This month's photo album can be found HERE.
Twelve months… One year… I think back on the last months and everything seems to be a little bit of a blur to be honest. I try to enjoy every minute as it comes, but I haven’t been sleeping very well, and that coupled with having quite a bit of work to do and running after the kids has left my brain resembling a piece of Swiss cheese! My brain keeps darting all over the place, focusing on three or four things at a time, and I need to remind myself that it’s OK to slow down sometimes. So Aurora finally turned a year old at the end of August and it was a very emotional time for me (and for Cesar too). I feel that the last year has been so full of changes and that in a sense it feels like it was both longer and shorter than just twelve months. Watching a tiny toddler grow into a bigger, talking-in-full-sentences toddler, and a tiny baby growing into a big, smiling toddler has been amazing. Having two children under two for 8 months was a challenge, and one that I would most likely repeat, even with hindsight. I do have to say that my brain just isn’t as fast as it used to be!
Aurora had her 12 month appointment earlier this week, got all of her shots and boosters, and now weighs in at nearly 25lbs (the same weight as her older sister), and is nearly 30in in length. She’s in great health and growing perfectly well, which I pretty much knew already anyway. She’s a great eater, will try and eat pretty much everything (including pickles and spicy salsa) and still nurses pretty frequently. She’s still not very good with cow’s milk, so we are avoiding that for a while (and there is no need for it anyway, especially as she is still breastfed). Can I say how wonderful it is to finally have a doctor who not only recognizes us and asks how the other kid is doing, but also approves of breastfeeding as long as you and the child want to. I actually realised that we never see the main doctor, but usually a nurse practitioner, and she is absolutely wonderful with the girls, even Luna actually lets herself be examined. So I’m really happy with our choice over here.
I know I say it very frequently, but I don’t think I have ever met a child as happy as Aurora is. She has her fussy moments and her upset moments, but most of the time she is just a happy, smiling little kid who loves to shake her head from side to side in guise of dancing, and walking around holding tightly to your hand. She did take her first unassisted steps really early at 10 months, but then kind of decided that it was faster to crawl everywhere (and she’s FAST). Then just recently she realised that it was also fun to walk by herself again, much to Luna’s delight (and sometimes anger as Aurora can’t yet run with her!). We bought her two pairs of adorable little shoes and after a little adjustment period of a day she seems to walk around in them just fine. A pair of moccasins and a pair of little white boots, both absolutely adorable!
Both kids are napping while I write this, for the first time in what feels like forever! Their napping schedules have been completely off recently and it’s been causing some issues sleeping at night too (nothing different for Luna, but very much off for Aurora). I think we have some more teeth coming in soon too, all the better to chew more food with, and in addition to all of these physical things some language updates too! Aurora can now say “mama”, “dada”, “cat” and “George” (Peppa Pig’s brother I am assuming), although often everyone gets called “mama” as I think it means “pick me up” rather than “mummy” (it’s OK, Luna didn’t actually start really calling me Mama until she turned two and now she says it a million times a day, although Dada was mastered pretty early on). She also tries to repeat everything you say which is really adorable! She has mastered getting up and down steps, as well as climbing up onto things and riding around on Luna’s scooter. Oh and climbing out of the crib she never sleeps in.
Last month came with a visit from my little brother where he finally met Aurora in real life (as opposed to via FaceTime, videos and photos), and four days just weren’t enough! Both girls took to him immediately and demanded to be held and played with quite consistently. I can’t wait for Thanksgiving and Christmas for Dylan and his wonderful wife Lacy to come back and see the girls (and babysit haha!). Karli, my little sister, has also been spending quality time with the girls as she will be flying off to England and France for three months next week (incredibly it will be her first time back home in 16 years). This also means that we will be taking care of the lovely Bria dog during that time. There is a lot of mutual adoration between the girls and Bria already, and I think we will be finding our family bed even more crowded in the very near future! I’m so glad that modern technology will allow my family to keep up to date on how the kids are doing and for the girls to be able to see everyone consistently even if they are far away.
I know a lot of people think it’s important to live close to family when you have kids, but I honestly don’t feel like we suffered anything growing up far away from grandparents, aunts and uncles! It’s true that most of my cousins are much younger than me (so much for some that I feel more like an aunt than a cousin), and I’m not as close to them as I may have been if we lived nearer, but I know that it was always a treat to visit my parents’ families and that we are all as close as we would have been if we had lived on the same street. At the same time, I love watching the bonds develop between the girls and their Nana, aunties and uncle. And it’s nice for me to sometimes be able to ask if one of them can babysit so I can have a shower by myself or run a quick errand!
This time last year I was getting used to having two little children, tandem nursing and working out how to get everyone to bed at a decent time without meltdowns, while working on a huge writing project. A lot of that hasn’t changed, just that now the little girls are quite a bit bigger and we live in California. This is the first weekend in a while that I don’t have any assignments to deliver, so I am going to make the most of it by catching up on writing blog posts, guest blog posts and editing photos, as well as some of my favourite TV shows and much needed sleep! I also need to sort through clothes and donate as much as I can because we are running out of room again. I think while we have kind of decided that we will most likely have another next year or so, I don’t want to keep hanging on to clothes just in case. Our thrift stores here are wonderful and really cheap.
Aurora’s birthday was really sweet, she really loves her new tricycle and I’m looking forward to the days when both girls will be racing each other around on them. She seemed a little overwhelmed by all of the attention (Luna was slightly overwhelmed by the fact that not all attention was on her at times), but it was a lovely day and balloons and cake was enjoyed by all. We are not ones for big parties just yet, I think we will save those for a few years time when they will remember them. In any case, I will remember this one my whole life!
So, anyway, one year old already! This marks the end of my monthly summaries for Aurora, moving into one every three months from here on out, and I feel a little bittersweet about it. I remember writing her first one and wondering how I was ever going to find the time to make sure that I did it every month in the same way I had for Luna. I suppose we always find the time for the things that matter. You probably realize that the sorting of the photos happens over the space of a few days and I can only thank my need for organization that it doesn’t take longer. I rarely write a summary in one sitting, and sometimes I wonder how much I have left out. But in the end that doesn’t really matter, because all of the little gestures and smiles and bites and food all over the wall moments have been captured and stored in my mind forever.
My little Aurora, so affectionate and sweet, so daring and mischievous, always looking for something to try, throw or climb on, and making sure that I always have those eyes in the back of my head open and aware. She’s taught me that it’s OK to scream when you feel like it, happy or angry it doesn’t matter, and that big brown innocent eyes usually mean trouble. <3