1 Year

 

You are actually 13months old now.

Truth is I had a hard time making myself believe it could actually be time to talk about you being One.

The above combo shows you one week old and one year old. I have had this photo vision ever since I took that first photo of you 12months ago.

There is one word to describe what is is like to be the mother of a one year old…”incredible.”

The fact that your dad and I helped you survive a whole year arms me with ammunition for the years ahead of us. I KNOW we can do it.

We had a super fun birthday party for you with homemade ice cream and all of your favorite people. Everyone wants a little piece of the Super Nova.

WALKING!

Yes you are. You took your first few steps a few weeks before your birthday and then just this last Thursday you went from majority crawling to majority walking.

You are so brilliant! How did you figure it out? How do you figure anything out? You observe, remember and act. It’s so inspiring. You don’t sit around thinking, “I could never do that, looks way too hard…” You just try and try again and keep trying until you’ve mastered it. Never feeling like you aren’t good enough. Never feeling like a failure. And why would you? Everyday you conquer something new. Lesson learned for your Mama.

You have so much energy.  You want to be moving all the time now.

You have also found your voice. By that I guess I mean your sound. Girl, you can be loud REAL loud when you want to. Laughing, crying, asking, complaining…and the other day you sat facing the window letting out rebel yells for no apparent reason. Not upset…just testing out the vocal chords.

I love love love seeing your strong will come out. You know what you want and when you want it. And you have figured out a way to ask for it.

These monthly updates used to be filled with so much simple talk…and now I feel like I need to explain scientific equations in order to express all of the intricite details of your mind.

You are full of wonder and questions and feelings. You are full. You could never be empty.

I think the reason you are so happy is because you are so full.

Even while your teeth come in and you fall and experience frustrations for the first time, you are still full of joy. Your eyes tell me this.

How does a 1yr old know exactlly what she wants?

When you wake up from a nap and we go and pick you up out of your crib you immediately start pointing and telling us about all the things you have been looking at in your room. Favorites include, the framed picture of Dad as a baby, your teething gel tubes, photos of you and mom and of course your mobile. You love your mobile.

I also love how you have to pick up your pink blanket and bunny from the crib before you will leave it. Leave no one behind act.

Speaking of sleeping, a couple weeks before your birthday you started sleeping through the night. On your own. No sleep training. No crying for hours alone in your crib. You were just ready. You didn’t want to be held to sleep anymore. I feed you before bedtimes and then we lay you down in your crib. You fuss for a few minutes but then settle into dreamland for a good 11-12hrs. Our backs and sore necks are starting to feel better from 12months of holding and rocking and loving you to sleep. I know I should be super crazy excited about sleeping so long every night now…but the truth is, I miss you. I wanted you to sleep with us for so much longer.

Because of this new sleeping arrangement I experience a lot less anxiety about bedtime. I can actually relax at nights now.

Your cute hair hangs down in your eyes and I am constantly sweeping your bangs off your forehead.

You are definitely a social laugher. If anyone laughs it’s your cue to join in.

You are so silly! You love to tell us jokes with your food and your faces and your silly tricks. And then laugh at yourself and egg us on with playful head tilts and big belly smiles.

I am starting to see so much more of me in you. The will and the big wide smile. The opinions and the jokes.

I am also starting to see so much more of your independence from me and your Dad. At the park you will walk super far away from us without turning around, asking if it’s OK to venture further.

You are confident and strong. This is all I want I for you.

Still our little bean weighing in at a whopping 19lbs for your 1yr checkup.

I think you burn off all your calories by trying to climb everything in site. The blue chair in the corner, the couch, the beds…we have even found you standing on top of your tables and toys! Not safe! (But impressive nonetheless).

Your arm strength is amazing.

The arm strength coupled with the fiesty spirit has landed a couple whacks on my face..but the second we say “soft” you start gently stroking me.

Time to eat with Mom means pulling down or up my shirt or generally attacking me anywhere on my body. GIVE ME MY MILK. Then you transform into my little calm, simple baby. The only thoughts while you are nursing are, “milk is my favorite, this is comfortable…and why is Mom staring at me?” Sometimes you will pull your blanket over your head for privacy. Sorry for interrupting Novs! Let me know when I can have my body back! (never I hope).

