Posts Tagged ‘Dear Paisley’

Dear Paisley: Month 16

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Alright you… who are you and what have you done with my baby? In general you’ve been a perfect little Paiser Pais this month. However, there have been days that make me want to pray to the Lord Baby Jesus for what awaits us when you turn 13… or 3. There was one evening in particular while eating your rice and beans at Chipotle (that they give us for free! Thank you!) where your attitude had taken such a turn for the worse that your dad dropped his fork, looked at me, and with all the astonishment he could muster said, “She’s You! It’s genetic!” Well, why it took him 16 months to figure out that your personality is a clone of mine I’ll never know, but what this means is that you and I have a stormy future in front of us. Hurricane Irene (google it) is going to feel like a dance in the streets on a rainy day, I fear, compared to the butting of heads and battling of wills that will take place in our home.

I say this not to be like, “Well, Pais, this was fun. You’re cute and all, but we’re bound to hate each other. Hugs and kisses, mama.” I say this because I grew up with all of that same angst, fury and battled wills with my dad. It made for very turbulent teenage years, a few adult years too. Even this morning when you sat with me in bed screaming NO NO NO NO NOOOOOoooOOOOOO because I simply wanted to hand your blanket to you (THE NERVE!) I just smiled. I know what it’s like to hate mornings, and to feel such frustration with your parent you want to grab your Seventeen Magazines and very best T-shirt and march out the door, and I will love you anyway. I know we’re going to fight, but I’m going to love you anyway. I’ll understand it, I’ll see through it, I’ll blame my genes, I’ll blame the hormones, and hopefully, HOPEFULLY, you will too. You and I have some monumental head butting ahead of us, but we’ll be OK.

When you aren’t throwing fits of rage because we’re trying to feed you, wipe your ass, or bathe you, you’ve taken up dancing. This time, you can blame your father for those genes. It’s either the weeeeee-spin-in-circles kind of dancing, or the drop-your-booty-to-the-ground-and-bounce kind of dancing. Both are equally adorable, and both put a huge smile on your face. You say “dance! dance!” while you do it.

We survived KoskiePalooza ’11 this month. Fourteen Koskies, two dogs, three days, one house. I was excited for your first big cousin visit, you were less than interested. You pretty much kept to yourself, playing quiet and dainty like usual. You got lots of Oma and Papa snuggles, rides on Grandma Polly’s and Papa Rudy’s scooters, even a few snuggles from Aunt Heather, and refused to give Uncle Keith the time of day. I think the big kids were a bit much for you, but next year, I think you’ll be ready to join the anti-sharing, hair-pulling, and general horseplayery that takes place in the den-now-playroom.

One of the big things that happened on that trip was how many times you told me you needed a diaper!! The first time I thought it was cute; the second time I thought it was an interesting coincidence that you asked at the same time you’d soiled your diaper; by the third request I was catching on. Upon our return to Wichita, you were the proud new owner of not one, but TWO, potty seats (One for each bathroom, of course.) We plopped your tiny hiney on that seat and you thought you were a really big deal. Heck, I thought you were a really big deal. LOOK AT MY BABY ON THE POTTY!!! We’re not forcing anything, we’re letting you lead the charge here. You frequently ask for new diapers when they’ve become dirty, and just this morning you picked up your potty seat while I was doing my hair, patted the real toilet seat, and said “Potty!” When you ask, we sit. The rest of the time, we just have elmo decor in our bathroom. Good job big girl!

We took a little road trip. Finally, just the two of us! It was completely uneventful, which is just the way I like them! It was a bittersweet trip. In July we lost Papa Nick to cancer. You never got a chance to know him, and I think you both missed out. He was a pretty funny guy, liked giving the granddaughters candy, and kept Grandma Ann mostly in line. You and I went to Grand Lake to help Grandma pack so she could move back to Wichita. We also got to spend the day and night with one of my best friends, Sarah. I hope you’re as lucky in life to have friends like her, the kind that stick around for years and feel more like sisters. You had a great time playing with Liam and Lydia and made quite a mess destroying their toy room. Then, we got to have a big birthday breakfast with Uncle Kyle and Aunt LaRenda; he ended up paying for all of us. Like how I worked that?

