Happy first birthday to my sweet little baby! My oh my, where does the time go? I feel like we were just at the hospital meeting her for the first time, but somehow we've already had 365 days together. I'm pretty sure that if someone could calculate what percentage of my time has been spent staring at Retta and taking in her cuteness over that time period, the results would be staggering. I've been trying to soak up every moment of this time of smallness that I can because with Rowan I've already learned how fleeting it can be. My relationship with Retta has taken me by surprise because before she was born I loved Rowan so deeply and completely that I couldn't imagine having room in my heart to love another child in the same way. I remember as a kid when I'd get jealous of my brother and ask my mom the irritating question, "Who do you love more, me or Josh?" She would always say, "I love you both the same." I thought this was a ridiculous answer. How could she love us EXACTLY the same? I knew she was just trying to cover her bases and appease both of us. Now as a mother of two, I'm not so sure. Like I said, I've been blown away by my capacity to fall in love all over again with darling little girl # 2. Each daughter has such a distinct yet sweet personality and I can no longer imagine my life without either of them. Every night as we gather around the dinner table and I see Aaron across from me and our two daughters balancing us out on either side, I think something along the lines of, "Ah, all is just how it should be, now we are complete." We were so so happy when our family was just three, but I love that now Rowan has a sibling, and that we are simultaneously enjoying the preschool and the baby/toddler stage.
Retta is such a loving, snuggly little girl, quiet and easy going a lot of the time, yet recently getting in touch with her inner firecracker too. She has a mean set of pipes and can bellow and squeal at a shocking volume and she's quickly learning that loud = attention, which is unfortunate for our eardrums. Watching her yell hi and bye repeatedly into my cell phone never fails to crack me up though, so I figure happy loud is better than sad-screaming loud. One of the things I find most endearing about her in this moment is her new obsession with baby dolls and how she loves to rock them and hold them and rub the baby's back. It is so sweet to see that nurturing behavior at a young age. Most of the birthday photos below involve her interacting with her new baby in some way. The baby took center stage at her party-- she wouldn't let it out of her sight and didn't want to open her other gifts because she was so entranced with it. I especially love the picture of the baby covered in slobber--it shows how loved this thing is. We had a great brunch party with the grandparents, with a spectacular cake smooshing display by our **gulp** toddler. I am so thankful for my happy, healthy one year old and all the joy that she brings to our lives. I can't wait to see what the next year brings.
|pumpkin apple cake|
|the birthday girl|
|because she's baby crazy, retta also got a softer baby doll to snuggle in her crib from my parents...she's trying to decide if this one's going to pass muster|
|doing her first puzzle...spoiler alert: all the pieces are round, so you can't get it wrong|
|mini baby cake, baked using an empty tuna can for a cake pan|
|checking out her cake with grammie|
|"hello cake. where have you been all my life?!"|
|gettin' into it|
|offering thanks to the cake gods|
|seeing if it will bounce|
|...and we have achieved destruction|
|sharing with her sister|
|this pretty much sums up her party|
|too many kisses|