2011 may well have been the longest year of my entire life.
It began with depression and a traumatic birth experience, then progressed to taking care of a very needy newborn with colic. Then breastfeeding struggles and constant crying that led quickly to postpartum depression. Then Allie was hospitalized with RSV. I quit my teaching career to become a stay at home mom.
I fell apart mentally and emotionally. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, spent 6 weeks in a partial hospitalization program, and put myself back together. Several longtime friendships came to an unexpected end, upsetting my view of the world.
I began working for AboutOne. I traveled and spoke, presenting workshops and blog conference sessions, and coaching bloggers.
We began homeschooling full-time. We rode in the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile. We joined a church.
I cannot believe it was just one year.
I think I have cheated her.
Grace’s first year was all about Grace. Allie’s first year was mostly about me. I didn’t fill out a baby book. I didn’t grieve her milestones the way I did with Grace. I always wished for the next thing, more independence, less neediness.
It leaves my heart heavy, but there’s nothing I can do about the past.
Allie started walking about six weeks ago. She’s busy, exciting, cheerful. She’s fun to be around.
I can’t change the first year, but I can celebrate the present. I can celebrate my Peanut and her joie de vivre. I can celebrate her growly laugh and her neck-squeezing hugs.
Allie is a magnificent creature. She’s so much like me, so audacious, so demonstrative,Â so tenacious, and a wee bit devious.
She is not as cuddly as she used to be, but she hugs my neck a lot. I love how she grabs me and squeezes and rocks back and forth.
She loves her Corolle babies. She hugs and kisses them, and she carries one around almost everywhere she goes.
She refuses to wear socks, but the little soft-soled shoes she got for her birthday may have solved that problem.
She can climb anything. Yesterday at Chick-fil-A, she was this close to having her leg up on the play set. She did succeed in climbing up into the slide in the wrong direction. Like Grace, she can scoot up the stairs in about fifteen seconds, and she can climb up and out of any high chair, booster seat, or cart.
Just like Grace, Allie has two separate, distinct laughs â€“ a growly chuckle and a hearty belly laugh. I love them both.
Allie wants to feed herself. She holds her bottle and her cup. She dislikes being fed, and she almost always refuses baby food. I love the way her chubby little hands smash the food into her mouth, thumb and finger pinch first, then whole palm into the face. It’s adorable.
She has 8 teeth, and she’s had them since just after 7 months. I can feel two of her molars in her gums, and they are causing her a bit of pain. She chews on her fingers and anything else she can get into her mouth.
Allie doesn’t talk much yet. She growls, and she makes a funny wet breathing sound often. She says Dada, hey, cat, this, that, and something that sounds like I did it! She calls me and most people dada. The day before Christmas, she said Mama, but I’m not sure she meant me. I’ve been showing her the signs for eat, drink, all done, and more. She’s done the more sign a few times, and she waves her arms wildly in what I believe is the all done sign.
Allie is about the same size Grace was at 9 months. Allie is 26.5 pounds and close to 30 inches long, and she normally wears 18-month clothing.
Oh, and she’s beautiful.
Two days old
Ten weeks old
Four months old
Eight months old
One year old
© 2011 – 2016, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.