The last we heard of Charlotte and Annabelle, they were wee little six-month-olds who looked something like this:
Now, they are less than two weeks shy of their first birthday and look like this:
Should I ever again be struck with baby fever, I feel fairly confident in saying that it won't be because I am dying to hold a squishy newborn of my very own in my arms once more. It will be because almost one year olds are FANTASTIC. While I do have brief moments of nostalgia for the early days when I could rest a baby on my chest and she would stay there, mostly I'm still battle-scarred from the colic, what was likely undiagnosed PPD, constant diaper changes, and broken sleep.
I can't speak to anything past the one year mark, but from 6 months on? Perfection. They're still little babies who need me and love me and think I'm pretty much the most amazing thing they've ever laid their beautiful baby blues on, but they're also exploring their world and growing in independence and learning to play with one another. Every day my heart grows a little bit fuller with love for these girls, and I don't know how it won't just explode one day.
Charlotte is my little tasmanian devil. She is constantly falling off of some piece of furniture she has sneakily climbed up on, or tumbling into the toy boxes or the dog bed. She always has a grin at the ready for everyone who crosses her path. She loves to eat... well, everything. Haven't found anything she doesn't like yet. She has her two front bottom teeth, and seems to be working on a couple of more that may pop through before her birthday. At her 9 month appointment, she was in the 3rd percentile for growth, but since then I think she's really taken great strides in catching up with her peers.
Annabelle is my mama's girl. Throughout the day, when life gets a little too overwhelming, she just needs to get pulled up into my lap for some cuddles until she can decompress, then she's ready to get back to it. She is much more choosy about what foods pass through her lips, but in the past month, she's gotten much more adventurous, eating oatmeal, pasta, banana chunks and even a few mandarin oranges, hopefully getting herself a little above her 0% weigh in at 9 months. She's a tougher nut to crack when it comes to getting giggles, but you know when she smiles or laughs at you, you've truly earned it. She just had a top front tooth cut through after a fairly agonizing couple of weeks, and will have her very own jack o' lantern smile soon.
My babies could not be more different, and they challenge my notions about nature versus nurture every day. They have already formed a bond with one another that I hope only grows and strengthens with age and experience. It's fascinating to watch them learn from one another--shortly after Charlotte started crawling, Annabelle followed suit. Annabelle started pushing her walker around the house, and while before, Charlotte had shown no interest, she suddenly wanted to push it with her. I think our greatest parenting challenge will be helping them to walk the fine line between inspiring one another and competition with one another.