I can't believe a whole year has passed since your auspicious arrival! I'm not huge on astrology, but I remember reading these before you were born (when I was anxious to find out more about you through any means possible, no matter how dubious or scientifically inaccurate...). It's funny how a lot of these descriptions actually apply to you, though!
I've wanted a daughter since I was 8 years old. I had to wait 25 years before I could finally meet you, but you were definitely worth the wait. You have been an incredible baby, and I can't believe how much I love you. You are so smart, and so sweet, and so amazing! Now, we're celebrating your first birthday and I'm watching you grow from a baby to a child. You're so easy-going and you rarely cry, you sleep well, and you're right on track developmentally - you're even advanced, in some areas.
You're a serious little thing! You don't laugh easily - we usually have to tickle it out of you. Even so, you're free with your smiles and will give them out to anyone (strangers and friends alike). Sometimes you strike me as an old soul; you're so serious, inquisitive, and highly observant. When put into a new situation, you like to hang back and observe, but you don't seem at all fearful - you're just interested and carefully taking it all in. Once you've assessed the situation, you jump in and have fun - good for you!
You are tenacious (a nice word for stubborn). You will keep at something until you figure it out and, once you've figured it out, you practice until you've mastered it. For example, I've watched you climb up onto a shelf; at first, I wondered why you kept climbing up and down, then up again. Then I realized you were just excited to learn something new... you wanted to do it over and over! Again, good for you!
While you're very careful about some things, you're still an adventurous little soul. You'll eat just about anything - like falafel, borscht, and other exotic fare, but you dislike yogurt and cottage cheese. Go figure! You love being dangled, tossed, and generally rough-housed with. You basically threw yourself down the stairs one day... you'd been practicing climbing UP, but were having a hard time figuring out how to descend. Finally you decided to try LEANING/LEAPING. NOT good for you! Don't do that to me again! You're lucky I was there to catch you...
You're a feisty, independent little thing - you want to do it yourself! You brush your 4 budding baby teeth before bed, albeit with questionable success. You watch very intently as someone does something, and then quietly emulate it yourself. I'm often surprised by what you're noticing: one day, I realized you were watching me pick at a hangnail. Then you started doing it yourself! Be kind to your cuticles, Charlotte! Learn from my manicure mistakes...
Sitting still is not your forte. You're constantly on the go, learning and exploring. You know very well what you aren't supposed to do and, for the most part, you respect that. There is, however, an electrical outlet that you can't resist. You're constantly pulling the childproof cap off and bringing it to me oh-so-helpfully, as if to say: "Mommy, your childproofing isn't working..."
Still, you give me quiet, snuggly moments from time to time. We snuggled in bed this morning and watched "Small Potatoes" together. When you're tired, you just want to be cuddled. These moments are becoming fewer and further between, but I'll take what I can get! We've been working on weaning you to soy milk, and you don't seem to mind at all. You're excited to use big girl cups and drink big girl milk! I have to admit... I'm going to miss those sweet moments as you nurse. Sometimes you play peekaboo with your blanket, or explore my mouth with your fingers... recently, you've taken an interest in picking my nose (gross!). Almost always, you drift off to sleep while I admire your beautiful, slumbering face (or catch up on my Facebook feed...).
I'm glad you're growing up, but I'm always going to miss the sweet little baby version of you.
I love you, Charlotte. I always will, no matter what. Happy first birthday, Baby Bean!