Friday, October 28, 2011

on your first birthday

dear davis,

a year ago today, we welcomed you into the world. but if we're honest with ourselves, it was a year and nine months ago that we became parents. that first flash of "pregnant" in the little plastic window began our whole journey into parenthood.

we were elated, so excited to share this news with our family and to begin the overwhelming task of preparing for a baby. doctor's appointments, baby showers, nursery decorating and checking off lists of "to do's" a mile long. not to mention the physical changes :)

we were so ready to meet you, though. each ultrasound gave us a peek at the little guy that already had so much personality. you communicated with us through hiccups, kicks and rolls that seemed to literally stretch the boundaries of your current home.
as the weeks passed, spring became summer and summer became fall. and i hoped above all hopes that you would be born in october. we were given a due date of november 6th, but my calculations had you coming a little bit earlier. and then we were getting measurements of you being two weeks larger than expected, with an even larger head...and my wish for a fall baby became more practical and less tied to a love for all things pumpkin spice and autumn leaves and football.

so you took your time making your entrance into the world. i went to the doctor's office every day that week until you were born for various reasons. regular check-up, high blood pressure visit, a visit where i thought i was in labor, and then the visit where finally--i was in labor and sent across the road to the hospital.

i had decided to try and do things without an epidural, and the nurses i had were so supportive. i did end up with some iv pain meds in the end once they had to give me some pitocin. it was tough, davis, but so worth it when we finally heard your cry. after 38 1/2 weeks of pregnancy, 41 hours of labor (since 6 am the previous morning), five hours in the hospital and 45 minutes of pushing--you were here.and we were in love. you were perfect, with a perfectly round head, perfect button nose, perfect fingers and toes, and a personality that filled the room. your stubbornness and desire to let everyone know when things weren't quite right began in those first few hours. but we figured each other out after a little while and fell into our regular routine.

we had tons of family coming to visit those first couple of weeks and everyone wanted to see you. that's one of the benefits of being the first grandchild for most of our families :) you had more and more alert time, and we lived for those moments of seeing your bright eyes taking everything in. (we also loved snuggling you to sleep, too.)the holidays came and went--thanksgiving with our families...
and then christmas. you were wonderful through out it all. we remember sitting at church in the pew with you asleep in your carrier on christmas eve, all giggling softly as we listened to your light snores and sighs.
winter was ushered in with a couple of snow storms, and we all holed up in the house, watching the world turn white. you were adorable in your little snowsuit.
eventually, winter turned to spring, i returned to work and you began staying with your grandma during the day. we had good days and bad days, but we adjusted and found a schedule that worked for all of us. if anything, it made me appreciate my time with you in the mornings and after work even more.

you began wowing us with your tricks--rolling over, laughing, reaching for toys and smiling at everyone you met. we were so easily amused and marveled at each new milestone you reached, still not believing how much you had a grown in just a few short weeks.we got to travel more, visiting family and friends and letting you explore with us as we navigated the same old places with new challenges and a new perspective as parents. we continued a trial and error approach to figuring each other out, and i'll be honest, davis--we lost our tempers a few times. i would cry in frustration and try to figure out what we were missing. sleep deprivation will do that to a person, and you weren't easy to rationalize with at 2 am. but we'd end up tucked into bed all together, creating what i'm sure were poor sleeping habits that we later had to break, but just desperate to catch a few hours of sleep all the same.

we lost some amazing men in your life this year, davis. your pap, justin's grandfather, who was so proud of you and loved the pictures he saw. we'll have lots of stories to tell you about him one day, stories of coal mining and the war in europe and training camps and everything.

and then there was your papa, my dad, who thought you were the best thing ever. he loved you so much, davis, and it makes me sad to think about what you and him will miss over the upcoming years. but i'm so thankful for the memories we do have of you two together, and just know that we will make sure you know how to grill, can sing along to jimmy buffett and bruce springsteen, and can clap along to the carolina fight song at all appropriate ages.

(the grilling may come a bit later. and some of the buffett songs.)
we made a bittersweet first visit to downeast for his service, but you got to see the sound for the first time and we declared you a beach baby.
and we made sure to take you through "your town"--davis. we'll have to make this a regular occurance--i'm sure great-grandma and great-grandaddy wouldn't mind that.

you continued to show your big personality, always inquisitive, always excited to experience the next big thing.
everyone has commented on how happy you are, and that you have to be one of the most photographed babies ever. i will say, the camera seems to love you. or is it the person behind the camera? either way, it has been a joy capturing you through the camera lens and sharing the photos with your adoring fans.
but i am truthful with them when i say, "well, i don't stop to take pictures when he's crying."
(most of the time. we do have a few good pouts thrown into the mix.)
we like to talk about your future--who you're going to take after and what features we'll see as you continue to grow.
you have your daddy's temper but seem to get a good deal of your looks from my side. there are times where i swear you look just like your uncle alan.

we hope you'll inherit a love for music--you're already starting to dance when grandma plays a cd for you, and you have loved most of the live music you've heard so far. you also love to see how things work and pick up on the littlest details--kinda like your daddy.we hope you'll be kind and gentle and caring, but we know you have a mischevious streak in you, too. just recently, you started crawling or walking faster away from us when you know we're on to you...
you do love the water, and splashing and trying to drink it and more. we learned that during our many afternoons in the pool or our two trips to the beach this summer.
you were a big fan of sand, too. there's no telling how much you ingested during those weeks.
those memories we have with our family members are priceless, and i'm so glad it worked out so that we could travel with everyone this year.
crawling led to walking, and you were on your way well before we knew it. (a little ahead of the game, to be honest. we became experts at baby-proofing on the fly.)
to you, it just mean more land you could cover, more things you could get into, and more skills to practice practice practice until you got it right. you are DETERMINED, boy, and you don't let much of anything hold you back.
the last few months have been when we've really seen you come into your own. you talk to us, have learned to use a few signs, and definitely have your favorite people in your life.
but regardless if they're on your "favorite" list or your "i don't know you, stranger, so stand back" list--YOU ARE LOVED. so much. by so many people. and we just can't wait to watch you grow.

you have pushed your daddy and me to new places and new challenges. being parents is the toughest job we've ever had, and we know that each time we feel like we've mastered one thing--you change the game on us and we start all over again with a new level. and we love it.
the never-ending game of parenting. with the most adorable boy ever created. thank goodness you're cute, kid ;)
here's to the first year, davis. through the ups and downs, sleep struggles and feeding issues, sweet snuggly moments and deep belly laughs, you have always been the embodiment of pure joy and the desire to live life fully. we thank God every night for blessing us with such an amazing, adorable little guy.
you've come a long way, baby.
but we'll be with you every step of the way from here on out.


mama and dada

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