A Dozen Months



Well, my littlest baby is a year old.

While the last year sometimes seems like a really long year, at the same time it feel like my little darling should still be a tiny baby.  But she's not anymore, she's a vibrant, active one year old girl!

The last month feels like an explosion of personality for my girl.  Well, she's always had a lot of personality, but this month she has been making her loves and hates a little more known.  Her biggest love still seems to be me, which is still such a satisfying feeling.  She stretches out and reaches for me every time I walk into the room, and she lays her little head on my shoulder and gives a shy smile, like she's reminding everyone that this is where she belongs, tucked in her mama's arms.  It's the cutest thing.

Even though she is still very much attached to me, she also has gotten a lot more independent and brave this month.  She has been pulling up on furniture left and right, and on the evening after her first birthday party she pushed her little bum into the air and then straightened to a standing position, which she held for a good three seconds.  She hasn't gone much longer than that yet, but I am still impressed that she managed to get herself into a standing position without even holding onto anything.



Another favorite this month is "dancing".  I'll hold her hands and do a little dance to get her started, and then she takes off, bending at the waste and swinging her little hips back and forth.  Sometimes she'll rotate at the waist too, like a miniature version of the twist, all with the funniest little concentrating grin on her face.  Then when someone praises her on her dance skills she scrunches her nose and laughs or lets out her signature screech.

Clarice officially gave me her first kiss at her birthday party.  I kissed her little cheek, and she pressed her little lips together and said "mmmm", and I could tell she was trying to give a little kiss back. It was precious.  She has also started blowing kisses by flinging her little arm out and saying "mmmm". She is a sweet baby!



Her absolute favorite toys right now are a pink bear and fabric dolly that she got for her birthday.  When she received both of those presents her face just lit up, and she even gave the dolly a big, open-mouthed kiss.  She loves toys with faces, but these two are her loveys.  She goes to sleep much better when we tuck them in next to her, but most often whenever lay her down and then show them to her she will grab the bear and dolly by the necks and snuggle them both right under her chin, with closed eyes and a happy little smile on her face.

She is in size 4 diapers, and 12 month clothes.  Her feet are tiny, and fit into 6 month shoes still.

She has become so vocal, screeching, yes (my favorite is when she sits on the floor, rotates at the waist and waves her arms while screeching - trying to let us know she's happy, I presume, because she does it with a big smile on her face); but she also tries to say actual words now.  She says "da" for "dad", "mamama" for me, "hi", "hello" (sounds like "hewo"), "da" for dog, and "ha-ee" for "Harvey.  She has started trying to say the kids' names, and she even parroted back the tone (even though the actual words were unintelligible) of "I love you".  Which I probably don't even have to tell you, is too cute for words.

Her hair has started curling in the back and her eyes are beautifully blue.  She adores her brothers and sister, and the feeling is mutual.  She knows just how to melt her daddy's heart. She laughs like she means it, she smiles with every muscle in her face.  She's happy almost all the time, and sometimes she still falls asleep in my arms.

I just love that girl so.



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My Sweet Clarice,

Where has the year gone?  Every day with you is just a happy adventure.  You bring so much joy to me, my darling.  In one short year I can't imagine what it was even like without you; you have swept into every corner and made everything brighter with your own brand of sunshine.  You were meant to be mine.  I love you, Happy Girl.  Please keep your enthusiasm and sunshine forever.

Love you always,

Mama


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