Thursday, April 28, 2016

To my daughter on her first birthday....

People tell you all the time about the joy of being a mother. But really you can't know it until you've experienced it. Harper, you represent sheer joy and love in my life. I love picking you up from daycare and seeing your beautiful face back close to mine. I love rocking you to sleep every night and watching your sweet eyes melt into the darkness. I love hearing you wake up in your crib and listening to you "talk" until I come and pick you up. I love reading books with you each night and playing with Lennon in the mornings. I love being your mom. 

I didn't really know what it would like to be a mom. Would I be able to really love you? Care for you? Help you? How would I continue to work and at the same time add the duties of motherhood? But we've learned together. We've grown and changed and you've shaped me in ways you will never know. You have taught me how to love someone with unconditional love and tenderness. You've taught me the importance of living in the moment (not that I'm always good at it) and savoring each sweet bit of life that I can. You remind me of the importance of laughter and play, the silliness of Lennon, and the joy it is to be alive! I love the way you look at your dad and the way you say "dada" when you see him. I love it when he makes you laugh so hard you are practically crying. I love your beautiful hair--have loved it from the moment I laid eyes on you--and love it even more now that it's outgrown it's tendency to stand straight up. It's your trademark :) I love shopping for your adorable clothes and putting bows in your hair. I love when you pull up to standing while holding on to my fingers--so proud of yourself. I love the way you eat--making such a big ole mess (especially when it's black beans). I love your independence. I love your tenderness--the way you hug your dolls and toys--the way you care about other babies and adults and animals. You are a gift! 

In the last week you've learned to hug. And right now what I love most is the way that you wrap your arms tightly around my neck and arms and squeeze tight. I never want to forget these moments. 

What a year! Thank you for teaching me, for loving me, for helping me to push my limits, to stretch my compassion and understanding, and for so much more. I can't wait for what is still to come! 

Twelve Months

Twelve Months?!?! We made it! 

This month has been so fun! You've started to pull up to standing and love to take steps while we are holding on to you. I call them frankenstein steps because you pick your foot up so high just to set it back down. And you are so proud of yourself, you just giggle and smile every time you pull up and take steps. Way to go baby girl! You'll be walking in no time! And just in time for your first birthday you've really started to scoot/crawl all over the place. 

You've also added to your vocabulary with the word baby and by trying to repeat everything that we say. However, not many of the other words have stuck just yet. You continue to say uh oh and doggie quite often. You are very adept at signing "all done" when you are finished with meals. You also love to give Baby Stella a bottle. You love to "read" books and are very interested in knowing what everything is as you read. 

You battled a second round of a double ear infection. And mom spent several nights away from you for the first time. But we all survived! We've taken two trips to the zoo so far and you love seeing all the animals. Grandpa Doc came with us on your birthday weekend! What fun! 

You amaze me every day as you learn new things and grow and change. We are so proud of you and love you more with each passing day! 

Eleven Months

Now the real countdown to one begins! This month has been SO much better--everyone has been happy and healthy! The weather has also been warming up so we've been trying to show you all the wonder that is spring time in Alabama. 

You are still not really crawling but are working on standing more and more. You love to use yours legs to kick and stomp. You love books! And good music makes you dance :) You continue to talk often and your giggles melt me. You still LOVE black beans but will eat almost anything we eat at dinner time. You love the dog and definitely are saying doggie when you see her. You sleep like a rockstar and are still such a happy and lovely baby. 

You are a true joy! We love you!