Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Twelve Months

Dear Annelise,

Well, my darling, we've made it!  We have made it through your first year and I seriously cannot believe how fast this time has flown by.  You are a toddler by everyone's standards now.  Some people consider it when you start walking, which you are doing, and some people consider it when you turn one.  I can't believe that I am a mother to a toddler.  It's so surreal to me.  I always pictured myself as a mother to a baby.  It's so hard to imagine you so old.  Please stop growing so fast!!

It's actually so funny that I tell you to slow down growing, because I have pushed you to grow up also. You have been walking since you were about ten and a half months old, but not really consistently until you were eleven months.  I prompted you and worked with you so much to teach you how to walk.  I knew that you would be happier, so I tried so hard to work on teaching you how to do it.  I was right, you are happier now that you can walk.  You have started to walk a lot faster, practically run places.  You get up from the ground without holding on to anything.  You put your feet underneath you, put your butt in the air, get your balance on your feet with your hands still on the ground, and then stand up tall.  It's amazing how fast you've gotten at getting up.
I am so excited because you have started signing!!  I've been signing "milk" to you consistently when you nurse since you were about four months old.  I knew that you would eventually understand what it meant.  It is so cute to watch you squeeze your little hands into fists.  You do it so excitedly.  And, if I don't move fast enough to give you some milk, you just stick your hand down my shirt.  You tell me one way or another.  You have also signed "more".  It's not the proper sign of more, but I know what you mean.  You will either clap, or point one finger of your hand into the other palm.  You also sign "eat", but again, it's not the fully correct sign, but we definitely know what you mean.  You will use one finger to point to your mouth.  "Please" is usually you swiping down the front of your chest.  I am so, so proud of you picking up the signs.  Mommy and Daddy plan on working with you so that you understand them more and use them consistently to tell us what you want.  You are very good with using them when prompted.  "Milk", however, needs no prompting!!! :)

You have sprouted more teeth this month.  You got the other two on the top.  So now, you have four on the top and the middle two on the bottom.  I love, love, love seeing your little toothy grin!  Teething hasn't been too bad with you.  Thank you amber necklace!

We took you to visit the Easter bunny.  I was a little nervous about this trip because you are definitely at a stranger danger phase.  But, you surprised me, and sat on the bunny's lap and didn't cry at all.  We even got an adorable smile out of you.
Mommy and Daddy also took you to the Shedd Aquarium this month.  You really liked to look at all the fish tanks and see the colors.  I think that your favorite thing was the penguins.  You even pointed at them, and you rarely point.  I can't wait to take you to do more fun outings.  This summer is going to be such a blast with all the fun things we can do.

You still continue to eat so well.  Sometimes, I swear that you would eat all day if we let you.  You are definitely your father's daughter, and you LOVE cheese!  You have water with your meals and you love it.  You will even search for your cup to have a drink between meals.  I'm so glad that you like water so much.
I don't think that I've mentioned it in any of your other letters, but you have been taking a Kindermusik class for a couple of months now.  You love going to class.  You love to interact with the other kids, and play with the fun different instruments and sensory activities.  Sometimes you get a little feisty when I try to hold you to do some of the dances.  You just want to run around and play with the other kids.

You are 19 lbs 5 oz (22nd percentile) and 28.5 inches (32nd percentile).  You have grown two and a half inches since your nine month appointment.  That's crazy!!  You are still in a size 3 diaper and 12 month clothing.  Daddy and I have bought you all 18 month stuff for summer, so you'll be moving into that size then!

My girl, I cannot believe that you are a whole year old.  You are so much fun right now.  We have our challenges, and you are trying to exert your independence.  I know that you are learning what you can and can't do.  I know that you won't always be in this stage and that it's something that we need to work through.  All of your fun moments make up for the challenges.  I get so much joy out of hearing you dissolve into a fit of giggles.  I will never stop trying to make you laugh.  I wish that you knew just how much I loved you.  I can't possibly write it here with words.  I can't wait to continue to watch you grow!

Love you forever,

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