Henry, this past month, you turned one.
I had planned to do a spectacular photo montage set to music with various pictures from your first year - but since we were on a cross-country road trip 3,000-miles from home, that plan never came to fruition.
I had also planned to bake you the a five-tiered cake that is customary in your father's family in honor of the first birthday ... but that didn't happen, either (Note the date stamp. That was for your siblings birthday in 2005).
I know, I know. Whaddup?!
In lieu of those things, I have merged a lot of photos from your 12th month in with a lot of photos from your 13th month while humming Celine Dion's Miracle.
And I made you a flag cake that your brother was gracious enough to share with you, on the Fourth of July. For some reason, he thought the cake, which was decorated in strawberries that he had helped to pick out, belonged to him. But he did let you have a piece which was very, very nice. Considering it was YOUR birthday cake.
Oh, baby Henry. You are my miracle.
You are growing by leaps and bounds and it is bittersweet to see how much you have changed in less than 400 days.
Although you are not (completely) walking yet, you do get around rather quickly by what I consider to be running with your hands on the ground.
You like to climb on top of anything ...
... and crawl under anything that doesn't move.
You are taking a few hesitant steps...
And will spend minutes putting objects in to and taking them out of, a cup.
You are fascinated by looking at your siblings upside down (while standing on the train table)...
And you are enamored with gravity and how strawberries and Cheerios when thrown, land on the floor. This is an incredibly curious thing that you feel compelled to repeat with anything you can get your hands on.
You love ice cream...
And I love watching you eat it.
You love going for rides on various toys...
And you equally love pushing your siblings around the house. As for me, I love it that all of you push each other around because it hurts my back to bend down for the several hours a day that the lot of you little people enjoy participating in this particular activity.
As much as you adore your siblings, they adore you.
They are such big helpers, too.
Even when you sit in the middle of their toys, with your palms upturned and bust them for eating all your teething biscuits, they are quite smitten with their baby brudder.
Because of our recent travels and long summer days, we have had our share of struggles with your sleep schedule. But within the past week, I've been very strict. There was a lot of crying the first few days, but by the third day, you were taking a 45-minute morning nap beginning at 8:30 AM and a 45-minute to 2-hour afternoon nap beginning at 1:00 PM. You also go to bed with no resistance at night and sleep for anywhere from 10 to 12 hours. Your father will bring you to bed so I can nurse you, and then you'll usually doze off for at least another hour. It's a good thing you are finally sleeping, because I was starting to lose my mind a little.
And oh! Look how peaceful you are when you are sleeping!!
I am still nursing you and have no intention to stop until you are ready. Or, until you turn two. Whichever comes first. Although, if you continue with the Cirque du Soleil routine wherein you attempt 360 degree spins from my nipple, I might reconsider. Sorry, no picture for that. But imagine you, upside down, with your feet over the top of my head.
I held off on having your hair cut until you turned one, because I just couldn't get myself to cross over to what I consider to be the beginning of toddlerhood.
But toddlerhood, come it will. I can see that you are growing in to a perfect little boy, Henry. You delight in pushing toy trucks, trains, or equipment with wheels around the house.
And catching piggy back rides on your Daddy's shoulders.
Sure, every so often you are the embodiment of a frustrated one-year-old, and there was that time I wanted to catapult you in to the Duck Pond in the Boston Public Garden...
But mostly? You are pure magic...
And I want you to stay my baby so I can hold you in my arms, forever.