Well I can't believe it my little Quinny girl... where did that year fly off too? And now you are whole year old. It really does seem like yesterday that I sat down to write you a letter at the end of your first month; I spent ages flicking through all your photos picking out my favourites, trying to put into words how much you amazing you were. And now here I am, eleven months later... I'm still not sure I've quite managed to put your amazingness into words, and every month you seem to get better.
Last month I wrote about how you were beginning to stand up a lot, but couldn't do it unaided yet. Well what a difference a month makes. Because this past month has seen a big milestone; you've taken your first unaided steps. It was only a couple, but we know that that is only the start. Your big brother and sister didn't walk until a little while after they turned one, so it's kind of taken us by surprise that you are so keen to be up and about so soon. But then I guess that you have a pretty good incentive to walk in those older siblings of yours; you can't wait to start chasing them. And I know it won't be long now.
You are chattering away all the time now. You only have two distinguishable words at the moment; "dada" and "cat". But you have an assortment of sounds, squeaks, squeals, snots and other noises that you use to get your message across. You also have the most expressive face of anyone I've ever known. I swear you must have a thousand different facial expressions; from cheeky smiles, to frowns, to looks of total disgust, and expressions of total wonder... and everything in between. Honestly, it's the funniest thing, and you seem to have some comical timing when it comes to pulling out a face at exactly the right moment.
You clap, you wave, you dance, you move your shoulders up and down, you cock your head to the side and smile when you are being cheeky, you point at things and shout when you want them, you cry when we say the word no. You hate the hoover. You love the bath. You're scared of birds and of balloons. But you love getting your hands and feet stuck right into grass and sand.
... As hard as it might be for me to admit. You really aren't a tiny baby anymore. Of course you are still my baby girl, but you are growing and changing so much that you definitely seem more suited to the title of toddler than baby these days.
And its a funny old thing being a mummy (something I hope that you'll get to know for yourself one day) because the whole experience is so bittersweet. On one hand I feel sort of shellshocked at how fast the past years has gone, and kind of bereft that you are really no longer my teeny baby anymore; it has all flown by so damn fast. But on the other hand, you do just keep getting more and more fascinating. You are enchanting little Miss Quinn, and I know that as long as I live I'll never quite find an adequate way of explaining how I love you. You are my little buddy, a little sunshine in our lives, the smiliest and happiest person that I have ever known. And I sometimes just cannot believe that you are mine, and that I get to be your mummy, that I get to be that person who you love and snuggle up to and look up to and love. I just hope that I can be everything you ever want for in a mummy.
So before the lump in my throat turns into tears, I'll bring my rambling to a close. I'll simply say that I love you, that I can't imagine my life without you, and I'm so proud that you are mine baby girl.
You can read all her previous letters on her page here.
A twelfth month in photos...