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Letter to an 11 Month Old

My Sweet Little Muppet,

I cannot believe that there is only one month left until you are officially a year old.
So much has happened this last month 
that I feel like this will be the most difficult month to sum up in a letter. 

Your light brown hair is getting longer by the day 
and it now flips out over your ears. 
Your bangs tickle your eyes if I don't put your hair into a little water spout ponytail
on top of your head
or sweep them to the side. 

Your bed head is pretty much amazing. 

Your eyes are now a hazel-ish greenish gray (not really sure yet)
and your little eye lashes are dark and adorable when you flutter them at me. 

You had a little growth spurt this month so you are even taller
and you can reach even higher as you walk along everything! 

You often pick something up 
and without realizing it, 
you stand for several minutes without holding onto anything. 

You are very cautious though, 
lowering yourself to the ground gently when you want to sit down
and always stepping carefully.

You also mastered climbing up stairs at Mormor's house, 
but you haven't figured out how to go back down them yet,
so we have to keep a close eye on you around them.

We discovered that you like mushed fruits and veggies better 
if they are in those packs with a thick straw at the top.
They are so much less messy than spoon feeding you
and I can easily save the extra in the fridge when you don't finish. 

You are still nursing every meal of the day, 
but I don't know how much longer we can keep it up 
since you are starting to lose interest.
You like nursing, 
but you just get so bored when you nurse, 
that I fear our snuggly nursing times may soon be over.
I'm hoping not.

You are now saying "Mamma," "Pappa," and sometimes "Tee tee" (for Auntie Mathea). 

You also say "Nej nej nej,"
just like I do when I'm telling you to stop doing something you aren't supposed to. 
You always listen and stop whatever you're doing when I tell you "Nej."
You usually say it when you want someone to stop something too,
so I think you know exactly what it means. 

You really love to whisper
and you'll just sit and listen very closely if we whisper to you.

This month was the very first time you have ever been really sick
with a fever.
You had a raging fever of 103 that I managed to keep down, 
until it finally broke after four days. 
You were just weak and snuggly the whole time
and it was so sad,
but I loved holding you close to me for so long.

After your fever was gone you had a full body rash, 
which was when I figured out that what you had was called Roseola. 
It didn't help that you were teething the whole time too, 
with gum pain and about four times as much drool as usual. 
No teeth have popped through yet, 
but I can tell that they're about to.

After the rash began to fade, 
you got the last part of the sickness
which was a lovely cough and so much snot you could barely breathe. 
We are still fighting this part off 
and it's been going for about two weeks now. 
During this last part, you've been a little snuggly, 
but mostly you've just been upset, angry, and confused 
about why your throat and mouth are hurting so much. 
I feel so bad for you, but I'm doing everything that I can to take care of you.
I've held you so much and stayed so close, 
that I got sick as well. 
This must be part of some mom initiation. 

December was full of great memories 
and firsts with you!
At the beginning of December we went to the Blogger Meetup at 
Downeast Basics. 

There you got to see your little friend, Grant, 
and you two were so cute!

You high fived him and then later when we were taking pictures, 
you both leaned in and gave each other a kiss!
Too adorable!

(It was your second kiss, because the week before, 
Teddy Stapley kissed you when we went to the Sowards' home for dinner.) 

The next day was our Lucia celebration with all of our Swedish friends. 
I always said that as soon as I had a little kid to walk in the Lucia train, 
I would stop dressing up and just watch and sing. 
I couldn't help it though, 
because I wanted so badly to hold you in the train 
and show you this lovely tradition for the first time. 

You were so happy to hold your battery powered candle and 
listen as we all sang. 
You were definitely the cutest one in the Lucia train.

The next weekend was our church Christmas party
and Mormor and Morfar's church Christmas party. 
We brought you to both of them to have your first experiences sitting on Santa's lap. 
You basically had the same reaction both times.
Initially you didn't care, 
then you realized you were sitting on a big red and white stranger's lap, 
got mad for a moment,
and then just looked at us uncomfortably while we snapped a photo. 
You are such a trooper. :) 

You got to play with lots of good friends this month too!
We went to the Phoenix Zoo with Terri, Taylor, and Robbie
and you had so much fun!

