Our lives, from how you have only known it, officially changed the day after your first birthday. Celebrating your first year was so bitter sweet for me. I was so excited to shower you with love and reminisce about the last year of our lives, but I was also reluctant to let myself fully understand what one year meant. One year meant it was time for me to go back to work… No more breakfast dates, no more day-time cuddles and Mommy-Olive naps… No more unplanned road trips into town… No more baby groups to attend. Celebrating a year was so special, but so hard.
Before you were here I had no problem thinking that going back to work was going to be okay. I like my job. I just didn’t understand the connection I would have with you, the love I would have for you, and the incredible amount of daily joy you would have for me. As the day charged toward us, I often found myself wondering if I took my time with you for granted. Many people asked me how I had time to bake and create flowers and sew dresses when I had a little baby to look after. They made me feel like I wasn’t devoting every single second of my life to you… But then I realized that those people don’t understand you. They don’t understand our relationship. They didn’t understand that you were not like a “normal” baby who needed my attention during all waking hours of the day. They didn’t understand that we didn’t sit in front of the TV all day watching baby shows and playing with every single toy under the moon (you have yet to really watch a TV show and you are quite content with the few toys and gazillion books you have)! You are independent. You like to explore and discover things on your own. I can see that you have made my likes and interests your likes and interests. You already love to bake. I cannot put one cup of flour into the mixer without you demanding to sit on the counter to watch. You love to get creative – you painted your first painting the week before your birthday and now I proudly display it in my office at work. At first, you didn’t quite know what the paint was, but when I put your hand through it, that was the end of your wondering! Over this past year I have really noticed how babies and their surroundings really influence each other. We are more of a hands on, go for walks, and spend time with each other without the TV on kind of people. I love that you are learning through books and not the TV. I love that your mood suddenly changes as soon as we walk outside. I love that every new thing you see or play with brings a cute little twinkle to your eye!
You had so much fun at your birthday party! Because you love books so much, we decided to have a book themed party and asked your guests to bring books instead of toys. You have such a big library for a little girl! It makes me smile every time I walk by the pile (which, as of this past weekend was organized on your new bookshelf that Daddy made you). Your party started at 10:29am on March 9 – the exact time you were born! You wore a pink confetti dress that I made for you complete with pearls and a cute party crown. Once everyone started to arrive, you slowly forgot about the awesome balloons and started making your rounds saying “hi” to everyone. You absolutely loved playing with cousin Avery and sitting on Great-Great-Aunt Shelia’s lap! You two make a good pair! After a little while, Daddy fired up the Barbeque and cooked some hamburgers and hot dogs to go with the yummy salads that both Granny and Grandma brought – everyone loves Grandma’s Caesar Salad! We all ate until we couldn’t eat anymore… and then we had dessert! Cake and French Macarons… A pairing you love just as much as Mommy. After putting off trying to make macarons all year, I decided to go full force and make a few dozen for your party. It really wasn’t as hard as every article or recipe says it was… And now I am kind of addicted to creating them in different flavours! I baked you a tiny cake just for you – but again, you didn’t want to smash it! I think you can appreciate beauty (haha)! We sang happy birthday, we all ate cake, and then it was on to your presents! Cousin Avery helped you open your gifts because you get distracted pretty easily! So many books!! Books everywhere! I cannot begin to describe how much you love flipping through the pages. You still haven’t quite let us finish reading a book – we must read too slow – you just keep flipping! You flip a page, your eyes light up, and your tiny mouth forms an “O” as you say “OHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”. This is one of my favourite sounds. After things started calming down and people started giving their goodbye kisses, you zonked! You were so pooped! It was probably about 2:30 when you went down to sleep, and I’m sure if I didn’t wake you up, you would have slept the entire night! You were such a good birthday girl! Mommy and Daddy are so proud. We cannot remember life without little Miss. Olive. You are the one thing in my life that I am not ashamed to brag about!
Now that I am a month into commuting and working full time, I have realized that it isn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I think the anticipation of not knowing what was going to happen was worse than actually going back. We have fallen into a nice new routine — and I think you love it the most. It’s up to Mr. Mom in the mornings now. My mornings start around 4:30. Some days I get to see you, some days I don’t. For the most part you are still waking up between 5 and 5:30, therefore if you do wake up while I am still home I nurse you, and then you go back to sleep with Daddy. Those days I love. I love seeing you two sound asleep together… Your arms and legs are sprawled out, taking up three quarters of the entire bed leaving Daddy is right on the edge (but I don’t think he minds)! I want to keep that imagine in my mind for as long as I can. It’s so comforting and peaceful knowing that you get to spend more time with Daddy now. I think he loves it too. (I love how you always cup your cheek when you sleep. ALWAYS!)
Around 7:30 you are off to Daycare at Sara’s. The first three drop-offs that Daddy did, you cried… but you haven’t cried since! You LOVE going to Daycare to play with all the kids. Sara is so amazing with you. She really puts my mind at ease knowing you are in such good hands when I am so far away from you. You play, and sing songs, and eat, and nap, and play some more. All the kids are just crazy about you, and you them! One multiple occasions Sara has told me that she has found you in the corner kissing all the boys… Are you going to cause us a ton of problems in the future, Little Missy?? You officially had your first runny nose this past weekend so I think you may have learned your lesson! I have noticed such a huge change in you over the last month. You have learned so many new things at Sara’s – clapping, blowing kisses, a different style wave… Every day it seems like you come home with something new you learned. I am amazed! My favourite part of the day is when I get to pick you up (if I am home in time)! I sneak inside and watch you play until you notice that I am there. You sprint-bum-scoot over to me with the biggest smile and sometimes a kiss (but not always… You need to work on that). Sometimes you just kind of say “Hi Mom” and then go back to playing. Sometimes I don’t think you want to leave! You just love being with people your size! I am convinced you are bored at home now when you don’t have anyone to play with. You are so good. You have made this transition for me so much easier than I ever expected. How did we get so lucky to have such an amazing baby?
