eat any solids at all. At the end of a meal you let us know that you are finished eating by dropping the food off your tray, piece by piece. I’m looking forward to when you can tells us you’re done eating instead of just making a mess with your food.
We’re still going strong with the breastfeeding, although lately Mom seems to be making more milk than you can handle. Your daytime nursing sessions are extremely short (there are too many other exciting things to see and do!), but you still like to be nursed to sleep, and you nurse throughout the night. Your favorite nighttime nursing position is sprawled out on your belly, forming a sort of bridge across my chest. I have no idea how you eat that way, let alone fall asleep afterwards, but you seem to find it pretty comfortable, and it’s how we spend most of our nights.
I feel like we’re finally starting to turn a corner in the sleep department. You refuse to nap for me in your crib, but most days I’m able to get you to nap in your glider for an hour or more (we’re still working on the timing of those naps but at least they’re happening!). You’ll also doze in your stroller or the carrier on longer walks, and you always fall asleep in the car. Nighttimes continue to be a struggle, though. We’re keeping you up later to have dinner with us, but even with the later bedtime we have trouble getting you down in your crib. Even once you do go down, we have to console you hourly (or more) until we bring you to bed with us when our own bedtime rolls around. Fortunately you are doing so much better once you’re with us: a lot more sleeping and nursing, and less crawling around—until 7:00, which seems to be your natural wake time, regardless of how much sleep you’ve gotten the night before. You crack me up with your various sleeping positions; your favorite is on your belly with your legs curled up beneath you and your little rump in the air. . . always ready to crawl at a second’s notice!
You’ve developed into a very independent player: you prefer it when somebody is down on the floor, playing with you, but you’re really good at entertaining yourself with blocks, books, and other toys. You don’t spend much time with other babies, but you’re always fascinated by the kids we see when we’re out. I enjoy watching you interact with the other babies in the Wiggle Room at church on Sundays: you crawl all over each other, pass toys—and germs—from hands to mouths, and even try to grasp each others’ faces. It’s hard to focus on the sermon when there’s so much cuteness going on!
It’s been fun to see that you’re starting to understand us when we talk to you. You might not listen when we tell you “no,” but you definitely know what it means! You’re still not saying any words of your own, but you babble a lot and make other noises to let us know what’s going on in that head of yours. When people first meet you they think you are a very quiet baby, but once you warm up to a new person or situation you are a little chatterbox.
I was recently struck with the realization that life with you no longer seems novel; it’s just life, and you happen to be part of it. In a way that makes me sad, because it was fun to feel like we were a “new” family. But I’m also thankful that you’ve seamlessly merged into our lives, working your way into our days and our hearts so that we can hardly imagine a time when you weren’t a part of our family. Let’s enjoy this last month of your being a baby. . . toddlerhood will be here before we know it!
Weight: 17.3 pounds (according to our scale at home)
Length: 27 inches (home measurements)
Clothing Size: 6-9 months months
Tooth Count: Three! Two bottom teeth and a top right one that is just starting to poke through (finally!).
Milestone Events: First Time at Camp, First Time Seeing Snow, First Visit to See Santa
Likes: Animals, Crawling Around Our House and Exploring, Eating Finger Foods (especially bananas, corn, and carrots), Standing at Every Chance, Drinking from a Sippy Cup, Peek-a-Boo and Hide-and-Seek, Crawling Races/Chasing, Screens (and Anything That Lights Up), Hanging Upside-down, Sleeping in Your Glider or in Bed with Mom and Dad, Chewing on Everything (especially cords and books), Climbing Stairs
Dislikes: Diaper and Outfit Changes, Sleeping Alone in Your Crib, Loud Startling Noises, Having Your Picture Taken, Waiting to Eat, Having Your Fingers Licked by a Dog, Eating Eggs, Being Fed with a Spoon, Sitting Still, Wearing Socks or Hats