My Darling Gwendolyn,
I can’t believe it’s been a full year since you were born. After a relatively easy labour, you were born at home, on Mommy and Daddy’s bed, and weighed 5lb 15oz and were 19.5 inches long – a tiny girl!
It is amazing to look back at how much you have changed this first year of life. You have gone from a helpless newborn to a vibrant and energetic little girl who keeps me on my toes all day! Although your naps were short and infrequent as a newborn (and always taken in my arms!), when you were around 8 months old, you began to take two naps a day, sleeping for normally around 1.5 – 2 hours in the morning and another 45 minutes – 1 hour in the afternoon. The past week or so, Daddy and I have realized you don’t need quite that much sleep during the day and we’ve been working on transitioning to one afternoon nap. We spend our days together going for walks, buying groceries, playing at the park with all our friends, attending Baby Time at the Locke Street Library, reading board books, and playing with your toys. More often than not, I’m wearing you in the sling or mei tai, although I do take the stroller when we go to the park to carry all your stuff! While I make dinner, you love to pull all our plastic containers out of the cabinet and bang measuring spoons and cups. You love pulling up on my legs while I’m busy cooking and I often burst into frustrated laughter since I can’t move anywhere with you holding onto me!
You continue to nurse often during the day and we both enjoy these quiet times spent together. One of my favourite times is when you nurse during the late afternoon, as you enjoying staying latched on for quite a while and I can often get a smile and giggle out of you. It’s so nice to be snuggled up to you so often during the day when you don’t want to be held so much at other times. I don’t count how many times you nurse throughout the day, but I would guess that you’re nursing at least 7 or 8 times – including overnight, when you nurse twice or three times. Nighttime sleep is still a luxury for Mommy and Daddy – you wake up quite frequently but we are coping! You start the night off in your crib after a sometimes easy, sometimes difficult bedtime, but come into bed with us in the wee hours. We nurse and snuggle until you wake up for the day, which is anytime between 6:30 and 7:30 right now. Both Daddy and I love waking up to you in the morning – you sit up in bed smiling and chatter away to us for a few moments before crawling around and pulling up on the headboard and siderail. You also enjoy poking us, slapping our tummies, and drooling on us It literally seems like you are never still.
You love the foods you love! Your favourites are cheese, yogurt, avocado, pears, kiwi, and blueberries. You are still eating baby oatmeal, but also enjoy breads, pasta, pitas, and whole wheat crackers. We have as yet been unsuccessful at coaxing you to eat any meat but you have, on occasion, eaten a few veggies. We continue to offer you whatever Mommy and Daddy are eating in the hopes that soon you’ll enjoy a wide variety of foods like we do.
The past few weeks, you’ve been babbling up a storm and, to my utter delight, have realized that “MumMumMum” means Mama! You often crawl toward me saying “MumMumMum” and reach up for me to take you into my arms. It’s very rare that I won’t indulge you! In the past week or so, you’ve been letting go of whatever you’re holding onto and balancing for longer and longer and a few days ago, you even let go and took one step forward! It’s only a matter of time until you’re a walking baby.
My sweet little girl, I love you more than words can express and I can’t imagine my life without you. Although I can count on my fingers the number of times you’ve let Daddy and I sleep for 6 or more hours in a row, I can’t possibly count the number of times I’ve nursed you; the number of beautiful smiles you’ve bestowed on us, the number of snuggles we’ve shared, and the number of times we’ve been in absolute awe of your beauty and the love we feel for you.
I so look forward to the next year with you – I can’t wait to discover more about you!
I love you more than you’ll ever know, my Gwen!