My sweet pea,
Happy 1st birthday!
Even though we had a big party to celebrate last weekend, your birthday is actually this weekend. I really do work hard to confuse you.
When I look at your today, I sometimes forget the little baby placed on my chest a year ago when I was waking up from the anesthesia. I was so groggy and bleary eyed, and your daddy put you in my arms. All I saw was a full head of black hair, and a layer of soft, fine hair covering your back and arms. The first words out of my mouth was “monkey hair”. That’s what I call the hair on your daddy’s back.
You were the most beautiful creature I’ve ever laid my eyes on. Your hair was crusty with blood and mucus, your nose was covered in white dots, you had no control over your hands and feet, and often you could only manage to open one eye.
You were perfect.
I instantly fell in love with you. Laying in the hospital bed, I did not care about the soreness from the incision, or all the tubes and needles in me, or the lack of sleep from caring for you. I smiled when I heard you cry because you were so full of life. I wanted to hold you in my arms all day and all night. I wanted you to open your eyes so I could tell you that I love you. I kissed you a million times and it didn’t feel like it was enough to express my love for you. In the middle of the night, I would hold you in my arms and cry tears of joy when I looked at your face.
We had some rough patches in the first couple of months, didn’t we. I didn’t produce enough milk, so your weight dropped too much. We started to supplement with formula, and your weight rocketed. You slept little. In the bassinet next to our bed, you grunted, cooed, made all sorts of noises, and woke often. You developed very severe baby acne, eczema, and your scalp was covered with cradle cap. But through all those times, I often reminded myself that it’s only going to be such a short time in your life that you need me to figure things out for you. Soon enough you are going to be all grown up and won’t need mommy anymore. I am so grateful for all the special time we spent together when you wouldn’t sleep. I would hold you in my arms and stare at your beautiful face, and just let myself be amazed by you.
We went snowshoeing, swimming, took music classes, went for long walks, had play dates, and took thousands of photos. When you were about 5 months old, we went to Maui and Taiwan for vacation. You sat up on your own for the first time in Maui. On the bed of the rental condo, you were only wearing a diaper, you sat and smiled and looked so proud of yourself. You met your grandpa for the first time when we went to Taiwan. He met us at the airport. You smiled so sweetly at him and captured his heart. Your great grandpa, great grandma, great aunt, great uncle were all so enamored with you.
When you were almost 6 months old, you were waking up 5 or 6 times a night. Daddy and I never figured out if you were hungry or just wanted to be held. But at this point, I hit a wall with the lack of sleep, and finally decided that some sleep training may be in order. It only took you two nights to start sleeping through the night. I was so proud of how quickly you figured out a new sleep pattern on your own. Even through teething, you sleep through the night. Thank you, baby. You know how much I love my sleep.
You hated solid food for the first 3 or 4 months. Well, you did love bananas, but nothing else. You screamed at every meal, and often spit out whatever I fed you. I was so stressed out that you wouldn’t eat. Then at about 10 months, one day all of a sudden you just started eating. Ever since then, you eat like a champion. You were probably teaching me that it had to be your timing. As your mama, it’s my job to give you the time you need, and protect you from everyone else’s expectations or demands. This is hard to do because I’m a control freak, but I am willing to change for you. I want you to know that you can always count on me to be there for you and be patient.
Before you came, I spent the majority of my time on building a career. Maybe because that’s all I knew how to do. Your daddy and I have done some cool things in our lives. We traveled to many places, climbed a big mountain, and rode motorcycles. We had a lot of fun. But everything pales in comparison of having you.
You rock my world.
You love to laugh, giggle, climb on things, clap your hands, listen to music, crinkle paper, stick your index finger in holes, pet and hug Sam, bite my chin, pick daddy’s belly button, put your hand in Sam’s water bowl, and rub your face on my face. You are full of energy and life.
Your daddy calls you Joshie-poo or monkey. I like to call you sweet pea or baby.
You love eating gold fish crackers. You love fruits. You love homogenous milk. You love drinking from cups. You love to eat fish and tofu. You always want to check out what’s on my plate or in my mug.
You are no longer the little peanut in my arms. Your personality is beginning to develop, and I am so amazed by you. I love getting to know you and trying to figure out what is going on in your head.
Thank you for being my baby. You have softened me and humbled me. You grew my ability to love beyond my imagination.
Happy 1st birthday, sweat pea. I look forward to being amazed by you even more. I wish you all the happiness in the world.