Wednesday, December 19, 2007

just when you thought she couldn't get any cuter...

ELEVEN MONTHS! Miss Maddie is walking more and more these days, taking 7-8 steps at a time, choosing to step out on her own into the wild blue yonder. She is more brave than any baby I've known, never ceasing to amaze (and frighten) me with her courageous exploration of the world around.

Another fun change this month is the explosion of Maddie's language. She uses 7 words regularly (in order of appearance): hi, Mama, Dada, dog, baby, ball, & moo. She knows signs for all done, more, bye, dog, and light. Just yesterday on a walk, from the stroller she pointed toward the sky saying "Ball!" I didn't see a ball anywhere, so I knelt to see from her perspective and realized she was pointing at the moon in the afternoon sky, a white rounded ball. Amazing.

The Christmas tree is a source of great curiosity and creativity, from the shiny presents to the twinkling lights to the (baby safe) ornaments around the bottom third of the tree. She spends a lot of time sitting there, deciding what to play with next. We are thrilled to be celebrating our first Christmas as a family and anxious to see how she handles the new experience of opening gifts! As I type this post, she is playing with the curling ribbon on one of her gifts...good practice for the week ahead.

With eleven months, we have officially started the process of weaning, dropping the afternoon feeding and substituting snack and milk. It was so easy for Maddie, which is not surprising given her amazingly easygoing personality. Not so easy for Mama. Of course we want to have lots more children, but the thought of weaning my firstborn child is much more difficult than I thought (even though I knew it would be hard). With such a busy baby, the few times I get a long, good snuggle are when she nurses. The only other times I'm assured a lap baby is when she falls, which is also happening less and less these days. I'm so glad she is growing and changing, because it is so much fun. But leaving behind the baby of the past year is hard.

Other highlights from this month: more climbing, taking her first steps, riding around the house on a borrowed zebra toy, playing with the "bah-bah" Jesus and the rest of the nativity, eating new foods and trying new drinks (milk was not so welcome at first taste), and trying out Thanksgiving favorites from turkey to potatoes.

One year ago, I was great with child, anticipating the birth not only of my own small one, but filled with the wonder of celebrating Christ's birth over 2000 years earlier. I can only imagine the wonder and joy and fear that Mary experienced, knowing her child was unique and essential for the consolation of all people; and with each passing year, mourning the child that was but celebrating the newness of each new skill, word, and experience, closer than ever to the end of the curse of sin. It is with great joy that we celebrate Christ again this year, as we now have not only our own miracle baby, but we understand with greater clarity the love of a Father who would send his only son in the form of a helpless little baby to be with us at Christmas.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Monday, December 03, 2007

The One

After much deliberation, this is the winning photo for our Christmas cards.

The runners-up:

It's hard to choose when dealing with such extreme cuteness!