Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dear Hadley: Month 12-- Happy Birthday, Sweet Pea!!!

Dear Hadley:

Happy Birthday, my sweet baby!!!! You turned one a few days ago, and I am still amazed that a whole year has passed since your birth. I remember those last, few days before you were born as I prepared meals to freeze, made last-minute purchases for your arrival, and generally nested like crazy. I remember the first moment I met you when you stared right into my eyes and pursed your lips into a sweet rosebud. You did that with your mouth for the first few weeks, and I spent most of that time just staring at you and taking you in. I remember introducing you to our family and friends, bringing you home for the first time, settling in and developing a routine with you, and struggling through those rough, first weeks of breastfeeding. I remember when you learned to roll over (both ways), began cooing and then babbling and jabbering, began smiling and laughing, learned to crawl, stand, and then walk, and finally, started talking. It has been an amazing ride, Sweet Pea, and I have loved every moment with you.

Your birthday was a fun, fun day. You, Daddy, and I woke up early to take care of last-minute preparations for your big birthday bash, then we had a nice, relaxed lunch, and got dressed for the party. You took a looong nap that day and woke up about 15 minutes before your party started. I was getting a little worried that you were going to sleep through the party, but you woke up just in the nick of time!

Your party was so great, too. We had tons of family and friends there to celebrate, and you had so much fun playing and opening presents. You didn't really know what to make of everyone singing "Happy Birthday" to you, but you really LOVED your cake. You started out daintily dipping one little finger into the icing and tasting it. Then, once you realized how good that icing was, you dug both hands into the cake and shoved as much of the cake and icing into your mouth as you could. You even shared your icing with me and Daddy. You are such a sweet baby!

You have really grown from an infant into a little toddler this month, little one. You took your first steps at the beginning of August and by the end of August, you were walking pretty confidently on your own. You decided one day about mid-month that you were ready to walk instead of crawl, and you practiced constantly. Now, you pop up and walk just about everywhere. You still only make it a few feet, and sometimes only a few steps, before you plop back down, but you're getting where you want to go.

You are also talking now. You repeat words that we say, you consistently say "book," "banana," "Mama," "Daddy, and "bye," and you scream "BELLA" all the time. I'm not sure Bella really appreciates it, but you definitely get her attention-- and ours, too! Speaking of books, you LOVE your books right now. You have always loved for us to read to you, but this month, you realized that you can ask us to read to you. And, you do-- constantly. You have a favorite book that you get down from a table in our living room and bring to me. You then flip the book up into my lap and say "boooo" and smile really big at me. After we read the book, you flip it into my lap again and say "aga, aga," as in "again, again, Mama." And, we read it again and again and again. Sometimes we read your books 14 time in one morning. I make sure we switch up your books, but you always come back to your favorite. I love that you are loving your books. I'm thinking you are going to love to read as much as Daddy and I do.

You also have this adorable thing you do right now when something makes you happy. You bunch your little hands at your chest, scrunch up your face, and smile really big. I love when you do that! And, your laugh. Right now, you are so incredibly giggly-- at everything and nothing at all. You giggle at Daddy, you giggle when I hand you something, and sometimes, you just giggle for the heck of it. You are definitely a giggly, little girl.

I love you, my sweet baby and can't wait to see what this next year holds. If it is anything like this last year, we are in for a wild ride!!

Your Mommy


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