It is January 3rd, 2014. All day long I have been looking at you with wonder, thinking, "where has the time gone? How is it possible that tomorrow you turn One year old!?". You. My Bitty baby. Child of my heart. Let your Mommy take a handful (or more) of moments to reflect on the past twelve months...
Your due date changed a number of times but you were expected around January 22nd. Papi and I debated about when to get tickets to Louisiana. It was a fine balance between getting there before you were born but not too early. We had settled on January 10th as being a good date. Hartly and I had been adding stickers to our countdown-till-Baby-Tayo-arrived calendar.
Our excitement and anticipation was soon to be bubbling over as the day grew closer.
January 3rd I received a text message late in the evening - your Birth Mom said she thought you would be arriving soon but she was not sure yet... I had been watching tv downstairs and your dad was upstairs working. I think I simultaneously squealed and lost my breath at the same time. I also believe that I reacted like a dog, chasing my own tail as I stood and circled myself trying to figure out what to do first. I tripped on the office stairs and collapsed, half laughing half crying as I tried to call out to your Papi that it appeared as though you were getting ready to make your journey. Papi madly looked at tickets as I threw clothes in a bag. There were no flights out that night and we were not even sure if you were really on your way so we left the phone on loud and tried to get sleep (truth be told, very little was had).
The next morning I got a text that declared your Birth Mama was on the way to the hospital. We woke up your brother
and we all hopped in a cab. Papi bought airplane tickets on our way to the airport. It was the longest flight of my life.
When we landed, the boys stayed back to get our rental car. I flew out of the airport and into a taxi. We found out upon landing that you had already arrived (little stinker came fast). I was beyond ready to have you in my arms.
When I walked into your hospital bedroom, your were wrapped up snug as a bug in your little hospital crib. My eyes met your Birth Mother's and she nodded for me to go ahead and pick you up.
Regardless of the situation, you need to know that she loved you all through her pregnancy, she loved you after you were born, and she will love you until her last breath. This I know to be true.
I leaned over and immediately my eyes filled with tears. You were just so tiny and just so perfect. I held you to my chest and I whispered that I loved you and that I had been waiting for you...
When Papi and Hartly arrived a little later you were in my arms in a chair by the window. Hartly was in Papi's arms half asleep when Papi asked him if he wanted to meet his baby brother... Hartly rubbed his eyes and he turned around, straining to catch a glimpse of you. The smile that lit up his face as his eyes came to rest on you is one that I will never forget and is nearly impossible to describe. He wiggled free of Papi's arms and approached me without taking his eyes off of you. Moments later, you were in his arms. Never before and I doubt ever again, will I witness a happier two year old.
We spent two weeks in Louisiana waiting on papers to be signed and documents completed. Grandpa and Grandma Jinky visited and fell in love instantly too. I'm convinced that it is impossible to meet you and not fall instantly in love. I suppose I am biased though.
A year ago. This all happened a year ago. Unbelievable.
You're such an Itty Bitty
That is a song that Hartly and I often sing to you. And while you will always be my Itty Bitty, you certainly have grown since I first held you in my arms.
In a year, what have I learned about my Itty Bitty:
I have learned that you are a snuggler. You love hugs and cuddles and affection. You love being worn and you love being held. You love kisses and slurberts and squeezes. You are affection and loving. You mostly crave this love from your Mommy and Papi and brother but you are happy to give love to mostly anyone who looks like they would enjoy a cuddle from an adorable baby. You have leaned out of my arms to go into stranger's arms at the grocery store, in the metro, in church, on an airplane and anywhere else you feel as though someone is looking in your direction. You don't stay too long in their arms before reaching back for me but you have no stranger danger at all. You are social and very loving. You love people and they love you.
I have learned that you are ticklish just about everywhere. You squeal and giggle when I touch your toes, tummy, thighs, armpits, and neck. It is a jolly and loud squeal with loads of giggles and squirming to follow.
I have learned that you are incredibly physically strong and capable. From day 1 your neck never wobbled. You rolled over, both ways, by week 9. At 5 months you were crawling and by 7 months you could pull yourself up to standing. It took you just 2 months to complete ISR swim classes. You were able to fall in a pool, roll over and float, all unassisted by 10 months. And you took your first bunch of solo steps before you were even 11 months old. And today, today you have mastered walking. You can walk all the way across the room and turn around and walk back, full of confidence. You can bend over, mid walking, to pick up an object without falling over. You are able to push yourself up to standing, with no assistance and you can carry things around the room as you walk.
I have learned that you are silly and have a great sense of humor. You will often hold objects out to Hartly and when he reaches for them, you pull your arm away and giggle in delight. You make funny noises with your mouth to entertain us and you love to play peekaboo.
I have learned that you are very bright and a quick learner. As you lay asleep on this the eve of your first birthday, you already can sign 20 words:
(your made up sign for) Tayo
You also have a handful of spoken words:
Hi (occasionally, as clear as day)
I have learned that, so far, you are not very patient. It is not easy for you to wait and you scream (really loudly) when bites of food are not fed fast enough to you. We liken it to a pterodactyl. You do not like the carseat and you are not keen on the potty... yet. You knock food out of our hands (and all over the room) if it is not to your liking. You also pinch when Mommy or Papi is close by and not paying enough attention to you and you love to knock over your brother's towers and destroy his train tracks.
You are a few hours shy of one year and you have already completely and totally invaded our hearts and souls and you live inside of us and are a part of every breath we take. Life without you in it and in my arms is unimaginable. I've loved you since before you were born and I will love you until my last breath. Happy Birthday my Itty Bitty Tayo Paco (and Papi's Taco). We love, love, love you!