It is almost impossible to admit that this very day eleven months ago, nurses laid you in my arms for the very first time, and in an instant I fell completely in love with someone, hopelessly and irretrievably, forever. In the eleven months that have passed, my love for you has only grown stronger every day, and every day you seem to give us new and wonderful reasons to love you.
You have had a very busy month indeed. You survived yet another blizzard, and another trip. This month we added North Carolina to your list of places to call visited, and you charmed every single person you met there, from waitresses to authors, young and old. You were the absolute hit of the weekend. It was wonderful to watch you put your new skill of waving into action, and how everyone responded to you, which of course only encouraged you further.
You also took major steps towards independence this month. When I took you to the mall, for the very first time, you voluntarily left my side to go see what other kids were doing in the play park. To say I was nervous and a bit sad is an understatement, but I was also proud of you, so I hid my tears.
You are now pulling yourself up and will walk while you hold onto whatever it is you’ve pulled up on: the couch, the fireplace, a table, my leg. You are not real skilled when on hardwood or linoleum floors yet, but when you are on carpet, you are ready for action! I’m sure it won’t be long now before you are walking. You continue to be an absolute speed demon when you are crawling around, especially when you get your eye on something you want, and even more especially when you aren’t supposed to have whatever it is! You make it very difficult for us to say “No!” because you smile up at me and bat your eyelashes, and all I can do is laugh while attempting to maintain a firm tone of voice.
You have also developed a cheesy grin—you will crawl up to me, get right in my face and grab my cheeks with both hands, and smile a huge, toothy grin. It is so cute—I hope to get a picture of it, but I’m afraid the camera will make you stop, and I don’t want you to stop. It’s a few seconds of sunshine that I don’t have to share with anyone but you, and just one of a thousand miracles we share every day.
Your favorite things to play with this month are your sound stage (Daddy and I made a good investment in that thing!), people’s drinks (you love to go fishing for ice cubes!), silverware that’s in the dishwasher (you scatter it everywhere!), and blocks and puzzles in your room (as long as I build a tower for you to destroy or put the puzzles together so you can fling the pieces all over the place!).
You have been eating many more solid foods too. Your favorites remain pickles and cucumbers (your aunt would be proud) and french fries, but you have developed an affinity for Cool Whip, noodles, and squash. You absolutely hate tomato sauce and decline any pasta or bread with tomato sauce on it. You are also quite adept at spitting out the chunks in the stage 3 foods we’ve gotten for you; I guess you’re not big on texture! We have been working to convert you from bottles to sippy cups, but you’re not too excited about that change either. We will continue to persevere.
You have had a hard time sleeping in the past few weeks, getting us up every single morning between 4:45 and 5:30AM. This is very difficult on me, but Daddy has been filling in, which is hard on you! We did have you sleeping through the night, but you haven’t been too interested in that lately. We are going to go back to sleep training as soon as you get over this latest cold you have.
You also have a new pediatrician now, and charmed the office there when we took you for a cold earlier in the month. You’ve had 2 colds this month, but it seems you’re getting good at battling them.
We finally gave in and I put away all your 6 month clothes. They still fit, but I was determined to at least have you in 9 month clothes by your first birthday. You are growing taller and taller, but haven’t gotten chubby, so the smaller sizes have still fit. It was hard to admit that I could go up a size, even if the clothes are a bit big on you, but Daddy finally convinced me to do it, and I’m glad. It is crazy to think that you are growing and growing from that sweet little bundle that I held 11 months ago into this growing, crawling mass of arms and legs and personality that lights the lives of everyone she touches. You make me so proud to be your mama and I will endeavor to make you proud to be my daughter.
Your favorite friends continue to be Quintienn and Elizabeth and Alex. We see them a time or two a week. You love to be around kids, and had a great time with Nicolas when you went and spent a day with him and his mom so Mommy could get some sleep. You are looking forward to a visit from Kai this week and perhaps we’ll be able to start walking with Daniel again soon as the weather gets nicer and nicer. You got to enjoy time at the Playroom this month with Ada and Willa too, which was lots of fun for you.
I’ll close here for another month, and next month will be your last letter, so this is the last one I’ll write for you, at least in this context. Perhaps I’ll continue the tradition off-line as something for you to take with you someday. I am working on a scrapbook for you about your adoption, and then will start one about your first year of life. It is hard to believe, but we’ll be sending out invitations to your birthday party this week.
Stay sweet, little angel. We love you more than words can say.
Mama and Daddy