You seem to have a name for everyone these days. Your vocabulary knows no bounds, and I love hearing you discover new words, especially the ones you make up! Jenna is Nenna, Felicia is See-Shaw, Ellie is Eh-ee, Jessica is Ca-Ca, Grandma sounds like Mama but is definitely a little different, then there’s DADDY!, and Oma and Papa are down. Oh yeah, and Mama. I’m not gonna lie, the way you say it with your teeny tiny voice makes me fall in love with you every time I hear it. It is my favorite word of all of your words. There’s such emotion in it every single time.

My favorite change in your routine is our mornings together. It’s always been Cry > Mama Gets You > Daddy Gets Milk > We Lie In Bed > Everyone Falls Back to Sleep. Now, we lie in bed while you drink your milk and then you throw your arm out, pop me in the face with your zippy, say Done!, and then roll/crawl your way to my chest. You then climb on top of me, with your fuzzy of course, and curl in to a little ball on my chest and stomach, and fall back to sleep. And there we stay for 30 minutes, sometimes, an hour, sometimes more. I absolutely eat it up. It’s my favorite part of the day with you, as mornings have always been. Next week I go to New York for a week and I’m dreading the return home to find that you have some new routine and you don’t my snuggles any more. Then again, maybe you’ll need them more than ever.

I love you my sassy little bug.


Dear Paisley: Month 15

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Hey there Paiser Pais!

Or should I call you chatty cathy? You are just a non-stop talking machine these days. Some of my favorites are hiney, pretty, color, i sit, puppy, and knock knock. Last night I scooped you up and you squealed “I got you!” so clearly I almost dropped you from the shock. You can say the name of nearly every food you eat – avocado (acaho), watermelon (wallamalla), berries (bobbies), cheese, peas, bagel (gagel), apple, banana (nana), water, milk, cracker (ka-ka… not to be confused with Jessica’s name, also ka-ka).

You are fully obsessed with shoes. Certifiably on your way to be named Imelda Marcos of the year (you’ll need to google her). You want daddy’s off, you want mine on, you want to put them away, and if yours are on then the only logical next step is to head to the back door and leave. “Dye Dye!” you cheerfully remind us until we oblige or reason with you that we’re not leaving. Once you’re strapped in your car seat, it’s only moments before the mischievous tear of velcro fills the backseat. “ah!” you’ll say, letting us know you’re taking them off. Sighhhhh.

You really do love going bye-bye. No matter how rotten your mood is at home, I know it can always be fixed by going somewhere. You do so well in the car, and are generally very well behaved in public. You like going bye-bye so much that you practice it at home. Anything with a strap becomes your purse. While my purse, an obvious choice, is often used, you’ve also pulled bras, shoes, buckets, Target sacks, and more up on your itty bitty arm, turned to us and waved “dye dye!” and headed to the door.

You are growing to be quite a big helper. You think it’s a really big deal to take things to the trash. Diapers, paper, or even the end of food you no longer want, you proudly take it to the trash can and drop it in, then turn to clap and yell Yay!!! You also like to help me in the laundry room. I will pull one. item. at. a. time. from the washer and hand it to you. With each item I pass along you say thank you and then place it in the dryer. Then, you help me shut the door, and once again clap and say yay!

As of late, coloring is your absolute favorite activity. Something along the lines of “cuh-wuh” is said within 30 minutes or so of you waking up. You get so excited that your whole body will wiggle, and a big cheesy smile overcasts anxious fingers that just want to get ahold of a crayon. We’ve been brave enough to offer pens or markers in a pinch. In fact, you decorated many of our moving boxes on the way out of Sandplum over to Fountain.

