Happy 1st Birthday Little Monkey!!

One year. That's a long time, but it's also so short. One year. Thomas, you have been a part of our family for one year now. The time seemed to just fly by. One year ago we heard your first cries when you were born and it was love at first sight when we saw you. Even your big brother got to see you arrive in the world, and you two have a special bond. We couldn't have asked for a better baby brother for our big kid or for a better big brother for you. You've experienced a lot in this first year of life. You've gone from laying on your back or doing tummy-time to rolling over to rolling across the floor to scooting to crawling to pulling up and now you're starting walking. Sure, you still have to hold onto things when you walk, but one day you'll take solo steps. Not too soon, though. Don't grow up too fast. You've gone from having only mama's milk every few hours, day and night, to baby food and finger foods, and now you're doing a great job feeding yourself and starting to use a spoon. Ok, so you put the food on your spoon with your fingers and then you take the food off the spoon with your fingers and put it into your mouth. But you're learning. Soon you'll figure out the whole spoon thing, but not too soon. don't grow up too fast. And mama's milk – you still need and love your mama's milk and that makes mama happy! You're getting to be a big boy now – sitting at the big kids' table at daycare instead of a high chair with the babies. You're wearing big boy shoes. You're even looking like a little boy instead of a baby.

You've seen a lot in this past year. You've been on an airplane twice (well, 8 flights total, but 2 trips). You've been to the Grand Canyon. You've ridden on a train. You've gone into a cave. You've moved across the country. You've been on a boat. You've been on a bike ride around Mackinac Island. You've seen many things in your short life, mostly snuggled safely against mama. You've seen more of this great country in your one year of life than many people see in their entire lives. You've been loved and are still loved by many, many people, all over the world, but mama will always love you best.

I love hearing you laugh, especially when you are playing with your big brother. He can make you laugh like no one else, and I hope that you two always have that special bond. I love hearing you laugh when daddy is tickling you. He can find your tickle spots like no one else. And then there's me. Your mama. I can make you laugh, but not like daddy or big brother. But your smile. Oh, Thomas, how your face lights up when you see your mama. Your smile tells me how much you love me. I love you, too, Thomas.

We're looking forward to year number two and the many adventures it will bring. Keep on smiling and laughing and making us laugh and smile! Daddy, big brother, and I all love you very much, Thomas, and we know you love us, too.

Happy 1st Birthday!!

20 September 2011
First Picture of Thomas Nikolai small

20 September 2012
Birthday Cake at School small

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