Duke Anthony Felecos: 1 Year Old!

My sweet baby Duke,

This has by far been the best year of my life.  I prayed for you and have imagined having kids for so many years, the fact that you're here and you're mine still shocks me sometimes.  You have brought more joy, laughter, happy tears, and love into my life than I ever could have imagined. 

You came into the world a little more fast and furious than we were expecting 1 short year ago.  I had been telling your Daddy my entire pregnancy that he needed to COOL IT in thinking that we would be in some crazy speeding rush to get to the hospital and that we would have hours and hours in which I would labor at home before we even went to the hospital.  I was so very wrong and ended up being the one begging your dad to go faster on our drive to meet you, 1 very short, contraction-filled hour after my water broke. You can read all about that here and here.

I've learned so many things as a new mom- and I've learned to trust myself and my instincts.  I have a lot more confidence now than I did a year ago, but to be honest, being your mom has always been fun.  It's hard, don't get me wrong, because being a parent means you are 'on' all the time and more often than not you have to put someone else's needs before your own, but I've never smiled more.  Sure, we lose some sleep, but I've never loved 3 a.m. more than when you are cuddled up and  fast asleep on my chest.  Our priorities are so different now, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  You are worth every minute of sacrifice, and knowing this time is so fleeting has us soaking in each moment as you continue to grow and learn each and every day.

You are adorable and people comment on your little face every time we leave the house.  You are so sweet and have a hilarious personality.  You are a lover in every sense of the word and you love hard.  Physically, you want to be hugging, tackling, kissing, licking, or smacking those you are most fond of whenever you can.  Someday we'll teach you how to be a little more gentle. 

You're fascinated by Capone and even though you want to be his best friend, you are a little hesitant because he isn't always welcoming you with open arms.  You love books, playing with any toy or thing you can find, climbing the stairs, being tickled, and eating.  Oh my you love eating.  You don't love your car seat but still do well on long road trips.  You get most frustrated when you haven't seen us in awhile and we immediately have to put you in your seat after picking you up.  You are a really great sleeper and love snuggling in with the fuzziest blankets we can find. 

You love being around people, especially other kids, but you aren't shy about needing some one on one mama time if you're feeling overwhelmed, sick, sad, or scared.  You are so LOUD.  I literally don't know what to do when we're around other super quiet {maybe normal??} kids because you can be heard from a mile away.  It's so funny and really shouldn't surprise us at all...your dad and I certainly have never claimed to be quiet people.  You have my eyes which is something I really hoped for- it's a Merrigan thing, and I just love it.

I was so happy as I sat in your room this morning and nursed you that we made it to this milestone.  You haven't been exclusively nursed since 9 months, but I can't explain to you how much it means to me to have been able to do this for you for 1 whole year.  It creates an indescribable bond and warms my mama heart.

Thank you for teaching me patience.  Thank you for making me a mom.  I promise to always love you the most, to protect you in every way I can and keep you safe. I promise to always give you a place to call home and I promise to always try to be the best parent I can be for you.   I cannot wait to see what the future holds for you sweet boy, but let's take our time getting there.  Every day with you is a joy.  Happy Birthday baby Duke!


P.S.  I will probably call you baby Duke until you're 35. :)

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