Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dear Violet,

When I was a little girl, I was wearing a brand new pretty Sunday dress that nana bought for me.  She caught me holding a permanent marker, apparently about to write all over the dress.  She told me "Don't you even think about it."  I looked her square in the eyes, and slowly began to swirl that marker all over the front of that dress.  Luckily I'm alive today to tell you that story.

Now fast forward 25 years, and enter YOU.  I have a bookshelf in the kitchen with all my cookbooks (that I'm very attached to), and you've taken a liking to them as well.  However, instead of picking out inspirations for our next meals, you just make an entertaining game out of seeing how fast you can throw them all out of the shelf and onto the floor.  I've had to save a few of my favorites (including a precious family cookbook given to me by Mimi, and Mama's cookbook that Aunt Kathy put together for us, and the notebook from which I collect recipes, pictures, inspirations and wine facts that I cut out of magazines), and put them up high where you can't reach them.  Unfortunately, there's no room for the rest of them, so I'm forced to simply attempt to get you to stop playing your mean little game.  This morning, after picking them up and stacking them back on the shelf, I turned around to fill the coffee pot with water.  I turned back around and there you stood, with one hand on another cookbook, eyes on me.  I said in my most serious mama-bear voice "Violet, NO. NO."  You hesitated just one second, then slowly and calculatingly took the cookbook off the shelf, carefully placed it on the floor, and then stepped on it... repeatedly.  I had to laugh out loud because I immediately thought of how satisfying this scene would be to your nana and papa, after having lived through my stubborn toddler (and preteen, and teen, and well, you get the idea) stage.

Your dad and I are in for a wild ride, aren't we?

Don't worry though, I know I'll be okay, because in times of our "power struggles,"  I'll just think of this face...

And I'll remember that you're still my perfect little pumpkin head.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Dear Violet,

One of the things that I've been very curious about with you is what "comfort" item you'll adopt.  Some kids have blankets, others have stuffed animals, etc.  I've tried to sort of "set you up" with some things I've liked, like your Sophie the Bear or your dad's white stuffed monkey from when he was a kid, but neither of those did it for you. I wondered if you'd even go through that stage, because you're one already and you haven't really "taken" to any one of your toys in particular.

Well, you've finally found your comfort item.  I bet it's because this is your first week of being "officially" weaned.  Your last nursing was Monday morning.  The timing is perfect, so it makes sense that you're needing something to replace that comfort.  (By the way, the weaning process went BEAUTIFULLY smooth, and so much easier than I thought it would.  Thank you for being so easy!)  You always love to lug around my make up bag, purse, diaper bag... anything with a handle on it.  We were at TJMaxx a few days ago, and I was looking at the make up bags to get you one to play with, and you pulled a beige satin clutch purse from the rack next to me, slung it over your arm proudly, and walked up to two older little girls that were close to us and just looked up at them like you were just "ready to go" or something.  I can't explain how funny this was to watch.  You really are so incredibly funny, I can't wait to hear the things that are going to come out of that mouth of yours!

Nana bought you the purse for your birthday present, and you pretty much haven't taken it off since.  It's so funny because you're such a tomboy, yet you have this pretty little satin clutch purse with you while you're smearing your hands in the dirt!  I guess you take after me- feminine yet not afraid to get messy.  :)

The rope is a little bit too long so you sometimes trip over it, so I started putting it around your neck to the side, and you love that.  You've not once tried to take it off!  I put my old cell phone and your toy keys in there so you're all set to go.  I don't let you sleep with it because my mommy-brain thinks of all the morbid ways it could get tangled up and hurt you, but it stays on the nightstand waiting for you when you wake up.  It's a pretty purse too- you have good taste!


Dear Violet,

I feel like it was yesterday that you were born, yet I also feel like I've known you forever.  We celebrated your first birthday 2 weekends ago.  We had a beautiful party at Nana's house with all your friends and good food, and 2 pools set up outside for you to play in... I'd say it was a pretty perfect birthday... for both of us!

