11 months old

Rory James,

This month you've become incredibly vocal. It is exciting and funny and we have such a blast listening to you blabber all day long. Lots of B's and D's and M's, but also G's and Th's and S's. It's so great to hear you learn more and more. A lot of the time I sing O' McDonald while I try to wrangle you into a clean diaper, and one time you started quacking with me. It blew my mind. You say mama, dada, baby, whoa, ball, you fake cry, fake laugh, fake cough. I have a BYU cougar shirt and whenever you see the cougar you point to it and growl. Sometimes we just sit and yell at each other as loud as we can. It's awesome.

You're standing on your own, balancing on those little potato feet of yours, but once you realize it you quickly fall on your butt. You're also cruising all around, getting faster and faster. Your dad wants you to start walking so bad, and I have to admit I'm eager for it too. Sometimes we'll sit on the floor and guide you back and forth, egging you on, but you're pretty stubborn and you'd much rather crawl. You took your first step all on your own on Thursday, October 9th.

We've replaced a few of our daily things. You outgrew your carseat so we got you a brand new one, which you love! It allows you to look outside the window and you're a lot more content in the car. We also replaced that rickety old rocking chair that was so hard to nurse you in. This replacement one is so comfy I could fall asleep in it, which makes all the difference in the world!

You got your second haircut, but your first official one at a salon. Haha it was a mess trying to get you to stay put. The clippers were way more interesting than the video I was trying to play for you on my phone. But we trimmed off that mullet and you now you look like a proper second grader. You're also a complete blond. Somehow we trimmed off whatever was left of your pretty brown hair and you have a head full of beautiful golden hair. You remind me so so much of my brothers now!

We quickly tried to weigh you on a scale once and with your feet hanging off you were 24.5 lbs. You're so gigantic. Whenever I take you to the park or to the library and other moms ask how old you are I have to explain that yes, you really ARE only 11 months old and yes you are a monster because you're roughly the size of their two year old. You have grown out of all of your 9 month old clothes and you happily fit in anything size 18m.

It's so funny to me how you naturally gravitate toward "boy toys". You love balls and cars and phones and anything with wheels. Oh man, one time I looked down and saw you driving a fire truck across the floor. You usually just sit and play with the wheels and so it astounded me that you understood how the truck was supposed to work. You've also learned to throw a ball (though it usually shoots straight up into the air), and you hold up the phone to your ear (but really your elbow gets a little in the way...). Man, watching you play is SO MUCH FUN.

You love to point to things and you use your pointer finger to touch everything. EVERYTHING. Never your full hand, just your pointer finger to lightly poke whatever it is that interests you. Teeth, leaves, food... If it's food you squash it until it squirts or slides away. Whenever you see yourself in a mirror you immediately lean in for an open mouthed kiss. You can go down a slide by yourself, for the most part. If you get the chance you try to go down head first, so you haven't completely figured that out yet.

Some of your quirks? You learned from your dad to shake your head and go ahhhhhhh so you do that allllllllll the time. You absolutely love being upside down and a lot of the time you'll fling yourself off my lap with your chin raised high. You splash and splash and splash in the tub, to the point that your arms look a bit like a windmill and I have to use a towel as a shield. You love to crawl through tight spaces and get stuck.

You high five on command and say "bye-bye" with a wave. More recently you learned to clench your fists above your head when we say "show me your muscles!" At the end of pat-a-cake you know to raise your hands in the air. You sign "eat" my holding your hands up to your mouth and smacking your tongue.

You're becoming picky. Really really picky. For a few days you completely denied any purées which frustrated me because purées are usually the bulk of your meal. So we've started experimenting with things you like and you hate. You will always eat grapes, cheese, mandarin oranges, applesauce, and toast... anything green automatically goes on the floor. It's taken a few tries before you'll try foods you used to love. But we're working on it. It started to really aggravate me, your picky eating, then after some research I realized that I should just let you do what you want. It's not like you're underfed. Ha.

You've slept through the night THREE WHOLE TIMES!! We got back from a trip and you weren't doing well. It was so late, we were all so tired, and I'd already nursed you like 4 times. So I laid on the floor by your crib and sang to you while you cried and cried and finally you laid down and went to sleep. You slept through the whole night, and then did it again the next night too. Since then, things have been going rather smoothly, though we did regress this last week since you were sick.

All in all, it's been amazing. It's cliché, yes, but I can't understand how you'll be an entire year old next month.You are such a happy, goofy, lovable little boy.

See more 'letters to Rory' HERE.

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