Life with a One Yr. Old

Well, I struggled through timely monthly updates of our Selah girl, but have yet to round out her first year with a one-yr-old update. Today she is 14 months, (which is just crazy), but we have truly embraced life with our little toddler. I'm going to do my very best to recap how she's grown and changed over the last, um, 3 or so months;), before my pregnant memory loses it all completely!

Back in August, a couple weeks before her first birthday, Selah started amazing us with her new ability to stand on her own, which quickly grew into her taking 4 or 5 steps then falling down. It was so cute, as it seemed she wanted to run rather than walk, so could never quite keep her balance. And oh my goodness we just went crazy the first time she even walked with one of those little push toys. We were kind of hilarious and ridiculous with our excitement. As other moms know, it's just so crazy amazing to see these milestones reached and these little ones work their little hearts out to accomlish them. I have mentioned it before, but I've never been one to be overly eager for her to reach certain milestones by certain moments. If anything, I've tried to hold onto every little baby stage she's gone through, for as long as she wants to stay there! She army crawled for the longest time, I think maybe even until she was 10 months old or so. Now I wish I could see that little crawl just one more time. :) That said, I've grown in my ability to joyfully move forward with her, and now I just know each new phase and stage will bring with it something delightful of its own. By her first birthday she was still taking just a handful of steps on her own, unless somewhat assisted. Then, about 3 weeks ago, we stayed with some high schoolers while their parents were out of town, and they had wood floors. I'm not sure if that had anything to do with it, but when we came home she just started walking. And that was it. The actual date was October 14th. Then we just started staring in amazement and laughing when she would just "toddle" to wherever she wanted to go, walking into a room like she knew just why she was there.

Since then we feel like she has gone from a baby to a little girl for sure. Such personality and spunk, our little one has. Especially in the last couple weeks it seems. She moves like she is on a mission, and she seems to view each toy and new discovery the same way. She is always babbling and "talking" while playing, and has quite the neat sounding foreign language. :) She can be very focused, and will study something and work at it very intently before moving on. Sometimes we think she can be quite serious, but she quickly reminds us of her silly side. She is so extremely ticklish and will absolutely laugh her head off. Now it's especially cute because October was apparently "get all the rest of my teeth" month. Seriously, she seems to have nearly an entire mouthful, with just a few missing. This might be embarrassing to admit, but I have never once picked up anything like "What to Expect the First Year," or any other books like that, probably mostly because I got a little burnt out during my pregnancy with the first What to Expect book....not because I didn't really love the information, but sometimes it would cause me unnecessary anxiety or cause me to get a bit to fixated on some things. I also probably enjoy getting a lot of info. and ideas from other mom blogs of women I really respect. And I have heard from enough people to know that babies are all so very different in their development, and it can be tough enough not to compare sometimes. So anyway, this teeth thing has thrown me for a loop, because I certainly wasn't expecting her to have so many by now! She had 6 teeth (4 on top and 2 on bottom) for the longest time, then we went to my mom's at the beginning of October and she didn't sleep great. The day we got home I was changing her and noticed some big back teeth coming in. The it was fast and furious from there. But I am definitey thankful to be able to worry a whole lot less about the choking thing. That kind of freaks me out sometimes. I will say, sticking with the teeth theme, we have been brushing her teeth for a long time and thankfully she loves this part of her routine! I feel like "teeth" is one of the first words we could tell she understood. Well, that and "bathtime!"
Speaking of bathtime, also around when she turned one or a little before we would say, "It's bathtime," and I would sing my little song, then she would start making her way into the bathroom in our bedroom and we would follow. She definitely always looks forward to this nightly routine, and I am thankful. It probably has something to do with Daddy's puppet shows, as he often takes care of this part of our day. We often read a bible story and a couple of our favorite books during this time, probably because when she was itty bitty it was really the only time I felt like she would be attentive to reading and I wanted to take advantage of it! We love "The Goodnight Bible," "Bedtime Blessings for Little Girls," "I Love You This Much," "Bedtime Bunny," and "Mama (or Daddy) Hugs" for reading during this time. Awhile back we got a $10 set of 4 animal puppets at Costco that Kevin has given hilarious voices and personalities to. Sometimes they do the Bible story, and as long as I'm not in there, Selah is super focused on his shows. So funny.

