I can not believe you are ONE year old this month. Where has the time gone? I swore I'd never be one of those Moms who said that because I was always secretly hoping you'd grow up real fast and start changing your own diapers. Did I ever tell you that you'll ONLY poop in a clean diaper? What's up with that? Your OCD tendencies are already making their debut, just like Daddy. I am writing you this letter to tell you about yourself, in case I forget with old age, and to show you how much we've overcome...together.
When Daddy and I first brought you home I cried a lot. You cried a lot. I couldn't figure you out. Google couldn't figure you out.I didn't think I could do this. I was certain I was NEVER doing this again. Ever. We had a hard first 6 weeks; the actual SIXTH week being the most mind blowing, challenging thing thus far. Baths started to soothe you at this point, along with the 5 S's. This was a technique I secretly researched then told Daddy I was the baby whisperer, and wasn't willing to share their meanings. We swung you, dangled you, bounced you, sang to you, fed you, gas dropped you, swaddled you,
Things started to get insane again around your 3 month birthday. Daddy and I had a lot of military events to attend and a lot of running around to do. This is about the time you learned how to scream. And scream. It wasn't until halfway thru this month of rage that we saw them, two little teeth poking thru. How could we be so stupid? OF COURSE our three month old baby had teeth! Why wouldn't she? She could hold her neck up from day one, and could stand on her entire body weight at 2 months. Soon after those 2 teeth, came 2 more...and 2 more...By 5 months old you had EIGHT teeth! The screaming subsided the day Daddy left.
Right after you turned 5 months old we came to live with Mimi and Poppy while Daddy went away to war. There are not enough 'Thank-You's' in the world for what they've done for us, but that's a separate letter.
As I reflect on this entire year, and the little girl you've grown to be, I start to get emotional. The little personality that shines through your face is breath taking. You look just like your Daddy, but the way you smile and scrunch up your nose is like looking in a mirror. Just like myself,you smile with your eyes. You snort when you're scared, nervous, or excited. You think frogs are hysterical and you shriek whenever you see a dog. However, you haven't really noticed that you have your own dog. You point at everything saying 'mmmmm?', wanting to know what everything is. I find myself saying 'dog' and 'bird' around a thousand times a day. You love Disney Junior, especially those weird singing pirates. Tubby time has always been your favorite. It used to be used to calm you during fussy times, but now it has the opposite effect. You love your after bath time of reading books and dancing around. You are attached to your 'blankie', which unfortunately is an 8 lb fleece blanket that is a hazard to your walking skills. You were wrapped in this blanket the moment you were born. You will sign "more". You all of a sudden love pacifiers, but most of the time they are in your mouth upside down. You can find your nose and toes. You've figured out how to feed the dog. You hate being spoon fed. You like car rides, as long as you are fully equipped with snacks. You give kisses, high fives and we are working on hugs. You like your night-night time; no later then 7:30! You have molars. Those were fun. You love Mac & Cheese, but hopefully that changes soon because I can't STAND having to eat your leftovers. You love books. Watching you flip through your books is one of the most precious moments of my day, and you can actually identify (by pointing) to several objects in your books. You don't do too much talking but call me "Mom." Which is totally normal!?! You say Dada, mehmeh (Mimi), Papa (Poppy), kk (book), quack,bye and baba. You have taken a few steps but still aren't too sure. You are an absolute joy Olivia. You make my heart melt. You make me laugh. You make me feel like I'm doing it. Like WE are doing it. We've come a long way.
We've had to do a lot of this alone, just the two of us. We made it through the toughest times just the two of us. We've conquered a lot of firsts together. A lot of things I was terrified of doing alone. We need to make him proud Olivia. I am writing this letter to you for your first birthday but I am writing it for another reason as well. For your Daddy. I want him to know you. I want him to know all about you. I don't want him to feel like he's missed a beat. He's your Daddy; You're his little girl. My heart explodes at the thought of the bond you two have, just because you're his little girl. Let's make him proud. I want you to show him everything you've learned this year, show him everything you are. He deserves to see everything I see. He deserves to feel your soft kisses. He deserves to feel the touch of your little fingers. We have a few more months to learn and grow before we see him; before we welcome him back into our day. I want you to put one foot in front of the other and greet him. Hug him. Show him you love him. Because you know what boo? That exact moment is what Mommy thinks about to get her through each day; it's what puts one foot in front of the other. It keeps her going. We are going to make him proud. Just as proud as he's made us.
Happy FIRST Birthday my beautiful Olivia Winter. You are Mommy and Daddy's angel, and the prettiest girl I know.