01 October 2016

Zoe Miller Turns One!

Posing for her 12 month photo and getting so big!
Zoe's learned how to give a big cheesy smile for the camera this month
The month of September has arrived, and with it came a special little girl's milestone first birthday. I think Zoe had more birthday celebrations this month than any of us have had all year. We had Zoe's big birthday party in upstate New York with mostly family and some friends; a small gathering in RI to celebrate Zoe's first birthday and her Tio Mark's milestone birthday; and we also had a small gathering at the pool in NC with some of our friends from the area.

Celebrating the August and September birthdays in RI
Birthday cake in New York
Always amazing cookies made by Aunt June
Focused on her birthday candle and cupcake
Rose can blow out the candle as long as Zoe gets the cupcake
Indulging in the delicious lemon cupcake from J&S Watkins Desserts

In early September, we traveled north to celebrate Zoe's birthday after spending a very hot August in North Carolina. Normally, the heat subsides a bit in August and the weather is more pleasant, but we continued having hot (90+ degree) and humid days. Though it was humid, we didn't get much rain. We spent a lot of time cooling off at the pool and got to check out the new splash pad in Cary. Unfortunately, my phone broke just before our trip to New York, so all my photos from the month were lost. Thankfully, we took pictures during our trip and during the birthday celebrations, so those are the ones you'll see here.

Swimming off the boat in Lake George on her birthday with daddy
A boat ride on Lake George for Zoe's actual birthday
During the month of August, Zoe perfected the art of walking. She impressed everyone who saw her on her first birthday with her confidence and steadiness. Unfortunately for us, her confidence extends to walking off ledges, which has resulted in a few minor (we hope!) injuries.

Sisters at the EcoTarium in Worcester, MA
In addition to walking, we are seeing Zoe's personality developing. She is becoming very independent and can play by herself for a long time. She is also very smart and understands just about everything we say to her. The teachers at school have commented that she understands everything in Spanish too. When they tell her it's time to change her diaper, she walks right over to the diaper changing table. She still is not communicating much, just mama, dada, da (for Darwin), and "ah-da" for pretty much everything else, but we are pretty good at figuring out what she wants through her various hand motions and sounds.

Some of the games she seems to enjoy the most include peekaboo and keep away. She finds great joy in offering you food and then pulling it away when you reach for it. At the playground, Zoe is a daredevil. She walks up the steps confidently and would walk right off the steps or the slide if we let her. We help her sit down and she loves going down the slide all by herself. Her preference is to walk back up the slide and she does a pretty good job at it.

Zoe has always been a bit reserved and shy. When people greet her, she often turns away and burrows here head in the shoulder of whoever is carrying her. With the people she knows, she is very caring, kind, and gentle. She has started giving people kisses by extending her tongue out. She pets Darwin very gently as well. For some reason, she loves putting her hands mommy's mouth and touching people's eyes.

We continue to count our blessings that Zoe is a good sleeper. She typically starts getting fussy around 7 or 7:30pm and stops once her pajamas are on. If we lay her in our arms, she extends her body as if to suggest she wants to be put down. When we lay her down at night, we just turn out the light and walk out. She typically doesn't make a peep again until morning (10 hours later). She's fairly consistent with her wake up time between 6:30-7am, no matter the time she goes to bed. Her preference is also for 2-3 naps a day, the first by 9:30-10am, and a second longer nap (2 hours or so) after lunch time. If the first nap was short, or if she went to bed late, sometimes she wants a 3rd nap around 5pm.

Walking all over the place and showing off the guns rolls here
The Millers (minus Darwin) at Zoe's first birthday party
In preparation for eating the school menu, we started giving Zoe a little more dairy. We've encouraged her to drink kefir, which she isn't all that fond of, and we continued to give her foods with dairy cooked in them. It does seem her tolerance has improved since she doesn't break out much.

Meal time is extremely messy. Zoe insists on feeding herself and gets food all over her hair, face, clothes, high chair, and the floor. She usually starts off allowing us to feed her, but then demands the spoon or fork if we are using one.

Zoe continues to be a good eater. I call her our fruitatarian. The girl could eat her weight in grapes, strawberries and cantaloupe. She's also a big fan of bread. We try to encourage vegetables and meat at the table first and then offer bread and fruit last. With only one tooth, she manages to eat pretty well.

I continue to nurse Zoe on the days I'm with her and pump breast milk on the days she goes to school. It's becoming increasingly difficult to produce much with the pump, but her school has put on the pressure to continue bringing two bottles to school each day. I'm still pumping about three times during the day to get about 6 oz, and then every night before I go to bed. 

Our mostly toothless, blonde-haired and blue-eyed toddler!
At her 12 month wellness check up, Zoe was at the 25th percentile for height (28.5"), 29th percentile for weight (20lbs), and 83rd percentile for head circumference. She is well above most developmental milestones. We love this little girl and can't wait to see what the next year has in store for her and us. I think my favorite age for young children is 15-21 months.