Almost an entire year has gone by since we first met you. This time last year we were anxiously and excited awaiting your arrival. I expected you to come at any time although, honestly, I never expected to have to wait two weeks after your estimated due date to hold you.
- You are delighted by walking. You technically can walk on your own but you are a very cautious child (like your father before you) and, if you don't have someone or something to hold onto, you drop to a crawl after two or three independent steps. You are very clever about inventing walking devices- you've used upside down laundry baskets and the foot stool to a papasan chair to make your way around.
- Walking with Momma outside is fun. You like to crunch your bare feet on the fallen leaves. It really is very nice that we live somewhere that you can walk outside barefoot in January.
- "My by myself," as your Momma used to say, is the phrase of the month. Especially when it comes to food and climbing the stairs. Finger foods are the best, made even better if they require the use of your precision pincer grip. Crispy rice, pizza crust and peas have been favorites and recently you've added sliced banana to the mix. Apples and pears are preferred in their original form. None of this silly cutting into baby size pieces.
- You drink very well out of an adult cup. Sometimes though, if you don't have help, you forget that there is still water in the cup when you're done drinking and it ends up all over your. This happens when you are overzealous in your cup tipping as well.
- We let you try coloring with crayons for the first time. You put one crayon in your cup of water and bit the tip off another. So we'll be waiting a little longer to reintroduce those.
- You enjoy putting items into other items. And taking items out of other items. Spoons go in cups. Toys go in your lunch box. Anything small enough goes in your mouth.
- You love "talking" on the phone. You got some toy cell phones for Christmas and you put them up to your ear... you do the same thing with pizza crusts, garlic bread, combs... anything in hand that can be a phone. Hello, hello!
- When you get excited you have started to make a growling screech of joy. Real laughter (belly, as opposed to breathy) has become a part of your repertoire as well after being an infrequent occurrence. Dohdohdoh and Wowowow are popular words. Nuhnunna is another. During our trip to Alaska you met a dog and some birds and learned to call them Dadada and Berberber, respectively.
- This month marked a huge step in your relationship with scary things- dogs and little boys. Up until now, either type of creature would easily reduce you to tears with their loud noises and fast movements. When we arrived in Alaska you were literally shaking with fear at the sight of Peter Jehosaphat Munson. By the end of the trip you would follow him around, trying to pet him. You still would get scared if he barked but the time spent with him also made little boys less scary.
- You are growing like mad and stretching out into a toddler. There are days that Daddy comes home from work and you are longer than when he left.
- You get separation anxiety at night in your crib so you still spend a good portion of the night with Momma and Daddy in their bed. In the middle of the night you are insistent on snuggling with Daddy. And then you get mad at him because he can't nurse you. You also sleep in odd positions- Momma might wake up with a foot in her face; Daddy with a noggin' nestled in his neck; arms and legs akimbo with your head sideways up against the headboard.
- If you were in charge you'd be allowed to: spend all day on the 3rd or 4th step of the stairs, watching the world; no clothing would be allowed; bath time would occur while standing up.
- Your Aunty N got you a swing for Christmas that we've hung on the porch. You've fallen asleep in it several times. Just get you going and the eyes start drooping!
Love you, little girl, more than the moon and the stars! Love you, dear heart, more than chocolate ice cream! Love you, Senorita Poopy Pants, more than I can really express!