I had a whole fashion post ready for today. A fun, Spring look as temperatures creep into the balmy 40s around here. However today is the actual the birthday of my daughter, Reese and I decided to take a moment between fashion and beauty to reflect on the past year. For a new reader, you can check out her birth story here, I won't repeat that part so much as to talk about her first year and share my reflections on this major life transition.

The first few months of her life were definitely challenging. Everyone told me that the first three months were difficult and it gets better from there. They were definitely right. In those months there is no great schedule, her mood was unpredictable and I had not yet picked up on what queues she was sending. She slept a lot but I really struggled with her mood when she was awake. She was often whining or in general making a lot of noise. I sometimes get overwhelmed with too much sound and being home all the time, without a break, was difficult. Around 10 weeks I took her to work so my co-workers could meet her. I figured this would be my test if I was ready to go back to work. Verdict? I really, really was. As we inched closer to 12 weeks she was getting better at a regular napping and eating schedule. She did well going out and about, provided I had enough food for her. She was smiling and very alert. Things seemed to be calming down. Just in time to go back to work.

I went back to work at the end of the school year so I really only had a couple of weeks of a typical schedule before summer kicked off. It was good to be back at work and using my education and brain again. For me, going back to work makes me a better parent. When I come home she has my full attention and I am so excited to see her. I get to pick her up at the end of the day and she gets excited to see me too, which is a great feeling. I can honestly say that in a lot of ways she has gotten easier from four months on. Our summer went by way too fast. She got to go to the cabin multiple times, we traveled to Chicago to visit family over the Fourth of July, dipped her toes in a lake and sat by a fire with friends. 

Before we knew it, it was fall and back to a regular schedule. About six months, on the day of her six month photos, she sat up for the first time. I have noticed as she had become more independent she has gotten happier. My niece, I always thought, similarly became more content when she could move on her own. It seemed her brain was ahead of her body and I think Reese was the same way. At about eight months after rocking back and forth for weeks, she began to crawl and the independence continued. She started taking steps about 10-11 months and just a little over a week ago became incredibly sturdy at it. She is a walking machine now going wherever she pleases. She already shuts her own bedroom door. This seems like a precursor of things to come.

The last year our lives have changed dramatically. Although, we obviously expected changes but there are small things you can never quite anticipate. We have been lucky to have the support of our families that have literally helped us every time we asked. I don't know how we would have done it without them. Watching Reese grow and change in the last 12 months has been fascinating. Nothing is shocking, obviously, this is the normal course of development, but watching in real time has been so different. She will be working on something for weeks and then a connection gets made in her brain and them "bam" she is doing it like she has been doing it forever. She has been a particularly alert and smiley baby and has been smiling and responsive to us from an early age. The doctor called her "social" at a young age as well. Reese is definitely observant and wanting to learn about things. Her new thing is to point while we name the things she is pointing at. She gives big, tight hugs and open mouth kisses. Our little peanut loves us, tests us, teaches us and plays with us. 

I won't lie, this has been hard. Parenthood is not for the faint of heart. Although Reese overall has been a pretty easy baby, the day in and day out challenges have definitely tested my patience and challenged D and I's teamwork skills. Turns out, we are pretty good at working together. Despite the ongoing debate of who's turn it is to change a poopy diaper. Life has changed for us and at the same time, the adjustments have seemed as if they were always there. I am always amazed at humans ability to adjust and adapt. We have definitely done so and continue to do so as we watch this little human show us her personhood each and every day. 

To next 12 months our little dragon, weirdo, crazy train, peanut! We love you!

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