A letter I wrote to Grant (for his baby book) a few weeks ago…



Dear Grant,



Well, we are almost coming up on your very first birthday. I cannot believe how fast this year has gone by. It just seems like yesterday I was holding you for the first time. It is truly amazing how much you have grown, and what you have learned in this first year.



You first learned to smile, and WOW, was I just the happiest Mommy! I still remember it vividly. I was holding you in my right arm while I went to check my email, and you were looking up at me, and all of a sudden there it was…your whole face smiled at me for a few seconds. I was so ecstatic that I kept trying to make you smile at me again. Daddy was at work so I was desperately trying to get a video of you smiling. I think I got it, but not as great as that first one. It took you awhile to master your smile, but as soon as you did, you have been all smiles. For the first few months, you would be so happy in your Baby Einstein play gym smiling and smiling at your light up star. I always referred to that star as your “Star Friend”. You would smile and kick your legs and wave your arms for the longest time. You just loved looking at that star and we just loved watching you. You always looked like you were dancing, which is how I came up with your nick name “Boogie” or “Boogie Woogie”.



The next of your milestones was holding your head up. You learned that at fairly quick pace. It was around 3 months when you had that mastered. You were no longer a bobble head anymore. We could put you in your Bumbo seat and the swing at the park. You loved the swing at the park and being outside seeing everything. You were always looking around at your surroundings just taking it all in. You also loved being in your bumbo; it was a new perspective for you. You were actually upright, and not just looking at the world from the floor or from our arms. You were on your own, just sitting (with the aid of the bumbo). After you learned to hold your head up, you were inspired to try rolling over. You wanted to go places. You were no longer content just being in one spot. So you worked and worked until you finally got it. And unlike other babies who rollover first from their tummy to their back. You always went from your back to your tummy. You did your first rollover by yourself. I had just walked out of the room for a second, and Daddy called me in and asked me if I had put you on your tummy, I said that I had put you on your back….but sure enough, you were found on your tummy. Then from there, you were just rolling over all the time.



The next thing you learned how to do was to eat solid foods. We started you on solid foods at 4 months old. We sat you in your bumbo with the tray at the dining room table, and fed you your first taste of rice cereal. You were definitely not so sure about that at first, and wanted your bottle instead. After a few tries, you were more open to the whole idea. We were so excited to start feeding you solids; we immediately went to Target to get you your very own high chair. I would have to say that at 4 months old, you started to come into your playful personality more. You had developed this crazy goose sound, which you still do a lot. We later referred to this noise as your purr, because you always do it when you are happy. I remember thinking that this was my favorite age of you so far. Now I just think that of every month so far. You just keep getting better and better.



At 5 months old, you figured out how to sit up all by yourself. You were so proud of yourself and so were we! You preferred sitting to laying in your play gym now. You wanted to sit up and play with your toys. Aunt Amy gave you the perfect toy for sitting too. It is a little desk with all sorts of buttons that plays music and lights up. You just loved that. I think it actually helped you learn to sit on your own.



Once you were 6 months, you were on to better foods and all formula. You didn’t have to eat just cereal anymore, you could have fruits, meats and vegetables. You really liked having more variety in your life. During this month, we found out that we were pregnant again. You were going to have a baby brother or sister! We were very excited. During this time you were trying and trying to figure out how to crawl. You would lay on your tummy and start frantically kicking your arms and legs really fast. You couldn’t quite figure out why you weren’t getting anywhere. You tried this method for the longest time until you finally nailed it at 7 months old. You were one determined baby! And the same day you figured out the crawling thing, you also figured out how to pull yourself up to stand. You were so delighted with your new skills that that was all you wanted to do. No more excersaucer or jumper. You did not feel like you should be contained in one place when you had so much exploring to do. We had to do lots of baby proofing. The first things to hide from you were the plants; you just loved to go straight for the dirt. The next was the dogs’ water bowl and the toilet. You just loved hitting the water. That was and is still so fascinating to you. I then had to clear off the side table to the recliner. Your next favorite thing was to climb up there and start grabbing. I used to have a basket filled with the remotes, the phone, a picture frame, a candle and whatever book or magazine I was reading. No more of that. You just loved anything that you could get your hands on that was not your toys. You mainly loved the phone or remotes. Anything with buttons was a big hit with you. The more you crawled the better you got. At first, you had a few lessons to learn though. It took you a few times to learn that when you went under the dining room chairs, you would hit your head and it would hurt you. You really developed a very speedy pace, and were just zooming across the house. You also perfected pulling yourself up because of the Leap Frog table toy that Grandma and Grandpa Bramstedt got for you. Soon you were able to walk along the sides of things.



