One whole year. I’m still wrapping my brain around the fact that I have a walking, talking one-year-old. It doesn’t seem possible that it’s been an entire year since I held Alma in my arms for the first time.
I have spent every single day of the past year with Alma. I have put her to bed every single night, except for one time when Andrew and I were at a wedding (and she was in the loving care of my parents). I have breastfed her every day, all day (and night). I have seen all of her ‘firsts’. And I am so grateful for all of it.
I wish I was a more talented writer, so I could accurately express my thoughts and feelings of the past year. In short, it has been the best and hardest year of my life.
Here’s what Alma’s been up to this month:
Despite some night-time sleep regression for a week or so, due to a cold, sleep has been pretty good this month. Alma wakes up, on average, just once a night. Usually around 3-4am. It’s a quick waking – she just nurses and goes right back to sleep. Sometimes she’ll go through stretches of nights where she wakes twice to nurse. She is still taking two naps a day, and they are usually 1.5 hours long. Sometimes I have to wake her after an hour for her afternoon nap, so it doesn’t cut into bed time.
I wrote last month that I was trying to keep Alma on a stricter schedule, in hopes that it would help her early morning wake-ups. We tried it out for a few weeks, but she slowly moved into a different schedule. Sleeping later in the morning, and going to bed later at night. Now she is up for the day around 6:30-7am, naps at 9:30 or 10am and 3:00ish, and goes to bed at between 7:30-8pm. It all just depends on when she wakes up. She is awake for 3 hours after her morning wake-up, 3.5 hours after waking up from her morning nap, and 3.5 hours after waking up from her afternoon nap.
I’d rather her go to bed closer to 7pm, but since she’s sleeping in later, I really can’t complain.
We set up an IP Camera so we could monitor her sleep better. Sometimes, especially at night, she fusses, but is trying to go back to sleep. The camera helps me figure out if she really needs me or not. It’s been pretty hilarious to watch her fall asleep, and see the postions she gets herself in:
We made some big strides in this department this month, but mostly on the parental side. I know I’ve written before of my worries about her solid food intake. Well, after some googling, I came across this book called My Child Won’t Eat! by Carlos Gonzlez. It really put my mind at ease about her eating. I’ve heard numerous times that children know how to regulate their own intake of food, and will eat just what they need (provided they are offered healthy things, not junk). But something about this book helped me understand that concept little bit better, and it all just clicked.
Before, mealtimes were becoming a struggle. When Alma wouldn’t eat, I’d get frustrated, and she could sense that. She was starting to get fussy as soon as she was put in her high chair. She’d immediately start dropping food onto the floor.
Now, Andrew and I approach mealtimes with a relaxed attitude. She will eat what she eats, and whatever amount that is, it’s okay. We don’t try to sneak in bites of food, or try to keep feeding her after she has clearly let us know that she is finished. We put the food on her tray, and the rest is up to her.
There has been a definite shift in Alma’s attitude towards eating. She’s much more open to trying what we offer her, and she no longer gets fussy in her high chair right away. She has even started to increase her intake slightly. She also doesn’t throw food as much (hardly ever).
I’d definitely recommend checking out that book if you are struggling with meals with your little one. It’s good for older toddlers and children, as well. It’s available on the Kindle.
No changes in breastfeeding. She still nurses a ridiculous number of times each day, but it’s working for us. When Alma had a cold a few weeks ago, she refused to nurse (except at night) for about 1/2 a day. Every time I offered, she would bite me. So I had to pump to keep my supply up, and even though I’m almost completely off of domperidone, I could see by my pumping output that I still have a pretty good supply! I’ll write more in a full breastfeeding update post.
Alma is now walking nearly 100% of the day. She crawls occasionally, but she has gotten really fast and steady on her feet! She even tries to run sometimes.
She is making some big leaps in her cognitive and language development. She can identify a few body parts on herself and others (noes, toes, head). She can follow simple requests, like “Can you get a book?” She’ll walk over to her bookshelf and pull out a book. She imitaties some animal sounds: she says “ah-ah-ah” when she sees a dog (trying to bark), and “da-da-da” (“caw-caw”) when she sees crows.
She likes to play a few games on my Iphone. One of them is an app that has rows of pictures, and when you touch them, they make sounds (animals, musical instruments, household objects & vehicles). She knows how to find the picture of the xylophone, and when you press it, a picture of a baby playing a xylophone pops up. Then she says “beh-beh!”.
She has a few new words this month. She says “diaper” (duh-puh or pu-puh), but only when we say it first. She can also say “book” (buh). I think that brings her to a total of 7? Understandable words, anyway
She has also learned some self-regulating techniques. Sometimes when I’m washing the dishes after a meal, and she is in her play pen, she starts to get fussy. When she does, I ask her if she wants to sing a song, and then she claps her hands (to sing ‘Pat-a-Cake’). Lately though, when she starts to fuss in her playpen, she stops herself and just starts clapping, as if she knows I am going to ask her if she wants me to sing! Smart cookie.
Speaking of songs, she loves them! Particularly ones with hand movements. She knows how to raise her arm & open and close her hand for ‘Twinkle Little Star’, make the spider motion for “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and of course, clap for “Pat-a-Cake”. I need to learn some more!
No new teeth this month, but I’m guessing we will see some next month.
I’m working on a post-partum update to post soon. I’m losing weight, slowly. I think the total amount lost from my highest pregnancy weight is 22-23 pounds. Obviously, I had hoped to lose all of my pregnancy weight by now, but I know I will lose it this year.
I’m almost finished with the domperidone. I’m taking one pill a day right now, and will take my last on Sunday.
I’ve been making plans to have play dates with other mamas (even some other vegan mamas!), which has been really nice for my social life. I’ve been keeping busy with my monthly goals, and making more time for reading.
I’ll write a “day in the life” post sometime this month. Her sleep schedule is above in the “Sleep” section.
Here’s a round-up of this months posts:
More photos to come later of her birthday party and smash cake fun as the pictures role in from various cameras.
Happy First Birthday, my little Alma!