It's pretty shocking to me that Ruby's first year has already come and gone. It was everything I expected, and a whole lot more that I didn't expect.
One of the biggest shockers to me, this month specifically, was how much of a transition the first birthday feels like, and how emotional it made me. Waves of nostalgia have been hitting me all month long, triggered by little things like the ornamental trees blooming at the hospital, or a song on the radio that came out last spring. It kind of makes me feel like the time when you're newly postpartum and everything makes you cry at the drop of a hat. For certain, there have been less tears, but the same overwhelming waves of emotion have been surprisingly hitting me.
We've started volunteering at the hospital, and each shift we have some down time. We were told there was a neat play space on the 4th floor, so we went to check it out. It turns out, it is right outside the doors to the NICU, where Ruby spent days 3-5 of life under the bili lights. Whoa, did that bring things back. We were with our friend Jessie, and she asked me to tell her about the jaundice experience. It really made me relive those first few days with my girl!
|Look at those sweet little baby hairs!|
Just like I always say, this month has been my favorite age (yes, again). Ruby's receptive language is insane. It has been for a while now, but she now understands simple phrases too. Things like, "play with toys", "go downstairs/outside", "drink your water", "where's your sippy?". That last one was so funny. I asked her where her sippy was, and apparently she'd been hiding it down by her leg in the highchair. She looked at me, reached down and grabbed it, and thunked it down on the countertop bartender-style, like it was no big thing. This girl is smart, smart, smart. It's a little bit scary.
She can point out mommy, daddy, Braidy, herself, her grandparents, and a whole slew of other people she knows with almost 100% accuracy. Now she's working on her body parts - it turns out she knows where her toes, and mine are! She also knows her toys. If you ask her where her rhinoceros is, she will dig through a huge basket of toys until she finds it.
Also awesome, is the fact that she enjoys putting things IN containers now. Which means she cleans up after herself! I've been singing the clean up song whenever we put toys away pretty much since she began playing with toys. Now if I sing it, she will clean up her toys herself. When she wants to get out of the bathtub, I tell her we have to put toys away first, and she will put them all into the shampoo rinser cup. And one day, I was in the shower and she emptied a whole basket of my fabric. Mr. G saw her and said, "Toots! We have to clean that up before Mommy comes out!" She looked at him, and started quickly throwing everything back in! She also is obsessed with the dryer, and will empty a whole load into the laundry bin. She likes to put things into the dryer too, though, so we have to make sure to take the bin away when she's done!
Thanks to the two pairs of See Kai Run shoes I got her, Ruby has become obsessed with shoes (uh oh). She tries to put them on her own feet, and needs to have both of a pair at all times, she is not satisfied with just one because she knows that they come as a set. The shoes seem to give her pretty good stability as well, she will often let go of whatever she's holding onto while standing now, and can stand for 20-30 seconds unassisted. Maybe she will walk before she crawls? Oh, and she doesn't just like her own shoes, she's a big fan of taking out Daddy's as well, and gets a very devilish grin on her face because she thinks she's being naughty (and she likes it).
At twelve months, her hair is finally long enough for clippies! She never lost her birth hair, but she's got some crazy cowlicks (thanks, Daddy) and it is different lengths all over. Still, now that she can wear little clips without a headband, she looks like such a kid!
Other cute things to note this month: She sticks her tongue out when she's concentrating on something. She's still obsessed with bears, and we've been cramming her into her 9mo bear jammies whenever they're clean because she loves them so much. And the three little bears sitting on chairs in Goodnight Moon? She points to them on every page that shows the whole room. She's also become much more interested in Daddy, and misses him when he is gone. One morning he left before she was up, and for the rest of the day she was looking for him, saying, "Da? Da?"
|Wow, this is really dark. I need to work on my editing skills.|
Speaking of saying, at the end of this month, we think Ruby has really started to talk! She's been saying "dada" and "dodo" (which we think is dog-dog), and "mamamamama" for a while now, but we're calling her official first word(s) as "all gone!". Just the other day, my mom and I were feeding her dinner, and after she'd eaten everything, she pointed at the plate. I told her there was no more, it was all gone, and she clearly repeated, "All gone!" Mom and I stared at each other in shock, and then she said it again. Since, she's said it many more times in appropriate context. We changed a diaper on the go, put everything away, and she said "all gone!" Bath toys get put away, "all gone!" She also switches it up and says "all done" when we're all done with something too.
In addition to her "all gone/done", she also says "go" (usually pointing to the door when she wants to go outside, or the stairs if she wants to go up or down). She also says, "hi dad" with regularity, and has really started repeating us ("out", "bye", and we think she's trying to say "goodnight" when we read Goodnight Moon). It is crazy, but it is so cute to hear her voice!!!
Less cool stuff, of course, includes sleep. She's usually napping better and almost always will take a morning nap about 2 hours after being up (finally!!!) and often wants an afternoon nap now (again, finally!!!). BUT, she suddenly is having trouble getting past the 30min mark in both naps and night. Especially at night, like clockwork, we put her down, she sleeps 30min, then wakes up screaming and is unable to put herself back to sleep, so we have to go in and bounce her. Then she'll sleep the rest of the night until morning. Sure, she stirs between sleep cycles, but can always put herself back to sleep at every other time. But this 30min thing is weird. She doesn't seem to want to be awake, and it usually doesn't take us long to put her back down. Who knows what is up with that?
I'm also seeing signs of toddlerhood to come. Diaper changes are the worst thing ever to her, with foot stomping and screaming. Random stuff will lead to the back arching meltdowns typical of toddlers. Usually with Ruby it's when I won't let her hold something at a store, like a heavy can of beans, or a box of tampons (thanks for calling attention to that at Target, Ruby). And I get the back arching when trying to put her in the car seat too. Oi, I am not ready for this!
At the same time, though, I am so excited for Ruby's next year. More talking. Hopefully some movement (no, she is still not crawling). Summer is coming and she is at the perfect age to go out to the zoos, aquarium, farms, and parks. She is so interactive, I just can't wait to share these new experiences with her. And come September, we'll be doing a one morning a week parent co-op toddler school. In some ways, I really miss my sweet little newborn Ruby Jo, but man oh man. My Ruby these days is more fun than I imagined. She's my sidekick, my buddy, my partner in crime.
At the beginning of this post, I started by talking about what I didn't expect. The biggest of all was how much love I can have for one little person. When I was pregnant, I knew I'd love my baby. But oh my goodness, I had no idea how powerful that love would be. It's been 366 days now since she was born, and I still feel like I could explode into a million pieces with love for her. I truly cannot wait to see her grow up in the next year.
On a lighter note, I do think I want to continue her monthly posts. I'm out of stickers for her onesies (and don't really want to go that route again anyway, since she spends the whole shoot trying to get them off), but the only other idea I have is using a chalkboard to display her months. What do you guys think? Good? Any other ideas? Let me know, and please tell my
baby toddler not to grow up too fast, ok?