Island Girl

My Dear, Sweet, Active, Wonderful Daughter:

One year ago today, I first held you in my arms and looked at your chubby, pink face. And rubbed your oh! so soft baby hair (most of which fell out and has now been replaced). You were not a teeny tiny baby. You came out looking more like a two-month-old. And I LOVED it. Big babies are awesome. Never forget that.

Very shortly after we brought you home, at less than three weeks old, you started smiling at us. Willingly. Although you have always been a decent sleeper, that smile made those few times you would wake me up at night so much easier! It still does. Only now, your smile has so much more emotion behind it than it did when you were not even a month old.

Shortly after you began to smile at us, you also began to laugh at us, and with fairly little effort on our part. You still laugh easily, and I hope you never, EVER lose that. You especially love laughing with your brother, and he loves to make you laugh. I hope both of you hang onto that!

You did not mind tummy time, because it meant you could watch your brother buzz around the room more easily. You still think he is absolutely the coolest thing in the world, and now that you can play with him and take his toys, you relish doing both! He has always loved you, but now he genuinely likes to be around you and to play with you, too. And he's getting used to having his toys and food snatched. Most of the time.

You are nothing, if not determined. Island Dad worried, the other day, that you are impulsive. I disagreed quickly. You are completely the opposite. Every thing you do, ever move you make, is completely calculated to further you towards your goal, whatever it may be. I really hope you never lose that (though, please, don't be ruthless!) Determination like yours will get you very, very far in life. It will get you wherever you want to go, really.

You LOVE to eat. There is very little that you won't touch. Although, you prefer meat over almost everything, and almost anything over carbs. Clearly, you did not get my appetite. You got Island Dad's!

You also love "babies." You got two for your birthday today. You love to hug them, kiss them, and then hold them back and giggle and giggle and giggle at their faces. It is so much fun to watch you take delight in something, because your laughter is infectious, and it only makes me want to make you laugh even more!

You are so, SO very close to walking. You stand up completely on your own, with nothing to hold onto. Or you hold on to something, stand up, and let go. And I can see the wheels turning in your head, trying to figure out how to take that step. But you get frustrated and crawl instead. I know you'll get it eventually. You always do!

You are nearly done nursing. Twice a day is all, most days now. I can tell you're ready, so it's more than fine with me. But please, Island Girl? Don't stop cuddling with me!!

Happy Birthday, to my dear, sweet, no-longer-a-baby girl. I love you so, SO very much!