Dear Little Miss,
I just put you to sleep a few hours ago for what is technically your last sleep as a baby. Tomorrow you turn one and officially enter the land of toddlerhood. You took three steps a few weeks ago and then decided that crawling was a much easier mode of transportation for the time being, but today when one of Grandma's friends asked if you could walk(we are off in Florida visiting the grandparents), I stood you up on your own and you took four small steps for her. This is typical of your emerging personality. You definitely want to show people what you can do, but it's only on your own terms.
A year ago tonight I had just finished a meal of catfish tacos and an extra spicy virgin bloody mary. Grandma arrived earlier in the day and told you that you had to wait to arrive until she got here to watch your brother. You did exactly as you were told and came the next afternoon. Today as I was asking you not to bite my arm and shoulder for the tenth time, I wondered if you would ever listen as well as you did last year. I am sure that there will be some good moments and some not so good ones in this area.
Your brother is so excited about your birthday. Part of this is because he knows you get to have cake for the first time. The other part is because he knows he will also get cake. We will also be going to Disney World. This is not really a trip to celebrate your birthday, as it is also a trip for J and Grandma, but you will be coming along for the ride and will hopefully also have a good time! I am very excited to see you put icing to your lips/face for the first time, but I have to admit, I am really looking forward to Sunday when I get to make owl cupcakes for your birthday party at home.
We had 10 months of a dairy free, soy free diet together. At first I thought it was total hell, but towards the end I was so used to it that I was surprised at the fact that milk didn't actually taste that good to me anymore. In a way I am grateful to having had to be on such a restrictive diet because it allowed me to lose all of my pregnancy weight and thensome. That really made the lack of goat cheese/queso worth it! Thank you for that little silver lining.
You have a beautiful, almost toothless smile. You have a shy, yet sneaky look when you are meeting someone new. You love time with your daddy and even though you get a little distressed when I leave the room, you really get upset when I come back and you have just discovered that I have been away.
There are many pictures where you look the way I did as a baby.
Many people can immediately tell that you and J are brother and sister.
You still have very little hair.
Your grandfather, daddy, and I think you look like your grandmother, with whom you share a name.
Your bright blue eyes stand out to everyone who sees you.
I know that the terrible twos are right around the corner, but I am hoping that I have more strength to handle them than I did the first time around with J. He wasn't that bad, but I have the feeling that you are going to be, oh, I don't know, more persistent, perhaps? I think you are going to be equally as talkative and just as fun, though!
You have not been much of a cuddler for the past year, but tonight as you briefly rested on my shoulder before I put you to sleep, I told you how glad I was that you have become a part of our family. And, just as I was glad at the revelation on J's first birthday that we hadn't broken him yet, I am just as pleased that we still have yet to break you, too. I guess we're doing something right.
I hope you have a wonderful first birthday and many more happy birthdays to come! I love you.