My beautiful, sweet, one year old boy! You have made the last year such a joy. It's difficult to pick out my favorite memories from the past year because every day with you is so much fun, full of surprises and laughter. You have taught me so much this year, including patience and how to have fun emptying the dishwasher (I never thought that would happen). You are my best buddy, always ready to start the day with a smile and end the day with a warm cuddle.
There have been so many new developments since last month. You are constantly on the move and crawling all over the place. You have left no stone left unturned in our apartment. Your favorite go-to items are the dishwasher, the lower drawer in the kitchen island, the bathroom, doors, our bedroom trash can, any item on the coffee table, and your books.
You focus for about 5-10 minutes on a single item and then move on to find the next exciting discovery. You have a fascination with closing and opening doors in particular, and with turning the pages of your board books.
You have learned how to pull up on all of our furniture. You enjoy standing at your activity cube and playing with the bead maze and standing at the coffee table while you play with the TV remote and my computer mouse. You haven't quite figured out how to sit back down, which has led to a number of tumbles and bruises, but you shake it off easily. You have shown little interest in walking, but are very sure on your feet and have good balance. I predict that we have about 3-4 months to go until you are walking.
When I am in the kitchen, you want to be in the kitchen. You bang spoons on the ground or try to climb up my leg (a signal that you want to be held) to see what's going on. Meal time is your favorite time of the day. You kick your little chubby legs in your high chair and squeal with excitement when I bring you a few puffs or cheerios to tide you over until I can prepare your meal. Breakfast is by far your favorite meal of the day and you devour massive bowls of oatmeal with fruit puree almost every morning. You are also so much better at picking up finger foods. You love to feed yourself. Your favorite finger foods are Earth's Best blueberry waffles, toast, banana, avocado, cheerios/puffs, sweet potato chunks, scrambled eggs and cheese. Your face lights up when we open up a package of string cheese. You seem to be a bottomless pit, because you gobble up everything that I put in front of you and often want more. You are like your dad, you enjoy having 3 large meals a day without any snacks.
One of your greatest achievements this month was learning how to drink out of a straw cup. We practiced with baby food pouches first, and once you got the hang of it you never turned back. You love to drink water out of my camelback water bottle, or any glass or water bottle that belongs to mommy or daddy. You are still nursing, but have dropped down to only 3 sessions a day. You barely show any interest in nursing during the day, which is probably a good thing because we are planning to switch you to whole milk gradually during the next month.
Sleep-wise you are doing incredibly well. You wake up on the early side, around 6am, but you typically take 2 longish naps (over an hour) every day. You enjoy being alone in your crib and are often content to hang out in your crib for 30-45 minutes, talking to yourself and picking up every pacifier in your crib (we put 5 in there for you to play with). I had to buy you mesh bumpers because you were throwing your pacifiers out of the crib and crying when you couldn't find them. The bumpers are helping. We also had to lower your crib the whole way because when we got back home after New Years we found you standing up.
You are a very observant little guy and incredibly curious. You often sit back and watch, just taking everything in. You aren't talking yet, but you love to babble and make noises. And you are a huge flirt when you want to be! You stare people down with your big blue eyes and smile at people randomly. You have also become much more social with other babies in the last month or so. Unfortunately, your idea of saying hello is grabbing other childrens' face or hair and pinching, so we need to work on waving or blowing a kiss instead!
We celebrated your first birthday at your Gammy and Po Po's house in New Jersey, and your Meli and Grandy came up from Virginia for the party. Your Uncles Matt and TJ, Becky and Lauren, and your Great Aunt Patty and Great Uncle Tommy also joined in for the celebration.
You were a bit cranky at the beginning, but cheered up considerably once we began opening presents.
You were totally spoiled and received lots of fun new toys, books and clothes. The highlight of the party was when you ate your birthday cake. I made a roasted apple spice sheet cake and you loved it! You started out by taking a smallish bite before proceeding to break off a massive chunk of cake and stuffing it in your mouth. We all had a good laugh watching you enjoy your cake.
It's almost impossible to believe that it has been a whole year since you were born. We have spent every single day of the last year together, only spending a few hours apart from each other during that time. And while I would love to sleep in occasionally, or get out more often, the thought of being apart from you for any longer than a few hours is incomprehensible to me because I would miss you so very much. I have never felt happier, and I have you to thank for it.
You may be bigger and older, but you will always be my baby and your daddy's little Nugget.
Love you always and forever,