12 Months Old and Officially a Toddler

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Josie was the perfect name. We call her Jose, Josyl, Toots, Tootie, Patootie, Patoots.

Josie just fits her. And cutie “Patootie” is what Daddy nicknamed her. Everyday that I look at her I can’t help but tell her how beautiful she is. I tell her I love her every single time I pick her up. Probably over 100 times a day. Bobby does the same thing. I love when I peek at the camera and I see him holding her and he says in his high pitched voice, “I loveeeee you!” It melts my heart. I love the love he has for her. Our home is bursting with love and it shows. We would do absolutely everything and anything for Josie. That is what we agreed to when we decided to try to have a baby. We knew we had hearts that were just waiting to be filled with love for this little one. I still remember when the ultrasound tech said: “It’s a girl!” The look on Bobby’s face was priceless. I saw tears fill his eyes as I crumbled. I sobbed like a baby the whole 2-minute drive home. I hugged him in our kitchen and said: “we’re going to have a daughter. She’s going to be so beautiful!” and I remember him looking at me and saying “she sure will.”

Her birth was the best day of our lives. The happiest day of our lives. It was scary and exciting all at the same time. And who would have known that the following 3 months I would struggle to get in sync with my ever so exploding, leaking breasts. And going back to work would be such a challenge and so hard to do. Who knew that every morning we’d wake up to love her more? More than yesterday but not as much as tomorrow. Who knew that the heart could even do that? Who knew that being away from her for just a trip to the grocery store (when all I ever wanted was some “me time”) would make me speed home because I missed her so much? Who knew that we’d finally see who loved us and who didn’t? We’d finally see who truly cares and who didn’t. Unfortunately, there are some people that just weren’t meant to be in our life, even if they were our own parents. Sometimes they just don’t deserve to be. We, as parents, know that Josie deserves better. And she doesn’t need that toxic, dysfunctional relationship(s) in her life. It is our job to protect her from that pain. And we did. And we will continue to do so.

Being a parent is amazing. Being a mother is a blessing. I feel so blessed. I feel so much love and it grows immensely more and more each day. Josie is such an amazing little girl. So sweet. So happy. Oh my goodness, she is so so happy! Did I mention happy? Every where we go…every person we meet…friends, family, whoever…they always ask “Is she always this happy?” Yes! She is! And how blessed are we? I thank the Lord for this beautiful life we share, every single day. Words cannot possible describe how I feel inside. Not on this blog as I type them or even if I speak them out loud. But as a mother, as a wife…I bet you could imagine. You know. I really don’t need to describe it to those that just “get it”. Being a mother is the best and hardest job on the planet.

The day I gave birth to Josie, I decided to let go of my own wants. It was important to take care of my needs. But my wants were put on the back burner. It is now all about Josie. And from that day forward, it always will be. And it makes me happy to make it all about her.

I remember a few nights after we got home from the hospital; I sat in her room and rocked her in her nursing chair. She was so little. So fragile. So innocent. So beautiful. I held her close and tears started to fall. Within seconds, I was bawling. It was a waterfall of emotions coming out. Some would say it was the hormones. But I was crying because I was so overjoyed with happiness, beauty and love. I literally felt my heart exploding out of my chest. Bobby walked past the room and saw me sobbing, as I was whispering, “I dreamed of you. I love you so much Josie. You are just so perfect. I am so happy you are here with us. I love you to the moon and back” He came into the room and sat on the ottoman and said: “babe!” Then I just looked up at him and said “I just love her so much it hurts.” And that is when it hit me. I finally knew the meaning of “love hurts”. My heart was lying in my arms. My heart was no longer in my chest. It was sleeping, resting peacefully in my arms. And I knew from that day forward it would always be all about her. My needs were a thing of the past. It was my job to make sure she will be protected and be loved completely. And it was my job to be the best mother and wife to my husband, as much as possible. It was my job to go 50/50 in this thing called parenthood. And we did. Some days I gave more. Some days I gave less. But Bobby never questioned it. He always knew when I needed more time to gather myself. There were days when my hormones were leveling out and I walked in to find him goggling “why does my wife hate me after having a baby?” It broke me. I never wanted to make him feel like he wasn’t loved throughout all this newness of a baby. It was the hormones. But he got it. He understood. And he never once raised his voice or got impatient with me. He just comforted me. In all the right ways. There comes a time, after having a baby, that a woman just isn’t herself. He knew it was the hormones. I just needed time. But with his honesty and never ending compassion, I was able to step outside the mess my body was going through and love him the way he should be during the first few weeks of being a new parent. It was hard on him, too. And at first it was hard for me to imagine that. I never really thought about how much work it was for him. How emotional it was for him. How hard and new it was for him. He was in this, too. He has needs too. And as his wife, I wanted to make sure they were met. After we met that mutual agreement that we’re both going through the same emotions, everything just fell into place. And here we are, a year later. We made it! I have officially fed Josie breast milk for 12 full months with no other supplementation (and boy that has been quite an emotional journey!). Josie is crawling everywhere. Josie is waving. Josie is saying “kitty”, “hi” and “mama”, “dada” (when she feels like it). Josie is growing. She’s got 8 teeth (that I can see). She’s got chunky little legs and big beautiful smile. She’s got perfect blue eyes, and a ton of uncontrollable beautiful blonde hair. She’s got a personality that will steal your heart. She is one word: Perfect. And she is ours.

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Dear Josie,

Every day I love you more than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow. You are the light in my life. The best part of my day. The joy in this world. You are beautiful. Today, tomorrow, forever. I will never leave your side. I will be there until the end. I will protect you from harm. I will guide you through this life. I will walk you through the triumphs. I will protect you from those that could hurt you. I will surround you with those that will love you, unconditionally. I will be your guide. Your eyes, your ears. I will be your friend but most of all, your mother. And as your mother I am here until eternity. Nothing will ever divide us. You are my creation of perfection. You are Gods way of showing us that love is real. You are the most amazing little girl. I am so proud of you and love watching you grow. I am so proud and blessed to be your mother. Thank you for making every day worth living. And every smile melt my heart. Thank you for teaching me the real meaning of love and for giving me the hardest most amazing job ever of being your mother. I love you Jose, to the moon and back. You are beautiful, today, tomorrow, always.

Love, Mommy

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