Letters to Miriam: Eighteen months old

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Dear Miriam,

You’re one and a half years old now, and half-birthdays are pretty special for the first couple of decades of your life. I was unprepared for the abrupt transition from baby to toddler around 12 months old….but you had other plans. You turned one, started walking, and a few months later started talking. And definitely haven’t slowed down! You have dozens of words now: naming animals, foods, your family, things you want to do (“Up, walk, down, jump, ride”). You’ve just started putting words together to make mini sentences, like “Mimi walk,” “Big step,” “Blue duck.” You’re constantly babbling, whether we understand you or not, either to us or Elmo or your baby doll.

Your own personality is definitely emerging. You know exactly what you want, and are very persistent. You are independent, and must do everything you can by yourself: “Mimi do!” But with that, you are confident enough to try new things by yourself, too, and will still ask for help when, and only when, you need it. You love figuring out puzzles and new tasks. I hope that self-confidence and independence stays with you, despite the frustrations it can cause the mother of a toddler 😉

You love daycare, your dad and I can barely keep up with what you’re learning there. Suddenly you know your colors, can point out a few letters, and will ask for “aqua” or to wash your “manos.” I’m so happy that you’re thriving and happy there, and it’s often a relief to let you go and wear yourself out playing there since some days you are hard to keep up with!

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Letters to Miriam: One year old

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Dear Miriam,

You have just completed your first trip around the sun, you have been on this planet with us for one complete year. You were born last year on this day,  and you made me a mommy, you made Dada a daddy, and we became a little family. This past year has been the best year of my life so far, getting to know you. I suspect it is just going to get better and better. I’m at a loss for writing a birthday post without devolving into cliches: time goes so fast, whatever stage you’re in is my new favorite, I can’t imagine my life without you in it (insert Lifetime movie dialog here).

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You’re on the verge of walking but you’re not too sure about it. You are such an efficient and fast crawler that it’s still your favorite way to get around. But over the past few weeks you’re starting to enjoy being upright more and cruising around the house, always with one hand on the wall or furniture. You love running around while gripping our hands, sometimes barely holding on, but you just like knowing that we’re there.

You’ve learned a lot at daycare, and can sign “all done,” “more,” “eat,” and “milk.” Suddenly I’m realizing how much you understand too…when I tell you that we’re going to take Ardie for a walk, you hurry over and grab his leash from the basket near the door. You love mealtimes, and I haven’t found too much that you won’t eat yet. Butternut squash is a definite “no,” probably because of the texture. But you gobble up your curried chickpeas, teriyaki tofu, sweet potatoes, ravioli, avocado, bananas, cheese, and any kind of fruit.

Pizza crust!

Pizza crust!

And a new favorite this month: cake. You had your own little carrot cake on your birthday, though the frosting was a bigger hit than the cake itself. Grandma bought you a chocolate and vanilla cake for your party at her house and I think you would have eaten the whole thing if we’d let you.

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It was great seeing the family all together for your birthday, and you had lots of fun exploring Grandma Rivett’s gardens and pointing out what she’d missed when child-proofing.

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Note the tippy-toes. She can reach higher than you think!

It was a great birthday, the first of many many more. I’m going to keep making you cakes and putting funny hats on you and making your day as special as possible as long as you will let me. Okay, so the hat thing isn’t going to last…

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Not sure if this was about the hat or my singing…

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Presents! New friend Flora the Fox supervises play with Mega Blocks.

 

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So happy birthday little girl! I hope you had as much fun as we did. This is the last of my monthly Letters to Miriam posts, from here I’ll be writing a letter to you every six months. I’ll still be writing other blog posts and updating as frequently as I can, but you’re keeping me so busy that it’s getting hard to write a letter to post every month!

 

Letters to Miriam – Eleven months old

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Dear Miriam, you turned eleven months old on Bastille Day this month! And what month it has been. You had your first sleepover with Grandma and Grandpa, your first illness and trip to Urgent Care, first splashing in your kiddie pool, first Forth of July (slept through it).

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You also started daycare! I’m so grateful that you got to spend so much time at home with Grandma and your nanny K. I’ll admit it, I cried when Grandma left after her last regular “shift” with you, all of your milestones and events are so bittersweet! But you are having so much fun at daycare, playing with your little friends and your teachers. You are busy busy busy, constantly moving and exploring. Daycare is perfect for you because the whole room is “safe,” you can cruise around and touch everything.

