Dear Nora,

This month felt like our first “normal” month as a family. In our previous months, there was always something special or different going on. There was my maternity leave, which was very special, and holidays galore. This month, there was less celebration, but just as much fun. This month, we each settled into our routine.

You’ve been spending your days with Daddy, now that he’s in charge of daytime care. You two have routines each day and routines for the flow of the week. Daddy has figured out, by observing you, that you have your own special rhythm for the day. Your cycle begins when you feed. Then, you have about an hour of play time followed by a half an hour to an hour of naps. When you wake up, you’re about ready to eat and you two start all over again.

During your play time, Daddy has developed exercises with you, to help strengthen your body. He even has special names for them, which you seem to recognize. He pulls you up to sitting (upsies) and he lays you back down (downsies). Then, he pulls you to standing (up) which you really love. You’re getting very good at standing on your legs, without a whole lot of support. He also rolls you like a log (rollsies) and flies you like a superhero (supergirl). You still don’t like laying on your tummy, but you sure like flying like a superhero.

Throughout the week, you have different activities for different days. Mostly, Daddy likes to cook and bake with you. I think as soon as you can, you’ll be helping Daddy in the kitchen. Grandma Jean had Daddy cracking eggs when he was old enough to stand on a chair and I think you’re headed in the same direction. I am so happy to see the relationship that you are developing with Daddy, by spending each day together.

For the two of us, I see you less than I used to, which is hard. I miss you so much when I’m at work. I love the time we get to spend together in the evening. On most nights, we spend time reading board books or playing on a blanket in the living room and I give you your bath every evening. I also help you to get to sleep before bedtime, which I’m getting better and better at every day. I treasure every minute we spend together.

Even though it was a normal month, we did have a few special events. On my birthday weekend, we had all of our friends over for a poker party. You got passed around to all of our friends, which you seemed to like. You had so much fun that night that it was difficult to get you to sleep, which never happens. You’re a very good sleeper. You also attended your first birthday party, for  the son of a friend of Daddy’s. We went to the Eagle’s Nest playground in New Brighton and you got to play in the baby play area. I think you liked the mirrors the best.

Your biggest development is that you learned how to laugh this month. It started slowly at first. In fact, your very first laugh was a sarcastic laugh. I blew bubbles on your tummy on the changing table and you uttered a very deadpan, “Ha. Ha. Ha.” Daddy got you to laugh your first real laugh, when he pulled you to sitting in his lap. For a while, you only really laughed for Daddy. But one day, I came home from work and when you saw me, you laughed a real laugh for me. I was so happy to hear that sound.

You also have become obsessed with your hands this month. You constantly have one or both of your hands in your mouth at all times. You like to pull on your tongue with your fingers and have your hands in your mouth when you make sounds. Your hands are constantly slimy with spit (ew!) and you suck on your fingers and thumbs noisily. You also like our hands. You like to chew on our fingers with your gums. Sometimes, you just like to hold our hands and look at them. It’s pretty funny to see you grab our big hands with your little bitty hands.

Nora, even though it was a normal month for us, I think we had a great month together. I love how each day you wake up happy and ready to play and cuddle with me and Daddy. You are such a joy to be around and I constantly feel lucky that you came into our lives. I love you, big girl.