Your hair is growing quite a bit. In fact, it’s long enough that (if you’d let me) I can put 1 ponytail in the back, 1 “spout” ponytail on top, or two VERY adorable pigtails. But you don’t allow this. You barely allow me to play with it, much less put a tie in. I’ve gotten you to participate a few times when I’ve asked “Can we make your hair pretty?” You’ll look at me with big eyes and say “pity?” and then back in to sit in my lap (swoon!). I spend the entire time going “ohhhh so pretty!” and reminding that “this won’t take long” just to convince you to sit still. The hair is definitely starting to curl and I have no doubt you’ll have a curly mop to rival mine by this time next year.

We learned how long one can go without a diaper. It’s about 5 minutes. The look on your face as you pottied on the bathroom floor was so concerned for what was happening. I reassured you that you’d done nothing wrong, and made a mental note not to let little naked baby bottoms run unprotected in the house after a bath, no matter how cute it might be. An inch back and it would have been carpet, so thank you for being a constant shadow and following me to the bathroom.

We celebrated your second Fourth of July this past month. It was a low-key yet eventful holiday. We lit sparklers, snakes, confetti poppers, and snaps on the Saturday before with Ellie, Grammie, See-Shaw (Aunt Felicia) following a big family BBQ. You loved all the colors and noises! Daddy was insistent on getting a few fun things from the fireworks stand to enjoy with you and spent the most he ever had on such things… a whole nine dollars. That night we went to downtown Wichita to see the World’s Lamest and Most Disappointing Fireworks Show EVER! But you didn’t care. You and Ellie played and played, and then took in the 6 minutes worth of booms and bangs, loving every minute.

The actual holiday we spent swimming and cooking out at Aunt Denise’s and Uncle Gary’s, with Great Great Grandma Morehead making a visit. You and I played in the pool, and you were more content to play in-and-out than to just keep your butt in the water. That evening was more fun and food at The Farmers where we stripped you down to a diaper and let you eat two huge slices of watermelon all on your own. You couldn’t have been happier!

You spent four days hanging out with Grammie, Nenna (Aunt Jenna), Ellie, and Aunt Felicia while daddy and I ran away to celebrate my 30th birthday in Denver. Paisley, when you turn 30, don’t fear it. Don’t stress about it. Just let it happen. I’ve spent weeks, even months, anticipating this birthday and it turned out to be one of the best I’ve ever had. We missed you like crazy pants while we were gone, but honestly enjoyed the break and uninterrupted four days to come and go and do whatever we pleased with Jeremy and Sarah without considering nap times, diaper changes, and the ease to take you some places over others. During our one and only Skype call while we were away, you were happy to tell us hi several times, and then got bored and wandered off to play with your BFF Ellie. Some day you really won’t care that we’re gone and that will make me more sad than turning 30.

We spent the last few days of this month packing and preparing for a move, a move I’ll explain in more detail next month. I wanted everything to go as smoothly as possible for you and now (the 16th of August, sheesh I’m behind!) that I’m looking back I think it has been. Not long before we moved you started saying “Home” whenever we would pull the car in at Sandplum. Only two weeks in to living in this new house and you said the same when we pulled in the driveway tonight.

The truth is, “Home is wherever I’m with you.” It’s something I’ve been telling your daddy for years, and a band (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes) finally put it in a song so I can put quotes around it and make the thought seem so much more profound.

I love you my little bug-


PS – are you ever going to grow? At your 15-month check-up you had only gained ONE POUND since your 1-year check up three months prior. At 20 pounds, you’re most definitely tiny bits and qualify for the 12% category. You are 30″ tall, and I’ve forgotten what percent that puts you. You’re not going to be a giant. You’re welcome.

Dear Paisley: Month 14

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Hey there funny little girl! Actually, silly, I call you silly girl quite a bit because lately that sums up your personality so much. You’re so playful and happy all (most) of the time. You make up funny little games, make funny little facial expressions, goofy little noises, and it’s pretty non-stop all day every day. We love it! In fact, can’t get enough of it.

