By K.J. Cardinal
At 5:47 p.m. today, Anna turns one year old.
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It is completely unfathomable to me to think that 365 days ago Anna was born. She has turned our world upside-down in so many amazing ways and I really can't remember what life was like before her, but one year old already? Geez.
Over the past 12 months there have been so many amazing transitions in the world of Anna.
• Anna has gone from having to suck on my pinky finger as I fed her breast milk through a syringe to drinking out of a sippy a cup and really understanding me when I tell and gesture to her to "Tip it up. Tip it up."
• Anna has gone from having tar-like, odorless and sticky poop to having oh-my-god, how on earth can such a little kid stink so much poop.
• Anna has gone from needing to be swaddled tightly in order to fall asleep to being able to fall asleep at basketball games, restaurants, bars and parties.
• Anna has gone from exciting us by cooing and occasionally smiling to smiling so big that her eyes squint shut.
• Anna has gone from following me with her eyes when she heard my voice to laughing, smiling and bouncing up and down when I walk in the door.
As much as Anna has changed in so many ways over the past year though, she has also stayed the same. A baby grows and learns new things everyday, but what is equally amazing to me is how much Anna has stayed the same since day one.
• Anna sleeps best when she's laying on my chest.
• Anna loves to put anything and everything she can get her hands on into her mouth.
• Anna's purple bump on her nose that she was born with is still visible when she smiles or cries.
• Anna gets pissed when she's really hungry.
• Anna LOVES Sammy.
• And, most importantly, Anna is definitely Daddy's little girl : )
So, over the last 12 months many things have changed and many things have stayed the same, which is probably somewhat predictable to all you parents out there. But, what was unpredictable to me was how much I'd love being a father.
I always knew that I wanted kids and I've always loved being around kids, but never in a million years would I think that having my own offspring would be so satisfying, rewarding and cool.
It still amazes me a little that Anna is really my baby. Not that I'm questioning the milk man or anything, but just the fact that I have a daughter and that Angie and I made her is so remarkable.
And to think that I've been a father for a year is really something special for me. Raising Anna on a daily basis has been such a treat and I feel very fortunate that we are able to have me work from home and take care of Anna.
Witnessing Anna's little idiosyncrasies each day is what I love the most. When I say idiosyncrasies, I mean things like:
• How Anna's eyes squint when she smiles really hard.
• How Anna cracks herself up when she blows bubbles in her drink.
• How Anna splashes in the tub and gets me completely soaked every time she takes a bath.
• How proud Anna is when she pushes the button on her glow worm to make him light up and play music.
• How I can listen to Anna's different cries and know what's wrong.
• How Anna carries on a conversation with you despite neither of you having any idea what the other is saying.
I could go on with these little things all day. Like Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) said in Good Will Hunting, "People call these things imperfections, but there not. Ah, that's the good stuff."
Truer words were never spoken when referring to raising a child and Anna's first year has been all "good stuff." Happy Birthday Anna. We love you to pieces.