Seventeen.  Full of ups and downs.  Ups: becoming more dextrous everyday.  The booty dance that makes me wonder about ever sending her to prom.  The “Blind Bartemaus” <<insert MG closing her eyes and walking around the house, often running into/tripping over furniture.  Hilarious (no babies have been injured).>>  Learning to go down the stairs on her bottom.  Even better when she sits down about 3 feet from the top stair expecting to start there.  The resurgence of the hello/goodbye wave.  Even better when it comes without prompting.  The new communication skills she seems to acquire overnight.  “We need to wash our hands” <>.  “We need to go upstairs/put on shoes/go outside/go to the car”.  <>.  It amazes me how little she says, yet how much she understands.  The new ways in which she mimics us: pretend drinking from Mommy’s tea cup, pretend rubbing on lotion, pretend washing hair, pretend wrapping baby up in Mama’s nightgown.  Oh how she loves those babies.  When I peek in on her in her crib, she’s hugging them to her chest, patting their little backs, jabbering some secret little language to them.  The dishwasher-helper-extraordinaire:

 (actually, this one is kinda scary, but she’s gotta learn somehow, right?)

The sympathy cough.  The newfound love of milk. The affectionately nicknamed “No Shimmy”:

Side note: I pride myself on not being a person who continually asks a child the same question over and over.  This series of questions was just a bait for the video.  Promise.

Actually, some days that’s an up and other days (when it seems to be the only thing she wants to do) it’s a major down.  Other downs: Not wanting to obey.  And sometimes it comes to a major battle.  Not being able to play independently some days and therefore not giving Mama a break.  The week of not napping.  Please tell me it’s normal for a 1 year old to give up her nap.  Yeah, didn’t think so.  The one year molars.  The new picky-picky eater.  Me losing my temper on more than one occasion and having to apologize. Some days it comes down to a battle of wills.  Other days it  feels like a miraculous striving of spirits all working together for the same great cause.  But I guess that’s what you get when you combine a headstrong Mama with a heartstrong Dadda:  An extra-strong little being coming to us in the body of a little girl.

We love you through your ups and downs, little girl.  Love us back the same, k?

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