One thing I want to remember forever and ever is Selah's super sweet thumb sucking and hair holding comfort technique. She used to take the wubbanub pacifier in the car or in her crib until about 9 months. She's never been one to really want it at times other than that. Then all the sudden she started sucking her thumb full time (which she occasionally did since she was born), and with the other hand she would hold her earlobe. So ridiculously precious. I think in the month before her first birthday she started holding my ponytail with the hand that wasn't in mouth, whenever I would hold her. She continues this, whenever I'm rocking her, taking her to go to sleep, or just in general when she gets tired or upset. I will treasure it forever, no matter when she stops. When she's going to sleep she now sucks her thumb and holds her own rapidly growing hair, instead of her ear. I just love Selah's details and feel like each day I'm desperate to memorize a new one!
Now onto the subject of eating. Talk about something else that has quite the interesting progression! As I've been so sick and fatigued from pregnancy, my baby food making took quite the nosedive. Making it more difficult to get those veggies in her. She seems to do fine with them from a spoon, but still isn't readily accepting them in chunks. She's such a texture girl. Now she will eat any and all fruit at any time, so I'm thankful for that. But I really need to up my creativity with those veggies and her meals in general. (Ideas anyone?) I know she can essentially eat whatever we eat, but at times that's easier said than done. Her mainstays are Ezekial bread, (cheese - oh my does this girl love cheese!), yogurt, turkey, fruit, scrambled eggs, cereal, veggies, (when offered the right way;), pasta, milk, pumpkin pancakes, (a new one), and of course, the oh so loved graham cracker. Oh my goodness does that girl love those graham crackers. She will walk over to the pantry, sit on the floor, and point up to them, desperately doing the please sign and hoping it will be one of those times when mommy or daddy says yes. So hilarious. Oh, that's another wonderful thing she started doing, almost the same day she started walking...she finally started signing the word please - yay!! I am a manner loving mama, (passed down from my own mom), so this makes my heart happy. I think she also tries to say thank you rather than sign it, but it comes out more like "tank." The funny thing is, she now says please with all desperation for everything...quite often. So hard to resist. :)

Other words she is saying often are "Mama," "Dada," "Hi," "Okay," and my favorite, "Whoa!" Not until she started saying it so often did I realize that I say a sort of 2 syllable, "Whoa-o," whenever she falls or something like that. So now it's her reaction to basically anything that surprises or amazes her. She also says something that means, "Chai," though I don't know if I could technically call it a word. When prompted she says "uh" for Up, and "muh" for more. And she loves to say "ball," and point to anything that remotely resembles one. She loves, loves any and all balls, and Kevin has already taught her to have quite the throw. She will carry them around everywhere. She's also started carrying a basket or a bucket on her arm and collecting things in them. Oh my goodness so cute. She looks like a little farm girl collecting eggs or flowers or something. And she loves to carry around little purses or wallets. Or she'll work forever at picking up my camera bag, even though it's really too big for her to handle. Though she has gotten it up and over that arm a time or two. She certainly delights in taking everything out of the diaper bag, or when I let her take the cards out of my wallet. She really seems to play with all kinds of things right now, willing to try everything at least once, and excited when something comes out that she hasn't seen in awhile.

Selah also loves, loves herself some music, especially praise and worship, probably because we play that a lot at home. Daddy taught her a long time ago to raise her hands to worship, and now she'll do it if we either start to sing about God, or say, "Praise Jesus!" (Or if she hears country music in the craft store. Ha ha. Not quite fool proof.) Of course we definitely get a kick out of this little habit of hers. And are always reminded to pray she truly grows into a young lady with a heart for worship!
As far as other things Selah really loves and pours her little playtime energy into are books and babies. She loves to take all the books out of the baskets and study them, and recently really started talking to them. So sweet. She doesn't always sit for the reading of a whole story, but I've started trying to read a book while she plays every once in while. I do think it will be fun when she snuggles in and asks us to read stories to her. And she loves her baby doll. I will say, "Love your baby," and she snuggles her close. She also has started putting her and other little stuffed toys into a basket with a blanket. She does also like her shape sorter toys, things that make noise, and her little game where the balls pop out. Oh, and the Elmo airplane car my sister in law passed down to us. It's basically fun to see her enjoy playing with so many things.

