Tuesday, July 15, 2008

one and a half

Dear Madeleine Noelle,

Now you are one and a half. It seems as though each day you are becoming more and more of a little girl. You speak in two and three word combinations to communicate your needs and wishes. You run around the house and creep on tippy toes when you are really excited. You love to hide and play peekaboo, to be scared, to be twirled around, and to be kissed as well as to give kisses. 

You inspire the greatest and silliest in all of us, from your Mama to your Dada to friends and family alike. You've started giving directions and it must have looked quite silly to see Boppa, Tutu, Dada, me, and your doggy all laying down on one big towel in the middle of the floor, pretending to be "night-night," as per your request. You've realized that with the simple lift of your hand and the word "walk" you can get anyone to follow you around.

You continue to have the sweetest personality with a teensy bit of insistence, waking up all kissy and snuggly and saying "eat, eat" while motioning rapidly with your hand to your mouth. These days you love trying new foods, everything from thai food ("Spicy!" you said, a word we didn't even know you knew) to soba salad to passion fruit smoothies. You finally learned to say please and it is so much more pleasant to hear "More, please" rather than "More. MORE! MORE!!!"

Kelly and Gregg watched you while Mama and Dada went out for our anniversary. Kelly had a heck of a time getting you to go to sleep. It seems you wanted to climb out of your pack and play and engage Kelly in conversation instead of drifting off to dreamland. As she said so perfectly, you have enough personality for a couple of children. You are endlessly sweet and loving but you also have a bit of sassiness that is coming out more and more these days, testing us with just how far we'll take the whole discipline thing.

You continue to thrive in all sorts of social environments, from parades to parties to play dates. If you are feeling the least bit puny or frustrated or bored, I simply take you out.  A little social interaction and you're back to your happy, talkative, inquisitive self. Everyone who crosses our path is a new friend, as you're constantly calling out "Hi!" and "Hello!" to passers-by. Most people find it hard to resist your friendliness and thus we're meeting folks from all around.

You have more and more self-awareness these days, and something you love to do is get dressed (You love getting undressed, too). You delight in shoes and dresses and necklaces and bows. The other day I pulled out your tutu and fairy wings from Auntie Erin and you spun and twirled and danced and tippy-toed all around the house while I furiously snapped photos. We've yet to see if you're a girly-girl but you certainly do love your wardrobe and accessories.

At home you love to read books, ride your busy bee, play with puzzles and flashcards, and color. You've almost graduated from the crayon-eating phase but we still have our moments.  You are learning your letters and the sounds they make and you love to find letters you know when we are out and about. "O!" you yell as I pick up the cereal box at Trader Joe's. "Mmmm!" at the large decorated M on your door. It's fun to see how quickly you pick things up and how much you retain in that little head of yours.

This was a big month for us. Mama got the best 30th birthday present of all in discovering that you're going to be a big sister. We couldn't be more excited at our good fortune in having not one, but two amazing little people to love. We are so grateful for how delightful and special and creative and intelligent and loving you are. You will make a fabulous sister. After taking the pregnancy test that morning, I jumped around and said to you "Baby! Baby! We're gonna have a baby!" I pointed to my belly, and you walked up, put your face to my stomach and said in your sweetest sing-song voice, "Hiiii, Baby!" It was a moment I'll never forget.

So to my twirling, tippy-toeing, laughing, singing, running, dancing, chatterbox of a one and half year old: know how much you are loved, how greatly you are appreciated, how delighted we are in who you are, and just how much richer our lives are with you in it. Happy 1 1/2!

I love you,

Your Mama


The Ulrickson Fam said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! I got all teary when I read that you guys are expecting again. I am thrilled for you. Maddie will be an amazing experience and seeing her love the baby will be one of the most amazing things of your life. Hope you're feeling well!

bonnieb said...

Thank you for sharing your experience in this blog. It is a joy and privilege to be part of your life with Maddie.