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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Letters to Emmeline : Twenty-two Months

Dear Emmeline,


You've been such a total delight lately. You're hysterical. I love seeing what you'll come up with on any given day, at any given moment. I mean, you're almost two. So it's not all delightful. But good lord, I enjoy the ever-lovin' heck out of you. When you're not pinching me or pulling your sister's hair.

I look at pictures of you from last year and think that it seems like that was yesterday. Then I realize that I pretty much have NO BABY LEFT and instead you're a walking (running! climbing!) talking (singing! using sentences!) actual small person and I wonder HOW THE HECK DID WE GET HERE FROM THERE IN LIKE JUST A FEW WEEKS? Except it's been nearly two years and it feels like you've been here forever. It's hard to remember what it was like when we were just a family of three (and even harder to remember what it was like as a family of two - what. did. I. do. all. day????????).

You are growing in so many ways. You're becoming so independent. Yesterday, when dropping you off at daycare, you just took off running into your room. Running steadily, knowing where to go, having the confidence to leave me behind....there were so many signs of that new-found independence in just one little moment. It's enough to make me cry.

I love seeing your preferences come to light and develop. You have favorite foods, favorite toys, favorite books, favorite games, favorite friends, favorite words. Favorite places. Favorite people. You have your own mind and are making your own choices about things and I'll just hold onto the fact that you still let me choose your clothes. For now. (Although you do have a preference for wearing Carys's underwear over your diaper, which you loudly insist upon as you're getting dressed.)

You have become a little social butterfly. You love playing with Carys, you love playing with Elizabeth (you actually cry more than Carys when we have to leave her!), you love playing with Nana or Grandpa or Grandma H. You're even starting to love animals - we've been babysitting Toby (Nana and Grandpa's dog) and you laugh and laugh when he licks you and when you first see him in the morning.

We didn't do as much this month as we packed in last month, but we did get out. We went to Lincoln with my friend Sunny and her three (!) girls, where we hit up the Sunken Gardens and an indoor play area. While the trip itself was fun, you.....kind of decided not to sleep. At all. I think you literally slept about six or eight hours, after barely napping during the day. For a kid that usually takes a 2 hour nap plus sleeps 10-12 hours at night.....well. It was not idea. Luckily, the next day was fine. You're a rockstar when it comes to schedule changes and lack of sleep generally - you rarely get grumpy due to tiredness. Nighttime, however, when I was trying to get you to sleep, was another story. You were very audibly not a happy camper. Our hotel neighbor gave us the stinkeye the next morning. I'm so sorry, stranger. Usually she does well sleeping in a different location.

(Yes, that's a pacifier. Yes, you're only allowed to have it at night. We're working on it.)

We hit up the zoo with Nana, and we went to local farm for their fall festival. You are getting more interested in animals, though for the most part you're happy to just pretend that they aren't there. You'd LOOK at them, but you weren't really interested in feeding or touching them.  You kind of look at me like, "This thing is like five times my size and appears to have sharp teeth and you want me to touch it?"  You much prefered the mud puddle. 


We also went to the local Pirate Festival (much like a Renaissance Festival, only...more pirates) with your sister, Nana, and Grandpa. It was your turn this year to be fascinated by the "mermaid" and to oogle all the people in costumes. And to eat snacks. You were a big fan of the snacks (in fact, "snack" is one of the words you've added to your vocabulary this month). 

You're completely infatuated with your sister. Has there been a month since you've been born that you haven't been? Or vice versa? You adore her; she adores you. I can't even tell you how full my heart feels when I see the two of you together. You love to cuddle each other. You'll casually hold hands. You light up when you see her. She lights up when she sees you. You sit and listen to her read stories to you. You lay in the crook of her arm and watch a show on my phone. You pull her hair and make her scream. She yells at you not to touch her. You know, the normal sibling stuff. She just adores teaching you things and showing you things and sharing things with you. I hear all the time, "Emmeline, did you know...." or "Emmeline, can you say....." or "Emmeline, do you see..."?  I asked Carys to start walking you back to your room at school while I checked you guys in, and you took her hand and the two of you confidently walked away from me. I only hope you take strength from each other like that and lead each other throughout your life. #socheesy #iknow #truethough

You're still picking up new words constantly. You add the "k" sound to your words: "milK" and "booK" instead of "mil" and "buh." Any time you feel a breeze, you wrap your arms around yourself and say, "cold!" You walk around with my phone and hold it up and say, "Cheese!"

You love making us laugh. You make faces, you hit yourself in the face on purpose, you pull your shoulders up to your ears and walk around hunched over, all for a laugh. You love to tickle and be tickled. You learned to jump with both feet off the ground. You sometimes respond to statements with a soft "ohhh." You still love playing with water and rolling around on the bikes and scooters.

You love checking the mail (even though you can't, you know, actually fit the key into the slot. You try though. And you get mad if anyone takes the keys from you so that we can, you know, actually get the mail). You love watching the big girls dance at Carys's dance class. You still love baby dolls (in fact, you've started both "nursing" your baby and asking me to "nurse" your baby) (and yes, you're still nursing too). You LOVE your daddy. I think you'd become a daddy's girl if you saw him more often. You love books. Books. Books. Books. You partly love them as a means to stall bedtime ("more book!" "more book!"), but really, you just love to read books. You love to leaf through books yourself and you love to be read to, and recently you've decided that you don't want to sit in a lap while being read to, but you would rather pull up a tiny wicker chair to sit in while I read you a book. This isn't new this month - it's been going on for a few months - but you started drawing circles over and over and putting dots inside the circle and calling it a "fish." My little artist. I love it.


I mentioned previously about your liver enzyme levels and the testing you were undergoing to see if we could determine what was going on. Well.....we still don't know. The ultrasound and blood testing all came back normal. I think the plan right now is to go with that everything is okay and your levels are just naturally high, but we have another (hopefully the last) appointment later this week where we'll confirm that. I'm so grateful that it's nothing. So grateful. It could have been a number of devastating things (and a number of mildly irritating things), but "nothing" is just amazing. Thank goodness.

You're getting so big so fast and I can hardly believe you're almost two. Before I lay you down to sleep, I press my face into your cheek and breathe in your essence and feel the softness of your skin and it is so. very. hard. to put you down. I could hold you like that for hours. Except I need to sleep at some point. But if it wasn't for that part, I would. I'd hold you all night while you slept, snuggling you close and feeling you breath and never letting go.

Love you with my whole heart, baby girl.