Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Birthday Baby

Let it be known that on May 19th, 2015... the eve of Anna's first birthday... I did not cry. I remember crying the night before Abby and Elise turned one. It was a wave of emotion that I didn't expect (I'm sure John wasn't surprised by the tears)... a wave of excitement, sadness, anticipation, and love. This time it felt different. Not better-different; not worse-different. Just different. And that's what I've learned over the past year - all of my babies... all girls... all passionate... all intelligent... all beautiful... all mine... yet so very, very different. 

Anna - you love balloons. And your face was priceless on your birthday morning when you woke up to your sisters' smiing faces and a balloon.

You are the most animated, engaging, imitative, and social baby that I know. You wave to strangers big and small, say "Hiiiii" and now "Hi-low" ("hello"), and flash an amazing 6-tooth grin.

At 18 pounds, 6 ounces you are crawling and cruising, eating with a fork, and adding new words and signs daily. Abby made a list of all of your current signs... she counted almost 30. Those signs, combined with your spoken words and your over-the-top expressions, make you incredibly communicative. You are a pro with the word "no", you've tossed your fair share of food on the floor, and when you're crabby (which is rare), it's no secret. The times we've used a stern voice with you, your bottom lip and teary eyes are show-stopping. Some of your big sisters' favorite tricks include doing the following when asked: "show your teeth", "raise your hand", "give me a kiss", "say "HELLO", and "show us your cheesey face". You are in the super-cheesey, nose-scrunching smiling phase right now and you aren't stingy with it. 

Favorite books include "What a Wonderful World", all of the Llama, Llama little library books, and "The Belly Button Book", which we had to teach you so you could refer to your belly button as "bee-bo", just like your sisters did. Favorite foods incude... all of them. Last night for dinner you ate salmon and part of a veggie burger, asparagus, cauliflower, grapes, and some tasty Wheatfields bread with goat cheese on it. You still breastfeed whenever you want (thankfully your biting phase only lasted about a week) but you took to whole milk on the first taste. 

You... my charming, personable, life-of-the-party baby... were the greatest gift of all on your birthday. And the one lucky cousin, two adoring sisters, and SEVEN loving grandparents who surrounded you for the big #1 would absolutely agree! 

In the past 365 days, I was there to nurse you and rock you and kiss you at bedtime 363 of those nights. And I wake up every morning eager to see your little face peeking up over your crib. Happy FIRST birthday, Anna!  

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