Happy Birthday Lewis!
Today you turn 1 year old, although I don’t think you have any concept of it being your birthday or what a birthday is.
We got you a balloon yesterday, as we’ve been promising you all summer that you would have a balloon for your birthday. You love balloons and get super excited every time you see them in the grocery store. We’ve already had your party. Twice, actually. You got some presents from your Aunties and Uncle and Grandma and Grandpa when we were at camp in August, and last weekend we went to Vermont and had some yummy carrot cake and you got your presents from Mommy and Daddy.
You’ve been loving the three new books you got, and like to go get them and bring them to us to read. You love pretty much all books right now which I think is really wonderful. From the time you wake up in the morning to the time we go to bed your day is sprinkled with little quiet times reading to yourself or requesting story time from me and Daddy. Sometimes you ask for a story when it is a little inconvenient, like when I am getting my breakfast or Daddy is getting ready for work or when I am trying to cook dinner, but we try to make time to sit down and spend a few minutes reading a book or two with you. Sometimes you could sit and read ten books and still want more. Sometimes you lose interest half way through a book, even when it is one you picked. That’s ok too. We live in a big amazing world full of interesting things to do and see and play with. Sometimes you just need to go explore something else, or be on the move practicing using all your muscles.
You’ve recently started trying to “jump” which is adorable. You bend your knees and stick your butt out behind you like you are doing squats and bounce up and down. Now that you’ve discovered this you also try to bounce up and down when in your highchair or sitting other places and even when you are nursing which is very silly. You also are a pro at shaking your head “no” but you haven’t quite figured out how to nod “yes” yet. You can’t isolate your head to go up and down so instead you bounce your whole body up and down or sometimes just shake your head “no” when you mean “yes”.
You love to answer questions now and seem to understand what we are asking you about. Daddy has been impressed about how you listen carefully when he asks you something and then stop to think about it before shaking your head “no.” You were playing the animal game on the ipad with him and he was asking you questions about the animals and if you knew how to navigate between pages and such. You also like to shake your head “no” when a question hasn’t been asked but you need to tell us you don’t want something, like when I say it is time for a diaper change or lunch or a nap. You are so busy all the time, you don’t like to quite the fun things you are doing to follow Mommy’s schedule. You’re (almost) always sweet about it though, and your little head shakes just make me smile. I love that you are expressing yourself and communicating so well and that you know what is going on and what you want. Usually if I let you play for a couple more minutes you are then ready to transition over to whatever I think you need to be doing.
Some people get sad when their baby turns a year old, feeling nostalgic for the too-quickly passing days and the tiny dependent little one who is now becoming an independent toddler. I don’t feel that. I love this stage and am only looking forward to the coming weeks and months and years, seeing you grow and learn more and more and become even more independent. In all my working with kids I have always enjoyed toddlers the most and never was that big on taking care of tiny infants. Your first six months or so were the hardest for me because you were so needy of always having Mommy with you, holding you. I have loved you immensely since before you were born, and that love just keeps growing as I see you becoming more and more your own little person. I love that you are happy to wander off into the other room to look at your books or play with toys when I am busy with something. I also love that you can participate more with what I am doing. You love to take a turn scribbling on paper when I am writing or coloring. You also helped me make some pumpkin oat bars last week and even took a turn stirring everything in the bowl.
Your language skills are exploding. You have words for a lot of things, which I blogged about earlier this week. You are also imitating sounds and words more when we say something that you like the sound of. I was cutting tags off your new clothes this weekend and you were interested in what I was doing. I told you I was using the sharp scissors to cut the tags off. You liked the sound of the word “scissors” and started repeating “sizzizzzizzz, szzizzzizz.”
Tomorrow we will go to the doctor for your checkup and immunizations. The shots will hurt but they will be over quickly and then you won’t need any more for at least a few months. I am looking forward to seeing you measured and learning how tall you have grown. I don’t think you’ve gained much weight, since you are so busy all the time running running running, but you have definitely gotten taller!
You nurse all the time, again probably because of what a busy little man you are. You never stop moving, thinking, exploring, doing. I think you nurse nearly as much now as you did when you were a newborn. You still wake me a few times in the night for a quick snack and a snuggle to help settle back to sleep. It is tiring but it’s ok. I love all the chances to sit and unwind and relax with you and take a break from how busy we are the rest of the time. I love being close and snuggly and quiet with you. I think breastfeeding you is one of the things that I will miss as you get older and grow out of it, but that is a long way off. You love it so much, there is no way I think you will be quitting any time soon, so for now I just get to enjoy all that snuggly time. You may be turning one, but you are still my sweet little baby in all the best ways.
This is a long letter because there is so much going on in your little life and I have so much to tell you and so much I want to remember. I love you so much and I am looking forward to everything we will do and learn together in this next year and all the years to come!
❤ Your Mommy