At 9 months, you were really starting to become more vocal and try different noises. You figured out how to babble. All of a sudden I heard you saying “bababababababababababa” one day. I was so happy to finally hear the first of your talking. You also did “mamamamamamamamama” or even “mom” very indiscriminately. Another one you did a lot is “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE”.



Some of your favorite approved places for you were and still is the container drawer in the kitchen. Anytime I would have to do something in the kitchen, I would just open that drawer a little, and you were happy as could be discovering all the different lids and containers. You also LOVED and still do LOVE the dishwasher. As soon as you hear that door open, I hear a fast pace pitter pat to the kitchen. You loved being able to throw things on the floor, especially if you could get them to spin, like coasters and the diaper genie refill. Also at 9 months we were able to start feeding you table food. You loved to be able to eat what we were eating. Some of your favorites were bread, mashed potatoes, yogurt.



When you were 10 months old, I taught you how to clap your hands. When you finally clapped your hands all by yourself, you were so delighted and proud of yourself. I think I was more proud though…it was the first thing I taught you how to do. We played a lot of patty cake.



At 11 months, I got a fancy food processor and was able to make you baby food. You are a big fan of the things I have made you so far: chicken mixed with brown rice and garlic, sweet potatoes mixed with pears and cinnamon, banana mixed with blueberry and oranges, and your absolute favorite is this creamy chicken/mushroom soup I make. You can’t get enough of that. You already like my cooking! I am excited to keep making you more food. I would rather have you eat the food I make for you than eat the jars of food. I think you prefer that too. You also started interactively playing with Walker too. You would pass back and forth his rope. You even figured out that you could put certain objects in another object. Your motor skills took a big jump this past month. You are still working on your wave, taking your first steps and saying “mama” or “dada”.



In just a few short weeks, we will have your first birthday party. We got you your very own chair for the living room with your name on it. Truth be told, I actually ordered the cover for this chair while I was pregnant with you. And yes, it was embroidered with your name on it when I ordered it. Daddy was not so happy with me about that since he was still holding out hope that your name would be Buck. I knew you were Grant though. As soon as we came up with your name, I knew Grant would be your name. No doubt in my mind. Now, I cannot imagine you as any other name. You are our Grant Kinkade. Or as Daddy likes to call you “GKK”. You have made this year one of the best for us. You have brought us so much happiness; we are truly blessed to have you as our baby boy.



I love you,

Mommy



Some of your favorites:



The dogs: if you are waking up in our bed in the morning, you are immediately looking for the dogs. As soon as you see them, you make your goose noise and pat your hands.

You have also discovered how fun it is to feed them your bread of your tray.



Baths: you LOVE baths. You love to hit the water and make splashes. You love to have water poured by you so you can reach your hand out in the stream. You love playing with your bath toys and chewing on the wash cloth. If you are ever in an extremely bad mood, you can become instantly happy again in the bathtub.



Outside swing: Another activity that can brighten a very bad mood. Daddy hung your swing on the arbor out back, and you just love to swing and watch the dogs. Mainly Walker play chuck-it. You love to swing. You also love to be outside.



Walks: We took a lot of walks to the park with the dogs. You loved to watch the dogs walk beside you, and see all the new things along the walk. You especially loved the park swing, and watching the bigger kids play.



Dog water bowl and food bowls: Not sure what the big excitement about these bowls are, but if they are on the floor, you are there playing with them. You first start out by throwing the food bowls on the floor to watch them swivel around. Then you go to the water bowl to start hitting the water. I have had to change your clothes a few times because you soaked yourself from playing in the water bowl.



Swimming: We took you swimming a lot this summer. You are a true water baby. You love love the pool. You are already so good at kicking your legs like you are supposed to.

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