Alo Monroe Baird. You, my playful little fox, have been with us for an entire three-hundred-and-sixty-five days, though it feels like you've been with us from the start. You've given my life so much more depth and meaning than I could have ever imagined. You helped me find myself, my purpose, and the drive to be the best I can be so I can be an example for you. I keep looking at this paragraph, feeling like I need to write more about how much you mean to me, but I don't think I could come up with the words if I tried.
There's so much I don't want to forget about you in this stage—you're changing and growing so much I can barely keep up. You've been waking up at night this past week, I think, because your brain is developing at the speed of light. You're still not walking, but your language has starting pouring from your lips! It surprises me when you call something by name so intentionally.
- Tickle (First Word, though I'm not sure you know what it means)
- Ow! (No doubt repeating me every time you pull my hair or pinch my skin a little too hard.)
- Hi! + Wave
- Baby — We were looking at a book of babies from around the world, and you started repeating me when I said, "Baby!". Later in the day, and the next morning, you crawled up to the book, turning its pages, saying "Baby. Bay-beee!" Now, though, you refer to all books as "baby". Not a bad thing to treasure. Books can definitely be your babies.
- PLAY IN THE DIRT! It amazes me how quickly you can get truly disgusting, complete with dirt crammed under your fingernails.
- Play, "Find the bellybutton" on Mom & Dad. You lift up our shirts, stick your finger in the hole, and look at our faces expectantly waiting for us to squeal, giggle, and jiggle. You could do this for hours, I think, but you're really starting to poke a little too hard.
- Walk with your baby walker. This only holds your attention for a few moments, as you haven't learned how to turn yet, but when you do run back and forth through our little house, it's impossible for you to contain your laughter and glee.
- Bathtime, or, anything with water, really. You can splash like nobody's business.The first time I took you to the beach, your crawled right toward the ocean waves, not thinking anything of it. Everyone was quite impressed that you did not eat any sand. Just squidged your fingers in it joyfully!
- Hiking. Need I say more? You're the best little adventure companion. The best birthday present to all three of us was a new Osprey hiking backpack from REI, since hiking in the Tula baby carrier is getting a little less comfortable to take long treks in. Unfortunately in this new pack, you have close access to my hair. OUCH!
- Bike-Riding. You really did hate it at first. I think you were a little bit small when we first started out, but now you love the speed and the wind blowing through your hair.
- Playing with your babies (books). You're not super interested in "toys", but you love exploring new things, pulling things apart, and emptying containers.
- Empty the pantry. I made it off-limits for a few weeks because I was so tired of cleaning up after "Hurricane Alo", but you stay occupied in there for so long!
Outdoor Activities You've Done In Your First Year:
- Locally in NY
- North Carolina
- Camping at Letchworth State Park
- Biking at Presque Isle with Zoey & Zander, and on The Catherine Valley Trail
- Kayaking countless times with Nana
- Went Blueberry Picking
- Went Apple Picking
- Went Strawberry Picking
- Went to the Races at Watkins Glen
- Watching Mommy & Daddy Water-Ski/ Boating
- Watched the Palmyra Pageant
- SO MUCH MORE I CAN'T EVEN REMEMBER!
- Full-fat yogurt with Maple Syrup
- Cheese Sticks
- Veggie Straw Chips
- Ice Cream (You literally cry because you're so sad it's over. We know how you feel, buddy.)
- Lemons (Weird, I know)
- Brown Rice/ Quinoa Noodles
- Annie's Macaroni & Cheese
I've probably forgotten something somewhere about you. The time we've had together is so full, but at the same time peaceful. I don't want to forget any of it . . . But all I can do is watch you grow, and keep taking photos of it. I love you, Alo Monroe. You are my everything. Happy First Birthday.