You are a year old. One year of new experiences, sleeping through the night, being awake all night, learning how to nurse, how to drink from a bottle and a sippy cup, figuring out you can roll over, sit up, and then crawl, taking your first shaky steps, and finding your voice.
Falling in love with you has been easy. You have brought us joy beyond anything that we could ever have imagined, and even more importantly, a deeper understanding of how tenderly and joyfully our Heavenly Father loves us. Your curious little fingers and eyes, your abundant joy, and sometimes your heartbreaking sadness, has allowed me to understand Scripture with a whole new perspective.
You have given us a run for our money this past month! You are taking 3-4 steps on your own, furniture surfing with increasing speed, and crawling your way around the house to investigate everything. You can open and close all the kitchen cupboards and pantry door, and this quickly became your favorite hobby while I cook dinner. You turn into a shrieking and stiff legged little bubble of spit when I redirect you from something you are not allowed to play with, usually a toilet or the oven. You understand the difference between a kiss and a bite (finally!) and like to try and kiss me when I am looking you in the eye to correct you (I’m on to you, sweet girl!).
You like to crawl around the house with things in your mouth. A puzzle piece, a toy, your sippy cip straw, sock, or even a hair tie or pen you found. You clap for yourself after walking across the living room with your walking toy, and like to give me a heart attack by going up/down the stairs on the deck. You still do not have any depth perception and would leap off of our bed or the couch if we allowed you to do so.
You babble and chatter, “Mama”, “Dada”, “moo”, “hi”, and a variety of other syllables and happy noises are heard throughout the day. Everything that walks on four legs and is large is a cow, and you have figured out how to throw Ruger’s ball to him. You love to dance by shaking your head and waving your arms up and down, and will play the song on your standing play station over and over again while you do this. After each ‘performance’ you look at me for praise 😀 Aunt Teresa taught you how to dance originally, to her Ugandan style Jesus Loves Me. I’m going to continue letting her lead your singing abilities!
You love pictures of people. All of the pictures on our walls, your Grandma’s walls, and even the walls at the doctor’s office get investigated. You will happily ride in the arms of anyone who will carry you around to look at each individual picture as you happily exclaim “Mama!” and point at each picture! If they stop too quickly, you will quickly sign “more” to them with a very serious look on your face.
Along with signing “more”, you think that clasping your hands to pray is a sign for food! If you want more food while in your high chair or you want to nurse and I am not responding quick enough, you give up on signing “more” after about 2 minutes and switch to clasping your hands tightly in front of you and going “eeeeeh!!!” I laugh every time, and we pray again before you get more food 🙂
Physically, your little hands are still chubby, but you are tall and lean. From 9 months to 12 months you gained only 6 ounces and grew an inch! You need 18 month clothing just for the length, but the pants are usually too big around the bum. That’s just another reason we have continued to cloth diaper 😀 Your hair is finally beginning to really grow, and it still has a reddish tint to it. Your eyes settled at hazel, and look very similar to my one hazel eye. But overall, you are definitely a Little Miss Trout, looking like your Daddy. I love it!
My darling girl, I love you. You are a bubbly, curious, joy-filled, observant, smart little girl. This year flew so quickly, and I am honestly a bit sad that we are moving from the baby days, yet excited to watch you grow and learn over the next year. You have changed so very much from that little 7 pound, 10 ounce bundle we took home from the hospital on September 29th. You have grown so much, and you have grown me as well. Thank you, for being the daughter to make me a Mommy. For enduring all my guesses during your crying. For loving me, even after I reprimand you. For crawling over to me to lay your head on me and suck your thumb when you are tired.
The last three hundred and sixty-five days have been some of the most precious of my life. I have done my best to ponder the moments with you and store them in my heart, but I know that as you continue to grow I will wish I was even more purposeful about it, because it will go too quickly. Before I know it, I will be writing you a letter on your 2nd birthday, followed by your 10th, 16th, 18th, and 21st.
Elise, may the God who created the Heavens and the Earth continue to grow you in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. May you grow in wisdom and stature, and favor with God and men. And may the peace that surpasses all understanding guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus as you grow.
Happy first birthday, sweet girl.