I'm a broken record, I know - but it's still sometimes very hard to believe that we have Hope in our lives. After losing Gavin so suddenly - and unexpectedly - and tragically - and devastatingly (is that a word? If not, it should be) - we never could have imagined that we already had Hope. She was already there before we lost Gavin forever. In some ways... it feels she has always been here.
Today she turns 13 months.
With each month (with each day, really) we have learned more and more about who this mysterious little girl is who dropped down from Heaven into our lives.
She is confident. Most toddlers are fearless, this is true. But Hope is willing to try anything - and often does it! Maybe it's having an older brother that she wants to keep up with. It makes me smile to see her brut her way through life. She's been attempting (and halfway succeeding!) to climb UP the slide in our living room for months! This little girl is fiesty and I can already tell she will be a strong woman in every way.
She is curious. All day long I follow her around the house as she explores. I actually bought a "Jawbone" - wearable technology that I wear on my wrist and it tells me how many steps I take in a day. Following Hope around? A lot. She has to inspect everything, pick up everything, look at everything - I love it. Well, I'm starting to not love chasing her to the Christmas tree anymore. I'm kind of over that.
She likes to follow instructions! If you ask her where her purse is, she'll go find it! (I'm still working on getting her to find mine. And my keys. And my mind.) If you ask her to come to a specific room, she'll do it! If you ask her how big she is, she'll show you...
She is loving. She gives hugs and kisses to her brother, her Daddy, me, her dolls - pretty much anything and everything she loves. I adore watching her "mother" her dolls. She's a little rough with them, I'll be honest. And yes, there are days I'm tempted to threaten to call CPS on her. But I'm hoping she'll change before she has a real baby. Ha!
She still love to eat everything! I'd list the foods she eats for breakfast, lunch, dinner and multiple snacks, but I'd be here all night. She eats everything, which makes going anywhere so easy! I'm grateful that she still nurses, too. It's great for moments when we're out and she's hungry but there's still time before a meal. Or - times like this past week when she was sick! During her bout with croup I nursed her constantly through the night and I think that helped her kick it much faster than normal! And, it's a nice ritual before bed and naps. But her main meals are in her highchair eating real food. Our only pet peeve with our little princess? She loves to swipe her hand across her tray pushing all of her food on the floor. Yeah, she's a real crack up.
She's easy! Hope is really the easiest baby. She's flexible, she's friendly, she goes to bed and down for naps with very minimal (if any!) fussing. She wakes up and quietly plays or talks to her "guys" until someone goes in to get her. She's such a dream.
Hope is a true gift to our family - and to our broken hearts. This unexpected miracle has brought so much happiness into our home. She and Brian are just what we need to focus on living after losing our first born son.
Hope truly lives in each one of us - and hope is always there. But it sure is nice to have very obvious proof.
Happy 13 months, Hope Margaret! We all just adore you. Even if you don't always sit still long enough to get a good photo!!
In other news, last night was very exciting for Brian after losing his first tooth!!
You won't believe this, but the tooth fairy must have brought a friend to snap a picture of her as she reached under Brian's pillow!
He was SHOCKED - AMAZED - and, dare I say, SMITTEN with the picture of the real tooth fairy when he saw it the next morning.
If you're wondering how I did this, I used the website "Catch a Character." Lucky for me, Brian is a sound sleeper. I snuck in and took pictures of him sleeping and thanked God that he left an entire half of his pillow free for me to lift up!! I didn't have to worry about taking the note he wrote or the tooth because he wanted to keep them. But I did slip this note from the Tooth Fairy under the pillow with "fairy dust" sprinkled on top. As I read the note to him, he kept smiling and looking at me with his mouth open like "Can you believe this?" It was priceless.
He loved the coins. He loved the dollar bill.
He loved the Darth Vader key chain. But he REALLY loved the book! We read most of it over breakfast and he was fascinated with the different "tooth customs" from other countries! We had some good giggles over some of the things kids do with their lost teeth... like throwing them on their roofs!
I'm so grateful for these children. All of them. And I don't take a single thing for granted. Not any of it.