Friday, October 3, 2014

Letters to Serene: 12 months

serene joy at 12 months
My dear Serene Joy,

Happiest of first birthdays, my sweet little love! Today marks one whole year of your life. What a momentous, life-changing year it has been. Ever since you entered the world at 2:43am on October 3rd, 2013, your daddy's and my lives were forever changed in the best way possible. We have seen you grow in boundless ways from a helpless, precious newborn weighing 6 lbs 9 oz at 19 inches long into a 18 lb, 28 1/2 inch long babbling, smiley one-year-old personality who manages to get into everything. From Day 1, you have never ceased to make us smile, to make us anxious (about your well-being), and to make our hearts ache from our deep love for you. You have shown us so much depth and breadth of God's character and kindness through your life.

This past month, you've evolved more so into a little girl who's unabashed about her inclinations. You express your affection in diverse ways now. You lean in to give us kisses on the lips. You hug us tightly when we hold you as if to convince us never to let you go, which works most of the time. You lean your head on my shoulder and wrap your arms around mine while crooning "mama" with contentment. You squeal with delight, babble, and giggle all the time. You grin at every passerby in utmost winsomeness. You are a pro at charming everyone's socks off. If you're crawling on the floor, you reach up to lean your head on our legs and squeeze them tight. It is the cutest!!!

Speaking of crawling, it remains your most trustworthy mode of transportation, although you're now adept at cruising and climbing everything as if they're jungle gyms. When we hold your hands up to walk, you bend your legs into sitting position right away so that your feet won't be caught touching the floor. You whine like you do whenever you feel anxious. You are resolute in refusing to walk independently for now. Your daddy and I love that you pitter patter around the house. Crawling just gets you places more speedily, especially when you play chase with your daddy. You shriek with elation whenever he chases you around the house.

Until you get distracted by a newfound object. One of your favorite activities is taking objects out of containers and putting them back in. You're fond of banging objects together so that they make as much noise as possible. You're really into displaying affection for your dolls and stuffies - you hug them with all your might and snuggle your face into them. You enjoy warbling into sand buckets and other open containers. You are a silly bundle of sweetness.

You're also an eating monster. You love to eat, and you eat as much (sometimes, more) as your daddy or I do. I don't remember all the new foods you tried this month, but they include black beans, quinoa, Thai noodle dishes, bibimbap, congee, and cod. Your perfected pincer grasp helps you to scarf your food down so quickly that if people are around you, they comment on how they enjoy watching you eat. Your daddy affectionately declares that you eat like him. Of all the foods you love, you have whole wheat toast, eggs, spinach, and fruit every day. They are your tried-and-true staples. You can also drink from a straw, even if you'd rather bite and play with it most of the time. You also finally sprouted your first teeth this past month: the two on the bottom. We think it is darling to see two little white nubs decorating your bottom gums.

Your sleep schedule has been consistent for the past few months and like last month, you nurse 3-4 times a day, for about 10 minutes per session. We cuddle and stare at each other in contentment during those times. Oftentimes, you'll grin mid-nurse, which makes me laugh. We have a special bond, my little love. That's why your daddy and I think you murmur "mama" all day, every day. You will always be my baby, no matter how quickly you grow up. You're the one who made me a mama. You're the one who revealed the inexpressible, heart-wrenching love for a child. You're the one who taught me the staggering responsibility of stewarding a child's life. You're the one who elicited out of me so much heart-shattering joy and love. You're the one who convinced me motherhood is the best calling in the world. You are a most precious gift. I cannot wait to, Lord willing, live more years with you, my baby baby. To celebrate all the moments, big and small, because our gracious God orchestrates them for our good in Christ and his glory. To share with you the kindness of God in Jesus Christ, which surpasses anything this world has to offer. I am forever blessed to be your mama.

Love you so,

P.S. Serene Joy at 012345678910, and 11 months.
P.P.S. Serene Joy's birth story

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