My sweet Emmy. Princess Emmeline. Emmy Doe. Pickle Pants.
I love you.
It's crazy to think that you've been here, on this earth, with our family, for an entire year. Crazy because a year seems like such a long time...and crazy because it's not even close to enough time to love you, snuggle with you, learn you, know you. Crazy because it feels like you've always been here, like you've always been a part of me and a part of us and part of everything we do...and crazy because in reality, we were without you for such a long time. Being a mother constantly shifts my perspective on life and love while simultaneously expanding my heart on a daily basis. I am in love with you and can't wait to see what glorious calling God has placed on your life. I am honored to be your mother.
And I'm also tired. I have tried my best and given it my all, but I can't help, every once in a while, to feel like you've been cheated. Parenting an infant is tough. Parenting an infant while raising two other children is even tougher. And parenting an infant while raising two other children and growing another baby in my belly has been one of the most difficult things I've ever done in my life. But know this: while your baby book may not be perfect, and while your monthly updates may seem inconsistent, and while I may have forgotten to write some of your milestones down...I have written your smiles and your giggles and your cries and your words on my heart. Forever. I have held you rather than write about you, I have tickled you rather than document you, and I have rested up for you rather than offer you half of myself. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
What an exciting last couple of months it's been. Your hair is growing like crazy! It's really thickened up all over and gotten a little curly in the back. It's still red/auburn-y and completely awesome. You get complimented on it like crazy. It's adorable.
You're a talker. You've got a few words we can understand: "Ma-Ma," "Da-Da," "Hess" (Harris), "Bye," "Cheeeese," and "Yes." You won't, however, say or do anything on demand. We've limited your pacifier to your bed (we did that on your actual birthday) and, as a result, you babble ALL THE TIME. Your tone and inflection are hilarious. You've definitely got a lot to say.
You're also on the go...you are seriously tearing up this house! You're a super fast crawler, pull up to standing on everything, and have started cruising (as of December 1). You climb over, in, and through whatever stands in your way. Nothing slows you down!
At your well check, you weighed in at 19 lbs, 11 oz (26%) and are 28.5 inches long (30%). You're little!! Dr. Jackson's not worried about it, so we're not either. You've moved to eating mostly table food (we use the occasional stage 3 jar when we're on the go) and have transitioned to only a night time bottle. We're planning on ending that this week. So far, so good. Your favorite foods seem to be grapes, cheese, and green veggies (broccoli and green beans top the list). You're still a champion sleeper and have just recently dropped your morning nap.
You still dance anytime you hear music. You're most definitely a mama's girl. You enjoy loving on Daddy, but I'm most definitely your preference. You still cry in the nursery every Sunday and won't willingly let anyone other than Daddy, Ms. Ginnell, Granti, Auntie, or me hold you. You've got a couple more teeth coming in (the two on either side of your top front teeth), will give large, open-mouth kisses when asked, and have an infectious laugh.
Daddy and I got your ears pierced just before your first birthday as our gift to you, just as we did with Babe. The earrings haven't bothered you once. :)
You wear size 4 diapers, 12-18 month clothes, and are still riding around in your old school Graco infant carrier (Santa will be bringing you some new car seats for Christmas!). You still love your Little Tikes dollhouse and getting into the Play Doh containers and hate being confined to anything!!
In a nutshell, you're a keeper. And fantastic.
I can't wait to share another year with you.
PS...Your brother and sister love like you like crazy.