Thursday, May 1, 2014

Happy 1st Birthday, J-Bear!

Dearest J-Bear,

Our little May Flower is one year old today!  You enjoyed whipped cream and Cheerios with your siblings this morning.  You loved peeking through the birthday glasses all by yourself.  You are showing us that it is truly fun to be one!  We are so thankful for this wonderful first year with you.  As always, the first year has been full of milestones and wonderful memories.

May...You are our first water birth baby, and we can't wait to bring you home.  So much so that you come home with us after only four hours.  G-Bear got to see you before she left for school. We are all so excited to meet you, and this first month with you is dreamy.  At one month you are making funny faces and celebrate my reunion with Daddy and me at Princeton.  You are the first Johnson Bear to sing with the Lils!  Your snuggles are priceless, I love having you near me all the time.

June...You are still so little!  You love walks with Daddy in the yard.  You work so hard just to look at our faces, studying every feature. Your snuggles and coos are already an irreplaceable part of our days.  E-Bear and G-Bear love to hold you on the couch, but I can barely stand to put you down :)  Buddy Bear loves to help you with your paci or give you kissed on your head.  He likes to point out your eye, and we have to encourage him not to poke you by accident.

July...Sucking your fingers, reaching for your toes, flexing your tummy and wrinkling your nose.  You are laughing and cooing, love sling rides and time watching the sky outside.  Your smile lights up our days.  You can sleep in the bouncer the in middle of the action, and you still pull up your knees when I wake you up from a nap.  I love having your asleep on my chest.  You get to meet your twin cousins during our trip to MA, your first trip on an airplane!

August...I am packing away the newborn clothes!  You are happy and contented because you are always along for the ride.  I love to hold you, basically all the time, occasionally interrupted by a stint in the bouncer.  But these days, you also appreciate a nap in a nice, dark room. You are munching on your toes and hands, playing on your playmate and watching your favorite purple elephant.  Toward the end of the month you are sitting in the Bumbo.   You are also baptized in Hilton Head with your cousins, which was a very beautiful morning during our family vacation.

September... I love sitting with you in the Bumbo in the garden or have you sleep next to me in the afternoon while I work.  You are our little autumn flower!  You greet each day with a smile and help us do the same.  You surprise me by reaching out and touching me for the first time!  Your siblings love to wake you up in the morning.  Buddy Bear loves to see you and tickle you.  E-Bear loves to make you laugh, hold you and distract you.  G-Bear loves to play with you on your mat while I make dinner.  You can hold new toys, pull the grass, and put beads in your mouth to chew.  You laugh at our reflection in the mirror.  These are your last days snuggled in the sling, and I treasure them.

October... You sat up for the first time by yourself and we put away the bouncy seat.  Sigh.  You get to borrow the highchair from Buddy Bear while I make dinner.  You love the Johnny Jumper!  You got your first tooth right before Halloween -- a perfect toothy smile for the autumn celebrations.   No sleeping through the night for still love to wake me up.

November...You are sitting up on your own and have your first sit up bath!  Buddy Bear is ready to share the highchair with you, so now you have a spot at the table.  You love books, tickles from Daddy, your jumper and your sleep suit and playing with your siblings.  Who cares that you never sleep through the night?  First food (sweet potatoes!) at Thanksgiving at the cabin!

December... You are often dressed up by your siblings during afternoon playtime.  What a special first Christmas it was with your cousins!  You got your third tooth!  You also got to try Cheerios for the first time on New Years Day. Yummy.  Way better than rice cereal.  These are your last days in the exersaucer.  You will be uncontainable soon!

January...No matter how cold the day, you never complain.  You are such a trooper in your puffy purple suit.  Your favorite food is Cheerios (unless you are smacking your lips to nurse!), followed closely by Chick-fil-a IceDream.   You love to slap the tray for more!  The book basket and the musical shelf have become two of your favorite escapes.  Your mischievous smile melts my heart.  No one can make you laugh like E-Bear.  All your siblings love to dote on you.  I am so thankful that you are a good napper, and so sorry when I have to wake you up for afternoon pick-ups.

February...Your one-legged crawl is so cute!  We can't contain you anymore.  You love to chase Robie and your siblings around the house and dig in the plants by the door.  No more sitting quietly during church, now you want to wiggle out of my arms!  Nothing makes Daddy cringe like when you grind your teeth :)  Bath time is one of your favorite times, especially with your siblings.

March...Your delighted clapping keeps all of us smiling!  You are standing with the help of furniture and greet us from your crib with a wave and a "hi!" Your brief nursing strike at the beginning of the month gave me a scare, but thankfully we persisted and you aren't done nursing yet!  You're a trooper to go skiing for the first time, in the backpack on my back.  You say "bah-bee" and love to snuggle your blankie and dolly.

April...You wake up so happy each morning (after being up at 4am to eat).  You are standing by yourself, not yet walking alone, but you can push the shopping cart by yourself.  You love to stand at the kids' cabinet in the kitchen and throw cups on the floor.   Thank goodness for the "Kneekers" that MoMo gave you!  You love to pull out the hair bows that I put in your hair.  You love to dig in the mud in the yard.

J-Bear, you are full of spirit!  I love the adventure of going through this stage again with you.  You are sweet, mischievous, independent and adventurous, and you always want to be in on the fun.  You will be walking before we know it and talking more too.  We're excited for every day with you.  For now, happy birthday from Daddy and me.  We love you, sweet girl

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