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To Calvin, who is 11 months old today,

Unbelievable:  Almost a year has gone by since you were born!  And you have really made the most of your time here so far.   You started your eleventh month with only two teeth, but now have six, yes six!  11months1.jpgThere are four on top, and two on the bottom, making for a very adorable lopsided grin.  You also started the month taking a few steps here and there, but now you can walk clear across the room without assistance, and are able to stand straight up right in the middle of the floor - no more crawling over to tall objects to pull yourself up anymore!  This has given you a new sense of freedom, 11months2.jpgand the smile that decorates your face when you totter around the house is brilliant and endearing!  When we see you doing that we can't help but laugh ourselves.  In fact, we spend a lot more time laughing with you these days.  Your fine motor skills have also advanced and you now use your toys in the more intricate ways in which they were intended to be used.  We love watching you sort shapes, your face showing your deep concentration then breaking into a giggling smile as each of the shapes goes in, just to start over again.

But you aren't the only one learning:  your parents sure have come a long way in the past month, too.  Just a week ago we decided that 11months3.jpgwe could embark on our first family vacation and we loaded up the car and headed to Holland, Michigan, to introduce you to the tulip festival there.  That trip taught us that you are a wonderfully well natured child and a miraculously good sleeper, and that the stuff we pack for you takes up way more space than the stuff we pack for ourselves!  A couple of weeks ago you spiked your first real fever - all the way up to 102.5 - and we were really scared, 11months4.jpguntil a quick call reassured us that the doctors aren't really concerned until 105 degrees.  Yes, we still have a lot to learn about lightening up, but we are working on it, especially in the food department.  Before April you had tried chicken, several standard fruits and green veggies, and a few cereal grains.  Over the past month we have added pork and beef, several new fruits and veggies, and even new spices to your repertoire.  You especially loved the curried chicken, and  also seem to enjoy garlic and cinnamon.  You like flavor, and you like he eating.  You are just full of life and you bring great joy to our days.

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