Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thing 3 Turns One

It is hardly plausible to me that my teeny-tiny little Thing 3 has graced us with her presence for 12 whole months already. Yes, my very last baby is ONE year old today. And what a year is has been.

You, my third bundle of happiness, arrived one year ago today on a cold, snowy, winter night. During a full moon. And on your very own grandmother's birthday. You came flying out quickly and changed our lives forever. As parents your father and I wondered how many children would be the right number for our family. We discussed it at length - until we were blue in the face - but that *right* answer never seemed to fall upon us.

The day you arrived, with one look at your piercing blue eyes and miniature features, we instantly knew our family was perfect and exactly as it should be.

Your brothers, Thing 1 and Thing 2, were so incredibly excited to meet their little sister. They immediately embraced you and within hours, you were one of us.

I swear sometimes I feel as if I've spent the last year gazing into those sparkling, loving eyes. Watching you grow, as you watch life around you and spend so many hours taking in all the things and people around you. Nothing pleases you more than watching your two brothers. Watching them play, scampering after them, staring at Rudy as he licks his paws in the sunlight, and observing your mommy and daddy as they spread tickles, hugs, and kisses through the house.

Your laughter and smile have been infectious since you were a mere few weeks old. You are a happy soul, with a good heart, oozing with love. Part of the beauty of existing for only 12 months is your innocence, your purity, and the unconditional adoration you shower on everyone.

And it is unequivocally reciprocated.


I can't tell you how many times over the course of the past year people have asked me "is it nice to have had a girl after two boys?" or "you must be glad you got your girl". And while perhaps the polite - or politically correct - answer is "I would have been happy whether she had been a girl or a boy", the TRUTH is that, yes, honey, I am so darn thrilled you are a girl. I can't wait to share things with you that I won't be able to share with Things 1 and 2 . . . to cuddle and giggle and shop and love and create and cook and embrace and heal and mend and cry and try.


You have a personality distinct from those of your brothers and an individuality that I can hardly wait to explore and watch develop. I've got seasons tickets to your life, and I plan on sitting in the front row for every year that passes. You are a happy, friendly, easy-going, curious, and bright little girl.

You're so patient and I can't tell you how much I appreciate your cooperation and ability to be a good sport when I constantly stick you in cute little girl outfits. It doesn't hurt that you are stunningly beautiful. Gorgeous, if I do say so myself.

I have never been particularly good at keeping regular records of your progress. I'm in awe of other bloggers who post monthly posts heralding all of their children's milestones and development. But I watch you every single day and I never miss a second of each new thing you learn.

At 12 months old you are nearly walking. You have the strength to stand on your own for up to a minute or two in the middle of the room, yet you still are mustering up the courage to take more than a couple steps. You recently started climbing up the stairs. You cruise all over the house, holding onto nearby furniture or walls to steady yourself. You love clapping, waving, finger pointing and mimicking dozens of other gestures you see those around you doing. You can't stop yourself from giggling when you stick your tongue out at me, because you instinctively know I will stick mine right back out at you.

You can say many words including "ma ma", "da da", "De-id", "Pete", "dog", "dolly", "duck", "peas", "go", "ba ba", "no", and "book". Your brothers are so excited to hear you start talking, they are constantly coming to me with news that you have said yet another new sound or word.

You love books and will sit quietly while we read story after story to you. You already have favourite books and you will crawl across the room with a book in your hand and place it in my lap. You're my best eater yet and you like everything. You try any new food I place on your tray, and you rarely turn your nose up or push it away.

You're a champion nurser, and have always been a tad particular about the source of your milk. What I mean is, at one year old your delivery method of choice is still directly from the tap. You will drink bits of water or milk from a sippy cup, but not nearly enough to consider it an adequate source of liquid. While your brothers would have little to do with breastfeeding by about this age, I am comfortable with the realization that this is still something that is best for you . . . and I. Some of my most cherished moments with you are snuggling your body next to mine as you nuzzle in for bedtime feeding . . . nothing and no one in the world to disturb us or penetrate the shield that seems to protect us from anything evil or hurtful.

And, as we celebrate your one year birthday today, I am reminded of all the reasons I am so thankful to have you in my life. The list, my dear, is endless.


17 comments:

Ann Kroeker said...

What a fabulous tribute, and WOW do you look great after giving birth!! I look pale and mussed-up in my photos. You look like you're a model POSING as a mother of a newborn!

Elaine A. said...

She's gorgeous and sounds like she's certainly added so much to your wonderful family of five!

Happy Birthday Thing 3!!

Landerson said...

Happy birthday angel:) How lucky you are to live in such a loving home.
Beautiful tribute Shan!
Kisses, kisses, kisses!!!!!

Donna M said...

Happy birthday baby girl!

A lovely birthday present for her to read when she gets older. And then read again when she is a teenager. :)

♥ ♥ ♥

Nemeth family said...

Happy Birthday Sweet Baby!!
I remember her birth story like it was yesterday. I can't believe a year has gone by already.
This was a beautiful 'letter' to her...thanks for bringing a tear to my eye...at work...again :-)
She is beautiful!!!

Heather @ boy, girl, and a pug said...

Happy Birthday Big Girl!!!

That first year goes by so fast doesn't it!!

anti-supermom said...

That is just a beautiful post and I'm crying out loud that you are honest about being happy for having a girl...

because I would be the same way.

Happy Birthday Thing Number 3.

BTW - you look smokin' hot right after giving birth, so unfair.

My Trendy Tykes said...

Awww! HAPPY HAPPY BDAY lil one !!

Love those pics. She is adorable.

Linda

Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

Happy Birthday, baby girl!! You are well loved!

-Andrea

Phyllis said...

What a beautiful tribute to your precious princess! Happy Birthday Thing 3!!

thepreppyprincess said...

Oh my goodness Miss Shannon, this had me getting all teary-eyed, what a beautiful, beautiful post. It is not only a gift for her to have as she gets older, but a gift for all of us to read.

Thank you for sharing your special day with all of us,
tp

PS: Have we talked about the trail of broken hearts that she will leave behind many years down the road...?! The boys are going to be helpless when they see those eyes...!

thepreppyprincess said...

Oh my goodness Miss Shannon, this had me getting all teary-eyed, what a beautiful, beautiful post. It is not only a gift for her to have as she gets older, but a gift for all of us to read.

Thank you for sharing your special day with all of us,
tp

PS: Have we talked about the trail of broken hearts that she will leave behind many years down the road...?! The boys are going to be helpless when they see those eyes...!

amanda said...

happy, happy birthday sweet one!!

beautiful post mama - loved the look back :)

ps - happy big day to you too!!

Heidi said...

What a sweet tribute, Shannon, to your "baby"! Happy Birthday, Miss Leah!

dougnlarry said...

Beautiful words, as always Shan.

Happy Birthday Leah!

Jen said...

That picture with the giant gummy smile is absolutely precious. This post was so sweet. What a sweet tribute to your baby girl!

Loukia said...

That was so beautifully written! And she is beautiful! A girl after 2 boys... sounds like a dream!

 
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