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You aren’t very interested in walking yet, but I think it’s because you’re such an efficient, lightning-fast crawler. You’re so fast I don’t think your knees fully touch the ground sometimes. You do love to cruise around with your walker, but only until you see something more interesting and have to zip across the floor to touch it.

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You sleep through the night, 12-13 hours at a time, and are exhausted at the end of the day when you go to daycare. Your little mind is expanding in leaps and bounds and I’m astounded by how well you understand what we’re saying! We’ve been teaching you the sign for “all done!” at meal times, and you laugh when you wave your little hands in the air and say, “Ah dah!” You definitely have your own personality, and it’s very sweet and funny.  Your favorite toys these days are not toys: cups, bowls, balls, remote controls, cans and bottles filled with dried beans, pretty much anything that isn’t supposed to be a toy. You love handing things to us. When I come in to your room after naps, you smile and the first thing you do is hand me your lovey.

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Letters to Miriam – Ten months old


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Dear Miriam,

Today you are ten months old! You marked this birthday by deciding to try out this whole bipedal thing…after not showing any interest in walking for months, yesterday you just stood up behind your little walker and started moving forward. You weren’t content to just try a few steps and sit down, but you cruised up and down the hallway over and over again. I can’t believe that about eight months ago, I was looking at you, wondering how in the world you’d ever be able to lift your big ol’ head up all by yourself, and then I blinked and suddenly here you are cruising around the house on your own two legs.

We “celebrated” (as in, it was a timing coincidence) your ten-month birthday with a big trip to IKEA today, and you showed off the fact that you’re such a big baby by eschewing the sippy cup for the grown-up cup. Swedish meatballs and mashed potatoes were a pretty good 10-month-0ld birthday lunch, too.

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Nighttime sleeping has been going well these days, you’re in bed and asleep by 7:30 PM and usually sleep till 7:30 AM. You’re pretty settled into two good naps a day, though some days the afternoon nap is a bit of a struggle.

You have a new baby friend (and mama has a new mama friend!). I’d post an adorable picture of the two of you, however, it is pretty impossible to get a good pic of two squirrelly babies in the same place. This is as good as it gets:

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You are on the move, and you have lots of very important places to go!

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Speaking of squirrelly babies who never sit still, here’s a more accurate depiction what today’s photo session really looked like:

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Letters to Miriam – nine months old

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Dear Miriam,

Nine months in, nine months out! Lots of fun around here over the last month. You are such a little person, interacting with everyone and everything. Your newest favorite people skill is “the wave,” though you practice waving to the dogs most of the time.

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We celebrated another first holiday, Easter. It was kind of like my first Easter holiday too, since we didn’t really “do” Easter in my house when I was a kid. We had a nice Easter dinner at Grandma and Grandpa Rivett’s with Uncle Monte and you got some good loot. You were pretty concerned about the helium balloon however, so it didn’t come home with us. We’re all excited about the years to come when we can hide eggs for you to find in Grandma’s gardens.

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The weather is finally looking spring-like so we’ve been able to spend some more time outside. You love sitting on a blanket in the yard and watching us blow bubbles or keeping an eye on the neighborhood goings-on.

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Today we had a day out in Edmonds, to escape Seattle for a few hours. We strolled around the farmer’s market, had lunch, and spent some time on the beach. You were pretty impressed by the sand in your hands, and didn’t even eat any (not for lack of trying).

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I think all this development and new stuff going on in your brain is interfering with your sleep a bit, as we’ve had a few rough nights this week getting you to sleep. You used to listen to stories with Daddy then drift off to sleep while nursing, but now you’ve got too much wiggling to do and too much to look at to fall asleep quietly. Fortunately, once you’re asleep you sleep well until morning.

Now that you’re perfecting your pincer grasp and can pretty much stick anything you want in your mouth, you are not as interested being spoon-fed anymore. Oatmeal with fruit and yogurt are still favorites at breakfast, but lunch and dinner are all finger foods. Avocado is still the hands-down favorite, but you also love pasta noodles, cheese, pears, tofu, eggs, squash, tuna, and salmon. Peanut butter toast is also a huge hit. Yep, my baby is eating gluten topped with peanut. Living dangerously here at the Rivett house. Sometimes you sample rice or beans from our plates, I can’t wait for the day I can just feed you the same thing that we’re having. I think I even see the very beginnings of two little top teeth!

