one year old.

by Janetha on September 22, 2017

in stella

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dear stella,

one whole year has gone by since you have joined our family! i cannot believe you are one. i cannot believe you are closer to being a toddler than being a baby. but that’s okay, i will always and forever be calling you my baby. you may not like it, as the baby of the family i always complained about it as a kid, but now it’s kind of nice to know i was the baby. and you are our baby. always and forever.

let’s just start by talking about the BIGGEST NEWS of all. you can walk! yep! you figured it out just two days before your first birthday… and we can’t even believe it. you are so happy and excited to be walking, and very, very proud of yourself. rightly so! it is so cute to see you do this little cowboy-ish walk. you still prefer crawling, as it gets you from point A to point B much faster, but you definitely like to practice your walking quite often. i am sure you will be running around before we know it.

your one year checkup went great. you are ticking off all the boxes and are healthy as can be. you are 19.5 pounds, which is in the 45th percentile for weight. you are 28.5" tall, which is the 25th percentile for height. your head is 18.25" around, which is the 85th percentile for head size. you have the cutest, round belly and a teeny, tiny bum. your feet are long and slender and your nose is as cute as a button, with the benson ski slope shape. you’ve got your dad’s olive skin and beautiful brown eyes. your hair is getting so long! it gets tangled in the back and you hate to get it brushed out. your eyebrows are expressive as ever, and you have lots of teeth already in and more coming in. three on the bottom, four on the top, and who knows what else will pop through in the near future!

the funny thing is, while you are growing and changing every day, you still look exactly like you did as a newborn! fox looks like a completely different person when we look back at his newborn photos. but you haven’t changed. i mean, you have.. but you haven’t. you look the same. just bigger. with more hair. it’s the funniest thing. and you are oh, so adorable.

you have definitely taken a leap in your brain development since last month. you are such a smarty-pants. you will sign to us when you want more, or when you are all done. you shake your head "no" (all the dang time!) and will nod your head "yes" in approval. but more often than not, when you are happy or approve of something, you will scrunch your nose up and smile REAL big and stare at us with your approval. it’s the best thing, ever.

you are quite the light sleeper, so we have to be pretty quiet during your nap times or night time. you prefer to sleep on your belly, with your bum sticking up in the air. you are a little stink bug. you are taking two naps right now, but neither of them usually last very long. you have been napping in your crib in your room, though, so that’s good! as long as you have your zipadee zip on, a soft blanky lining the crib, and a few binkies nearby, you are pretty good to sleep in your crib. you also like to sleep in really, really dark rooms.. so sometimes daytime naps in your room can be a challenge, and we will resort to having you sleep downstairs in the dark "nap room". you are still waking up about once a night on average, and i will get up and nurse you for a bit. you are good to go right back down. you are going to be a very sad lady when i stop nursing you.. i am kind of sad just thinking about it. although i will not miss the nipple biting that has become somewhat of a game for you.

you love to eat! you actually are not a huge fan of pouches or any type of baby food or snacks. you much prefer to have whatever the rest of us have. that’s fine, for the most part. you love raspberries and meatballs the most. you are a big fan of noodles, watermelon, string cheese, mini bagels, and yogurt drops. you handle a sippy cup like a champ and are OBSESSED with la croix (sparkling water). if you see any of us with a can of la croix in hand, you go bonkers until we give you a sip. it’s pretty hilarious.

you are a chatter bug, and are quick to say "haaaaiiii!" to anyone and everyone. you wave hello and goodbye. you love to play patty cake. and peek-a-boo. you love to clap. when we ask, "how big is stella?" you raise your hands to the sky, and we say, "SO BIG!" it’s the best. you love to give kisses (open mouth ones, mainly) and hugs, and love to lay your head on someone’s chest when you are sleepy. you are obsessed with going outside, and will dart to any open door so you can get out there to explore. you love to sit on the porch out front.

you put everything and anything in your mouth. we have to watch you closely because it is hard to keep the house baby-proof with fox around. he has his gear all over the place, and of course you want to have whatever is his.. and you want to put it in your mouth! but the good thing is, fox is a great big brother. he is very protective of you, and if you put something in your mouth that should not be there… he either asks you to take it out or tells me or your dad about it. and the awesome thing is, you gladly take whatever it may be out of your mouth and hand it over to us! sweet little lady.

you really are just the sweetest. you love the dogs, especially penny. probably because she is just your size. you love to put your arm around her and lay your head on her back. it’s so cute. you always want to be held and you will give us a big victory grin whenever you get picked up. you love to play in empty boxes and love to climb on anything and everything. you are so curious. you are always wondering what fox is up to, and are quick to copy him. you are such a sponge. the bond I see growing stronger each day between the two of you just melts my heart. he loves you so, so much and you think he is the greatest person in the world. I hope you both love each other this much forever and always!

we have had lots of fun adventures this past month! we went to wheeler farm and you loved looking at the animals and basking in the sunshine. you were able to sit on one of the farm porches with fox, stevie, and molly like a big kid! we went to silver lake a couple times. once to walk around the lake with our gang, and another time to take our family photos with jordynn. you loved picture time and loved your birthday smash cake even more. although we did have to show you how to smash it and convince you that it was actually an edible cake. you were a little skeptical.

you went to your first state fair! the first of many, let me tell you. we never miss a year. you absolutely loved going down the big yellow slide! you were also happy to try all of the fair food – especially the peaches and ice cream. i can’t blame you.. that’s the best food at the fair.

on your birthday, you woke up to a room full of balloons, which you were very excited about! i took the day off and we went on a shopping spree with nana sue! fox came along, too. since you decided to start walking, we had to get you some shoes. you needed some new clothes since it’s getting colder, so we got some cute pants and cardigans and hoodies for you. you loved shopping basically ’til you dropped! we went home and you had a nap, then the celebration continued with presents from me, fox, and dad – a slumber sloth, some clothes, books, magnets for the fridge (since it’s the perfect height for you) and a few toys. your big gift was a wagon! dad put it together and then fox pulled you around in it at the church next door. you LOVED it! then we went to tony burger’s for dinner where you devoured your dad’s shake. it was the perfect day.

we also celebrated your birthday with a party the next day at nana sue’s and papa randall’s. we were going to do it at the park, but the weather took a turn for the worse and it was windy, cold, and rainy. it all worked out and we had such fun at your first "stellabration" with your family and friends! we had two kinds of soup (chicken noodle and nana sue’s stew) and scones, salad, rolls, and cupcakes! you loved getting sung to and weren’t too sure about eating a cupcake. you really liked opening gifts and got excited when opening each one. you are such a fun and funny lady.

stella.. how are you already one? i keep replaying the last year in my head, and can’t believe it went by so fast. maybe it’s because we have done the baby thing before with fox, and knew what to expect.. or maybe time really just speeds up the older i get. whatever it is.. i am not a fan of how quickly that first year of yours went by! but i must admit it is always exciting to see you learn and grow, and the changes you make each day make my heart burst. you are so cute, clever, and charismatic. you make life awesome. you are seriously a dream, my little lady. happy birthday to you… and many more.

love, your momma

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