Kate is 12 months old

Dear Kate,

Happy birthday, little one! In some ways this day feels like it has come so fast, and in others it feels like it's been forever ago that I spent that long day in the hospital waiting for you to arrive... forever ago that you were that tiny baby. You're such a big girl now! You've been growing like crazy and developing many new skills over the past month. Here are some updates about you, Miss Kate:

* You love to dance! Almost anytime you hear music playing, you start wiggling and bouncing to the beat. It makes Mommy laugh! You also understand the word "dance." In your bath last night I was telling Daddy how cute you were when you were dancing, and when you heard me say that, you started to bounce up and down in your bath tub!

* Here's what you're eating: turkey pieces, pasta pieces, Cheerios, puffs, banana chunks, and tortilla. Yea for more textures! We've cut you back to 3 bottles per day, and we try to load you up on solids at mealtimes. We go to the doctor next week, so we'll see what he says about testing you for allergies. We have to keep off anything dairy in the meantime! You're getting better at using a sippy cup, although you really like it better when Mama holds the cup for you. You've never been one to hold your own bottle, either. You're a big girl now, though, and that's gonna have to change!

* You started waving this past month. You love waving to Kirby, especially. The other day I said, "Say 'hi' to Kirby," and you started waving to her. I think you're getting it!

* At the beginning of your 12th month, you started to think copy-cat games were fun! You would shake your head back and forth, then we would, then you would again. You change the game up sometimes (like making a stink-eye face back and forth), but you think it's funny when you can get us to copy you.

* You LOVE your blankie. We usually keep it for crib use only, but sometimes it makes it downstairs with you. When you're tired, you snuggle up with it, and it really puts you to sleep. The other day, you started playing peek-a-boo with it. That was a first - you had never done the peek-a-booing before!

* This has been a tough month for teething. You have at least 2 more teeth coming in up top, possibly more. It's hard to get a good look up there! The top left front tooth is poking through, as well as the tooth to the right of your right top front tooth. (These are teeth numbers 5 and 6.) It looks like more are close to come.

* You're already reading! Well, you love looking at books and being read to anyway. :) You don't sit still for much of anything, even playing with your toys, but you will sit for a few minutes turning all the pages of your board books. Your favorite books are your touch and feel books by Little Scholastic. The one about farm animals and the counting book are your faves. And I may be seeing more to this than there is, but it even seems like you know when you accidentally skip a page in your numbers book. I think you know the order of those pages!

* I'm not sure I've ever mentioned this before, but whenever you really get tickled about something and are laughing hard, you ALWAYS get the hiccups, too. I'm not sure if every baby does this, but I think it's funny. Long after your giggles are gone, the hiccups remain!

* This one makes your Mama sad. You're getting way too independent. You've never been big on snuggling, but you don't like being held at all much now. I take advantage of your early morning sleepiness, and I hold you for your bottle for a few minutes. And either Daddy or I hold you and rock you before bed. Sometimes even then, you immediately squirm and kick out of my grasp, and I have to put you in bed. You don't even really like me to hold you when you've hurt yourself and are crying! I savor the moments when you sit in my lap to read a book or when you're super tired before bedtime, and I watch your eyes roll around as you give into sleep.

* You can kick a ball! I think this is pretty incredible, actually. You line yourself up, and you always kick with your left foot. You follow the ball, and kick it again! Kirby gets into it too, although she ends up picking up the ball with her mouth, abruptly ending the game. You even understand when I say "Kick the ball." Here's a picture and a quick video clip:

* Although you're still not saying any words yet (that I can tell), you understand a lot! The other day you dropped your blankie, and it was in the hall behind you. I said, "Where's your blankie?" and you turned around, found it, picked it up, and came back. Wow! I think you know the word "baby" for your new doll, "kick the ball," "wave" or "hi," and "dance." I know you understand so much more, but these are the ones I'm sure of.

We can't believe that one year ago today, you made your entrance into this world. We thank God for the blessing He gave us in YOU!

We love you, Birthday Girl!
Mama and Daddy

Weight: about 22 pounds
Length: 30 inches
Clothes: 12-18 months
Diaper size: 4
Sleep: 6:45pm - 7am
Naps: 9:30-10:30/11am and 1:30-2:30/3pm

Here is your monthly elephant shot. You actually held still for a couple of them since you had your balloon with you!

And let's take a look at the progression from the year: