Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Still my baby...

So now that our Leah is 1, there seems to suddenly be pressure on the fact that she is no longer a baby. Not that we are pressured by anyone, nor do we worry about that, but society in general seems to think that babies need to grow up so fast! I am still breastfeeding her (even though her pediatrician told me it was time to give it up). While I will not force her to nurse if she is no longer wanting it, I hope to continue to do so until she is 2. She eats like a champ: onions, hummus, guacamole, mushrooms, tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon... We have never given her baby food (the closest to baby food has been avocado or mashed potatoes), but went straight to table foods. Because of this, I believe, Leah will eat anything you offer her. But... she is also very happy to nurse, and I am very happy to oblige. She generally still nurses 3-6 times during the day and at least once in the night (not always), although I'm not really sure as we still co-sleep.

Co-sleeping is another big controversial issue. Many say it's a terrible idea. All I know is that it has made the most sense for our family. Kyle and I (and Jendi!) have been perfectly happy to share a bed with our baby. It gets in lots of extra snuggle time, makes night-time nursing easier (as neither one of us has to wake up), and has just made sleep better overall. Leah has been sleeping through the night virtually since she was born. In general, she sleeps from 9 until 7 in the morning, although that changes occasionally. So... for now, she's still in bed with us. I am thinking that she is starting to be ready to transition from the bed and my philosophy is to do what's best for everyone at the time! Two nights now, Leah has slept in the co-sleeper next to the bed (still touching!). The first night I almost cried when I scooted her over into it. I told Kyle I was not ready for this. How could she have grown up so fast? In the end, though, she did perfectly fine, and I will be okay too. Eventually.

I also am still more than happy to wear Leah during the day. I do have a passion for babywearing that I hope does not have to end with infancy (clearly it has not!). Leah very often naps in a carrier. It is also great for when we are out shopping: she never has to touch icky shopping carts and is in on all the action! Studies have shown that babies who are worn often learn so much more than babies who are in strollers all the time! It seems obvious to me why: Kyle and I are continuously talking to her and she is at the same level we are. She gets to see everything we are doing and is learning all about it! Wearing her at the store also helps when she is tired as she can just fall asleep on me resulting in a safe and comfortable place for her, and extra snuggles for me.

One other area that we are not pushing her to grow up too fast in is her car seat. While babies can 'technically' be turned around forward facing at 1 year AND 20 pounds, we are choosing to keep her rear-facing for as long as possible (the seat we bought has a RF capacity of 45 pounds!). It is 500% safer for children under the age of 4 to ride rear facing in a car. Also, in the past year, it has been said that you should really keep your baby rear facing until at least 2 years AND 30 pounds. So... why make her "grow up" sooner when it's not in her best interests?

At any rate, I'm hoping that my little girl won't grow up too quickly. I'm more than happy to keep her as my baby until she is actually ready to grow up.

And just because she is so darn cute, here are a few more pictures of gorgeous little Miss Leah.

A family picture at Niagara Falls. Leah fell asleep shorty after this pictures was taken!

LOVING watermelon at the church picnic on her birthday!

She loves her daddy!

This was her first time eating corn on the cob the other night. I think she likes it!

Scenes from a first birthday party

Somehow, our beautiful little girl has turned 1! I know that parents everywhere, mine included, have always said, "The time goes by fast... enjoy it!" but I never really knew how fast that really was. That is, until I became a parent myself. All I know is one day I found out I was pregnant, the next I had a beautiful baby in my arms, and suddenly now, I have a toddler.

Leah is just an amazing child. She is so loving: one of the first things she does in the morning is climb over me to kiss daddy. She is so happy: she has a gorgeous smile that she will flash for anyone who cares to look. She is so content: I've been asked more than once if she ever cries. She is so dependent: Leah loves her cuddles with mommy and daddy (I still wear her in a baby carrier every day). She is so independent: she is happy to run around and make new friends. She loves animals: her first words (other than "mama" and "dada") have been the names and sounds of animals. Leah's favorite animal is, by far, dogs. She gets so excited whenever she sees a dog (any size!) She calls all of them "puppy" and knows that they say "ffff." (We taught her "woof" and she only caught the "f" part). She knows that monkeys say "ah!" that snakes say, "sss," that ducks say, "cack" (always whispered).

Clearly I'm madly in love with our Leah.

At any rate, our loving, talking, running little girl turned 1 two weeks ago. We celebrated her birth with a wonderful picnic joined by friends and family. It was perfect. I cried (multiple times) and am just so proud and blessed to have been chosen to be Leah's mommy. Here are a few pictures from that day (photos courtesy of my mom!).

Silly smile. :)

The gorgeous cupcakes. It was my idea, but was put together by Julianna and Destiny. I almost cried when I saw how pretty it looked. The "leaves" are white cupcakes with green tinted vanilla whipped icing. The "trunk" is made up of vegan peanut butter chocolate cupcakes. The "grass" is vegan carrot cake cupcakes (which is what Leah got to eat!).

Leah enjoying her first cupcake! (She soon enjoyed a second!)

Opening up and looking at what was by far her favorite gift: a book of dogs from David. You should have seen the smile on her face when we unwrapped it...

Being a cutie pie.

So, happy 1st birthday, my angel.