You’re a twirler. We call it turning or spinning, but whatever you call it, you love to do it. Your daddy told me not too long ago “you used to dance all the time at random, but no so much any more.” I wish I weren’t so caught up in my own chaos to not let loose and just dance now and then. You aren’t caught up in anyone’s chaos, you just turn. You throw your right arm out across your chest and then follow its lead. You say “weee!” while doing it and never stop smiling. That’s one of those moments I wish I could put in a bottle so that one day, when the chaos does find you, I can say “Look… you used to turn and say wee because nothing else mattered. In that moment, that’s the only thing you cared about.”

I won’t even bother with the redundancy that your vocabulary is taking off, it took off a long time ago, and now we’re just trying to keep up. You walked up to Papa Kerry on a recent visit, stopped, pointed, and said “Paw-paw!” Kiddo, you made that man’s month! The name we somehow came up with for your blanket, “fuzzy,” you’ve adopted yourself. The earlier part of the month you started saying “see,” and then I realized it was the end of the word fuzzy. In the last week you’ve gone fully in to saying the entire word, and it’s darling. Your love affair with that blanket is second only to watermelon and your daddy’s shoes. When we ask you what color something is your answer, invariably, is yellow. I don’t care how red, blue, purple, or green something is, it is yellow. When I commented about this, your Great Grandma Rochelle said “Good Girl. Color the world to suit yourself.” I liked that a lot.

You’re starting to come up with sayings too, not just single words. My favorite are “nigh-nigh day-dee,” or “good night baby.” You pound the holy hell out of your little Curious George doll’s back as you try to mimic the way we put you down to sleep at night and tell you good night baby. It’s rather endearing and very funny. While you’ve been taking baths in the tub since you were about four weeks old, you have never said bath. But after taking quite well to our shower, you quickly learned the word and will take off running in to our bathroom, pry the shower doors open, and wiggle your hiney (another new funny word) hoping we’ll put you in it. You also say “I got you!” You little heartbreaker! It actually sounds like “got chu” something you learned from many games of chase where you always lose and don’t mind one bit.

Speaking of colors, that pristine baby white skin is gone, you’re now a suntanned summer baby. You are slathered in SPF 55 every time we walk out the door, so the good news is that you’ve never burned. Those pesky rays still find you and I won’t lie, I’m super envious of your complexion right now. Right down to the legs you never have to shave when you put on a swimsuit. And how your little buddah belly looks AAAAdorable in a swimsuit, and mine, well, let’s just say I wear a lot of sundresses.

You’re becoming quite the little water baby, which makes me happy! I’m (almost) 30 years old and something most people don’t know about me is I’m scared to death of pools, lakes, and other places full of hundreds of gallons of water where my feet can’t touch the bottom. I don’t want this for you. I want you to be comfortable in the water. We took you and Ellie to play in the Riverside fountains and you, at first, completely freaked out. But Grandma Lori and Ellie convinced you it was OK and you took to it so well you were trying to drink out of the sprays of water. We’ve been to two pools and you loved both, but prefer to be held versus placed in a floating device. Get a cocktail and an air mattress and your mind will change!

Then, there was the road trip, something I named #TripOfDoom. Seriously, I’ve told the story in full detail so many times that I don’t think I can muster the strength to do it again. Also, I don’t want my blood pressure to spike. In short, you and I took off from OKC one fine Saturday morning to spend four days in Dallas with Ada and Christie. Our first road trip together. Our first trip without daddy. We were having a freaking fantastic time! An hour and a half into the trip you passed out, and I said thank you to the universe because it would be smooth sailing the rest of the way. Then, our radiator exploded. We were stuck on the side of the road for an hour and a half, in 90-something degree heat, a toothless tow truck driver arrived and regaled me with a story of his daughter’s cherry (no lie), and then we took the car to the Ardmore Walmart … where it stayed for seven days. Seven long, frustrating, losing-my-cool, very expensive days. A car rental and one thousand dollars later the car went home. Some other stuff happened in between, but again with the blood pressure and wanting to one day be around to fight with you about prom dresses.

