Happy 1st Birthday Monkey

1stBDay_ThumbToday our precious little Monkey turns 1! As cliché as it sounds, I can’t believe it’s been a year since we welcomed her into our lives. While some of the days (and nights!) seemed unbelievably long, when I look back on the past year, I can’t believe how quickly it flew by.

Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. Monkey has been in a hurry since she arrived 10 days early. Her habit of keeping me up all night began right away too, when my water broke just after 1 a.m.

It was less than 12 hours from the time my water broke until the moment Monkey made her grand entrance. Pretty darn quick, considering that I wasn’t having contractions and was barely dilated when I checked into my hospital room around 3:30 a.m.

Thanks to that crazy bitch Pitocin, I went from 1 cm and irregular contractions at 6 a.m. to fully dilated and ready to rock-n-roll by lunch time.

Did I mention that when it was time to push, it only took one series and less than 90 seconds? Yeah, I’m kind of a rock star when it comes to pushing.

And just like that, at 12:50 p.m. on April 25th, lightning struck for the second time in my life.

It’s Like Lightning Striking Again

Words can’t accurately describe the way I felt when Monkey’s big sister, Bean, was born in 2009. Becoming a mother was the most indescribable, life-changing moment for me. It was simply amazing.

When I became pregnant with Monkey, there was a little voice whispering in the back of my head that the experience would never compare. I was even a little worried that I wouldn’t feel the same way the second time around.

I felt like my heart was already bursting with love for Bean, so where would this new love fit? Was there enough to go around?

Want the truth? There was no comparison. Monkey’s arrival was completely different from my experience with her sister. Just the way it’s supposed to be.

But as far as love goes, I should have never doubted the heart’s capacity for love. The moment I laid eyes on my beautiful little Monkey, my heart expanded and my love multiplied.

Holding her in my arms, feeling her heart beat against mine, was my little piece of heaven on earth.

She Was a Good Little Monkey (Ha!) and Always Very Curious

CuriousGeorge_BdayJust like her rush to enter this world, Monkey has continued to experience life’s milestones at warp speed.

The first time I put her to my breast, she immediately latched on, and her insatiable appetite continues unabated to this day. She can really put away the food. You’d think we had a ravenous teenager in the house and not a petite little peanut who barely hits the 5th percentile in weight.

She started rolling over at nine weeks. Sigh. That was the end of swaddling and ‘back-to-sleep’ for Monkey. Every morning I’d find her happily snoozing on her belly.

At five months, she was sitting; a month later, crawling. And climbing. Stairs, furniture, the dog, her sister. She started walking at 11 months. No cautious first steps for this gal; she was literally running a week later. Makes me wonder how many trips to the ER we have in our future.

Once she was mobile, she started going for every dangerous object she could find. Cords, plugs, outlets, her sister’s crayons, the dog’s water bowl. If it was off limits, she’d find it. And then stick it in her mouth.

The best/worst part: Monkey knows she’s doing something she shouldn’t. She just doesn’t care. She’ll literally look you right in the eye, flash the most adorable, mischievous grin, and then go about her naughtiness. It’s equally endearing and infuriating.

Oh how I dread the tween and teen years! I can just see my mom and dad chuckling as they read this. Something about payback…

Growing & Learning Together

Quote_ThumbMonkey continues to surprise and delight us every day. Just as frequently, she persists in challenging, frustrating, and driving us a little closer to insanity.

After a relatively easy introduction to parenting with Bean, I thought I had this motherhood gig all figured out. Boy was I wrong! Monkey kicked that pedestal right out from under me and served me a heaping dose humility.

Looking back on her first year, I have to thank my darling Monkey for teaching me so many things about motherhood and myself.

Monkey taught me that it’s silly and pointless to compare your children. Every mother says she will never compare her children, but, to some degree, it’s inevitable. You’re not trying to measure them against each other, but the only experience you have is based on your first child.

From day one, Monkey’s made sure we don’t compare her with big sister. She simply defies comparison by doing things her own way.

