About a week and a half ago, you turned one year old. One. Year. My God, where did it all go? I swear, I feel like I remember bits and pieces of your first few months - all in a sleep-deprived haze. Then, all of a sudden, I was back to work (you tagging along with me) and time sped up even more. Even after a whole year, there are still days when I feel like I am doing it all wrong, and others when I feel like I am the best mom in the world. I wish I could give you more of the latter, and something tells me I will never be able to shake that desire. You are unpredictable, yet predictable. Totally benign, and yet completely volatile. You are an entertainer and a goof, and you are sensitive beyond belief.
I must admit, I have spent many days over the past year wondering when I would "get my old life back." I would think I would see glimpses of it here and there when we would have a successful outing (all errands done without a meltdown), or I finished an entire cup of coffee while it was still hot... But I only just recently realized that this is my life - no old or new. You. Daddy. The three of us. It is not a new life, simply the next phase of the one I had been living all along. Yes, it is different than what I had originally expected, but it is good. SO good. Sometimes I have to stop, and take a breath, and just enjoy it. Not worry about what I have going on at work, or how much of your lunch you did (or did not, as is usually the case) eat. Just stop and enjoy you and daddy laughing and playing in the living room, cracking each other up, each teaching the other a thing or two (like where you can find your tongue, for instance).
Your personality is amazing. You really don't have a "medium speed." You are either asleep, or going on all cylinders. Sometimes I joke with daddy (in my terrible impersonation of the guy from This is Spinal Tap) "This one goes to eleven!" You hardly ever stop moving - you seem to know that if you stop moving, you just might fall asleep and miss something. Perpetual motion.
You now have a molar. I had been keeping an eye on your bottom right gums for a couple weeks. There was a big swollen spot, and I was sure the tooth would pop through any day. And then the swelling went down. No tooth. But the other day, daddy had you squealing with laughter on the couch, and that's when I saw it. On the top! You are still quite a trooper when you are teething. Perhaps it is because you got your first teeth when you were only 4 months old - been there, done that.
Perhaps the biggest news this month: you are walking! Everywhere. Once you figured it out, there was no stopping you. You walk laps around the kitchen island, carry monkey around the house, and follow us around tugging at our pant legs. Oh yes, and the first steps you took: I cried. I was so incredibly proud of you, and a little sad to know that my baby really is growing up. Fast. You are officially a toddler now. Oh, and did I mention you can whistle? You are definitely the only toddler I know that can do that!
You haven't really said your "first word" yet - although you babble a lot, and we think we catch things in there. You still say DADA, only it is usually still followed by more dadadadada's. You will mouth things, but no sound comes out - like the words are on the tip of your tongue, just waiting to pour out (and I have a feeling once they start, they won't stop!) Although, the other day when I picked you up at grandma and grandpa's house, we are pretty sure you tried to say "Ruby" (as in Ruby the dog). What we heard was "Roobuh" - close enough if you ask me! You also say "BA" whenever you see a ball or a balloon - again, close enough! You are starting to pick up on a few signs we've been trying to teach you (more, drink, all done), but you have added your own twist to each one (and you make up your own). You get your point across though, so I guess that's what matters in the end!
We celebrated your first birthday with family and friends the Saturday before your actual birthday. I was surprisingly calm the week of your party, considering I had given myself the monumental task of baking your first birthday cake. But baking a cake? What's the big deal? Well, my inspiration was a cake I found on the internet. And I manged to announce to everyone that I was going to try to make it. No pressure or anything. Well, I planned my week, finished a cake task or two every night, and it came out great! I didn't even swear. Not once! Ask daddy. We kept your party simple - grandpa and uncle Ben grilled burgers, grandma made her famous Portuguese beans and awesome salsa (you ate a bowl full of guacamole with her salsa mixed in, and then proceeded to toot for the rest of the day), and I made a pasta and fruit salads. You got lots of wonderful gifts - and, as we expected, you enjoyed playing with the boxes and wrapping paper the most. Your great uncle Milt even gave you a Wienermobile! You love to sit in it, make car noises, and honk the horn. By the time everyone left, you were absolutely exhausted. I managed to get you to take a quick nap, and then you proceeded to stay up until 10pm.
I planned to spend all day with you on your actual birthday - playing, going to the park, maybe even going to the beach. But when I woke up, my plans changed. I had come down with the stomach flu, and had to call daddy to come home from work. I was so sad that all I could do was lay in bed. It was supposed to be our day together. But, daddy took you to the park (I think twice!), and fed you lunch, and I came out to help with naps as much as I could. It was kind of funny, it almost felt like we had just brought you home from the hospital - daddy taking care of both of us, making sure I was OK, had things to eat and drink if I wanted them, and that you were warm, fed, rested, and happy, too.
This past year has brought more change to our lives in such a short period, it is incredible to even think about it. I have learned a lot about myself. I have learned a lot about daddy. And I have learned a lot about us, about communication and about patience. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: This is the most difficult, but most rewarding job I have ever had. Thank goodness it allows for on-the-job training!
We love you so much, baby, and we can't wait to watch you continue to grow and change each day. You are an amazing little person, and we are so proud we get to be your mom and dad.
Love and kisses,