Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Happy first birthday and 13 month birthday!

Hello Bleeps!  I know, I's been awhile.  I really wanted to post around Reese's first birthday, but it slipped by with no blog in site.  Ahhh....the life of a Mommy.  Better late than never right?

My dearest Reese,
It is incredibly hard for me (and Daddy) to believe that you are already a year old (as of April 12th)!  I just can't fathom that you have been in my arms for 12 whole months, when I was wishing for you my whole life.  We are so blessed and happy you are in our lives, even though as the days go on you are sometimes challenging us.  But we are learning and you are too. 

Since your 11 month birthday, you have started standing better while holding something.  It used to be a challenge for you to stand on your own, and now, you stand up and sit down with ease.  Sometimes it looks like you sit a little "hard" (letting yourself go a little too soon), but it doesn't seem to bother you at all. 

You officially said your first word on March 20th at daycare when you said "bye-bye" to Mommy as I left.  My ears perked up and everyone in the room heard you.  You continued to say it all day, even when Daddy picked you up, but then it stopped.  You continue to use baby sign language to tell us when you are "all done" eating and want "more." 

At the end of March, you celebrated your first Easter.  While we didn't make it to church unfortunately, that doesn't mean you didn't get all dressed up for dinner with Gma and Pappy and friends.  You weren't dressed up for long, but you were darn cute when you were!

You continue to eat well and for the most part, don't need Mommy or Daddy feeding you much at all, except yogurt or soup.  For the most part, you still take good naps at home, but at daycare there is just too much going on for you to want to shut your eyes for more than 20-45 minutes!  You always come home really tired, but still happy. 

You used to love a little toss in the air by Daddy or Mommy, but I think one day Daddy tossed you a little too high for your liking because now when we go to toss you, you grab Daddy's shirt or Mommy's hair and only want to go so far.  You are still laughing, but you just don't want to go very high.

Fairy Godmother's Mom gave you a beautiful merry-go-round music box that you enjoy watching right before bed and it has become part of our bedtime ritual.  You even go so far as to kiss it good night or blow it a kiss (yes, you now blow kisses). 

We had a bit of a scare in early April when we went to a birthday party outside and almost immediately upon getting outside, your eyes started to water, you started to sniffle and you were very unhappy.  We thought it was an allergy to all the grass.  However, it happened the very next day with no grass in sight.  We discovered that you had a reaction to the sunscreen we were using.  It has since been thrown away, but it was very scary for us and you as we didn't really know what was happening.

 12 month photo
Your birthday party could have been a huge event, but it turned out just perfect.  Despite the fact that you woke up the night before with a fever of 102.9 and gave us quite a little scare.  Mommy and you were a bit tired the next day for the party, but we pressed on.  You weren't sure what to do with the monkey cake Mommy made, and in the end wouldn't even touch it or eat it.  I ate it and it was great.  Maybe you will never like sugar...yea right!  We'll try again next year.  There were a bunch of people that love you there and you got a mountain of presents.  You were the belle of the ball for sure.  Everybody signed a frame for us to keep forever.
 At her birthday party

 The birthday banner we had printed up.

 In her birthday outfit playing with her new blocks from Nana and Papa.

 Monkey birthday cookies made by a friend

The cake I made, that she wouldn't even touch. 

That leads us to what has happened since your 1 year birthday as we approach your 13-month birthday which happens to be on Mother's Day this year.

When we visited Dr. Kids for your one year check up, you weighed in at 20 lbs, 5.5 oz and 29" long.  That's a far cry from the 8 lbs, 1 oz and 19.75" long you came out at.  Dr. Kids was happy with your growth and development, but you were none too pleased with blood draw and 3 shots that followed that assessment.  You recovered, but still managed to make Mommy feel bad.  Although the whole experience must have tired you out greatly because you took nearly a 3 hour nap that day.

You started throwing little fits when you didn't get your way that frustrated us to no end because usually you are such a happy girl.  We talked with Dr. Kids about what to do and she said to put you in a safe place (carpeted floor or pack-n-play) and ignore you.  We tried it a few times the same day and as soon as you realized we weren't paying attention to you, you stopped almost immediately.  Since then, the fits have been fewer and shorter. 

Not long after (April 23) while Daddy was setting up a new tub for you (an inflatable seal), and you and I were watching him (unbeknownst to him) and out of the blue you blurted out "hi!"  Daddy whipped around so fast and my eyes probably got huge.  You wouldn't say it again, but we both heard you the first time.  It was quite exciting for us!

Then, a few days later, when Gma was visiting, she was trying to get you to walk and you were pushing a toy around (kind of like a grocery cart) with help from her.  The very next day, you were doing it by yourself with no help from Mommy.  The video is quite cute and I've shown it many times.  You are very close to walking without help, but it hasn't happened yet.  You do manage to get around the house (including the few stairs) with no trouble.

I know the video is sideways, but you can see her walking by herself with her toy and her personality. (Email folks, click here to go to the page to see the video)

They call you "the queen" at daycare...not because you are demanding or domineering, but because you wave at e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e!  Everyone that comes into daycare gets a wave.  Everyone who leaves daycare.  Everyone at the mall.  Everyone at...well, everywhere.  It's quite cute to see how happy you are to see people!

But by far one of the best things to my ears was the first time you said "Mama" and realized it meant me!  You now say it often and look at or for me easily.  It is music to my ears.  You have said "Dada" a few times too, but "Mama" comes out far more often.  You truly know what "Dada" means, it just doesn't get said as much. 

