Dear, delightful Éowyn,
As I write this, you are off to the mall with Daddy on your first ever Daddy-daughter date. He just called to tell me that you were laughing non-stop, loving this new view from your front-facing car seat in the truck's cab (one of the few benefits of having an old truck without passenger airbags). You are so big, so full of life, definitely a little personality instead of a sweet floppy newborn. This month you've suddenly begun to show your feminine side, with shoes, bows, baby dolls, and photographs becoming your favorites literally overnight. One morning you discovered the wonder of footwear, and we spent a happy hour trying on shoes. Sometimes you try to put them on my feet (toes), and we both giggle. You insist on having a hair bow, but often don't want it in your hair. You want it in your hand or mouth. Upon waking, be it from a nap or the night, you invariably ask to get down a Raggedy Ann or Andy doll from your shelf, or make the tour of the framed pictures in your room, grinning as every person is named. You point out yourself, saying "de-de! de-de!" (bebe, Spanish for baby). You seem to have learned that other small children have individual names instead of the universal Ellie, and we love hearing you try to repeat their names. Jane is 'Nnn,' Magnus is 'Mah-na,' Gunnar is 'Guhh,' and Hannah is a perfect 'Hannah.' You really enjoy other kids, and are much more content to let me out of the room when you have friends over. "Ellie" is now your baby doll, which is perfectly sized for your little arms. At times you bring her to me and insist that she be rocked, patted, kissed, and put on my shoulder. I love to listen to you play in your crib in the morning, talking so sweetly to your babies, reading your books, singing. When you're ready to get up, you call out decisively "Ahh done!" and stand at the crib rails until we come get you. You greet us with exuberant "hi!"s (it sounds like 'Iiii!'), or my favorite, 'Hi, Dad!' You've yet to greet me by name... though you definitely call for me, usually in tears.
This past month you journeyed again to Paris, where your top front teeth finally burst through (after 5 months of threatening to appear), and to Copenhagen, where you took your first steps, and briefly to Malmo (Sweden), where you rode your first merry-go-round. You were a champ, napping in the stroller or on my back, making friends with everybody and making Mommy fit right in with all the Swedish parents, also toting around blond-haired-blue-eyed-darlings. The only hitches were your aversion to nursing (and eating in general) with all the alternative activities around you, and your discovery of throwing things to the ground. We lost (and found) a cup, one shoe, a blankie (twice), and a bottle. Thankfully, you guzzled mommy-milk in a bottle happily, so we got around that problem...we're still working on not throwing stuff.
We still share our eggs in the morning, and you begin begging for eggs as soon as you see them. To avoid the tears that invariably come when the eggs don't cook immediately, I've taken to putting you in your swing in the other room with music playing while I get breakfast ready. You love watching the Windows Media Player visualizations! I've also started making fruit & yogurt smoothies for us to share, and you are so cute sucking it happily through the straw. As far as food goes, we've had a rough past week or so, with you refusing solid foods and wanting to nurse exclusively, but that seems over, and you're happily chowing down on avocado, winter squash, carrots, blueberries, and frozen grapes or peas, among other things. Oh yes, tomatoes. How could I forget? You are obsessed with them!! Good thing we have a garden full of ripe organic juicy ones! You also have learned to bite off chunks of banana like a little monkey, which I find cute.
As far as skills go, you point very well (a skill learned on the plane to Europe), and have signs for 'please, 'milk,' and 'more,' as well as hi/bye, and respond when asked to sign in either Spanish or English. Yesterday you stood at your baby gate and practiced greeting people for a solid half-hour. You'd call out 'Iiii!' or 'dye!' (bye), wave, and grin, then repeat. All animals growl according to you, especially dinosaurs & lions. Food you like is 'mmm!' and what doesn't please your palate is "pthththth" (spitting). You use 7ish words and innumerable jabberings. Daddy and I love to watch and listen as you lecture us emphatically on various topics, known only to yourself at this point. We also find it amusing when you decide you don't want any food and begin waving your hands around like Eden's cherubim with the flaming swords.
You were napping for 4 hours a day once we got back from Europe, but, alas, I think it was just jetlag. Lately you've taken to talking and playing for one or both of your naps. I'm still persevering in putting you down at 10:30 and 3 every day. We'll see how it goes. You are ready for bed at 8 and sleep until 6 or 7 (with a dream-feed at 10ish). We try to go outside every day, and you are getting close to fulfilling your goal of sampling every rock, stick or leaf in our area. Yuck.
You wear 12 mos clothes, are long & lean, and at last check (at the airport going to Copenhagen) weighed 20 lbs. I love you more and more.