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Happy Birthday, Charlie! 

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I’m stuck somewhere between “I can’t believe a year went by so fast” and “What? She’s only been in my life for a year?”. This past week has been very emotional for me. I find myself staring at her and trying to remember the tiny 6lb 3oz baby the doctor laid on my chest a year ago. I’m just so amazed at the person she’s become. 

I’m watching Charlie transform from a baby to a toddler and I can’t believe what I’m seeing half the time. Of course, in the back of my mind I’ve always known that she wasn’t going to be this tiny baby forever but watching her as she pulls herself up and cruises around, it hits me that she’s going to be a person who can walk and talk, just like the rest of us.

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Every night, before she falls asleep, we hang out in bed. Usually, we read books during this time but lately, all she wants to do is roll around and pull herself up using the side of the crib. Seriously, she can do this for an entire hour. She still doesn’t crawl so what she does is rolls over and pushes herself up to a seated position but if she can’t reach the crib railing, she lays back down and rolls over until she’s close enough to the railing to pull up and sits up again. I can tell it’s a lot of work for her but she never whines or asks for our help, this is something she’s trying to accomplish on her own.  

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I think this a big part of who she is. She loves taking things apart and trying to put them back together. She just likes to figure things out. I think she’s going to be the type of kid who keeps asking, “why?” until she’s satisfied with the answer. 

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Something I miss about having a tiny baby is the way she would just lay on my chest for hours but now, even though these moments are fewer, they’re more rewarding. When she snuggles and leans in close, I know it’s because she wants to. 

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Before having Charlie, I was really excited at the idea of having a baby. I mean, babies are tiny and smooshy and just freakin’ cute. The idea of having a toddler, on the other hand, was kind of scary. Toddlers throw tantrums, they’re loud and always seem to have sticky hands. Yeah, Charlie can be loud. As I’m typing this, I can hear her yelling and laughing to herself but I love it. She’s just experimenting with her voice and making sounds. I’m not looking forward to tantrums but so far, she always makes up for the bad stuff by being the sweet girl she is. Or, she does something incredible goofy and cracks me up. 

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Oh and I’m pretty much used to the fact that I’m going to have banana or some sticky substance stuck to my clothing for the next few years. If her hands are dirty and sticky, it usually means she’s just had a lot of fun and that’s pretty okay with me. 

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Happy Birthday to my baby bear, who has brought so much joy into my life. 

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