While you used to adore your baths, you have now become a little un-excited.  I think it started when we got a new shower head and it was out of the norm for you.  You now cry a bit to get in the tub, but once you are there you happily play for as long as we'll let you or until the water gets too cold (at which point you shudder - so cute) and we warm it up.  Washing your hair is a bit trying these days, because you want to lean forward, rather than back and then you get upset with the water getting in your face.  Don't worry, we'll get it figured out one day little one. 

I can already see that you have a sweet heart.  The other day when I took you to daycare in the morning, almost immediately when we walked in, you thrust your arms out to Liz (and you usually go to Jessica first) and she took you.  She then said, "thank you, I needed that."  Turns out a friend of hers had passed away unexpectedly and she was grieving.  You somehow saw that and just knew she needed a cuddle.  That's my sweet girl...can't teach that!

 In her birthday present.  I love this shirt. 

 Playing at home while Mommy works.

 Hamming it up for the camera.  

 She always makes this face when the camera comes out.  So squishy!

 Outside with Mama.  So you guys remember what I look like!

We just had family pictures taken again (don't worry, will post them when we get them back) and the photographer we regularly use was amazed at how you have grown.  He was able to take a photo of the three of us walking hand-in-hand and I cannot wait to see it!  The last time he photographed you, you could barely sit in a chair by yourself and now you are practically running.

When I dropped you off at daycare the Thursday before Mother's Day, the morning ladies (who you and I both love) had a Mother's Day card and present for me.  They called me "one of the greatest mommies they know" which made me cry.  I hope you see me that way.  It's nice to hear that all my effort for you is observed by others.  I couldn't imagine loving anyone else as much as I love you baby!

First standing photo, with Daddy's help, for 13-months

It has truly been an eventful year and 1 month with you in our lives.  And I know it will only get better (and most likely harder) from here. 

We love you baby and that will never change,
Mama (and Dada)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day #2

Hello Bleeps.  It's really hard to believe that I have been a mother for a year now.  A few years back, I thought this day would never come and here I am celebrating my 2nd Mother's Day.  It's amazing.

I would love to say that the first year of being Reese's Mom has been nothing but giggles and glow, but that would be a lie.  We have definitely had our rough moments and there have been tears from both of us (Reese and I that is).  But we survived and it has made us stronger.  I cannot imagine being a single parent.  Even when J is gone and I play the part for a couple days, it exhausts me.  The people who do it constantly have my most sincere praise.  I need J as my back-up.  I can't do this without him.

When I dropped Reese at daycare Thursday morning, the two ladies who are there in the morning (that Reese and I both love), had a Mother's Day card that they had made and a present for me.  They said they don't do this for most Moms but because I bring joy to their lives, they wanted to let me know they apprciated me and thought I was one of the best Moms they had ever seen.  These ladies have seen hundreds of mothers.  For them to say that sincerely warmed my heart and made me cry.  It was very much appreciated.  They even had a card they had made that said on the front "to one of the greatest Moms."  So sweet. 

I've learned many things in this past year as a Mom. 

1. A baby crying is not always a bad thing.
        Our sleep coach has told us that when a baby is tired and cries (especially if they are overtired), they release a hormone in their body that helps them go to sleep.  She is 100% correct.  It was hard to listen to for a long time, and still is, but usually it is short lived and Reese falls asleep soundly for hours on end.  Thankfully she has started to take really good naps at home, daycare is a whole 'nother story.

2. You never know how much sleep you REALLY need until you don't get it over an extended period of time.
         Everyone tells you to get your sleep before the baby comes, and boy do I know why now!  We've had our fair share of sleeping issues, although for the moment, we're doing quite well.  But I have learned that I can live with about 4-5 hours of sleep and do relatively well.  Even if it is over a longer period of time.

3.  Lazy weekends don't have to go away just because there's a baby in the house. 
         When we don't have events planned on the weekends, we have always lazed around in bed until 11 or noon.  Even with Reese when she was still nursing, I fed her in bed with us at 7:30 am, then we take a nap, we feed again at 10:30 am, and we finally get up.  It's a wonderful way to start the weekend. It disappeared all too quickly.  The last time she wanted to nap with me was on Christmas Day.  I have tried since then, but she apparently is like J, and likes her space now.  Unless she is sick, then she'll sleep on me still. 

4. Breastfeeding is SOOOO hard, but more worthwhile that I ever could have imagined.
          Yes, breastfeeding was a huge struggle at the beginning and throughout my nursing days.  And when she bit with her two bitty teeth, then with her 4 teeth, then with her 7 teeth!  But there is no better thing to me.  I gave Reese something that NO ONE ELSE can.  And that was our time.  It was special.  It was hard.  It was worth it.  And it was usually instantly calming for her.  For any woman who doesn't think they will breastfeed, I would say PLEASE at least consider it.  Because it is awesome, for Mom and for baby.  Truly incredible!

5. Watching the world through a child's eyes is amazing.
        Watching Reese's "firsts" has been eye-opening to say the least.  Not only watching her roll over, smile, sit up, laugh, speak, crawl, walk (still with help), but watching with her amaze herself is so fun too!  She gets excited when she achieves something new. 

6. You can never hear "your baby is gorgeous" enough. 
        I think part of what makes Reese so gorgeous is that she is usually happy.  A crying baby can be hard to take (and yes, we have our days), but for the most part, she is joyful and so pleasant to be around.  When she emits how gorgeous her soul is through her smile, it's hard to resist her.

I'm sure there are a million more things, but those are the big ones that I can think of now! 

Birthday letter and pictures to come!