Today my sweet baby girl Willow is turning one. It has been a challenging few years to get here. Nothing went as we planned. But we would not give up the past year getting to know this adorable little person for anything.
Born 9lb 12oz, she is now a petite little thing still under 19lbs, in spite of nursing and eating solids almost all the time. She has been walking for over a month now and gets very insistent to get down and walk when we are out and about unless she is actually tied to someone's back.
She is saying a few words, mostly "Dada", "Hi", "Dis" (when pointing), "NighNigh" (when signing "Sleep"), and "Nanas" (which started meaning milk but now means milk, water, food, or anything edible she can put in her mouth), and is finally starting to say "Mama" but mostly just to practice the sound.
Willow is also using a lot of ASL signs, or her versions. She regularly signs "Daddy", "Griffin" (her favorite), "Milk", "Cat","Sleep", "Tired", "All Done", and "No". Sometimes she signs "Play", "Food", "More", "Dog", "Hat", and even "Diaper" when she needs a change. Then there is all the other hand waving where she is clearly trying to tell us something but we have yet to decipher what she is saying.
With a mouth full of teeth, she eats pretty much everything, as long as it is cut small. Tooth #12, her fourth molar, is just working it's way through this week. She has never eaten a jar of baby food and had no interest in baby cereal, preferring foods she can feed herself and plenty of mommy's milk.
Willow's toothy grin is her "default expression", smiling unless she has a reason not to (much like her mom), and charming all who meet her. She is so full of personality that shines through her bright blue eyes. It is amazing to watch as she explores the world around her and to see how she interacts with her big brother Griffin who adores her, if sometimes a bit too much. You can read everything she is thinking on her sweet little face.
Of course there are always the wistful moments, when she reminds us of the little girl we never got the chance to know and will never get to watch grow up. Those moments are fewer now than they were in the early days when rocking her to sleep in the wee hours of the night often brought tears to my eyes. I still struggle to release my dreams of what might have been as I (quite literally) embrace what IS.
I am excited to see who she grows into but wish life would slow down just a little so I can enjoy and remember every minute. My baby is barely one year old and already charging ahead, ready to run into toddlerhood. Happy Birthday my sweet Willow!