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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dear Emily




Dear Emily,
Today you are nine months old, and the most beautiful girl in the whole wide world is also the most bright-eyed. You notice everything with those big, smiling blue eyes. You watch the world around you with such curiosity. You don’t miss much, especially anything on the floor that you shouldn’t eat. The tiniest speck always seems to find its way into your hands and then your mouth. You know your name, and you know the sound of “no.” You stop briefly before continuing on your busy little way.

You started crawling at the end of January, and it didn’t take you long to pick up speed. First, you didn’t venture far from the safe confines of the rug in the living room, but then you discovered the wide world waiting beyond the recliners. You found the diaper pail that you liked to tip over. Then, you discovered the glass candle holder on the hall table that you like to pull down on your head. Now, your daddy’s office is your new favorite destination where you never seem to grow tired of chewing on his internet cable. I imagine that next time I write, I will be telling you of how you are trying to climb the stairs, especially since last week I caught Drew trying to push you up the first step. Since you’re pulling up on everything, I know it won’t be long.

Right now, as I type, you are in your swing, fighting the inevitability of your afternoon nap. You fight sleep so hard, but of the two of you, you’re definitely the better sleeper. I know we spoiled you, especially your daddy, because we don’t let you cry it out at night. You can’t fall asleep without knowing someone is there. We’ll put you down, walk out, and you go crazy. We come back in, sit silently in the rocking chair or give you a pat on the head, and you settle right down.

We couldn’t ignore you, though, if we tried. You have a loud voice, and you’re not afraid to use it. Whether you are fighting sleep or squealing in delight, you make yourself known. It will be interesting to watch how this strong-willed personality develops as you grow older. I love listening to you talk. You are quite the chatterbox. Most recently you’ve been letting loose a string of consonants, most notably the strong “g.” It’s “GUUK, GAAK” cute, although it is pretty cute to hear you growl, too.

In addition to the early signs of independence and tenacity I see in you, I also see a soft, loving little girl who loves hugs and kisses. With a sweet smile on your face, you wake up happy and ready to be hugged. You love to have your neck kissed, and you will throw your head back and giggle in delight. The only time you giggle louder is when we toss you in the air. Just last night, I snapped a sweet picture of you cuddled up with your daddy, your head snuggled under his arm. Pure sweetness.

Physically, in the last two months, you have changed, too. You have the softest blonde hair with just a touch of red in the right light, and you finally have enough of it for small bows. You now have four teeth on the top and the same two loners on the bottom. Your weight gain seems to have slowed, probably from all of the exercise you get in a day. We’ll know on Tuesday where your weight is on the charts, but from the looks of things, you are longer, leaner, with a head that is in proportion to the rest of your body.

Next week’s well check will be a welcome relief from the rough February we endured. Finally, just a regularly scheduled doctor’s appointment! You had your first trip to the emergency room for a high fever and labored breathing in early February. Mommy cried right along with you as the doctors took good care of you. Just a couple of weeks after getting well from that cold, you and Drew both developed ear infections, and we are now finishing up your antibiotics. Your ear seems to be healing, your eczema clearing, and hopefully, we are moving on to a healthy spring.

Although I seem to have moved beyond frequently bursting into tears of happiness when I watch the two of you, I still catch myself getting misty-eyed at the strangest times—overcome by how blessed I am with such perfect babies. I found myself laughing and crying one day recently as I watched you and Drew wrestle—one pinning the other into a head lock. I laughed and cried as I watched one steal a toy from the other. Just this morning, we piled both of you in the bed with us and laughed as you two talked to each other and snuggled. It was all fun and games until Drew pulled your hair and you poked him in the eye. Something tells me it was just a small sign of the fun (and torment) that is yet to come.

Emily Anne, if the last nine months are any indication, the fun is only beginning. You grow more beautiful, more loving, more spirited, and more intelligent every day. It’s hard to believe, but soon, we will be celebrating your first birthday and regardless of the theme, you will be the belle of the party.

We love you,
Mommy and Daddy

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