Oh, my little Madeleine. How can you be four?
Just moments ago, there you were, a tiny babe in my arms...though you were almost ten pounds!
I remember feeling so relaxed with you those first few hours and days, just enjoying those early moments.
I couldn't stop looking at you, marveling at the blessing and miracle of life...your life.
You were such an easy baby. A good eater...a good sleeper...we called you our "angel baby," and you were.
I remember loving those middle of the night feedings...it was the only time of day when it was just you and me...and so I treasured those late nights, knowing they would be fleeting. (And they were...you slept through the night at around six weeks.)
a few months old...
Very few moments have passed in your life when someone isn't kissing those sweet cheeks. You soaked in all the affection...and never seemed to mind the kisses and hugs a bit. You were such a sweet tempered little baby.
I remember that first year well...for the first time as a parent not anxiously awaiting those milestones, because I knew how quickly they would come...how quickly you would grow up. But those milestones did arrive...and we watched each one with joy...especially when you started to walk a little after your first birthday,. You were so pleased with yourself.
You loved being entertained by your sister and brother...and they simply adored you.
At two, it was already apparent that you had a bubbly and social personality. You had lots to say...and I remember you were so excited about your birthday!
This was the year our house became diaperless. Whew.
You were my biggest challenge this year (in terms of homeschooling your big sister)...but all for good reason. You always wanted to sit on my lap or show me the picture you were coloring...and weren't happy until you had my full attention.
You loved getting to go to Bible Study...and your teachers adored you there. They said you were the only one who answered questions during the Bible lesson. That still makes me smile.
Oh, three. How I will treasure this past year. You have such a sensitive heart...you are so very affectionate. (Even if you did run out of kisses until you went to the kisses store, as you told me a few months ago.)
Your smile and that sparkle in your eyes sometimes make it tough to be your mommy and daddy...it is so hard to resist them!
You have a bit of firecracker in that personality...and oh, the drama. Your facial expressions never fail to make us giggle...and that inflection in your voice. Oh my.
You are learning so quickly these days...you love getting to do your school lessons and are mostly patient while your siblings do theirs.
You love anything artistic...and ask to paint almost every day. Thankfully, you like good ol' crayons too...and the pile of pretty pictures you make me grows constantly.
You have a sweet voice and few hours go by when I don't hear you singing...I love the way you mix up the words in "My Favorite Things."
Last night, as I tucked my three-year old in for the last time, I asked if you were sure you had to be four.
You hugged me and patted my cheek, as if you knew I needed some comforting, and said, "Mommy, I wish I could just always be three. But I just have to grow up and turn four."
I know, sweet baby girl. I know.
Happy Fourth Birthday, precious Madeleine.
You are a delight to me. You bring such joy and sweetness to our family.
You are our Ladybug and our Wiggly-Bubbles.
Our Maddie Beth.