Month 11 was a big one for Nathan! On January 28th, a judge in the Henrico County court signed his adoption finalization papers, which means we are completely, totally, name-changingly FINISHED with the adoption process! It took us a little longer than normal (usually finalization occurs around 9 months), but we did it! Also of note in month 11 was our gigantic cross-country trip: from Roanoke to Luray to visit Tim’s folks to Maryland for the gender-reveal celebration of Nathan’s cousin-due-in-June (it’s a BOY!) with Tim’s brother and sister-in-law to Iowa (by plane and with thanks to a good friend providing a ride to the airport) for a visit with my sister and brother in law and Nathan’s 16 month old cousin! What a fun adventure all that was, and so nice to see so many people! Nathan did GREAT with all the traveling, including the flight to Iowa. We had plenty of snacks and a few brand-new-to-him toys to keep him entertained, but he actually spent most of the time with his nose glued to the window. He was especially enthralled when we landed in Washington D.C. at night–ooooooh, the lights! the lights!!! He graduated from an army crawl to a full fledge hands and knees scrabble at Tim’s folks, loved watching Uncle N and Aunt A’s pets, and had a wonderful time playing alongside his cousin Hannah. His least favorite part was the weather–which was coooold, especially in Iowa!Nathan’s other big accomplishment this month was learning to pull up on the furniture–starting with his toy box! 🙂
In his 12th month, Nathan did lots of practicing: practicing crawling, practicing standing, practicing taking steps while hanging onto anything he could reach, practicing bigger and bigger bites of dinner, practicing his mamas and dadas and tigger-tigger-tiggers. We noticed that he understands the words for many objects like fan, light, tigger, bear, ball, fingers, toes, and socks. He loves to play “fetch”, and crawl to find an object we ask him about. He has begun to express opinions about more and more things, making his pleasure or displeasure clearly known by his sounds and body language. He loves to go on “adventures”: walks around the neighborhood, trips to the grocery store, rides in the stroller or backpack, and church. Speaking of church: Sundays are tough but fun for Nathan. He won’t nap during church anymore, so his schedule is always a little messed up Sunday afternoons. But he loves going to church. He has a few very special church toys that he only sees on Sunday mornings (or sometimes on long car rides). That helps keep him occupied when needed. We usually keep him in the service for the singing, prayer, and bible reading and bring him to the nursery during the sermon. He loves the nursery; being there without us does not phase him a bit.
Although we’ve read to him regularly since he was born, he only this month took ownership of his books. How fun this was for us, to see him become independently interested in being read to! He often indicates that he wants us to read to him, and we have to have a few books within easy reach once we start as he breaks into sobs when we finish a book. He likes many books, but I think his current favorites are “Goodnight Moon” and a book about black bears. He got some new books for his birthday (YAY!) so we are excited to introduce him to those.
We don’t have his official 12 month measurements yet, but in our opinion he is very, very tall for his size! He is growing so fast; we notice it more now that he is pulling up on things. It seems like he can reach significantly more every week! He loves to stand in front of the mirror and give himself kisses. He also loves to pull up on the bathtub and bang on it. We had a trouble for about a week with him pulling up in his crib when he should have been trying to go to sleep, but he has mostly learned to stay sitting or lying down when he is in bed. He sprouts new teeth daily (okay, not really, but sometimes it seems like it!) for a current total of 4 on top and 4 on bottom. He still takes two naps a day most of the time, although he’s just at the stage where he can survive on one. He sleeps well at night, but we still haven’t managed to teach him about sleeping in on the weekends. 🙂 He plays a silly game with us where he shakes his head side to side really fast. It looks like he is saying a vehement “NO!”, but he does it when he’s really excited about something or trying to make us laugh. He can feed himself goldfish crackers and is getting pretty good with a sippy cup. I love having a month by month log of Nathan’s progress in this last year. It helps me remember how far he’s come, especially in the moments when I am impatient with his neediness. Parenting is the most draining, most rewarding thing we have ever done. We can’t wait to see what God has in store for us in the next 12 months!