How in the world has it already been a year since you made your early morning debut on the fourth of July?! I just put you to bed tonight for the last time that you're not technically "ONE". Tomorrow morning, you'll wake up around your usual time and you will have been in our lives for a full year. You were born at 4:49AM and caused quite the stir on the evening of July 3, 2014 my sweet girl. I'll never forget everything that led up to your debut. What we ate for dinner, extra snuggles with your brother on the couch, staying up late to finish sewing stuff for your room and still unsure of our July 4th plans. Well, little did we know you would wake me up around midnight ready to make a quick (slightly painful) debut into this world.
I love thinking about the day you were born. While I was so frightened what it would be like to add another child to our family, I wasn't so much afraid while I was in labor that I wouldn't have enough love to share between you and Charlie. Because for some reason, I remember all that anxiety that I had about that going away when I went into labor with you. I think it's that mama bear instinct that kicks in most every woman with your kids. The minute I knew you were really ready to come, all I could focus on what was getting you into this world safely and healthy and staring at your sweet little face.
Right after you were born, the nurses handed you to me and you nursed immediately. Our first moment together in this world. I literally get goosebumps thinking about it. I was just so surprised because your brother did nothing of the sorts (boys!). So it was such a pleasant surprise. While I do think the reason I was slightly more calm was because I had experienced the whole labor thing before, so I was much less scared about that, but just able to focus on you. How you felt when I held you. Your sweet first cries. Then seeing you with your dad for the first time (oh my!). Finally getting to see your brother and watching him meet you.
While it seems like it was yesterday sometimes, this year has FLOWN by and all of a sudden you are not a baby. Not at all. You walk, you talk (saying a few words but a great communicator via sign language), you eat all kinds of food, you laugh with the best belly laugh and you have the best personality little lady. The other day, your brother and I were looking at a picture that had been up on our wall that I was replacing that was a picture of just the three of us (me, dad and Charlie) and he looked up at me and said "Where's Addie?". Ha - yep, a year later, he very much knows your name is Maddie (with an M), but still calls you Addie. I even do it sometimes too (sorry!). But my favorite thing about that story? It's realizing that he doesn't know or remember anything about life without you in it. Watching the relationship between you and him blossom and develop over this past year has been such a blessing as a mother and father. You now fight just like a brother and sister should, but he protects you over anything. When you were littler and just learning to sit up, someone knocked you over and Charlie yelled!! Told the kid he needed to go to time out. It made my heart swell. And even the other day the three of us (Charlie, me and your dad) were somewhere without you (which obviously doesn't happen very often)...and Charlie asked about 3 times "where is Addie?". It was pretty sweet. Let's just say he loves you and you love him.
It's been just such a blessing my sweet girl to see you grow up so much this year. I'm also so thankful that you and I were able to keep up nursing all this time. While it can be a pain at times to keep up pumping (and the last month was hard with all my traveling), but as I was getting to nurse you to sleep tonight I couldn't help but think that there is no better feeling for me as a mom. To each their own for sure, but I love it and I'm glad we can snuggle and have quiet time at least a few times a day still.
I don't know why I was ever even worried about it....but you just fit right into our family and we are so grateful for your sweet smiling face each and every day. It's scary to me how fast this year flew by. I remember sitting in the hospital room with you and your dad on the fourth of July last year as we listened to nearby fireworks. I said to him - "Can you believe that a year from now we were will going to Branson with your family with a one year old and almost three year old?". And now here we are, your first birthday and just a week away from our bi-annual Carter family trip.
SO much to look forward to my sweet girl. Oh so much. I cannot wait to see the loving, strong, beautiful, smart woman you will become. And hopefully you aren't as sassy as I think you are going to be, right?
We love you so much and happy first birthday!
You and me...girl...a year difference!!
(P.S. the look on your face...!! and P.P.S. I mean can we just talk about how amazing it is to be a woman that your body can go from a baby inside back to normal in a year?!?)
Some of my favorite pictures from your birthday:
I just love this picture. And it makes me cry looking at it because your dad loves you so much.
Seriously - you were and ARE still the best snuggler. I lucked out with that!!
And now, here are the three of us almost a year later.
So one thing I must tell you. Your nickname is pot roast. Ha. I'm so sorry. But you are seriously the chunkiest little girl and it's completely adorable. Trust me!!! But this picture was what your dad took and sent to me saying "Pot roast eating pot roast". You're the best, Maddie.
Your personality is just so awesome. Don't let anyone ever tell you differently or drag you down.