It's not that life is easy now, but we're in a much better place. I'm not so scared of my child....I think she started sleeping through the night somewhere around 9 months (yes, there's a correlation between my sleep and my anxiety). We've established a little routine. I know her in a way only her momma can. I can read her nonverbals. I can finally provide her comfort in ways outside of feeding her (we also weaned somewhere around 10 months).
Despite those challenges of becoming a first-time parent, I have thoroughly enjoyed watching Nora grow, learn new things and develop a distinct little personality.
She's fiery and passionate and stubborn — and she's not even a Taurus like her momma! She's so expressive and talkative. She's already a social butterfly. She's going through a touch of separation anxiety, which is sad but also makes me feel needed and appreciated.
She loves her teddy bear and blankie and can't sleep without them. Her new fav toy after her birthday party is her cuddle monkey that Aunt Amy got her. Her favorite thing to do in the entire world is read. She would sit and read all day if we'd let her. Her favorite stories are The Boy with the Drum from Farm Tales and Goodnight Moon. She loves music and already has rhythm; I love it when she breaks out an unexpected jig. Of course, her dada and I have been making songs out of EVERYTHING she does since she arrived in this world. Her favorite thing to say is: "Nora, Nora, Nora KATE!" That and a four letter word (on accident) that I won't post here — we think she's possibly trying to say sheep, or stop, or sit, or this.... She really has an impressive vocabulary. She is either saying or trying to say: Mama, Dada, kitty cat, hi, hello, uh-oh, tickle tickle, baaaa sheep, Tyler, stretch and peek-a-boo. The other day I pointed to the letters "T" "B" "S" and "P" and she was able to make the letter sounds!!! She is not a picky eater at all — anything we eat, she wants. The child has never turned away food. It's good that she has a mouth full of teeth — we lost count, but we think she has more than 6. Also, she's nearly ready to walk, but we're not in an awful rush for that!
They say parenting a child takes a village. Jonathan and I feel blessed that we have a village of people who love Nora and take excellent care of her (and US!). She has wonderful family, friends and caregivers.
Thank you, baby girl, for the most terrifying, awe-inspiring, rewarding, wonderful year of my life. I am just so proud of you. Your health, your heart and your curiosity are just such blessings to Mama and Dada. I thought I would be nothing but excited on the occasion of your first birthday. But, it's bittersweet. I will never get your first year back. Every day you're less my baby and more my little girl. I hope we made your start to life wonderful. I hope you'll always know how much you're loved.
Without further adieu, here are my pictures from Nora's first birthday party: