Willow is Eleven Months Old

Reading Willow's 10 month post, I feel like so much has changed in this past month. Like my girl is so much bigger already! Last month she wasn't standing much, but this month it's pretty much all she wants to do. Diaper changes have become a total nightmare because ONLY BABIES LAY DOWN, BIG GIRLS STAND UP! Duh. 

I actually became so frustrated by the violent throwing her body around during diaper changes that I set up her little training potty in the bathroom and plopped her down in an "I'll show you and you'll hate the alternative!" kind of way. And baby showed me of course and PEED IN THE POTTY. My mind is blown and you can bet I am exploring this super early potty training thing. I mean, she was absolutely delighted by the entire process. Maybe Miss Independent just knows what's up and is working on this growing up thing a lot harder than I thought.

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Books are Willow's absolute favorite thing right now. In fact, they're what have been saving diaper changes. Distraction books for her to flip through while I quickly snap and unsnap. This morning she cried when I got her up from her crib and sat in the rocker to nurse. She was desperately reaching for the book on the table beside us. If she sees a book she must have it and is totally delighted when you read it to her. It's the most adorable thing. I hope it lasts.

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Her three favorite books right now are definitely Brown Bear Brown Bear, The Going to Bed Book, and Ten Jolly Pirates. I took a video the other day... before we started reading this book, Willow had been crying and upset. She is just immediately thrilled by a book!

Food is as good as ever. Willow likes basically everything, though broccoli and peas are not her faves. She'll usually eat everything, but in order of her preference. So if you keep giving her something delicious like blueberries or peaches, she will choose that first every time!

Willow is starting to nurse less and I have mixed feelings about that of course. The freedom of nursing less is alluring, but it is also a sweet, bonding activity for us that I know I'll miss terribly when it's over. I don't see it ending completely anytime soon, but if we were on a solid nurse in the morning and before bed routine, I'd be happy! With as much as Willow loves food, I see that day coming a little bit sooner than I expected. I always had 6 months as my minimum goal for breastfeeding, one year as the expected goal, and up to two if Willow seemed like she still wanted it. Two years is a long time, but I know she gets so many health benefits from it. Timelines like this have been encouraging for me over the past year.

Part of the joy of nursing less is that Willow hasn't wanted to nurse during her nightly wake ups lately. This makes getting her back to bed more difficult, BUT it means Erik can put her back to bed if the hour is decent. She usually wakes between 11 and 12 some time, so I generally do it. But Erik did it a few nights ago and it was refreshing! Last night, Willow actually slept all the way from 7pm to almost 7am with no wake ups! I think I will trade an hour earlier to wake up in the morning for no sleep interruptions. Let's try to make that a habit, baby.

I try to take Willow outside at some point every day. Sometimes I let her crawl around in the yard for an hour, and she just explores, squishes dirt in her hand, plays with sticks, follows Lily around. She always loves it. The other day she happily played in the grass while I pulled weeds. It was weird. I mean, Willow has always been fairly good at playing independently, but something about her doing it outdoors seems different. Other days we take walks in the stroller. We usually go to the playground in our neighborhood and swing on the swings. My little daredevil likes to go high and fast!

This weekend my parents watched Willow for an evening while Erik and I went out with his brother and our sister-in-law. We had a great time and so did Willow. She didn't cry at all about my parents being there to get her up from her last nap, give her dinner (like she'd ever hate that!), or put her to bed. They were so impressed that they put her in bed and she went right to sleep without a peep. Nights where she lays awake fussing are becoming more and more rare. Though there are the occasional nights where I hear her kicking the sides of her crib and grumbling. Usually this happens when she hasn't taken very good naps. 

Speaking of naps, Willow took a four hour nap on Saturday. And then took another nap in the afternoon (a normal one hour one). It was crazy! I guess she has some major growing to do!

So, that's it for the monthly Willow posts! I don't intend to do monthly photo shoots from now on. Not that there won't be pictures. But a deliberate photo shoot every month of your life seems a bit excessive to me haha. Baby will be one year old in just a few weeks. It's time for me to start planning a party! Mostly for me and Erik, because sure Willow has worked hard on all her new skills this past year, but Erik and I really knocked this parenting thing out of the park if you ask me ;)