You are 11 months old now, and this is the first time I didn't write to you on your monthly "birthday." It's so unlike me; I'm usually right on top of those things but somehow the 19th of this month snuck up on me. I started brainstorming ideas for your first birthday party a few weeks ago, but I can't seem to gather enough steam to start menu planning and crafting party decorations. Maybe I'm in denial about this being your very last month of babyhood. It doesn't seem possible.
One thing reminding me of your impending birthday is how your looks are changing. I forgot about this stage of infancy around 11 or 12 months of age where suddenly a little baby's face doesn't look so babyish anymore. This is you these days -- blond hair now covering the top of your head, your cheeks thinner and face elongating. As your mom, it's bittersweet to see. I love watching you change and grow, but it also makes me sad to say good-bye to my tiny baby boy.
This month, you're more animated than ever. You love to play peek-a-boo behind books or with your favorite blue blanket draped over your head and let out the happiest giggle when your face is revealed. You're communicating with us more everyday, and often push the baby bottle of milk away from your mouth so you can chat with me. I'm officially calling "hi" as your first word. It's funny because this was Tory's first word, too, so it goes to show how often it's used in our household. You'll say "hi!" when I enter into your room in the morning, or say "hi" when you see your reflection in the mirror. I can't quite tell if you're saying "mama" yet. You'll cry "mama mama mama" if I plop you down on the living room floor and walk away to do something in the next room. It could be just "ma ma ma ma" sounds of gibberish though, so I'm not officially calling it as the word "mama" just yet. Your favorite sound to make is "baa!" and almost everything is "baa!" when you're really excited about something, or "baaaa" when you're melting down and ready for a bottle of milk.
The biggest news of the month is your mobility. You finally started crawling - really crawling on all fours - about a week ago. It took you a long time to learn to move your arms and legs in coordinating motion to get around from place to place. Before that, you'd do some sort of half turn / sit / scoot to move a few feet at a time. Now that you're crawling on all fours, you are EVERYWHERE and into every thing. Toys? Who needs toys? I leave you down on the ground for a minute and you're into the dog's bowls or pulling on a lamp cord. You do like some toys - Tory's, of course - and find your way over to her dollhouse and the play kitchen. The other day I was cooking dinner in the kitchen and I heard a CRASH of plastic toys hit the hardwood floor. You pulled out the play kitchen drawer of plastic food and dumped it all over the living room. Thanks, buddy.
You also gained your 5th tooth this month - the lateral incisor - on the bottom left side of your mouth. Turns out, you're one of those mythical kids who cuts teeth without many symptoms. I'll notice your demeanor being a bit fussy one day and glance in your mouth to find a new tooth in there. Huh. No up-all-nights, diaper rash and constant fussiness for weeks like your sister's tell-tale signs as an infant? Wow. I have to say, life is much easier when those teeth just pop in unannounced.
One area you've greatly developed in the last month is eating. You LOVE food, buddy! Your fine-motor skills of pinching small pieces of food is on-point, which assists you in feeding yourself. You like green beans, peas, carrots, buttered noodles, applesauce, mandarin oranges and crackers the most. You also make a huge mess when you eat, smearing food in your hair and on your face at almost every meal. Let's just say you're taking your fair share of baths these days.
Other favorites of yours are playing with balls, reading books, watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with Tory and snuggling with your favorite blue blanket. It's fun seeing you develop a fondness for reading, and I soak up every moment you're sitting on my lap and reach for a book for me to read to you.
We started music class this past month, and you absolutely love it. I'm seriously surprised how engaged you are during class. You shout "baa!" with your hands above your head during songs we sing, and all the mothers in class just smile and laugh at your cuteness. We also took a trip to Bayfield, Wisconsin in the past month and it was your first time being on the North Shore / seeing Lake Superior.
Aden, you bring so much joy to our lives and we love you so much. Happy 11 months, baby boy. Here's to celebrating the last few days of infancy and looking forward to the big O-N-E in a few week's time.