Saturday, June 21, 2008

Let's Talk About the Birthday Girl

For the last few days, Jeff and I have really been trying to just indulge Amelia in all the things she loves most. It has been really sweet to realize that she has become this little person with distinct interests and loves. Last year, she was pretty much oblivious to everything we did to celebrate her birthday, and this year was so gratifying! Things she loves most: going to the park, especially the one with the ducks, but the number one "must have" is swings; going out to eat, mostly being in public, able to interact with and charm other diners; books (she would literally sit in my lap being read to all day if she could. In fact, Jeff and I recently discovered that she has memorized all of her books, and can fill in the blank at most pauses!) food: bacon, fish, butter, strawberries, onions, greens, and soup of any kind (it seems that we have matching palates...) She LOVES people, and talks about friends and family all the time.

The best word to describe her would be "friendly." She says hi to everyone and everything. If I tell her we're going to the park, she says "Hi Park... See you! (nice to see you.)" Then she'll start thinking about Aunt Joy: "Hi A. Joy. See you. Hell-o A. Joy. Hey A. Joy!" The funniest thing is that she says all of her many greetings with a little southern drawl, so it's extra sweet.

She is a really affectionate, kind little girl. She loves to "get cozy" with me, gives the best, longest hugs, and recently started saying "I love you," all the time. Also "I like you," which is very reassuring. She is cooperative, is easily amused, and never slows down all day. She also recently started saying "Thank you Mama" (or Papa) and that really feels good to hear! We're still working on "excuse me" after making bodily sounds that she finds hilarious, but she did say it today, so we're getting there...

The most interesting thing about Amelia is that she is so devoted to figuring her world out. If she could read and write, I know she'd be carrying around a notebook and taking notes on everything so she could go back, memorize and make connections. She literally hears every word we say, and is always surprising us with the things she remembers or pieces she puts together. She speaks very clearly, and it has been fascinating to watch her learn to speak. She really uses techniques that adult language learners would use, and quickly picks up new phrases and tones and puts them to appropriate use. She also has a very acute sense of smell, and always surprises me by accurately identifying even the faintest scents, including those of her cousins bodies (on clothes, blankets, etc.) She stops and smells all food before trying it, and knows what I've been eating even if I intentionally only breathe through my nose, keeping my mouth shut to keep her from suspecting something I don't want to share (she loves very dark chocolate!)

We are constantly pleasantly surprised by who she is, and how she is growing up. She has only gotten easier and more wonderful over the past year, and we truly and thoroughly enjoy her. I am loving being able to have real conversations with her about her interests (bacon, dogs, peacocks, cousins, parks...) Today we took her out to breakfast, and plan to go to OMSI today, with a family membership we received for her birthday, which is going to make this year of her life so much nicer! We're having a blast. Happy Birthday Amelia!


ShackelMom said...

What great pictures and a wonderful description of your darling daughter! I love it, and can hardly wait to get to know her in person!

Nathan said...

I agree, so nice to learn more about her.


Robin said...

Thanks for putting all of your beautiful thoughts down for us to read.I love knowing what Amelia is really like and who she is growing up to be. She is a darling.

Anonymous said...

I love your descriptive writing about your darling daughter.It surely makes us want to get better acquainted with her. Love Grandma

Jessica K. said...

Happy Birthday Amelia!

Ate Jessica