She’s 1!

As Keira would say, “Wow!” I would say that it has flown by, but the truth is that sometimes it feels like time is flying and others, well, seem like eternity. One thing is for sure, there have been many life long memories created. And never have we been in love with something as much as our Little K.

I always viewed the 1 year mark as a major accomplishment for Phil and I. That means we kept the most precious thing to us alive for the first vital year of her life (obviously every year is vital, but the first year they are dependent on us in a very basic needs sort of way). The threat of SIDS, choking, illness, birth, and many other dangers, make the first year feel like risk lurks at every corner. Never have I worried about things like I have in the last year. These are the kind of worries that are actual worries – not “Gosh, I hope I do well at that presentation” or “I wonder if anyone else on the Central Line noticed that I forgot to put deodorant on this morning.” (Note to non-Londoners – the Central Line – a.ka. Sauna Line – is ridiculously hot) I still wake up wondering if she’s breathing.

Which brings me to the next miracle of surviving the 1st year – sleep. Oh sleep. How I took you for granted pre-Keira. People always tell you, “Enjoy sleep while you can,” before the baby is born. As if you can take it with you somehow! Also, being super pregnant with mass amounts of hormones running through your body is not condusive to great sleep either, so stop telling people that. I know we’re through the worst of the sleep issues. Will there be times when it’s not great? Absolutely. I was a horrendous sleeper as a child. My mom had to buy me this odd looking polished stone that she called a worry wart that I would rub and take with me everywhere. I would wake up at night worrying that there was going to be a fire, a break in, that someone would have cancer. I’m sure a psychologist would have a field day with this type of material. So no – I don’t believe that sleep will just be a happy time where she requests to go to sleep and wanders off up the stairs to tuck herself in. And at the same time, it can’t be as bad as this first year. Keira isn’t even the worst sleeper I know and it’s been rough. So yeah! We survived and are now going to pop the champagne (and go to bed at 9pm)!

I think back to what was happening a year ago today. We were at the Whittington Hospital. After what can only be described as an ideal birth, we met our sweet, little girl for the first time. Phil cried basically for the first week every time he looked at her. And now I’m crying just thinking about holding our beautiful girl for the first time. I don’t think you’re prepared for how fragile they are. How dependent they are. How attached they are to you immediately. It’s hard to describe how awe struck you are. And then we packed her up, put her in a taxi, and went home. There’s now vague memories of numerous nappy changes and Keira only sleeping on my chest and feeding ourselves in shifts.

It’s absolutely incredible to now look at this super crawler, who “talks” constantly, as the same as the little bundle we brought home. I will forever be mesmerized by what the human body can do. I really believe now that we can do literally anything. It blows my mind when you think of pregnancy and then a newborn and then the changes that happen as they develop.

I’d like to start a birthday tradition, and I’d like you to join me in that. What advice would you like to share with our Little K? I’ll write these all down somewhere special for her to keep for every year. I think legacy comes up naturally when you have a child, and I’d like to be able to guide Keira whether I’m here or not (don’t worry – nothing is wrong with me!).

Keira  – I want you to see the world through a lens of love. That all people have something beautiful in them and it is your job to seek that in any encounter. And if you give love, you will receive it back.

To Keira from Dad – You are perfect exactly how you are.

Gosh we love you so much, Keira Grace Hack-a-rooni! And I truly believe that is why so many of our life long goals have happened for us this year, because we have had an abundance of love in our lives.

Now let’s pop the champagne and celebrate!

P.S. We were meant to have a great birthday for her at a restaurant along the canal with two other girls that turned 1 recently. Due to threat of chickenpox, we decided to cancel. So far no chickenpox at least. And so far nothing else has gone according to plan either. The cake burned to a crisp – courtesy of our crap oven (I am 100% blaming the oven!). I had intended on making my Grandma’s chocolate zucchini cake recipe and shaping it into a hobby horse just like my Mom did for my 1st birthday. She did take one bite of the cake I did make and spat it out, so basically all the effort was pointless anyways. She also bashed her head on the new wooden toy we got her and now has a very nice, rosie goose egg on her forehead.

Who doesn't love waking up with a bed full of balloons

Who doesn’t love waking up with a bed full of balloons

Fancy new bike. Can't walk but maybe she can ride.

Fancy new bike. Can’t walk but maybe she can ride.

Right, point at bike and see if it will come to me.

Right, point at bike and see if it will come to me.

Oh hiya (how the Brit's say hello)

Oh hiya (how the Brit’s say hello)

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I look innocent enough

"I'm only thinking about sticking this in my mouth, Mom. Honestly. Just look that way for a second."

“I’m only thinking about sticking this in my mouth, Mom. Honestly. Just look that way for a second.”

Just got her first pair of properly fitted shoes last weekend. Now she's a shoe expert and can't get enough.

Just got her first pair of properly fitted shoes last weekend. Now she’s a shoe expert and can’t get enough. Good angle on the goose egg.

Happy 1st birthday girls!!

Happy 1st birthday girls!!

Our neighbours had a 1st birthday party that we crashed.

Our neighbours had a 1st birthday party that we crashed.

It looks like she's walking in this pic, but she's not.

It looks like she’s walking in this pic, but she’s not.

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The cake that did make it - although she didn't like it, which is actually great. I'd rather her not take to sugar.

The cake that did make it – although she didn’t like it, which is actually great. I’d rather her not take to sugar.

DSC_0195 (2) DSC_0196 (2)

The actual eating of the cake

The actual eating of the cake

"Okay, so cake is supposed to taste better than blueberries. I think you're mistaken."

“Okay, so cake is supposed to taste better than blueberries. I think you’re mistaken.”

Wow! A picture of the 3 of us.

Wow! A picture of the 3 of us.

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4 thoughts on “She’s 1!

  1. Glen and I loved the blog on Keira’s first birthday! Thanks Tara for sharing all the experiences over the last year. You and Phil are doing a fantastic job! We, as many others wish we were there in person. The photos always make us smile and laugh. I love Keira’s first wheels! I have seen a fantastic car that a little girl in Glen’s building has. We love you and here is a big hug and kiss from us! Grandpa Glen and Grandma June xoxoxo

  2. Happy 1st birthday Keira!! And mom and dad – it is your day too. I like how you reminisced about Keira’s first year. Time flies that’s for sure. I remember around this time last year coming out to London to visit Keira for the first time. Being greeted at the airport with Keira in tow will be something I will never forget. I will always cherish those memories of seeing Keira in those first few months.
    Words of wisdom from Nanny:
    Keira, you are one of a kind and Nanny loves you.

  3. Happy Happy First Birthday Keira……Hmmm, you may not like cake but wait until you try chocolate avocado pudding..! Lot’s of love, Abuela Laura

  4. happy 1st birthday beautiful Keira from your crazy Auntie Jo ( crazy great Auntie). Sorry I am a week late – my life is also crazy and have been away. All this crazy is a good crazy so my words of wisdom to your wee self – always know that your soul is exactly as it is meant to be and that you are beautiful in all ways. Embrace your own ” crazy” and life will be full of love, friendship, family and a lot of fun. I already see that mischief in your eyes and can’t wait to watch you grow up every single day. Thank you Tara for your blog- although it makes me cry my eyeballs out every time – even at 6am – I love it. SO MUCH. Love you all tremendously and happy 1st birthday to my beautiful wee grande niece. xoxoxo crazy in love with my family! xxxoooo

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