Last Sunday, you celebrated your first birthday. Aunt Linda, Anna, Emily, Grandma, and Grandpa were all there to see the festive cake eating. Emily still maintains the record of messiest cake eating, and frankly, you didn't give her much of a challenge to that family title.
You spent the month working very hard at doing everything your brother does, which meant you moved as fast and as much as possible. You crawled up stairs as if they were nothing more than flat surfaces; you pulled up on any and every object you could find and then cruised around; and if you could find two fingers to guide you, you used them to walk anywhere those two fingers would lead. For my part, I was delighted to have Anna and Emily step in for this phase of your development.
You continue to retain your sunny disposition - though you also still are having a tough time separating from me these days. That's not too surprising though, given your age and the fact that our au pair for the past nine months is no longer living with us. I'm sure it was shocking when you woke up one day and she wasn't here. After almost two weeks without her, you seem to have adapted pretty well, though who knows how you will greet the news that a new au pair arrives on Friday.
You prefer the real phone to a toy phone, love to go through my wallet, and particularly like it when you see something on the floor - or just within reach on a chair - that seems like you should not have it. Those things are the best things of all and you are remarkably good at quietly seeking them out. If we didn't have your brother around telling us "Helen just...", you might have a little more fun. You enjoy playing "Hungry, Hungry Hippos" with me and Connor and you like to try and put his puzzles together, though don't show that much interest in your own. Connor considers you to be not all that helpful, but you can be quite helpful when it comes to picking the puzzles up because just like your brother at about this age, you love to play "things in things".
You have mostly become resigned to the fact that you should not eat everything, to the point that now when you pick up wood chips or other debris from the ground, you look at it and then hold it up to me to give it to me. Rarely does it hit your mouth, which I am quite happy about.
You say "mama", "dada", "buh buh" (bye bye), and a few other random "words" and whenever a particular song about clapping comes on a CD you have, you clap away. You do not seem to get the difference between the question "how big are you?" and "how old are you?". To both, you almost always respond by putting your hands on your head and smiling a very goofy smile. You did, however, work very diligently when I showed you how to put one finger up at putting two of your three fingers that were up down so that you too, would have only one finger up. I thought this was pretty impressive.
I feel as if a huge milestone has been reached, Helen, and I am grateful to have year one in the rearview mirror and year two staring right at me.