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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Letters to Emmy : Thirteen Months

What, did you think these would end at twelve months? Nope. I assure you I don't actually say her age in months anymore out in the real world, but I did Carys's letters until she was two, so I'm hoping to do the same with Emmeline, since I already failed on the weekly bump pics and her weekly and monthly age pics. I'm so sorry, Emmeline. I assure you that you're just as important and just as loved as your big sister (maybe more so since at the moment she's throwing a tantrum that I wouldn't let her have a third fruit bar today).

December 12, 2014 to January 12, 2015
Dear Em,

Hey, little girl, hey. You're hilarious and awesome and I love you. You make me laugh and laugh and laugh. And you make your sister laugh and laugh and laugh. And your dad. And your Nana. And everyone who meets you.

Your scrunched up smiley face remains absolutely THE BEST. The best everything. And you lean forward and put it right in our faces while chattering and it's impossible not to start giggling. Or you'll run forward to us, smiling and laughing with your arms flung back, almost daring us to not pick you up and toss you into the air.

You want to be an adult, like, yesterday. You want to eat food, but only off my plate the exact same way I'm eating it. You want to drink water, but only out of a real cup AND PUT AWAY THAT SIPPY CUP WOMAN, WHAT AM I, A BABY? You want to always be on my level and see and do what I'm seeing and doing. You want to put on your own shoes. You want to put on your own coat. You take the lotion bottle and try to put lotion on your hands and rub it all over your tummy. You take a brush and brush your hair (and mine). You want to take off your own diaper and put on your own diaper and put the puzzle together yourself and build the tower yourself and you get so frustrated when these things don't happen the way you want them to happen.

You're in that interesting phase where you're equally adventurous/independent and clingy. There's no middle ground. You're either off on your own and a mile away before I can blink, or you're crying to be picked up. And if you're in the mood to be independent, ain't nothing keeping you in my arms. You know all the tricks to wriggle out of my grasp. And if you're in the mood to be held, you'll stop at nothing to get there. You will practically climb up my legs into my arms.

You've started playing by yourself for a little while. You got stacking cups from Grandma Blankets for Christmas and they may well be your favorite toy at the moment. I'm so impressed (mom brag warning) by how you've figured out the order they go in and how you can stack them together over and over. You also love this activity table you got (also from Grandma Blankets!) and this little button art activity that is actually Carys's - while you can't match the colors to the picture yet, you love putting the buttons in the holes and I was pretty surprised you could do it. You also love it because it has a million little pieces and that means a million little things you can throw around, because mess. And what toddler doesn't love a good mess?

Up until this last month you would flip the heck out if I tried to put shoes or socks on you and you'd rip them off or cry until I took them off. I couldn't even put footie pajamas on you - in the middle of the night when you'd wake up, you'd pull and pull at them until they were completely twisted around and out of place. But now you allow exactly one pair of shoes on those chubby little feet - which is sad for me, because there are like a dozen cute pairs handed down from your sister that you refuse to wear.

You were doing so good with sleeping and just waking up once a night - sometimes twice - but molars have shot that plan all to hell. You're not waking up every hour, at least (though it feels like it). We're back to 3-4 wake-ups, though, and you're not going back down easily either. I am tiiiiiiiiiiired. So tired. THANKS, OBAMA. AND MOLARS.

You've started taking a stand if your sister (or I or anyone else) takes something away from you that you wanted or if we're sitting somewhere you want to be sitting. When that happens, lord help us all. A banshee scream emerges that can pierce the eardrums of anyone within a five mile radius. And you use your super toddler strength (and I'm not exaggerating there - you are freaking strong) to pull your sister's hair or pull at her shirt to try to physically force her to move out of the chair you wanted to sit in or out of my lap or just pretty much out of your life at the moment. (Although you still totally adore her above all others and she still makes you laugh harder than anyone else.)

We went to the zoo a couple times this month, and obviously we celebrated Christmas (which meant nothing to you - you weren't really even into ripping off wrapping paper, hello, are you even a real baby??), and you spent the night away from us for the first time ever over New Year's Eve (and did fantastic).

Mornings when it's just the two of us - before your sister or dad wake up - are my favorite times with you. Although I spend the first half hour trying to get you to play by yourself so I can grab a few more minutes of sleep curled up on the couch, as soon as I'm awake, you sit on my lap and make funny faces and goofy noises at me and make me laugh and laugh and laugh. And that's not a bad way to wake up. I mean, it is when it's at 6:00 a.m. But like at 8:30 a.m. it's pretty awesome.

My other favorite things: the way you back yourself up into my lap, carefully lining yourself off and walking backwards until your knees touch my legs and then sitting. And when you misalign yourself and fall to the side. And how you're always bringing me books to read you. And that amazing scrunch-faced smile. And your sweet babbling and vocalizations. The way you slowly and softly squeeze your hand up and down my arm when you're falling asleep in my lap. How you want to hold my hand after I've laid you down. How you tuck your arms in against my chest when I'm holding you upright. And the teeny tiny pigtails that I gave you for the first time. Oh, and the way you kick your leg when I'm holding you and your legs are dangling over mine. You're always kicking at least one leg, even as your drifting off to sleep.

And pretty much just all of you.  You're really freaking awesome, baby girl.  I love you so much.


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