Oh Rilo Jane, how can I even put into words what this year has meant to me?! I have so much I want to say but I feel as though words won't be enough. How can I write all the ways in which you've changed my life? I don't think I can, but I'll give it my best shot.
I remember the day you born. I was on the biggest high of my life. I was exhausted but I held you all night long and all through the next day at the hospital. I just didn't want to let you go. I wanted to eat up every moment because even then, I knew it would go by way too fast.
Those 1st few months were a blur. You ate and slept, ate and slept and so on. We would anticipate you waking up because you would stretch your arms into the air, form a tight fist and stretch so hard that your little hand quivered, as though you were knocking on a door. Oh, we lived for those hand quivers. Even now, the thought of you reaching that arm up makes me beam.
Then we moved to Chicago and explored a new city. You were still so little but already accomplishing big things. You started to sit at 3 1/2 months, which opened up a whole new world for the two of us. We took lots of pictures, went on daily walks and cleaned up lots of spit up. Those spit up days...so glad they are (mostly) gone. You rolled and even started to army crawl while we were in the Windy City. When I sang "You Are My Sunshine" you couldn't help but smile. We spent those months getting to know each other better...I started to see your little personality come to life.
We moved back home in October and you took off, in every way. You crawled and got into everything. You pulled yourself up to stand on any object that looked remotely steady. You started saying words and trying to communicate with us. You read books like it was your job. Sawyer quickly became your best bud and partner in crime. The winter has been hard on you because you are an outside baby, no doubt about it. So many times you would have me pick you up and point excitedly to the door. We started to bundle up with blankets and sit on the porch swing so we could watch the cars pass and enjoy the brisk air.
Now that you are a big 1 year old, you:
- Say "Dad, Mom, dog, cat, ball, wow, this, hi, yes". But mostly just Dad and dog. You sign "more", but really you just clap your hands.
- Walk like a champ. You are so fast.
- Love to squat. It makes it look like you are always going to the bathroom. But nope, you are just a squatter
- FINALLY sleep through the night. It is a miracle! You also take 2 really good naps each day.
- Are always on the go. You are Miss Independent. You like to explore all on your own and do whatever it is you want to do.
- Love crackers and fruit, but your very favorite food is yogurt and cottage cheese mixed together. You eat that almost every day.
- Are a HAM. You love getting people's attention in whatever way you can. It usually involves yelling "hi" or "dad" and smiling your cutest smile.
- Dance, dance, dance. You are almost always getting your groove on, with or without music. You put your hands on your head for "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes".
- Are obsessed with velcro. Which means you love to take off your diaper if we don't put pants on you soon enough. Good thing we have added some more snap cloth diapers into our stash.
- Get excited for bath time. You are a little water piglet, just like your dad.
- Have to drink water anytime you see it. From a cup, sippy cup, bottle, through a straw, water bottle, you name it, you want it.
- Really like to brush your gums. At least twice a day, you let me know you need to brush.
- Get into trouble with your pal, Sawyer. If you can't get something open, you know to give it to Sawyer. He'll chew it open for you. You pat his back and grab his leash, letting me know it's time to go for a walk.
- Must go outside at least once a day. You kick your little feet happily while in your stroller on our walks.
- Give us lots of loves and snuggles. If we're lucky, we get big open mouth kisses from you.
- Are the happiest, sweetest little girl I know.
I have been pulled, pushed and stretched in more ways than I thought possible. It hasn't always been easy, but it has always been worth it. I am so grateful to be your Mom. I don't always feel like I do the best job, but boy oh boy do I try. Because you deserve it Rilo Jane. You are my best, most inspired creation. I love you more than I could ever express. Happy birthday my sweet girl!
All the love in the world,
Because everything is a phone these days...