My sweet baby turned 1!!! Well, she actually turned 1 two weeks ago, but I am just now getting to go through the photos and sit down to write all about her first year. This blogpost may be more for me than anyone else, but maybe you will enjoy these special photos my friend Aimee Wilson took for me. I am also using this as a space to document all the things I swear I will remember about this year... so maybe that will be fun to read as well.
The year started with a homebirth. You can read that story here. The first few weeks postpartum were surprisingly smooth. My husband stayed home for two weeks and helped so much. We have both learned that the more I rest for the first few weeks, the quicker I recover and the better I am able to handle life (physically and emotionally) when I am alone with a newborn and the bigger kids. The big kids also were awesome helpers, and I got a lot of rest during this time. Hannah adjusted so well to her new big family and was such a happy little newborn (as long as she was being held).
She really has never liked sleep (and still doesn't!). We struggled with colic for the first few months. After all the other children were asleep and my home was quiet, my sweet newborn would become inconsolable. It would last many nights until midnight or 1 am. I had not experienced colic with any of my other children so I felt so unprepared. I felt like a new parent all over again, trying to figure out how to get her to calm down and sleep.
While I was trying to make it through the colic times, I learned that she absolutely loves worship music. She has her favorite songs from Bethel and Hillsong that instantly will calm her. Even now that she is past the colic stage, if something upsets her, I can put on one of her favorite songs, and she goes from screaming and mad to singing and smiling. She LOVES to sing. She will have one hand waiving in the air while she sways and sings. It is so cute!
The next few months seem like a blur. Once we got into somewhat of a routine with homeschool, sewing, housework, and life, the time just passed quickly. I feel the constant need to divide my time, balance everything before me, and find joy in a place where overwhelm is constantly in front of me. I find that emotionally, anxiety was more present in my life than it was before the few rough years I had medically before she was born. Maybe this is just how life happens: as you grow, you realize there are hard parts of life to walk through, and even though you make it through with God's help, you are a bit raw and learning how to still be (the new) you on the other side. Before becoming a mother, I was pretty oblivious, care free, and easy going. I am still pretty care free and easy going, but I just have so much to constantly think about now!
I love how much JOY she has brought to our home. She is non-stop entertainment for us all, and it is exciting and yet hard at the same time to see the baby-days flying by. I constantly choose to enjoy her and not let the juggling act overwhelm me.
At 6 months she was crawling and her first tooth came at 10 months. After the first tooth, 5 more quickly followed. She is a champion eater of all foods that come her way. We are still breastfeeding, like a lot. She is showing no signs of slowing down. She even will nurse in a loud noisy room! My first and third weened at 18 months. My second weened at 11 months. My fourth born weened closer to 2 years. I am grateful she is still breastfeeding.
Her favorite person is mom. This is very typical with breastfed babies, and I am eating it up. She thinks I should hold and carry her night and day. I think she is keeping me skinny because it is a lot of work to carry her so much, and then when I do sit down, she thinks we should be nursing.
I am grateful that she also really loves her sisters. She plays with them so much! If I did not have the older girls to give me a break when I need it, I would not be enjoying this first year as much. They help her and dote on her all the time, and it just warms my heart to see how much they love each other. They also keep her occupied while I get ready in the morning, when I need to take a shower in the evening, and for any other time where I may feel overwhelmed and need a moment.
She has this specific look that she makes all the time. I was so excited that Aimee caught a lot of her favorite faces in this photo shoot!
I love her look of excitement when she takes a few steps. She is just so thrilled that is able to walk. Even though she can walk, she really doesn't use it as her preferred way to get around yet. Aimee says it is because she has too many people to carry her.
She says "Mommy," "Tata" (for Tabitha), "Addy" (for Abby). She says "Hi!" a ton. If my phone rings, she starts saying "Hi, Hi, Hi!" and sounds so sweet. Her favorite thing to say, though, is "Wup!!!" Her "w" sounds are pretty clear, but I have no idea what she is talking about.
The quilt peeking out in these photos is the BFF Quilt that I finished three years ago and blogged about here.
I bravely let her borrow my real pearls for these photos. I just couldn't get over how sweet they looked on her. She is wearing a tutu that was Tabitha's when she was this age. It was one of the only things I had saved from her, and I am so happy to see Hannah wearing it.
She loves dogs and cats and squeals when she sees them (thankfully we don't own any because I do not need anyone else to clean up after!). She finds baby dolls and rocks them back and forth and already acts motherly when she plays. She also screams a lot when she plays and finds her world so exciting. When she sees her brothers, she tries to smack them and wrestle with them, thinking she is a match for them. I love to hear her squeal with delight and play with her siblings.
Enjoy the photos! It was so hard to narrow them down! I think she was very confused as to why she kept having to sit in the basket, but I was so glad she played along so well :)