Excuse me while I get a few things off my chest and pour my heart out…
+ I know she has to grow up. It’s obviously unrealistic of me to think she’s going to stay this little forever, but some moments I just wish time could stand still so she could be my little baby always. She climbed up on me today and started giving me kisses, totally out of the blue. I think I felt my heart explode into a million pieces.
+ She has two little “tic-tac” teeth popping out on the bottom of her mouth, and we can see the beginnings of a third tooth ready to sprout on top. Already, her toothless, gummy smile is gone.
+ She’s also on the verge of taking off; I have a feeling she may skip walking all together and just go for a run one day. She’ll take about eight steps and then plop down on her tush and speed crawl all around. On one hand, I’m excited for her to walk; it’s such a fantastic milestone, but the other hand knows that that’s it. Once she’s walking, she’s walking. Bye-bye crawling, hello training for a marathon.
+ This little girl, man, she’s stolen my heart. She gives me kisses and smiles at me with her perfect little tic-tac, toothy mouth, and she babbles words that only her dad and I can barely understand. I’ll give her the sign for “milk” and she practically flies away because flaps her arms so much, expressing her excitement.
+ Speaking of milk, breastfeeding is going better than I ever, ever, could have imagined. I wish I could go back to myself 11 months ago and give me a hug, and let me know that all the pain, frustration, and hopelessness I felt would all turn around. I treasure our nursing times together. My favorite session is the very first one in the morning, because she’s usually still in that sleepy zone and she’ll let me snuggle her (unlike in the middle of the day when she does baby gymnastics on my body while also attached to my boob). I also like her bedtime feeding, because I can physically feel her little body relax and get sleepy.
+ Her room is dark during those two feedings, which helps with the relaxation, so she always feels for my face with her little hands. Her hands, by the way, are pretty much my favorite—always have been, since day one. I know everyone gets all goo-goo ga-ga over baby feet, but I’m all about the hands. They’re so exploratory and so soft and tender. I love them to pieces and I love how little and perfect they are. (This could be the baby glass of margarita talking right now, but…) I also love how her hands smell. They smell like Julia. Sweet, sweet Julia.
+ I love that she’s infatuated with me. I’m her person and she’s mine. Her sloppy, open mouth kisses fill my heart 10 times over, and when she (unknowingly at this point) cuddles with me or stays put on my lap for more than 10 seconds during the day, I cherish it and savor the moment.
+ I’m doing my best to give her my all—to put down the cell phone when she’s near me and to stay off my computer (and close the lid since she likes to “type” on it), because I want her to remember that I was actively paying attention to her instead of having my face glow from the screen. It’s easier said than done sometimes, of course, but I do my best
+ Basically, I could sum up everything I said above and everything trapped inside my heart, with this video below. In all honesty, I wish I wrote it, because it’s perfect and exactly how I feel. I’m actually tempted to copy down the words and include it in her baby book.
+ Love. Big, fat, ugly cry, love.