Happy Birthday Celi,
I know it's a cliché, but I can not believe that you are one year old today. It doesn't seem all that long ago when we were surprised with the knowledge of your forthcoming. I was still trying to adjust to the fact we only had your brother for a few months before we knew about you. And even after that, having the two babies seemed like it was the hardest job in all of existence. Then you were coming later in the year and I didn't know what I was going to do. If I figured out what I was going to do, I didn't know HOW I was going to do it.
When your mom was pregnant with you, I think it went by so fast on account that I wasn't there much. I was focused on making ends meet, that I would sometimes work 25 hours overtime a week. I didn't go to the doctor visits as much (if at all) like I did when your mom was pregnant with your brother and sister. I was a new manager and I was required to be at work. I just couldn't fit everything into the balance of my life.
Then when you came home, it took a while for me to connect with you. Maybe it was the long hours I was working. Maybe it was that we didn't know your gender, and I didn't connect with you because I didn't know what to call you in the womb. I started school a couple months later, and more of my focus shifted from you. Your mom would mention ad nausea about the fact I had not given you a nickname yet. It wasn't until a couple months ago when I started calling you "Celi" and "Celi Belly".
"Ladybug" and "Disco" came so quickly with your siblings. Was it this lack of connection that I constantly thought that you did not like me? You would cry when I sometimes tried to feed you, only to stop once your mother took you.
The only time we really spent together was at 3:00 AM as I was crawling out of bed for your feedings. I did catch up on Lost, Burn Notice, Leverage, Wrestling and The Office during this time. We would fall asleep on the couch with you in my arms and I started to look forward to these insane feeding times of yours.
Your mom would also give me a hard time because I have yet to make a "video" of you. I did the "Peanut Butter and Jelly Time" videos for your older brother and sister. Your sister got her poem. Your brother got his two videos. "Where is the baby's??" My excuse was that I was all burnt out. It's like I set the bar high when I did your brother's birth video and the subsequent "Disco Seth" video.
But honestly, I had something planned. Your mother doesn't even know this. Throughout the night when your mom was in labor with you, I would sneak away at times and record video updates. The goal was to put these together and make a documentation of the day you were born. I don't know what happened. Maybe just the stress I was putting myself through trying to be "Super Husband" and "Amazing Daddy", but I ended up dropping the whole idea. And for that, I am sorry.
I love our relationship now. I love it how you come running to the door when I come home. You even cry when I leave.
When you come up to me and put your head in my lap, my heart melts. I love it how you want so badly to play with your brother and sister and they just plow over you because you're not able to always keep up with them. But you're getting there.
Your infections smiles bright my day. You are a great daughter, and I squeeze you very very much. You are going to super big sister very soon.
This family was nowhere near complete as it was before you joined us. I can not even think about what our family was like prior to you being born.
I love you very much, Celi. I hope your day is as beautiful as you are.