What a fast, amazing, exhausting, hilarious, emotional, heartwrenching, heartwarming - and did I mention fast? - year it has been!!
Lila Jane - AKA Lila Tov, Boo Boo, Lover, Lilali, Lilaboops, Meepers, Beepers and Boops (guess who gave you the last few nicknames there) - you spent your first few months in this world mostly silent. You observed. You slept. You ate. But man, you GRUNTED. It was horrifying. I thought something was seriously wrong with you, and thanks to my anxiety spent many sleepless moments trying to figure out what exactly it was. (Spoiler alert: it was nothing.) But yes, other than the grunting, you were a dream baby. "Rent-a-baby" was the nickname my friends gave you, as you were the epitome of what someone would special order if they could - adorable, quiet and a perfect angel! You slipped into our lives seamlessly, into your sister's world like you had always been there and instantly into our hearts.
Once you were a few months old, you began to make your presence known. You found your voice, and used it any chance you could, squawking to let us know where you were at any given moment. And - to this day, and since day one - you hate being alone. You have always sensed when people leave the room and whine and cry until they are back. You are a snugglebunny, and love resting your head on our shoulder when we carry you, or resting on our chests as we lay on the couch or in bed, and often crawl over to put your head in my lap. This - among many, if not every, other thing - is one of the big differences between you and your older sister.
You are the antithesis of Rebecca in just about every way. She was a loud baby who became totally relaxed - you're the opposite. She was a great sleeper - you haven't quite figured out the magic of soothing yourself yet (although since you share a room with her, this could be because we haven't sleep trained you as steadfastly as we did her). She never wanted to sleep anywhere except her crib - you'd gladly never go in there, it seems. She never cared about getting into cabinets, or climbing things, and you, my dear, are everywhere, We joking call you our puppy because you are just as precocious. We have found you:
- eating shoes (and just about anything else you see or find)
- with your hand in the toilet
- in the dishwasher
- in the cabinet under the sink in our hotel room
- standing atop the ottoman
- hanging onto the front of our TV stand while perched on the shelf of it
- licking floors, furniture, windows, doors, knobs, my pocketbook and countless other items
The most common phrase in our house is, "Where are you Lila?" because we can hear you squawking but have no idea where you have gone - you are fast, sneaky and fearless. We better watch out.
You love Elmo, cheese, Cheerios, your pacifier, and lovies. You love music, especially the ABCs, dancing, making towers and knocking them down, and pushing buttons.You imitate us more and more each day, and my favorite is when you make smooshyface, where you pucker up your lips really big and breathe in and out of your little tiny nose loudly a few times, and it's the cutest thing I've ever seen.
You have taken a step here or there, but aren't walking on your own yet - but man are you fast with your plastic walker. And when you crawl. You crawled all over Sea Island last month - the beach, by the pool, in the pool, in our hotel room, in restaurants, on the airplane, at Newark Airport... you have no qualms about your poor little knees getting roughed up and always get wherever you need to go. Which is usually wherever Rebecca is.
You love your sister more than anything. You can be completely engrossed in an activity, but if you hear her voice your head immediately swings to find her and you're off. You try to do everything she does, laugh at everything she does and take every opportunity to play with her. And she is INCREDIBLE with you. Better than I could have imagined, she loves being my "helper buddy" and taking care of you, playing with you, giving me updates on what you're doing when you're together, feeding you and taking baths together.
Watching you two together gives me more peace, satisfaction and happiness than anything else in the world. I love my girls, and am so thankful that you have given me that by being you. By being part of us. Happy happy happy first birthday, Lila - and here's to many, MANY more fast, amazing, exhausting, hilarious, emotional, heartwrenching, heartwarming years to come...
(And, in the time that it took me to write this, you were born a year ago!!)