12 months old

Rory James,

You, my big wonderful boy, are ONE. One year ago you made us parents and what a wonderful year it's been. I can't even begin... to start... to describe... sniff. Really though. You are an amazing boy and we are the luckiest parents in the whole world.Right now you are goofy and crazy and silly and talkative. There is no squashing that humongous personality of yours. You've taken your first birthday really seriously because all of the sudden you are a troublemaking toddler.

Did I mention you're walking? You took your first steps on October 26th. It took you a few weeks to get it down, but now you're basically running. You learned about a week ago to stand yourself up, and now you pace back and forth in our apartment just showing off.

You do all sorts of smart grown up things, it's amazing. My favorite is when you sing "bay-bee, bay-bee" and you hold your wrists and swing your arms back and forth. I don't know where you picked it up! But it's the right sign for baby, and you do a lot. You still think all animals go "kack kack" like a duck. We taught you to clench your fists and hold them up and go "grrr" when we tell you to show us your muscles. You say "bye-bye" alllll the time. You hold your arms up and go "tada!!" whenever anything awesome happens, like you stack a block on another one, or you get a bath toy to balance on the spout. I THINK you are starting to say daddy. It may just be coincidence when you point to him and say dah dah dah but who knows! You are constantly CONSTANTLY talking. Bah bah bah bah bah bah bah while you point to things like you're explaining them. You love the reaction you get from us when you talk.

Your independent play is so much fun to watch. I can't believe how much you've learned in just a month. You suddenly know how to stack your ring toys like you've been doing it forever. You can throw a ball SO WELL. It's still a little difficult for you, but you can stick a sticker onto a coloring book. We keep trying to get you to color with crayons but you just eat them. You read stories to yourself. You drive your trucks around. You hold every type of gadget up to your ear and go "oooh?" like it's a phone. You waddle around and crawl on top of EVERYTHING and you've learned to go feet first when you climb off of things. You love trying to put lids on cups, and eating the faces of your stuffed animals.

I'm only nursing you twice a day now, once in the morning and once for bed. You are completely night weaned! So if you ever wake up at night I either lay by your crib or rock you to sleep. And hey hey hey did I mention you are SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT? We're going on 4 days in a row now, so I'm starting to really get my hopes up that this is it. I think you turned one and were just like, oh okay I get it now. So you sleep for about 11 hours at night and take 2 naps during the day, the first one lasting usually two hours and the second about 45 minutes. I love that you have such a predictable schedule. It's making things super easy for me.

What is NOT easy for me are the tantrums you've started throwing. I'm doing all I can to avoid them by solving potential problems before they happen, but you've thrown a few in the middle of the grocery store now so I'm feeling a lot like a fully fledged toddler parent. You usually throw them when I pull you away from something dangerous, or I don't let you stand up in your high chair, or when I sneak away to use the toilet, or when I try to get something nasty out of your mouth, or if I stop you from jumping off the side of the couch... so... they're coming quite often. I know this is just the beginning. Sigh. I'm hoping I learn to deal with them correctly, because right now I just sort of let them happen and try to distract you with something else.

You're eating lots of grown up foods now, except that you're not... because you taste it and spit it out or throw it on the floor. You're very picky. But we're still experimenting. I've given you peas probably twenty times and you finally tasted some today, so... progress? We're practicing giving you larger amounts of food so you can use those 8 itty bitty teeth of yours. You won't drink milk, which shocks me. You hate it. I've tried it warm, cold, in a bottle, in a sippy. Nope. So I gave you some strawberry milk today and you drank a decent amount. I hope this isn't the only way you'll drink it forever. You've lost your interest in nursing during the day. You think it's very rude of me to interrupt your playtime, and so you reward me by pulling my hair and picking my nose and kicking and getting distracted by EVERYTHING. So, yep, you're slowly getting weaned.

I'm looking at all of these old photos of you and I'm remembering this incredible year we've had together and tearing up, obviously, because I really just can't believe all that we've been through and all that we've overcome and all that we've learned and all that we have YET to learn. I'm so so excited for this next year because I love you so much and I just can't wait to see what's going to happen next.

Oh and by the way, I'm so happy to be done with these crib photos because you have no IDEA how impossible it is to keep you laying still on your back for even half a second. So you better thank your dad for helping me out with those. Is it obvious we had Sesame Street playing on youtube to keep you distracted? #yes.

See other 'letters to Rory' HERE

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