Tuesday, October 14, 2008

To Anna, on her first birthday

Did you know that my precious baby girl is one year old today? Hard to believe how quickly this year has gone by. I still remember distinctly what her birthday was like and the crazy week leading up to it. Sigh. She's a year old now.

I wish I had good pictures to throw up here, but I don't. She's having another photo-shoot this weekend, so you'll have to wait for those.

But let me paint a word picture for you.

She's gnawing on the edge of the entertainment center right now. I'm not surprised. Everything gets tasted at least three times. Her first tooth is *this close* to the surface, and the front of her outfits have been soaked for the last two days as the drool flood settles in to saturate our lives and our furniture.

She pulls herself up to standing and pushes whatever she can to get herself across the room on her feet. Such great strides, but she's not feeling confident enough to let go and stand on her own, let alone take more than one or two tentative steps. Soon. The tops of her feet are always dirty as a testament to my terrible house cleaning. She crawls everywhere, and that's where her feet come in contact with the floor.

When she sees Ben, her eyes always light up. It's automatic, and it's such a relief, considering how poorly he treats her sometimes. Watching them play together is one of my greatest joys. She loves to play with his choo-choos, unfortunately only while he's playing with them or right before he wants to play with them. We had to tear down the choo-choo tracks because she thought they looked better in a mad jumble. She drinks his sippy cups of juice, and God help him if he leaves a half of a PB and J sandwich on his table.

Her smile is easy and sweet, and when she finally lets loose a giggle, it's infectious. Her blue eyes sparkle and dance with private amusement long before she actually chuckles. My favorite moment in the last month with her was a private little minute we had while nursing. I was watching her suckle away, and I started tickling her under the arms, behind her knees. She tried so hard to keep concentrating on her task at hand, but she couldn't help it. She began to grin widely, breaking the latch for a moment, then the giggling started. I could feel it rumbling through her body before it escaped her throat. Before long, we were both laughing hysterically.

She's my delight. On Criminal Minds the other day, the hot guy called Garcia his "God-given solace." That's my Anna. She heals the fractures and soothes the friction burns from an abrasive day. I love watching her explore and grow every day, and I'm so glad she's in my life.