A week later, it’s still sinking in that I’m now the mama of a ONE year old.  I can’t even begin to count the number of times people have stopped me as I’ve been out and about with Juliette to remind me that it goes by so fast, this raising kids thing.  I’ve always smiled politely and shrugged off the unsolicited bits of wisdom while gazing down at my wee little baby, but damn it, they’re so, so right.  Gosh, how this past year has flown by.  And now my baby is making her way into waddler-hood, daily asserting her independence as she masters a host of new skills.  I keep getting glimpses of the grown-up girl in Jules as she sheds her chubby cheeks and I wonder, can this possibly be the wrinkly seven-pound newborn we brought home from the hospital a year ago?

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The changes feel like they’re coming faster than ever – we’ve been doing some “walking”, and a couple of weeks ago she finally started putting one foot in front of the other.

A week later, I pulled out the little shopping cart a friend had let us borrow, just to see if she could make it more than a step or two on her own.  In the space of a couple of hours, she was motoring all over the house with that thing, even figuring out how to turn it around when she’d driven herself into a corner.  Our baseboards are taking a beating, but it’s worth it for the look of pride on her face.

She’s proven herself to be a fast learner in other ways, too.  I blew her a kiss just once and asked her to return the favor – and she actually did it.  I know, it’s just mimicking a silly gesture, but after working on waving and clapping for weeks, it was cool to see her pick this one up so quickly.

And there are the other times she’s surprised us – like how did she know exactly what to do with her new doll’s pacifier, especially considering Juliette hasn’t used a binky since she was a few months old?

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And ummmmm…she’s reading to herself now?!

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After months of tearing things apart, pulling toys out of her bin and clothes out of drawers and food out of cupboards, she’s showing interest in putting things back together.  Don’t get me wrong – she’s still a mess-making tornado when she wants to be, but she (and I) are enjoying more and more moments of quiet, contemplative play.  Today I watched her put a ball in a cup, shake it around, pull it out, and put it back in, about 40 times over.  Her stacking cups are her favorite toys – the day she figured out how to put one inside the other was a very good day.

And as she’s getting smarter and faster, she’s getting so much bigger – we ask Juliette nearly every day if she’s gotten taller overnight.  Her blue plastic tub has been relegated to the garage and she’s loving the freedom of the big bath.

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She’s still a champion eater – we occasionally have to duke it out over veggies, but for the most part, she’s loves food.  It’s easy to tell when she’s enjoying something, because she’ll make this nom nom mmm mmm mmmmmmm sound as she shovels whatever I’ve prepared into her face – almond butter on anything is always a hit.

She also still loves those swings, particularly when I run behind her and pop back out front in a little game of peek-a-boo.

I spent the last couple of weeks going through all the photos and videos we’ve taken over the past year, compiling them into a movie of the “greatest hits”, and while a piece of my heart aches to feel the weight of that milk-drunk newborn on my chest, a larger part of me is struck with how much fun it’s been to watch her grow, how exciting it is to bear witness to each new milestone.  Our joy has run so much deeper than I ever thought possible.  So cheers to your first year, Jules.  I’m so thankful for the ways you’ve turned our lives upside down.


  1. la v says:

    sigh… adorbs. when you speed up the photos like that, it makes this first year seem extra fast!

  2. Tiff says:

    Wow, I shed a lot of tears on that one! Cherish these memories!