You turned 13 months old just over a week ago. Your 13 month birthday came and went with little fanfare since it just happened to fall the day after we buried your Great Grandfather “Papop”. Since our last minute trip to Louisiana, I haven’t had any free time to sit down and write your monthly letter so I’m going to try to do this as quickly as possible just so I can have something to look back on years from now.
It seems there is something magical about that 1st birthday. Until the day you turned one you were still my little baby. Now you’re suddenly a big girl – one that walks, and talks, and wants to feed yourself without any help. It’s all going by so fast that I can barely keep up. At your one year wellness check you were 31 1/4 inches tall and weighed 22 lbs 11 oz. It seems that nearly every day you have outgrown another outfit or pair of shoes.
A little over two weeks ago you stopped nursing. We had been weaning gradually, but it didn’t seem you really wanted to let go quite yet of your special time with Mama. You finally went about three days without it, then had a bad night where I sat up with you for over an hour before finally giving in and letting you nurse. After that you never really tried again. Sometimes you stick your hand down the front of my shirt (and if I dare try to remove it you let me know that is not acceptable) which seems to give you some kind of comfort. I’m sure it looks a little odd when we’re out in public, but as long as it is just a transitional thing for you I don’t mind so much. I have to admit I was a little sad yesterday when I packed away my breast pump and supplies for good. I miss it because it was our special uninteruppted time together, but at the same time I am enjoying seeing you become more independent. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t enjoying having my body to myself again too. The next stop is trying to break you from the bottles. I’m willing to give you some time on that though. The bottles still allow me to get some snuggle time in.
The only complaint I have (and really it’s only a half complaint because I don’t really mind it so much) is that you have suddenly become extremely clingy. I’m not sure if it is related to the nursing situation or just a developmental thing but you want Mama nearly all the time. When you’re in a clingy mood you will not let me put you down at all. On very rare occasions you will allow your Daddy to hold you for short periods of time, but then it is back to me. You actually cried at day care drop off a couple of times lately, which is very unusual for you because you LOVE day care (most of the time you would rather stay there than go home with me). The trip to Louisiana seemed to make the clinginess even worse. You were pretty much attached to my hip the entire time. You did eventually warm up to Granny and Papa and would get down in the floor to go play but if anyone else tried to talk to you you would latch back on to me and hide your face. That right there is part of your Mama’s personality and I really hope you are able to outgrow it because when you’re an adult you aren’t allowed to do that anymore.
You are talking more and more (when we’re at home and you aren’t being shy) and I just love listening to you. It is obvious that you are putting meaning into the words you say now instead of just repeating sounds. Just in the last couple of weeks you have started using “yes” (which is usually with a quick nod) and “no” (though it sounds more like “nah”) when I ask you a question. Sometimes you even shake your head and say “nah, nah, nah” when you get caught doing something you know you aren’t supposed to be doing. It’s so cute it makes me laugh even when I’m trying to scold you. You also say “up” when you want to be picked up or want up in your high chair to eat. Last week when I was trying to get your brother up in the morning, you patted him and said “up, up, up” until he uncovered his head and looked at you. You also say “down” when I’m holding you sometimes because you just want to be on the floor where you can play.
You are getting better and better at walking. You really want to be able to run and keep up with the big kids, but you still stumble now and then. I have noticed in the last few days that you have been able to stand yourself back up without holding on to anything though. Before long I imagine you and your brother will be racing each other through the house and I’ll be yelling at you to slow down just as I do to him.
As each month passes, I watch you and your brother get closer and closer. I love standing outside the door in the morning listening to the two of you giggle and talk together before I come in to get you up. You are starting to play together more and even though you steal his toys and frustrate him, Zach loves playing with you. I see signs of that protective big brother coming out in him and it makes me so proud. Even though he doesn’t like to admit it all the time, his actions show just how much he loves you. And that huge grin you get on your face when he talks to you? It shows just how much you love him too. It makes my heart dance with joy. I know there will come a time when the two of you fight like cats and dogs so I’m trying to soak up every ounce of love I can get now.
I am just so very proud of you and all the things you are learning. I love watching your personality develop as you get to be more independent. Even though you look more and more like your dad as you get older, you seem to get your personality more from me. It’s almost like looking into a little tiny mirror some days, which is both amazing and terrifying.
I love you with all of my heart.