Just as every Mom says when their child's 1st birthday comes around - "I can't believe you are 1 year old already!" This past year has been everything that I hoped it would be and more. I never knew that I could love anyone as much as I love you. The weeks before you were born, I kept thinking about what it would be like that first time that I saw you and got to hold you. I remember the nurses, the doctor, and your Daddy all telling me to open my eyes during that last push or two because I was about to meet my baby girl. The nurses plopped you on my chest and you stared back at me with those big blue eyes. It truly was love at first sight - just like I had hoped. When I look back at those first few photos of you, I still see that same sweet baby face and those big blue eyes 1 year later. The first few weeks you were born, I was worried that I would forget those first few moments so I kept playing them over in my mind just in case. I didn't take me long to realize that no matter how many amazing moments we share as mother and daughter that nothing will replace that first moment.
"No one will ever know
the strength of my love for you.
After all, you're the only one who knows
what my heart sounds like from the inside."
From the moment you entered this world, you were trying to be an overachiever. Just as I was prompting your Dad to support your head as he was holding you over his shoulder for the first time, you turned your head and looked at me as if you were saying, "Please Mom - I've got this." Everyone was impressed with how alert you were from the get-go and that has continued as you have gotten older. You are always surveying your surroundings, looking for familiar faces, and planning your next move. You often furrow that brow of yours so that everyone knows that you are doing some serious thinking. It didn't take long for us to realize that you didn't want to be cradled like a baby unless you were nursing. You wanted to be upright, facing the world, and part of the action! A girl after her mother's heart.
Many people ask what my favorite age or stage was and it's truly hard to say. Every stage has been fun for different reasons. During those first few weeks, I loved how you would sleep on my chest at various times throughout the day. During those first two months, I loved how you could spend long stretches of time on your changing table kicking your legs, failing your arms, and looking around the room. Once I went back to work, I loved how you would smile the moment that our eyes met when I came to pick you up. Once you started moving around, I loved the way you used to clap for yourself when you sat up on your own. Once you started eating food, I loved how you growled for peas and still in fact love them to this day. Once you started crawling, I loved to see your determination to get where you wanted and what you wanted. Once you started pulling up and cruising around, I loved how you would get up on your tippy toes to try to see what was even higher. Even now, I love how you reach your chubby little starfish-like fingers to touch someone face to show them that you recognize them. After you're done nursing at night, I love the way you put your hand under chin as I rock you to sleep. At one year old, you are big time and have lots of tricks! You give high fives (a fan favorite), dance to music, feed yourself, hold your own bottle, drink from a sippy cup, play with other kids, wave, and say "Bye Bye." Looking at you now, it's hard to imagine that you started off a 7 pound little baby with skinny legs and no hair. That sweet baby face now has 7 little teeth that enhance your sweet smile, a full head of blonde hair that wants to curl in the back, and some strong legs.
It's important for you to know that even when it was hard that I still love you. When nursing hurt so bad every time I had to feed you, I loved you. When nursing would take so long because we were both trying to figure it out, I loved you. When you reach for your daycare teacher with a smile on your face when I drop you off, I loved you. When you cut all 6 teeth during your ninth month and stopped sleeping thru the night, I loved you. In the wee hours of the morning when you are crying simply because you missed me, I loved you. When you pull my hair to the point that I think I'll have a bald spot, I loved you. When you throw a temper tantrum because I won't let you eat Piper's dog food, I loved you.
The expectations I had of what you would be like before you were born have been exceeded. You are the most amazing miracle that I've ever known. God Bless my sweet, funny, sneaky, dramatic, beautiful, loving, and smart Eloise. I can't wait to see what this next year will bring. The day you were born will forever be the happiest day of my life.
Happy Birthday 1st Birthday....
Eloise Joy Kalins
Eloisa Misa Bisa Chisa Risa