Monday, August 30, 2010

One Year Letter

Dear Mungee,

On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, you turned one year old!  To sound totally cliche, the last year went by in the blink of an eye. I can't believe you've gone from a helpless 8 pound newborn to a very mobile 19 pound toddler.  

You now have three distinct crawling styles, that you've started to use in combination.  You mostly utilize the pull and scooch method, which consists of you dragging your body along with your arms, belly on the floor, pushing off with your right foot and kicking your left foot (for effect?)   This was your original tried and true method.  You also have started to utilize the army crawl, alternating arms and knees, but still on your belly.  Every once in a while, you'll crawl like a big girl.

You can now sit up by yourself with ease, pull up like a champ, and will creep along the edge of furniture, but you are not standing unassisted yet.  You will hold our hands and walk, but you're still very unsteady.  I don't think we're in a hurry for you to walk, as exciting as it will be.  Baby gates have yet to be installed, but they really need to be soon, as you are a big fan of making your way into the kitchen and opening the cabinets.  Cabinet latch installation is also on the must-do list.

You are so vocal, always babbling and often repeating words.  You say the following without prompting: Hi, button, owl, uh oh.  You will repeat many other words when we ask you to, such as: picture (pic-shuh), turtle, water, horsie, baby, circle (cuhl), freckle (also cuhl).  The other day I told you "No" and a few moments after that, when I asked you a question, I am pretty sure you said "No".  I was definitely taken aback.

You just started playing along with "How big is Mungee?  Soooo big!"  You raise your arms high in the air and scrunch up your face so it looks like you have a double chin.

You will give hugs and kisses when requested (when you feel like it).  You look around the room when I ask you where something in particular is located.  You can "gimme five".  You love to play "Where's Mungee?" by putting your hands up over your eyes.  The funny thing is when you open up your fingers to create slits so you can see us through your hands.

You have SO MANY TOYS!  One of your favorites is your house that Bebe gave you for your birthday.  You love to ring the doorbell, press the buttons on the radio and crawl back and forth through the door.  If I peek through one side of the door and you're on the other side you'll open the door and invite me in.

You're starting to throw tantrums here and there when we take away something you want, aren't paying enough attention to you or are not feeding you fast enough.  When I took your bowl away the other day, this resulted:

You are trying to learn how to feed yourself, and you're always grabbing your spoon out of our hands.  I usually give you your own spoon to practice.  This is typically what you look like after every meal:

I'd like to move on from feeding you jarred foods and give you food that you can pick up and feed yourself, but you're so used to eating jarred meals that you will only pick at other foods that I put on your tray.  To make sure you're getting enough to eat, I'm still feeding you at least 5-6 jars of food a day.  You regularly eat Cheerios, Veggie Straws, and bananas.  You've also eaten broccoli, sweet potatoes, pancakes, noodles, green beans, watermelon, bread, chicken, pita, bagel and you tried scrambled eggs for the first time this past weekend.  We're still very cautious about giving you too many new foods at once because of your eczema and potential allergies.

You tried whole milk about a week after you turned one.  You are not a fan.  At all.  We put the milk in the same sippy cup you use for water so you instinctively took a few sips, then realized it wasn't water and rejected the rest.  Weaning may be put on hold until you decide to like cow's milk.  At least this incident didn't turn you off from using the sippy cup completely.

You constantly suck your thumb.  And only your right thumb.  You suck your thumb so much that you have what Dr. T calls "sucking blisters".  I'm in no hurry to break you of this habit, since you take great comfort in it, but I hope it doesn't cost us in expensive dental work down the road.

You bite.  When you're overtired and hyper, you will hug me tight and then try to take a chunk out of my shoulder.  You also bite our noses.  If I tell you "no biting", you laugh a maniacal laugh and go after me again.  This is not fun.

You wake up around 6:45 a.m., nurse, have breakfast at 8 a.m. and take your first nap around 9 a.m.  Lately this nap has only been lasting an hour and I wonder if you're going to give it up soon.  Lunch is at noon or noon-thirty.  Your second nap is around 2 p.m.  You go to sleep around 7 p.m.  On a good night, you'll fall asleep nursing and won't wake up when I put you in your crib.  On an even better night, you will fall asleep on your own after I put you down and sleep through the entire night.  I feel so proud (and relieved) when you nap and sleep well because it's something we struggled with for such a long time.

I thought that we would enroll you in school when you turned one, but we didn't for a few reasons.  You are not walking, which is a requirement to begin, and it's extremely expensive.  I also don't think you're developmentally ready, as you would likely be the youngest baby in your class.  In the classrooms, the babies sit at very low tables in regular chairs and are expected to feed themselves!  They only take one nap a day, on mats.  Maybe I'm not giving you enough credit, but I don't think I'd you'd adapt well to such a shake up in your routine.

Since we're not in a hurry to enroll you in school, it looks like I will be staying home with you longer than the first year, as we had originally planned.  I look forward to the weather cooling down, resuming our daily walks and getting outside to parks and playgrounds.  Sometimes I get bored, feeling like we're bound to the house by your nap schedule, and I am sure you do to. 

I am probably biased, but I really think you are the sweetest, funniest, cutest and most beautiful baby I know.  You are always in my heart and on my mind.

Love, Mama

Outtakes:

That silver string in her mouth?  Not string.  Drool.
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