Mom Hack: My sister made me a photo book of Adeline looking back over the past year. She added family pictures of all of us together and Adeline loves it! 100% this has helped her identify herself and remember family members that can’t be physically present due to covid.
Tip: A thick board book is the best option because your baby will destroy it eventually.
Every few months, I write my daughter a little love letter sharing her growth and baby developmental milestones. I am quite the sentimentalist so one day, I want her and me to look back at all the cute things she did. Here is the latest letter, hope you enjoy it, can relate and this inspires you to write to your little one too.
So much has happened since you turned one! Your birthday passed, and then wham, you slammed on the gas and went flying through all your developmental milestones like a bat outta hell.
I barely recognize you, either that, or I am just meeting the real you for the first time. I think it’s the latter because you are truly a little person with a big personality. You talk to everyone and are a total chatterbox. You love to climb and explore, and you understand so much. You are assertive, stubborn and a sweetheart who always wakes up with a smile on your face ready to take on the day.
You have your Dad's intensity and you scrutinize everything. You have my love for reading, dancing, and socializing, and even though everyone says you look more like your Dad, you have more of my personality (thank Gawd ;)!
Watching you grow is the most incredible experience and here is the 411 on your latest endeavors.
YOU LOVE TO SOCIALIZE WITH BABIES & KIDS! A few months ago, if you were around another baby, you weren't interested. You were content to explore the world as a contemplative observer. You would look at your hands, chew on books, and marvel at the world on your own. Now, you want to interact with everything and everyone. You march straight up to other babies and start speaking as if you are telling them all about your day, and asking them to tell you about theirs. You love to blow kisses when you say goodbye, or as a hello to strangers that salute you, and you are definitely not shy.
YOU STARTED DAYCARE & YOU HAVE NO PROBLEM BEING APART FROM US I reached a place where, despite COVID, I finally felt comfortable leaving you for an extended period of time (call me a helicopter mom, or whatever, but I missed you and couldn’t fathom leaving you with anyone else for more than a few hours). Ultimately, something just clicked, I was ready for some more me time and I felt like I couldn’t entertain you 24/7 anymore. I realized that the benefits of a structured learning/play environment and felt that your socializing outweighed the risk of getting covid. I felt that daycare would catapult your development to new levels, and it did! Plus, it gave me a much-needed break without feeling too much mom guilt. I had no clue how much I craved that free time, and now I can't imagine going without it. I did a lot of research and found a daycare that was perfect for you (and me) and if you want to read more about how I chose a daycare, check out my blog post here.
YOU ARE WALKING This is the big one that everyone has been waiting for, and now you are officially a toddler. I know that it is not a coincidence you began to walk so soon after you started daycare, as I am convinced that you saw what the other babies could do and thought to yourself, "Hey, I can do that too." You took your first steps at exactly 13 months and 5 days, and within 24 hours, you had the hang of it and have been wobbling around the house ever since. Fast forward a few weeks and dang, you are fast, if I turn my back for a second you are already halfway across the room.
YOUR DEXTERITY HAS IMPROVED DRAMATICALLY You know your body parts' subtle differences and can point to them without missing a beat. You recognize the difference between your ear & your eye, your mouth vs. teeth, and head vs. hair. You can even differentiate between "eye" and "hi" despite how similar they sound. You love my headbands and place them on your head like a crown. You haven't managed to put on socks, but that's a challenging feat ;), which I know you will celebrate when you do. Your fave songs are Head & Shoulders and the Itsy Bitsy Spider. For the most part, you can manage a few hand gestures that go along with them. Your Dad has taught you one of his favorite tricks, which is the Wakanda Forever salute, and it entertains us to no end.
YOU KISS & CUDDLE. This is by far the BEST milestone ever and a perfect reminder of why being a parent is worth it. Every time you kiss your Dad and me, it melts my heart (especially when it’s unprompted). If I ask you, "Can mommy have a hug or kiss," you do it. Since my husband is not exactly the best at cuddling, I relish the fact that you are (sorry to call you out on this Hubs, but you know it's true). You can be a bit slobbery at times but what’s a little saliva between loved ones. Although, last week the daycare teacher told us that you kissed a boy! You walked over to Wes, an 18-month old kid, and kissed him. Wtf, this is the last thing we needed in the middle of a pandemic, but now we know your type (older kids with curly hair, and since Wes is adorable, it's clear that you know how to pick 'em). Your Dad is not impressed and immediately started hating on this poor kid for being a thumb-sucker.
So there we have it, it has been an adventurous few months of go-go-go, and now it makes sense why you are sleeping so much better and can fall asleep in the funniest of places. Your energy expenditure is through the roof. I can honestly say this has been the best few months of exploration and fun since you were born.
I love you, my sweet little girl!
For all those moms out there, I genuinely feel like it does get easier; the newborn phase filled with sleep-deprivation and 100% codependence has settled down, I still have to keep my eye on her all the time, but I worry less about random injuries like SIDS and choking on things she may pick up. The decreased stress and her new-found identity make me fall in love with her all over again.
I would love to hear what your baby is up to right now. Please share!