My dearest Olive,
Today you are one, and there’s so much I want to remember about this most incredible year of our lives – I say ours, because it’s not just me who you have this effect on, it’s everyone you meet and even people you’ve never met. You see, you have this uncanny way of making people fall in love with you, even if it’s just through pictures and videos.
Olive, you are the definition of sweetheart – you have THE sweetest heart. In fact, Daddy, Ginny, and I feel so strongly about this that we even call you “Sweetie Olive.”
I couldn’t possibly document your first year with the justice it deserves, but I’ll give you some of the highlights.
For the first few months of your life, you slept like a champ (now Daddy gets special time with you in the night when you wake). No one is more delighted than you to wake up – since you were born, you’d wake up sweetly cooing, then you’d sit up, smile, and babble, and now that you’re older, you “talk” to your baby doll and laugh. Your morning energy and sweetness makes any exhaustion melt away.
Happy 1st birthday, Olive
I had no clue why everyone warned us about the adjustment going from one to two kids because you were the most natural part of our family that we didn’t even know we were missing; you made it all so simple. It was like, well of course you are here, you were here all along, weren’t you? That’s what it felt like. I think you were always in my soul, waiting for the right time to join us.
You never cried or fussed except for a moment because you were sleepy. You fell deeply into your role as a little sister, delightfully so, and you cherished Ginny from the moment she visited you in the hospital.
You’re in a hurry to grow up and keep up with your big sister.
After a month, you rolled over. The other moms at the library play area commented on how they loved their babes being 5 months because they weren’t mobile – meanwhile, 5-month you were crawling all over, pulling yourself up to the train table. You walked at 9 months, started climbing the bathroom stool to brush your teeth and maneuvered over the baby gate at 11 months. I was sad that you refused to nurse before a year, but I swear it’s because as the independent woman that you are, you just couldn’t be bothered by being tethered to me for sustenance.
You love prayers, ABC’s, and The Itsy Bitsy Spider – you even do the hand motions. Teddy was your first kiss – you pursued him fiercely until he succumbed and participated in the affection. You love being a mop head and rip out your pony tail at every chance you get.
You just make me smile and laugh. All. The. Time. Here are some faces that just get me.
You always love to be under things – while most babies enjoy being in the exersaucer, you preferred sitting under it. You love music, dancing, and if you feel sleepy or tired from playing, you simply lay down wherever you are, whether it’s the cold, tile kitchen floor or under the coffee table.
I’m convinced nobody in the world loves affection as much as you do – you give sweet (often passionate) kisses that comes from your soul, and you often can’t stop yourself from puckering for 20 minutes straight, giving kisses to Ginny especially. You have a whole family of baby dolls and love each and every one like they were your own – you say, “baby,” give your sweet face, say “aww,” and pat her on the back.
As you’ve grown, you’ve kept the sweet factor and added the stinker factor, a truly winning combination. For as pure and loving as you are, you’re just as innocently naughty – you want to play with whatever you’re not meant to. If you had it your way, you would play with electrical outlets, phone chargers, plastic bags, and dishwasher tablets all day.
You now say puppy and pant (with your tongue out) and woof when you see dogs…and any other four-legged animal.
You vehemently shake your head “no” at all the appropriate (and often comedic) times and have always had too many rolls to count. People are astounded that your sturdy, marshmallow-filled body is as strong as it is, but you’ve always been strong. As a small baby you could lift straight up from a laying position with your core strength only.
You love spending time with your cousins, aunt, uncles, and grandparents. You brought Grandma Ginny smiles she needed when you were first born when she was bedridden, and before Grandpa John passed, you two loved each other very much. He would squish your legs, hold you and comment on what a healthy girl you were, do his “goo goo gaa gaa” pretend baby voice, and always talked about how smart, pretty, and advanced you were. Though his eyesight wasn’t great, he always had his eye on you in a protective way, would play with you, and loved to say how you crawled just as a baby should.
Your strength and love are things I admire in you every day. I could kiss your cheeks over and over forever and never tire of their magnificent fluff. You are just exactly what a baby should be, and I’m thankful you chose me to carry you in my belly and complete our family.
The only way I can describe how much I adore you is that I wish I could crawl into you and just love you from the inside out– I realize that sounds totally insane but maybe parents can relate.
You’re the perfect little dough ball for cuddles, and on one hand, I can’t believe it’s been a year since you graced the world with your life and on the other hand can’t remember life without you.