This week we will celebrate Amelia’s first birthday. It is hard to believe that she is really that old and that a year has passed by already. Yet it also seems like she has been in our lives for a lot longer. Thinking back to a year ago, when she was still comfortably tucked up my tummy, we had no idea what she would look like or what kind of character she would be.
These 12 months have passed by in a whirlwind of sleepless nights, feeding marathons, developmental leaps and milestones, laughter and a love we have never known before. Our life would be far less exciting without her. Watching her personality unfold and develop has been our favourite part of the journey by miles.
Amelia is good-natured and on the most part laid back. She can fall down in excitement and gets right back up, giggling as she goes. She dances, and practices her singing (don’t get me wrong – if mummy and daddy’s vocal skills are anything to go by you wont be seeing her on the X-factor or the voice anytime soon). She happily embraces new people, and is learning to share her food (not always welcome) and toys (slowly but she’s trying!). She can now sign for milk when that’s what she wants. She can say a word here and there (mama and dada are the most recognisable) and she is working on others – dog, all gone, yes, and other essentials! She loves bath time, but bedtime not so much! When you go to get her after she’s been sleeping she greets you with a huge smile, and often bouncing up and down excitedly. She is energetic and hilarious. She laughs at seemingly inane things.
How is Amelia doing? She is crawling at the speed of light, cruising proficiently and letting go on occasions. She is clearly thinking about taking her first steps but is not quite brave enough yet! She loves to feed herself and is great at picking food with her fingers. However the use of a spoon is still a little hit and miss, and requires some ducking and diving on our part! She can use a Sippy cup, and is working on sipping from a Doidy cup. This often results in a soaking wet Amelia and anyone else within close proximity. She loves to wave hello and goodbye, and in the right mood claps her hands together. She enjoys reading her books and turning the pages, and generally emptying boxes of toys or books. She is more destructive than constructive when it comes to making towers!
There have definitely been moments of frustration, mostly fuelled by exhaustion. The early days brought hours of cluster feeding from 10pm onwards for 2-3 hours. The worry of getting the breastfeeding established was stressful and at times I was desperate to give up and give her bottles. It was annoying when she decided, overnight it seemed, to quit bottles when she was 4 months old and I was responsible for all feeds, day and night. Weaning was fun yet it has made me feel like I need an extra 3 hours in the day to accommodate this sometimes lengthy and messy process. The amount of time I spend doing laundry has tripled since Amelia arrived, and I should probably have part ownership of the company that produces Vanish, since we get through so much of it. Who knew carrots, sweet potatoes, etc. could stain clothes so much and be so stubborn to remove. Don’t even get me started on Weetabix and it’s magical ability to stick to clothes and remain stuck despite said item being spun around a washing machine! Nappy changes started out as a delicate process, and though relatively mild smelling the poops were sticky and also excellent at staining clothes. Again, I have never spent so much time soaking clothes. I now have a dedicated bowl for soaking baby clothes in Vanish and washing detergent. I have also found a use for my out of date bicarbonate of soda! I never knew how much effort babies put into pooping, even when not constipated. I also never believed I could find it so heart-breaking to see another individual constipated! And who knew prunes tasted so good and sweet! Another thing to note about nappy changes is the way in which babies seem to have a natural talent for pooping immediately after you have changed a nappy. My lesson learnt – always wait five minutes or so as often more poop is produced after the first go. Yet always be on guard for a poo-losion. They happen, and resemble Vesuvius erupting!
Amelia’s first birthday will be spent on holiday, with mummy and daddy, having fun. It will be the perfect way to end our first year as a family of three, and enter the next stage – the toddler years!