Thursday, February 14, 2008

13 Months

Dear Maddie,

Happy Valentine's Day to my favorite little valentine, who is so darn easy to love! Just this morning, after a rough night's sleep (I woke up every time the wind whistled, thinking it was your cry), you greeted me with a big hug and snuggled deep into my neck. Instantly I was happy to be awake and have our special morning cuddle time. Ever since giving up the bedtime nursing session, I've craved and enjoyed our mornings together like never before. It is my one sweet assurance of the day, knowing you will snuggle down into the crook of my arm while you nurse. Every once in a while you will pause to lovingly touch my face, or squeeze your Daddy's nose, or make some comment such as "Bah!" or "Dada!" or "Ooh! Ooh!" We always try to get you to linger after finishing your snack, but once you are fed you are on the go. And you go and go, all day long.

A nice segue into just how busy you are these days. On a Friday a few weeks back, after spending all day with you, your Daddy asked if you were exceptionally energetic that day. I laughed. You are like the energizer bunny. You hardly pause from the moment you hop out of our bed until we put you in yours at night. Fortunately, due to your activity level these days you are finally a napper. After months and months of 45 minute snoozes, you have settled into a nice 1 1/2 hour nap in the morning and at least an hour in the afternoon. I hardly know what to do with myself during these long breaks (oh yeah, this is when I do housework, but anyway). You wake up happy, laughing, and ready to play! play! play!

With the warm weather you have especially enjoyed our times in the backyard. You have discovered a brand new source of adventure just right out the french doors. This week you have spent hours playing in the fountain, pouring water all in the plants, swinging on the hammock, climbing on the adirondack chair and planter benches, and chasing the dog or your ball around on the grass. It is so nice for us to get outside after all that rain! It is doing wonders for both of us!

This weekend marks an important mile marker in our time as your parents: it will be our first evening away from you. It's been a long, long time since your Daddy and I had a night to ourselves and we are so excited that you are ready for us to get away. This is one of those things that I'm so glad I planned months in advance, as I've had time to prepare myself emotionally for leaving you. I have no worries about you, as you are so easy and amiable and fun and distractible and will be absolutely fine without us. It's me and your Daddy who will have the harder time.

Amazing how you've done that: completely captured our hearts, become an extension of us, like another limb, and when we are out and about in the city I know I won't be able to escape the feeling that I'm missing something, like the feeling of usually carrying a purse but purposely leaving it behind for the evening. The responsibilities will feel light, but so will my arms for lack of your squirrely little self. But getting away is really our gift to you, as much as it is a celebration of the milestone of making it through a year of parenthood, as much as it is to celebrate Valentine's Day and your Daddy's 31st birthday. It is a gift because one of the greatest things you can have as our baby is two parents who love each other. And we do, baby, we do. Thank you for teaching us how not only to love another person, our child, but for making us fall more in love with each other every day. You have strengthened and completed our love like we couldn't have imagined.

I love you with so much of my heart it is bursting with joy as I type these words!

Always & Forever,

Your Mama


The Ulrickson Fam said...

Goodness that first pic, covered in the pasta lovin', is fabulous. I just want to eat her! Heidi is also a fan of pasta and "red sauce." So tasty, so messy, so fun. Enjoy your night with Ben!

bonnieb said...

I am so in love with the three of you! My grateful heart overflows with joy in knowing how you love one another. It is a privilege I cannot understate. love, tutu