Well, here it is. The last monthly post before you are ONE YEAR OLD! That is unreal to me. I remember last year around this time - I was so, so ready to meet you! Actuallly, this day one year ago was the day I became "full term" (37 weeks pregnant) with you. I was pretty much ready to meet you anytime after that point! And now I don't really remember what it really felt like to not have you around.
I always say this, but I think this might be one of my very favorite stages so far. You still have some great baby qualities - like cuddling in our arms, finding your paci and popping it in, and touching my face when I'm nursing you. But, you also have some toddler qualities, too, that make it so much easier and more fun to interact with you.
Ok, so here it is - the big news! YOU ARE A WALKER!! You started getting braver around the beginning/middle of January. You would walk a step or two and then lunge to us. You took up to 4 or 5 steps, but they didn't seem like they were on purpose. But, on Thursday, January 13, you took about 5 steps several times consistently. We caught some of it on video that night. You pretty much took off pretty quickly after that, and now you walk everywhere. Just in the past week or so you've learned to bend down and pick things up (Puffs, balls, books) and stand back up without falling. Your balance amazes me! You've even tried to climb up the bottom stair going up to our third floor. We have baby gates everywhere now it seems! Not to mention the cabinet latches that come along with a mobile baby!
You're not just a walker. You're a talker, too! You're still saying "bye bye" when anybody leaves or if we hang up the phone or if we say it first. Last week you learned the word "ball" and when you hear it you'll go look for one of your balls to play with. You say it pretty clearly and it's so cute. We think you might be starting to say "dog" and you look for Maggie when you hear us say dog or Maggie. You've mimmicked me saying "all done" a few times, and of course you still say "da" when you see Daddy sometimes. Oh, but this morning takes the cake. When you woke up in your crib, I was in your room laying your clothes out. You grinned at me and I walked over to you. You looked at me and said, "Mama", clear as day. You've said it before but never that clearly and never consistently. You said it a bunch this morning and more tonight. It melts my heart every time. I never knew hearing such a little girl say such a little word could make me feel the way I do about you!
You love your Elmo books (and all books in general). The other day I took you with me to Barnes & Noble and you walked straight over to the Elmo display and started pointing at them and talking/laughing. It was priceless! I look forward to all the storytimes we'll have together over the years! You laugh at your Violet dog, you like to "sing" into your cat keyboard, and you love pulling things out of baskets and boxes. I love when you find a toy that's sitting on the back of your crib when you wake up in the morning and press the button to make it sing. And I love it when Daddy or I builds a huge tower of blocks that we're really proud of and you rush over to knock it down.
We took you to the doctor about 3 weeks ago and you weighed 17 pounds, 14 ounces. That was just to check on your ears - which were find and all healed up. Then, two weeks later, we had to go back to the doctor. You were 18 pounds, 11 ounces! Holy cow! I guess all this "big girl" food is helping you pack on the pounds. This month you've started eating steamed peas and carrots, small bites of turkey, ham, and American cheese, toddler-friendly granola bars, fruit cups, macaroni and cheese (only as a special little treat), cooked pasta with some pizza sauce and parmesan cheese, Toddler ravioli, pancakes, mashed potatoes with chicken, and probably more off our plate that I'm forgetting. You're pretty much over baby food, unless we offer you banana mango, which you still want badly enough to let us feed it to you! You LOVE to feed Maggie from your high chair, and you let her lick your fingers until we catch you and make you stop. I can see now that you two are going to be quite a pair! You're still nursing 3 times a day and taking 1 bottle at Mrs. Kate's. You've also mastered the sippy cups with the straws and drink quite a bit of water and/or very watered down juice most days. I'm hopeful you'll start taking your milk by sippy cup around your birthday, which I'm hoping will coincide with the weaning process that we'll begin pretty soon. That's a little bit sad for me, but I know that it's just another part of your growing-up process.
So, I mentioned our second doctor visit of the month. This one came when I fell on the ice while walking you up to Mrs. Kate's house one morning. You hit your head on the pavement, so we took you in just to make sure you were okay - which you were. It never really even bruised or got too big of a bump, so we think maybe you hit on your bottom first and then just fell backward. I'm pretty sure it was more traumatizing for me than for you after you got over the initial shock and fear. It was a scary day for us, but we're so thankful that you never missed a beat!
You're still wearing mostly 9 month clothes, but some of your 6-9 month pants are too short now. You look adorable in anything and I notice lots of strangers whispering when we take you out to the store. I can't blame them - your sweet little smile and voice are the sweetest things! You got your first "big girl" haircut this month, where we even cut the back and sides a little bit. I think it made you look more grown up - but also much less shaggy!
Your eyes and your smile and infectious, Brenna. I prayed a lot before you were born that you would have a fun and loving personality - and my prayers have been answered a million times over. Your giggle is my favorite sound, and I'm lucky that I get to hear it many times daily. You will let almost anyone hold you, and love to show off your smiles to them, too. If I could have designed the most perfect baby for our family, I couldn't have come close to all the wonderful things we're discovering about you. It's hard to come to terms with the fact that your first year of life is almost over - but the memories we've made and the bond that we've formed will always have a special place in my heart. Here's to the last 28 days of your first year - may they be filled with health, giggles, new adventures, discoveries, kisses, cuddles, and lots and lots of love!
I love you, my little (but growing up!) Sprout!