I usually say, “I can't believe this child is getting so old! Where did the time go?” For the first few months of Nadia's life I did feel this way, but overall this year has seemed long, and actually it's hard to believe it was only a year ago that I held Nadia for the first time. Surely she has been part of our family for more than a year.
Isn't it amazing how you first look into that tiny baby's scrunchy red face and have no idea yet what they will become? Of course at one year, Nadia has quite a ways to go in her “becoming.” I still have a hard time figuring out her personality, partly because Juliana has always been so strongly extroverted and Adalyn has been so much calmer/quieter in comparison. Nadia is somewhere in the middle. Despite her overwhelming mama preference at the moment, I think she tends toward extroversion. She is easily bored on her own and quite happy in a crowded room full of older kids. She likes smiling and waving at others from the comfort of mama's arms.
It has also been harder to figure Nadia out because she has been sick so much. Twelve times in her first twelve months. Whenever she is sick she is understandably fussy, and by the time she is well I am often sick, which makes her fussy too. So it's hard to figure out how much is her temperament and how much is related to sickness. Either way, I am hoping toddlerhood will be easier and healthier.
When she is happy she is very, very happy, and when she is mad she screams very, very loudly. She can go from content to distraught in two seconds (generally when mama hands her off) and back again (when she gets mama back). She doesn't talk as much as the other girls, but she makes herself known.
All the girls have gone through a glued-to-mama phase around this age, but Nadia wishes she could get her hands on some super glue. She generally does okay with Kevin if I'm not there, but if I am in sight she wants me. She is so excited when I come home. Heck, she is so excited when I come out of the bathroom, if she wasn't already in there with me to begin with. She can be with Kevin six inches away from me and still wail because she is not WITH me. She needs to be able to smush her little body into mine. When I hold her she clings to me and pats my back. It is sweet and exhausting.
Undeniably one of my favorite things about Nadia is her chubby, chubby cheeks. And her chubby, chubby thighs. And chin. Pretty much all of her roly-poly self begs for kisses. Many people comment on her bright blue eyes, even westerners. A lot of people we see say she looks like me, but I'm not sure how much of that is because they see us together.
It's funny to think that she was so small when she was born. She dropped down to 5lb 11oz in the week after birth and the doctor was concerned she wasn't gaining enough. Apparently she took his concerns to heart because she shot right up the growth chart afterwards. She is currently 23 pounds or 90th percentile. She does love to nurse, all day and all night, although lately it resembles more of an acrobatic check-in. She also loves to eat. She eats pretty much what we do now and will try almost anything offered. Her favorite is probably crackers - although after today cake might a close runner up!
Speaking of her sisters, Nadia sure loves to be one of the pack. She likes to sit with them as they play Little People or My Little Ponies, quietly sneaking away their toys to chew on. Mostly she loves her sisters, although sometimes she loses patience when they love her a little too aggressively. When they come home she is always excited to see them, and she gets big smiles when it's time for night-night hugs. “Ni-ni” seems to be her first specific word, that's how much she enjoys the ritual.
And you know about the sleep struggles. I guess it's improved some since the summer. She is not always waking up every 1-2 hours; sometimes she sleeps for several hours at a time. Sometimes she doesn't. Usually she sleeps from 7:30/8pm to 6:30/7am with 3-4 breaks in the middle. She naps twice a day, usually for 45 minutes, sometimes longer. Any progress has been slow and inevitably stopped by her getting sick, so what are you going to do? I'm holding out hope that we can make something stick in the second year.
We'll see what the second year holds. Hopefully a lot less sickness, a lot more sleep, and all the same chubby smiles!