Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday to my Baby Girl!!!

Dear Hayden,

Happy 1st Birthday, precious baby girl!! How on earth has it already been ONE year!?!? And where did my teeny tiny baby girl go?? Your daddy and I love you SO much and we are so thankful for you! When we found out you were on the way, there's no way we could have ever imagined how much God would choose to bless us through you...our sweet little girl! Not a day goes by that we don't thank God for letting us be your parents and ask Him to guide us as we raise you! Our prayer for you during this second year will be that you would grow to know more about our Heavenly Father, that you would feel loved and cherished in this family, that you would continue to develop your distinct personality and interests, that you would grow in your relationship with your sister and that you have a joy-filled little spirit. We love you, baby girl!

I will never forget the day you joined our family...November 4th, just four days before my own birthday. I already loved that we would share a birth-month ;). I enjoyed that day so much and we had a dream labor and delivery for sure. When the doctor laid you on my chest and I heard that first *loud* cry, I was SO in love. You were BEAUTIFUL and couldn't take my eyes off you! Your daddy was so proud and held you so gently....I loved watching his eyes well with tears. We loved spending some special time with just the three of us and we thanked God for the miracle He gave us in you!! Here was this precious baby girl that we had prayed for, dreamed about, waited for...and we couldn't believe you were here! And we couldn't wait to introduce you to your big sister! She was nervous and excited and kissed you right away. That was one of my very favorite days. Ever.

Having you home and getting to know you that first month was wonderful! Adding another little girl to our family was perfect and we were loving all the new things you brought! You were so alert and you LOVED to be wrapped up, warm and cozy. At your first little photo shoot, you absolutely would NOT fall asleep until we wrapped you up, then you snoozed away ;). We were also starting to realize you may have had a little reflux because you had a hard time sleeping flat on your back. But that just meant we got to cuddle a little more, so that was were always VERY cuddly ;). Oh and this is when your sister began calling you, "my Hayden Kate". She loved you so!

During your second month, I started realizing that you just weren't gaining weight like you should. I knew you had a slight tongue-tie and wondered if it was causing you trouble nursing. Sure enough, at your six-week appointment, we found that you had only gained two ounces since birth. I felt horrible!! But God was watching over us and we just had to change things up a bit. Once we started giving you some formula, you were SO much happier and we were so happy that you were growing. And of course, since you were so happy, we got our very first smiles!!! Talk about melt my heart! I can't remember seeing anything more precious than those first little smiles and I will never forget the moment...we were in the back seat our the car, on the way to a Christmas Eve service in Granbury and I about died at the sight of that first sweet, gummy smile ;).

Your third month was when we really began to see your little personality shining through!! You were SO stinkin' smiley and such a happy-go-lucky baby. But there was a little spunk too! My favorite part of our days were when we had some one-on-one time in the afternoons while Emmy was napping. You would just sit in my lap and we'd look at each other. I'd talk and you were so intent on what I was saying...I couldn't take my eyes off you! Plus, you were starting to get a little chub on you and it was too cute! The hardest part of this month was that we decided to move to formula only. I had a really hard time with it, but you had quit nursing and I was spending so much time pumping that I was missing out on precious time with you. While it was definitely hard at the time, looking back I can see how God used it for good and we're just so thankful you're heathy!!

Month four was such a big month for you!! The most glorious part was that you started sleeping through the night! We were all so excited and proud of you. And you were a wonderful napper too, so that was great! You were also really getting after playing with all your toys! You watched your big sister SO carefully and I think you just wanted to be big like her. Of course, EVERYTHING started going straight into your mouth this month too ;). But your biggest accomplishment of the month was rolling over. Of course your daddy and I were so proud of you, but your biggest cheerleader of all was Emmy. She would get SO excited and clap for you every time you did it :).

During month five, I began realized just how quickly your first year was flying by!!! You weren't a newborn anymore and you were starting to look so big!! I kept telling you to slow down, but it wasn't working ;). My favorite thing that happened this month was that you FINALLY started liking bath time. Up until now, it was a battle everyt ime we got you near the water. We always felt SO bad, but assured you that you really did need to get clean. Ha! So we were thrilled when you decided that it wasn't so bad after all. And if I knew then how much you love bath time NOW, I wouldn't have ever worried ;). You received your first haircut, courtesy of Meme, because you had a crazy long cowlick in the back...but daddy missed it once it was gone! And daddy's favorite part of the month was getting to feed you rice cereal!! He waited so patiently until you were ready and y'all had a good 'ole time. Oh, he loves you so!