Some notable things from this past month:
- You are eating an even bigger variety: Madras soup, wiener schnitzel, hamburgers, chicken pasta enchiladas, homogenized milk, blueberry yogurt… the list just gets bigger and bigger!
- You have started to dance (on your bum)! You have a few toys that make music when you press buttons. As soon as the music begins, you start to wiggle on your bum. Sometimes you get a good head banging action going! It is the cutest!
- You got a little toy trumpet for your birthday. When I took it out of the package I quickly thought “thank goodness she will not know how to blow into this for a while”. Boy was I wrong! You scoot around the house with the trumpet hanging out of your mouth, blowing in it as hard as you can. I can’t believe how loud you can get it going!!
- You went to Grandma and Grandpa’s for an evening while Momma and Daddy went to see a movie! You had so much fun playing and eating with Auntie Kara! You had a bath and then got your first official french braid – piggy tail style!! Unreal! I can’t believe you hair is long enough for french braids! We just skipped the pony tail entirely!
- Your favourite words: Da-Da, Ma-Ma, Uh-Oh (thanks Great Uncle Ben!), Babababa, and something that sounds like Puppy (but more like Bah-Pay)! — Candice, Uncle Kenney’s girlfriend said she thought you needed a Puppy for Easter… You looked right at her and said “Bah-Pay?” It was SO cute! You also still say “Mmmmmm” every time you eat something and you have started to say Bay-Bay (which sounds like Baby)! I love when you have full on conversations with yourself. It is one of the cutest things ever!
- You have pulled yourself up a total of four times… All four times I didn’t see it! You have been trying for a while, but just haven’t been able to get up off your knees. You pulled yourself up in your crib while you were sitting playing (while Daddy was building your bookshelf) and then again at Granny’s house on her steps (2 times!) while Daddy and Mommy were test driving Granny’s new car! Just yesterday Sara sent me a picture of you standing at her house too! I think I have to start getting used to not seeing you do things for the first time.
- You still aren’t walking… But I am still not concerned in the least. You are quite content and can get around the house far too easy on your bum. You can easily carry anything you want from room to room. With that said, you LOVE walking when you can hold on to our fingers – and your are getting pretty fast at it. Sometimes you get a little fussy – thats our cue that you want to walk… But still, you have no intent to do it alone. I love your little stomp. You bring your knees nice and high and then stomp your foot to the floor. Melts my heart!
- The ice is still on the lake, and still pretty thick too! Daddy has started a new house on the other side of the lake, just at the bottom of the mountain. We decided to walk all the way across a few weeks ago to pick up his truck. You were sound asleep in your stroller, which was probably a good thing because it was fairly windy. I never thought I would be able to say that we walked to Westport, across the ice, at the end of March!
- You surprised me this past weekend when you stacked your MixMates Blocks almost higher than your head! I honestly didn’t think babies your size knew how to gentle stack a tower of blocks. You were so proud of yourself (and so was I). You had to chose which block was next. If I handed you one, you shook your head and grabbed the farthest block from you. Silly girl! Maybe you are going to be a builder like Daddy!
- You love wearing a painters tape roll as a bracelet. You found a roll on the floor the other day and you promptly put in on your wrist and scooted around the house with your arm held high as if saying “look at my diamonds… Aren’t they beautiful”. You were pretty proud!
- We started up our nightly walks again now that the sidewalks in Westport are finally clear. Thank goodness. This past winter has been one of the longest I can ever remember… and I don’t think Westport was ready for it (in terms of snow removal). The sidewalks have been a disaster for months.
- We were at Granny and Grandpa’s last week – you were hanging out on the counter with Grandpa with Granny’s jar of chocolate bars. You stuck your little hands in the jar, pulled out a “Crunch” bar and spent 15 minutes (at least!) playing with it until you OPENED IT! It decided to share some with Grandpa and then you played with the rest for a while… Putting it back in the jar, grabbing it back in your hands… and finally you decided to give it a try. Its safe to say that you officially had your first chocolate bar!
- This past weekend we went up to Joey and Lyndsey’s cottage to see how their Maple Syrup season was going this year! You officially witness your first batch of syrup being made
- You have carried around your birthday balloons all month!! They JUST started to deflate! We may have to have a balloon in the house at all times!
This has been one crazy month of changes, but it is all sliding into place, just as I had expected. I shouldn’t have ever doubted that you were going to love Daycare immediately. You just make everything so much easier. I keep wondering how we were so lucky to get the most perfect baby girl to slide right in to our lives without any troubles or any big life changes. It honestly feels like you have been a part of our lives forever. You take everything by stride, and nothing seems to upset you (for longer than 30 seconds)! Your rosy cheeks are still as big as ever, and your hair is growing by the inch! You are the cutest!!! Thank you for all that you are, and for all the joy you bring on a daily basis!
Love you to the moon and back!