The big day has come and gone. My sweet girl turned one year old last Wednesday, on September 21st! We had her birthday party, in the theme of the Very Hungry Caterpillar, at our house the Saturday before. It was a great day of celebration and we were surrounded by many of Lily's biggest fans. We had 12 adults and 6 children (including the birthday girl) and it was really just right for a first birthday party. It was very special to have our parents and siblings here, and we were only missing my husband's brother, his wife, and their son, who couldn't travel because they're getting ready to have our brand new little niece any day now!
Even though it was a relatively small party, we worked very hard the week leading up to it to get everything ready. The night before the party felt a lot like the night before Christmas. We put Lily to bed and tiptoed around the house setting up decorations and putting out presents, and when it was all done my husband and I looked at each other and had one of those "can you believe we're doing this" kind of moments.
Early the next morning we put out balloons and picked up her cake (which turned out so cute -- the bakery copied it perfectly from a photo I found on the Internet years ago) while welcoming our first party guests.
The day went so well and I think Lily really enjoyed herself. I wasn't sure how she might react to it all, but she couldn't have done better! She was happy and excited and in a sweet mood despite all of the activity around her. She got several new toys and lots of new books and clothes.
Every morning since the party she seems so excited to play with her new things. All year we'd been trying not to fill up the house with an excessive amount of toys, so I think she was really ready for and excited to have some new ones. And as far as eating cake goes, our girl acted like an old pro! You'd never have known it was her first time to try it. She loved it!
On top of all of that, my mom stayed the entire week with us and was able to be here to love on Lily for her actual birthday as well. We had a great time together.
Now, since this is probably the last detailed month-by-month update I'll post, here's what life looks like for Lily at age one:
Eating: The big news this month is that Lily has made the switch to cow's milk. We began gradually introducing it about 2 weeks ago and she likes it a lot, but she won't take it cold. I run her sippy cup under warm water and then she gulps it right down. We've said goodbye to formula for good and I haven't nursed her for over a week. The transition has gone more smoothly than I even imagined and I think that's because it was the right time. I'm beyond grateful that the "right time" for both of us coincided with my overall goal to try to breastfeed for the entire first year. I hope you can read my sincerity in those words because I truly mean it. I know quite a few precious moms who would have loved nothing more than to have been able to breastfeed their babies, and I know that it just doesn't always happen that way despite every possible effort. So I don't take that privilege lightly by any means.
Breastfeeding was one of the more challenging things I've ever done. In the beginning it was pretty close to hell on earth for me but we made it through some rough patches until it was WAY better, and I'm feeling overwhelmingly thankful and satisfied that we did it. I'm not at all ashamed to say that even though overall it was a great experience which I wouldn't trade for anything, I'm happy and relieved that it's done.
Sleeping: Nothing much new to report on sleep schedules. Lily's still napping twice a day, around 10 AM and 2 PM for about an hour each, and she goes to bed around 8:30 PM. It seems that our night-time pattern changes frequently, though, as any new thing works to disrupt her sleep. Last week was a stellar week as far as sleep went and we all felt happy and rested for about 6 days in a row... but we're back to waking up 2 or 3 times a night now and I think it's because Lily is cutting her top two front teeth. That's just my guess, but I'm sure it could be any number of other things! At any rate, she wakes up for the day around 7 AM (and this week it's been more like 6 AM) no matter how rough the night was. I don't know how she does it but you could truly set your clock by her!
Milestones: We still have a little "scooter" and I don't think she'll ever crawl in the traditional way on all fours. She gets around in her unique way very well, so I guess she sees no need to change it! She's cruising all around the furniture but hasn't taken any steps independently yet.
Like I mentioned above, Lily is cutting 2 new teeth and will soon have a total of 4. It's so funny to me when I see other children her age (or younger) with a mouth full of teeth!
Lily learned a new word about 2 weeks before her birthday. She started saying "Dada" and that's pretty much all we heard from then on. I like to joke that she finally learned the name of her very favorite person. That girl is still all about her daddy! "Dada" makes the fourth word in her sweet little vocabulary (along with uh-oh, Mama, and hi).
This month has been a big month for learning new things. Lily surprises me almost daily with things that I didn't know she knew. When I ask her if I can kiss her toes, she picks up her foot and puts it to my mouth. The other day I asked her where her hair was and she patted her head, and we did the same little game with her ear. I had no idea she could do that! I know it's not rocket science, but it's fun to watch her grow in her comprehension and other skills. This week we've been working on eating with a spoon -- what a mess! :)
Speaking of growing, at her one-year checkup today Lily weighed 21 pounds and was 30 inches long. She has gotten quite tall in the past couple of weeks and a few people have been commenting on it when we're out and about.
I know this has been a rather long post, but thanks for indulging me tonight and this entire year as I've written about Lily's growth and development. It's been quite a departure from my regular blogging but, frankly, it's been a welcome change for me. I've done a lot of healing this year, and we continue to be humbled and absolutely in awe of the fact that we have a child to raise, love, and hold here on earth. Thank you for celebrating her with us, dear friends.