twelve whole months. three hundred and sixty five days of being alive. how crazy and totally awesome are you little man? today you turn one and it's been one heck of a roller coaster ride raising you. i still remember that night like it was yesterday. all those IV's, passing blood clots, and small contractions. it was a crazy night and you came into this world not letting anything hold you back. you fought quickly to get out the NICU. i think it's because you didn't want to listen to the loud beeping noises anymore. each month you grew and you continue to grow. how you went from a 3 pound peanut to a 21 pound solid baby. though being two months preemie, you aren't quite up to the development of your age in some parts. you are doing fantastic in our eyes. your personality is starting to show more and more. you know how to sign "hi/bye", "milk", "book", "dog", "eat", "more", "all done", "bath", and "again". you love to try pinching all the new finger foods we give you, concentrating so hard to bring it up to your mouth. still go crazy over milk and seeing your bottle. you want it now, or else the world is coming to an end. your walker is your best friend now that you know exactly how to move around it in. all the kitchen towels seem to disappear off the oven handle. you love your "raggy" any and all hand towels. putting them in your mouth and letting them hang like a dog would carrying it around. it's a must when naps and bedtime are needed. you have moved into all 12 month clothes and some 18 month stuff now. bring on that warm spring weather and hopefully you will be walking around in those numerous converses i bought you. you still adore your dog and love watching her outside. or being outside in general, just like you did when you were little. happy birthday little man. we love you so much and you make each day brighter than the next. here's to another year of growing stronger in so many different ways.
this year has flown right past me and all i can think is: "i have kept a little human alive for almost an entire year." three hundred and sixty five days of non-stop attention, endless dirty/stinky/running up their back diapers, the constant pick-me-up's & put-me-down's and gaining great arm muscles that i never had before, those sleepless first nights where naps of 30 minutes were heaven to me. seeing my son grow has made me so grateful. watching him progress by growing in weight, seeing that first smile, hearing that first real laugh, watching him slowly communicate back to me with his hands. it has been rewarding. exhausting, but oh so rewarding.
to say this year was easy, would be a stretch of the imagination. pregnancy was not bad, but not so nice to me after, thank you lovely c-section. by the time i had my son, i was 32 weeks and i was ready. i don't have a clue how moms who went over the 40 weeks did it. good lord, i would have felt like a bowling ball and have to have had hired someone to roll me out of bed each morning. being away from my husband during this time and the ten months after our son made his arrival was sort of a blessing in disguise. it made the days go by quicker and soon those weeks would turn into months. although even after the two months that he has been home now from deployment, those were some of the hardest for me, i hate to admit. i had to give up total control. each day i had a plan, and no one was there to change my choice. it was hard to let go, give into that control and let him take over finally being a dad. but hearing those giggles (from both of them) during bath time at night, while i make a real dinner, is something oh so special. i need to realize that i am not made to do this alone, nor would i ever want to.
parenting is hard. making a baby is hard. there is a lot of things in life that my perception was so skewed before baby. i mean, i babysat all day before, how hard could it be? all of my friends and friends of friends having babies, i guess making one of our own can happen tomorrow if we want it to, right? so many new lessons, so many different feelings. from new parents i photograph listening to each story, for the love of my parents and realizing just how awesome they truly are. i built a strong understanding that each couple is different. nothing works the same way. each story is different and that doesn't mean one family has it easier than the next. my "hard' could have easily been someone's "easy" if they were in my shoes. each day i am reminded to not think so harsh, to give kindness to each person whether they seem to have deserved it or not because each family's life is completely different than mine. today could have been one of the worst or one of the best, in their eyes. who am i to really know?