Love, Joleen: 11 Months

Friday, November 1, 2013

11 Months

Dear Benjamin,

I got teary just writing the title of this letter. I can't imagine what next month's letter writing is going to be like for me, because as your first birthday draws nearer, the more emotional about it I get. Ten months was awesome. I know that I'm partial because you're my kid, but I feel like I can say with authority that you rank pretty high on the scale of awesomeness. Even on my most exhausted and trying days I am thankful for what a sweet baby you are.
You have the biggest personality and a kind heart. You're a busy boy, always on the go, but you pause to blow Mama kisses or come to me for a quick snuggle. You even like cuddling with your friend's moms, if they're available to you. It's the sweetest thing to see you give love so freely. This month you've started to come out of your shell some and the separation anxiety you felt so fiercely last month, has begun to subside some. I've spent several full days away from you this month, working on various projects, and you've enjoyed your time spent with others. Even as I write this you're at a friend's house. We've started a baby swap with your friend, Christian's, mom and so every other Friday you're with them. On the other Fridays, he's with us. You're learning to share your toys and your parallel play makes my heart swell with pride.
Your attention span is growing and you now enjoy bringing me books to read to you over and over. I love that! You love music and you'll stand at Daddy's stereo to tell  me that you want to hear something! I bought you instruments earlier this week and you love them! You also love our frequent trips to the park. The mornings are cool now, (which Mommy loves) so we bundle up before walking the trail at our favorite local park. The trail ends at the playground. You like the swings and you love the play structure. You're so independent and strong! You can officially climb stairs and you love running around. You're still a little wobbly on the uneven foam flooring but no major owies yet (*knock on wood*). You love the tunnel and going down the slide. Earlier in the month you mastered the final step to being a "walker"- you stood up without having to hold on to or pull up on anything. Daddy and Auntie Karen were the ones with you that first time. Now you're a pro and we have to chase you often, which you love. You enjoy games like chase and scare (BOO!), and Peek-a-boo!
You're strong willed (of course!) and do not like being told "no". We already get glimpses of toddlerhood when you flail your body about and cry out. Sometimes you fake cry, which Mommy always calls you out on. Your pout is way too cute which means you usually don't get the result you're looking for from Daddy or me. Sorry. Thankfully, you're mostly happy and content.
You're still nursing like a champ. Ever since you're little nursing strike, you've been quite demanding. If I even think about sitting on the couch while you play, you come and tug at my shirt. Even if you just ate! We've finally fallen into a fantastic nursing/napping schedule. You're a great sleeper and still nap 2-3 times a day, sometimes for as long as 3 hours. You nurse 4 times a day, including when you wake up and just before bed. You're sleeping much longer spans through the night and are only nursing twice, around midnight and 4 am. I love it. I think we have the perfect system going.
A couple of days ago you picked out your own shirt and it struck me that you should already have opinions about this type of thing. I had just gotten you dressed for the day, when you went in the closet and brought me your Spiderman "Chicks <3 Super Heroes" tee. You were grabbing at your shirt and then hitting yourself with the new shirt, when I realized you were trying to put it on. I helped you out of the shirt you were wearing to put on the one you wanted and you could not be happier. Did you know that you're only 11 months old?
The next few weeks, leading up to your birthday/Thanksgiving are going to be very chaotic, and hopefully fun-filled. Your first Halloween and experience Trick or Treating was yesterday. It was a crazy day but you were so cute and I can't wait to share photos. Your cousin and Auntie will be here in just a couple of days and next week your Godmother is flying in. Your birthday party is in less than a week so I apologize now if Mommy seems a little spazdic these next few days. 

I love you so much!

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