As I sit down to write this today (the day before your first birthday), I can’t help but feel overcome with emotions. Nothing could have prepared me for what this year was going to entail. You’ve challenged me in more ways than I could have ever imagined and we’ve endured some of the most difficult, physical and mental, moments of my life together.
Throughout every hurdle, you’ve made me want to do better and be better. You’ve given reason and purpose to my life. You inspire me to be the best mother, friend, role model and person that I can possibly be. You’ve taught me patience, and even during the hardest times, I’ve never felt such a love or admiration towards anything or anyone. You’ve brought an unimaginable amount of joy and happiness into our lives and I will never be able to explain how much I love you.
This year has flown by and everyday, I wish that I could push a pause button and keep you this little for just a moment longer. Unfortunately, I can’t do that, so I wanted to make sure that wrote down some of my (and your) favorite things about this past year.
1. From the second you were born, you’ve hated blankets and things covering your feet. The nurses at the hospital thought it was hilarious that you could bust out of their swaddling. You never kept socks on, so eventually we just stopped trying. We recently took you to get shoes and you scrunched your toes so tight, that the store clerk told us that it was not happening. It makes me laugh because both your Dad and I dislike shoes too.
2. You do not like to sleep and it has always been a battle to get you to bed. Once you finally fall asleep, you sleep on stomach with your arms tucked in and usually have a huge puddle of drool by your mouth.
3. You’ve been obsessed with the movie Trolls since you were about three months old. You have a Princess Poppy doll that is about the same size as you and you bring her everywhere. You wrestle her, bite her nose, give her hugs and even try to feed her your snacks. She is your favorite toy.
4. You say Bye-Bye, Mama, Dada, Nuh-nuh-no (while simultaneously waving your pointer in the air) and baba (while shaking your head and arms as if you were shaking a baba).
5. Your favorite food is French Toast, Broccoli, Peaches and Ice Cream. Every time we’ve given you ice cream, you’ve cried when it is all gone.
6. Even when you were a few months old, you were always very busy. You were constantly exploring or playing with something. You never liked to cuddle because you had somewhere to be or something else you wanted to be doing. Almost everyone that’s met you has referred to you as “busy body or “busy bee”. And because you always want to be exploring or doing something, you absolutely hate being in your car seat or stroller for any length of time.
7. When you first started trying to give kisses, you opened your mouth and would lick the person’s lips. As you’ve gotten older, you smack your lips together as you approach. Recently, you learned how to give hugs, so now you go around your playroom giving each toy a hug. It melts my heart and I love seeing you be so sweet.
8. You are crazy flexible and everyone thinks you are going to be a gymnast. We laugh because you constantly have one leg in the air and we refer to it as your third arm. It’s always propped up on the highchair table or being waved in the air in your car seat/stroller.
9. Going into your room in the morning, after you’ve just woken, up is one of my favorite things in the entire world. It’s the greatest greeting. Some mornings you’re just sitting there and I’m greeted with the sweetest smile. Other mornings you’re standing up, giggling and try to crawl away/pretend to hide when I go to pick you up. Every morning, once your diaper is changed, we go into my bed and snuggle while you drink your baba. This is the only time of the day that you’ll snuggle with me, so I try to soak it up for as long as possible.
10.If we’re out in public and I walk away while your dad is carrying you/pushing you in the cart and you see me from across the room, you open your mouth really big and excitedly shout “Mama” while kicking your feet. It’s hilarious and so adorable. I love that you get so excited to see me, even though I was only gone for a few seconds.
11.I hope that I never forget your “stink face”. You started making this face a few months ago and it is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. It makes me (and everyone else) laugh when you do it. You scrunch your nose real tight, squish your eyebrows together and hiss. You use the “stink face” when you’re told no, if you don’t like something that you’ve just tasted, when you’re mad at something or when someone is doing it to you.
12. You love to unpack things. Whether it’s an Amazon box, a box from my parents, a tub full of random household items or the laundry basket, you are almost always unpacking something.
Everyday, I am amazed by you and I could write a list of favorite moments that is ten pages long because you are my favorite. You are my best friend and my biggest blessing in life. I am incredibly sad that you are one and that time is going by so quickly, but I’m looking forward to every new milestone and adventure that we have together. Happy First Birthday, Baby Aiden! I love you unconditionally.