Dear Dahlia Month 12

Dear Dahlia,

Well, Little One, we have made it through 12 months together. There have been rough spots, but more than enough joy, laughter and sweet times to make up for them. It is so difficult for me to remember clearly the time before you came into our lives. Maybe because it was so boring? Who knows. All I know is my present happiness as a complete family with you and Dada, and I am content in that.

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As always, so much has happened this past month that I am astounded when I look back and see how different you were just a few weeks ago! I guess the big thing is WALKING. You blew by this milestone with hardly a glance and a nod. It seems one day you were grabbing everything for support, and the next day you were practically running! Seriously, I cannot turn my back for more than a few seconds, and you can make it to the other side of the apt. and back. Good thing we baby-proofed because unless I follow behind you constantly, you are impossible to keep in sight! Dahlia Joy Walker officially took her first steps on March 11, 2008. 🙂 I’m so glad I got it on camera too! Since I feel like I miss documenting so much, I am so grateful for what I do get.

This month was busy! I was working a lot of evenings, and I am loving it. Also, there were a few holidays this month. You enjoyed your first corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day. I wasn’t brave enough to give you cabbage. Easter also happened so early this year that it fell a week before your birthday! So it felt like your first Easter, even though it was officially your second one. We spent Easter at our church in NYC, then went out to have a nice dinner with Poppy and Grandma. We had a lot of fun, and I loved buying you a beautiful dress. And of course there was that huge Holiday on the 30th–your Birthday! We had the party near here in Independence Park. Over 30 friends and family braved the sunny but chilly weather to come celebrate you! I made you an Elmo cupcake cake, and we had a blast!

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Since I am a little late with this letter, I am going to cheat and tell you about some things up to this day. For instance, I gave you your first “hair cut” today. Although to call it that is to use the phrase very loosely. I really just trimmed your bangs a bit. I bought some hair clips a few weeks ago, which look really cute, but your hair was getting so long in front it started bothering me. Now I finally understand all those times that my grandmother (your great-grandmother) would look at me and tsk over my bangs hanging in my eyes when I was a young girl. I was always so puzzled as to why it should bother her, let alone me!

You also have lots of new teeth! In one month’s time, you doubled the amount of teeth you have! Now there are 4 on top and 4 on bottom. The last 2 on top came out almost simultaneously with the first 2, and the last 2 on bottom just came out yesterday. You have certainly been clingy and cranky enough to have been cutting teeth. I admit that it is really cute when you bring books over to me and hand them to me so I can read them to you, though. I love that you love books already. Definitely a Posegate (ask your Uncle Russell for some stories on sneaking book reading in after bedtime).

A new favorite game is to come up to us with any object and hold it out for us to take. When we take it and say, “Thank you!”. You wait a second, and then sign “Please” to ask for it back. When we give it back, we try to get you to say “Thank you” too, but mostly you don’t yet. That’s fine, though. You have learned so many new signs this month already. You now use “Please”, “Milk”, “Nap”, “More”, “All Done”, “Eat”, and sometimes “Thank you” or “Book”. You also shake your head “No” quite a bit and have started pointing at things. Your communication skills are blossoming daily. Today you were getting on towards nap time, so you were kind of cranky, and were begging for a bit of my ice cream. I gave you a fingerful and put the dish away. Shortly afterwards, you came back over and started whining and crying. I asked what you wanted, and you just kept crying, almost out of control. I asked if you wanted a nap (you usually sign to me when you need one—amazing, right?) and you put your fist to your cheek, which for you means “eat”. I thought you were just confused and asked again. Again, fist to the cheek. Very seriously, looking intently in my eyes, you did it one more time. I finally realized you were asking for more ice cream. Wow. Why didn’t I think of that sooner? Gotta love sign language.

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Your repertoire of animal sounds has grown too. This is very important, of course, because of all the animals in your books and toys. How else can we identify them, if not by the sound they make? (It is really hard to teach rabbit) You are doing well with your sleep habits, as you have been for a while now. You enjoy cuddling up on your side with a favorite white soft blanket. You used to always sleep on your tummy, but now that is changing. The rash on your back cleared up when your top teeth finally came in. There are still bits here and there that get better and worse when you are teething or not, but lotion seems to help. You also suffered your first black eye when you stumbled and fell against your toy basket. I almost forgot about it until I looked at the pictures, since it healed so quickly!

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Well, we are getting to the end of this letter, and subsequently, the end of my 12 month Dear Dahlia series to you. Maybe I will continue every other month, or every 6 months. I don’t know for sure, but I have really enjoyed these opportunities to let you know what happened in your first year of life, and I would like to keep them going. As I said at the beginning of this letter, this year has been an emotional mix with just a bit of everything thrown in. One thing is for sure, it has been a wild ride so far, and Dada and I are loving it! This song came to mind today as I was rocking you, and as I sang it to you I thought it would be a good one to close this letter with!

Baby, Baby / I’m taken with the notion / to love you with the sweetest of devotion.
Baby, Baby / My tender love will flow from / the bluest sky to the deepest ocean.
Stop for a minute, Baby, I’m so glad you’re mine. . . Oh yeah.
And ever since the day you put my heart in motion, Baby, I realize there’s just no getting over you.

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Here’s to another year of my dearest Dahlia!
Love Always,
Mommy

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