I'm so glad you were born on my birthday.  When I was pregnant with you, I thought about how your due date was the week after my birthday, and I was hoping you'd be born on a different day.  Yet the more I got to know you in my belly and the closer it came to meeting you, I thought about how wonderful it would be to celebrate our birthdays together.  Getting mani/pedi's together, then brunch, then shopping... oh, I can't wait!  I was hanging out in Conway with Nana and Papa the day before you were born, and  I had been having contractions fairly regularly, but pretty far apart.  Nana and I went on a brisk walk to try to start something, and then we went to Ruby Tuesday's for dinner (I had a salad bar, and ate a LOT of salad).  I remember my contractions were starting to get further and further apart at that point, so I thought it was just a tease.  Our dinner conversation was about you, and how cool it would be if you decided to come out on my birthday, the next day.  My mom wanted to come stay the night with us, just in case.  I didn't want to overreact, so I assured her that nothing was going to happen, but I'd keep her updated.

Your dad was at Uncle Dan's house, and I remember telling him on the way home from Conway that I was having regular contractions (but far apart), and he didn't seem too concerned.  I came home and cleaned the house pretty strenuously (yes, on purpose), and then walked up and down and up and down and up and down the driveway about 98 times, with the dogs in single file behind me.  It was pretty funny.  I was trying everything!  Pregnancy wasn't the best time of my life!  The contractions had gotten pretty far apart, so I was convinced you had just teased me, and went to bed, around midnight.  Your dad came home around then, and I told him that it was a close call, and we went to sleep.

I woke up around 2:30 to go to the bathroom, and went I sat down, something happened that was NOT what I was expecting... my water broke!  I was half asleep and not expecting that, so I was a little in shock.  I went back to bed and just sat there, staring at the wall, wondering what had just happened.  A few minutes later, I got back up, and realized again that yes, my water was DEFINITELY breaking.  I decided it was time to wake your dad up.  I shook his shoulder and said, "um, my water just broke," with a huge smile on my face.  He said groggily, "Are you serious?  At 2:30 in the morning??"  He was hoping you'd decide to start your journey a little closer to daytime!  I called the hospital and they said to wake up and shower or do what I need to do, just to try to be there within the hour (we live about 15 minutes from the hospital).  So I got in the shower first, still in shock and starting to get nervous and scared and excited, and then your dad got in the shower.  I posted a Facebook status about how we were on our way to the hospital, because it was the easiest way to spread the word!  We headed to the hospital, and called my mom on the way.  She got there really soon after that, she was so excited!

I don't remember every little tiny detail about the delivery, but I blogged about it on my last blog, so here is the story...

This past year has gone by so fast.  It's nothing short of MINDBLOWING how fast you've grown and learned so many things.  You're breathtakingly gorgeous, and get more beautiful everyday.  I love spending time with you.  I feel too lucky to have my photography job that lets me make my own schedule, and to have your dad that works SO HARD to make sure I can be there for you everyday.  I can't imagine having someone else spending the day with you.  Sometimes you drive me absolutely CRAZY when you get whiny and restless, but I still understand and empathize with you at the same time- it's hard to be so little and not be able to communicate what you want, and especially now with the temperatures being upwards of 110 degrees, we're getting a little stir-crazy inside all day, to say the least!

Words I'd use to describe you right now: smart, silly, happy, fearless, coy-but-not-shy, laid back, OUTDOOR LOVER, smiley, snuggly, patient, and beautiful.

Here are some photos from your birthday party.  You had such a great time with your friends, Lilly, Marley, Kepler, Addie and River.

Your Mimi bought you this perfect birthday outfit and headband.  It was so cute on you!
Here we are:
Playing in your new tunnel with Lilly:
Sharing your barbie doll with Fisher.
Starting out opening presents with daddy:
then got a little overwhelmed and needed your mommy...
You made this face the entire duration of your birthday song and the candle blow outs.  It was pretty hilarious.  You didn't know why everyone was singing to you all at the same time!  You eventually thought it was a good thing...
Here is my new favorite family picture of us.  I'm so lucky to have you two to spend my life with every day!
Then it was pool time...
You interrupted your dad and papa and uncle Ryan throwing the football around because you wanted to run around carrying it.  You LOVED that football!  So funny...

People say that there has to be bad to appreciate the good, but I don't believe that.  I'm not saying that nothing bad has ever happened to me, but relatively speaking, I've had it pretty easy my whole life, yet I can honestly say that I don't EVER take you for granted.  Every hug I get from you is soaked in and appreciated.  You're the best thing that's ever happened to your dad and me, and we feel so incredibly lucky and special to be the ones to have the honor to raise you.  I love you so much.  Happy first birthday, sweetheart.  Happy Birthday...