My little girl celebrated her first birthday recently. Written at different times of the year, I present below some examples of her busy PRE-one-year-old life.
Month 1 (March – April)
Two days after E was born, we returned to the warm familiarity of home where Grandma and Grandpa were eagerly awaiting our arrival. E was as delicate and sweet smelling as a baby should be. She was so light to carry compared to how much TJ weighed at the time…not that he was a big kid but by comparison, everything about him suddenly started looking way bigger than it was.
My early memories of E are of her falling asleep pretty much anywhere and all the time. She loved napping in the swing which was her primary place to doze. She also and expectedly kept falling asleep at the breast while nursing. I had to keep playing with her ears or tickle her toes so she’d wake up and feed. She was a good feeder and had no trouble latching. She made it very clear early on that she was not going to take the bottle.
Thankfully, she did take it her first couple of weeks which helped stabilize her weight but even then, she did not like it much and always preferred the breast. I loved gazing at her closed eyes, and stroking her soft cheeks as she nursed (I still do). I would place my finger inside her palm which would then naturally curve around my finger. I took a lot of pictures, some staged, but mostly not.
E wore her first dress for our first family picture 13 days after her birth. This was also the first day I stepped out of the house since returning home from the hospital and went to the Sierra View Point to get some outside air and sun. The day before, Day 12, we held an unofficial “naming ceremony” for E. Each one of us parents, grandma and grandpa, and grandma’s sister or who is known in our family as “Baby Grandma”, bestowed on her a blessing in a name that was quietly whispered into her ears as is tradition in my Indian co-culture. No one calls her by those names except when we remember to, but it is just something traditional to do and why not!
E lost her umbilical cord quite early and so I was able to give her a nice warm bath within weeks. This wasn’t just a sponge bath, but a proper one one in a baby bath tub placed over a sink with my favorite Mustela and warm-hot water. She loved water from the very beginning and seemed to really enjoy her baths. (Nothing has changed in this matter. She gets super excited at the sheer mention of “bath time” and jumps up and down in glee.)
Month 2 (April – May)
Baby E was smiling a lot and was (and continues to remain) a happy baby with a sunny disposition. Her sleep was still rhythmic and she would wake up on clockwork every two hours at night. However, there were no more diaper changes at night. There were a few days she was sleeping 2.5-3 hours a stretch too. She was sleeping in a little bassinet next to my side of the bed and was a strong sleeper. We were able to shower in the attached bathroom without waking her up.
She was already quite the traveler, going to drop and pick her big brother from daycare twice a week (only lasted a couple a weeks since I pulled TJ out of daycare at the end of April).
Meanwhile, TJ loved posing for pics with his little sister so he would always get into her space when I took her pictures. Little did she know, that this was only the beginning. He would waltz into her spaces for the rest of their lives. Ha Ha…or at least that has been the case, so far.
Oh! The Places She Goes! – Having completed one month, in her second month, Baby E, cozy in her KTan, went on walks around the neighborhood with Mommy and big brother, visited a Wine & Cheese festival, went to Santana Row, the Japanese Friendship Garden, and the Happy Hollow Park & Zoo.
Month 3 (May-June)
I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of this month because it meant that she was over the tide on a number of possible causes of concern like gas or tummy issues, or even colic. I was pretty sure she did not have either of these concerns.
Oh! The Places She Goes! – Having completed two months, in her third month, Baby E visited Los Gatos downtown, hiked the Sierra Vista Trail, got a scare hearing the loud train horn in Mountain View, visited the Emma Prusch Farm, the Happy Hollow Park & Zoo, attended her first birthday party, went to the local Community Center playground, the Children’s Museum, and rode the Billy Jones Wildcat train ride.
Month 4 (June – July)
Oh! The Places She Goes! – Having completed three months, in her fourth month, Baby E sat with her carseat in a grocery cart for the first time, went out to a restaurant for the first time, visited a farmers’ market, hiked the Sierra Vista viewpoint, visited Capitola Beach, and attended some festival in Menlo Park.
Month 5 (July – August)
Oh! The Places She Goes! – Having completed four months, in her fifth month, Baby E visited Alum Rock Park, went to the Alum Rock Park Playground, went to the Westgate Mall play area and ate at a second restaurant (Cheesecake Factory) – this time seated independently without a carseat in a stroller while at the restaurant, took a train ride when experiencing a Day out with Thomas, visited the Children’s Museum twice, and started sitting in her jogging stroller independently. She also tied her first rakhi to her big brother on Raksha Bandhan.
Month 6 (August – September)
We celebrated Baby E’s half birthday by baking a cake. Big brother wanted to make a red cake and so we did..only it turned out pink. I am still trying to figure out how to get red food coloring to actually turn red and not pink.
Oh! The Places She Goes! Having completed five months, in her sixth month, she visited the Seven Seas Water Park in Sunnyvale, witnessed her brother get a haircut, went to Capitola Beach, started coming to school with Mommy to drop big brother off and pick him up, attended a birthday party, visited the Ardenwood Farms and enjoyed a train ride there, visited Happy Hollow Park & Zoo, sat on a carousel for the first time, went on her first family vacation, went to yet another beach in Cambria; and started going to Music Together with TJ.
Month 7 (September – October)
By 6 months, Baby E had already learned to sit by herself. She did sometimes fall over but continued to gain more strength every day. By this month, she was affirmatively and officially sitting independently.
