You are now eleven months old. Let me tell you, this one surely makes my heart hurt. Just weeks from now, we will be celebrating your birthday as a one year old. I’m trying not to get ahead of myself but it sure feels like it’s creeping up too fast. Every single day you do more and more things to remind me that you are, in fact, growing up before my eyes. This month has been so full of big, big changes. Your personality is shining, you’re starting to express your own ideas, preferences and interests and your temper flares up more often than I can say. You are a spitfire. You rock my world. You hold my heart in those tiny little pudgy hands.
Here’s how you’ve looked this month:
This month has been a big one for you. Most importantly, you’re now a full on official walker. After taking your very first timid steps when you were nine and a half months old, you cooled it for a while but by the days following your ten month birthday you were gaining more and more confidence. Each day you got steadier, faster and more brave until finally, about three weeks ago, you started taking off on your own more often than not and switched from crawling to walking as your preferred mode of transportation. Of course, you also don’t mind being chauffeured around in one of the many toys cars we have on the driveway.
In other big news, this month was the month of teeth. Girlie, you have had a tough go with some of these teeth. From fevers, to sleeplessness, to all around grumpiness. Food strikes. Whining. Clinginess and cuddles. But, finally, all that work has proven to be worth something. On May 15th your second top tooth finally busted through, after sitting at the surface for nearly 6 weeks. I have never seen a tooth take so long to come through. And then, just a few weeks later your third and fourth top teeth came in on May 27 and May 29th. So now you’re sporting six pearly whites and I have to say, those top teeth sure change your looks! Again, another reminder that you are turning into a t…t…t… I can’t say it.
As for sleep, you have become a champion napper (knock on wood!). You nap twice a day. In the morning you go down between 8:30-9 and sleep anywhere from 1-2 hours. In the afternoon, between 1-1:30 for 1.5-3 hours. I’ll take it! The nights have gone up and down due to teeth, but you are typically sleeping from 7pm-6:30/7am with one wake up anywhere between 4-6. It’s not too bad at all! We are still making an excellent team on the nursing front. You nurse 4-5 times a day, depending on how early that first morning feed is. I love those special moments with you. We pushed through the time where everything and anything was more interesting to you than nursing and now you’re back to loving it. You are serious about your milk and so I can nurse you whenever and wherever without having to worry about you being too pokey.
You’re still loving your food, though you went through a bit of a strike while teething. You love avocado, pasta, broccoli, black beans and cottage cheese the most. Oh, and bread. Anything that remotely resembles bread is good for you. You’re still very iffy on fruit so I have to get creative sometimes, but we’re learning. Fruit smoothies every day!
You’re becoming excellent with using signs and figuring out a way to communicate with us. You sign “more” most often and have transferred it to other areas aside from food. You also sign please, thank you and all done but these take a little more prompting from Mama. Whenever you see Nika, you sign puppy and squeal with delight. She is your favourite. As soon as Daddy walks in the door, you start signing puppy because you know he will take you to see her outside. For a while, Puppy was also the sign you used whenever you wanted or were excited about anything but now you use “more” in place of that. You also sign “cup” and “milk” and have started using them unprompted to request a drink. We’ve started to work on help, but of course, it’s much trickier. As far as verbal words, you say “uh oh” , “Dada”, “Mama” (only at select times, on your own terms) and “EB”. As far as I can tell, “EB” is your way of calling to daddy when he’s outside. You stand at the window and yell, “EB! EB! EB!” I wonder where you’ve heard that before?
Some other fun tricks you’ve learned… You sing and dance all day long. Your singing sounds like “Ahhh, ahhh, ahhh” and your dancing mostly involves bouncing around, clapping your hands and kicking your legs. You kick your feet in the tub and when sitting down. You jump. You wash your hands when they’re dirty (wipe them back and forth together). You love to play “go nigh nigh”. You point to your head when asked where you’re head is or when we are getting ready to go outside. I think because you know you need a hat. Similarly, you squeal with delight when you see me pick up my sunglasses. I think because you know it means we’re heading out. You like to carry things around, specifically buckets, and fill them up. You love to comb your hair with Sissy’s comb.
Speaking of Sissy, you love her more than ever. And you have suddenly become her little copy cat. You look and act so proud any time you do something that she does. Like put on her hat, carry her backpack or purse, or fill a bucket with toys. The other day she put shoes on to go outside and when I looked over you had taken a shoe out of the basket and were banging it on your foot. I’ve also caught you with a pair of her undies on your head.
Watching the two of you together is the best gift I’ve been given as a mother. The best. The love you both have for each other is so … complete. Wherever she is, you want to be. Your temper shows itself loud and clear if you look out the window and realize she’s outside and you’re not. Especially if she’s with Daddy. He’s your second favourite.
My sweet, sweet Gwendolyn. My prayer is that you continue to grow up, learn, develop and explore that you know you can do anything. You are brave, you are a climber, you are an adventurous little love. I think you’ll be our dare devil and I hope I can reign in my mama heart enough to let you learn the hard way when it’s needed. You have a sensitive heart. Your feelings get hurt easily. Yet, I also see you learning how to work this to your advantage sometimes when you look to see if anyone is watching before putting on a show about something.
When I look at you, especially in the quiet hours of dawn while we nuzzle in your chair to nurse, I feel a love so strong that it hurts. Often, my breath is taken away when I think of how blessed I am to get to hold you, love you, have you. You are truly a gift to my heart.
I don’t care what anyone says. You might be eleven months old. You might be walking like a pro, chattering up a storm and learning new things each and every day. But all of that aside, there’s one thing I know. You, my Gwenna, you are my baby girl.