Today you are eleven months old. It is such a weird feeling to know you have been with us for almost an entire year, yet it feels like you were just born yesterday. All I know is that you have been the most amazing addition to our family. There is not a single day that goes by that you do not bring a smile to the face of every single person in our household. Not to mention all those poor, defenseless people we run into when we are out and about.
Just like tonight when we were out shopping at REI. I was holding you and talking with your dad about winter coats for you and Ana. While we were discussing water-proof vs water-resistant, you were looking over my shoulder waving at a family across the aisle. The family had a couple little girls who were giggling and waving back at you. It took me a moment to realize that their giggling was because of you. But you were just doing what you do best: bringing happiness to all those around you.
To celebrate you turning 11 months, we followed a tradition we began with your sister: we took you to get your ears pierced. It worked out great when we took Ana at this age. She was aware enough that she didn’t pull on them and as a bonus she stopped pulling on MY earrings. (It would be great if you could do this too.) You did great with the actual piercing. After the lady pierced the first ear you started to fuss, and you got a little louder after the second ear, but as soon as she was finished I popped a grape sucker in your mouth and you instantly quieted. In fact, within a matter of minutes you were giggling and kicking your feet in pure glee. So I am pretty sure we didn’t traumatize you too much.
It takes quite a bit to phase you, but it has been known to happen. September was pretty warm around here and we set up our kiddie pool a few times. One particularly hot day I thought it would be fun to see what you thought of the pool. You love water, splashing around and having a great time, but you are pretty particular about the temperature of the water. Since we had just filled the pool, it was pretty cool (I usually add a few pots of hot water to take the chill off the icy hose water) and when your Daddy plunked you in the pool you were NOT happy about it. So we quickly removed you from the pool and and let you play else where. But you kept crawling back to the pool. You preferred to lean on the edge of the pool and lazily splash in the water with your hands. And I totally get it. You want to have fun, but it’s got to be on YOUR terms.
Speaking of your terms, eating is the same way. If you are going to eat, it is going to be food you can feed yourself. You will tolerate us to feed you the occasional bites of soup or ice cream (things you wouldn’t be able to eat on your own) but only because they are pure bites of delectable deliciousness. Foods that are healthy and nutritious, such as fruits and veggies? Those can only be eaten at your own hand. And now that you have THREE (two on the bottom and one on the top) teeth, there isn’t much you can’t chew through anymore.
You are a pretty tough little cookie. And man do you like to climb! If there is something in the way, you don’t even bother trying to go around it, you go OVER it. You are a little bit fearless and I am really going to have to keep an eye on you. But luckily you are a pretty quick learner. You are already starting to figure out that you need to go backwards down the stairs and get so excited about the prospect of sliding down on your tummy that you start to giggle as you (with a little help) turn yourself around and slide down the stairs.
You really like to “GO” and you are starting to utilize the other toys in the house that will help you get around faster. Since you aren’t walking yet, and crawling can be so mundane, you are trying to figure out our little Radio Flyer. You can go forward occasionally, but as your legs are still pretty short, you mostly go in reverse. But you don’t seem to mind, because you are GOING!
One of your most favorite things to do is ride on the plasma car with Ana. She lets you sit on her lap and she drives as fast as she can around and around our living room. When you see her climb on to the plasma car, you crawl as fast as your little body will go towards her, a deep belly laugh shaking your body the entire time.
But recently you discovered that you could use the plasma car without your sister…as a walker! I think originally you were trying to climb on to it, but as it glides pretty easily, it just stared to roll away, forcing you to “walk” quickly behind it. But now that you know how to use it in this unique way, you have taken to following it around the house. The only problem with using the plasma car as a walker is that it goes really fast and instead of teaching you to walk, I am afraid it is going to teach you how to RUN!!
Another thing you like to use in a less-than-traditional manner is the log holder for our wood stove. You LOVE to climb, stand, or simply sit on it. So much in fact, that I finally gave up keeping the wood there and cleaned it all up so you have a nice sturdy, albeit hard, place to hang out. And if there is ever a time when I can’t find you, all I need to do is look next to the wood stove and there you are….in the best seat in the house.
Hadley, you bring so much joy to my life. I love that you find unique ways to do things, setting yourself apart from those around you. I love the way your eyes light up when I walk into the room. I love how much you like to cuddle. I love the way you wiggle and twist your hands and feet when you are excited. I love that you have entire conversation, complete with changes in fluctuation and tone, using only the word, “bop!” I love when I catch your eye from across the room and you look at me and wave. I love how much you enjoy reading books. But mostly I love watching you grow, getting to know you, and each day discovering another thing to love about you.
All my love,