Never Grow Up

Charley Anne Espejo

My beautiful, smart, silly, sweet, snuggly, lovable baby girl is now One.Year.Old.

It doesn't seem possible.

It felt like she stayed a baby forever and then, once she hit five months, she grew taller, faster, stronger, started crawling then walking, laughing then singing, babbling, and trying to talk. She turned into a toddler all of the sudden.

My absolute favorite thing that this sweet girl does is run over to me with this huge goofy grin and throw her whole body into my arms, lay her head on my shoulder, wrap her arms around me, and look up into my eyes with the sweetest smile I've ever seen. She does this quite often, and I hope she'll never stop.

Charley is not as independent as Grace was at this age. She'll play on her own and even "read" books to herself, but she still needs her Mommy to hold her, hug her, and kiss her frequently.

She now runs all over the house chasing her sister from room to room while giggling uncontrollably, and it totally makes my day.

Grace and Charley have become best friends even demanding to be seated next to each other at dinner or to lay by each other in bed and squeal with delight. Grace loves holding her sister's hand. Charley has never been a hand holder, but they reach out across the back seat trying to touch each other's hands. Charley's arms aren't quite long enough to get there.

Her hair is growing quickly, and somehow it's light like Grace's. Both of my girls are brunette but just barely. It's so weird considering Isaac and I both have dark hair.

Her eyes are officially a hazelly brown, and thanks to her crazy thick, long eyelashes, they sparkle with light.

She loves to point at everything to show you what she's babbling about.

She is still obsessed with blankies. There isn't even a favorite. If you hold a blanky out for her, she'll run towards it and slam her face right in the middle and squeal. It's hilarious.

She has at least twelve teeth. Her bottom canines are about to come through and you can already see them. I don't know about the top ones, because she won't let me look. She just bites me and laughs when I say, "owww!" So then we play, and I let her keep biting me over and over to hear her laugh. Probably not the best habit to be teaching her.

She has been on the same feeding schedule for months now, but she's still taking two 4.5 ounce bottles each day. If you don't have the size three nipple that lets the milk flow super fast, she'll refuse to eat it. She also nurses in the afternoon and right before bed. At night, I get her to sleep and then put her into her crib. The first time she wakes up, I bring her into my bed (if I haven't already to snuggle). I can't tell you how many times she wakes up after that, because I just nurse her without waking up myself. This is the same thing we did with Grace who now sleeps in her own bed just fine even though it's in my room.

Charley also eats all kinds of foods. Her absolute favorites are graham crackers, avocados, ground turkey, eggs, mac and cheese, and snowcones.

She drinks from her sippy cup, but isn't a huge fan of juice. She'd rather just drink water.

Her favorite toys are her Minnie Mouse ball and her playhouse from Grammy. She also loves to read books to us. It's so funny to hear her babbling away while pointing at the pictures.

She loves playing out front and trying to run around with the big kids. I try to contain her, but she so badly wants to be a part of the neighborhood gang.

She runs for the front door and says, "Dad. Dad." whenever she hears the lock turn when he gets home from work.

Baby girl can say mama, dada, "cacker" for cracker, "gaycie" for Grace, and has said bye, "key" for nikki (Grammy's dog) or blanky, and babbles "tickle, tickle, tickle" all the time.

She is finally wearing size 12-18 month clothes, and they're still pretty big on her. Her 6-12 month stuff still fits best, though I'm sure she'll outgrow them soon.

Charley has about 1,000 headbands/bows and looks so adoable in them. I'm thankful that she hasn't started pulling them off just yet.

She is twenty pounds, twelve ounces and twenty-nine inches of baby love.
(Grace was twenty-three pounds, ten ounces and twenty-nine inches tall for those of you keeping tabs.)

Still in size 4 diapers, and probably will be until we potty train. She's a lil pipsqueak.

I can barely remember the days before Charley brightened up each morning. She wakes up with the biggest smile and no matter how early, you can't help but wake up happy. Watching the girls play, learn, and grow together has to be the very best thing in the whole world. I couldn't and wouldn't ask to change one thing. My only request is that my girls can stay young and happy forever. That's not too much to ask, right?

We love you so, so much baby girl. Thank you for being such a sweetheart and making each day that much better. We are so excited to see what the next year brings and look forward to hearing more of that dainty little voice.

Happy First Birthday, little bug <3

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