Happy Birthday, beautiful girl! You’re a whole year old. Just think…only 20 more to go before you can buy vodka ALL BY YOURSELF. Goals are important; remember that.
I just returned from my trip to NC for your birthday party. It was a total blast. There was family and presents and fried chicken and CAKE! Oh, the cake! It was your first taste of sugar and let me tell you, BOY, are you a Katana. You took to that cake like a duck takes to water; diving right in!
I unfortunately have only seen you four times in the first year of your life. I met you for the first time at your baptism when you were about six weeks old. Basically, you were a lump who cried and ate and slept and pooped. Don’t worry, though…you were an adorable little lump. I stayed awake three nights in a row to feed you every 2-3 hours so to give my sister a much needed break. They were easily three of the most horrible nights of my life. But whenever I picked you up from that crib and cradled you while you sucked the bottle’s nipple, I forgot about my exhaustion and became captivated by your little sucking lips and heavy eyelids.
The next time I saw you was at Christmas, at five months old. You were already such a curious little thing. Any time someone walked into the room you HAD to see who was there and fussed until we turned you so that you could see. You liked to watch people and you loved when I blew raspberries on your tummy.
In April when you were about nine months old, your mommy and daddy brought you to visit New York. And me. You were still very curious and such an active baby. You loved playing with all the toys at FAO Schwartz and we bought you three new toys from the store. The first was a little blue elephant. We all thought it was adorable how much you seemed to love this elephant. We couldn’t tear it out of your hands the whole time we were in the store. Any time we tried to show you something else, you gave it a look like, “Yeah, yeah, ok. I see the stuffed dog. Very nice.” But the blue elephant seemed to be IT. Regardless, we bought you a jack in the box Curious George toy and a teddy bear with an FAO Schwartz t-shirt. You showed little to no interest in the teddy bear, but we wanted you to have something with the toy store’s logo. As soon as we got to the hotel and cut the tags off, you no longer had an interest in the elephant. Apparently without the flavor of cardboard and ink, it was a dull toy. The teddy bear, however, has since turned into your absolute favorite toy. His name is Eddie. That’s right, Eddie the Teddy.
Eddie the Teddy is INVALUABLE in your house. You may not know this yet, but you are quite the high maintenance baby. And Eddie is your parents’ savior. He calms your tears and puts you to sleep and when you’re acting fussy, if we hand you Eddie, 9 out of 10 times, you will calm down. This most recent trip for your birthday was quite the eye opener. I love the little person you are becoming. When I first arrived, you went right to my mom—your Oma. Only, you don’t call her Oma; you say “YaYa” because when she says “Yeah, yeah” in conversations it sounds like “Ya, ya…” And she apparently says this a lot. And you love your YaYa. You smile and laugh for her and it takes a good 20 minutes before you’ll leave YaYa’s arms and go to anyone else. It’s as though YOU NEED YOUR YAYA TIME. You finally came to me for the first time since I had last seen you. You gave me a little smile, but then coyly dropped your head into Eddie’s neck. Then, peeking out from behind your teddy, you smiled and laughed.
Your smile, Adelynn, may just be the cutest thing I have ever seen. It’s crooked with teeth sticking out in several directions and your nose scrunches up to your eyebrows. I also love how much you enjoy looking at pictures of yourself. You’ll point to the photos and smile, and look back at all of us saying “Behbeh!” (That’s toddler language for “baby”)
You are learning words and sign language now too. When we are feeding you, we ask you to say and sign “more please” to which you say “Moh, moh” and press your fingertips together. However, if after you’ve asked politely, we don’t give you what you want, you scream. What a temper you have! If you’re not getting your way, we all better just plug our ears because OH MY GOD, THE SCREAMING. I think blood trickled out of my ears once because I wouldn’t allow you to snap my glasses in half. Oh, the injustice. I’m obviously a horrible aunt and totally don’t love you. So, you screamed. And—I’m sorry, did I mention the screaming?
You also love to read books. You can sit with several surrounding you and flip through the pages happily. And since you can’t read yet, of course, the books are usually upside down and the only words you can get out are DOG and DUCK and BABA and DUHDUHDUH! even though the book has no mention of dogs or ducks or duh’s.
This whole weekend, I tried to get you to say my name. I’d sit in your face as you were trying to watch Baby Einstein and I’d say, “Who am I? I’m Aunt Colleen!” over and over and over again until you—yes, you guessed it, screamed. But eventually, you started to get it. And once as we were playing with barnyard magnets, I asked you, “Adelynn, who am I?” And you answered: “Ayn CaCa.” Now…this is pretty close. But I’m really not a fan of being Aunt Poo Poo…so we’re all trying to change this into Aunt CoCo. Because if anyone knows me at all…Aunt Chocolate is WAY more appropriate than Aunt Poo Poo!
The last night I stayed with you this weekend, I woke up at around 2am and snuck into your bedroom to watch you sleep. I watched your chest rise and fall with each breath and loved to hear your life in the air. Adelynn, if there is a God…you are certainly proof that he or she exists.
I love you, baby girl.
::sigh:: Oh, fine. Aunt Caca.