Monday, August 31, 2015

Raina Grace: Birthday Party and One Year Update

I love her silly faces. She loved her little cake, but didn't have much luck blowing out the candle.

Well, it happened; Raina is one year old. It's been two months since her actual birthday, and I'm finally able to wrap my mind around the fact.

We have had such a crazy summer, and I wanted to include everyone in Raina's party, so we planned it for the first Sunday in August, when she was actually 13 months old, so that my little sister could be there. Of course, in the end Steve wasn't able to be there for her party, which made me so sad. But there's only so much you can do to try and plan ahead with his job, we're kind of used to it. I'm glad we got so many good pictures so he could see all of her adorable little expressions as she ate her little cake and opened presents. I was sure to get a few videos too throughout the party.

My family actually all came out and 'camped' in our driveway in their campers the night before, and then we all went to my church in the morning. It was so fun! After church we came home to get the party started, except poor Raina was already so ready for her nap by the time we got home. She made it through (just barely) and I laid her down in her crib as soon as we finished opening the last present. The rest of us enjoyed lunch and cake and each other's company at a pleasant, leisurely pace after that while she slept.

I went with the same cake I made for Riggs' first birthday, adding strawberry preserves to the frosting
for flavor and a hint of pink. She LOVED the cake and at way more than I thought she would! 

I asked my family to pass on buying her any toys, and they did a great job of getting her other useful items, like books, clothing and even her first money! Only my mom broke my 'rule' and got her a toy, but grandma's are allowed to break all the rules, haha.

Tearing up while reading her the book from Steve and I. Seriously, go find this book and I challenge you to read it (especially aloud!) without crying your eyes out.

The cake was a hit and we ended up with only one small slice left after the adults were done eating.

Watching Raina grow has been one of the most beautiful things I've ever experienced. She has such a sweet, happy spirit and her face just lights up a room when she smiles. No one else could have added what she has to our family, and both Steve and I are head-over-heels in love with everything about her.

At one she crawls at lightning speeds, stands for a few seconds on her own, cruises around furniture, and climbs everything. She will walk if we hold her hands, which her cousin Noah discovered. She's got six teeth with two more on the way, and has much more hair than her brother did at the same age. She's in between clothing sizes, with 12 month being nearly too small and 18 month being pretty loose and baggy. Size 4 honest or seventh generation diapers fit her now and probably will for a long time. Her growth really slowed down from 9-12 months, just like big brother. Here's her growth curve from year one:

birth - 8 lbs 1 oz
4 months - 15.12 lbs
8 months - 20.08 lbs
12 months - 21.5 lbs

birth - 19.5 in
4 months - 26 in
8 months - 28 in
12 months - 29 in

Other than mama and dadda, her very first 'real' word(s) was "oh wow!", which is pretty much just perfect. In the last two weeks, her speech has really picked up and she'll often surprise us by repeating something we say to her. She loves to give hugs and is a very snuggly baby. Organizing is her favorite, and she loves to take things out of their bin and then put them away again over and over.

Her and Riggs share a room, and during a typical night (6:30pm to 6:30am) she wakes 2-3 times to nurse then goes right back to sleep. I haven't done a single thing to encourage her to not nurse at these times, as I'm pretty ok with it for now. Riggs dropped all but one feeding on his own between 12 and 18 months and then was sleeping through the night by 24 months, and I just trust that she's follow the same general schedule.

Before you were born, my heart always knew I wanted to be a good parent to you. 
I imagined for months how our family would be, the things you would learn, the places we'd see.
What I couldn't have known was all that you'd be by you being you and giving to me!
You're my joy beyond joy to grow you, my child, my delight and my thankful, my adventure, my wild.
You are all this and more, a gift from the start. You are my blessing and love - you are my heart.
-Marianne Richmond; excerpt from You are my Heart board book

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