Today's Georgia's b-day. Farrah and I have a rule that we don't celebrate things with our baby before she knows what's going on. Baby birthday's, especially the first, are always more about the moms than the kids. The kid doesn't even comprehend anything. We just don't see the point in elaborate celebrations and loads of gifts. We didn't make a big deal out of Christmas, Halloween, Easter, or New Year's and we probably won't this year either. We didn't withhold entirely though. My folks came to town and we opened a couple presents and watched her obliterate her first cupcake. Classic moment.
But, I'm not above making a big deal over how wonderful my child is and how lucky I am to have her. As any parent knows, before the baby is born you're just so full of anxiety about whether they'll be healthy mentally, physically, and spiritually, and hope that they aren't too much like the you you know you really are. So, there are several levels of relief and gratitude when they come out with all their limbs intact and fully formed, then it's daily as you watch them mature and grow into something special. The pipe dream is that they are better than you have ever been. We got that with Georgia.
Here are some of my fondest memories.
- Saying to Farrah (we have this on tape) as she comes out of the womb, "She hasn't said anything yet" and then, on queue, have her belt out her first scream.
- The first night home and her not sleeping in the bassinet we had set up in our room. We laid there wondering if this is what we were in for for the next few years, a baby that won't sleep. Luckily, she liked her car seat better and she did great from there.
- Taking my shift 1-5 am with her sleeping on my chest while I laid on the couch watching TV. I was afraid to move.
- Her blessing was a very emotional experience for me. I managed to say everything I felt needed to be said, barely. That's when proud papa syndrome set in for good. It was especially sweet that our friends the Boyds blessed Stephen that same day.
- Her colicky first few months when she had to be held a certain way or else she's lose it. Bounced while sitting up away from my body. If I stopped bouncing her, or pulled her against my chest, she'd scream her head off. My arms got a work out, and so did my patience.
- Taking her to her first movie, "Crazy Love" at the Esquire here in town.
- Watching her attention jump whenever I'd play music. The first time I noticed she liked it was when .38 Special came on my itunes.
- At first, she would only smile when she was being changed.
- Speaking of which, the nastiest diaper I've ever had to change was when she exploded minutes into "No Reservations". It made matters worse that Mom was in a different movie with the diaper bag. It was everywhere and I could never calm her down for the whole movie, so we sat outside while both grandma's finished the movie. She was much better after that and we managed to take her to movies for months.
- Her first time in a swimming pool at the Ritz Carlton in West Palm Beach. We were prepared for the worst, but she loved it. The photos are some of my faves. She didn't like laying by the pool though.
- Going for walks to the library with her in the bjorn. I would always forget to put socks on her, so I would hold her feet while we walked to keep them warm.
- Thanksgiving with my family was the first time she slept through the night. It's been great ever since.
- Her personality finally started to come out around Christmas at the Newbolds.
- Settling into a routine of coming home from work, relieving mom, sitting down with her in my lap to watch Pardon The Interruption. Whenever she hears the opening, a big smile comes across her face to this day.
- I put her jumperoo together while she was taking a nap and mom was gone. I was so excited to bring her out of her room and present it to her, I was beaming. She didn't really care and didn't take to it at first, but it showed me how much doing things for my kid means to me. Christmas mornings are going to be incredible.
- Seeing her start to recognize who I am when I come home from work. Sometimes, she yelps with excitement.
- Our first bath. It's the best. I love looking at her cute little butt with the brown birthmark.
- Seeing so many people in our ward fall in love with her. I sometimes feel like she's the unofficial mascot of the Crestmoor Ward. No offense to the other families, but I swear most people love her the best and know she's the cutest. It's pretty obvious.
- In the last couple months, all signs of colic are gone and have been replaced with the biggest brightest smile ever. It lights up a room and I'm not just saying that. These huge dimples that came from nowhere and gentle disposition, another mystery, make her the loveliest creature in creation.
Farrah covered this better than I did on her blog, but I love thinking back over the last year. There are parts of my old life that I miss, but I wouldn't go back. Not saying I'd do it all again, but the lesson in unconditional love is invaluable.