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One Year Ago....

On Monday, November 17, 2008, at 2:31 in the morning, three people were born.  Paul Thomas came into this world for the first time, and Paul and I went from being a couple to being parents, a mommy and a daddy.  At risk of sounding cheesy and cliche (although really, when have I ever shied away from being cheesy?!), it was the most amazing moment of my life.

After three days of induced labor thanks to low amniotic fluid, three weeks before the "official" due date, Paul and I ended up in the operating room in the middle of the night as the doctor and nurses prepped me for a c-section.  We hadn't been given much time to think about it so I wasn't terribly nervous, we were mostly just exhausted from having been at the hospital since Friday with nothing to show for our efforts yet.

In what seemed like just a matter of minutes after they moved me onto the operating table I heard Little Paul start crying and they held him up over the curtain for me to see our son for the very first time. 

And he was, without a doubt, perfect and absolutely adorable, a little peanut at just 5 lbs, 12 oz. and 18 inches long, exactly the same size and length I'd been when I'd come into the world in a very similar manner 30 years earlier.

Daddy and Baby by you.

Little Paul has completely changed our lives.  He's changed the relationship between Paul and I, our relationships with our friends and family, and our relationship with the world in general.  He's changed our viewpoints and our opinions, our social lives, our thoughts and our dreams.  Meanwhile we've just changed diapers.

From day one LP has had quite a personality.  He's either very serious, or very silly and makes the funniest faces.

He knows what he wants, when he wants it, and how to get whatever it is.  And he knows that a certain pouty face will almost always get some attention....

Little Paul is never content with the abilities that he currently has, he's always looking forward to the next thing.  He wanted to sit as soon as he could hold his head up, he wanted to crawl as soon as he could sit, he wanted to walk as soon as he could crawl, and on and on... We hope that he continues to be such a go-getter throughout his life as it will really take him far.

He loves his Daddy and his Daddy loves him.  When Paul comes home from work LP races right into the kitchen (along with the dogs) to greet him at the door...

He loves his Mommy too and has started giving me hugs and kisses (when no one else is looking to see him being so un-cool- a preview of the teenage years)...

Little Paul, while always wanting to move on so quickly to the next thing, has always been very easy-going and laid back.  Never once have we had to leave a store or a restaurant or someone's house due to a screaming and crying baby (although I'm sure the day will come!).  When he's tired, he sleeps.  When he's hungry, he tells us that he wants to eat.  When he's bored, he lets us know.  He only really gets fussy when he's tired at the end of the day, and even then it's not too hard to calm him down.  He sleeps well and eats well and is generally a very happy little boy.

Recently we've been starting to see less "baby" in him and more "little boy."  He's playing with his toys more and learning cause and effect (nothing thrills him more than opening and closing doors).  He's started sharing his things, handing them to Paul or I, or in the case of his crackers, taking a bite and then holding it down for the dog to eat the rest. 

Like most boys he's completely obsessed with the remote control, and it's the one thing we can't take away from him without him throwing a small fit.  He'll do anything to get to the remote and his eyes light up when he sees that it's within his reach!

Little Paul has learned to give high-fives, he can play "how big is Little Paul?", he can clap, and he's responding to more and more things every day.  He makes a hissing sound when you ask him what noise a snake makes.  He understands the word "no" but generally chooses to ignore it, and he's starting to make some "words" of his own to represent the various things he wants. 

He's cruising around the house like crazy, racing up the stairs (but not down yet!), chasing the dogs, learning to throw the dogs a ball, and figuring out how all of the cabinets in the kitchen open and close.  Once in a while he'll let go of his safety grip on the couch or the coffee table and attempt to stand on his own, and it's probably only a matter of a couple of weeks before he's walking, which I'm sure will very quickly lead to running.

It's hard to believe that the first year went by already.  I recently read that one of the saying about being a parent is that "the days drag, but the years fly."  I wouldn't say that EVERY day dragged (although there were certainly a few that did!) but I can see now how the years must just go so quickly.  I feel like it was just yesterday that I was pregnant, and now our little guy is practically a toddler, one year old, chattering and running around the house. 

As Elizabeth Stone said, "Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."  Nothing can completely prepare someone for being a parent.  One moment you're not a parent, and the next moment, suddenly, you are.  And you're not only totally responsible for another human being in a way that you've never been before, but suddenly a piece of you is part of somebody else, somebody that you would do absolutely anything for.  You find yourself getting up in the middle of the night to check on your child, tucking their blanket in just a little snugger to keep them warm; letting your food get cold while you feed them; listening to kids music; watching Sesame Street; and not minding that your living room suddenly looks like a daycare center or that all of your clothing has spitup and drool stains.  You drive a little more carefully, rush home from work a little early, stay in on Saturday nights, and sometimes don't even mind being woken up at the crack of dawn because your baby smiles at you from the crib when you go into their room, your eyes all blurry from not enough sleep. 

Having a child changes everything.  Little Paul has changed everything.  Paul and I are no longer the people we once were, and we have never been happier.

So Happy First Birthday Paul Thomas.  Daddy and I love you more than words can say, more than we thought possible, more than we ever dreamed of.  We hope that you become everything that you want to be, everything that we know you can be and we will continue to love you and support you no matter what.


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