hey there mister mister

on the radio, stereo, the way you move ain't fair you know. (how many times did Caroline sing this to you over the past year?)

In the blink of an eye our son's incredibly insane first trip around the sun is complete. In Connor's first year he lived in two states, three houses, and six bedrooms if you count both his and our bedrooms since we all know he slept in ours as much as his own if not more. We are sure Connor enjoyed the quiet solitude of his first days home with Mama as much as the days when there were many hands on deck for him to charm and hearts for him to steal away. Though we can't be sure of his perception of this important first year, I like to think that we provided if nothing else an interesting 365 days. Our boy, our sweet smiley, hot tempered, stubborn, selective listening belly laugher from heaven.

Connor you could not be more different than your sister and yet you are infatuated by her every move. You mimic her actions, you watch over her shoulder and push your way to her side to get involved despite her protests that you "stop Con Con, no big boy!" As much as she is irritated to lengths completely unacceptable for a nearly four year old, she loves you more than all her baby dolls, all her play dough, her tiny scissors, and probably even the tiny objects we watch her put purposely out of your reach. She misses you when you are not there, she asks us if you missed her, she tries to hug you like you are a big boy and not a 12 month old. The two of you have started playing alongside one another, together, and I often find you smiling and laughing at something secret between just you two.

You are into everything, particularly things you should NOT be into. Your attention span is approximately 12 seconds and you have gotten so quick on your feet that if we blink you are off licking an electric socket or inches from bashing in your skull on the hearth. You learned just this week how to put half an animal into the fridge farm and Daddy is so proud that you might just be showing a preference for your left hand. You are snuggly and nothing melts your mother's heart more than putting a pillow on the floor and watching you trip over everything in your path just to put your head down with that innocent sweet smile. You are inquisitive and yet you still like to sit in my lap for whole moments at a time reminding me that while you are growing you still need me, or at least want to make me believe you do. Though we are still not quite there in the sleeping department (a full year later!) the nights that you don't rouse me from sleep at 2 or 3 or sometimes earlier at 1 or even 11:30PM to come and collect you, I wake up feeling like something was missing from the previous night. I know that eventually, someday, I will probably miss all the bonus time I have with you in the middle of the night. I know that if I try to ignore your whimpers you won't stop and go back to sleep. You will in fact wake yourself completely up and won't go back to sleep for exactly 2 hours. You will in fact wake up yoursister requiring the other parental unit to somehow convince her that it is too early for Playhouse Disney or a Pop Tart. If sleep has been the low point of your year, then the highlight has been how you have enriched our family's life with your sweetness, playful spirit, and ability to take a rotten day and turn it inside out within 60 seconds.

Connor you are a joy. We often wonder if you are getting less of our attention than was given to your big sister during her first year. We worry that we are not boasting about each of your silly firsts. We celebrate your accomplishments, but due to the nature of our crazy life here in the place you will grow up, we move on and forward at a clip that makes us at times feel as if we are depriving you of something important. In the end we realize it all evens out. As you learn to walk your sister is explaining to me what traffic is, identifying another car on the road as being "like Daddy's," drawing pictures of snowmen and princesses, and writing letters. The two of you together bring such collective happiness into our lives and just as we could not imagine our life without your sister, we equally could not imagine being here on Earth without you.

You took your time getting here, despite an interesting end to your gestation, and as we look back over the last year it is easy to see now that we weren't quite ready for you until January 18th. It has been an amazing year, a challenging year full of hills and valleys, smiles and tears, joy and frustration. It has been a year like the year we fought to have you in our lives and it prepared us for challenging, amazing, wonderful you.

Happy first birthday to our son. You are likely the last baby we will welcome into the world, but that's more to do with the balance we feel in the house with you in it than the many challenges you presented. Connor means much wanted and strong willed and you sweet Bubba, are both.

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