Oh, little buddy... You arrived with a bang a year ago today. You've always been a chill little guy, ever since that day! Your sweet nature charmed our whole family. Your papa and I adore you and your sister does too - unless you're stealing her toys and then she's not such a fan.
You were a big guy at birth (9lbs 13 oz!) and you haven't slowed down one bit. We'll find out for sure in a few days at your one year checkup, but you're somewhere around 26-27 lbs and TALL. You're officially bigger than several 3-year-olds we know. You've always been a pretty good sleeper, even falling asleep at the Common Ground Fair in your little lumberjack shirt. Nowadays I give you a little bounce on the yoga ball and a pat on the back and you toss and turn until you finally enter dreamland. I have mixed feelings about this. It's great that you can sleep on your own, but I know I will never again have a tiny baby that needs to sleep on me! Bittersweet...
You are seriously the happiest baby I know. Everything brings you such joy. All I have to do to get you grinning is just look in your direction. Make a funny face or silly smile and forget it...you might explode with glee! You love to bang on things - blocks, toy pots, pretty much anything that makes a noise. You wave toys around with wild abandon and love to pull everything out of a bin and toss it behind you with utter happiness. You can chew a book to bits in moments and have destroyed more toys in your short life than I ever thought possible! Which is not to say you're malicious in any way, the destruction comes from a place of glee and excitement and, despite the wreckage, is pretty funny to watch.
You love your older sister and think that everything she does is pretty much the best thing ever. You're home a lot with papa and you two have the best times! Mama is definitely a favorite though. You love to cuddle and flop your head down on my shoulder, especially when we meet new people. You love to flirt, as long as you feel secure in mama's or papa's arms. Everybody loves you!
You're a great eater and, in typical male fashion, meat is your favorite. Bring on the chicken! I'm loving watching you learn and grow every day. You've taken a few halting steps but exuberant crawling is still definitely your preferred method of locomotion. You love to make sounds and noises but I've yet to hear a distinguishable word...although it sounds like "mama" might be close! Happy birthday buddy, we love you!
OK, so apparently I'm not so good at this "blogging every day!" thing.
I'm thankful for the wonderful people in my life.
I'm thankful for my beautiful daughter. She is smart and funny and entertains me every day with some fascinating little thing she does or says. I had no idea that having a kid would be so...fun. She's the most awesome little person I know.
I'm thankful for my lovely husband. (I'd have to be to sew him some flannel PJs, considering he's 6'4" tall...that's a lot of sewing...)
I'm thankful for my family. I have a small family and they aren't all nearby, but I love each and every one of them, no matter how they frustrate me at times. They're family! They're supposed to, right? My dear sister, parents, aunts and uncles. Cousins I rarely see. Grandparents I only occasionally see, despite them living close by. Extended family. Step-family. Honorary family. They're all wonderful.
I'm thankful for my friends, both in real life and online. Sometimes I feel like my online friends are more "real" than my real life friends - we share so much in common and communicate much more frequently than most of my local friends. But local friends are just that - local - and I love knowing that there are at least a handful of people out there in my community that I can call on when I need a friend. Thanks to you all.
Oh, summer. What have I been up to? Clearly not blogging... Mostly because I've been, well, living.
Started off the season with some gorgeous flowers...hyacinths! (Which, if you've been 'round these parts very long, you know are some of my very favorites.)
There were also (and will always be) some whoopie pies. Oh, the deliciousness. My favorites come from the bakery down the street - Borealis Breads. Yum.
There was some music-ing...
And somebody's very first beach trip...
(Well, the first one where she could actually appreciate it, anyway...) Followed by some more beach trips...
And some more... Love that sand!
There were a lot of hot lazy days spent playing with blocks and baby pools.
There was even some sewing! Here, the lovely E is stacking some rings in her beautiful new handmade dress!
And some more sewing... Love that dress pattern!
I gardened. Quite a bit actually. And I had every intention of blogging about my experience, but...well...maybe I'll get around to an end-of-season recap?
We had play dates!
And, of course, I just had to sew a party dress to go to some of those parties...
There was swinging and sliding...
I just had to sew another pair of shoes, before E outgrew the pattern...
