Dear Jackson | July 2014

Dear Jackson,

I've decided to start a new project writing letters to you. Letters that you will hopefully look back on one day so you can see how you used to be, how your parents used to be (young - believe it or not we're young Jackson), and the times we all share together. I'm not sure why it's taken me a full year to start this project. Your first year was full of so much worth writing about. So many firsts. Not just for you, but for me and your dad as well. I've never had a baby before, but the experience was so much more than I ever though it would be. More seems to be the word of the year. More work. More firsts. More love.

Unless we're talking about sleep of course. In that case the word of the year is definitely less.

You still don't consistently sleep through the night. It's getting better, but we're all taking baby steps to reach the elusive goal. At least we've finally managed to stop middle of the night feedings and it's a lot easier to help get you back to sleep now. While you might still wake up at night, you are a dream to snuggle as you drift off to sleep. Cuddling with you is pretty darn awesome. No doubt your dad and I contribute in some way to the continued wake ups at night, but we're still figuring this parenting thing out. I promise we'll have it figured out by the time you're 30. Maybe.

You are just about one of the sweetest babies in the world. Your kisses and hugs melt my heart every single time. When I feel like I need a little pick-me-up I just ask you hug? and you lean right into me. It's the most wonderful feeling in the world. You've started trying to hug the dogs too, although the jury's still out about how much they like it in return. You love the dogs though, and they love you in return. Especially Heidi. Your newfound joy in feeding her cheerios has done wonders for your relationship.

You turned one year old last month. A crazy monumental milestone that seems like it came way too fast. Am I still allowed to call you a baby now? I'm not sure what the rules are here, but I'm clinging to that baby title for as long as I can. Although, I look at you now and I can already see a little boy staring back at me. Precocious and curious and so impossibly cute that I can't ever hold your little rebellions against you. My favorite is when you look back at me just as you cross the threshold of an opened baby gate. Your mischievous grin is so adorable.

You seem to be diving headfirst into toddler-hood despite my unwillingness to relinquish the baby title. You have opinions. You want to go places. You aren't shy about letting us know. You take on the world - which looks suspiciously like the backyard - and aren't afraid of getting dirty in the process. Just like your babyhood, I'm sure sure your toddlerhood holds no shortage of firsts and adventures. I can't wait.

Things you love: swimming (aka splash-as-much-as-you-can time), banging on things that make big loud noises, your cousin, FOOD (watermelon and peaches are the current favorites)

Things you don't quite love: getting licked in the face by the dogs, diaper changes

Vocabulary: you say hi to everyone you like, use uh oh in the proper context, and seem to be eeking out I love you in your own special way. Mama still seems to mean food instead of me, but I'm holding out hope that won't last forever.

Love you bunches,