Happy birthday! You are officially ONE YEAR OLD. It is so crazy to think that at this time one year ago my water had broken and I was just hanging around at the hospital waiting for contractions to start so I could just meet you already! It was a long day, but, kiddo, you were worth the wait.
Over the weekend we celebrated your first birthday. Knowing your love for all things with antennae, we had a Very Hungry Caterpillar theme. I ordered a special birthday hat and a matching shirt from Etsy and we were ready to go.
A couple of my friends own a bakery and they made you a very special cake. Which you thoroughly enjoyed. It was wonderful to be surrounded by our family and friends knowing that we were celebrating you and everything that you are.
Fall is one of my favorite seasons, not only because both my daughters were born in the fall, but because the weather finally cools off, the colors start to pop, and of course, there are all the amazing activities that fall brings. One of those activities is pumpkin patches. I just love everything about them and I was so happy to share them with you for the first time. And you loved every second of it. You were particularly fond of the pumpkins themselves and loved to beat on them like a drum. Since you weren’t yet standing on your own, I propped you up in a big stack of pumpkins and you were just as happy as can be.
Another fabulous thing that happens in the fall is Halloween. There is just something whimsical about the holiday. We attended many Halloween parties, costumed playgroups, and of course, the grand finale of going trick-or-treating. You were a fabulous sport and really enjoyed the costumes. For all our indoor celebrations, we dressed you as a beautiful peacock but in Oregon it is far too cold to wander around our neighborhood in anything other than head to toe fleece, so you sported a warm, fuzzy cow costume.
Your confidence has finally started to show as you try (and succeed!) at more and more things. You are now pretty good at standing (especially when you are distracted and don’t realize you are doing it) and you are SO close to taking those first steps. I can see the gears turning in your head as you really contemplate it, but you are nothing if not cautious so you have decided to hold off a little longer.
But you did finally decide it was time to conquer the stairs. You have been going up them since the day after you figured out how to crawl, but coming down was another matter. For the longest time you would crawl to the edge of the stairs and wait at the top until someone would come and turn you around to help you slide down on your tummy. If we weren’t prompt enough for your liking you would simply smack the ground at the top of the stairs until someone came to your beck and call. It was pretty awesome having a baby who knew to stop at the top of the stairs, so I admit I got a little lax at putting up the safety gate, knowing you would just stop and wait for me at the top. But one day you decided to go for it and as I was heading up the stairs you were coming down. ON YOUR OWN. You had turned yourself around and slid down the stairs like a pro. And it was awesome. Sure, you still prefer for someone to turn you around, but we know you can do it and that is all that matters.
While you are usually all smiles and giggles and delightful, you are still a one year old. You can be quite a beast when you want to be and you have an impressive stubborn streak. Lately you have decided you no longer like to be buckled into your car seat (you don’t mind being buckled in, you just don’t like the process of me harnessing you in). So to prevent me from strapping you in, you fold your entire body in half, prostrating yourself in silent protest. I’m bigger and stronger than you, so I always win, but I could really do without this battle every time we get into the car.
You are also one tough cookie. In fact, your Daddy has nicknamed you “Bumper” in honor of all the tumbles, bumps, and thumps you take on a regular basis. For the most part, you just get back up and shake it off so quickly we don’t realize how hard you hit until the bumps and bruises show up later.
One of your all time favorite things in the world is reading. You simply LOVE books. You giggle with delight as we pull you onto our lap with a book in our hands. And if we happen to be sitting somewhere without a book (gasp!), you have figured out how to slide a book across the floor under one hand as you crawl towards us so we can read it to you.
Hand in hand with reading comes talking. You are starting to chatter and exclaim a steady stream of syllables and some of those are even actual words! You can say “Dada,” “Mama” (and much to my own personal horror, “Mom”), “baby,” and “yep.” You also say “bop” and “gap,” but I am pretty sure those don’t actually mean “bop” or “gap.” It’s fun listening to you practice varying your volume and tone as you speak. You are particularly fond of this deep voice you have and it can be a little disturbing when you utter “Mom” in such a baritone. I mean, you are not yet a teenager. You are still just MY baby and I would like you not to forget it.
I know I have said this a hundred times, but you are just such a happy little girl. I love watching you discover, explore, and just marvel at the world around you. I think in my thirty-some-odd years I have started to take things for granted and I am so happy to have you constantly reminding me how fascinating things can be. We live in a beautiful place, surrounded by amazing things, and we need to celebrate how lucky we are. I am so happy to have spent this last year getting to know you, to celebrate the beautiful person you are, both inside and out. You are truly a blessing and have made our family complete in more ways than I could have ever imagined. I am so happy to have you, to know you, and to spend the rest of my life treasuring you.
All my love,