The Year of the Baby

Well, it's been a year.

An exhausting, wonderful, busy, fast, slow, perfect, frustrating year.

The year of the baby.

10 days old

You know what would be much more helpful in the baby books or the hospital information?

A reminder that the "year of the baby" is not really a year at all.  I mean, it is in the fact 365 days pass, but nothing in that year is anywhere near normal.

You will not hang out with friends.  You will not complete house projects.  You will have a LOT of dirty laundry.  You may rarely clean your house.  You will spend a whole lot of time snuggling and very little time sleeping.

And that's ok.

Because that year goes oh-so-fast.  And you only get to do it once in that baby's lifetime.

One summer.  One fall.  One winter.  One spring.  ONE.

And then ONE is here and that amazing little baby that took every ounce of your being for 12 months is getting bigger and can play by herself and explore by herself and needs a little less attention than before.  And your life gets a little more normal than before.

And here we are.  365 days. 12 months. 4 seasons. 1 year.

Girl loves her some bacon

I wish I could explain how this baby girl has blessed our life.

I could tell you about the softness of her skin or how she smells after a bath.

I could tell you about the shape of her feet or the rolls on her legs.

I could tell you about her fascination with books or how she repeats sounds she hears or how she loves putting things 'into' other things or banging things together to hear the sounds.

I could tell you about that voice that says 'mama' and 'dada' and 'wa' for brother.  I could tell you about the lips that form these words and the start of so many others, the ones that kiss open-mouthed or spread into a wide, sparse-toothed grin.

I could tell you about her ears.  The roundness of them and the small, blond hairs that line them.  I could tell you how she loves music and dancing and listens intently to stories and gives big baby belly laughs to loud noises.

I could tell you about splashing in the bathtub and shaking her head no for foods she refuses to try or turning her head sideways and pretending to be shy.

I could tell you about happy, sleepy smiles in the morning and forever nights sleeping on mom or dad all night long with the start of a new tooth or a cold.

I could tell you about whining and the sweet, sad, funny face when she's pouting.

I could tell you that her preferred mode of movement is sitting upright, scooting on her bottom and using her legs in coordinated motions...left, right, left, right.

I could tell you about squeezing teddy bears and long walks and swinging and all of the things she does and all of the things she likes.

But, even though all of those things are part of her, none of them tell the whole story.

Her core is sweet and shy, sneaky and funny, needy and independent, cuddly and loving, happy and curious.

And I am again blown away by the amount my heart has expanded to accommodate this wonderful person.

All over again.

I could tell you that after a wonderful son, I was afraid of what it would be like having a daughter and now I couldn't imagine any day of my life without her.

And all that she is.

And all that she will become.

Happy 1st Birthday, sweet baby girl.

It's been an amazing year.

Our dear little Elliot.

Off to destroy the bathroom. Again.


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