Friday, April 6, 2012

letters to my girl: month TWELVE.

dear maggie,

about the time you started walking, i stopped writing. you might see a correlation there. it's also about the time we found out that you're going to have a sibling. i got a little tired, baby girl. i'm sorry about that.  i will try to be better, especially because so much happens so fast with you that i don't ever want to forget it.

let's go from head to toe, shall we? people say you have your daddy's face and my smile. i think they're right, to a certain extent, but as you get older i think you look more and more just like you.

hair: blonde, and coming in more and more! it's starting to get a little bit long and shaggy in the back, which is exciting, and you're getting more and more on the top. you don't look like you have "kid" hair yet--it's still baby hair--but it's very blonde and very fine.

eyes: still gorgeously blue. i don't think that's going to change, which is sort of awesome since my grandma had blue eyes too. seems appropriate.

nose: molars make your nose run. i'm sure you'll be horrified to read this someday, but it's one of the ways that you tell me that you're teething.  also, you've been fighting colds since christmas (everyone in our house has, actually).  your poor nose has been getting its fair share of attention lately.

mouth: well, there's a lot to talk about here. seven teeth so far, working on at least two more. 

eating--you're eating big kid food now, but you're still drinking milk too. you love your bottles and will not hold it while eating at all. i don't think you ever will.  i think you'll give them up before you do.  i don't blame you. why do work when you can recline and not have to? i think this speaks volumes about you.  we're working on transitioning you to whole milk from formula. so far, you don't even seem to notice.  if it's in a bottle, you're good to go, i think. 

you are getting really good with finger foods.  you don't really miss your mouth very much if you decide that you actually want to eat something. there are times, though, when you just seem to absolutely refuse to eat anything.  for this reason, you're still eating some purees in a pouch. at least then i know that you have eaten SOMETHING with some nutritional value.

some of your favorites: blueberry yogurt (you eat it EVERY morning!), apples (it's the one food that you will consistently try to eat), goldfish (you eat them one at a time--i wish i was like you!), cucumber (found out at a salad bar of all places), grapes (we have to split them in half for you), CHEESE! (cheddar, though--nothing else will do), peanut butter (this one's new), blueberry bagels or really bagels of any kind, frozen muffins (they're easier to hang on to! you especially like the pineapple ones).

some of your least favorites: meat. you really don't like it.  you don't like pancakes, french toast, or waffles, unless the waffles are frozen and you are teething and then you just gnaw on it until it's thawed and then throw it on the ground.

someday we'll get there.  i think once you get some of these molars in, it will suddenly be a lot easier to eat some of this stuff that you've been looking at with suspicion.

talking: your first real word was "done!" i didn't realize how often i said it to you when i was feeding you or when i was changing you or when i was doing anything until, one day, you said it back to me when i asked you if you were done while you were in your highchair. i think i beamed.

you say, and know what they mean:  done, mama, dada, cup

you say these words after we say them: yum (this one is about to be upgraded, though, because you say it unsolicited recently),  bum, apple, gum (from the "raindrops were gumdrops" song), yeah, come (this one's new), dum (not dumb; i think it's the sound word), cheese, bee (either the letter or the insect, we're not sure).

you talk all the time. you love to talk. but you're also happy to be silent as well.  you are so smart. you take direction really well. even though you can't say them, you know what things are (especially your toys). you correctly go to your penguin when we ask you, you know what your caterpillar is, you know what your zebra is.  you know what "diaper time" is and you know what breakfast, lunch, dinner, and milk are.  you know what it means when i say "daddy's home!" and you squeal in delight.

you are adorable.

hands and arms: you can clap, wave, and pick almost anything up. you've taken to trying to haul and drag my big purses around, which is fairly hilarious. you like nothing better right now than to walk around with a reusable grocery bag around your NECK because, i guess, it's too big to just hold on your arm.  your fingernails grow insanely fast, but you won't let me cut them anymore because you would rather sleep in your bed (i used to cut them after you would fall asleep in the rocking chair). i actually don't know what i'm going to do about that.