You put on your big girl panties this month. Another one of those bittersweet milestones. No more bottles. I was afraid to do it, you love your bottle. A bottle, fuzzy, and a mommy or daddy and you are in snooze city. One Saturday morning I brought you a sippy cup. I will probably not ever forget the look on your face. If you could have cussed at me, I believe the sentiment would have been along the lines of “WTF MOM!” In short, you were not impressed. You cried. You cried so hard and it broke my heart. But you were too hungry from 11 hours of fasting to argue the point much more than that, and so you placed the spout into your mouth and cried between sucks until you finally realized it was the same milk. The next few mornings went about the same until I finally felt it was safe to put your bottles in a Target bag and throw them in the “baby stuff box.” I’m more impressed that you haven’t sloshed milk all over yourself and us in the process. You’re a tidy sipper.

As we celebrate your 14th month, we also celebrate the five-year anniversary of I can’t tell you hard it is to believe that five years have passed since all of this started. One day I will tell you the whole story, if you don’t find it on the Internet first (which, by the way, is where I’d prefer you learn about sex, drugs, and math). When I tell you, I will cry. I’ll probably cry a lot. But they will be happy tears. Without this site, I honestly don’t know if we’d have you yet. A lot, A LOT, of people made you possible. I write these letters to you every month because I want you to hear my voice and how I remember this amazing time with you. But it’s also a small way for me to give back to the hundreds of people who played big and small roles in making you a reality, by letting them peek in at our life with you.

I say it every month, but every month it’s more true than the last, I’m having so much fun with you!

I love you so much, bug!


Dear Paisley: Month 13

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

I’d better hurry up and write this before my fleeting memory fully escapes me. We’ve already blown right through your 13th month and are well in to your 14th. This age, 1-year old, is the best! I’m eating it up and loving every minute.

You are such a happy, agreeable, playful baby! How did we get so lucky? Even when you are “at your worst” I rarely threaten to abandon you and/or give you away. Your worst really isn’t that bad. I haven’t ever seen a tantrum, although a few of your dramatic crying fits were teetering on the edge.

Your vocabulary is just exploding! You’ll repeat nearly anything we say, and if you can’t quite grasp it you’ll “hum” the syllable cadence. Your first color is yellow, which surprisingly comes out very clear, something like “yeh-yo.” You can identify several body parts, calling them by name, including eyes, elbows, knees, ears, and hair. Water, crackers and bottle are the only foods you call by name, although you’re working hard on bagel, the staple of your morning routine. But “Eat!” you’ve gone down pat. You usually belligerently scream it at us.

I am loving watching your imagination grow. It’s amazing to me that at such a young age you’re already pretending, without any guidance whatsoever on the concept. You say “nigh nigh day-dee” when you pretend to put your baby (a Curious George doll) to sleep, and pound its poor back, trying to gently pat it. You have a tea pot set and you’ll bring the cups to me to fill each one, and then take it to daddy and you’ll each slurp up the invisible beverage; you’ll also have me pour the spout right in your mouth and you always go “Mmmm!”.

You’ve found a few of your very own hidey holes. One is behind a chair next to the wall, and you’ll stand in the apex of the V between the two, poke your face as far through as possible and wait for our faces to appear on the other side. You also like to crawl under the end table where we store your toy basket in the living room and sit cross-legged playing with your piano, dolls, books, or whatever else is under there.

Time outs have become a more regular occurrence, but you’re honestly so well behaved and that they are rarely put in to action. You fully understand what they are, and when you tell me “no no” to a request more than twice I ask “do you want to go to time out?” and you generally correct yourself. When you don’t, it’s off to the corner we go. It’s hard as hell not to laugh! Correction, it’s hard as hell not to let you see me laughing. It’s equally the funniest and most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever witnessed. You will throw your head back and wail, screaming “maaamaaaaa,” with big alligator tears streaming down your face, and ever few seconds you’ll inch further and further away from the corner. I always ask you to come to me so we can discuss what happen, and finish it with a kiss.

