Dear my sweet one year old Olive,
I have such a surreal feeling as I write you this letter while watching you scoot around the living room on your bum, throwing everything out of your path. I won’t deny that I have tears rolling down my face as I look at you right now and think that just one short year ago you were so helpless… so tiny… so beautiful. You still are beautiful, but you have grown by leaps and bounds, and you are such an independent little girl. I never imagine how much our lives would change for the better once you arrived one year ago today. You have brought an overwhelming amount of joy and love to our family, Olive. I truly feel so incredibly lucky to have been given the chance to stay at home and watch you experience every new thing with each passing day. The things I used to think were so small and the things I took for granted are now at the forefront of my life because you have made me appreciate the small things. I cannot tell you how many times in the last week that I have let you fall asleep in my arms instead of putting you in your crib because I just wanted to watch you sleep. I just want to remember you fitting into my arms so perfectly. It is so peaceful. I never understood why Granny always said “I love you most when you are sleeping”, until now. It wasn’t because she didn’t want to play with us, or because she was tired of us running around the house, or because she didn’t want more toys strewn across the house, or because we were driving her crazy. No. It was because we were transformed back into that helpless, tiny and beautiful baby we once were. When you sleep in my arms, I am taken back to the day you were born. To the first moment Daddy and I finally got to see you. Olive, it feels like yesterday. It truly does. I have no idea where the time has gone!
Just one year ago, at exactly 10:29am Daddy and Momma met their brand new little girl. You were no longer “Fernando” (Daddy’s nickname for you while you were in my tummy), but Miss. Olive Poole Blair, weighing in at a healthy 8 pounds, 4 ounces. Word got out fast that you had arrived. Not long after, we had a room full of new grandparents, new aunties, new uncles, new great aunts and new great uncles who were swooning over your beautiful locks and chubby cheeks. Since that oh-so-special day, you have taken the world by storm. You went from baby who slept 18 hours a day to a busy bum scooting floor cleaner. It is absolutely incredible how far we, as a family, have come. Because of you, our love is stronger than ever. I have seen a new side to Daddy that has made me fall in love with him all over again. You two have your own language. You bounce off of each other as soon as he walks in the door. The way you look at him, and the way he looks at you… It fills my heart as full as it can be.
Before you were here, Daddy only wanted a boy. He even had me convinced that we had a little mister on the way. He even went so far as to start painting your room blue one day while I was out. I came home to a big blue surprise and Daddy trying to convince me that blue was a “neutral” colour. Needless to say, another trip to Herlehy’s Home Hardware was needed, however we ran out of yellow and grey, so I caved and agreed to keep your ceiling blue. You have completely changed Daddy’s opinion of little girls. You are so good to humour him when he dresses you in boy clothes, or when he takes you out to the garage to do ” boy work” or when he straps you to his chest to go plow the driveway with the tractor. You love it. You will do anything as long as it is with Daddy. You didn’t hear this from me, but he told me he would be happy with a few more girls! If I was told one year and one day ago that he would think that, I would have thought you were crazy! You have changed him, not in a bad way, but in an amazing way.
This month as been a whirlwind. You are now 29.5″ long and 19.5lbs. You safe still fighting that darn bladder infection, but that hasn’t stopped you from being mobile. Very mobile! Last month you figured out your bum scooting technique, and this month you perfected it. You are gone in a flash (or faster)! You LOVE opening doors, especially the TV cabinet. One swoosh of the arm and out comes all my (used to be) organized DVDs, and then in the next breath you are out the door and in the kitchen playing with you ABC fridge magnets. You love emptying your suitcase of toys. Grandpa cannot believe how fast you can mess up a room! I’m starting to get used to it, but I’m afraid I’ve inherited some Granny’s neat-freak traits so as soon as you leave the room, all your toys are back in the suitcase waiting for you to realize its time to scatter them again. You are keeping us on our toes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love watching you learn. Everything excites you… most of all – finding cheerios on the floor. Oh Cheerios! I don’t think our house will ever be the same! I found cheerios in a pair of shoes that I haven’t worn since the summer… They just show up everywhere!
Now lets talk about Necklaces. I don’t know where your fascination with necklaces comes from because I’ve been wearing the same necklace and earrings since our honeymoon in 2011, but as soon as Granny walks in the door, you are grabbing at her neck to see which necklace she is sporting that day. Granny now has a special necklace at her house just for you to wear when you visit. You love necklaces, and have since the day you were born. You just can’t get enough. I just hope that your future husband is reading this so he can prepare himself!
