You turned one year old this week. And oh what a year it's been! Like the saying goes about the month in which you were born, you came into our lives like a lion, roaring to be heard. Everyday now you have something new to tell us. Yes, that's right - you're already starting to form words. "Baba" for bottle, "ge" for blankie, "ki ka" for the cats, and "dada" for you-know-who. I asked you to say Mama yesterday, and you responded DADA! But you gave me a big snuggle, so it's okay.
You're always pointing at the world around you now, wanting to know everything's name (or demanding that we bring it to you to examine, usually by seeing if it fits in your mouth). You're testing your independence, throwing your food and tupperware containers and your spoon over the side of your highchair when you've had enough. We either need to break you of that habit or adopt a dog to lick up the mess.
And that's probably because you were outside. Like your Dad, outside is your favorite place to be, and you'd spend all day out there if we'd let you. We might if there were ever clouds in the sky or some semblance of shade to protect you from the blazing Arizona sun.
It's hard to believe that a year has passed since we brought you home from the hospital, scared out of our minds that we'd break you, exhausted already, hopelessly in love. You've made our family complete, and it just keeps getting better. You are pure joy. I dare anyone to spend any time around you and not feel it radiating from you. It's as if you swallowed a light bulb.
This time last year, we had no idea what was in store for us. Along the way, someone remarked to me that they couldn't imagine going through cancer with a baby at home; I couldn't imagine going through it without you. I hope you never remember your Mama sick, but I hope you always know what strength you gave me - continue to give me - through this journey.
I hope you know your Mama loves everything about you.
Happy FIRST Birthday!