You’re becoming more particular about food. You’re pretty much a vegetarian at this point, refusing any chicken, pork, or beef that I’ve offered you. Once in a while you’ll take me up on a bite of fish, but otherwise it’s fruits, veggies, grains, and vegetarian protein, like black beans, cheese, yogurt, and of course milk. Your love of watermelon knows no bounds, and really the only fruit you’ll turn up your nose at is a banana. If you don’t like something, you very clearly say “no” and shake your head. If you like something, God save the man who gets in your way as your tiny fists shovel food in your mouth as fast as you can. You’ve started showing more interest, and skill, in feeding yourself with a fork or spoon, so daddy and I have tried to be better about ignoring the mess and letting you at it.

We also met up with Paul last month to take your one-year pictures. You were quite the ham for us, being quite the trooper as we made our way around the OU football stadium to take a picture in front of the section 1 sign, and then over to Reaves Park in Norman. However, the cake frosting hit the fan, if you know what I mean, when we attempted to make you take a picture with a birthday cake. You would have thought it was hot lava with a monster face on it the way you reacted. Thirty minutes of non-stop, tear-soaked wailing delivered not a single happy picture but plenty of you having what we’ll chock up to you first full blown panic attack. Seriously kid? It’s cake. If someone forced me to sit next to a double layer cake and devour it without any consequences… I’d cry if you tried to stop me.

I love you bug!


Dear Paisley: Month 12

Friday, May 13th, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday, Paisley Joon!

You have no idea how unreal those words are to me. To actually say them outloud, and to celebrate the event, seems impossible. But, even having you here at all once seemed impossible. So, your lesson of the day, nothing is impossible.

On the morning of your birthday, daddy and I congratulated each other on making it. And a deserved congratulations to you too, surviving the two idiots fumbling our way through keeping you alive. (PS, you’ve made it farther than any plant I’ve ever owned.) Of course, your birthday was doubly special, since you share with daddy. 31 and 1, you’re a little set.

We spent your actual birthday doing what we do every Wednesday… working. I was just heartsick that day. All I wanted was to snuggle you, but instead I had to interview castaway Biggest Loser contestants and tweet, and other very important things I do. You played with Jessica and Ellie all day, after I let you splurge on a watermelon-only breakfast! For dinner, you and I got dressed up and had a birthday dinner at Yia Yia’s, where you enjoyed whipped sweet potatoes and roasted chicken. And goldfish crackers.

The real party was April 30, and we had about two dozen friends and family join us for lunch, cake, and presents. You were surprisingly cooperative; I feared the crowd would overwhelm you, but you rolled with it. You were very involved with the opening of your presents. And when it came time for the cake smash, you were your usual dainty self, picking up a little frosting and eating it (Aunt Jenna and Aunt LaRenda made the most amazing watermelon cakes). Then, I smooshed your hand in to the cake and, well, that was the end of that little miss waterworks!

Having an entire year worth of months to look back on now, I can say for certain that 11 months was my favorite age. You’ve always had personality, but it’s on full display now. You have definite moods, tones in your voice, and are growing more particular about what you do and don’t like. With this, it seems your vocabulary grows exponentially each day. By your first birthday you could say more than two dozen words:
bye bye
no no
thank you
go go go
joon joon
see it (re: books)
la la la
all done
please (signed)
more (signed)

You are very playful and very funny. You greet daddy at the door after work and point to and say “shoes!” This is his signal to remove the shoes so you can begin “tickle tickle”-ing his toes. He feigns a hearty laugh so that you think you’re really getting him. (PS you’re obsessed with shoes! Obsessed!) You love to play chase and don’t mind be the chaser or the chasee. You’re pretty fast about it. You love to be held in our arms and throw yourself backward – all you’re missing is a bungee cord. You enjoy play kiss games – kissing us over and over and over again, making little fish-lip faces to let us know you’re ready for a kiss, or you pop-pop-pop your lips together (this is especially adorable when you do it throughout the grocery store).

