Dear little Nat,
This month has been so full of travel that I haven't even had a chance to post about it until the next one is halfway through. Just know that it's because you're having fun that you didn't have a timely post, not in spite of it.The first trip of the month was to Philadelphia for our half-marathon. It was so much fun to visit our city and you loved getting to hang out with both sets of grandparents. The next weekend, you got to enjoy your very first Thanksgiving dinner this year! Last year, you were a little small to try anything, but this year, you had your pick of all kinds of deliciousness. Let's just say that you like food almost as much as your dad and I do.(Despite all the fat we keep trying to pile on you, you remain skinny as ever. This aids you greatly in removing certain articles of clothing, much to my chagrin.)Thanksgiving also afforded you the opportunity to spend lots of time with your paternal relatives. You loved having your grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousin around, and developed an absolute adoration for your grandpa. Every time you saw him, you would crawl right over and want to be held. It was the sweetest thing.
The next trip was when we went on a cruise in the Caribbean with your maternal grandparents. We all had a blast! The weather was perfect and warm and dry and the ports were beautiful. You absolutely LOVED playing in the water and sand and on the fun playgrounds. You kept crawling around in the sand (and not eating it!) and just running it through your little fingers. It was so fun to watch you discover new things. (I, of course, praised the warm weather for letting me see your little bare baby legs again.)
You continue to chatter up a storm. You are seriously the most talkative baby I've ever met. People are constantly commenting on how you are being really chatty, and I inform them that that is perfectly normal for you - you are always blabbing. In the midst of your jibber jabber, you have a repertoire of about 10 words that you use fairly consistently. This is incredibly helpful for helping us to know what you want ("baba" means you want your sippy). You love pointing out things you recognize in real like and in books (especially dogs and balls). The funniest part of your chatter is that you use a huge variety of sounds and inflections that you string together and put into "phrases." It totally sounds like you are having a full conversation in some other language!All of this chatter must be what you've been focusing on instead of walking, which you are STILL not doing. Early in December, you started standing on your own fairly regularly, and then just last week, you took a few steps on your own. But that.is.all. You've been cruising for literally over 6 months and yet you show zero interest in really wanting to walk on your own. I guess crawling is just faster for now...
Your nursing has gone down significantly this month. A few weeks after you turned a year old, I decided to try to just do 4 times a day (morning, before each nap, and at night) and see how you reacted. I really did not want to force you to wean, and was hoping you would let us know when you were ready. Despite never taking a bottle, you had transitioned to a sippy really easily, so I decided to give it a shot, and you were totally fine with it. A few weeks later, I decided to try to put you down for your naps without nursing. I was prepared for some fussing, but you drifted right off to sleep as usual. This made me SO happy that you were just ready and had started communicating that to me, and that it didn't need to be a big ordeal. Success!You got to meet Santa at our church Christmas party early in December and you...were displeased. Let's just say that you had some beef to raise with Santa. It was very sad. And also very very funny.
Oh, my tiny. You just keep getting more and more fun each day. I absolutely LOVE the stage you are in right now. I had so much fun traveling with you - you are the perfect little travel buddy. You adjust easily, sleep well, and smile like crazy at new people. You have this way of lighting up those around you, especially me.
I've told you before how consistently happy and cheerful you've been, and that's still the case - a friend of mine recently commented how it seems you are always just waiting to be entertained and looking for any excuse to smile. I love how that personality has gotten even more salient, and how our personalities, together, work so well. You help others make friends, you bring peace, and you just help me be better. Lately, you've become not just my angel son, but also my little friend, and I love you all the more for it.