Thursday, May 7, 2015

1 Year Old

May 7, 2015
My dearest Effie,
Today is your first birthday.  Happy birthday, my sweet girl- the sunshine of my days.  This has been the wildest and fastest year of my life.  I’ve begged it to slow down so I can soak you up and drink you in a little while longer, but time just keeps on moving and you keep on growing and learning.  You are everything I’ve ever wanted and so much more than I ever deserved.   I’ll never forget you being placed in my arms in the calm, quiet delivery room and my heart feeling like it was exploding from my chest.  This year you have brought me so much happiness, matched with neverending worry, and lots of lessons in love, patience, and life.
When you learned to nurse, I learned to cherish the quiet moments spent alone with you.  Snuggling you in and smelling the top of your head became my favorite.  Those moments in the middle of the night reminded me that you needed me.  Don’t ever stop needing me.
When you learned to smile, I knew I would never be the same again.  I learned that I wanted you to be happy- always.  I also learned at that moment what it was to feel unconditional love.  Don’t ever let yourself stop smiling.
When you learned to laugh, I learned that it was the sweetest and most beautiful sound in the world- better than kitten purrs, ocean breezes, or wind chimes.  Whatever you do, don’t ever stop laughing and finding all of the joy that there is in life.
When you learned to put your paci in your mouth all on your own, I learned that you may not always need me for everything.  And I cried at that thought, but you were so proud of yourself.  Don’t ever forget how incredibly smart and capable you are.
When you learned to say “Mama” and “Dada,” I learned that you knew I was yours- forever and always.  I also learned that you were never going to stop talking.  Your baby babble is almost constant, and you have so much to say!  Don’t ever let anyone quiet your sound.
When you learned to “sweet baby,” I learned that you have a gentle heart, and I learned what it felt like for mine to squeeze inside my chest.  Don’t ever lose that gentle heart or love for all things.   
When you learned to crawl, I learned that you wouldn’t always be a baby and that it was happening faster than I was prepared for.  Again, I cried while watching you crawl away.  But the moment when you crawled back to me, I melted.  Don’t ever forget I will always be here for you.
When you learned to dance, I learned that you unfortunately might have your mother’s dance moves.  And for that, I’m sorry.  But for now, it’s precious.  Don’t ever stop dancing regardless of how ridiculous you might look.
When you learned to push the walker, I learned (very slowly) to let you go and also to stay out of your way.  You’ll grocery cart someone’s feet and laugh about it.  You’ve got things to do and places to see.  Don’t ever let anyone get in your way or slow you down.
Thank you for all of the lessons, the love, and the laughter this year.  You have made me a better version of myself and have made my life have such a sweeter meaning.  I love you always and look forward to all of the many lessons we have left to learn.  Happy birthday.   

Saturday, April 11, 2015

11 Months New

You are 11 months.  That's crazy.  This last month has been crazy.  I have a feeling I'm going to be saying that for the rest of my life.  You are non-stop and fun and a maniac and sweet and cuddly and wild and awesome.  We do a lot of laughing these days, because you keep us in stitches.

This month you had a very special day with Daddy.  Your Daddy's family is the craziest family about St. Patrick's Day...and get this- they aren't Irish.  But lucky for you, you get a touch of Irish from your mama.  Your Daddy got your all dolled up and marched with you in the parade downtown.  I had to miss it all, because America still doesn't recognize St. Patrick's Day as a national holiday from school.  I mean, come on, right?!

Also, it's turkey season.  You will learn throughout your life, that turkey season is like Christmas to the men  in your family.  Seriously.  Be thankful that I made you hold your grand entrance until 7 days after the season closed last year.  Otherwise, your father, grandfather, uncles, and cousin would cease to ever acknowledge your birthday for the rest of your life. You are welcome.  Anyway, to the women in your family- turkey season means Ladies' Night and going to supper.  We definitely take advantage of some girl time giggles.