We celebrated your first Easter the weekend before your first birthday. The night before we attended an Easter egg hunt at Grandma Lori’s church. It was a big crowd with quite a few kids and the rough grass sticking in to your ADORABLE pink flower sandals was less than favorable for you. You finally got the hang of collecting the candy out of the grass and putting it in your little basket. I felt no shame in snatching every Twix I could find. The next morning, we found that the Easter bunny had scattered eggs all over our backyard! What a surprise to wake up too! That bunny knows how healthy we are, so he obliged by filling the eggs with organic fruit snacks and quarters. We had a big breakfast with daddy, jenna/eric/ellie, and grandpa jerry/pam. Then, you and Ellie grabbed your baskets and collected all of the eggs. You were convinced they were balls (“ball! ball!”), which I encouraged because it just fueled your desire to pick them up and put in your basket.

We’ve officially celebrated all of the holidays with you, and your birthday, and are wrapping up your first year with a very tear-soaked pink ribbon. I’ve never loved anyone or anything more, Paisley Joon. I used to “yeah yeah yeah” my parents when they’d tell me the same, but it’s so true. You are everything I ever wanted, even when I had no idea what it really was I was wanting. If you could drink, I’d raise a glass and say “Cheers! We both survived!”, but you can’t (yet, we’ll wait until at least your 14th birthday). So, I’ll say that I couldn’t be more excited to see what year two is going to bring us, and that I’m anxious to watch you discover so much more about the world around you.

I love you bug-


Dear Paisley: Month 11

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Dear Paisley-

You turned 11 months old today. I know I say this every month but this time more than the others it really does seem impossible. A month from today we’ll wake up on your first birthday. If I really stop and look back, of course it’s been a year. We’ve celebrated every holiday, birthdays of friends and family, and we’ve flipped the calendar all the way back around to April. But when I just look at you, the impact you’ve already made on me, it was yesterday.

I rocked you to sleep tonight. I do this most nights, daddy takes the others. As long as you have a bottle, your fuzzy, and those five quiet minutes, you’ll sleep like a dream. I sat in the same chair I rocked you in the day you came home, and tonight it struck me how your long, chunky legs flopped over the arms. Not a tiny nugget any more.

This month you kind of stopped being a baby. Of course you’re still a baby, but in so many ways you’ve tossed that aside and are getting your feet wet as a toddler. You are so busy. I don’t think there’s a better way to sum you up right now, you’re just busy. You’re in to everything, you’re curious, you’re going, you’re coming… it’s non-stop all day and all night. You’re on a solid one nap a day, which for me, your sitter “J”, and anyone else who is responsible for you is a curse, but you honestly manage just fine. Once in a while we’ll sneak a second nap in, but it’s not often.

You’ve been walking for two full months now and your command of the skill is uncanny. I honestly keep expecting to see you run across the room. If a door is shut, you push it open and just walk on through. Like this morning, a lazy Sunday, when our bedroom door was cracked and you whipped it open and walked to the living room. Apparently it was time to wake up. The third drawer down in the kitchen is where we keep the bibs. You know this. And you’ll spend an hour opening the drawer, pulling out the bibs, delivering them to various people and places, and then rounding them up so you can close the drawer… only to start all over again. You also like to open the pantry door and rummage in the Dr. Pepper boxes on the floor. So far you’ve successfully carried out a can of soda, as well as pulled down a box of Bisquick from the second shelf and carried it through the house.

Your speech and communication is the thing that has really flourished this month. You shake your head “no” – and you mean it. You furiously shake back and forth when we ask you a question that deserves a negative reply. You say your version of  “thank you” when someone hands something to you, and you also rub your belly for “please” when you ask for something. You almost always do this without any kind of prompting. Check out the manners on my baby! You say “eat!” and point to your mouth – you do this when I ask you if you want to eat (otherwise you shake your head) or if I ask you if you’re hungry. You very clearly say “hi” to anyone who will listen, and usually accompany it with a wave. You can say “shoes” and say this when you bring yours or our shoes to us (you love to play with them!). You also get what “going bye-bye” means and are always agreeable to the suggestion. Just this week you started repeating “nigh-nigh” when we tell you it’s time for bed. Other words I think you’re working on are “book” and “ball.”

