This is you the minute you turned one year old. Your daddy and I snuck into your room to be the very first to wish you a happy birthday. (Corny? Yes, it is, but somehow your father and I end up very corny when it comes to you. Sorry.) This has been just the best year. I have so enjoyed watching you grow into this crazy/wonderful little toddler. You have evolved into this independent, sassy little girl who exudes PERSONALITY. Your facial expressions alone are worth their weight in gold.
You are seriously our world. Our house is but a shrine to you. There are literally pictures of you EVERYWHERE. So much so, I'm surprised there's not a picture of you using the bathroom in the bathroom. Give us time. We are just so proud of you. And ourselvs a little, I guess. I mean, who could not be proud of themselves a little when they've got such an amazing little creature such as you? You amaze us everyday with something you do.
One of my favorite times of the day is the process of putting you to bed. I do have to admit that, at first, I dread it just a bit. This is only because lately your father has been giving you a bath and, while it's hard to miss that fun time with you, I must say I look forward to that little bit of time to myself after all-day Keeley-ness. Time to myself for fun things such as showering or cleaning the kitchen - you know real "me" time. Anyway, then it's time to put you to bed and I think, "Oh Lord, I've got to put her to bed." But then I remind myself how much I enjoy it. I get to snuggle with you while you drink your bottle (which, by the way, you will keep this last bottle until you graduate high school, I love it so much. Quite frankly, I might even follow you to college with it just so I can snuggle with you for more than 3 minutes.) And then after your bottle we play a bit on the couch and we both end up laughing and putting our foreheads together. It's like we share this special, private joke. You and me.
Lately, you've taken to carrying items around the house. You love to caryy purses and baskets. You could care less if anything is in them. You just like to carry them. It's so cute to see you wandering around the house with a little purse. It's like you're a little old woman carrying her purse to the store. So much of what you do during the day tells me that you're growing up. BUt watching you sleep reminds me that you're a baby. My baby. I still peek in on you everynight before I go to sleep. Usually you're in there laying on top of your sleepytime toys, passed out to the world. It's so peaceful and it makes me happy to see you.
It's amazing how much I love being home with you. I had a rough start, but now it's so incredibly wonderful. I couldn't imagine going back to work. And miss all of your antics? No way. If only I'd known back then what I know now. Maybe it wouldn't have been so hard. And who could have told me? No one. I'm glad I learned it myself. You're the best lesson I've ever had. I think I might learn more from you than you do from me. I try to be that person I see in your eyes. She's pretty great.
I love you, Keeley Dawn. You make my life better just by being here.