I'm still struggling to believe my teeny tiny baby turned 11 months old. I've started planning his 1st birthday party. Stephen and I have started thinking about what we want to do with him for his actual birthday to celebrate his special day with just our little family. As much as I hate to think about it, it will be here before I know it! I don't know how. I still feel like it was just yesterday that I was uncomfortably pregnant and getting impatient for his arrival.
At first, when he was a newborn it seemed like he stayed in the same phase for a while. Now he changes everyday. Every single day he discovers something new or hits a new milestone and it never ceases to amaze me. I enjoyed him as a snugly little baby bundle, but so far this is definitely my favorite stage. He actually interacts and listens when I talk. I can tell he's starting to remember people besides just Stephen and I. It's cute to watch his little face light up when someone comes to visit him or we go visit someone he recognizes.
His developed an attachment to his blankies. He has two that are interchangeable, thank the Lord, but one of them has to be with him at all times, especially when he's sleeping. So far, we've been able to limit the blankie to only riding in the car and not actually going places with us or being outside, but I imagine it's only a matter of time before that changes. He LOVES to read. Books are his favorite of his toys and pretty much how we spend our days. He picks out a book and brings it to me and shakes it at me until I read it. Then when it's finished he either insists on rereading that book(we have about 6 that we read over and over) or goes to get me another. He has to sit on my lap and turn the pages for me. He started doing that at about 9 months old and I still think it's the cutest thing ever.
He still loves to eat. He eats three meals a day and an afternoon snack. We've yet to find a food that he doesn't like, but he is getting a little more choosy. He eats anything you put on his tray, but if you watch him, he's careful about which bite he wants. He'll feel around with his little fingers til he picks the exact right bite. He's down to just three 4oz bottles a day. One before morning nap, one before afternoon nap, and one before bed. His doctor said he drinks so well out of a sippy cup I could get rid of the bottles all together and just switch to milk in a cup, but I'm surprisingly sentimental about that. I feel like that's my last piece of baby. I'll start weaning him off completely closer to his birthday, but for now I'm just going to enjoy our bottle time snuggles a little bit longer.
He is in to everything. He crawls all over the place and cruises around the furniture. He's starting to get braver and more confident about taking steps, but he's still not quite ready to take off. He loves to explore though. It makes it hard to go places right now because he wants to be taking off exploring everything. He won't just let you hold him anymore. He's a squirmy worm! Since he won't walk just yet, that makes being in public places where he can't crawl on the floor a little more tricky.
He loves to take walks in his stroller. I take him and Natty every morning after breakfast and now he's learned the routine. This morning while I was putting on my shoes, he crawled over and stood up by his stroller and waited to be buckled in.
His favorite thing right now though is animals. He loves them! I've never seen a baby this young get so excited by seeing an animal. He loves to watch them on tv or movies. If it has an animal(cartoon or real life) he will sit and watch and make his little excited gasps and squeals as long as its on. He loves to see animals out on our walks. He points and gasps until he can't see it anymore. We've started walking over to the PetSmart right in front of our house and letting him check out the animals there too. It's probably his favorite place. We stop in front of each cage and watch the different animal and make the sounds it makes. We can't wait to get him to the zoo! I will have to video that because he will be in his little heaven! We've talked about taking him for his birthday, but it's still so hot we may have to wait a couple more months for it to be enjoyable.
I know most people say the reality of parenting really hits them when they leave the hospital alone with their baby for the first time, but that wasn't the case for me. I still felt prepared at that point. I was excited and anxious. I couldn't wait to get home and just have our little family time. For me, the reality sank in around 4 months old.
I was home with Nolan and Stephen was at work. We had decided we were going to start trying to spoon feed baby cereal because he could sit up so well. It was in those first few attempts with the spoon that reality set in. I realized, I think for the first time, that it was our responsibility to teach this tiny little human EVERYTHING. We would have to teach him to eat, then to feed himself, to use the bathroom, to take a bath on his own, every little thing. At that moment, that thought seemed completely overwhelming. I had never really thought of it in those terms before and it was a little scary.
Luckily for us, he was a pro eater. He took to spoon feeding like a natural and never looked back. I realize now that it's not so overwhelming. He doesn't need to learn everything all at once. He will learn, I will learn, we will all get there. Parenting is a crazy adventure. I have spent the majority of the last 11 months feeling tired with a mix of several emotions all at once depending on the moment. I know this roller coaster isn't for everyone, but I wouldn't trade it for anything!