amelia: twelve months old.

and then she was one.

12 month photo

and life went on as usual. except when she stopped nursing and started climbing big kid playground equipment and just generally acting like a toddler, seemingly overnight.

but who needs babies to stay babies? i mean, missing the baby stage is how siblings get made, right?

12 month photo

if you can’t tell by these photos, then let me inform you: our girl is a feisty one. all 19.5 pounds of her. she is one going on five, and she knows that if she tries hard enough, she will eventually learn how to do anything. which means that we are running after her a lot on the playground, because she thinks that the five year olds want to be her friend (she calls them “baaaaybees!”) and she also thinks she can walk down the stairs alone.

i’m not quite sure where she got the feistiness, but Mister Man tells me he has an idea of where it may have come from…

12 month photoshe knows where her head, ear, nose, eyes and tongue are. she can say baby, poopoo, watermelon, bellybutton, num-num, bottle, and is adding new words everyday. her favorite thing to do besides dance is to pick cherry tomatoes from the garden and eat them as fast as she can.

she is learning how to give hugs and kisses, and she loves to facetime her far-away family. she is quite the social butterfly and likes to make sure she has waved at every single person in the grocery store by the time we leave.

she is our hearts and our souls, and we sometimes just stare at her and wonder where she came from, because it couldn’t possibly be from the two of us goofballs. and yet here she is.

darling amelia. thank you for making me a mom one year ago. thank you for making your dad the most wonderful dad i could imagine. every day with you is the best day, and we are so blessed to get to spend the days with you. we pray that you grow up knowing how loved you are, and that no matter what happens in this life, you will always be our little girl.

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reflections on a year of motherhood.

some thoughts from a rookie after her first year of being a mom:

tonight, when i put amelia to bed, she didn’t want to nurse. at all. it was like, oh thanks mom, but those are for little babies. i’m one so i drink from bottles now. so i had Mister Man whip up a bottle of regular milk, she geeked out and chugged it down, and that was that. we’re done with nursing, on the first anniversary of the first time we ever nursed together.

that bittersweet feeling; of getting through a whole year, but also feeling like i’m just not quite ready to be done with that year, that’s what this experience has felt like to me. the past 365 days have gone so slowly, and so fast; i’m so happy when each new milestone comes, and i’m so sad when they have to make way for the next one. the paradoxes are real, i’m telling you.

amelia kisses

***

if there were any one feeling that i have felt the most this year, it would be pride. i have done more things this year that i am proud of than any other single year of my life, and a lot of them were really hard and really awesome. i gave birth. i nursed a baby for a full 12 months, while working (and an active baby at that!). i started a new position at work the day i got back from maternity leave. i survived solo parenting quite often. i have raised a daughter who has a sense of humor and loves to be active and brings so much joy to the lives she touches. so pride seems right. also i feel tired.

amelia goofy

***

after a year of feeling like i was nothing but mama, i’m finally feeling like i’m closer to being back to being me and being mama. i feel like i’m figuring out how to be both in a more balanced way. and it’s okay that it took me a year. i had to make my peace with that a while ago, that the balance wasn’t going to happen for me within a year, like you hear some people say it will. but i made my peace with my timing and my balance and now i only feel excited about what life is going to look like going forward, there is no resentment in sight.

mom is a title that has fit me better than i ever thought it would. i’m nowhere near the person or the mom that i want to be yet, but i’m getting closer everyday. patience is a virtue that i thought i possessed before having amelia, but it turns out i didn’t have any at all. i ask God every day for more of it, and i’m slowly being blessed with that, although not without some growing pains on my part.

no one ever said it would be easy, but it is oh so worth it.

amelia boat

i wanted to write this quick while i was feeling all the first birthday feels. i’ll be posting amelia’s 12 month update soon, just as soon as i pin her down long enough to take her photo. yikes! #toddlerprobs 

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diy: montessori texture board.

montessori texture boarddoes the title of this DIY make me sound fancy as all get out? good, that was the point.

(don’t worry, if you look really closely you’ll see that cardboard is involved, so this is totally not fancy.)

when i made this texture board for my daughter, i didn’t actually know it was a montessori thing until someone told me it was. i just knew that she liked to touch different types of things because they felt cool on her hands, so i thought having a lot of different textures in one place would be fun for her. turns out, i’m a montessori genius and didn’t even know it!

texture board

this is probably one of the easiest DIY baby toys you can make for your little one (the easiest is filling a water bottle with beads, feathers and glitter, and gluing the top closed so they can shake it…it’s still a hit with amelia). it’s also interactive and is a great excuse to go to your local craft store with your baby and see what kinds of items they’re drawn to.

once you have the items you want to include on your board, all you need to do is find a piece of cardboard or thick posterboard to attach them to and get to work. get creative with how you put things on, but be careful to cover anything potentially pokey with packing or duct tape.

when you’re done, affix the board to somewhere your baby can easily reach it and play with it, or keep it out to prop it in whatever room you’re playing in at the time. amelia still loves her texture board when she’s not on the move.

amelia nook

(gratuitous photo of amelia thrown in because this is my blog and i can do what i want)

DIY montessori texture board

what you need:

  • thick cardboard or posterboard
  • various pieces of material with different textures and patterns (leather, fur, felt, patterned cloth, mirrors, etc.)
  • stickers
  • some type of adhesive (packing tape, staples, glue, etc.)

what you do:

  • plan the layout of your board. cut your materials down to size if you need to.
  • attach the materials to the board with your adhesive. make sure to test the materials by pulling on them like your baby would…they’re stronger than you think.
  • add your child’s name or some fun stickers to add additional color and visual appeal.
  • attach the board to a door, a wall or leave it free to bring from room to room, depending on your needs.
  • shake your head at erin for writing out these directions, they’re clearly way too easy.

have fun playing!

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