We celebrated my first Mother’s Day this month, the highlight of which was getting to take a nap. Of course I already got the best Mother’s Day present there is, getting to be your mama. While I miss the days that you were a tiny, squishy little thing, every day gets more fun. Each stage you are in becomes my favorite stage.

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Letters to Miriam: Seven months old

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Dear Miriam, you are seven months old! This month you are suddenly fascinated with your whole world, and are constantly exploring. When you’re awake your little hands are always reaching and grabbing for anything and everything, and if you can grab it, you put it in your mouth. Your little body is always wiggling and you’re happiest on the floor, where you can wiggle and scoot around. You can now get around pretty well! You can get yourself to your hands and knees, crawl backwards expertly, and sort of scoot yourself forward that way too. I’m sure actual crawling will be any day now though it’s fine with me if you take your time, as I need to do quite a bit more baby-proofing around here.

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For your seven-month-birthday you got to use your new passport on a trip across the border! We took the ferry from Tsawassen and went to Victoria, BC for the weekend. You got to see your Great-Grandma’s house for the first time, I’m sure we’ll be back many more times. The highlight of the trip for you was probably the acres of wall-to-wall carpeting in the hotel room where you could scoot about to your heart’s content.

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You love your food, and have been eating more and more! You’ve got two bottom teeth now. Fruits are now apples, pears, peaches, apricots, and prunes. Still not too sure about bananas but Ted is happy to finish those off for you. Veggies include green beans, squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, and spinach. You loved your first bites of chicken and lentils, and even a bit of scrambled eggs! You’ve been trying out some finger foods, rice crackers are a big hit! You’re still drinking the same amount of breast milk in addition to your meals though during the day you usually prefer a bottle so you can look around and be part of the action, you’re just too busy to stop for a meal sometimes.

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Sleepwise you’ve settled into a fairly predictable pattern (knock on wood, now I’ve done it…). You’re asleep by 7:30 each night, and sleep through until about 5:00 when you wake to nurse then back to sleep until about 7:30 AM. During the day your two naps are about an hour and twenty minutes each.

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Sometimes you make these crazy funny faces  but as soon as I aim the camera at you, you flash me a huge grin. Every single day your personality emerges more and more and it’s so fun, getting to know even more about you. You are just so happy, and so curious, and funny and sweet too. I’m so happy that you’ve come along to help me see the world all over again through new and fresh eyes…mine are too cynical and jaded.  I’m walking a tight rope between loving the age you are, and having a sweet small cuddly baby, and being so excited and impatient to see even more of what kind of little person you are going to be.

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Letters to Miriam: Six months old

2014-02-15 12.24.05Dear Miriam,

You are now six months old! That’s halfway around the sun, an entire college semester, 1/80th of the time your dad has been alive. A mere blip in time but a huge leap for you. This month your first little tooth erupted, and it’s pretty cute. You took it all in stride and I didn’t even notice you were “teething” until I saw the tooth itself…I’m sure you’re saving up that “teething” excuse for something bigger, maybe those molars eventually.

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You’re having a little trouble on the sleep front these days…I dropped the dream feed since it didn’t make any difference to how well or how long you slept. But you often wake once around 3:00 to nurse, and in the past few weeks have been an early riser: when you wake at 5:00 or 6:00 to nurse, you are up for the day, instead of going right back to sleep! Perhaps those Boeing schedules are genetically imprinted. You are stretching out your naps during the day though, sleeping up to 1.5 hrs twice a day, often longer.

You are gobbling up your food like crazy! You love pears the best, but butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and bananas with oatmeal are favorites too. Carrots and peas are growing on you, at least you no longer make the funny faces. This week we’re going to try some green beans, yogurt, and mango. You’re now eating two meals a day in addition to your milk, often two ounces/tablespoons at a time. I can’t wait to try more things with you, like lentils, chicken, fish, and my favorite…cheese!

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It seems like you’re always smiling these days, especially at your dogs. You love watching their antics, and when you hear their names you instantly look around for them. You’re screechy voice has been replaced by babbling, which is much preferable! I love your sweet singy little voice. You love to hang out in your crib and babble to yourself after naps.

I think the next month is going to bring some big moves….like crawling or scooting! Your balance is great when sitting up, and you love holding onto your Zany Zoo and standing up. From your tummy, you can turn in circles or scoot backwards, and you are trying so hard to move forward! Hint…you need to both each leg separately, not at the same time 🙂

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