A couple other things she has started doing, even in the last couple days...throwing minor fits, (especially when she's in need of sleep and has to be told no about something - not my favorite), and running to greet her daddy when he gets home, (definitely his favorite!!) We are definitely in that place of working on first time obedience, and praying for wisdom while exploring some resources on the best way to do that while she is at the stage she is in. It can definitely be tough to know the just right thing to do that will be effective. I just realized how often I'm reminding myself to be calm and consistent. And to be graceful with ourselves as we imperfectly work at raising a respectful, God honoring little lady. We are definitely enjoying her and soaking in our life as a family. We realize how undeserving yet so blessed that we are.

A few other things she does...when she wakes up and I go to get her from her crib, she immediately gets excited and starts pointing at whatever wonderful thing on her dresser she's been looking at and wants to hold. When I put her down for naps or bedtimes, she'll often play peek-a-boo with me, by pulling the blanket up and waiting until I say, "Where's Selah?" It was so awesome a month or two ago when she did this for the first time. Totally cracked me up. She also likes to "help" let Chai out, and she's started wanting to see her picture on the camera after I take one of her. She started being able to turn herself around and get down off the couch or chair, and she scrunches up her face/furrows her brow in the funniest way when she doesn't like what you're saying or doing. And she all the sudden completely dislikes having to stop her playing when she needs her diaper changed. She also gets more afraid of loud noises outside than she used to, and will throw herself at me and wrap her arms around my neck. Oh, and when she started walking she also started blowing kisses. It's kind of like she all of a sudden started copying us and doing specific things we would teach her. It feels like so much changed when she began to really communicate with us more.
Well, that feels like a good summary of our little one and how she's growing. I did just write a whole paragraph and sleeping and nursing, but then erased it because I just don't feel like getting into it right now. Might deserve its own blog post after our experiences this year. :) I realized I could easily sum it up by saying she's sleeping through the night, taking 2 naps, and I'm still nursing 2 or 3 times a day. I kind of keep waiting for an automatic drying up, like the Dr. has said would happen during my pregnancy, so that's part of why I haven't decided to work any harder at weaning. Selah really isn't dependent or desperate about it, but likes the comfort and closeness particularly in the morning and before bedtime. (or if she's stalling at naptime I think - ha) But she can and has gone without as well. I just prefer slow transitions so it seems like that's what I'm trying to do. I think we're getting close though. I still totally relish that sweet and still time with her, while she looks at me and holds onto my hair. Especially now that she's more busy than ever.

I'm so thankful to be Selah's mom. And just like everyone says, it truly flies by. We were in Target today and I saw a new mom with her tiny little baby...and the past year just flashed before my eyes. Wow are there some trials and tough days...but oh how the sweet moments overshadow it all. Thankfully those first days and weeks stay so vivid in our memories, because though they pass quickly, they are just too special and amazing to forget. As are all the other weeks, months, and new beginnings I'm realizing. And talk about flying by...life has gone almost faster than I can photograph little baby #2! He or she definitely deserves some serious blog time. I guess that's what will be coming up next! :)


Kathleen said...

Love this entry! Your pictures are beautiful and you do a great job of capturing all of those sweet memories in your writing. Selah is just precious and I love the puppet show story! How sweet! I just ordered a couple of the books you posted and we are just so excited for your growing family!

Angie K. said...

So much joy - thank you for sharing, Page! You asked about veggie thoughts... if your thinking of fresh veggies, small baby carrots make a great finger food. When they were toddlers, my twin daughters both really liked fresh broccoli. (not cauliflower so much, but little pieces of each could be fun, different veggie finger foods. You could even call them tree and flower snacks.) I hate to say that my daughters no longer appreciate these veggies, but 13-year-olds have issues more important than eating broccoli. ;) Daughters are indeed a treasure to embrace!

Melanie said...

She is growing so quickly and such a beauty, Page!! I loved reading about what all she's doing now and accomplishing and how you incorporate God into her little life. Its so important early on to teach them God's ways..it'll stay with them forever. :-) As for eating the veggies..every parent has struggles getting their kiddos to eat (Callie from Through Clouded Glass) and I did a "More Peas, Please!" link up party on what we feed our kids a while back. If one thing doesnt work..just try something else! Right now Makayla loves green beans...so that is our 'go to' veggie..just try, try, and try again is all I can advise! :-)

Callie Nicole said...

I can't believe she's already one! She is such a cutie too. :-)

Ashley said...

Hey Page! Selah is so beautiful and I know she is such a joy to you all. Just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award. Read more about the details here...


Venessa said...

What a cutie pie...it is crazy how fast the time goes! She is precious!