Our Evelyn Claire,
You are ONE! We can’t remember our lives before you, and we can’t imagine our lives without you. Your sweet smiles, squeals, arm squeezes, eye squints, and sloppy kisses brighten our days.
And every cliche about time passing too quickly? Is completely true. I can still feel the warm weight of you laying on my chest for the very first time, the way your head fit perfectly under my chin, and how soundly you slept when you could feel my heart beat.
I know it’s impossible to slow down time, and so I will continue to hold tightly to these moments that are making up your beautiful life.
You have a whole lot of personality in your little body. You giggle when Daddy chases you up the stairs and when you crawl under Nora’s bed, just out of my reach. You think it’s hilarious to wear hats and sunglasses and talk on my phone. You stick out your tongue and squeeze your eyes closed to make us laugh. You imitate every sound that your siblings make, which has become a game, and is especially (not) fun in the car when it ultimately ends in screaming matches.
Your tiny temper emerges if Nora takes something from your hands, like the Mickey Mouse flashlight or Captain Barnacles. And I have caught you, more than once, with a tiny LEGO piece or rock from Sam’s collection in your mouth, or on its way into your mouth. But you know it’s wrong and immediately spit it out when our eyes meet and I say, “No, Evie.”
You get frustrated if you can’t pull the lid off your snack container, or if your water cup is empty. You curl your toes, grip my arm, and bury your head into my neck when you’re feeling shy. And you wildly flap your arms when you’re excited (Daddy’s favorite).
You love to play peek-a-boo behind the dining room curtains, under your beach towel, and with the washcloth in the bath tub. You try to put goggles on your head and are constantly trying to pull shoes off your feet. And you recently learned to take off your diaper.
You wave with your whole arm, pat your belly, brush your hair, and brush your teeth.
You hug and rock baby dolls and stuffed animals. You have tea parties and pretend to bake cookies in the oven of the play kitchen. You color with crayons and paint with water. You ride in the Little Tykes cars and push the stroller and grocery cart.
You climb onto the kitchen stool, onto your music table, onto the ottoman, onto the sliding board. Really, you try to get onto any surface that you can manage to swing your pudgy legs on top of, including the table at the library while I was helping Sam to choose dinosaur books.
You are basically SO much fun. And SO much trouble. And I love it SO much.
You let us know when you’re hungry and when you’re “all done.” You respond with excitement to the words “eat” and “milk” (Mommy’s milk). As well as “outside” and “swing” and “bath.” You crawl as fast as you can to the front door and say “dada” when he gets home from work. You also say “mama” and “bubba.” You don’t yet have words for Nora or Lucy, but you know them and love them. In fact, you love all dogs and think they are all as friendly and tolerant as ours.
You still cling to me if someone tries to hold you. But it’s getting better. I’ve learned that if I pass you off and walk away, you’re fine in about 30 seconds. I can’t say that I mind, though, that you are still so attached to me. I know you will be running in the opposite direction of me far too soon.
You still love to share a room with Nora. And you are still sleeping like a champ. You take one long nap in the morning and a short one in the late afternoon — between sports practices and play dates and dinnertime, or while walking stroller laps at the township pool. You now sleep with a stuffed bunny that you hug tightly to your chest as I lower you in to the crib. Unlike Sam and Nora, you want nothing else in your crib, including extra binkies, which you throw onto the floor before falling asleep.
Just before your first birthday, I took an overnight trip to the shore with Sam, which started the weaning process. For the next two weeks, you nursed before bed some nights, and some nights you didn’t. Just like with the other two, it felt completely natural and right for both of us. I miss those quiet, intimate moments with you, but you are still the most snuggly love bug and crave that one-on-one time with me. I happily oblige.
You now drink whole milk from a sippy cup and almost always have a snack cup or applesauce pouch in your hands. Favorite foods include strawberries, bananas, slices of watermelon, blueberry waffles, steamed carrots, sweet potatoes, cheese, pizza, and pasta with tomato sauce. You’ve learned how to dip peppers in hummus and cucumbers in ranch. And you thoroughly enjoyed your first cupcake on your birthday. In true third child fashion, I made cupcakes from a box that we ate after frozen pizza and before rushing the big kids off to swim class. But you had absolutely no complaints.
You continue to be a speedy crawler and have little interest in walking, even while holding our hands. You have two more teeth on the top and signs of more breaking through on the bottom. At your one-year check-up, you weighed 19 lbs and measured 27 inches. You also braved your way through two shots and blood work. I think it was harder for Mommy than it was for you!
You wear size 4 diapers, size 12-18 month clothing, and size 5 shoes. We are so grateful for hand-me-downs from friends because you are growing so fast!
This summer is sure to be busier than last summer when I could strap you to my chest while we explored playgrounds and parks, or guarantee that you would sleep soundly in the stroller while I chased the big kids around the pool. Nope. Now you want to climb sliding boards and crawl through mulch and swing with your sister and splash in water fountains. Let’s do this, sweet girl. Bring on dirty knees and rosy cheeks and shirts stained with watermelon juice and vanilla ice cream.
We love you, Evie! Happy birthday to the one that completed our family in the most perfect way.