Dear Peanut – 1 Year

Sweet girl,

It’s taken your mommy a while to write this… I think partly because maybe I subconsciously felt that when I wrote this post, it would make it official that I have a one year old. That it would make it official that you’re no longer a baby. Time has totally flown by. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting in the hospital room with you in my arms waiting to be released and head home to this adventure as a family of three.

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And now you’re a year old. You’re a sweet, funny, spirited, loving and smart little girl. You continually make me laugh with your silly antics, and I still find myself just looking at you in awe. I am so so so blessed to be your mama, little one.

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It’s so much fun for your daddy and I to teach you new “tricks”. You’re learning so fast these days, and you surprise us all the time with what you now do or say. Animal noises are a favorite of ours – and yours. You’re still holding back on saying “mama” or “dada” with purpose, but the look in your little blue eyes makes me think you are just making us wait for the fun of it.

You love giving kisses, and you’ve started to blow kisses as well. It may be more like squishing your sweet little face with your hand, but you can see those eyes just shining and I feel those kisses right in the depths of my heart.

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You know have an opinion and an agenda of your own, and as challenging as it can be, part of me is glad you’re so determined and know what you want. Keep that, sweet girl. I hope I can teach you to learn when to bend, but I hope you never lose that conviction or confidence in what you want. I love that you want to try to do things on your own… whether it’s put the bow back in your hair (honestly though, I wish you’d just leave them there to begin with), or put on your shoes by yourself. I will try my best to plan ahead to allow you the time you need to do those things rather than rushing us all out the door and doing those things for you.

As you’ve turned one, I have thought back to that tiny little newborn you were, and I miss her. But I love discovering the new little girl you are becoming. I know in a year, I’ll be looking back the same way at you as a one year old and missing the wild & crazy baby hair, the squeals and squeaks and coos that stood in the place of words you didn’t quite know what to say. I’ll miss the one-year-old you.. but I’m sure I’ll also be amazed by the two-year-old you’ve become.

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Sweet girl, thank you for always loving me, even on the days I may feel like a mommy failure. Thank you for always reminding me that blog posts, cleaning, and to-do lists can wait, and that reading “Where’s Spot” for the 8th time is so much more important. Thank you for letting me spend the last moments of your day with you before you drift off to dream. Thank you for bringing a smile to my face. Thank you for challenging me to grow my patience. Thank you for the kisses.

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Thank you for pushing me to think about what it means to be a good person, and then pushing me even further to understand those qualities well enough to try to teach them to you.

Peanut, thank you for being my greatest achievement and the light of our lives. Thank you for letting me be your mama. I love you, sweet girl!

Dear Peanut – 11 Months


Sweet girl,

You are almost a year old… where has the time gone?!? This month has been a good one though. You get more and more fun (and more tiring) every single day. You make yourself laugh, you push boundaries and you are learning so much. You love to be on the move, which makes getting photos in our same spot tougher and tougher, but with your Daddy acting as spotter, we gave it a shot. We got lots of funny faces, lots of crawling toward/over the front edge/pulling off the 11 month sticker/pretty much no looking at the camera. Might not be “perfect” photos, but they are perfect to me – because they are you. They are so very you.

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You LOVE to wave hi. To anyone. And everyone. Including the dogs or the stranger who happens to be in the same aisle at the grocery store.

You LOVE bath time. We both end up pretty much dripping wet because of how much you enjoy splashing. It makes me hope that you’ll end up being a swimmer (at least for a little while) like I was. But if that’s not your thing as you grow up, that’s ok.

You LOVE trying new foods – recent hits include sweet potatoes and watermelon. You could eat those alllllll day. It’s been especially fun for your Daddy to keep preparing new foods for you to try, and I’m pretty sure you inherited my appreciation for his cooking! You’ve learned to sign “all done” and you’ve adapted your own version of the sign for “please”… we get a lot more of the “please” than “all done” when it comes to eating, and it’s not always consistent, but it’s amazing to watch you learning to communicate what you’re thinking with us.

You LOVE to pull the clothes out of the hamper and the books off your shelf… You’re the cutest little mess-maker I’ve ever seen, even if the mess drives me nuts at times.

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And speaking of the books on your shelf, you’ve developed a new level of appreciation for them… You’ve gotten hooked on reading books, and girl, the way you want to read them has continually melted the hearts of your parents. You grab a book (odds are good it will be “Where’s Spot?”, “Pat the Bunny”, or “Llama Llama, Nighty Night”), toddle over to either Daddy or I, hand us the book and then proceed to take another step or two, turn around and sit down right in our laps. You snuggle in backwards and lean that sweet head full of crazy hair right into our chest and wait for us to begin reading.

You don’t really sleep on our chests anymore like you did when you were first born, and you’re much more interested in walking around the house than snuggling, but these moments… the ones books bring us, they find you sitting as close as you can to us. And I couldn’t be happier. The first time you walked over and snuggled into the reading position with your Daddy he looked at me and whispered “Best. Thing. EVER.” I hope you keep that love of books, Peanut. They can take you places  you’ll never be able to travel, and they will introduce you to people you will never meet although they will teach you great life lessons. They will make you laugh, they will make you cry, and they will help expand your mind. Keep reading, sweet girl, and I hope you keep wanting to read in just the right place in my lap for years to come.

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Chasing you around the house is exhausting little one, but it’s so fun to watch you explore. You get this little grin on your face when you round a corner before we do… As if to say “You see how fast I was going???” You are so proud of yourself as we round the corner to catch up, and I hope you always find pride in your accomplishments – big or small. As long as they are your own, be proud of them.

 

And Peanut? Just in case you were wondering what my view is when trying to take your photos lately… here you go:

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Dear Peanut – 10 Months

Sweet girl,

I can’t believe another month has come and gone already… Before I know it I’m going to blink and it’ll be your first birthday! We have moved on from a few stages this month, and I was so torn about it, but you’ve also picked up some fun little things too.

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You are “talking” so much these days and I am just so curious what’s going on in that little head of yours. There are times where I swear I can see your mind working as you explore and learn new things. It is truly amazing how quickly you pick up new things. You have started clapping when we say “yay” and your Pops taught you to throw your hands up above your head when we say “ooooooooooooooo yaay!” Not 100% sure where that little gem came from, but it makes me smile every time.

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You’re pushing boundaries all the time, but you’re still cautious too. You’ve gotten pretty good at walking while holding our hands, and you’ve taken a few steps in a row, but then you just fall into my lap. You could probably walk, but you aren’t too sure of yourself just yet. As much as I want you to know you can do it, I have to admit I’m so happy that I am your safe place. I’m the place you can take a step and fall into with abandon – knowing I’ll be there to catch you. I hope you know I’ll always be there for you that way. I may not always be able to catch you on your way down (and I may not always want to), but I will always be there to pick you back up and figure out the lesson learned.

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While this month has been full of new things, I think the stages left behind are what stick out to me the most…

I think that only the heart of a mother can truly break and swell in the exact same moment. So it is to put to rest one stage and enter another… Equal parts pride, elation and mourning. But while I’m sad that another stage has been left behind, I am so full of excitement and enjoyment of the current stages and those to come. Thank you for teaching me to truly embrace things as well as teaching me how to let them go with a smile.

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