twelve months

Dear Emmett,

A year ago today, you changed our lives.  You came crashing into this world with plenty of fanfare, that's for sure.  But when you got here, and we found out you were a boy, our Emmett, everything was suddenly perfect.  You were exactly who we had been waiting for, the perfect addition to our family.

The year has flown by, and I am in awe of what an assertive and creative little boy you're becoming.  Slowly, we are getting more and more insight to your personality and I'm starting to see how you fit into our family.  We get glimpses of how your personality will mix with mine and with Daddy's.  Our similarities and differences and habits and needs clash more often each day, but in a totally good way (most of the time).  It means you're integrated more into our daily life as an individual person instead of as a baby whose needs are predictable and met on demand.

You are stubborn.  I often sigh and tell you that you're too much like your Mamie.  You have a stubborn streak that would have rivaled hers, and oh, how she would have loved that.  How she would have loved you.  It's fun to see what traits of yours mirror others in our family.  For instance, your laugh is exactly like cousin Alli's and your attention span is a lot like mine and Nana's. 

You talk so much.  You repeat nearly everything we ask of you and I'm confident that you can say just about anything you want; it's just a matter of whether you will or not.  One of your favorite words is please.  Which functions very well for you as "give me that."  When you spot food, a toy, an object you know you can't have, anything you want, you say please repeatedly.  Other favorite words right now include light, bath, clock, ball, button, out, juice, head, blocks, truck, among many others.  You know how to do some animal sounds- lion, tiger, snake, kitty, dog and cow.  Pretty much everything else roars, according to you.

Over the last few weeks, you have conquered three major milestones.  You are a true walking kid now.  It's a rare occasion that you resort to crawling.  Your car seat has been turned around to face forward, which makes for much more pleasant car rides for both of us.  And your last bottle was four days ago.  You still ask for your bottle, especially before bed, but we just pretend you've asked for your ball or your juice or almost anything else to distract you.  It's been a bit of adjustment, but you were pushing away your bottle after only a few ounces and you were ready for the change. 

You love the Five Little Monkeys and very excitedly start hitting yourself in the head when I start saying it to you or reading you the book.  Going for walks makes you happy.  Whenever we pass a light or a clock, it must be pointed out.  The mere suggestion of a bath makes you race into the bathroom, throw any nearby washcloths or toys in, screech the word bath over and over and stare into the tub, trying to get into it by sheer force of willpower.  You are fully on the go and in charge.  You don't sit still for much, but you will still sit and read books.  The right books will keep you occupied and calm for 20-30 minutes at a time.  Favorites include Peek-a-Who?, Old MacDonald's Barn, Goodnight Moon, Five Little Monkeys, I Love You Through and Through, and several of the Spot books. 

You've had quite a time celebrating your first birthday already.  We had a cake for you at the Pre-Thanksgiving Feast at home in Jersey City this year, and you opened a few presents.  We had a cake for you in PA with Daddy's side of the family, and all the aunts, uncles & cousins came with smiles and hugs and gifts.  Today, you and I had a cupcake after your lunch as a treat before we had to get in the car to pick up Daddy and drive up to CT for Thanksgiving.  We have one more big celebration in store for you on Saturday, with all of your CT family.  You're really getting the hang of opening presents. 

You learn so many new things every single day.  It is a true pleasure to be by your side.  It is an honor to be your mother.  Happy Birthday, Emmett.



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