You have a light in your eyes from the moment you wake up until you finally give in to bedtime every single day. You are just such a joyous little girl, and your energy and your smile are contagious, both to those who love you and see you often, and to those who meet you in public, or those who rarely see you but follow up with you on here. You have a newfound way of making yourself laugh, maybe for attention, but once you get yourself going it is impossible not to laugh along with you. It brings such joy to our home, and your Daddy and I are so lucky to live in a space filled with laughter. We smile and laugh with you every single day.
You still love Lainey more and more all the time. You have taken to sharing her pillow with her, and the two of you can often be found snuggling when things get quiet. When Lainey shakes and her collar jingles, you recognize the sound and immediately say "Puppy" and head off to find where she is. In fact, "Puppy" is often the first word you say every morning. You are going to be a lover of dogs for your entire life I would imagine, and you will always look back on Lainey as your childhood best pal. I love that.
You are talking up a storm lately, and we can definitely understand Mama, Daddy, Puppy, Baby, Hi, and you sign "More". You have many conversations with yourself and anyone who happens to be nearby, but none of us can understand much of it still. It sure doesn't stop you from constantly chattering away to your "babies" or to Lainey, and sometimes you seem so sure that you have just said the most important thing ever and how could we possibly not understand or even think of disagreeing? Again, just another way that you keep us laughing every day.
Speaking of your independence, you are no longer interested in your monthly chair photo, so I guess starting next month Mama will have to come up with another place to try and snag a semi-consistent shot of you! We wrangled Daddy in for this month so that we could at least give it our best shot, but you weren't even having that for long! Always on the move...maybe a little bit like your Mama there.
While this day in 2012 is really all about you, I spent a lot of time reflecting on this day in 2011, when so much of it was also inherently about me, too. I remember the days and weeks leading up to that day with such anticipation of what you would be like, how you were going to enter our world, who you might look like, what your voice would sound like when you first cried. I remember so much about the details of your birthday, of my "Birth Day". I remember the intensity of my labor and the work it took to bring you from inside my body to join us in this world. I remember how heart wrenchingly terrifying it was to be wheeled away from you just minutes after I welcomed you into my arms, not knowing anything about what was about to come, and not letting myself believe that I wouldn't see you or Daddy again, but not being 100% sure, either. I was so scared of what I would miss. I knew that you and Daddy had each other, and that's how you both got through those next hours, but I was so afraid I wouldn't ever get to know more about you than the tiniest taste of you I had just been given. I was afraid that I might wake up and hear that you would be an only child, because my uterus wasn't able to be saved. Luckily, those worst nightmares were no more than a few moments of panic, and our world didn't come crashing down. But that experience, the very real fear that it all might have just vanished as quickly as it came into being, was enough to show me that I cannot take any days with you for granted. I must find quiet moments to cherish the very "you-ness" of you, every day, because it changes so quickly and before I can blink you're turning a corner and learning and growing before my very eyes. And instead of being sad about the baby you aren't anymore, I know that I must be the luckiest mama alive to have such a perfectly wonderful little girl in her place. Happy Birthday, Sweetest Norah Annabel. I am the luckiest.
All the Love in my Heart,