Dear Owen,

You are ONE! I’m not quite sure where this year went, but in the blink of an eye you went from a wrinkly, mushy infant to a laughing, moving, curious, intelligent, fabulous toddler. You won’t remember it, but to celebrate your first year on earth, we had a big party in the backyard with family and friends. It had been raining for days, but on the morning of your party the sun came out and it tuned out to be a beautiful, fun day. You had your first taste of cake, and while you liked it, you didn’t smash it into your face as I expected, rather picked up pieces deliberately and ate them one by one. You’re so funny!

You amaze me every day. Watching you learn new things is such a joy and I am surprised constantly when you show me the things you can do. Everything from cruising around the house (how DID you get over there?) to trying to put socks on your feet. You know that socks go on your feet! Who taught you that? You are such a sponge, absorbing the world around you.

You’re not a walking on your own yet, but I know that’s coming soon. You’re still babbling away a mile a minute (“that! that! that!” to every single thing), and your vocabulary grows by leaps and bounds every day. Of course, I think Dada and I are the only ones who know what most of your words mean, but we understand you for the most part. My favorite is when we ask, “Where’s your bum?” and you smack your bottom while saying “Diaper!” Cracks me up every time.

You are still nursing, but we are slowly working away from it in the daytime. You have started doing what I call drive-by nursing, and I’m not a fan. Basically, you toddle up to me, pull down my shirt and practically dive inside while yelling “Nuh! Nuh! Nuh!” If I’m not wearing a bra, you latch yourself on to me before I even know what’s what. We are introducing you to cow’s milk this week, and I’m hoping you will take to it and be interested in that during the day instead. We will see! I am thrilled we made it one full year of breastfeeding, though. It was a personal goal of mine and I’m glad we reached it together.

You LOVE to eat. Everything I put in front of you is fair game, except for pears and occasionally kiwis if they’re not ripe enough. Other than that, you’ll eat it all! You’ve had a little chicken, but no other meat yet. Your favorite food is bananas and you would eat it all day long if I let you. “Nana!!!” You also love cheese, zucchini and blueberries.

You adore Dada and practically do cartwheels when he comes home from work. You also call your own reflection “Dada”, which amuses me greatly. Other things you enjoy are reading, dancing to all types of music, Elmo, stacking your new wooden blocks, crawling everywhere at top speed, the dog, jumping on your mattress, going for walks in the stroller, taking a bath, brushing your hair, and standing in the window pointing at cars going by while shouting “Doh!” (window).

You have seven teeth making up the most adorable full-face smile and a laugh that is contagious. Your skin is deliciously soft and your hair is still very blond. From my estimates, you weigh about 25 pounds. Your weight has slowed down, but you continue to get longer and longer. I’m pretty sure you are going to end up being a bean stalk just like Dada.

You are such a love. You come up to us going “mmmmm”, then lean in to share big, wet kisses. You snuggle and nuzzle and love to be held.

Now, Owen, you’re not always a peach. You’re in a major whiny stage that I really hope you grow out of soon, and you like to shout “NO!” while chucking whatever is in your hand across the room. Blocks, your cup, a spoon covered in food. You have also started doing what we call the Wet Noodle, going limp and falling backwards when you don’t want to do something. Let’s move on from that, shall we? You also like to come in our bed first thing in the morning and climb all over us like a monkey, while kicking Dada and punching me in the face. You are a wiggle worm!

All in all, it’s been a really fantastic year. You made us parents, kiddo, and for that we are eternally grateful. We love you, through and through, and cannot wait to see what year two brings.