Here we are, on the eve of your first birthday. I can hardly believe it. This time last year, the three of us were sitting in a hospital bed together. It was the last time it would ever be just the three of us again. Daddy and I had an ultrasound earlier that day and they thought you guys were very sick and very small. We were sent right over to labor and delivery, but because I threw up that day they wouldn't start my induction until I had eaten.
I had no idea what was in store for me beyond that meal and beyond that night. I was terrified for you both. I couldn't believe we made it to 38+ weeks and I was hearing words like NICU and ventilators. You guys were so happy to eat that night. I remember feeling you roll around in my belly. You weren't ready to come out, and as much as I wanted to meet you I wasn't ready yet either.
I thought I had failed you. Turns out, Ryan was just hogging up all the real estate in my belly (like he does in the ball pit, Mommy and Daddy's bed and on the couch!) and it made it hard for the doctors to get a clear picture of you guys. You were both perfect in every way. Six pounds, 1 ounce and six pounds, eight ounces of perfect (to be exact).
December was when everything really started to change. You guys were like little sponges, suddenly things that you were seeing around you started to click and you were not only responding to your world around you, but engaging in it as well.
Reese one afternoon we were doing our weekly pictures in your bedroom when you pulled a nana blanket out of your crib, put it over your head and then pulled it down and started laughing. You were playing peek-a-boo...with ME! So many months of me playing peek-a-boo with you and there you were copying me, and of your own volition. I couldn't believe my eyes.
Ryan, you started imitating sounds I'd make throughout the day. Silly things I do when I think no one is paying attention. Clicking noises and hmmmm, hmmmm, hmmmms, big sighs and whistles. I thought I was going crazy the first time I heard you mimick me, but it was real.
At eleven months you guys were inseparable. Ry, you finally started crawling on all fours (and you've gotten quite fast!) and you and Puff spent hours chasing each other around the chairs in the living room or in the playroom. You guys giggle like maniacs and talk in your own language.
You guys were curious as anything (or as Daddy says, mischeivous). Pulling things out of drawers, climbing like crazy, standing on top of toys to get a better vantage point of something just out of your reach. December in our house was an exercise in herding cats.
Of course, we celebrated your first Christmas. Very exciting, well for us anyway. You guys were more concerned with the paper than your actual presents. Next year is going to be amazing. But this year was everything I dreamed it could be.
At the beginning of December I bought you guys a book called "Where is Baby's Birthday Cake?" it is one of the lift the flap books that you both love and I thought it would be a good way to prepare you guys for the things you'd see at your birthday party and help get us geared up for the big day. We read it after bottles every night before lights out.
All I have to do is say the name of the book and you both drop whatever trouble you're getting into and crawl over to me. You know exactly how to lift each flap and exactly when to turn the pages. Some nights you share nicely lifting the flaps together and taking turns turning the pages. Other nights you tackle each other to get to the flaps and nearly kill me trying to turn the pages.
It's amazing to Daddy and I that in a few short weeks you figured out that some flaps open to the left, some lift straight up and some pull down. That you know which flap is which. You are obviously not babies anymore, at least not the little babies I brought home a year ago.
We are so proud of you and so in love with you. Tomorrow is going to be our special day, just the four of us before your party this weekend. Daddy took off work so we can hang out as a family. I can't believe we are going to wake up to two one year olds tomorrow.
Reliving the last year of our lives through these letters - if there was anything I could do differently the only thing I'd go back and tell myself was to soak it all in and not get so caught up in the tired and the lonely. Cause let's be honest guys, you're awesome, but this was a lot of work and I was here all by myself. But now looking back on it all, now that it's gone, I realize it all happened in the blink of an eye. And really, I wouldn't change a second of it.
Happy Birthday my loves.