Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dear my one year old,

My dear, sweet Maddy Jo Bean. I can't believe you turn one year old today. It doesn't seem possible that an entire year has passed since you came into our lives. This first year of your life has been a crazy, emotional, awesome adventure and I wouldn't change a thing! You've taught me so much about myself, and through being your mommy I've been forever changed.

You've always known who you were. Your personality hasn't really changed since you were born. You're generally a happy, easy going baby, but if you're upset you make sure everyone within earshot knows it. There were those first few weeks where you were "colicky", but looking back it only lasted for a short period of time, and you've been my sweet Bean since. (Our lactation consultant, Tiffanie, reminded me once during an emotional break down - of mine - that you had a rough entrance into this world and thus had a story to tell. She told me to let you tell your story, and remind you that I was there for you. That I was sorry you were upset, but that I loved you. You did have a bit of a rough entrance into the world, and it helped for me to remind myself of that when you'd be inconsolable for hours every night.) Your emotional outbursts are getting fewer and farther between now that you've learned some sign language. Communication is key, and when you can't communicate what it is that you want or need you get frustrated. However, now that you're a Big-Girl-Bean your outbursts are getting more dramatic - and more amusing. You throw your head back, sometimes you cover your mouth with both hands, sometimes you cover your eyes. Sometimes you toddle over to me, crying, put your head on my shoulder and when I kiss you or pat your back you pull away, look me straight in my eyes and make your saddest face and start crying harder. As if you REALLY want me to know that you're REALLY upset. haha.

You've always been a Daddy's Girl and that hasn't changed. Since your Daddy works he gets a fabulous Welcome Home greeting every evening. I know it warms my heart to see you SO happy and excited to see him come in the door - I can only imagine how it makes him feel. When he comes in the door it's like no one else is in the room. I hope that never changes. I hope you're always a Daddy's Girl because your Daddy really is great and he loves you so so so much!

The days leading up to your birthday had me a bit emotional. My thoughts were, "if this year has flown by THIS fast, how fast will the next 17 go?!" I feel like I can't blink or I'll miss something new and wonderful that you're doing. You started walking about 3 weeks ago and the list of things you can do increases by leaps and bounds every day! My favorite thing you do, now, is watching you stand up, look over your shoulder at me, giggle and then start running away from me. When I get up and start to "chase" you you start to laugh and squeal in delight. I stomp after you in a dramatic, slow motion style and you just scream and laugh and I can't get enough! When either you trip and fall or when I "catch" you and you tumble to the ground I "tickle attack" you and you laugh sssooo loud. I wish I could bottle your sweet baby laughter. I know, for a fact, that the sweet sound could cheer up the saddest of days.

I feel so lucky to have been able to stay home with you and look forward to our future. As you get bigger we'll be able to have more out-of-the-house adventures, but until then I'm happy to be home with you, reading, dancing, singing and playing.

Happy 1st Birthday Madeline Jo. I love you more than I could ever express.

7lbs 3oz 1 day old

18lbs 12oz 1 year old

Monday, August 8, 2011

Madeline's 1st birthday party

What the world? I can't believe my kid is going to be ONE YEAR OLD tomorrow! We had her birthday party this last Saturday so that my family who was visiting from Florida and my mom could attend. Many people say that first birthday parties are just for the parents, that they're no big deal, but for me it was more than that. I was excited to plan my daughter's very first birthday party. I've never planned a party before for myself or anyone else, but I wanted to plan out something special for my girl. I liked looking through Pinterest to get ideas about a theme, decorations, food, cake, etc. I liked going to Hobby Lobby to get the supplies to make the decorations and the cake. I liked making pennants for the "Happy 1st Birthday" banner. I liked making cakepops for the first time. I really enjoyed making my girl's first birthday something special.

Next year, I'm hoping she'll (we'll) have friends from playgroups, library story time, Cool Beans Playhouse or where ever, so that I can also plan games and party favors too. I've already been looking through Pinterest for party ideas for the future. In a few years she'll be jumping up and down shrieking that she wants a Fancy Nancy party, or whatever it is that she thinks is cool when she's 6 years old, but until then I'm going to plan - and execute - awesome parties to the best of my ability. And I'll take a ton of pictures so she can look back and see what awesome parties she's had.

Her FIRST birthday party had a Watermelon/Picnic theme:
My mom made Madeline's adorable watermelon dress

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My heart breaks

I'll never, ever, understand why good women have to go through such insurmountable pain from the loss of their child. I'll never, ever, understand why unborn babies have to die. I'll never, ever, understand why good, loving women who want nothing more to have a child have fertility problems.

I obviously get the science of it. Sometimes there are genetic issues, sometimes there are unforeseen health problems, sometimes something unexplainable goes wrong. But it doesn't make it hurt less. I'm not someone with strong enough religious convictions to find comfort in the thought that "God has a plan for them." It may be true, but it doesn't make me feel better. It doesn't make me less angry for the mothers, or sad for the babies.

In 5 days 4 of my friends have lost their babies. Two of them were in their first trimester, one was in her second trimester, and one was 4 days from her due date. I know life isn't fair, but this takes the cake. All of these babies were wanted, loved, and looked forward to. Their mothers had dreams for their futures, and it's not fair that their dreams got ripped away from them.

I wish for a day that this kind of pain no longer exists for my friends or any other mothers. My heart goes out to my friends, I wish I could take your pain away. :( Rest in Peace Baby Aiden, Baby R, Baby N #4 and Baby Rory.