There's been a lot of jam and jelly making and other preserving. Like whoa. A lot. Here, vanilla peach oolong. There's also been strawberry lime jam, blackberry jelly, maple strawberry smooch, strawberry lemonade concentrate, salsa verde and more on the agenda...
In addition to all that, I dyed yarn all summer for Picnic at the end of August. My first time vending as a yarnie! (I've done craft shows before, but not with the yarn...)
Finally, at the end of it all, when I was feeling a little stressed out by all that was happening, we went on vacation! A week at the lake, even if part of it is spent with no power or running water (thanks, Irene!) is a wondrous thing.
To top off the vacation, my dear father turned 60. Party! And he got to spend the day with his granddaughter. (Among others...) Possibly my favorite moment this summer.
So I may not have been blogging, or commenting on your blogs, or, honestly, even reading them most of the time, but I'm here. I've been checking in and catching up periodically but I feel like an ass commenting on months-old posts often, so I read, and move on. And live. It's been a good summer for us. I hope the same is true for you!
Oh, my sweet baby girl...
I absolutely cannot believe that we've already been blessed by your presence for a whole year! On this day, your birthday, I remember one year ago...how tired I was, how when they handed you to me you were face down and I was too weak and overwhelmed to be able to flip you over. I just kept repeating softly, "Can someone...um...she's upside down. Can someone...help?" And they did. And I got to gaze into your beautiful scrunched up face.
You were so beautiful to me then and you are even more beautiful to me now. I had been worried, before you were born, that I wouldn't love you, that we wouldn't bond. Oh, how very very wrong I was! I have always loved you.
You've come a long way this year. From a teeny little infant to a peanut of a toddler! I may have lamented the fact that I had to go to bed with you in our early months and that you wouldn't sleep anywhere but on me for so long, but I wouldn't have changed a bit of it. As you sleep peacefully in your crib (right now!) I sit and write this to you and hope that someday you will read it and begin to understand how much I love you. I try to show you every day but sometimes things get in the way. Exhaustion. Bad drivers. Spilled snacks. Pulled hair. Little things that really don't mean anything but can frustrate a mama in the moment. I will try harder. You deserve the best.
That first toothless grin...watching you learn to sit up...and now, as you tentatively take those first halting steps. Every moment has been precious to me. This year has been one of the more intense years of my life. I suppose they warn you, before that bundle of joy arrives, that it will be, but there's really no way to prepare. No way to really understand what you're in for. Sleepless nights, unexplained screaming fits, fussing, lots of poop...sure. But then there's all the other stuff.
The wonder. The excitement. The regular everyday stuff that now seems thrilling. The first time you slept in the co-sleeper. The first time you slept in the crib! The first bite of food...and the subsequent hilarious faces. The first time you rolled over. The time I realized you really could roll far as I came back to the nursery after placing you on the playmat for a moment and finding you nearly underneath the crib. The first food victory where I finally figured out a meal that you not only tolerated, but loved! (Pears with vanilla and balsamic vinegar, for the record.) Seeing you pull yourself to standing for the first time. Watching as you let go and balanced on your own for the first time! Staring with wonder and amazement as you took several steps without any assistance. (Wow!) Being surprised (though I shouldn't be) when I ask if you can clap and without missing a beat, you do! The way you try to put all kinds of things into...other things. (Related: finding blocks in your snack trap.)
You are a pretty easygoing kid, I think, though I suppose I don't have anyone else to compare you to. You're pretty adaptable and though you're a little shy at first, you warm right up and give such love to everyone that I'm constantly amazed by it. You're such a friendly baby, not at all like your socially awkward, introverted mother. Not that there's anything wrong with being an introvert but I do hope you aren't as painfully shy a child as I was! You don't seem to have preferences for most things yet, except food. Lucky for me, you aren't fixated on any particular color of clothing, or lovey, or type of toy. (Though now that I say that, what will tomorrow bring?)
It has been so bittersweet these last few days to think about your first birthday. Such a milestone! And you won't even remember! But I will. I think you had a good day, and with two parties still to come!
I love you baby girl. (You will always be my baby girl, even though now I suppose you're my toddler girl!) Being your mama has been the most rewarding job I've ever had. You are a joy to me...I look forward to seeing how you grow and change. I don't ever want you to grow up but I can't wait to see the little person you are becoming!