What a crazy, exhilarating, exhausting year it’s been!
Audrey is turning one today, and it’s so bittersweet for me. The journey that we’ve been on this year is unforgettable. Audrey has changed me into a better version of myself. I’m more patient, more loving and mentally stronger than ever because of my baby girl.
A year ago she came into this world. She was about as helpless as, well, a newborn baby! Her growth over this past year is something that is hard to even put into words. I guess all parents know the transformation that happens during a baby’s first year, but words can’t adequately describe it; you just have to live it.
People ask me if it’s gone by fast, and I say yes and no. I’ve always said that the days are long but the time goes fast. There are some days that I feel like are dragging on and on, and I’m constantly checking the time to see if it’s naptime soon. But then there are milestones, like 6 months or her first tooth, that sneak up on me and I can’t believe it!
I actually loved babyhood, but in every new phase I say to myself, ‘OK, this is my favorite stage so far,’ and that lasts until the next stage. I’m happy to have this monthly series to look back on and remember the milestones from each month of the most life-changing year of all our lives. It’s been really special and I hope you’ve enjoyed it, too.
With that said, for the last time, here’s what Audrey’s been up to this month:
How old is she: 1 year today!
How big is she: My guess is she’s about 19 lbs and 30 inches. We have her 1-year check-up later this week so I’ll find out for sure. (Check back if you’re really curious 😉 )
Sleeping: I mentioned this before but her sleeping routine has been changing a little. Some days she takes her normal morning and afternoon nap. Other days she’ll skip the morning nap, take an afternoon nap and then go to bed a little early. I’m mourning the morning nap though.
Eating: Her eating isn’t as far along as I’d like it to be but I only have myself to blame. She’s still primarily on bottles with 3 solid meals per day. We’ve been better at feeding her regular food (not baby food) at dinner, but we still do oatmeal for breakfast and baby food for lunch. With her weight issues and her dairy intolerance I’ve been reluctant to force the solid foods on her. Plus, I’m a creature of routine so I have to force myself to get her on more regular food and a normal meal schedule, and to rely less on bottles.
Milestones: Audrey does well at standing and taking steps while holding onto furniture, but she hasn’t started doing them on her own yet. She’s pretty good at feeding herself (when she wants to), and she seems to understand a little better when we use familiar words with her. However, she doesn’t use gestures or sign language to communicate, she still only says mama and not dada, and she laughs hysterically when we say no.
Personality: Audrey is a happy, easy-going baby. She’s curious and loves to explore, and she loves when we chase her around to tackle and tickle her. She’s good at playing by herself but she prefers being with us, so she follows me from room to room during the day.
Best moment this month: I probably should say that celebrating her first Christmas was the best moment over the past month, but honestly, it was rough. We all got sick, we had flight delays and cancellations, and the weather was well below freezing. Because of all that, the best moment over the past month was when we came home. Audrey was able to sleep in her own bed, be in a familiar environment and she was able to get healthy again.
Audrey’s favorite things are: She never really has a favorite thing, to be honest. She loves to play with us, she likes to chase Willie kitty and she likes pulling the books off of her bookcase. Right now she’s all about taking things (toys, dirty clothes, trash, etc.,) out of one place and putting them in another. For instance, she will take all the toys off of the ottoman and put them on the floor, then she’ll pick them up and put them back on top, then pull them off again, over and over.
Any surprises this month: Nothing has really surprised me over the past month, but there have been some changes—like her dropping a nap, being really hungry one day and eating way less the next day, and clinging to me more at home even though she’s also exploring more. So I guess I’d have to say some of the changes to her eating, sleeping and personality have been surprising to me, whereas before she had been a bit more routine.
Looking forward to: Her first birthday is what I’m looking forward to. We’re having a little birthday party for her this weekend. My mother in law and my father are coming for a few days, so we’re looking forward to that.
It’s funny that we reach the end of a year and we’re like, “Whew! I survived that!” When really it’s only the beginning. Still, the first year of life is so important for a baby that to make it through successfully really deserves to be celebrated. Audrey’s first year had so many ups and downs, but it’s brought Dan and I closer, made me a better person and, in some ways, changed my perspective on the world. It’s been a great gift and I’ve loved every step of the way.