She taught me to enjoy the tranquil moments. Monkey had a raging case of reflux. For the first nine months, I spent most evenings holding her upright for at least 30 minutes before I could lay her down in her crib.

I grew to love those quiet moments with her. Belly full, cheeks flushed, she would drift off to sleep, and I would just hold her. Sometimes I would read, but more often than not, I would drift off too. It was nice to have that quiet time; to stop running around and just be with her.

Monkey taught me that I need to stop trying to do and be everything all the time. Going from a family of three to a family of four was a bigger transition than we ever imagined. Juggling a full-time job and the very different needs of two little girls is challenging, to say the least.

Having Monkey forced me to prioritize and let go of the less important things, to give myself permission to stop feeling guilty. Some days I’m just not going to get it all done, and that’s ok. 

CupcakeThe Best is Yet to Come

I can’t wait to watch Monkey grow up, but part of me wants to freeze this moment in time. Because I know the next year will fly by even faster. Monkey won’t be a baby much longer, and while there are some things I won’t miss, there are infinitely more tender moments that I don’t want to let go.

So, today I’m going to scoop up my mischievous little girl and breathe in her pure, sweet baby scent. As she squirms and giggles and tries to get away, I’m going to squeeze her a little tighter.

And I’m going to be grateful and humbled by this amazing, silly, sweet daughter of mine.

Happy Birthday Monkey!

Thanks to Galit at These Little Waves and Alison at Writing, Wishing for hosting Memories Captured.


27 thoughts on “Happy 1st Birthday Monkey

  1. Happy Birthday Monkey! Spending the weekend with you and the girls last weekend was awesome and eye opening – especially babysiting them while you and your husband ran your 11 mile race! Papa Q and I enjoyed every minute! Your girls are so special and yes, very different, just like you and your sister!
    Enjoy this special day with your Monkey and hug and kiss them when you can catch them. Yes, Papa Q and I had some good laughs on the way home remembering some of our trials with you and your siblings. Wouldn’t trade it for all the money in the world!
    Love you,

  2. Happy Birthday precious Monkey!!! You remind me so much of my Jaclyn….my third baby! She absolutely heightened my skills as a parent; taught her brother about patience and compromise; and brought out in her big sister every nurturing and protective trait within her…..and yes, patience, too. She was a “do it herselfer”, and decided at birth that she was never ever going to be left behind from the rest of the family. I can already see that you are going to bring this same “enlightenment” to your family. How blessed you are to have the mommy, daddy, sister, grandparents, and so many people that love you in your life. And, how lucky we all are to have such a precious monkey to love, and to watch with great pride and joy as you travel your own journey.

    • Yeah, I was able to manage the Pitocin on my own for about 4 hours, and then I needed some help. But Monkey was in such a hurry that I didn’t even get to enjoy the epidural. From the time it was administered to the time they took it out was just over an hour. Nice thing about that was it didn’t take long to wear off, and I could get up and move around pretty quickly.

  3. Hope you had a great and memorable time celebrating Monkey’s first birthday …. we did the same on our end and took many pictures.

  4. You say it so well. I have felt the same way about l&b. Thanks for your blog it always makes me smile and I can relate to it.

    • Thanks! I thought of you and your girls when I was writing this post. Knew you had been through the same experiences. Isn’t it fun to see how their little personalities develop over time? We’re just amazed at how quickly we could see the differences!

    • Thanks Alison! It was great to revisit and relive her special day through Memories Captured. Thanks for the link-up and can’t wait to read more about your Monkey!

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting Tracie! Yes, the first year is full of so many changes and milestones. But the second year is even more about discovery and growth. I’m loving every second!

    • Thanks Christine! I was so excited to write my first bday post on my blog for Monkey. I can’t wait to reflect on big sister’s last year when she turns 4 (gulp!) in September.

    • I can only imagine how interesting life gets with three! I always marveled at my mom for wrangling three.

      Yes, it’s crazy to see how diferent siblings can be! My sister and I are different as night and day. With Monkey, maybe I drank too much Fountain Coke while I was nursing her… I was definitely more lax the second time around!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge