Sunday, July 14, 2013

Lucy is 1 Year Old!

Dear Lucy-

1 Week
Wow - what a year it has been! One year (and a few weeks ago) you entered our lives. I knew that life was going to change, and it certainly has. You have grown up before our eyes. You started as a teeny tiny infant. (To be precise, you started at 7 lbs, 8 oz, 21.5 inches long and you are now 19 lbs., 6 oz, 29 inches long). You needed our help with everything. I'll never forget those first few days in the hospital. The first time I held you in my arms, the first morning I woke up and realized that I actually had a beautiful baby girl to call my own, the first time you cried and I couldn't figure out what was wrong, and how proud I was to introduce you to all of our friends and family. The first week was a little crazy since your dad was studying super hard for his board exam. He had to study in the waiting room at the hospital while we were there, and during our first few days at home, he had to leave to study at the library. I slept out on the couch in the living room with your pack n' play right next to me. This was partly because it was easier for me to get on and off the couch to take care of you (than from our tall bed) and partly because that way your dad could have plenty of sleep to study and take his board exam. I remember I was so worried that you would be okay during the night that I was so thankful every morning I woke up and you were still 100% okay. It was so hard for me to believe during those first few weeks that I actually had a healthy baby girl. It was just too good to be true that it actually did take me awhile to completely believe that you were ours.
That first week, your Gigi came and helped me take care of you. She helped us give you your first bath, went with us to Target (when we had quite a scare when a deer jumped out in front of us on the road - thank goodness we just missed him!), and cleaned the house top to bottom while I was recovering and you were sleeping. You were the prettiest little newborn with tons of dark brown hair and brown eyes. You were a very good little newborn. You only woke up once or twice each night, and that was when I woke you up to feed you! Sometimes you were so tired when I woke you up, that I had to change your diaper in order to wake you up - in fact that was our routine for the first month - I would wake up to an alarm in the middle of the night to feed you - I would wake you up by changing your diaper, and after feeding you I would walk you around the halls to make sure you were well burped :) . We had to do that in order to make sure you were getting enough food and were gaining enough weight. You lost just enough weight at the hospital for them to ask us to have a follow up visit at the pediatrician's office when you were about 4 or 5 days old. Luckily you had gained enough weight by that point for them not to be worried anymore.
During your first few months you had so many visitors and people who were excited to meet you! Your Grandma Baareman even stayed a whole week to help use get used to having a newborn. After your dad took his board exam, we had about a week as a family to spend time together before he started his new job. When you were just a week and a half old we took you to the lake house and you did so well. Ever since then you have been a pretty good little traveler. When you were about 5 weeks old I started my new job at Trusted Federal. Since you were so little and it was a work from home job, I worked while you slept for about a month. When you were 8 weeks old, I realized I couldn't take care of you and do my job at the same time, so we prayed that we would find somebody that would love you and who we could trust to take care of you part time. God answered our prayer when we found Thea - who took care of you until you were 1 year. You were so little when she first started taking care of you. All you really did was lay on your mat and look up at your toys, eat, and sleep. Of course, at that age you loved to be held too.

From there you just kept growing and growing and learning new things. Lots of our friends from church had babies around that fall and winter when you were about 3-6 months old, so you seemed big in comparison, but really you were still so little! We took you to friends houses and out to eat a lot since you were pretty content to just sit in your car seat and would even fall asleep in it (I already miss those days!).
Our house has morphed with you. At first, we had the pack n play in our room, and we would move it out into the foyer by my desk each day and back into our room each night. Then at around 1 month old, it was time for you sleep in your crib, so we just left the pack n play in the foyer. Then you started to enjoy laying on mats and learning how to roll onto your tummy. During that time our entire living room was covered with blankets and play mats with toys hanging from them. Your favorite was your piano mat. Although you hated tummy time for a long time, you soon learned to love it and started to do some yoga poses around Christmas time. It took you about a month to started using your arms to crawl and move around. You also were no longer content to just lay in the pack n play so we got you an exerciser and tried you in the Jenny Jump Up. Even though you didn't really play with those all that much, your favorite activity was being held in a standing up position. You loved when we held you on our laps so you could stand up and stretch you legs. You also loved mirrors and I would stand you on the console table so you both stand up and smile and laugh at yourself in the mirror. You also loved when we stood you up on your changing table.

Then after Christmas break you started crawling and we covered our living room floor with foam letter tiles and trapped you in a baby jail of colored gates. You were pretty happy exploring your toy filled area about about 8x8 feet, until you started being able to pull up. Then you were pulling up on everything, the couches, the ottoman, the TV stand, and our "baby-proofing" began. During this time you loved your little playschool activity table. You even learned how to pull up on our legs.
Finally around May, you learned how to walk, and boy did that change everything! It didn't take long for you to realize that you could explore the entire house on your own! Suddenly we didn't have to just make sure the living room was safe, but the entire house! We now make sure certain doors are closed when you are on the move! It has been so much fun to watch you just go everywhere exploring. You are sooo curious, that is one way you are often described. You also get described as happy and very good at daycare and church nursery. I would describe you as BUSY! You are into everything. Your little hands just can't grab enough things (and stick them in your mouth) fast enough! It is hard to keep up with you, much less stay one step ahead of you to make sure you don't hurt yourself! At this age especially you are a hazard to yourself. Just this last week at daycare you climbed onto a chair and fell off, hitting yourself on another nearby chair *sigh*. Also last week I was at a girl's night dinner at a friends house. I spent the whole night chasing you around as you grabbed food off plates and tried to put it on various pieces of furniture!

As you can see, in just one short year, you have changed so much! You now don't need our help so much getting around, since you would rather just walk around yourself! You can feed yourself, give yourself a bottle, say tons of sounds (although we are still waiting on words - C'mon Lucy!), turn pages in books, wave hello and good-bye and even build a little with your legos! You constantly surprise us with how smart you are and how fast you pick up on things. You remember things so well that it challenges us to always know you are watching what we do and say. You have successfully made it through so many transitions. From breast-milk to formula, from formula to whole milk, from bottles to sippy cups, from just milk to baby food, to table food. From infant car seat to new bigger car seat. From a infant seat in our jogging stroller to sitting on it without the insert. Now you are even big enough to ride behind daddy's bike! You have transitioned from multiple feeds a night, to one feed a night, to no feeds a night, you have switched from home all day, to some time at Thea's house, to daycare, you have had days without mommy during her business trips, have traveled to Charleston, Starkville, Atlanta, the Lakehouse, Athens, and more all like a champ. I'm so proud of you for all you have done and learned during your first year of life!

As I look back over your first year I realize that as much as I loved you when I first met you, every moment we have spent together has made me fall more in love with you. I love your personality. You are so sweet and fun. I love your sense of humor. You make me and your dad laugh so much. I can't count the number of times that we yell across the house - "You've got to see what Lucy is doing!" You are already beautiful inside and out Lucy. I love you so much. Thank you for making me a mom. God has taught me so much about loving someone more than myself in you. That is not an easy lesson to learn, but it sure makes it easier when that person I get to love is you! I know that I don't deserve to have you as a daughter, so every day you give me a huge reason to be thankful to God for his goodness. I know that I fail so much and that I'm not a perfect mom, but I'm going to do my best to be the best mom, wife, and Christ-follower that I can be since I know that I am setting an example for you. I know that there is so much fun in store for us as we watch you continue to grow. I'm shocked at how fast you've grown up already so I'm going to try to soak in as much from every moment with you that I can. I will admit that me and your dad had lots of fun together before you were here, but somehow you have made life so so much better. Seeing life through your eyes is just so fun! Going to the grocery store or any store for that matter is fun since you get so excited to be in a new place. Going out to dinner is fun because there is always a new food for your to try. And it seems every day you learn some new sound or discover something new in our house or in the yard. We hope and pray that we can teach you about Jesus and that one day you will admit that you are a sinner in need of a his saving grace. I hope that you will experience the joy of knowing the love of a Savior who is "closer than a brother". I hope you will one day know for yourself the love of Christ that is so much greater than the love that me and your dad have for you.

I can't write this post without realizing how God has blessed us during your first year. He was always so near to us, even when we didn't have a clue what we were doing! He provided the perfect job for me to earn money while also getting to spend some extra time with you each day. There were many crazy stressful days when I felt like I couldn't do it - (be a mom + do my job, especially when I had to do both at once!) but God showed me that those times when I couldn't do it by myself, I could do it by relying on him and his power. God got us through this super busy year of me working a lot and in the end he even allowed us to pay off our debt earlier than expected! This was all while getting to spend more time with you than I thought I would be able to. God was with me so much during your birth when I was very scared, and he has been with me so many times during your first year that all I can do is give him 100% of the glory for what he is doing in your life and in our family. All we can do is love him and give him our lives.

We love you Lucy! Happy Birthday!

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