On Saturday, July 17, 2010, you turned 11 months old. We celebrated by having a birthday photo session with Amanda from Photography by A. Dennette. You were such an adorable model and had fun posing for the camera. You didn't smile too often as you were a bit hungry because you didn't like anything we gave you for lunch and you were tired because you decided your morning nap was overrated. Despite the lack of smiles, Amanda captured some beautiful shots of you. I think she may have caught your soul.
You are quite vocal and we're pretty sure you've got several words in your vocabulary. This includes: button, door, bye-bye, baby, water, mama, dada and cat. Even if you can't say a lot of things, you definitely seem to have an understanding of what they mean. Before you go to bed, we go around your room and say "Goodnight owl pictures, goodnight lamp, goodnight bird mobile, goodnight frog, goodnight light". You look directly at each of these things, so I know you know what they are. And do you want to know how I'm certain you know? When I say "Goodnight Mama" you turn and look me straight in the eye, smile, and give me a giant hug. The love I feel between us at that moment is infinite.
Sometimes when you're on the floor playing and I say "Do you want some milk?" you'll start whining and climb into my lap.
You're (finally) able to get into a sitting position from your stomach (7/14) and you're beginning to figure out how to pull up. You have been able to pull yourself up from sitting in your crib for a while now, but that was through bracing your legs against the crib rails and pulling straight up. Now you raise your body up while you're on your hands and knees and use your feet to stand yourself up. The day you sat up on your own, I lowered your crib mattress after I caught you trying to pull up in your crib when I came to get you from your nap.
You are tentatively cruising along the outside of the bathtub ... I set you there while I get the water ready for your bath and you make your way over to the soap bottle, which you're fascinated with. So far, this is the only surface you're comfortable creeping along, but I sense you'll be getting more brave sooner than I'm comfortable with.
You've mastered the ability to climb up the small step that leads from the breakfast nook into the kitchen, so we really must get a baby gate soon. (Note to self: Also need to find a new place for the recyclables). Your mobility and speed increases daily, even though you're still crawling on your belly and not on your hands and knees.
I've taught you some very important parlor tricks such as "Gimme Five" and "Bibble bibble bibble". I'm also working on teaching you how to feed me Puffs. You think it's hilarious when I take them out of your hand with my mouth. You turn pages in books at our request (actually, whenever you feel like it).
You still have two teeth on the bottom, and FOUR on top. You're working on cutting another one on the bottom. I was worried that you might start biting me while you nurse, but you typically only bite me on the shoulder when you're tired and getting loopy. You grind your teeth a lot and it makes us cringe, but I know you're only doing it because you're curious about what's going on in your mouth. Just yesterday, you started to explore that curiosity in a new way by sticking out your bottom lip as far as possible - and when you do, I call you Popeye. I'd love to get a picture of this because it's pouty and beyond adorable.
I'm not sure it's possible that you are really 11 months old already and that I'm planning your first birthday party. I look back at old photos of you and wonder when you were so small and how you got so big right before my eyes. I long to go back to the days when depression robbed me of the chance to be in the moment with you and commit to memory all the things that are now hazy in my mind. I can feel the love I have for you bursting forth from within me and it cannot be contained.
You are my heart, you are my everything, you are me, I am you.