Happy Birthday Austin!

Hi Baby,

Happy 1st Birthday to you!! I can’t believe that it’s been a full year that you’ve been here with us!! It feels like just yesterday, and at the same time, I can’t even remember life without you.

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With the turn of your first year, I’ve spent so much time reflecting on those early days when everything seemed completely and totally overwhelming and insurmountable, and like we would never “get it”. I remember the very first time that your Grandma and I took you to your first doctors appointment out of the house, and neither one of us could figure out how to open up your stroller for the first time, so we had to ask another pregnant lady in the parking lot how to do it. Your mama had a major meltdown in the car about that one, I felt like such a failure for you that day. It’s truly unbelievable to think about the two of us on that day, compared to now.

You have turned into such a cheeky little monkey, with the best little personality! You are such a busy little beaver, always on the move with somewhere to be or something to do. You are a total pro at standing up and cruising around on anything and everything now, and I know you’ll be walking ANY day (God help me). You also love to babble and you’ve started imitating a lot of the things that people say to you which is SO super funny. Right now, you love to make a noise that sounds a lot like “SHEESH”, which is hilarious because we say that a lot around our house, and you seem to have picked up on it! You have the biggest, deepest belly laugh too, and sometimes you get laughing so hard (usually at something your Dad is doing) that you literally fall over!

You’ve started daycare now my love, and it’s breaking your mama’s heart. I miss you so much when you go, and it just kills me when you have a sad moment there and I’m not there to make it better for you. I think all things considered, you are doing really well with the transition, but it definitely isn’t the easiest on either of us. I can’t believe how exhausted you are when you come home at the end of the day! That must mean that you are learning lots and having lots of fun.

You’ve been doing a lot better with your drinking water and orange juice (still not a milk boy), although you still don’t regularly drink from your cup. You do love your solid foods though, so I’m trying not to worry too much. I’m hoping that whenever you get a chance to read this letter, that you’ll laugh at your 1 year old self who SO steadfastly refused to drink anything!

We had about a week long birthday celebration for you, starting on Tuesday (your actual birthday) and finishing on Saturday with a family get together). Your Grandma Dianne was here at the house with us on your actual birthday, and it was such a nice, quiet night. You don’t love huge crowds or big scenes, so it was the perfect quiet environment for you to really let loose and enjoy the evening. You had THE funniest look on your face when your Dad brought your birthday cupcake and candle around the corner (ask me to see that video one day please – you will absolutely die laughing), and I will never forget the way your eyes were shining with delight. You weren’t a huge fan of the cupcake icing, but I don’t blame you, you’ve been eating pureed kale and peas for the past year, so it’s really no surprise that icing doesn’t taste good to you. It’s onwards and upwards in the food department from here, and I’m sure your 1 year + foods will be much better than the infant foods were!

Saturday’s get together was a ton of fun for all of us too. We kept it pretty small and just had our families, and your Auntie Lindsay and Lee here, but it was a bit of a mad house anyways with your Uncle Neil & Kaitlyn’s puppy Hayley and Auntie Lindsay’s and Lee’s new puppy Bennett! Oh my gosh, the puppies were so cute and funny together, and when we added you into the mix, it was so hilarious. You got a few good licks to the face! You were a bit tired by the end of this party, so your cake didn’t go over very well, but you had a bit more fun with the leftovers later on in the evening.

You have changed me in every way possible my love, all 100% for the better. I have so much more empathy now for people in all situations. I’m a little better at going with the flow, although I still do like things to be planned out whenever possible. My heart is full of about 1000x more love and appreciation for health and for life. I’ve never been more clear in my life on my priorities and what matters to me. I truly have you to thank for so much.

I am so, beyond proud of you and everything that you’ve accomplished this year. You’ve been such a good little baby, and although there have been a lot of really hard moments, when I look back at them now, none of them seem that bad at all. I would give just about anything to rewind and live this year over again; even the hard parts. I will hold dear to my heart and cherish the memories of our sleepy mornings, hours on your foam mat, endless driving around Burlington with Iced Capps, Mommy & Me classes, sing songs, silly faces, crazy antics around the house, diaper blowouts, and all the rest of it for all the days of my life.

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I am trying my best to channel my wistful sadness into excitement for all of the happy memories to come. I can’t even begin to imagine how much fun this year is going to be with you as a 1 year old, but I know first hand now, how fast time goes. So my promise to you going into your 2nd year, is to do my very best to not let the hard parts upset me, to roll with the punches and keep focused on the bigger picture (that’s YOU!), and to drink in all of the moments as they happen.

I love you now, I’ll love you forever and ever sweet baby. Happy 1st Birthday!

All my love,

-Your Mommy xo

PS Mark my words – the Leafs win the cup in 2019 😉

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