Perhaps to complement the obvious milestone of your birthday, you've also decided to cram this, your 12th month, full of firsts.
For starters, you went swimming for the first time. We weren't sure how that would go over, but you loved it. You smiled at all the strangers sharing your, uh, bathtub, which incidentally had gotten quite a bit larger than you remembered. You laughed when we swished you around in the water. Or were you laughing at your pasty mom and dad in their bathing suits? Lets say it was the swishing.
You've also learned to drink from a cup with a straw. You wanted nothing to do with the straw at first, but after much fussing and a few tentative sips, you're a regular water-holic.
Perhaps most devastatingly, you've learned how to blow kisses. You use this tactic, which is probably against all sorts of Geneva Conventions, to melt hearts of waiters, cashiers, random passers-by and, most effectively, your grandparents. Not that mom and dad are immune, either. Especially when you add a big "mwwwah!" to the hand motion for greater effect.
And finally, FINALLY -- this month you figured out crawling. You started out the month mastering the army crawl -- pulling yourself along on your belly using only your arms. But you started to experiment with putting your knees under you, particularly while sleeping:
Just in the last few days, you've been getting your knees under you and starting to understand that that means more speed and more height, both of which are key ingredients for your world domination plan. I expect future updates will involve lots of bumps and bruises, both to you and to your mom and dad as we rush around to keep up with you.
But this weekend it was our turn to wear you out. We threw a party for your first birthday, just a gathering of family (including both sets of grandparents!) and friends at your favorite park. There were a whole bunch of cupcakes and a whole bunch of other babies, and everyone had a great time. You enjoyed being the belle of the ball (whether you knew everyone was there for you or not) and didn't fuss at all, even though we were there for hours and blew right past naptime. You smiled at your adoring fans, blew copious kisses, and even waved and wished a departing friend "bye-bye," or at least it sure sounded like you did. You had your very first cupcake, too, but you didn't eat it so much as beat it soundly. Which, if you think about it, is probably just as much fun.
We also had fun today, your real birthday. We played with all your new toys, let you chase Murray around to your heart's content, and enjoyed a beautiful North Carolina spring day with some Sonic and a trip to the park. But we also did a lot of thinking about the day you were born one year ago, and how it was a day filled both with joy at your arrival and with the deepest, darkest fear at what you -- and we -- might have to face after things went horribly wrong. There were definitely some tears today, but none of them from you. They were tears of relief and happiness that sprang up whenever we thought of how we felt back then compared with how happy and healthy you are now. We are proud of you, sweetheart, and we love you so much sometimes it's hard to contain.
Your mom might be the one who makes her living with words, but your dad said it best today:
A year ago today, Stacy woke me up telling me our daughter was on the way.
Today, Nora woke me up giggling next to me.
A year ago today, Nora came into this world but we didn’t know if she was going to get to stay.
Today, she kissed me on the cheek. She growled. She stood up. She crawled across the room.
A year ago today, our family slept in different rooms in different hospitals.
Today, we’re home.
Happy birthday, Nora. I love you.
Mama and Daddy