After countless hours of lost sleep, a couple scary head bonks and a heck of a lot of diaper changes, we made it through the first year. Though I have almost embarrassingly profound feelings about the past 12 months, once I manage to separate the laundry parts of motherhood from the primal parts in my mind, the only words I can think of to express them are cliché:
I'm so thankful for the love she has brought into our lives.
I am thankful that she's healthy.
I am thankful that she is well loved and well cared for.
I am thankful for a husband who loves and puts up with both her and me.
I am truly thankful. Though at times I feel inadequate (when she's sick, or hurts herself, or throws herself onto the floor in a blind baby rage), I have been surprised at how far instinct can carry a person who has a desire to be a good parent--at least at this stage. I really did not know much about taking care of a baby, but all is well. I am not as productive a reader, a blogger, a runner, a home renovator, etc. as I once was, or as other mothers still somehow manage to be, but I do my best and that's all I can do each day. For anything I've lost, I've gained much more.
Those three paragraphs were hard to write for some reason. That's why I'm nearly a month late publishing this post. I guess I just can't believe how quickly time went, and I don't want to admit that it's been a whole year and my baby is now a little girl. I miss my snuggly little infant, but I'm pretty fond of this wild and funny little girl.
As for Johnnie, she hit the 12 month mark and kept on truckin', no qualms about her:
Size. At her one year checkup at the doctor, she was a fairly whopping 23lb 10oz (85th percentile) and 32" long (95th percentile). At birth she was just 6lb 15oz and 19-3/4 inch long, so her growth has truly been remarkable -- more than an inch in height per month. She is currently wearing 24 month clothing, and some of it is none too big. She is also strong. I was working out with two five lb. hand weights recently, and she squatted down and -- using absolutely perfect weightlifting form -- grabbed one in each hand, stood up and started walking around. No big deal. And when she really does not want to be picked up, I really have to fire up my inner strength to let her know that YES YOU WILL BE PICKED UP NOW, BECAUSE I AM THE MOTHER. She gets none of this brute strength and size from my genes, I assure you.
Eating. She's still going strong on her primarily whole, wholesome food diet, though she is getting a little pickier which means we need to get more creative. When she turned a year old, instead of giving her straight cow's milk we decided to give her a variety to give her a more diverse nutritional profile (which the doctor said was fine). So she gets a combination of cow's, goat's, coconut and hemp milks. Yes, we are those parents... We've been consciously trying to decrease the amount of animal products (particularly beef) we consume, and this is an easy and healthy way to include Johnnie in this goal. The biggest problem we're having is she's miserable (lack of interest and lack of skill) at drinking out of all manner of sippy cups, so transitioning away from bottles has been tougher than I expected.
(Note: We stopped nursing altogether at around 9.5 to 10 months, and she used up the rest of my frozen milk at around 11 months. I had planned to nurse longer, but I honestly don't have any real regrets about stopping early. See my post on this here.)
Milestones and other stuff.
- She's been walking since nine months and at 12 months is now running and stomping, says just a couple little words (that, dad and mum are her most consistent), and has four teeth.
- Four teeth is not many, and she keeps faking me out that more are on the near horizon. The four she has are quite large though, so I guess that's why she has no trouble eating with them?
- She has also started picking up on sign language, thanks to her gramma's dedication to teaching her during the day while we're at work. We just reinforce at home. Johnnie and I were reading a book a couple weeks ago, and she was babbling like crazy while pointing to a page. I said, "Oh really? Tell me more!" and she looked me square in the eye and tapped her little fingertips together, the sign for more. I almost didn't survive that one.
- She has also developed some distinct attachments. First: her bellybutton. Other members of her family (I won't say who) have had attachments to their bellybuttons since childhood, and Johnnie has started playing with hers when she's sleepy. (She doesn't suck her thumb or use a pacifier, so I guess she finally found her weakness.) Second: Harvey, a Jellycat bear a friend gave her when she was born. She now wants to snuggle him every night and hold him for a little white every morning when she gets up. It's pretty cute to see her hurriedly snatching him up before we fish her out of the crib when she wakes up. (We decided he was male, because she already has Monstress, the pink cyclops we got from etsy, who is her 2nd favorite and decidedly female.)