Spring break is my most favorite week of the year.  It is better than any birthday, holiday, or any week in the summer.  There's something about it, and this week the weather has been beautiful.  You and I have tried to soak up every drop of the week together.  We've gone to birthday parties and played with cousins.
 On a complete side note- I discovered that you are a huge fan of Lowes, but not as interested in Target.  That's okay, though.  It's something we will work on in due time.  Lowes is great, but Target is not optional.

We played a lot this week, and you have so enjoyed playing with all of your toys- including your walker from Aunt WaWa.
 We've played dress up and cuddled during afternoon naps.
 We have had dance parties and crawled all in the grass.
 Thank you, Lord, for no grass allergies.  Amen.

The absolute best part of our spring break was Daddy hanging your swing.  It's safe to say you LOVE it.  You thanked Daddy with steady giggles and cartoon-like smiles while you swung back and forth.

Your first Easter was a busy one packed with church, the Hibernian, dinner with family, and naps in between.  You were such a doll and a constant reminder of all that I have to be thankful for.

You continue to love your afternoon adventures with She-She.  I'm pretty (as in absolutely) certain that's where you are picking up some of your crazy.

These days, we have a date every afternoon over a few handfuls of Cheerios.  You are a big fan, and I look forward to it every day.

You are growing up fast.  This past week you also learned to drink water from your sippy cup all on your own, and now you think you are big stuff.  Maybe you'll stop crawling around carrying it in the grip of your teeth like a puppy.  I hope not, because you're cute doing it.

Your new word is "No no no no," of which you say to anything you know your not supposed to touch.  The dog bed.  You have an obsession.  It's gross and needs to stop.

Baths are still one of our favorite parts of the day.  You are probably too old to still be in this 0-6 months baby bath tub, but it keeps you in one spot and protects your head from having to be stitched up before age one.  The days of this tub are definitely numbered.  I'll miss your sweet face looking up at me from it.  You absolutely with all of your being hate everything about leaving the bath, lying on the changing table, being strapped in to a diaper, and having lavender lotion slathered all over you.  I can't figure it out.  Personally, I'd love that.  But whatever.

Like your Daddy, you are a reckless sleeper and move all over your crib.  I sneak in your room every night before I go to bed to "check on you," but really I just need one more sniff of your sweet baby smell on your head.

This time last year I was feeling big and undoubtedly nervous about becoming your mom.  I had no idea it would my best adventure.
This face!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Hey, Doll

Oh, I wish he could have seen you.  I wish he could have held you and told you dirty limericks in French while you looked at him with your big blue eyes.  You would have been his "faaaaavorite granddaughter."  He would have absolutely adored you.  You have to know that.

I think about him throughout every day, and I try to hear his wisdom in the way I raise you- full of love.  Even still- I miss his laugh, his smile, and his "Hey, doll."  What a man.  

Happy birthday, Papa Clyde.   

Saturday, March 7, 2015

10 Months New

You're 10 months old today. It's been quite the month. Who am I kidding- it's been a day!  We rang in your 10th month this morning with a phone call to the doctor about your latest snotty nose, your little eye-drainage, and your randomly appearing rash on your legs. Oh let's not forget your little fever, or the fact that your daddy was quarantined to the bedroom with the stomach bug. You and I were real careful all day to avoid him, but it would only be perfect when you started spewing like that fair scene in The Sandlot tonight after you enjoyed puréed broccoli and carrots topped with a cheese stick and yogurt bites.
Oh delicious. 
I still think you are awesome though. You are all over the place now- crawling at max speeds, pulling up on everything, and nearly giving this mama a heart attack on a daily basis. I love how you are repeating sounds we say, including a very often "uh-oh."
You are eating everything (including leaves) and are extremely determined.
You are so loved- by all of us. You are so loved that sometimes even you can't stand it.
You have spent time with so many friends this month. It's been good for mama and daddy to spend time with friends too. 

I've started thinking about your first birthday, and I can't believe it will be here before we know it. This year has flown by and as hard as some of the moments have been (especially those first ones), this has been the greatest year of my life. I wouldn't trade a single moment. Well maybe the one from after dinner tonight. But other than that, I wouldn't trade it for the world.  
You are the best part of me.