Wow! We made it.
I’m writing this post on New Year’s Eve, a year to the day we brought our sweet girl home from the hospital after a three-night stay. We’re home on the couch tonight, without even the slightest bit of FOMO, reminiscing about the wildest year of our lives while drinking champagne.
The past week has been truly magical, yet insane. We celebrated Cora’s first Christmas and birthday, with lots of family visits in between. It was so fun, but I’m thoroughly exhausted and have that overwhelmed feeling of needing a vacation from vacation before returning to work. Womp.
Last New Year’s Eve, we took Cora home from the hospital on what I am convinced must have been the coldest day of the year. We spent the night snuggled up on the couch, all of us (myself, Zach, and my parents) taking turns ogling this precious baby while consoling me as I tried to adjust to our nurse-less new reality. I was going to be fine. Cora was going to be fine.
And they were right. It was emotional, numbing, humbling, and incredibly challenging, but here we are, suddenly one year in. I want to STOP TIME and yet there is nothing, NOTHING, that fills my heart more than watching Cora beam with pride when doing or experiencing something new. In the meantime, I must try accept that time marches on. Sigh.
We celebrated the birthday girl with a big (maybe over-the-top?) Winter Onederland-themed party at my in-law’s house. (I’m so grateful for their help hosting.) Having an early January birthday myself, I wanted to celebrate Cora’s birthday as something wholly distinct from everyone’s favorite holiday. But I cannot plan a party like that every year. We will have to start some simpler traditions that still make the 28th of December the BEST day of the year for her without adding any more stress to the holiday season.
I was nervous Cora would be overwhelmed by all the guests and attention, but she was her happy, sociable self the whole time. She loved her raspberry funfetti cake and playing with her baby friends!
We’ve seen some amazing milestones this year, and I think Cora is now officially way more toddler than baby. She seems even more grown up than she did 11 days ago when I started my winter break–although she felt pretty down and out with her first bad fever that week.
Cora loves music SO MUCH. We have been using Alexa constantly. When I ask Cora, “would you like some music?” she starts to dance in anticipation! It’s so cute. She has the best head-bob, shoulder-shimmy dance move that makes me smile every time. She loves “Barbara-Ann” by the Beach Boys, and obviously, Baby Shark (doo doo…). Santa brought this xylophone toy and this music set by Melissa and Doug for Christmas and I think they will be favorite toys! She is also really into books right now, particularly any with flaps. When she opens the flap she will yell out, “AH!” in response. She also pretends to go “night-night,” brushes her hair, and tries to put on her own socks, shoes, and hair bows. Independent woman in the house!
Cora is REALLY close to walking! She walks with her push-walker toys easily, pulls herself up, and stands on her own, but when she wants to move she drops down to the ground to crawl. We’re ready (sort of) when you are!
It’s really no secret that Zach and I are infatuated with our sweet one-year old. I’d like to give us some credit, but I think we were truly blessed with the happiest, most easy going and sociable baby girl. Her personality is so fun, and her laugh is my favorite sound in the whole word. There were some really hard times this year. Like, really hard times, when I questioned whether I was really cut out for this role (and I’m someone who always knew I wanted kids). But no one ever once said it was going to be easy.
There is so much in store for you, Cora Elizabeth. I’m giddy with excitement to see what you make of the world. We love YOU.