I always thought being one meant you are a totally a toddler but on her one year birthday I just kept thinking that she still is very much a baby to me. Although every day that is becoming less and less so. She still isn't walking, still uses a pacifier, still only has two teeth (although her top ones look like they are coming soon!) so to me she's all baby still.
She can be dramatic, as seen in this next sequence. I was dangling her book above me to try to get her to look up and laugh. Of course she wanted the book though and when she realized she wasn't going to get it, she made sure I knew she wasn't happy. We call it: hopeful, hopeful, defeated and then angry:
I have lots of friends/family who just gave birth to the cutest newborns and it's crazy to think of their sleepless nights and then realize that I'm actually doing ok in the sleep department (of course I don't mention this while talking to them!). I thought I'd forever be in the zombie/constantly-tired phase but really we are past that. Again it is SO weird to say that and realize that my baby is no longer a baby-baby.
Speaking of eating, we are casually starting the weaning process. If you had asked me at 2 weeks old, I would have told you that the day Eleanor turned 12 months she would be totally weaned. I had committed myself to a year if possible, but thought I would never go a day over.
It's so interesting how nursing changes over the course of the year though. The first 4-6 weeks were full of toe curling pain and grin-and-bear-it emotions. I was amazed that anyone nursed at all! Nursing stopped hurting though and then by 3 months Eleanor turned in to a pro and knew what she was doing. Nursing became much more mindless, easy and relaxing. Although she continued to insist on nursing every 2 hours. Life was dictated around that 2 hour schedule and I often felt a little trapped. I never let down to the pump very well so, except for a time here or there, the longest I would ever be away from her was 2 hours.
Around 7-8 months though Eleanor became much more flexible with her schedule and didn't need to be nursed right when she woke up from her nap. It was at that point that Eleanor really started to love being nursed and started becoming more and more attached to nursing experience. This was when nursing became really sweet to me, not just a means to provide her with sustenance but really a bonding experience.
And now at a year, nursing is just SO easy, to the point that changing up our rhythm to try and wean seems like such a bother. Eleanor would gladly keep nursing forever (so it seems for now at least) but I do crave more freedom and the idea of having a night away, just me and Aaron, sounds so appealing. Also, the idea of having some time where my body really is 100% my own before turning it over to another baby sounds crazy wonderful. So we will see how fully weaning goes. It's not looking like it's happening any time fast but I think we will get there eventually.
I'm also becoming aware of needing to do more structured play activities/crafts. Eleanor does at a great job playing independently so much so that I often times forget to get in on the playing too. I starting researching "activities with a one year old" online and realized that we could be finger painting and play dough playing and sticker sticking and all of a sudden we have so many things we can do! We are headed to Michaels this afternoon in fact.
I took these pictures on Eleanor's 13 mo mark (Feb 9th) but she wore her 12 month old birthday crown :) The crown was already too small for her though! She will continue to grow and change every month but I'm going to stop the monthly chair photos for now. So this is the last post of this exact sort! It was not easy to take these photos every month and put together a post (which was why I posted her 7 to 11 mo posts all together the week before she turned one, whoops!) but I'm sure glad I did it in the end. The whole year journey came full circle as I printed out all the month photos for her 1 year birthday party. I'm so glad I have this picture: