It's Sunday morning. Tyler's day to sleep in, my morning to spend with Stella. While I sometimes wish that Stella had a "snooze" button, these are nice mornings. We pad around the house, she plays, I drink coffee, we have some breakfast. It's quiet, dark, and Stella's in good spirits after a good night's sleep. Peaceful. A nice way to end the weekend.
Me and my one-year-old!
It's been a few weeks since Stella's birthday. She's jabbering a lot, "sharing" things, starting to put toys into things instead of only taking them out. She hasn't started walking yet--I think she thinks she has a good thing going by having a parent to steer around the house. She's still obsessed with cats, dogs and animals. And she's often full of surprises. At the zoo we're always convinced she'll love the leopard--a big cat that tends to hang out right by a big window. But it's different every time. Last time (on her birthday) it was the gorillas that were her favorite.
Stella and the gorillas at Woodland Park Zoo
She's still an inconsistent sleeper--giving us a few good nights before something like teething throws her off again and we're back to at least one wake up in the middle of the night. And she's still pretty reliant on her pacifiers (which we probably need to start easing out of her routines).
Still a bit Soothie-obsessed. She starts the night with 7...usually most of them end up under the crib.
After she turned one we turned her carseat to forward-facing. In Stella's world, this has been a good development. We can look back and see her, and I think she can see more out the window. She rarely falls asleep while driving anymore--there's too much to look at!
Big girl carseat!
Last night someone asked me what Stella's temperment was like. Sometimes I'm surprised at how much she's still like the tiny little baby we were just getting to know a year ago. She's engaged with the world, alert, social, full of laughter, loving, curious, independent, stubborn, and active. She's just more able to express her emotions (both happy and frustrated) and move herself around.
She often goes through her box of stuffed animals, picks her favorites, and then gives them hugs and gentle pets. It's pretty adorable.
When I reflect on this first year, the main thing I think of is "more." More laughter. More fun. More songs and silliness and heart-filled-to-the-brim happiness. More time spent on the floor--reading, playing, cleaning up food that fell there. And the other side of that, too. More exhaustion, more self-doubt--am I doing the right thing for Stella? Enough? Too much?
Sometimes I get anxious for the next stages--I can't wait until we can talk, draw together, interact in new ways. But I have to remember to enjoy this moment--this just over one-year-old girl who's experiencing so much and learning something new everyday. It's too easy to romanticize the past and idealize the future. And right now--most the time--it's pretty wonderful, too.
Riding high like a big girl!
My two favorites
It's a busy season--Stella's birthday, Thanksgiving, and Tyler had a birthday this weekend, too. A year ago we celebrated by having a few friends over. We wanted to mark the occasion, but going out with a 2-ish week old seemed too daunting. In the past year, Tyler has continued to remind me of what an amazing husband and father he is. He's with Stella a lot, with all the joys and challenges that brings. He's playful and fun and loving--she's such a lucky little girl. I know the next year will continue to be filled with all the same "more" that we had this year, and I can't wait to get to share it with Tyler and Stella.
Stella seems to be developing her dad's love of haberdashery:
When I saw Stella "helping" Tyler with this little project, I had to snap a picture. It reminded me of this picture from my childhood:
Another set of helping hands....30-odd years ago....
Fortunately for us, Tyler and I have also had some fun baby-free moments. We decorated our Christmas tree.
Merry Christmas in 2009! Since this photo was taken, all the ornaments have been moved to the upper two-thirds of the tree...
And had a fantastic dinner out to celebrate Tyler's 34th. We try to do a monthly date night, but it felt like it'd been too long since we'd been able to sit across a table from each other and just be together--not noticing the things that need to be done around the house, not listening for Stella, just out together. It was so much fun, the food was delicious, the wine almost too drinkable. And I had a moment where I was describing something to Tyler and knew he knew exactly what I meant, how I felt, and I felt so known and loved--amazing. I'm a lucky girl.
And last night we attended our friends' annual themed Christmas party. This year we were tasked with becoming rock stars:
Our version of Robert Palmer's "Simply Irresistable" video
Well, early Sunday morning is slowly turning into late Sunday morning. Stella should be up soon, and it's probably time to finish my coffee, finish this post and hop in the shower.
By Jenna Andersen Tumblr - Website - Instagram - By Jenna Andersen Tumblr - Website - Instagram
5 hours ago