Here we are. The eleventh hour. Crunch time. The final countdown.
Next month, you'll still be my baby, but you'll no longer be my baby. (BIG) Sigh.
You've had another whirlwind month, as you're accustomed to by now. You're growing by leaps and bounds and you've cruised right into 18-24 month clothing. Daddy and I can't wait until you get officially weighed and measured next month. We're anxious to see if you've grown as much as we think you have. I mean, you're practically touching the top of the fridge in the picture below.
Speaking of the fridge... you love it. Every chance you get, you're standing up and going to town on that fridge. Slapping it, banging it, kissing it. You also love the things that come out of the fridge. You're eating like the big boy you are and really love yogurt, cheese and day-old pizza from Sal's. You continue to love all fruits and vegetables and have a special affinity for crackers. You're very interested in anything that Daddy or I may be eating and use contortionist-style bending tactics to get a lick of our Stew Leonard's ice cream cone. We don't blame you.
Eating makes you pretty messy so we follow up dinner with a bath. You still love the bath but unlike last month, you now looooooove the post-bath ritual of lotion and tickles.
We've had a handful of snowstorms over the last month and you and I have stayed in for all of them. Normally, I'm itching to get out of the house for at least a few minutes but I was more than happy to pal around the house with you doing a whole lot of nothing. We did get plenty of outdoor time, though. As much as we could stand.
As it turns out, the snow days proved good for slowing down and soaking everything in. And soak you did. You explored everything you could and I took lots of pictures. You solidified your love for books, expressed a strong love for stuffed animals and finally showed a curiosity in the stairs. We established a teeth brushing routine that I should have established three months ago (oops!). One day, you stood at the toilet for five straight minutes - staring out the window, smacking and babbling away. (Hi Mom! I had just cleaned the bathroom - don't worry.)
You love playing around and under the dining room table, too. Pushing the chairs around, tugging at the table cloth and (even though I'm in absolute disbelief about it) putting your fingertips on the table top.
We had lots of outings to the local library where just a few weeks ago, you would sit and intently listen to the story being read.
Now, you crawl around the library rug, starting conversations with the other children and laying out in your David Beckham pose. Sometimes though, you'll sit still enough for a selfie with me even though you aren't happy about it.
You're babbling up a storm and pointing at everything when you're in our arms. Your favorite things to point at are the fan, (a perennial favorite) the pictures and magnets on the fridge, and the big dining room clock.
The past few Sundays, we've gone out for breakfast. You love dining out and you especially love being seated right next to Daddy.
You caught a cold around Valentine's Day but you still loved eating out and we still loved your (wet, sloppy) kisses.
You helped Daddy to ring in his first birthday as a father and I'm going to go out on a limb and say it was his best yet. You infuse every life event with so much happiness.
You went to another birthday party at the play space and if you can believe it, you had more fun than the last time. You went up in the play quad and shrieked and cackled as you navigated slides, ropes and inclining mats. You also revisited the ball pit and liked it. A lot.
Your best friend Griffin continues to stand by your side and provide lots of comic relief. I pretty sure that you try to call him on a daily basis, saying "GaGa" and pointing at his tail. His dog tags continue to be a source of fascination for you. Your ears continue to be a source of fascination for him.
I can't wait to watch you and Griff play in the grass in a couple of months. It will be a highlight of my life for sure - especially after this very snowy Winter. It's hard to to believe you're 11-months old and you've never felt the grass beneath your toes but don't worry, you'll have plenty of time to experience all the wonders of Spring and Summer.
You aren't walking yet but I think over the next few weeks, you'll get closer and closer to that milestone. If I had to guess if you'll be walking by your first birthday, I'd guess no. You are very sturdy and solid on your feet and you even stand alone for a few seconds at a time but you're very happy crawling everywhere. Often, you'll take your hands off of the couch to reach for me but Harrison -- take your time. We are in no rush for you to walk. Continue to master every skill with your token concentration and happy spirits and good things will follow.
For the last month, you've given us two good naps per day and 12 (!!!) hours of straight sleep at night. It took you a while and it was really trying for Mommy and Daddy, but we've all found our groove and you're sleeping really well. (I'm knocking wood, of course.) You didn't get any new teeth last month so I'm sure we have those to look forward to this month, but we'll handle it. We always do. Anything is possible with you by our sides.
As I reached to grab the "11th month" sticker from the shelf in your room, I realized the next and very last sticker says "My First Birthday." As you can imagine, it gave me pause. Maybe you're reading this and you're ten or twelve and you can't imagine, but one day, you will. It seems everyone I run into lately is reminding me that your big day is comin' down the pike. Unlike everyone, I'm not in disbelief. The last 11 months have been a whirlwind but I've really tried to relish in each moment. Euphoric, trying, tiring, amazing, unbelieveable... no adjective or set of adjectives can really do it justice. It's been like nothing we've ever experienced before. Let's leave it at that.
I'm so blessed by you and so aware of the joy that you bring to my life that all I can do is focus on what fun lies ahead and the amazing (almost) year that's behind us. No, you'll never again be a tiny, helpless newborn so dependent on my milk and my love. We can't get that time back. Yet, I remember it like it was yesterday and hopefully twenty or forty years down the line, I'll still remember it that way.
You're really turning into my very best friend and I can't wait for the future.
It's me and you (and Daddy, of course!) against the world.
Never ending love,
Mommy and Daddy