I have been so consumed with your birthday that I've neglected to tell you about all that you have been up to! You have six teeth and three more on their way, which is making you pretty uncomfortable at times. You love to eat ice, preferably by fishing it out of someone's water (ahem, diet coke, Daddy) glass, sucking on it for a bit, then letting it back out. You also like to simply put your hand in a glass of water. You will do this, then look around to see who's watching you do this and flash a huge grin. This is primarily a restaurant routine.
You know that ducks say quack. You will sometimes just start quacking while we're walking or playing, sometimes one of us will say quack at you and you say "duck!" and sometimes we'll ask you what a duck says and you'll say "quack!" Sometimes we ask you what a duck says and you say "ahdoy doy dadda nam nam nam" too, though, so it's not like you're too concerned with accuracy. You are big into greeting people with "hi!" and will say it over and over again until they say hi back. If they don't say hi back, you are undeterred. You still love to engage people and are happiest with an adoring audience. It's not that I'm trying in any way to squelch this, but I worry that some day you may overestimate your self importance. And isn't this the dance of parenthood, always-how to I protect which is most innately you and still prepare you for the real world? We have created a world where you are safe and cozy and all of your needs and most of your wants are met, you are surrounded by an adoring audience most of the time and you think that all people are your friends because all the people in your world right now are. But I sometimes lay awake worrying about when I'll have to tell you about wars and violence, about cancer. When you'll come to me with heart shattering sadness and soul crushing disappointment and real pain. About why maybe it's not such a good idea to smile and say "hi!" to everyone you see. You still don't eat very much, quantity-wise, but have a broad palate and enjoy a variety of veggies and meat. You have recently discovered pickles, which delights Daddy and me. You eagerly reach for them, put them in your mouth, make an absolutely awful sour face and go right on eating them. Repeat. It's amazing.
You love books. You love to pick them out off the shelf, bring them to me or Daddy, crawl in our lap and begin to hear the story. You turn the pages rapidly, not letting us get much of the story in, then crawl out of our laps to get another book. Again, repeat. Sometimes you'll cycle through three or five books this way, bringing them all down, handing us one, then another after a few pages of the first. Then back and forth. Your favorite books right now are The Very Busy Spider, Curious George Goes to the Zoo, Peek a Who? and Moo Baa La La La. I suspect this is where you learned that ducks say quack, although you haven't seemed to catch on that cows moo or pigs oink and the books all talk about that, too. Quack is the most fun to say...
You are sleeping about 11 hours a night and napping twice a day, anywhere from 30 minutes to two and a half hours. The usual schedule is wake up between 7 and 8, play for about two hours, then nap. You'll take your second nap about three hours after you wake up from the first. This is not a perfect science and I sometimes screw this all up by having a class right when you'd be sleeping or scheduling a play date anticipating an hour nap and you sleep shorter or longer. You know what, though? It doesn't matter. You always make up the sleep when you need it and we always muddle through. You primarily nap in the Ergo, but occasionally nap in the jogging stroller when I run. You also occasionally throw shit fits in the jogging stroller...sometimes I run three miles out, then walk three miles home with you in the Ergo and sometimes I keep running 8 miles to let you get your full nap in.
This was a cranky day-I only ran 3.71 miles before getting you out of the stroller, as you were in hysterics. You fell asleep in the Ergo shorter thereafter
I realized when my mom was sick that family is one thing and that friends are another. Family can step up or not, but friends are the family you choose. This year has reiterated and reiterated that. Our friends, your aunties Beth and Rachel, Chris and Elissa, are family. They're the family we got lucky enough to meet and, amazingly, they have stuck around. Aunt Rachel is a vegetarian and she made me delicious chicken when you were born; I still vividly remember being ravenous at 3am on your fourth or fifth day, going to the fridge while you slept with Daddy and almost weeping with relief at the plate of chicken and broccoli she had brought me. Aunt Beth lives in another state and she came over and over again to give me acupuncture at home in the immediate post partum weeks and months, which saved my body and my mind. Both of them love you, and are very happy to hang out with us both and yet they both continue to treat me as the same friend I was before being your mama. What a gift.
Aunt Rachel's bachelorette dinner
brand new you and Uncle AJ
Aunt Beth snuggle
celebrating your birthday
And then there's our mama friends. Oh, Sweet Pea, The Mamas!! They have saved my sanity again and again. From Witching Hour Snacks when you were all newborns and screamed every night from 5-7pm to the updated Whine and Wines we now do a few times a month, from the hilarious emails and constant text support....man oh man are we thankful for The Mamas! But the real special thing about these women is the way we all love everyone's babies. Some of them have special nicknames for you: Eliza Belle is one of my faves. While us mamas are hanging out, you babies all play and if someone gets upset, whoever is closet goes in for the comfort. I have snuggled and kissed the keppies of all of these babies and your head has been kissed by all of them.
And now, some of what I'm talking about:
the whole gang celebrating first birthdays, squirming. I so love every person in this photo
the gang at 11ish months
The gang at 5ish months
You and LG 7 months
you and LG 5 months
You have seen all four seasons, my love! Now let's do it again and again and again.