To you, Savannah…at 11 months.

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Banana Face,

You are only 30 days away from turning one and your mama is struggling with a crazy case of nostalgia. This time last year, I was ready to pop, only a couple of weeks away from shutting down shop at work, and dying to see your face for the first time. In fact, I think it was right around this time that we had that little scare where you stopped moving for a day or so and we got a sneak peak at your chubby little cheeks when they did the 3D ultrasound to make sure you were alright.

This last month was filled with some really high highs and a handful of low lows – or better put, a dozen or so sicky days which were no fun at all. Although it feels like we’ve all been sick a ton lately, you’ve actually weathered the winter flu season pretty well so far. No serious sicknesses requiring an emergency trip to the doctors. Just a few bouts of congestion, a lot of snot, and some restless nights. Not bad considering you spend 60 or so hours a week at daycare.

But let’s focus on those high highs.

You started swim lessons – and you love it! Your coach, Miss Amanda, is awesome with you and you really enjoy hanging with Daddy in the pool. Within two weeks, you started going underwater like a champ and floating, kicking, and splashing like you were born a mermaid. We decided to add another month of lessons because, to be honest, we enjoy it as much as you do. I still think it’ll be a while before you show off your Michael Phelps skills but for now, we’re just having a really good time together on Saturday mornings.

And, as an added bonus…you’re wiped out after class. It’s the only time I’ve ever seen you nap for longer than 30 minutes and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t glorious “found time” for your Daddy and me.

You also sprouted two new teeth. Ya know, those two uppers we’ve been waiting patiently to arrive for two months now….well, they’re finally here – giving you a total of four so far! It’s been a rough few weeks on the teething front but these two literally came in at the same exact time so I can only imagine the sort of pain you were in.

You look so cute with your little chompers flashing every time you smile. You’ve taken to clicking your top and bottom teeth which is an awful sound but seems harmless so I try to ignore it. We got you an amber teething necklace but you only started wearing it after this set came in so we’ve yet to truly test its effectiveness.

We’ve been singing a lot lately and your all time favorite, despite mommy’s horrible rendition, is the Wizard of Oz song. I have no idea why but you instantly smile when I bust it out so it’s been my go-to move every time I have to do something that’s going to irritate you – like diaper or wardrobe changes.

You talk a lot – like nonstop sometimes. You’re definitely associating Dada with your Pooz now which makes him the happiest man alive. You continue to say Mama but pretty much only in the middle of the night when you’re upset about something. We swear, we’ve both heard you say Dog, Nona, and Pop but that could be wishful thinking. Our most recent development is that you started repeating us when we say “Uh oh” and I’m telling you, kid, it’s the cutest thing in the whole wide world!

You love your toys – like L-O-V-E, love. Especially, this activity cube that your Nona and Poppy got you for Christmas. It’s so funny, we never know what you’re going to like and it’s always the things we least expect that catch your fancy. You play independently for minutes on end which at this age, seems pretty impressive to me – even longer if one of us is actually sitting on the ground near you. I’ve learned it’s all about proximity with you. Your Gods gave us some good advice – to get in the habit of letting you play for longer periods by yourself – and so we’ve been working on it and it’s going well.

Sleep

Sleep is a constant conversation in our circle of friends since we all have young kids. We don’t personally know anyone who bed shares like we do but we still get support – and a lot of questions – about our choice. We have started putting you to sleep in your crib mainly because you are now mobile and we would have to turn our bed into a giant crib to contain you or start going to bed at 8:00 every night. It was a surprisingly smooth transition. Your bedtime ritual takes longer because instead of laying down with you until you fall asleep, I have to rock/nurse/read you to sleep and then it takes 2-3 attempts to transition you into the crib without waking you. But, once you’re there, you sleep for about three hours. The first time you wake and actually stand up, we go get you and bring you into bed with us. It’s funny, I actually lay in bed staring at the monitor, willing you to wake up. I can’t help it, I just love our nighttime snuggles too much!

As the weeks have passed, you’ve grown more comfortable and you’re less inclined to panic when you realize you’re in your room alone. Now you explore a little, whimper, and eventually stand up and let out a cry to tell us you’re ready to be rescued. Your Daddy rushes in to save the day and the rest of the night resumes as normal. Although I’ve read numerous “sleep training” manuals, we’ve decided to try this unofficial method with hopes that over time, your crib time gets longer and longer. In a perfect world, you’d be in your room until around 3:00 and then spend the rest of the night with us.

Who knows if it’ll work but I was reassured when I mentioned the term “sleep training” to your Poppy and he abruptly responded with “What the hell’s that?” He followed my explanation with a lecture about how there was no such thing as sleep training back in the day and how we should just enjoy this moment in time while you’re little without imposing all sorts of schedules and rules on our lifestyle. Oddly enough, I totally agree. It seems the most consistent advice I get from older generations – and your doctors – is not to overthink everything. And between meal planning, sleep training, and educational toys it’s very easy to do. So, I try to trust my instinct more and the “experts” with all their fancy books and titles less. It’s not always easy because I question myself a lot when I see other parents go in different directions but at the end of the day, I keep reminding myself that we have to do what works for our family and when it really comes down to it, I have to listen and take your lead.

We have a lot of traditions and rituals in our house. One of my favorites is our morning routine.

I get you ready while Daddy showers and we play a little in bed with Lola. Unless I leave for work extra early I ALWAYS load you in the car. We do a 1-2-3 swing into your carseat. I buckle you in, hand you your Frosty stuffed animal and then prepare your blanket. I make a big to-do when I cover your legs and “wrap you like a burrito” tucking in all the sides real tight. You crack up and my heart melts. Then your Daddy kisses me goodbye and the two of you are off and running to start your day. I am so thankful for those small treasured moments each morning.

You share so well, sweet girl. We’ve developed a fun game where you hand us whatever is in your hand, we make a big to-do of saying thank you and then we pass it back to you. This goes on for hours on end.

Life with you is so much fun. You are an amazingly easy baby and even when you’re having a cranky day, we know it’s a walk in the park. You always find a way to make us laugh; you’re just a huge goofball. You love praise and every time you do something new or cross a milestone, we make a huge deal of it and you get such a kick out of your accomplishment.

11 Months At A Glance

Weight: 21 lbs 3 ozs – 65th percentile

Length: 30.5 inches – 95th percentile

Cool Things You’re Doing: You are trying all sorts of new foods – and liking them, figuring out how to operate your “puzzle” toys, climbing stairs, crawling, going from standing to sitting and back again, imitating our sounds, responding to “no” and “stop,” and sharing.

Likes: Playing fetch and sharing your toys with Lola, being out in public, finger foods, taking rides in your stroller, bath time, your Mommy and Daddy.

Dislikes: You don’t like getting cleaned up after meal time, and you really don’t like it when Lola attacks your hands when you’re crawling. You don’t love sleeping in your own room but you’re getting more comfortable each day. You don’t care for head bands or hats at all!

Nicknames: You have a new one – Bananza – and then there are all the others: Bubbles, Banana Face, Pooz, Poppy, Mommy, Babycakes, Savi, Savs, and Sweet Pea

You have made our lives richer, our home warmer, and our days fuller. Thank you for your charm, humor, and sweet, sweet demeanor.

Loving you always,

Your Mama

Outtakes:

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One thought on “To you, Savannah…at 11 months.

  1. I love these and look forward to reading them. Poppy and I are so blessed to see all the changes going on. Love you more than life Banana Face.

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