Friday, October 15, 2010

Birthdays and Belly Buttons

Natalie is finally 1 year old! This previous Sunday, a group of us gathered to celebrate the life that exists in this beautiful creature who, only a short while ago, did not exist. Her beauty, strength, intelligence and sense of humor only grow exponentially with each day and as we sat around watching her interact with the people around her, we noticed that she really is just a tiny human being.

Last year, she did nothing but eat, sleep, poop... now, she eats solid foods, sleeps through the night and tells us when her diaper is full. She plays peek-a-boo with blankets, or by holding her hands over her eyes. She loves to hold on to a blanket or stuffed animal. She gives kisses, hugs, smiles. She is even beginning to walk. The tiny person we thought was so fragile this time a year ago is now a strong, opinionated little girl with a beautiful personality and the brains to make us feel like maybe we won't be smart enough for her. She learns so fast, we had no idea. She is even learning parts of her body. She can point to her nose and, she can lift her shirt to show us her belly button! She has no idea that one year ago, her belly button still had bits of umbilical cord attached to it. She doesn't know yet that that cord is with her older sister, binding them through love they could not even begin to imagine. As my world gets more complicated with school and a toddler, it gets more amazing with every new step she takes, every new set of words, even the expressions on her face.

My little girl is starting to hold on conversations and, while we don't hear clear words, we are starting to hear the beginnings of words: "puhpuh" for puppy, "dada" for dad, "mama" for mom, "see" for sleep, and as her "l" sounds get more pronounced, we are just waiting for the first time she says "I love you." She certainly hears it often enough, it would be a likely first phrase.

Her party was a huge success, like everything she has tackled so far! She loves to eat pickles, bananas, lemons and even jalapeno cheddar bratwurst. When she falls down, she laughs and gets back up. She problem solves and finds solutions to things we didn't even think of. Not only is she learning new things every day, but so are we! It's hard to realize that this is only the first small step in the wonder that is Natalie. We've been through so much the past 2 years that it's impossible to imagine what the world would be like without her. We are so blessed, so loved and so excited to see what is next!

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