The fish and I have a new schedule we've been following the past couple of weeks since it cooled down in the evenings. I get home from work around 5:15 and I talk to Joe until he leaves at 5:30. Then Mony and I have our dinner and play with toys. Then we go for a walk that ends at the park, where Ramona plays on the swings for a little while and then we roll around on the grass.
Saturday when we got to the rolling on the grass part Ramona went over to her stroller and was playing with it. I laid there looking at it and realized how easy it was to turn the top part so it could be an outward facing stroller. Up until that point I'd still had it in a reclined, mommy-facing view. I'd noticed she'd been looking out the sides more and more and less at me during walks, but I had been too lazy to find the instructions to make it face outward. Sitting there and realizing how easy it was, I made the change right there. She was absolutely beaming the entire way home. She loves looking out at the world. We went on the longest walk she's ever stayed awake for today and she was happy the whole time because she got to look out.
Oh my gosh, doesn't she look big? Crazy! Tonight, she surprised me by enjoying the grass and crawling all over. Up until then, she'd been nervous about the grass. Since she was being adventurous I took her over to the play equipment to see how she'd react to stairs since she'd never seen any before. As show at the beginning of this post, she figure them out right away.
When she reached the top she was confused about what to do. There was nowhere left to go.
Luckily some big girls (maybe 9?) showed up. I was curious how Ramona would react since she doesn't see other kids very often. She was delighted! She smiled as soon as she saw them (which is her reaction to all strangers. She's such a ham.) Then she started clapping when they climbed up the stairs to where we were. She saw them go down the slide and you could see the wheels turning in her head. "Oh yes, of course, we go this way!" She started crawling down the slide. I caught her before she went too far. I picked her up and we went down the slide with her on my lap. She liked it! Fun times. My big girl.
Oh, my big girl. I can't believe she'll be a year in less than three weeks. Today Joe made a joke about me taking the camera with me every time the fish and I go anywhere. But I defended myself because I need the pictures. She's growing so fast. It's already hard to remember her being a newborn. It's hard to remember the time before she could crawl. Like all people, she is who she is right now. The memories fade, but the pictures are constant reminders. I looked at old pictures today and couldn't believe how little she was. How chubby her cheeks were. They're still chubby, but her face is starting to make the transfer from baby to toddler. It's happening so gradually that I don't notice unless I look at older pictures. And that, my friends, is the reason I need all the pictures. I need the little tugs on my heartstrings that come when I look at those old pictures. The memories of who she was and who I was and who we were rush back so quickly with one glance.