Dear Nora,

Our lives are really hectic right now, more hectic than they’ve been since you’ve been born. But I wanted to take a moment out of the craziness to celebrate your ten month birthday! In your tenth month, you’ve really started to gain independence and express yourself in new ways. I am so proud of all the ways that you’ve grown.

Our lives are so crazy because we are planning a monumental change in our lives. Remember back in June, when I was away from you for a few days? I went to Wisconsin for a job interview at the college that Daddy and I graduated from. Well, in July they offered me the job and Daddy and I decided to move. It wasn’t always in our long term plans, but we are moving to southern Wisconsin.

A big factor in our decision was you and your quality of life. While we love Minneapolis and all it has to offer, we know that you are going to have an amazing childhood in our new home. You’ll live in a smaller city, with less crime and more green spaces. You’ll grow up near a beautiful college campus, surrounded by learning. I will have a job that doesn’t require weekends, which means I get to see you more often. And most importantly, we can afford to live in an actual home with a backyard.When you’re old enough to read this, I don’t know if you’ll approve of our decision or not. I can only hope that it will impact your life in wonderful ways.

In order to prepare for our move, we had to visit Wisconsin to pick out our new home this month. We visited Laurel, Adam,and Sam again, and it was so great to see you interact with Sam. You both will be such close friends, now that you have the opportunity to live closer to each other. My favorite part of the weekend was when we sat down you and Sam in separate high chairs for dinner. At the same time, you turned to each other and just started babbling the same exact words. It was like a real conversation!

Other preparations for our move include lots and lots of packing, cleaning, and fixing up our condo. We’re lucky that you are such an independent baby now, because you spend much of your time playing on your own while Daddy or I work. We’re so grateful that we can do this with you watching.

You’ve hit a lot of developmental milestones this month. Last month, you started to slowly mimic sounds. Now, you do it all the time. You say lots of babbles that sound exactly like words. I can’t quite tell when we should count your first real word. For example, you say “Hi” and wave to your reflection in the mirror, probably because every day Daddy and I hold you up to the mirror, say “Hi”, and wave. So, does that count as your first word? Or you say “No” a lot, sometimes in perfectly appropriate situations. For instance, I took something away from you tonight and you said, “No no no no no.” Is that a real word? Does that count? It’s giving me a glimpse to my future as the mom of a toddler who likes to talk and I am so looking forward to having conversations with you. Even if the most common word is “no”.

You are also just on the verge of crawling and pulling yourself up. You are actually starting to get really frustrated when you can’t crawl. You’ve become very good at scooting backwards and sideways on your butt and turning in circles. You haven’t quite mastered scooting forwards yet. You are trying to make the final leap to crawling, but you either can’t hoist your butt up over your knees or your wobble over. This means a lot of bumped heads and crying, which hasn’t been fun. But I know that we just have to let you figure this out on your own.

You also really love standing and holding on to things. You’ve gotten pretty adept at holding on with one hand and bending your legs. I think pretty soon you’ll be taking your first tentative steps with support. I’m honestly just hoping that you can wait until we’re in our new home and unpacked before you become a crawler and walker. We’ll have much more room for you to move and experiment.

Nora, I can’t wait to see what our lives hold next month. I’m sad in some ways, that you’ll never remember your ten months in Minnesota. But I am so excited for you to grow up in our new big home, in our new town. We’ll have so much fun together!

I love you!