Today you are one! Not to be a total cliche, but I can hardly believe it. It didn't really sink in until yesterday while I was at work but thinking about you and felt happiness bubbling up in my chest like a shaken-up soda pop. As sad as I am when I realize that my days of having a proper baby have ended, it has been wonderful seeing you become a little person over the past few months. You've just started developing an independent streak that sometimes conflicts with what I'd like you to do, but for the most part you are still immensely sweet and easygoing. You smile and babble and sing, you tuck into my lap for cuddles, you rub your eyes when you're tired. Your hair turns into a mass of perfect curls in the back when washed or exposed to any humidity. You still just have six teeth, but you're getting much better at sampling real people food. Just this week you've tried cheesy pasta shells (a fan) and oranges (NOT a fan).
You sign "more" for more snacks and more bedtime stories. You have fourteen words, some of which you use all the time (ma, da, bye, bib, bear, picture, light, pig) and some that you used for a few days and then mostly moved on from (hi, dog, baa, book, baby, pretty). You love books, and will sometimes sit happily paging through your board books for up to half an hour. We read three books before bed almost every night, and you're more wiggly than you used to be, but you still sit quietly for them for the most part. When we get to the last page in Bear Snores On, you wave goodbye. You still prefer to take your naps on someone's lap. You don't quite sleep through the night and I guess I should start working on eliminating your near-nightly wakeup between 1 and 3 AM.
You've lost that baby smell, though your feet haven't become stinky yet (I've been warned by other moms that it's coming). If I tickle your chest while dressing you, you'll lie on your changing table and chuckle deeply. If I don't tickle you to keep you distracted, you sometimes decide you have better things to do and writhe until you're impossible to diaper. You love playing with your toys, and favorites include your Little People barn, singing helicopter, ride-on car, and your toy kitchen (you open and close the doors over and over and dump out the play food). You can identify nose, mouth, and eyes on other people's faces and your own ears some of the time. You have a toy cell phone at Granny and Grandpa's that you very solemnly hold up to the very back of your head. It's perishingly cute. You haven't made any attempts at walking yet, but you climb stairs and crawl with impressive speed.
Earlier this week I was reading over some of the blog posts I wrote at the end of my pregnancy last January, and it simultaneously seems like forever ago and like it should still be going on. How can it be that you're here? But at the same time, I barely remember what it was like to be waiting for you to arrive. This past year with you has been an incredible gift and I'm grateful for every day. It's not always easy, but I always love being your mama. You make it easy to love it, really. You've only been with me for one year and you've already changed me and made me better. You are the light of my days and I am so glad to know you.