You flirted with monkeys, 

watched the tiger roll around, 

had a nice long chat with a mountain lion who came down off his perch to see you,

and laughed at the baboons.
I mean baboons are hilarious.
Just look at Rafiki right?
You'll see Lion King when you're older. :) 
I love how much you appreciate animals.
You have a really deep connection with all living creatures
and they fascinate you.
Many of them seem to sense that you are happy to see them.

You also got to have a playdate with Little Doug this month and you were beyond thrilled!
You two are so stinkin adorable together!
I had to take some pictures of you two when he came over 
because you are always making each other laugh
and holding onto each other at church.

You spent every day last month playing with your puppies.
You love them so much 
and you follow them around the house to their kennels or their chairs. 

They let you do anything you want to them,
including climb all over them!
It's so sweet how much they love you.
You have a very special bond with your doggies. 
They are the only ones who can make you laugh hysterically, 
or who you crawl at light speed to look for. 
You ALWAYS have to have one of your stuffed chocolate puppies with you
no matter where you go. 
You have other stuffed animals, 
but you always choose a chocolate puppy to snuggle.
You have one in your crib, 
one in the portable crib that you nap in, 
one in your carseat, 
and one in my bed.

Bamse and Saga keep a close eye on you too, 
watching for openings to give you a good lick as you crawl past, 
and making sure you're ok as you play.

You went to another Suns game with Pappa, Morfar, and Mathea.
They got you a jersey so you can wear it everytime you go now!

You loved spending some quality time with KineBritt and Kaj this month 
since they both came down from Idaho and Utah to spend Christmas here.
You LOVED sitting in Kaj's arms contentedly as we had family activities 
or Christmas festivities. 

You love your aunts and uncles so much,
and it's no wonder.
You have the best aunts and uncles in the world. 

You liked spending time with Sam and Dia on their visits
and you are always just ecstatic when they come over. 
You literally let out squeals of joy when you see them!

(Click each link to read separate posts about these activities.) 

I don't think it was any coincidence that on your first New Years, 
it snowed in Arizona. 
You, my little sweetheart, bring miracles and joy to this world.

This month, honestly, has been wonderful.
Before you got sick, 
you were able to enjoy a Christmas season that jam packed full of people who love you
and family time to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. 

He loves you!
Jesus Christ loves you!
His atonement allows for me to make mistakes 
and always keep striving to be better
so that I can be with your Pappa and you forever! 
When you are older and you make mistakes, 
you will have the same opportunity!

My darling, you are the light in every day of my life.
You are my sunshine
and you make me happy when skies are gray.

Your curiosity always makes me smile
and makes your Pappa and I want to give you the world 
to explore all of the beauty it has to offer.

I love how much you love me.
You hold me close each morning when you nurse, 
you snuggle me in bed (even when you aren't sick or tired), 
you get upset with me when you want to snuggle and I put you down,

 but you are also independent and will play while I watch and smile.

You love to throw yourself backwards when you're in my arms to have me swing you upside down
and you occasionally will surprise me with a kiss right on the mouth!
You love to pat my head when I give you shoulder rides, 

and you laugh so hard when I tickle you in just the right way.
You gasp in excitement when you notice me coming toward you
and you crawl or move toward me at the speed of a fast forwarding VCR.

You make every hard part of being a mother, 
so very worth it

Every morning I walk into your nursery
and your fuzzy bedhead pops up over the edge of the crib 
and you jabber away at me happily as if to say, 
"I've been waiting a million years!
All I want is YOU!
Feed me and hold me!
You're my best friend ever!"

It leaves me so very full 
and so very thankful 
that Heavenly Father entrusted such a pure and precious soul
to me
to love.

The eleven months that you have been here on this earth with me
and with your Pappa, 
have been the best months of our lives.
You make everything worth it.

All My Love, 

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