Wednesday, October 2, 2013

One year young

It's been the sweetest, most rewarding and exhausting year of my life - my baby, who's now a big girl, turned one on Saturday. I still don't know that I have completed accepted the fact that the year went by so fast and that she is being Miss Independence already, but the dates don't lie.

I've been reflecting on this day well before it's come -- reminiscing on all the things I've learned, recalling all the special moments we've had and dreaming about everything that lies ahead. While I know this will be a list that I will probably want to add to, I wanted to at least start jotting down some of my learnings this past year--both as a reminder for me and maybe as a helpful list for others.

So here it goes: What I learned in your first year.
  • There is no user manual or step-by-step instructions. Books and Google can only get you so far, much of what you do is intuition and instinct. 
  • Parenthood is the most challenging, yet satisfying job I've ever had. There are no vacation days or days off.
  • Life will never be the same. I don't even remember what evenings and weekends consisted of before you were around. When I do remember (occasionally on Saturday nights ;)), I realize I wouldn't do a 'backsies' for the world.
  • I have not know what exhaustion truly is until I brought you home. Gone are the days of eight straight hours of sleep and restful Sundays. (I lie, I have my eight hours back now. Thank you, Dr. Ferber).
  • Time management. I always thought I was organized and could manage multiple projects well. Turns out I've gotten a lot better at it. If it needs to get done it will. If it needs to get done but really isn't necessary, it won't (until a later date).
  • Babies make messes. In their diapers. With their food. With anything they come into contact with. I stopped caring about cleaning these up and being grossed out about it. It's just a mess.
  • Eating healthy, balanced meals is important. I've always know that fruits and vegetables are good for you and should replace other more unhealthy options. Now that I'm focused on your growing body I've gotten much better at planning out nutrient-packed meals. Now if only you'd choose to eat them all the time.
  • There is never enough snuggle time, or too much of it. Squeezing you because I can, and giving you kisses whenever I want is important. Some day you'll hate it. I've got to bank it up while it lasts.
  • Sleep training works, and we should have done it sooner than we did. We are all happier with the improved sleep patterns this training (CIO) taught you. It may not work for everyone, or be everyone's preference, but it sure worked miracles for us.
  • Single moms are my heroes. Don't know how I could do everything I do without pm. It's hard enough sometimes without having family nearby.
  • Muffins make for a great cover up to feed you vegetables. I don't remember ever making so many muffins in my life.
  • A temperature of 101-102 with no symptoms is nothing to freak out about, or at least that is what the doctor on call will tell you. Even if you are "okay" I will still try to do anything and everything in my power to make sure you are comfortable and happy. Yes, I will sleep next to you by your crib holding your hand if it means you can sleep peacefully.
  • Having a pediatrician and nursing staff that is available for you when you need them (via phone and email) is priceless. I cannot even begin to count all the times I have saved myself a trip in the office for something very basic because of having these relationships.
  • If something hurts you, it hurts me 100x worse. This is why I make pm come with me when you have to get shots. I am getting better.
  • Don't freak out about milestones. So you don't roll over when other kids do, or crawl when others do. You'll do it eventually and no one will ever know. This was never the case for us, you just wanted to be mobile as soon as you could.
  • I have bragging rights. I can talk about how proud I am of you, all the fun things you do as much as someone will listen. Even when exhausted, I will never tire of talking about you.
  • No matter how big you get, you will always be my baby.
What am I missing? :)