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Saturday, November 14, 2009

A First Birthday Letter to My Baby

Dear Kalle,

Your birthday was two weeks ago when our family was vacationing in Arizona but I really wanted to get this letter done so that I could treasure my memories of your babyhood. Also, you would be able to read this letter when you are older to get an idea of what you were like as a baby.

One year ago, you were born on All Hallow's Eve into a very busy family during the middle of my teaching semester. Then the next semester was even more busy and this current fall semester is my busiest yet. I feel bad for you for having a busy Mama but you are such an easygoing baby, going with the flow as long as you are on someone's hip. Because of your easygoing demeanor, you have been able to bond with Daddy and other people who care about you at such an early age. I look forward to a much lighter schedule for the upcoming spring semester so that I can spend more time playing with you and your brother. Oh, you think the world of your brother. You get so delighted when you see him and screech until he responds to you. Yes, you screech like a seagull. It's the funniest thing ever. When people hear you, they always look toward the sound with puzzled expressions and see a cute, chunky baby. I'm sure that they wonder how is it that a cutie-pie makes such a strange noise? But they forgive you after you flash them a gummy (and later, toothy) grin. Speaking of teeth, you now have four: two on the bottom and two on the top.

It is impossible to sum you up in a few words, much less an entire year of your babyhood. By the way, because you are not walking yet, you are still my baby. Once you start walking, I will accept the fact that you are well on your way to toddlerhood. Anyways, it amazes me that even with your easygoing personality, you do have a demanding side of you. Demanding feels like a negative word and at the moment I cannot think of another word to describe how you make sure people look at you, pay attention to you, and listen to your desires. When you want someone's attention, you screech until they look at you. When you want my attention while you are at my hip, you will lean forward in front of me until I look at you. It's the sweetest thing ever. As soon as I make eye contact with you, you give me your best pirate's face: squinty eyes but one more than the other and a wide toothy grin. Thus the reason for your name sign, 'X' with the tip of the finger tapping on the side of the face, near the eye. The handshape is the same handshape as the sign for FINLAND where your name is from. Your name sign perfectly suits you, my feisty little pirate.

When it comes to food, you have little interest. You would try a few bites and then wave the food away and turn up your nose like a food snob as if you were saying, "I will not tolerate any more of this." The only solid food you inhale like there's no tomorrow is Pirate's Veggie Booty. How fitting. Of course, Mama's milk is your food of choice and it seems that you are not slowing down in that department which is just fine with me. You had two birthday cakes, a carrot cake and a yellow cake with chocolate frosting, both of which you had a taste and then waved away. This is another perfect example of you knowing what you want and making it very clear that everyone understands.

When it comes to toys, you have absolutely NO interest in baby toys. You have moved on to your brother's toys, especially his cars. There are some days that your brother doesn't feel like sharing and he trades you for another toy. You take it all in stride, happy to be in your big brother's company. The two of you have a special bond, developed through the silly games you two play: crawl-chase, hide and seek, peek-a-boo, and butting each other with your heads (the one thing that this Mama abhors). I sincerely hope that the two of you become very close brothers and love each other unconditionally. Mama and Daddy will do everything in our power to foster that relationship.

Surprisingly, you still take 3 naps a day. You go down for a nap as scheduled at 9 am, no matter what time you woke up first thing in the morning. Then 1 pm and finally, 5 pm which is really a quick nap before bed at 8 pm or 9 pm, depending on what time Mama gets home. However, there are some evenings after having Mama's milk when I get home, you get a second wind. You don't care how tired I am-you are ready to play! If I'm too tired, you go back to Daddy and watch football with him while I get some much-needed sleep. For the most part, you are a good sleeper, content to sleep between Mama and Daddy but there are nights when you like to suck me dry and Daddy has to get up and rock you for 30 minutes so Mama can have a little break. At some point in the near future, we hope that you and Lochlan will sleep together on the full bed in your bedroom, keeping each other company. For now, life is good with all us of sharing one bedroom, you in bed with us, Lochlan on a floor mattress nearby. After all, the family that sleeps together stays together.

Happy First Birthday, my sweet baby. We love you so, so much and look forward to watching you grow up and seeing your personality emerge even further.

Love,
Mama

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