Oh! The Places She Goes! Having completed six months, in her seventh month, Baby E went to the local Community Center Playground, saw the Swings exhibit in dowtown San Jose, went to Happy Hollow Park & Zoo, cheered Mommy on for her first 5k in SJ, attended a Diwali Celebration at the Children’s Museum, ate her first Canadian Thanksgiving meal, went to the Great Mall, went pumpkin patching and sat on her first hay ride.
Month 8 (October-November)
She now sits around really well and completely unassisted. When she does fall forward, it is because she is trying to reach for something. I feel like she will start to crawl soon. As it is, she rolls all around the room now. You can put her in one place and within minutes she will have found her way to the other side of the room. It is such a pleasure to see her like this – growing up so quickly. She is such a doll – Always smiling an open-mouth, toothless smile.
She loves her brother so much! She looks around at everything he does intently and tries to imitate him. Her face lights up every time he comes into the room. She is a delightful little child and loves making different sounds as she discovers her voice. She loves it when I make faces and sounds too.
Oh! The Places She Goes! Having completed seven months, in her eighth month, Baby E attended her first consignment sale with Mommy (also Mommy’s first time as a seller), went for a ride in downtown Willow Glen, celebrated her first Halloween and Diwali, went Trick or Treating as a little lioness, survived Mommy’s first insane hair dress up, attended her first Harvest Festival at big brother’s school, took a ride around our Roomba, took a ride in a dump truck, as well as a garbage truck, and experienced her first glow stick.
Month 9: (November – December)
She tasted her second Thanksgiving food this month, the first one was at Canadian Thanksgiving, and had a great time with Grandpa and Grandma. She is growing up amazingly well. I am so proud of all that she has learned to do and how she takes her brother’s presence in stride. She loves going to Music Together too and is getting more actively into it as she is better able to sit up. We tried the Jolly Jumper with her and she liked it even though at first she didn’t know what to do with it. She is intensely curious about everything and her favorite things are paper, especially Kleenex so she can shred it to pieces and then eat it. Paper, IS, her favorite snack.
She has been getting comfortable sitting in shopping carts. When she sat on one at Target at 7 months for the first time, she kept slipping down. She was too little for a cart, but now at 9 months, she is able to hold herself steady. She does end up pulling her legs up into the seat and that’s a little funny but it’s also because the carts at places like Indian stores and other small-time places don’t have straps.
She sat on a swing for the first time – at the Berryessa Community Center Playground, and loved it. She was all smiles.
She got her first Santa picture taken and even learned to sit up by herself from a rolling position. Cheered on by big brother and Mommy, she figured it out at 8.5 months. What a gal! Meanwhile, she also tasted Kimpap (Korean sushi) and loved it!
Oh! The Places She Goes! – Having completed eight months, in her ninth month, she went on the Sierra Vista Hiking Trail, had a picnic by a pond, went on two hikes to the Alum Rock Park, attended Music Together, and was more actively engaged than before at Story Time at the library, visited the Rotary Play Garden, attended a playdate with her big brother’s friend, went to the Children’s Museum, visited the Happy Hollow Park & Zoo, got her first Santa Christmas picture taken, ate with big brother and Mommy at a restaurant, and took her walker and practiced walking on her own for the first time and voluntarily.
Month 10 (December – January)
Where did this month go!? She just turned 9 months and now, my little girl is already 10 months young!
Ellie celebrated her first Christmas and Hanukkah this month. She met her cousins and loved having them around. She received her first doll as a Hanukkah present. A master crawler, she also honed pulling herself up on her own this month.
A really cool thing that happened to E this month was a card from The White House welcoming her to this world and congratulating her on being born. How grand!
Oh! The Places She Goes!– Having completed nine months, in her tenth month, she sat in Costco’s double cart for the first time with her big brother right next to her, visited the Children’s Museum, visited the Santa Cruz boardwalk for the first time, attempted to climb the stairs by herself, crawled through the play tunnel at home, and attended storytime at two of our public libraries and actually participated in their playtime too.
Month 11 (January – February)
As E nears her first birthday, she is becoming increasingly active, alert, and intensely curious about everything around her – ready to discover the world. She wants all that her brother wants, tries to do what he does and often fails but tries anyway, crawls the entire home, and confidently attempts to climb the stairs and it is only a matter of time before she will have this skill under her little belt as well.
Easily able to pull herself up now, she attempts to walk around rooms holding on to furniture. She got her first big fever this month and a nasty cold that lingered for a long time, almost ruining her visit to Ojai. While there, she attended her first wedding and did really well, despite her ill health.
She went with Mommy to big brother’s school on the day Mommy had to serve “porridge” to the kids and just hung around in her stroller becoming the center of attention for all of Anna’s classmates.
Oh! The Places She Goes! – Having completed ten months, in her eleventh month, E took a road trip with the family to Ojai, visited Anna’s school for a special Mother’s visit celebration, visited the Children’s Museum, attended story time and play time at the local library, went to Pump it Up, crawled upwards on a slide, slowly started climbing stairs – one step at a time, and visited Lake Tahoe and experienced her first snow.
Month 12 (February – March)
This month, as big brother turned 3-years-old, Baby E got to witness the celebration front and center. She even got her first taste of cake and no surprises, loved it!
Oh! The Places She Goes! – Having completed eleven months, in her twelfth month, Baby E continued to enjoy the snow in Lake Tahoe, visited Music Together for the last time with big brother (henceforth, it’ll be just her whenever I re-enroll), went to the local playground, had a fun time at the library’s story/playtime, visited the pediatrician’s office for her brother’s appointment, and was weaned off breastfeeding rather abruptly as Mommy had to leave for India…
I was separated from my little one for the first time since the day she was born…for two weeks. Read why, here.
I returned to the US on her birthday.