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13 Things I Love About 13 Months

He is such a little person now!

I say it every month, but every age just seems to get better and better. I am finally that wise old mom who looks back on the baby phase and thinks, “Oh right? Yeah that was good, but this is so much better.” I had so many experienced moms tell me that at the very beginning, and I’d smile politely and secretly tell myself that they were crazy. What could possibly be better than a newborn?

As it turns out, a lot of things.

Don’t get me wrong. The newborn phase has its own set of amazing things to love; endless chest naps, newborn coos, and that sweet smelling head. But in the early days I felt mostly like a caretaker, looking after a very fragile, often terrifying, little being. These days, I’m still a caretaker, but it feels a lot more fun than that. Our relationship is so interactive now; filled with so much emotion, laughter, and the pure joy that is a toddler throwing his arms around your neck.

Is there anything better?

Here are 13 things I am loving about 13 months…

  • Arts and crafts time 1 of 13
    Arts and crafts time
    Okay this one is kind of a stretch. I keep trying arts and crafts, and Cullen keeps eating crayons. He IS really into stickers though, so we do a lot of those.
  • So much babbling and talking 2 of 13
    So much babbling and talking
    Not many "real" words yet, but he goes on and on all day long. Even though I can't understand him, it's fun to feel like we have two-way conversations now!
  • The big kid bath tub 3 of 13
    The big kid bath tub
    I think we kept Cullen in his infant tub for waaaay too long. Like almost a year -- oops. Now he has taken over the large soaking tub in our master bathroom, and it's so much fun to watch him splash and play. We battle when he tries to stand or turn the faucet on -- that usually signifies bath time is over.
  • Finally trying out some big kid stuff 4 of 13
    Finally trying out some big kid stuff
    We hit the playground this week -- the same one we've been going to for months and months -- but finally we checked out more than the baby swings. Cullen kept pointing and running over to the merry-go-round, so I cautiously gave him a spin. He grabbed onto the bar with a tight little grip, and he looked so proud of himself as he spun around and around! Sniff.
  • He loves to play independently 5 of 13
    He loves to play independently
    I keep asking my friends and Casey if it's possible that Cullen is TOO independent. This kid is all about self-entertainment. He will play for over an hour by himself, sometimes more. I love watching him play -- he seems to have such an agenda in his head, and I wonder what he's thinking.
  • We’re finally using the local attractions 6 of 13
    We're finally using the local attractions
    Last season, my friends and I would meet up at parks and museums, and we'd walk and talk with our babies strapped into Ergos or strollers. I can't tell you how many times we went to the zoo and never really even looked at any animals. But now that Cullen is old enough to enjoy it, it's one of our favorite spots. It is so fun to find new museums and children's centers to take him -- he is so into exploring his world right now.
  • All sorts of fun new food 7 of 13
    All sorts of fun new food
    I think I might have a picky eater on my hands. We have a LOT of food ending up on the floor. And as much as that is driving me crazy, it's also forcing me to get really creative and clever with Cullen's meals. I'm making him mini muffins laced with spinach, and he's slurping down smoothies full of kale.
  • We are finally down to one nap 8 of 13
    We are finally down to one nap
    Back in the baby days, the idea of him only taking one nap each day sounded horrifying. But now that it's here? I love it. We have our whole mornings free to do as we please, and I no longer feel like a hostage waiting around for his unpredictable naps. Now that it's just one, it's also (usually) longer, so I can get quite a bit done in the afternoons.
  • Playing games and silly faces 9 of 13
    Playing games and silly faces
    Even though he's not really talking yet, he's communicating all the time. He mimics me, makes silly faces, and cracks up at peekaboo. It never gets old.
  • He finally loves books and reading 10 of 13
    He finally loves books and reading
    For what felt like a year, Cullen's only interest in his books was eating them. But these days he's all about turning the pages and looking at the pictures, so all his books with chewed spines and corners are finally going to good use! It is also his biggest source of car entertainment.
  • It’s all about sorting and stacking 11 of 13
    It's all about sorting and stacking
    I'm telling you -- this kid works like he has a serious agenda. He stacks things, moves them, carries them one by one, takes things in and out, moves them up and down. I'm hoping this means that he'll eventually be a master organizer.
  • He still has his baby moments 12 of 13
    He still has his baby moments
    He's at this great age right now where he acts like a tough toddler all day long, but he still melts into my arms like a baby at night. On the rare nights where he still falls asleep on me, I let him stay there for as long as I can -- I never know when it will be the last time!
  • The wonderful world of toddler clothes 13 of 13
    The wonderful world of toddler clothes
    Last but certainly not least -- we have finally discovered the joy that is toddler clothing!! All the baby stuff in the stores suddenly looks so tiny and dainty, and doesn't really seem to suit my rugged, running boy. We've mostly graduated from onesies and sweatpants to jeans and sweaters. Just when I thought he couldn't get any cuter...

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