You mimic the sound of birds and dogs and will randomly wander around the house yelling for “Graa” or “Daa”! I wonder where you learned that?

Nothing makes you giggle more than being chased.

Kisses!! You give kisses on demand now. Especially while we are all cuddling in bed together in the morning. Sometimes I get 10 slobbery open mouth kisses in a row! I can’t tell you how much I adore those kisses.

Novs, noodle, nuh nuh, pickle, nutty’s, zuzus..and of course nutz.

Dance parties anytime music is playing. We got to get you a fake ID so you can go clubbing.

Sometimes when we’re eating you like to wag your head back and forth like you’re rocking out and having the time of your life.  But, actually, not just when you’re eating, you like to do this with a huge grin whenever you’re high on life.

You are still kind of a picky eater with solids but you eat just about everything. We don’t eat a lot of animal flesh so you have had any of that yet. Strawberries are a new favorite and pasta of any kind is still in first place. Oh, and you love curry!

You like to always be holding something in at least one of your hands. Or your mouth. Lately you have taken to walking around with the teething gel tube between your teeth like you are a wild animal.

In your first year you have travelled to Arizona, Utah, Las Vegas, Maui, Boston, New Orleans, Australia, New Zealand and New York City. Sorry you won’t remember any of that. Just know it was really awesome and really exhausting.

You are not afraid of change.  Sure, you like your routines for bedtime and feeding but you love new adventures.

You barely even shrug if a big mean scary dog barks at you. You just assume everyone and everything is friendly and means well.

Your dad and I left you overnight for the first time with Grandma Nancy and Grandpa Hugh. We stayed a night in Laguna Beach celebrating our 3rd anniversary. I typed out a 2 page document detailing how you like life. We were gone a total of 19hrs. The first few were rough but after I knew you had slept all the way through the night (and the fact that you were only 20mins away) I was able enjoy some alone time with Dad. Thanks for letting us do that.

So I guess it is time to start another year with you. Time for you to become a toddler. Time for you to learn more words and express your thoughts more clearly than you already do. Time to box away some of your baby clothes and buy you more shoes. Time to celebrate our first year with you…but more important than that look forward to all the years we have ahead of us together. All the growing and changing and loving deeper and better. We get the chance for all of that.

My promise to you is to try my hardest to make the most of everyday with you. Even the boring days when laundry has to be washed and computer time has to be had. I promise to try my hardest to never take you for granted. To never forget your dependence on me and my dependence on you. I promise to keep my end of the bargain when you choose me for your Mom. I promise I will make a lot of mistakes. I promise to forgive you if you’ll forgive me. I promise to tell you everyday I can how much I love and adore you. To squeeze you and kiss you and tell you why I am so happy to have you.

I promise to keep taking photos of you, post more videos of you and take time away from cameras to just be in the moment with you.

I promise to let you be whatever you are.. not wishing you were anything else…just wanting you to be you. 100% you. With the fullness and the joy and the loud opinions and the big toothy grin.

I promise to even laugh at your jokes once you have enough words to tell them.

Happy first year baby girl. I am so proud of you.

xxoo- Mom

 

Jen Hurst - SO cute. Hard to believe how fast a year goes by. I hate it. But so much fun. She is adorable. XOMarch 21, 2012 – 9:17 am

Jen O - Love those pics. Such a beautiful recap of your daughter at one year. She is one blessed little girl to have you as her mama.March 21, 2012 – 10:11 am

kristin brown - rachel, those photos are gorgeous. they kind of made me want to cry. i’m so nervous about becoming a mom, but for some reason, they way you talk about it makes me feel better. :) March 21, 2012 – 11:26 am

Amy - Wow! Those photos are amazing. She is just so gorgeous! xo AmyMarch 23, 2012 – 5:08 pm

Nikki - Awesome, Rach. And Priceless. Just like you. Just like Nova. Just like that first year. Love you.March 27, 2012 – 3:50 pm

Megan Evans - Hi Rachel. I was just looking at the photos that Yan took of you and your gorgeous family. I was wondering if you still shoot with a Canon. I saw in your FAQ’s that you do but they were written in 2009. Thanks so much! Your work is incredible.

MeganApril 3, 2012 – 12:03 pm

Julie - What a sweet little girl you have! Looking around at your beautiful pictures… you are so talented!!!April 3, 2012 – 9:07 pm