Letters to Maddy, Madeline, Monthly Letters, Parenting After Loss

13 Months

Dear Madeline,
  
I debated about whether or not I was going to keep writing these monthly letters. For now, I think I will try and keep it up. There is just so much happening with you as you grow and change every day.  

  
The actual day of your birthday we went and did one year photos. You were so not interested. 

  
There was a 20 degree temperature drop from the time we left our house to when we arrived at the garden where we were doing photos. I felt so awful, because clearly you were cold and you didn’t like all of the attention you were getting from everyone that walked by. 

  
Thankfully, it wasn’t a complete loss and there were a lot of really cute shots. Including some cute “cake smash” photos where you totally can’t even tell that you were crying the entire time. :(  I’m so sorry we tortured you just for some photos. I promise the rest of the day was spent playing with toys and cuddling. 

  
Unfortunately, the day after your birthday was your one year check up. We didn’t get to see your regular doctor and the one we did see was a little concerned with just how tiny you really are. They ordered lab work which meant that you had to have some blood drawn. You did much better than I did. You didn’t even cry one bit. You just stared at them very carefully while I held you on my lap. You were so brave. Of course, we later found out that all your test results came back perfect so no worries. You are just our little peanut. 

  
We came home and you rested while I finished getting things ready for your big party! 

  
For your first birthday we decided to go with a Somewhere Over the Rainbow theme. The Wizard of Oz was my favorite movie when I was little, you are our rainbow baby, and the first song I ever sang to you was Somewhere Over the Rainbow as you were laying on my chest just about an hour after you were born. This theme seemed perfect. 

  
It was so much fun to come up with all of the decorations and foods. I was so glad that so many friends and family were able to be there to help us celebrate you. 

 

I made you a little Dorothy themed tutu and you even had your own pair of ruby slippers! Your dad has already been warned about how much fun I had planning this party and that I expect to make them bigger and better each year. :)  
 You seemed like you had a fun time and you made quite the birthday haul.   

This last month you also had your first major “boo boo.” You fell down at daycare and hit your face on the corner of the table. Again, you were so brave and barely even cried. Which is good, because I’m pretty sure I cried enough for you. You were left with a swollen cheek, a small cut, and your first (and hopefully last) black eye. 

  
We are very used to having people ohh and ahh over you in the stores because you are quite adorable, but walking around with a baby with a black eye was something else entirely. I really wanted to carry around a sign that said, “she is learning to walk and fell down at daycare. I swear we didn’t push her.”  Thankfully, after a couple weeks it was pretty much all faded away and healed up. 

  
We got to celebrate your cousin, Mason’s 3rd birthday. You had fun playing with all the balloons.

We took you to the zoo for the first time. 

  
We had a lot of fun. I think your favorite were the birds and the penguins. You would point at the animals and smile and talk or laugh at them. I can’t wait to go again. 

  

You also cut your third tooth. Slowly, but surely those teeth are coming in. Since you now have a tooth on top in addition to your two bottom teeth, you are getting much better at taking bites of food which means you are getting more things whole and not always cut into tiny pieces. 

  

You occasionally will give the sign for milk. Which is pretty exciting. You are saying more and more words: mama, dada, baba, dug dug (dog), hi, yeah, huh, and many more that you will echo back to us.  We are working on ditching the bottle, but it is a work in progress. You will drink out of straw cups and your new Camelbak bottle, but still no regular sippy cups. Which is fine. 

 
For awhile there you were super close to walking, but then you fell and you seem to have gotten a bit apprehensive about letting go now. It’s okay. I know you’ll be running soon enough. For now, I’ll take the extra cuddles. 

 

You are silly and fun and I am so proud of you everyday. The way you are starting to really figure out how everything works, the way you dance every time you hear any music, the way you always give kisses with a big “muah”. Everything you do is amazing. You are such a sweet little girl and I am one very lucky momma. 

  
Love always,

Your momma.  

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