Dear Ella Kate,
You'll be a year old soon, and I wanted to write this to give you a snap shot of your life and personality at this age. We often describe you as fearless and a live-wire. You have so much energy! You've busted your lip four times in the last few weeks as you run around like a bull in a china shop. Speaking of running, you took your first steps on Mother's Day (when you were just 9 months old) and by the time you were 11 months old you were walking 95% of the time. You also say "bird," "dada," "ball," and "bye bye." Today you said "dirt" for the first time, which is fitting because you love playing in the dirt and outside in general.
When you were 9 months old you also began refusing to let us feed you with a spoon. You like to do it yourself and enjoy almost every food, especially green beans and mandarin oranges. Despite being a good eater, you're a peanut which makes your early walking even cuter. You've consistently been 25% for weight and 75% for height at our well visits, and I'd guess you weigh about 18-19 pounds now.
You rarely sit still unless you're in your high chair or stroller or if we're reading you a book, giving you a bottle, or holding you while standing. You really like being held and walked around and when you're fussy that is usually the solution. You won't sit still for a television program or to cuddle. You love balls and enjoy playing with cars and things you can put in your mouth.
Most mornings you wake up around 6:30 or 7:00 (if I'm very lucky:) and after a bottle, you and I (or the whole family) often go on a walk to beat the heat. You enjoy our walks, and I love your company. You're so pleasant early in the morning. We eat breakfast around 8:00, and you usually have fruit and eggs/waffles/zucchini bread/Organic Os. Then you and Jackson play until your nap around 9:30. You usually sleep really deeply, and I wake you at 11:00. After nap we either play, read, sing songs, have a play date, or go to the Discovery Museum or zoo. You love the Discovery Museum, especially all of the climbing things. Your next nap is around 2:30 and lasts until almost 4:00. Sometimes we fit in a quick trip to the museum after nap, run errands, or just play around here. Today we went to the pool, and you liked every minute of it.
You adore our plastic kiddie pool and will almost dive into it. You love the bath tub too but refuse to sit still because you like to plop down repeatedly and make splashes. Needless to say you regularly have bruises on your bottom, and we generally bathe you in the kitchen sink. Bedtime is at 7:30 or 8:00 depending on how you've napped, and you always go down easily. You sleep with a paci and would probably keep a paci in your mouth most of the time if I would let you.
You and your brother enjoy each other so much. This morning when you and I got home from our walk Jackson met us at the door, squealing with excitement and you practically jumped out of the stroller to be with him. Like Jackson, you have the best smile and are often so happy and grinning, especially when your dad, brother, or I come in the room or pay attention to you. Your grin when when we tap your finger with ours and say "ding" is priceless. And you immediately start clapping when I begin singing "If You're Happy and You Know It." Jackson often tries to tickle you, and you giggle the entire time. You're so full of life little girl!
Oh, how I love having you as my daughter. I've wanted a daughter for so long, and you're an answer to many prayers. I look forward to seeing who you become and doing life with you; our family feels so much more complete with you in it. We're excited to celebrate you & your first year of life next month.
p.s. I'm thankful you're mine.