Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Year of Smiles

Dear Princess Lydia,

It is hard to believe that you are really a year old. Not long ago, you made your long-awaited entrance into the world, and we carried home our first bundle of sweet pink girliness. You spent two months wanting to be held constantly (and crying if we had the audacity to put you down!), but soon developed a beautiful smile that you have been using generously ever since.

With your happy disposition, you have earned the nickname Smiley Face, among others. I call you many variations of your name, including (but not limited to!) Lyddie, Lyddie Bitty, Lyd, Lyds, Lydsey, Lydsey-anna, and Lizard. Until recently, your movement reminded me more of a seal than a lizard, since you moved by pulling with your arms while your body flopped along behind.

You are not walking yet, as your brothers were attempting at this age, but that is just fine with me. I always tell people that I am in no hurry for those milestones, especially the ones that will enable you to make more messes! Yet even though you are a proficient crawler now who can pull up to a stand and climb onto the boys' mattresses, you don't seem to get into too much mischief. Perhaps you are too preoccupied watching your brothers' antics and sampling their abandoned toys to go off in search of trouble.

When I first tried to introduce you to food around eight months of age, you had little interest, and it has increased only slightly since then. At first, you refused to open your mouth for a spoon, and if I managed to sneak something in there, it eventually came back out. From eight to nine months you would gnaw on toast strips, but that was the extent of your food consumption. Now you regularly eat fried egg yolk bits, Cheerios, and apple wedges, and will accept yogurt off a spoon. Most other tidbits of meat, veggies, and breads are tossed on the floor. You have had the same six teeth - four on top and two on bottom - for several months. In recent weeks you have developed an affinity for your sippy cup of water, but nursing is still your primary means of nutrition. You nurse every few hours around the clock, especially to fall asleep. Just last night, you looked at me while nursing and signed "milk" just like I was signing to you. It is so exciting to see you learning to communicate!

You have a crib in our room where you'll briefly repose in the late evening, but you do most of your sleeping on Mumma and Daddy's bed. If a long nursing session doesn't put you to sleep, then snuggling up on Daddy's chest inevitably will. Your bedtime varies, but you wake up sometime between 6:30 and 8am, ready to start another day of discovering the world. When I put you down and you want to be held, you'll cry and bang your forehead on the floor, which has resulted in some bruises. Most of the time, however, you can be distracted with a toy, a song, or if nothing else, I can hold you on my hip while I go about my chores. It is easy to take you anywhere, as you are generally good-natured.

In the past month or so, you have been a bit more wary of strangers, and when passed around at a party you look for Mumma and make "Mmm!" noises to let me know you want to return. You spend much of our time in public snuggled on my front in the Ergo, where you sneak smiles at admirers and then turn away bashfully. You adore your brothers and always perk up when Daddy comes home; in fact, Daddy makes you laugh more than anyone else in the world. Your baby babble can be quite loud at times, while at other times you are quiet and snuggly, or mirthful and silly.

Dear Lyddie, you have made our lives busier, fuller, and so much sweeter. I praise God for giving us this wonderful year! And as you continue to grow, I pray that you will come to know your Creator and to walk in His ways, that your joy may be full.

Here is how you have grown!

With what shall I come before the LORD
and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?

Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousand rivers of oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

~ Micah 6:6-8