For the past few weeks you have been going to daycare at Sara’s a few days so you can get used to the new change that is happening tomorrow. After a year of morning cuddles, breakfast dates, playtime, road trips, naps, baking adventures, movie outings and daily walks, Momma is heading back to work. I was given the most amazing gift I could ever have asked for. Being able to stay home with you for a year is something I will forever cherish. Because of this, I was able to be there every morning to get you dressed and fed. I was there to read you stories when you wanted. I was there to help you feel better when you were sick. I was there when you just wanted to sit on my lap and talk. Because I was able to spend this past year at home with you, I was able to nurse you for a full year. I am so proud of myself for being able to do this. I was determined to give you the best start to your life as I could, and I truly believe that being able to nurse you (bottle free!) for 365 days did just that. We are starting a new Chapter tomorrow, and I really hope you will fall nicely into the new routine. No longer will I be here when you get up. Our breakfast dates will be saved for weekends only. I hope you will still want to nap with me during the day when I am home. I hope you won’t mind that I will not be here near as much as I have been. I know you will do just fine. You are already starting to spread your little wings. As excited as I am for you, my heart strings are feeling a little tug. It’s going to be hard these next few weeks, but I know you will be in good hands. I know this is what you need. I know you LOVE watching all the little girls and boys run circles around you. I just hope I don’t miss any firsts – walking, talking… I know you will always know that I am your Momma and that I love you so much, but it is just hard knowing that I am not going to be the one there for you 100% of the time. Just keep your smiles coming and kisses just as sloppy. That’s what Momma will need when she comes home at night.
Some things from this month:
- I have come to the conclusion that you will eat anything: mussels, omelettes, beets, cheese… If I let you, you would eat 24 hours a day!
- You caught on to daycare very fast – in the sense that you knew when we walked in the door at Sara’s that I was going to leave you. Immediate tears, but they went away 5 minutes after I left. Sara says you are doing amazing! Playing with the kids, eating, sleeping… A natural!
- You have started walking with our help! You can’t stand up on your own yet, but if we hold on to your hands, you will walk everywhere! Watching you learn how to move you feet has been the cutest thing. You picked your knees up so high and then stomp your foot down. I love it. I don’t want it to change!
- You have a pretty smile and a goofy smile. Your goofy smile makes me laugh every time. You scrunch your nose, squint your eyes, and raise your top lip so we see your two front teeth. Olive, it is priceless!
- Just last night you started playing Peek-A-Boo on your own. I was putting you in your crib and you pulled the blanket over your eyes, then you quickly pulled it down and started laughing. I don’t know why, but this brought tears to my eyes. You are starting to understand how to play games.
- You went to your first skating birthday party for Rubie this month! You loved being on the ice! We cannot wait to get a pair of skates on your, but I guess you have to learn how to walk first!! You might just be the youngest CanSkater Westport has ever seen. You are 2 for 2 for the end of the year ice show! Last year you made your debut appearance while you were in Mommy’s tummy (you arrived a week later), and this year you strolled out on during the finale (although you were sound asleep)!
- We watched the Olympics in Sochi, Russia. I couldn’t help but wonder if someday Momma and Daddy will be sitting in the stands cheering you on (no pressure)! I love playing the “I wonder” game about your future! I hope you don’t mind. You loved Patrick Chan! You watched him while eating breakfast. You would laugh and get so excited when he did a jump or a spin!
- We went for your first birthday photo shoot with Ruth a few days ago. You were so darn cute. Momma made you a smash cake, but you absolutely did not want to smash it. You used your tiny, dainty little fingers to pick little pieces of icing off the top. We had to cut into it, and you still were so neat. I guess Momma’s neat feeding habits are rubbing off on you!
- You still let Daddy put you in random objects. This month – the Crock Pot. I thought you’d hate it, but you lounged in there like it was a hot tub! You loved it! (Thanks for humouring your silly Daddy)!
- You absolutely love sharing your food. You prefer to feed yourself, but when you get full, you reach your hands up in the air to put whatever you are eating in our mouth. You are not satisfied until we finish the rest of your food. Silly girl.
- You are in love with balloons! Ever since our photoshoot, you will not move unless you have a balloon in your hand. You eat with them, scoot with them, bath with them… and would sleep with them if I let you. It is so funny to watch you go behind the island while you are carrying one. The balloon goes bounce, bounce, bounce, as you slid across the floor. I’ve come to realize it is a great tracking device. Luckily they have not popped yet!
Today we are having a little family birthday party for you. I am so excited to celebrate! We have cake, and french macarons, and hamburgers, and salads… You will be in seventh heaven! We decided to go with a “book” theme because that is what you are all about. Instead of toys, we asked our family to add to your book collection! You are going to be soooooooo happy!!!
I know I keep saying it, but Olive, you have no idea how much joy you have brought to our family. You are our little ray of sunshine in a world that wasn’t as bright as it should have been. A day does not go by without me wishing that your Great Popa could have met you. I cannot tell you how blessed I feel that I was able to tell him you were on your way. I keep remembering how he threw his head back in happy laughter, and I keep picturing him holding you on his lap trying to sneak you a little piece of chocolate. He was a proud man. A great man. A precious man. I know you two have already met. I can feel it. I can feel him here all the time. I believe that he picked you to be ours. He made you a little extra special. He gave you that little extra twinkle in your eye. I know he loves you and I know he is always watching over you. I say a little prayer to him every day asking him to keep you happy, healthy and safe. You have an amazing angel with you always, Olive. Please know that he is there whenever you need him.
You have opened my eyes to a whole new world, and I really cannot wait for our future. We cannot remember life without you. I have no idea what Daddy and I ever talked about before you were here. I am proud. I look at you in amazement. You truly are a miracle who has made our little family whole. Thank you Olive. Thank you for being a perfect baby… For making my job so easy… For loving me unconditionally… For making me a Momma. Thank you for the memories… Thank you for showing me this new kind of love that I never knew existed.
We love you to the moon and back, Olive. Happy First Birthday, my sweet Little Garlic Girl!