Seems like just yesterday she looked like this...
But it's been a full year! A full year since I was in labor, scaring the bejeezus out of Brian and our neighbors by screaming in the front yard. A full year since my sweet baby girl was placed in my arms. A full year since we became a family of four!
And it was a very full year! A year full of smiles! A year full of snuggles! A year full of giggles! I made a slideshow (see below) of my sweet ladybug and I realized how much we did this year and how much I enjoyed every moment of this first year of her life. She is an absolute joy and I am so thankful for her!
I was discussing McKenna's upcoming birthday at bible study last week and a friend of mine made a comment that has stuck with me, especially as I've been sorting through pictures. She noted that McKenna always has both a twinkle in her eye and a smile that give you the impression that she knows a little secret. I think it's just an innate joy that can't help but poke through! I pray that she always has that!
I cheated a bit and got McKenna's Pooh pic a day early. I figure if I can take them a week late, I can take one a day early. Although I have to admit it feels wrong! Oh and thankfully her hysterical fear of 3 foot tall Winnie the Poohs only lasted about a week! Now they're good buddies. In fact, I had a hard time getting a picture of her looking at me instead of giving Pooh kisses!
New this month...
McKenna signs "more"! I mention it first cuz I'm most excited about it! She just started a couple days ago. She's been carefully watching my hands for months and giggling at me. And the last week or so I could tell that the pieces were starting to fall into place in her little mind. Thursday she signed it for the first time after being prompted to and Friday she used it all on her own. She asked for Austin to play his music more! I loved signing with Austin so I am ecstatic to be starting this with McKenna too. It makes life so much easier!!
She's added several words this month. Most notably is "Baby". She is enthralled by her new little cousin and sweetly whispers it whenever she sees her. It is too cute. And I'm fairly certain she's saying "This" when asking about stuff or pointing to where she wants to go. And she makes a distinct "Paah" sound whenever she sees anything Winnie the Pooh. She went from being terrified of his last month, to being obsessed with him. Their bedroom is decorated in Winnie the Pooh, so she points him out on the border and the pictures all the time and she loves to climb all over our big Pooh as often as I let her. So I hear "Paah" a lot!
She's still not walking but is close to taking steps. She can stand for a fairly good time (10sec or so) without holding on to anything. And when she walks holding onto your fingers, she is barely putting any weight on you. But she is so so fast crawling, that I guess she hasn't found the motivation to try walking yet. Just in the last couple days she has started bear crawling about 1/2 time, so perhaps she is getting tired of being on her knees and will get walking figure out soon. I'm very much looking forward to not having scuffed shoes and dirty socks, pants and little hands all the time!
She eats! McKenna eats! I can't tell you how happy I am that she eats! At the beginning of this month she was making significant progress - eating almost any puree. Then just as I got excited about that, she got a cold and refused to eat just about everything for 2 weeks. But for the last week and a half or so she has been doing awesome! I'm getting a good feel for which pureed type foods she likes - she likes meats and veggies over fruits every time! And she's eating table food finally without gagging! She loves cheese (both string and grated cheddar are hits) and deli turkey. Those make lunch easy! She discovered blackberries and attacks them like Mr. Peepers. And much to Austin's dismay, she like goldfishies and strawberries. I think he think those are only his!
She is also loving her sippy cup! For as much trouble as we had getting her to take a bottle, I am amazed she drinks from it at all! She is far from weaning, but at least I can foresee her going to college without me having to come along!
Tantrums. Oh we have discovered tantrums! 90% of the time she is a joyfilled little girl, but when she is tired, she can be a little firecracker! She kicks her legs and flails around and if you are holding her, she goes limp and throws herself backwards out of your arms. One day she decided to do that as I was walking through the doorway with her. I felt bad for the resulting lump on her head, but she really had no one to blame but herself! (She hasn't done that since. She learns!) She definitely has learned she has an opinion! She has just started getting mad when Austin takes toys from her. She used to just sit there, but now she cries and tries to take it back. She'll push him (or at least try to) out of her way too.
Naps have not been good this month. Not sure if we're dealing with teeth or if we're getting ready to drop a morning nap or what. She has a very hard time settling down for a morning nap. She discovered the same trick that Austin did about this age - if she chucks her binkie out of the crib, I'll most likely come back in to retrieve it and it is really fun to watch Momma crawl around on the floor looking for the darn binkie! I tried not going in, but then she doesn't sleep at all. At least if I give it back to her, there's a fair chance she'll go to sleep. She's also gotten in the habit of pooping at the beginning of her naps. And I have no way of knowing if she's crying because she's dirty or because she wants her binkie back. It's getting frustrating! If she does happen to take a morning nap, she usually has a hard time taking an afternoon nap. It'll be nice to either drop the morning completely (minus the tiredness and tantrums) and settle into a good routine with just one nap!
Tooth #4 came through! I don't see #5 or 6 on the horizon, but who knows?!
Have I mentioned she adores Brian? Right on cue, (same time as Austin) I'm chopped liver again! She absolutely lights up when she sees him. She does her little whisper thing with "Dada" too.
And she's really enjoying Austin this month too. They are getting pretty good at playing with each other and not always bugging each other. At least it usually starts out well for a good period of time before someone gets pushed or poked or a toy gets yoinked. If we are in the other room and I ask her if she wants to go play with Brother, she gets very excited and wiggles to get down. Then crawls like a speed demon out of the room! Austin is being so much better with her! Not pushing her down nearly as often as he used to! And she just thinks he's hilarious. He can always get her to laugh when they're sitting in their high chairs. They squeal together too - each hitting higher and higher pitches! It's hard on my ears, but it's fun to listen to!
Last month McKenna discovered she likes my singing. This month she decided to sing along. Especially when I sing our "Keep it Tidy" song. She squishes up her face squeaks along with it every time! Love it!
McKenna has the best hair! I get asked frequently if she's had a haircut. She hasn't! Somehow it's growing in incredibly even. Even the back is all one length! It is getting a little long though. She varies from a cute little bob (when I get around to putting a bow in it) to looking like Justin Bieber or worse, Gary Busey when bedhead kicks in!
And as always, she somehow managed to become more fun this month! She is developing such a sense of humor!
What a wonderful month and a wonderful year! Thank, Lord, for this amazing little girl!! She is a joy & a blessing!