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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Norah Grows: 11 Months

My Norah-bel, today you are 11 months old. One month shy of one whole year, and I cannot believe that the time has gone so quickly already.  Just last night I worked on a photo album for you from your first 3 months of life, and looking back at all of the pictures made it even more amazing how much you have grown and changed since you were born.  And yet, even in the very first pictures from the moments after you were born, I can see the girl we've come to know so well right there.  Just tinier.

Not so happy to be put in the chair for your photos again this month! This was the best we could do. 

A bit happier if you could sit in front of the chair and play!

Daddy and I have been saying all the time how much fun you are at this age. You are learning something new nearly every single day lately, and you have become so interactive with your world! At 11 months, you are now fully walking by yourself, almost everywhere you want to go.  You can even walk and wave, or hold a toy, or drink out of your sippy cup at the same time! You definitely are not sure what to think about walking around on your own outside yet, and specifically not on the grass.  You clap for yourself when we say "good job" or "yay Norah", and you are a solid pro at the "So Big" game!   And of course, you still love to dance and shake your booty!

You still have so many expressions - this was a serious look! 

The weather has been unseasonably warm and mild for March (highs in the 70s and 80s for the past 2 weeks!) and we have been spending as much time as we can outside. You are noticing birds and ducks flying overhead, and point to things you see when we are out for our walks every day.  Today you tried out a swing for the first time, and oh my goodness did you love it! Everyone was laughing to hear you squealing with joy as you whooshed back and forth in the sun!

You are really starting to communicate with us, both with words and simple signs.  You can say Mama, Daddy, Lainey, Baby, Hi and Bye, and "yuck yuck". You wave hello and goodbye all the time, and you know the sign for "more".  I think once your vocabulary and signing repertoire develops a bit more, you will be so much happier to be able to communicate your needs and wants with us more readily.

Signing "more" to Daddy singing the "Musical Conductor" song

You have a favorite lovey which has remained the same since you picked him out - the giraffe is your "baby" and you love to pick him up and give him pats and hugs.  In fact, almost anything you find that is soft and huggable is a "baby" and receives sweet pats and hugs from you! This week you found the chocolate sauce in the pantry, and even that was a "baby" for a minute!

You have 6 teeth and use them to eat just about everything we put in front of you! You recently discovered edamame and will eat as many as we give you in one sitting! You love raisins (we always watch while you eat them and make sure you are sitting down since they can be a choking risk) and we have to put the box away because as long as it is out where you can see it, you want more more more! You tried some ketchup with your crispy tilapia the other night, and let me tell you I have hardly seen you dig anything as much as that!! You were dipping everything on your tray in that ketchup and saying "mmm" after each bite!  I hope your eating habits continue to be great, but I'm sure at some point you will act like every other kid and only eat mac and cheese and pizza, so we'll enjoy it now while we have it! 

We are getting ready to move you up into the next size car seat, and I'm looking forward to seeing how you like being more upright back there. You still fit in your infant seat according to the specs, but I think overall you will just be happier in the bigger seat. Once I learn how to install it properly, it's going  in! 
As I say at the end of every one of these monthly posts, I am more amazed at being your mama every month that goes by, and this one is no exception. You are such a delightful, adorable, sweet little girl, and everyone who spends a few minutes with you notices, too.  You are really fun to be around lately and your Daddy and I just laugh at your antics on a daily basis. You are developing a sense of humor and your personality is growing every day.  We are so very lucky to have had these 11 months with you in our lives, and it's amazing to think that just one month from today will mark the first anniversary of the day that changed both of us forever.  I had better start working on that post already, because I think I will probably have an awful lot of emotion to sort through while thinking about that beautiful, and also very frightening day. You were worth every heart wrenchingly scary moment of the experience that brought you into our lives, my sweet girl, and if I had to do it over exactly the way it happened, I would if it would mean we'd have such a gift in our lives. I can't wait to see what the next month brings for you, Beauty. I love you more every morning I wake up with your sweet face snuggled next to mine. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Moments of Motherhood

In the past 24 hours, I have welcomed a new badge to my Motherhood Scout vest; holding my baby while she barfed on me, like for real barf, not newborn spitty puke, but the real deal with very obvious evidence of dinner present, down my shirt, in my lap, on my pillow, in my hair, and not once did I actually end up puking myself.  Last night was perhaps our first real initiation to parenthood (if the 10.5 months of not sleeping through the night don't count enough).  Norah woke up in her crib having thrown up with barf in her hair about midnight, requiring a bath and change of jammies, sheets, mattress pad cover, the works. She'd had a terrifically hard time going to sleep, and got herself so worked up that we thought maybe the puke was a delayed episode from swallowing so much air (is that even a theory? I don't know).  We decided to bring her in bed with us, and no sooner did we turn out the lights and she was puking again, this time on my pillow and dangerously close to my face.  Not cool, given that the smell of vomit makes me want to vomit.  Jammie change #2, for Norah and for me. Sheet change for our bed. Great, all set, ready to get back to bed and try to sleep since it is now like 1:30, and lights out...barf. This time we opted to skip new pjs for Norah, I changed again, and we layered blankets and towels between us in the bed for what now appeared would be frequent episodes throughout the night. Poor thing continued to be sick every 20 minutes until about 3:30 am, we all fell asleep, and then she woke up to puke again about 5:00.  It was not our best night, but we all made it through, and she actually seemed reasonably chipper throughout the day today, despite running a low (under 100) fever on and off all day.  Here's hoping the rest of us skip the pukes, and she's back to normal tomorrow.

Given the sense that I had puke germs crawling all over me, it felt great to get out of the house for a few hours for Zumba tonight.  Something about shaking my groove thang to fun music just melts some of the stress of the day away. It was something like 79 degrees today, and with such perfect spring weather (before St. Patrick's Day, in Michigan!) the windows down in my car, music turned up, and singing along to Usher and Rihanna, I felt a bit like a new woman when I got home.

One of the amazing things about motherhood that I find myself aware of in so many instances is how in the span of an hour, I can feel like a young, free, 20 year old cruising in my car with no worries, and then come home to my beautiful family and enjoy nothing more than singing "Return to Pooh Corner" along with Kenny Loggins as my daughter drifts off to sleep in my lap.  I snuggled her extra close tonight, breathing in the smell of her sweet, soft skin, and willing myself to create a sensory memory of that moment.  I don't think I will ever forget the way her baby skin smells after a bath, at least I hope I won't.

Once I relinquished my hold on her for the moment, I was able to squeeze in a few quick sewing projects for a baby shower gift for tomorrow, and there is nothing like feeling accomplished at the end of a day.  Even if the only things I actually accomplished today were 3 loads of pukey laundry, snuggling my sick baby, teaching Zumba, and sewing a few easy items, it feels good to know that this mama is proud of what happened this day.

Picture from Sunday, before being sick.  The camera did not make it out today!