You’ve started expressing love this month. For instance, this morning I woke up to four voluntary kisses from you. FOUR! Oh my how you made my day start out in the most perfect way. I always have to ask for a kiss, you rarely oblige, I usually end up saying “I’ll steal it anyway!” Sometimes you oblige and lean in with an open mouth and plant your lips on mine. Ahh, it’s the best! But you offered them up to me, daddy, your bee baby and even that llama in red pajamas all day. You give lots of hugs. You and daddy started a game called “BIG HUGS!” He sits on the floor and you “run” to him and he scoops you up in a big bear hug. You both eat it up. You also blow kisses. You plant your hand on your mouth, but it doesn’t pull away. Instead you lick the inside of your hand (little weirdo). But when someone is leaving you either wave bye-bye to them, or blow them your version of a kiss.

You are eating like a horse! Thankfully, you aren’t eating horse. You’ve completely boycotted baby food; so much so that I gave away all of your remaining stock to a friend whose baby is still acting like a baby (lucky!). When your sitter “J” said that you refused to eat anything off a spoon, I realized she was right. You love feeding yourself, and I honestly don’t have a problem with it. I get to eat now! I can also put you in your chair and cook dinner, clean, or just get some work done. It’s nice to have reclaimed a bit of that freedom. Your favorite, and I mean hands down favorite, right now is watermelon. I buy a quarter watermelon at the store every week. You absolutely inhale it – to the point you get those chipmunk cheeks, can’t chew, and there is pink juice running down your arms and chin. All the while smiling.

You also really enjoy mozzarella cheese, avocados, peas, applesauce, carrots, yogurt, blackberries and raspberries, bagels, toast, graham crackers, and pears. Pinto beans and rice from Chipotle also make the list. You are such a good eater, I feel so lucky. You really don’t refuse anything, except meat, and frankly I’m OK with that for now. You do really well with a sippy, and so far all we’ve put in it is water. Why would this bother you? You don’t know any different. Until you do, it’s always going to be water. Your friends will probably hate coming to our house, but kiddo, there are just too many good-for-you foods out there to fill you and our kitchen than with the crap that none of us need.

We had a very exciting event on Friday. You shot a vignette commercial for Johnson & Johnson for their natural line of products. It’s basically you and me, with you playing in the bath, and then me cuddling you up into a towel. It took an entire day, you were very patient, and we had a lot of fun. You were a little confused about why you were in and out of the tub a few dozen times, but other than that you didn’t really get fussy and you played right along like it was normal. You were pretty funny during scenes- you’d wave to the cameramen or you’d play with the boom. I don’t know if you’ll hate me for this one day or not, but I promise I only did it because I thought it would be fun. I didn’t even know we’d be paid for it when we signed on, and I’m very happy to be putting it in full in your college account.

When I left for college I had $500 in cash and no idea what the hell I was doing. For that matter, my parents didn’t know either. It makes me proud on an indescribable level that at 11 months old you already have more than twice that amount waiting for you. Your education, even on a level of teaching you where your nose is, is of utmost importance to your dad and I. It’s something we talk about frequently, and the one thing we absolutely will not sacrifice.

Wow, I’m getting deep in here. You have turned in to a little person this month Paisley. Lucky for all of us, a person we really, really like. You make us laugh; like, the kind of laugh I usually pay good money at the theater to see. Your funny little faces, sounds, and mannerisms just kill me. I love watching the curiosity on your face and how you explore. And while it might sound a bit mean, I love seeing you frustrated with something – like a toy you really want being stuck in the basket and watching you work it out on your own until you successfully retrieve it. You always look so proud of yourself. I love your high-fives, the way you “tickle-tickle” my toes, and I love the way you reach for me when no one else in this world will do. One day, that won’t be the case, but I’ll remember that there was a time when I was your end-all, be-all. You will always be that for me.

I love you my bug. My very, very, big girl bug.