Traditions – LP’s Birthday

In just over a month our gorgeous LP will be 2. I have no idea where that time has gone!

Last year I started a tradition, I’m going to write a letter to LP every year on her Birthday, telling her how far she has come, things she has learnt and anything else that she might like to look back on in the future. I’ve just had a read of last year’s letter, in preparation for writing this year’s one, and thought I would share it with you.

28th August 2012

Dear Athena,

This is the first letter I have ever written to you, but it will be the first of many.

You have now been in our lives for a year, and what a year it has been! It has been the happiest year of my life but also one of the hardest. I had always wanted children, but until you arrived I didn’t realise how much of an Athena-shaped hole there had been in my life. I didn’t realise what life had been lacking – Your Daddy and I love eachother very much, and had a lovely life, but you have really made things whole. You make everything so worthwhile, and we now do everything with you in mind. We love having you in our lives and find it hard to remember a time without you being here.

The first months of your life were hard. Not physically hard, just exhausting! You needed feeding every 2-3 hours all day and night and would need winding for ages in between, and rocking and cuddling until you fell asleep. Gradually the time between feeds has got longer and at 10 months you stopped feeding at night, and started sleeping through! Although as your teeth have come through that has been thrown up in the air! You have your two top and two bottom front teeth now and hopefully you’ll sleep through the night for a while until the next teeth come through!

Every day you amaze us! You are such a clever little thing! You have learnt so much this year – rolling, sitting up by yourself, crawling – commando crawling at first and more recently properly crawling, pulling yourself up onto your knees and this week you have learnt to pull yourself into a standing position. You are developing perfectly and it is great to watch!

You’ve also learnt to open all the cupboards and drawers in the house, to take the backs off the remote controls, to unlock our mobile phones and to put the balls back in your ball pool once you’ve thrown them on the floor!

You talk constantly, random babble, but constant babble! You chat all the time and make noises with purpose, really trying to get us to understand what you mean. You also love to wave – you wave at everyone, random people in the street, in the queue in shops and the post office. You are an incredibly sociable baby and an incredibly happy one too – everyone always comments on how happy you are. It really is a pleasure to be around you.

At this point I’m still breastfeeding you, but only first thing in the morning and last thing at night before you go to bed. We have done really well, even after a difficult start, and have breastfed throughout. You have never had a bottle and have never had formula. After your Birthday we’re going to start giving you milk in a sippy cup and see how that goes!

You love food too! You’ve never had any pureed foods and had proper food from the start – a quite controversial ‘Baby Led Weaning’ way of doing things from 6 months. But you have managed amazingly and now have a baby sized version of our meals. You love pasta, mashed potato and bread! You also love all fruit, especially mango, and have fruit after every meal, although breakfast we tend to just have cereal now, rather than fruit after it, as you love shreddies and cheerios so much! We always eat at the same time as you, and really value that time as a family.

You have a walker that you use to run around the kitchen at speed, and you use it to terrorise the cats! Luke and Leia love you, but they are wary of you. You have just learnt to stroke them, and to be gentle, and I think they are getting better at being around you. But you still love to chase them in the walker and plough full speed into their food!

I’ve been off work since 6 weeks before you were born – 15th July 2011, and I am due to go back in about 5 weeks time, 1st October 2012. I have loved having so much time with you, and the thought of going back to work at the moment is pretty horrible! But when I’m back at work you’ll be with your Daddy some days, your Nanna other days and the rest of the time you’ll be with Liz, a lovely childminder. You’re going to have a great time – I’ll tell you how it goes in your next letter!

We’ll be taking you to the doctors soon to get your 12 month immunisations and check up. When you were born you were a teenie 6lb 4ozs. You now weigh 18lb 5ozs! You are still dinky compared to your friends but you are growing well and are healthy! You are mainly still in 6-9 month clothes and are very long and slim. All the best things come in small packages!

You have a best friend Amelie. She was born 5 days after you and you’ve seen her at least once a week since you were born. You have play dates at eachother’s houses and go on days out together. You love her lots and she loves you too. You may have a little Brother or Sister one day, but for now, and hopefully in the future too, Amelie is like a sister to you, and Auntie Sarah is like family too, apart from Daddy, Nanna and I, Auntie Sarah knows you the best and you love being around her too!

Next week we are taking you on your first holiday – to Cornwall! It’s Auntie Josie and Uncle Matt’s Wedding and we’ve hired a cottage for a week to show you as much as we can – beaches, animals at Newquay Zoo, countryside. We’re going to have a lovely time!
So it’s your 1st Birthday! We had a little gathering for you – we’ll start proper parties when you’re two! All your family came and you got spoilt! Daddy and I got you a rocking ladybird to sit on and Nanna and Gramps got you your swing! Nanny and Grandad bought you your cake – in the shape of a 1!

As you turn one, I think partly about the year that has gone by, about how far you’ve come, but then I think about the future, and about how far you have yet to go. I’m looking forward to sharing the future with you, watching you grow and learn new things – walking and talking will be the next ones, and I cannot wait! Daddy is looking forward to teaching you about Star Wars too! Most of all, we’re looking forward to more time as a family.

This year will be your first proper Christmas, last Christmas you were too small to understand, but this Christmas Santa is going to come, and you’ll be spoilt again! I have a week off work and Daddy has time off too, it will be lovely to spend that time with you.
I’m going to sign off until next year. We love you Little Pickle. We loved you before you were born – when we didn’t even know that you were a girl and we loved you when you were born, but now that your personality is showing and we’re getting to know the little person you are becoming we love you even more.

Happy 1st Birthday Athena,

With love always,

Mummy and Daddy x

Cake Smash!

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