11 Months

When I think about what I will miss most about her first year...it's always the day to day things. The way she looks crawling into our bedroom. The snuggle time in bed. The "normal" stuff that we often overlook as the magic. But when we look back in our memories it's all the normal stuff that makes the magic. So I gave myself a personal project for her 11 month photoshoot, to document a day, unaltered, unposed. Just us being us.

I didn't clean up. I didn't take off my bathrobe until 1pm. It wasn't the most exciting or photogenic day. The light wasn't always perfect...the shots not all worthy of "oohs and ahhs". But to me they are just as they should be...REAL.

Thanks to Grant for partnering with me on this. I do spend a lot of my day with her on my hip and am so grateful that Grant could capture her and I together.

So here it is, a day with Nova on her 11 month birthday:

You like to look out the window first thing when you wake up.

Dad changes your morning diaper.

Pretty much how we sleep all night long together.

Hey world, I'm 11 months old!

I love when you throw your neck back like this. Like you are too relaxed to keep your head upright.


I never knew I would have a baby that likes stuffed animals so much. You LOVE them.

Always crawling with something in your right hand.

Trying your first green smoothie. Nom noms?

*this face*

Your new trick is to tear everything off your shelves. This is my favorite photo from this post.

Feed to sleep...

"Mom!! I don't like napping! I want to stay up with you and Dad!!"

..Fine. We'll read a book.

You hang on my leg constantly. You would always prefer to be in my arms than on your own.

Our happy place.

Lamby, we bought for you in New Zealand.

Getting dressed is kind of the worst.

...it's just so sad.

Happy tears.

Finally asleep. Bum in the air. (You are a light sleeper, so taking this photo was extremely dangerous).

This is what we do when you're asleep...(and a little work).

Awake and the cutest thing we ever did see.

Relaxing with mama as I wake up.

One of us sits next to you most of the time while we are in the car. 1st child luxuries.

Meeting Mom's cousins on Balboa island for my first frozen banana.

Walking , walking, walking. I just want help walking on my own two feet 24/7.

Pushing around the side table as a walker, sans one moccasin.

Let me in that bathroom!

Bathtime with one of us (always...another 1st child luxury). Don't worry Grant is wearing swim trunks.

Is there anything better in the world than wet baby eyelashes?

Dry off, lotion up, diaper, and one last drink before bedtime. (You're welcome for that bum shot).

In your crib until your next wake when we gobble you up in bed with us. Until then we'll miss you...serious.

Have we really almost made it a year?

I can tell you are ready...ready to be bigger.

...Except when you let me hold you like a little baby and sing to you and coo at you while wrapped in your favorite pink blanket.

You want to feed yourself. No more of that mushy spoon fed stuff. You want pieces you can pick up w your own fingers.

You can eat parts of anything we eat and that makes meal time so much easier. You are still partial to avocado, cheese, bread..basically anything you can feed yourself.

You talk and breastfeed at the same time. Sometimes I catch you giggling too.

The other night we were winding down singing songs in your room and while we were cheek to cheek you turned & kissed me on my lips.

Everything is your own personal walker. Side tables, chairs, anything that slides on the concrete floors.

You got a plastic car/walker/seat/music player thing from Gma and Gpa Thurston that you push around on the slippery concrete like a boss.

Your independence is growing & I'm trying to wrap my mind around it. I know its necessary & good but I can't help but feel a tiny bit sad about it. Maybe sad is the wrong word...mourning the moving on maybe..

Your hair is getting longer and looking blonder. You have crazy bed head when you wake up.

Your eyelashes are so long and luscious.

Your front top teeth have broken through and are working their way down.

You play peekaboo with anything. A curtain, a blanket, a toy. Today in the car you used my hand.

Definitely ticklish under your armpits. Laughs every time.

You want us to hold your hands and walk you around everywhere. You walk towards one of us with the biggest silliest grin on your face.

You are finally over double your birth weight. To me you are the perfect size.

Ma ma ma ma when you are tired or hungry or sad or hurt or needy.

Da da da da da when you don't want to nap!

We have been calling you Nuh nuhs, pickle, nutty, my little chicken, do dos, zuzus, Nutty...and when we really mean it, Nova or Novs.

We have caught you going from sitting to standing without holding on to anything. Very impressive.

We have also caught you wrestling and snuggling with your giant stuffed bear when no one is watching. You will burrow your face in his belly and roll all over him. A-DOR-A-BLE.

You love to hand us stuff..and then take it back. You also love feeding me stuff. Hilarious when mom eats out of your hand.

Sometimes when you have had enough or aren't sure what you want you will cross your arms and uncross them and then cross them again.

You love getting into everything--in fact, you can’t play in the office as much anymore because you are very busy and you can definitely be anywhere you want to be by crawling, standing, or climbing.

You love music..you dance and sometimes when the music is on, you want to stand in front of the speakers and “watch it”.

Yo gabba gabba transfixes you. You have only watched it a few times so everyone chill!! 

We have to watch that you don’t drop heavy things on yourself now because you can lift or pull amazing amounts of weight from shelves and drawers, you’re just not sure how to put them down yet.

Love the birds (crows) that come cawing at dusk each day.  You hear them and look for them so we take you outside and you love to see them fly and perch on the power lines.

I swear you call birds "Ca's".

You babble a lot but we still aren't really sure what words you for sure know. Mama and Dada seem pretty solid though.

You just got a big girl carseat and we finally bought a Bob jogging stroller. You were strollerless for 2+months. Which was fine..we love toting you in the carrier but I think you will be more comfy in the stroller for long walks.

So one more month until you are one. Hard to believe. There are so many projects I want to do to celebrate and remember your first year. But mainly the most important thing I want to do is watch you. I don't want to miss noticing anything. Your Dad and I were discussing if we thought we had given you enough undividided attention your first year...had we looked enough at you? Had we spent good quailty time with you? Happily the answer was YES. This was something I knew I would regret more than anything...not really being present for you in the way that I wanted to be. I am happy to say I have no regrets in that department. I haven't been perfect. Days spent away from you for shoots have damn near killed me. They have been few and far between but those days are long for both of us...and afterwards I have to always ask myself if those days I am away take something away from you that I can't give back. Finding the balance has been the main topic in our home..and I am guessing will be maybe forever. What I do know is we are close as close can be. For everyday I am away from you I give myself at least one full day of only you and I time to fill in the missing spots. You and I and Dad are making it work. Truth be told I am feeling like if we could make it past year 1 of baby 1 we can make through any year!! Throw a few more kids in the mix..no big deal! (right?!)

You encompass every thought I have and every decision I make. You are the sun the rest of us revolve around.

Let's celebrate every tiny moment we have this month growing together and every growing moment after that as well...forever.