O N E!
I remember when I was a kid and the time used to drag on by. Summers seemed endless. It wasn't until I grew up a little and had a better understanding of the calendar that I found out the truth about Summer vacation only being a measly two months long, when it always seemed to stretch at least a half of a year to me. Christmas each year seemed to take forever to arrive, too, and now I'm a Mom to a precious one year old and I cannot believe how fast this past year has gone! Seriously - don't blink. Even as I type this (extremely late post), another month has suddenly slipped away from me, and my pumpkin isn't even just a year... she's now 1 year, and 1 month old!
This next year is sure to pass more quickly than the first - and I can't even begin to imagine how that's possible. The thought came into my mind recently about how this past year, and the addition of Julia to our family, has truly been like a rebirth (of sort) for me/us. Not to say my life was meaningless before she existed, but her joining this world has given life so much more purpose and truly makes me feel "full." I love being a mom, her mom, and I love having the opportunity to care for her 24/7 as a stay at home Mommy - we are very fortunate, for sure, and not a day passes that I don't recognize that.
Julia is amazing. I'm positive every parent feels the same way about their child, but she makes every day a better day, and I'm thankful for that. One of the things I love about her little personality lately is her desire to "help" and want to do things "right." She loves helping me fold the laundry, help make dinner/reorganize my pots and pans, and hang up her clothes.
Today she was helping me sort through old clothes and clean out our closet and at the end we had a pile of empty hangers that needed to go back up on our closet rod. After watching me briefly and seeing that I was taking the hangers and hanging them back up, Julia joined right in and started handing me hangers to help, and by the end, she was hanging up the hangers herself, too! She gets so proud of herself and rightfully so, I'm so proud of her for having the desire and sweetness to want to help.
She also loves tending to Delaney and always making sure Delaney is never left out.
Delaney is her best friend and I'm certain the first thing she thinks of when she wakes up in morning is Delaney from the way she will search the house for her once taken out of her crib, if Delaney doesn't happen to follow me into the nursery that morning. Julia has been going through a stage where she likes to balance a handful of her bibs (one by one) on Delaney's back. And, Delaney is always happy to play along. Good dog.
You can always catch Julia hovering over Delaney while she is lying down somewhere. She likes to pat (gently, most of the time) Delaney on the head, back, tail, paw, etc, and likes to take both of her hands and lift up Delaney's head off of the ground. I am so thankful that Delaney is such a good natured dog and puts up with all of the torturous hair and whisker pulls, when I'm sure some of the time she'd prefer to just be left alone.
Julia loves rummaging through Delaney's toy basket and bringing Delaney toy after toy or bone after bone - and I have to smile at the fact that most of the time, if I offer Delaney a bone or toy of hers, she could care less, but because it's Julia who has presented it to her, she will actually take it and chew/play with it. They are best friends right from the start!
Julia is walking all over the house and will typically have the expression on her face that leads us to believe she's wondering about what she can get into next. She loves pushing things around the house (her toys, and our furniture that's light enough to move), and loves the washing machine/dryer and enjoys helping me transfer clothes from one to the other, pressing the buttons, and watching the clothes spin inside. Something else she loves is the outdoors!
She gets extremely excited about going outside and all that comes with getting ready for it - putting on her shoes/jacket. With the really nice weather here right now, we've started making a habit of sitting out in our front driveway/yard in the afternoon and Julia loves just running circles in the driveway and trekking up and down it. This is something we must continue! On the occasion that we're indoors and I open the door briefly to check the air temperature or let Delaney outside, Julia will get upset because she wants to go outside, too!
We're now completely weaned from breastfeeding and I really enjoyed the year's run that we had with it. Julia now happily is on a "next-step" formula (until 18 months) that she really likes and drinks like a big girl from a sippy cup. She's eating pretty much everything we eat and is recently working on using a spoon and fork! She still loves her Puffs and enjoys sneaking them (and Cheerios) to Delaney at every opportunity she gets.
Her sleeping habits have become beyond wonderful and I'm so proud of her! She is super easy to put to bed (so nice!). Her schedule at one year old now is bedtime between 7:00/7:30 and she sleeps all the way through until 7:00/7:30 the next morning (so nice!) allowing me time to wake up in the morning, too, and get my day started with a shower (so nice!). She then is up all morning and has successfully transitioned to taking just one nap around 1:00pm. Most days she'll sleep two hours (so nice!), and on a good day we'll even get 2.5 hours +, but we still get some days here and there where it's a mere 1 hour nap day ..... never know what we're going to get each day so I'm learning to use my free time/naptime wisely!
To sum it all up, Julia is a delight to parent. I thought when she was a newborn, giving her kisses would never ever compare to feel so sweet, but I'm constantly reminded every day how sweet those kisses can really be. And, it's even better now because she will (at her own will) kiss me back or give a me kiss on a whim sometimes. I love this little girl!
Happy Birthday Julia!
Some more pictures!
...still trying to sort through the many that we have taken over the past two months - little backlogged - but, still I wanted to share some of the ones I have taken!
She thought it was great fun to "help" Mommy take down the Christmas cards....
These are ALL of the balls that it came with..... don't worry, we went out and bought the bag of 150 extra balls - what fun are just these 15!?
At Julia's 1 year well baby check-up! Perfectly healthy - 50th percentile across the boards, happy, and thriving!
My little ballerina.