This is what I’ve been working on for about a week. William’s 1st birthday is Monday, and I was going to post this then, but I’m kicking off the celebration weekend now instead. His party is tomorrow so I’ll probably post pictures of that Monday or Tuesday.
My dear baby,
Oh my goodness. Our first lap around the sun together is over, and I must tell you how it was for me. You have made my world such a brighter place. I cannot thank God enough for choosing me to be your mother, for giving the gift of you to me.
Today, I want to walk you through several key points in your first year, in case you forgot…
I was 8 cm dilated (don’t worry about what that means) and you and I were both sick, so we all decided a C-section would be best (or that), so you came out cone-headed anyway (but what a cute cone head you were).
This is pretty much all we did at the hospital. I could have stayed there for weeks just snuggling you and laying around. I fed you every two hours and then we’d fall right back asleep like this. This is how we slept at night, too. Between me and all of your visitors, you didn’t spend much time in that plastic bucket.
Our first night home from the hospital was ROUGH. None of us (not me, your daddy, Peanut, and especially not you) slept and three of us were crying by 4am (I won’t name which three ;)). Thank God Nana came over the next day so we could all sleep! I don’t have any pictures of those two days, and I think it’s for the best.
Aunt Kathryn came to visit you often. She’s a pediatric nurse, so she loves babies. But I think you might be extra special. I think you’ve always felt the same about her, too.
You were a really funny newborn.
You weren’t mad at me, Baby. You were yawning.
You liked to snuggle a lot, which was great because I did, too! But sometimes I was tired and had to do things so I couldn’t hold you every single time you cried. So I wrapped you up close to my heart in a pouch, where you stayed a lot.
You liked it there.
William, when babies are born, they don’t really know how to smile when they’re awake, but they sure smile a lot when they’re dreaming! Catching a newborn baby smiling on camera is kind of like catching a leprechaun; it’s extremely difficult, and not many people can do it.
Sometimes babies get scared because this whole world thing is pretty new and big to them, but we had your back.
In your early months, you liked to sleep a lot. Your daddy does, too, so he was fine with that.
You started sleeping through the night at two and a half months old! Mommy loved catching up on sleep, because she gets kinda mean and cranky without it. But not at you, Will Baby.
One morning, we got you out of your crib and brought you in the bed with us to snuggle (yes I know, we still try to do that, but you don’t like to snuggle when you’re wide awake anymore), and you just popped up your head and smiled at your daddy. He caught it on camera, too.
When you were almost two months old, Mommy’s friends came over to take pictures of you. You were such a good sport, you slept through most of it, but we got a few shots with you awake. Here, I think you look like baby Rhett Butler. I’ll explain that one to you later.
Mommy’s friends thought it would be cute to take your diaper off for a few shots. They were adorable pictures, but we all got peed on. It’s okay, I still love you.
By the time you were three months old, you were laughing a lot. It was wonderful; you made us laugh, too.
On November 11th, we dedicated you to the Lord. This is super important, William. This is Mommy and Daddy’s promise to God that we will raise you teaching you as much about Him as we know, and allowing others to teach you what we haven’t figured out yet. God made you, Baby!! And he loves you so much. I know you’ll love Him, too. This is the only picture that was taken that day, but I love it. That man holding you is your great-grandfather, William. That’s Papaw. He’s a great man, and we’re both lucky to be related to him.
I’m sorry we didn’t take you to see Santa this year, Baby. You’ll meet him one day. But Grandma bought you an adorable Santa suit, so Mommy and Daddy had pictures with Santa on Christmas morning!
You were almost six months old when we took you to your cousin Cassie’s wedding. We missed your cousin Eleanor’s first birthday that day, which made Mommy sad, but sometimes that happens in life, William. Thank goodness for pictures.
Oh, and baby tuxedos.
Grandma bought you Giraffe, who you still sleep with, next to Lamb. But one day we left Giraffe at church. Mommy was so sad; I looked everywhere for Giraffe! When I finally found out he was at church, I went to get him. I think you had forgotten about him at first, but then you remembered.
Easter came early this year, Baby. It was March 31st. We went to church that morning and saw our friend Travis get baptized, and then we went to Grandma’s house for lunch. No Easter Bunny this year, but I bet next year you’ll meet him.
Mommy likes being outdoors. So I took you to the park one day and let you swing on a real swing.
I think you had a good time.
Papaw takes us out to dinner sometimes, William. We always give you lots of new foods to try.
You like bread.
Now, around eight months your personality and sense of humor started developing. One day, I was cooking, and I thought it was cute that you were watching me from the floor. But when I turned back around to look at you, you were munching on some cat food. I bet Peanut wasn’t happy about that.
Silly baby, cat food is for cats!
I think we both agree that black beans are better…
…and more fun.
You and Peanut don’t always see eye to eye, except when it comes to boxes.
The day before you turned 11 months old, Mommy took you for your first hair cut! You were a little unsure at first, but then you did great.
That weekend, you, Daddy and I went to Alabama to see Mommy’s side of the family. You always have a good time there.
And your cousin Marc thinks you’re a pretty cool baby.
I think you guys will get along just fine.
You are such a fun baby, William. I love hearing you laugh and talk and I LOVE when you give us that cheesy smile.
Have you been working out in your crib??
You’re my super hero.
Baby, I love you so much I don’t know how to put it into words. But I’ll show you. For the rest of my life, I promise I’ll show you how much I love you. And I’ll make mistakes, Baby, because I’m not perfect. But just know that I will try my hardest every day to do what I believe is best for you. And sometimes you’ll think I’ve forgotten. Sometimes you’ll think I don’t love you because of the decisions I make for you or us that you may not understand. But I’m doing my best, Baby, I promise. I promise.
Happy birthday, William Tifton McManus.