So, I failed. I work really hard, like super hard, to make sure that the Mattie never feels like she’s missing out on anything just because she’s the second child. I also work, like at a job, that consumes a lot of my daily time, and I do all the mom stuff that has to be done as well. And things fall through the cracks. It sucks, and I hate it, but it’s just a fact. I fall really far behind on my posts here, but I wanted to make sure that Mattie got her 1st birthday post because Ellabelle got one. Well, I wrote one. I patted myself on the back because I found the time and I got it done. Yah! And then I never got around to posting it. Boo. So, I failed. But here it is a week later because it’s better late than never.
May 19, 2016
A year ago, I was scared. Actually, I was terrified. I was terrified of what May 19 was going to bring to our lives. I was terrified of how our family was going to be altered, how Ellabelle’s world was about to be changed. I was terrified I wouldn’t love her the same or be able to share my love. I was terrified of surgery and needles and that somehow I would end up reliving July 22. I was terrified that something would be wrong or a body part might not be the right place. I was terrified of the bright lights and cold table and the smell of burning flesh. I was terrified because they said there was an irregular heartbeat, and I had to lay here, looking anywhere but at the light overhead reflecting what the doctors were doing.
And then, I saw you. One of the nurses placed you in your daddy’s arms, and I saw your sweet little face, your “perfect round head” (according to the doctor), and your pink warm skin. And none of it mattered. None of the worries. All that mattered was that our lives had been empty and missing a vital piece that only Matilda Gayle could fill.
Since the day you got here, you have made our lives so much better, so much more joyful. You’ve always been so laid back, so happy. You warm the room with your smile and infectious personality. I loved your little bald head with your angel kiss on the back, and now I love your soft whispy baby hair. I’m still not sure what color it’s going to end up being. Some days it looks blonde. Some days brown. Some days red. You weren’t as good of a sleeper as your big sister so we took more adjusting to your schedule, but you finally got it down.
I’ve kept track of things throughout this first year that I never want to forget. That’s how it is. You do something so often that it’s just part of who you are, and the one day we realize it’s gone. You’ve already changed so much in just 12 months.
Things I already miss but never want to forget:
The way your voice used to get real low and soft when you were fighting sleep but were almost there.
The difference between your “feed me” cry and your “I want attention” cry
The way you used to stick out that little pouty lip of yours when anyone would accidentally bump you in your chair (usually by big sister’s doing) or when you were startled or when you were really, really hungry
The way you used to attack Ellabelle’s singing turtle as soon as we put you down on the changing table
The way you lifted your swaddled feet up in the air and slammed them down on the play n pack making a huge clang every night and then in the morning. We called them your fish flops.
The way you used to pull yourself up on your knees like you were gonna crawl and then plop down your belly to move forward.
And now, there are things I love that I know that in maybe a months time could be gone:
The way you sleep in a “heap” (as daddy calls it) with your butt in the air.
The way you suck on her upper lip (your old man face) or stick out your tongue for no reason.
The way you throw your head back and forth when you’re fighting sleep.
The way you scream when you see a bottle even if you’ve already been fed.
The way you wave whenever anyone around you says “Hi”.
The way you twist and flip your wrist whenever we sing “All the single babies”.
The way you makes the sweetest sound when you makes big yawns.
The way you refuses to let us put a pacifier in your mouth, but take it and do it yourself instead.
The way you crawl around your crib frantically when we put you in it at night.
The way you shake your head “No” if we do it to you first.
The little way you dance by holding your arms to your side and swing back and forth.
The way you insist on being fed anytime anyone else eating around.
Lately, you’ve earned the nickname Mischievous Mattie and you defend that title daily. You have this little grin you do when you get caught doing something you aren’t suppose to. You know you’re cute, and you use that to you advantage.
You adore your sister. She’s always loved you, but now that you’re on the move, she’s not a huge fan. I have a feeling she’ll move past this stage cause she is still so sweet to you. You follow her around the living room, watch her when she talks, and laugh big belly laughs at her silly antics. I look forward to watching your bond grow and strengthen as you both grow up.
There are so many little things I could sit and document and preserve forever, but what’s important is that you are you, and you make my heart so full and my life so wonderful just by being here. Simply looking at you sitting on the floor wearing just a diaper with your little pudgy Buddha belly hanging out makes me so indescribably happy. You were meant to be in our lives. You are a ray of sunshine.
Babies change so much in their first year, and here we are about to start year 2 with you. You’re crawling, standing with both hands on the floor, you babble like crazy, you love to eat, and you have two little teeth. You use a sippy cup at dinner, but refuse to take your morning milk from anything other than a bottle. You love Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse, mum mums, and stealing mommy’s shoes.
I want to thank you for picking me to be your mommy. Your sister may have made me a mom, but you’ve helped make me a better one. I have learned more about appreciating time because it doesn’t slow down. You’ve made my life better, and I plan on doing everything in my power to return the favor. I love you, Mattie GG. I hope you have a wonderful birthday, my little monster.