Dear Evelyn, (also known as my ONE YEAR OLD DAUGHTER. GAH.)
You may recall (or not) that your first birthday was on Friday. This was largely the reason we went to visit Elko last weekend. The prospect of celebrating such a huge milestone in not only your life but in ours as well here alone at home with just a store-bought cake between the lot of us was just plain depressing. You know, because we have no friends.
I think it’s the leprosy.
We emerged from the cozy cocoon of our abode and ventured forth to a foreign land (Elko) to break bread with our family there and I’m so glad we did. Not only was it nice to see and hang out with everyone there, it was nice to get away from home and the rigors of daily life (otherwise known as your brother Liam… not that he wasn’t there but that dealing with him in a new environment was… refreshing).
You were darned cute in your birthday outfit that I worked so hard to scrape together. Though I wager you could have worn a paper sack and been just as adorable. I think it’s that dimple in your cheek. It makes you instantly edible. You were the center of attention and not jut because it was your birthday (though I’m sure that helped), but because you just flourished under the attention. You would play shy, covering your eyes with your fists or turning into my shoulder, but it wouldn’t be long before you would flash your dimple and smile with your pearly white teeth and hearts were broken all over.
You had a great time at your party. You got to eat pizza for the first time and it was a huge hit. Though we do have to work on either a) me cutting you smaller pieces or b) you actually chewing and swallowing one piece at a time or c) both because you also had a great time gagging on the pizza and giving your poor mother a heart attack.
Yet again you enjoyed being the absolute center of attention and enjoyed everyone’s reactions more than you enjoyed your first taste of chocolate cake. I think this can’t possibly bode well for us in the future. I am thinking I should enjoy your rather silent nature now, while it lasts. Though you’re not entirely silent. You are saying a few words, FAR sooner than either of the boys. It all started with “pretty” and has expanded steadily since. What can I say? You’re a smart girl.
You have a great appetite, which is a refreshing change after Liam. In fact, there are times I have to remind myself to let you try something new instead of writing if off like I have gotten used to with him. Food you love: cheese puffs (the Gerber variety), graham crackers, McDonald’s apple pie, belgian waffles and yogurt melts. Though, honestly, you’ll pretty much try everything. Now if only we could convince you to try to drink out of a cup! Right now, anything plastic is strictly verboten. I’m hoping this will change soon. Not that I am especially looking forwad to when you wean, but that it would be nice to have other options for getting liquid in your body.
You finally got some toys that are YOURS for your birthday. Most of them are obnoxiously pink/girly, in hopes that this will encourage Liam to leave them alone and let you play with them. So far, it’s not working. He’s a huge fan of your stroller/walker and often sets his dolphin and cup in it to take them for a spin. But on the occasions that your naps do not overlap too much, I make sure you have a good opportunity to play around on the floor with ALL the toys, not just the ones that are specifically yours. And I rest assured in the knowledge that some day you will be as big or bigger than Liam is and will be able to stand up for yourself a little better. At least, I hope so. Don’t be a doormat, my love. Don’t let that bully walk all over you. From what I’ve seen of your spirit so far, I don’t think I need to worry.
You do tend towards dramatics from time to time, when the boys would not. But so far, you generally always have a good reason for melting down; tired, hungry, smacked in the head by your jerk of a brother, etc. For the most part though, you are very easy going and I never worry about taking you somewhere with me. You did very well in Elko and while you would not stay in your pack n’ play all night, you don’t stay in your crib all night here either so I wasn’t expecting that. You would nap there quite happily though and never seemed nervous or scared of the new and different surroundings. I’m thinking this trait will come in handy this summer when we travel to Florida. I’m already breaking out in hives just thinking about it.
All that said, I still can’t believe how lucky I am to have you. I always knew I wanted a daughter but I never knew just how special and wonderful it could be to have a girl in my life. I’m really looking forward to the years ahead and what new things you will learn and do. I hope we can always be close. I hope you don’t hate me too much when you get to be a teenager.
Happy Birthday, sweet girl. You are precious to me.