belly:  you've still got a little belly, but it's so cute that i hope it sticks around for a little while longer.  you have taken to pulling up your shirt (now that you're wearing more shirts than onesies) and showing it to the world.  you can correctly identify it when we ask you where your belly is--you pat it lovingly.

legs: i think you're getting ready to run. or dance. or both.  you've begun to run in place a little bit when you're excited, big smile on your face.  it's SO STINKIN' CUTE.  it's like you're learning that you can move those feet faster and with more rhythm that you thought you could.  i've not been looking forward to the day you learn how to run, selfishly.  but you're pretty fast anyways. it didn't take you long to get out of the "toddling" part of learning how to walk. you walk with confidence now, like you've been doing it for your whole life.  you have incredible balance, navigating piles of laundry and piles of toys in the living room like they are no big deal.

when you got your zebra riding toy, it took you a few minutes of suspicious inspection before you figured out, ON YOUR OWN, how to mount it and bounce on it. you're incredibly strong and you're always on the move.

feet: we finally have shoes that work and fit and i love them. you seem to be enthralled by the velcro on them, but only unhook one part, so they still stay on.  i'll take it.  but most days, like me, you're barefoot. i bet that's how it will always be.

brain: you are so smart, maggie.  as you get older, you just surprise me even more.  i know every parent brags about their kids and what they do, and i'm certainly no different, but your daddy and i were talking today about how you're smart in every area. you're verbally smart--you pick up on words, phrases, and what they mean VERY quickly.  you're aurally smart--you understand what you're hearing and what sounds mean and can follow directions very well.  you're physically smart--you have fallen a few times, but it didn't take you long to figure out how to avoid that by getting off of the couches in the way that i showed you. i think maybe it took you two or three days of me showing you every so often how to do it. then you had it. the same thing is true for any of the skills that you have developed--you learn it quickly and it's yours.   you LOVE books.  your new thing is bringing us books (we're working on having you not throw them at us) and having us read them over and over and over again.  i didn't think we'd get to that phase for a while, but...we're there. but you're so smart about it--you know exactly what you're doing. 

i don't know what will come of this, but i know that you are a clever girl. i hope you will always use that cleverness to achieve something good. there's not enough cleverness being used for good in the world.  whatever you choose to do, i know that you will be successful at it. it's who you are. you were born that way.

heart: my goodness are you sweet.  you have your moments of fussiness and your moments of short tantrums, which i attribute to not being able to articulate what you want or to understand how to express your displeasure, but you are overall a smiley, happy, cheerful kid.  you like people SO MUCH now.  you love to be around other kids. only recently, you have been utterly fascinated by babies smaller than you. you want to touch them, to examine them, but you do it in this gentle sweet way.  you love other adults too, and you love church so much because there are so many people and so many new things to see.  you flirt with people in the store, you wave to people sometimes, you are so sweet to everyone you encounter.

with us, you are cuddly and kind and so funny.  you are almost always smiling. when you're not, you just want one of us to be with you. you have taken to having some chill time with me on the couch sometimes, if you're feeling a bit tired or just need to be close.  it's very sweet and i treasure it.  most of the time, though, you are an intrepid explorer, trying to see what you can find next, and always with a smile.

i can't believe it's been a year since you joined our family, maggie. you are the best and the sweetest and the most exasperating. :)  you are teaching us things that we never could have learned without you, and i am so grateful every day that you are ours for the time that Heavenly Father has entrusted us with you.  we promise to keep doing our best, and we're thankful that you are as forgiving of us as you are.

thanks for making me a mom and making your dad a dad. thanks for teaching us how to do it and how to trust ourselves. thanks for proving that we're doing something right by being as happy as you are to be where and who you are.  thanks for coming to us as perfectly as you did.  thanks for being you.

i can't wait to see what the next year brings. you'll be a big sister.  i think you'll be an extraordinary one. this baby bean has no idea how lucky s/he is to have you. i'll remind him/her of that, i promise.

we love you so much more than any word, anywhere, anytime, could ever express. 

love,
mommy (and daddy).

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