Month six meant you were already 1/2 year old and we couldn't believe it!! You were such a little delight, so fun, so happy and super cute ;). When we had a few rough days in there, we were wondering what happened to our sweet girl, then out popped two little beautiful teeth and you were happy once again! In fact, we always talked about how you smile with your entire body!! But my very favorite thing about this month was watching you JUMP! You were SO into jumping and got SO excited about it! And the funniest part was that you were very obviously trying to show out for your big sister. Anytime she was near, you would stare her down until she looked at you and then show her your little trick. It was precious!!

Your seventh month was full of very big-girl things!! You were finally sitting up by yourself and loved the new view! But we could tell that you were anxious to be on the move with your big sister! We also started feeding you some fruits and veggies...and you were always one to let us know if you didn't like something...definitely a tad picky ;). But the biggest thing you did was spending your first weekend away from mommy and daddy! Of course Emmy was with you, but you were SO big to spend that weekend at Gigi and Gebos without us. We missed you SO very much, but it was a good time for everyone. And the best part was the HUGE smiles and hugs you gave when we got back...especially for mommy ;).

During month eight, we went on your very first beach vacation! You were SUCH a trooper and loved swimming and splashing the day away. I remember feeling a little bad for you that all the kiddos were bigger than you, but you certainly didn't seem to just watched them closely and we could tell you were going to crawl after them just any day! But my favorite memory from this month was your dedication at church. We are so blessed to be a part of a group of believers that commits to growing our kiddos in a way that will impact the Kingdom of God. Your daddy and I promised to follow God's leading in nurturing and growing your little life. We cannot wait for the day that you choose to follow Him and can't wait to see how He will use you!

You were movin' and groovin' during month nine!! Sure enough, you started crawling and things got WAY exciting around here. Almost as soon as you figured out how to crawl, you were also pulling up, cruising around the place and climbing up the stairs!! And if we weren't careful about closing the gate, you'd be headed upstairs in a hurry. It was SO funny to watch you and Emmy play "chase" and you would just squeal when she came after you! Watching you two interact would just melt my heart! You obviously adore her and she adores you too...and she even started getting a little jealous of you this month with all your new independence and attention ;).

I absolutely LOVED month ten because you started talking! I just loved watching the wheels turning in your head as you worked so hard to express yourself. Your first official word was "bye bye", which you actually dropped pretty soon after (don't worry, it's back!). Each time you started using a new word, we would be so proud and Emmy would practically throw you a party ;). One sad part of this month is how much you did NOT like being separated from us for church or even to go with someone you knew. You've always been a bit of a mama's girl (I totally LOVE that!) but it got pretty bad this month and it was heartbreaking to hear you cry as we left. I know it will get better, but that was not fun.

You've always been a ham, but we REALLY noticed it during month eleven! One of your favorite games to play was "copy Emmy" at dinner time. If she made a silly noise, so did you. And if you did something silly, she liked to return the favor! It's actually VERY funny, but sometimes you two get a little too wound up! By the end of this month, you were up to six teeth and you absolutely LOVED brushing them. You'd actually cry when I had to take the toothbrush away ;). You were still a little uneasy about standing or walking on your own, but you loved pushing things to practice walking. And you traded in your paci for your thumb. Oh well, at least we don't have to worry about losing it!

This past month leading up to your birthday has been so bittersweet! While I am LOVING all the fun new things you are doing and watching you learn so much, it's really hard for me to believe we're already here! You are definitely learning SO much every single day! You learn new words and do funny new things all the time. One of your favorite things right now is giving kisses...especially to your big sister. It melts my heart! And you LOVE having one of us catch you climbing the stairs. You'll go up a few and then turn around and wait for someone to catch you. Little stinker! You are a feisty one for sure and you keep us on our toes!! In fact, a certain little one-year-old may have even thrown her fair share of fits lately. I'm sure it doesn't help to see another certain little three-year-old do some of that herself ;). Daddy and I LOVE how personable you are! You are constantly trying to make us laugh. The latest trick you use is giving us the "stink eye". It kills your daddy every time!

And today is your big 1st BIRTHDAY!!! I know that as we go through the day, I will be remembering back to last year, what we were doing every second of that day and what an incredible day that was! But I'll also be thinking about all the wonderful days in between...every day just gets better and better ;). We are immeasurably blessed by you and we love you so much, Hayden. Have a Happy 1st Birthday!