twelve months old!

Dear Kaylee,

Happy first birthday Lovie! You’re a whole year old, and what an amazing time we have had together, all thanks to you; our sweet little ray of sunshine. I have been thinking about what to write to you on this special day. The first thing that comes to mind when I think about you is how happy life is with you in it. I feel like I waited an eternity for your arrival, especially if you consider that I have wanted a baby of my very own since I was just a girl myself.

The story of how you came to be started when your father and I first met several years ago as student workers for a local college. I remember thinking how dreamy he was that day, but we were both in relationships with other people at the time and it took quite a while for fate to work out in our favor. We became good friends in the meantime as the years passed by and eventually we started dating. After two years we decided to buy a house together and we knew right away that we wanted to get married and have kids…someday. After we bought the house we became busy with fixing it up, working, and going to school. Time slipped slowly by as it often did back then. When my 34th birthday rolled around I freaked out a little on the inside over being another year older with unfulfilled dreams. I become obsessed with the idea that I had taken too long to get my life in order and that if I didn’t try to have a baby soon it would be too late and I would drown in a pit of sorrow for the rest of my days. Or, something like that. One day, the summer before you were born, I got up the courage to express an interest in having a baby with your father. Shortly thereafter we decided to go off of birth control and leave the rest up to fate. By October we were married and Thanksgiving morning we found out about you. You were born on August 3rd, 2010 at 2pm.

And here you are today, a happy, healthy, baby girl on the cusp of toddlerhood. The perfect embodiment of the love your father and I have for each other spilled out into the world. Everything I dreamed you would be.

Being thrust into motherhood was definitely a lot more difficult than I anticipated it would be though. I spent the first several weeks of your life in bleary-eyed, hormonal, daze overwhelmed by an intense love for both you and your father along with the feelings of inadequacy I felt as a woman and a mother over not being able to overcome the whole breastfeeding thing. It was the first time I failed at something that I wanted so desperately (and that seemed to come so ‘naturally’ for everyone else but me). The more determined and stubborn I became the worse the situation got. I saw specialists, took herbal supplements (20 pills a day), drank herbal tea, drank gallons of water, purchased every product under the sun for skin care and treatment, and devoured every website, blog, book, and scrap of information on the topic I could find looking for an answer.  Once I stopped making it about me and let it all go, we were all much happier and healthier. This was the first lesson you taught me, my love.

I feel like we all deserve a special merit badge for making it through those first few months together despite the lack of sleep. You have changed so much since then. Back when we were just getting to know the impossibly tiny little baby that you once were, we often got things wrong. You were great at telling us what you needed. We were terrible at interpreting your cues and you would end up a tired, hungry, inconsolable, raving lunatic at certain points in the day. Sorry, about that. You don’t seem to be any worse for wear, and just think, you have saved your future sibling from the torture we put you though. Go You!

And now your little personality is really beginning to shine through. You love books and pull them off the shelves, plop down in our laps, and ask to be read to. You also like to read to yourself, none of the words really make any sense to us, but that could be due to the fact that you typically hold the books upside down when you look at them on your own.

Some things haven’t changed, you’re still always on the move. Except now it’s upright and with speed. You can walk sideways and backwards, climb onto the furniture, get in and out of the tub, climb up the slide, and open cabinets and drawers. Your favorite things to do are help take the clothes out of the dryer, steal the broom while we sweep the floor, and rearrange the cabinets to suit your taste. You’re also fond of dangling your toys into the litter box and occasionally dropping them in, a trait we are trying to break you of with little success.  You also still love food too. You’ll try anything we put in front of you but you definitely have a preference for bananas, yogurt, cheese, and chicken.

You also really like to be tossed into the air, play chase and peek-a-boo, bathtime, and recently have really taken to swimming in the lake. You can’t actually swim on your own yet of course, but daddy holds on to you while you kick your feet. He’s looking forward to taking you to swim lessons someday so that you might decide to follow in his footsteps and become a swimmer when you get to school.

Thank you for coming into our lives and making everything shiny and new again. You are a wonderful baby, and a dream come true.

Love,

Mom

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