Hi Darlin! You have come a long way in 365 days. You are a full on one year old. You're active as ever, and always mischievous. You charm the pants off everyone you meet with your big smile, bright eyes, and happy spirit. You are funny as all get out and enjoy direct interaction, but have gotten very good at entertaining yourself. Your brother is still your favorite person, though, half the time he can be not very fond of you. Growing pains are hard to get through, I suppose. But when he wants to be around you, he's all about you. Now that you are pick up-able, he is loving it. He moves and walks you all over the house. The accidental bump and fall has happened, but over all, he digs taking a bit of responsibility for you.
You eat a wide variety of foods, and as long as they are chopped up well, you eat them with ferver. You even like olives! Chicken is always a welcome food on your plate, but you still love fruits over veggies. Spaghetti is a messy favorite as well. You are almost fully weaned off of breastmilk, only requiring one nursing a night, when you wake up. The cuddles are so sweet though. You are full on, on cow's milk at the moment. I have to admit though, it does some weird stuff to your poop if you drink too much of it.
You love swimming and water! Anytime is a good time for swimming by your opinion, and you get a big kick out of dunking your face underwater. You drink from the flowing tap in bath tubs or sinks, too. Splash pads are always fun, and you enjoy sprinklers as well.
You're very easy to put to bed these days, too. You've never been a fan of getting lulled to sleep initially, only upon middle of the night wake ups; so to be able to put you down and walk away, while bittersweet, is rather nice.
We have found a great rhythm to our days together as a family unit. You finally nap! On a schedule! You tend to fall asleep in the car coming home from playdates, but instead of waking up upon getting home and staying awake, I can move you from the car to your crib, and you sleep a good couple hours more. You require a lot of activity to get you this way though. You are one busy little monkey!
You reach for doorknobs already. You open cabinets. You chew on electrical wires. You undo boxes of things that I thought I put away and out of your reach. You pull things off of tables taller than you. You always want to explore and be into the next available thing to be into right away. You are Johnny Danger and love every heart attack inducing moment of it. You recently climbed into a baby swing backwards and proceeded to rock yourself into a tizzy. I swore you were going to fall right out any moment, but you showed superb balance!
You are almost walking. You have taken a couple of independent steps here and there, but nothing solid yet. You grab furniture and walls and cruise through the house with no problems. You're fastest mode is still crawling, and you love being chased while doing so. All it takes is one "I'm gonna get you!" and you take off in the opposite direction, squealing in delight. You like to run around the house and see if you can find me if I've suddenly gone missing out of your universe.
You have finally figured out the ball drop toy that I got for you (ball goes in the top, spirals down, you chase ball, and repeat). I was delighted! You also live for pushing buttons and making things do something. You love musical instruments, especially the guitar, just because of the instant cause and effect.
You can now be left behind to be cared for fairly easily by other people. You don't like overnights in strange places as of yet, but as long as there are people you trust around, you make it through. You had your first overnight with Gigi and Papa last month, and you did surprisingly well. You woke up terrified at first, but Gigi was immensely helpful and calmed you down so you could finally drift back off to sleep. You have yet to go anywhere else, but we'll see. You definitely like your crib, your room, your blanket, your environment to sleep in.
We recently took a trip to Pennsylvania with you, Gavin, Gigi, Papa, Mom Mom and myself to see where our family started. It was a long road trip, with each day having a portion of it spent in the car. You got to meet a lot of relatives, including your Great-Great Aunts Millie and Charlotte, your second cousins John and Joey Edwards, and second cousin George Compton. We got to see special places for our family, like where your Great Grandmother and her family grew up, where she and her husband met (the very spot!), and the various townships and our family calls/ed home. It was a wonderful trip, and the weather was fantastic. We got to see deer every morning before we left on our adventures! We also got to see chipmunks! You got to swim in the very same lake that your Great Grandmother, and Grandmother spent their childhoods swimming in. It was a very special time for all of us. The trip home, not so much. It got bad enough that you would cry upon waking in your car seat and having to get back in your car seat. You did that for a couple days after we got home, too. It was rough on your little body. I was so proud of you and Gavin both through the trip though. I couldn't have asked for better behaved children on such a long journey.
Your verbal skills are increasing, but nothing that resembles a true word yet. You have gestures and syllables for what you need, but mostly, I can somewhat predict what you are needing simply by what time of day it is, or what you are reaching for/looking at. It'll all come in time. You can say mama, but only rarely. You have said "hey" to me a couple times. You still say naynaynaynay for milk. Your facial expressions are more often than not, a lot more reliable than your verbage.
It was not until this past month that you really felt like a one year old to me. I said that before you were born, you were confident and strong. My intuition was very right. You have proven to be that and more. You are incredible. This first year has been such a journey in getting to know you, figuring out how to manage this new definition of family, redefining myself and my personal goals, loving your Daddy as he works hard for us, and raising good people. My family, as always is my joy. You are such a brilliant light. Forever shine, my love. Happy Birthday.