Dear Nora,

Two days ago, you turned eleven months old. We’ve almost made it to your first year. I can tell, from your behavior and your emerging personality, that toddler-hood is truly around the corner. You are doing a better job of making your needs known to us and you are just on the verge of movement. You’ve come so far in these eleven months, but this month, we’ve taken lots of leaps as a family.

Before I talk about our big move to Wisconsin, I wanted to tell you about the biggest development you’ve had so far. You are a talker! Daddy and I have tallied up your vocabulary and you know 16 words. They are (in no particular order):

  • Hi
  • Bye-Bye (often pronounced ba-bye)
  • Up
  • Book (often pronounced guk or duk)
  • Cat (often pronounced dat)
  • Banana (exclusively pronounced nana)
  • No!
  • Quack (often pronounced qwalk)
  • Uh-oh
  • Done
  • Ruff ruff
  • Toes
  • Mama
  • Dada
  • Wiggle (I think this is a babble, but Daddy wants to count it)
  • What (You say this when Daddy says it, but I don’ t know if you know what it means)

That’s a ton of words for an eleven month old. It’s exciting to hear you use these words to tell us what you want. Most of the time, you want a book, to be lifted up, or to be done with whatever we’re doing. But at least now we know!

You are also on the verge of moving. You can *almost* get to crawling position from sitting on your bottom, but can’t quite figure out what to do with one of your legs. You can pull up when we hold out our hands and help hoist you and then you barely hang on to our shoulders or hands when you stand. I’ve seen you try to take a step while holding on and then fall on your bottom. You’re bouncing on your feet when you stand and bending one knee or the other. Pretty soon, you’ll be taking steps for sure.

This month, our family took on our biggest change, after bringing you into the world, of course. We moved 6 hours from Minneapolis to Beloit, Wisconsin, so that I can start a new job. We’re renting a big, three bedroom house, which has a covered porch and a front and backyard.

This move has been so wonderful for us. First of all, you’re sleeping in your own crib, in your own room, for 80% of the night. This has changed your parents’ lives immensely! We’re getting up less in the middle of the night and it’s just wonderful. I think you’re getting better sleep too. Also, we’ve found a big group of families who all have play dates together. So suddenly, you have about 10 friends, many of them near your age. There are two babies that are less than a month away from you. You are at the point where you are craving interaction with others, (you say hi to everything with eyes, from people to animals to dolls) so this instant group of friends is fantastic.

When undertaking the move, we had lots of visits and special events. We had a goodbye party with all of our friends in Minnesota. We had visits from Grandma Carol, Grandma Jean, and Grandpa Marvin. You’ve seen Samwise, Laurel, and Adam twice already. And you’ve met tons of our friends from college.