Three days old, getting ready to come home
Three months (and my favorite pjs EVER)
1 year....W O W.
As I watch you napping in your crib, peaceful, snuggled & still- you look so much like my little baby. But I know when you wake up you will remind me of your blossoming independence. How you are becoming a less and less an extension of me, a little monkey clinging to your Daddy’s shoulders, and more and more your own, independent little person.
You are constantly testing your boundaries these days. Letting go of our hands for seconds at a time to stand on your own (only if you don’t notice that is- you’re a little bit of a scared-y cat), throwing your sippy cup down from your high chair defiantly and then smiling sweetly in anticipation of someone picking it up for you, furniture surfing to make it to Mama’s make-shift desk & throw every single one of the pens out of the holder.
I can already see a little spitfire in you & glimpses of my future fielding toddler fits. I complain and moan about this outwardly, but secretly- I’m a little glad. Quiet, demure, well-behaved children are nice- but most have my favorites have had that little spark. The streak of mischief smothered in sweetness & cuteness that is impossible to resist.
From your safe vantage point in my arms, you point and ask (in Gracie speak) “What’s that?” about everything we encounter, over and over again, never satisfied with my answers. I love this about you. You are inquisitive, curious. It’s fantastic and I hope you always hold within you that sense of wide-eyed wonder.
There were plenty of moments in this first year that selfishly wished would pass more quickly. I couldn’t wait until you’d slept through the night. Couldn’t wait until you started solids so you would nurse less. Couldn’t wait until you could sit up on your own.
Today I find myself grasping for these moments, sifting through clouded memories of sleepless nights and early morning snuggles. Those midnight snacks that you demanded, where I would schlep you out onto the couch and snuggle down with you so as to not wake Daddy. I could comfort your cries in a matter of seconds and before I knew it we would both be asleep and I would wake, holding my heart outside of my body, my world inside of my arms. These naps together are among my favorite memories. Daddy used to joke that he would leave from work & we would be sleeping, and then he would come home from work and there we would be, sleeping again. Those afternoon naps- where you would sprawl across my chest & snooze until Daddy came home to scoop you up- were my favorite time of day.
I know for a fact that you know this already, by the way your blue eyes widen and a sweet smile spreads across your face when you’re in trouble, but you are truly beautiful. Breathtakingly so and more and more every single day. You are this perfect juxtaposition of the best features of Mama & Daddy...your big blue eyes (mine), framed perfectly by your long eyelashes (Daddy), your blonde hair (mine) that is finally coming in curly (Daddy). You are gorgeous. I know someday, you will doubt this. And I will be here to remind you. Always.
What I want you to know most about this first year is how special it was. You were surrounded by so many people who loved you. Family & friends like Uncle Ryryry (oh how I hope this name sticks), Auntie Becky, Uncle Billy & Auntie Erica. Your grandparents spoiled you rotten & the rest of your family loved you like crazy. You were truly a princess. When you burst into this world in dramatic, Gracie fashion (more on that later), you opened up a whole new world for Mama & Daddy. You uncovered dreams, hope and love that we didn’t even know were there. You make us laugh every single day. I walk around each day holding so much love in my heart I feel like I might explode. This is all thanks to you.
I have so many dreams for you, baby girl. And we will have plenty of years together to discover them and to create new ones. Right now, my hope for you is to simply keep living as you are. Exploring the world around you, laughing and loving everyone with reckless abandon. These are the things you do best.
I love you to the moon & back,