One–New York, NY

SarahGreigPhotography_stomp_0914We’ve got a newly minted one-year-old in the house this week. And I’m celebrating with some thoughts on the craziest year of my life thus far. Pop the bubbly, because we barely made it…but we did!

FEG,

You are one! Looking back on the last year, I think Charles Dickens may have put it best when he wrote: “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times…It was the season of light. It was the season of darkness.” Dramatic? Maybe, but also true.

You arrived into the world in a hurry at sunrise on Saturday, September 27th. We left our apartment at 3am–thanks to my dear friend Kate, who left her own babies and arrived via taxi to stay with our sleeping 3 year old. We got to the hospital barely in time for me to get an epidural (but plenty of time for watching the Ryder Cup live on tv!) and a few hours later, you entered the world. At first, everything seemed good–you were almost 2 lbs more than your sister was when she arrived–you clocked in at a healthy 7 lb 6 oz. You seemed to latch and actually show an interest in breastfeeding–amen! The only thing that shook us was that you were a girl. A girl? We thought for certain you were going to be a boy. And so, as I wrote about last year, we agonized over a name for you. My stomach hurt from our indecision. For THREE days. We finally found one that felt thoughtful and right…until the health insurance rep on the phone commented “oh! Like Pha-rrell, the singer!” Yes, exactly like the singer.

It’s a long detailed story for another post, but you just didn’t thrive when you got home. We were all pretty miserable. You were always hungry but had trouble gaining any weight, and you threw up a lot of feedings. Even when I look back at photos of you from age 2-6 weeks, you just look sad. At six weeks old, they figured out why–you had pyloric stenosis (which I had suspected from my overzealous googling at 3am while on the breast pump) and needed emergency surgery to repair your stomach. They took over 26 hours to operate on you in the emergency room (I use that term loosely), and didn’t allow you to eat anything during the unending wait. The experience at the hospital was nothing short of hell. Who allows an infant needing emergency surgery to wait for over a full day without food? I can still hear your horrible hungry screams, wondering why we wouldn’t feed you. When we finally made it home, your recovery was slow, as you still threw up until your stomach healed. We lived in a tired fog and just put one foot in front of the other and limped through to Christmas.

But in 2015, you really came into your own. Your bright blue eyes gained a sparkle as you felt better and started to explore your world. By early spring, you were crawling at lightning speed, (much earlier than your sister did, but whose keeping track?!), and two days before your first birthday, you got up and just starting walking. I guess you realized that it was time.

We have loved watching you grow over the last year as you have brought a joyful, wild energy to our home. Here are a few observations as you reach your first birthday:

-You are a hurricane–no toy bin, pile of folded laundry, wallet, bookcase, stack of files, or open diaper bag are safe in your wake of destruction. You can gleefully clear a coffee table of its contents faster than I can say NO! In 30 seconds you can undo 30 minutes of cleanup. And you do it all with a big smile.

-You are curious. You are determined. Put these together and you get…destruction! See above.

-You love to laugh and play with your big sister–even when “playing” means getting knocked over or smothered. The sheer delight on your face when you see Callahan first thing in the morning or just after school is heart melting.

-You are adaptable. You still don’t have a bedroom. Or a real crib. You spent your first eight months of life in a bassinet and then a mini-crib in the hallway. Unfortunately for us, you are above the 99th percentile for height, so now you sleep in a travel crib wedged in between our dressers…you’re a total New Yorker! And still, always a smile on your face!

-You have a scream that can melt the wax in our ears. Your grandma claims that’s a trait you inherited from me. Hello payback!

-You are not a snuggler, you never will be. You are much too busy to stop for that long in one place.

-You love to eat. In one sitting, you eat more than my seven strapping nieces and nephews do, combined. And you will try everything and ask for “maa”. In fact, you shriek at the top of your lungs if your food tray is empty.

-You’re a fighter. You didn’t have it easy in your first four months of life and yet you are always smiling, waving, and bringing cheer to everyone.

-You are fast. You can speed crawl to a dog bowl and fill your mouth with dog food in the blink of an eye. You giggle and make a break for any staircase that you can find and zip right up.

-You have more teeth than a barracuda–eating purees was a quick blip on your radar.

-You’re a monkey. You can Houdini yourself out of high chairs and strollers and voila! You’re standing on top of tables and couches with a very proud grin on your face.

-You’re very social, you will wave and smile at anyone and everyone. If we’re at a restaurant and we face your high chair away from the action or crowds to view, you will awkwardly turn yourself around so you can see everyone and wave.

You are a ham. You are adorable. You are ONE.
We love you. Happy Birthday. XO

SarahGreigPhotography_stomp_0919

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